Israel’s lone soldiers: Come for the perks, stay for the war crimes

In his 2011 book entitled Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, author J.M Berger (purportedly in his own words) “uncovers the secret history of American jihadists.”  Berger, who refers to himself as a “specialist on homegrown extremism,” tells us that these traitorous terrorists  are “Muslims [who] have traveled abroad to fight in wars because of their religious beliefs.”

Please read that definition again. Ok, just one more time.

Now read this from Tuesday’s New York Times:

On Tuesday, with talk rampant about the possibility of an imminent Israeli attack on Iran, Mr. [Josh] Warhit became a citizen of Israel to enlist in its army.

“Our parents were freaking out,” Mr. Warhit, now 22, recalled of that first trip [to Israel] during the war against Hezbollah. “It only made us more thirsty. I love the Jewish people. Love involves commitment. Right now we need people to commit.

“Of course it’s scary,” he added, regarding Iran, “but if you feel a commitment, that’s the thing to do.”

Warhit explains his decision to leave the country of his birth in order to join the massively American-subsidized military of a foreign state this way: “I love my family, I love my friends and I love the Jewish people. The Jewish people don’t need another Jew in suburban New York.”

Apparently, according to Warhit, what the “Jewish people” do need are more Israeli soldiers using American-bought weapons to maintain a brutal 45-year-old occupation and apartheid legal system, facilitate ethnic cleansing, impose collective punishment upon millions of civilians by way of walls, checkpoints, blockade and siege, bulldoze homes, orchards and olive groves, protect and enable colonists in violation of international law, oppress and dominate an already devastated and dehumanized indigenous population, conduct night raids, abductdetain, and abuse children, use sonic booms to deliberately terrorize people, wage more aggressive wars and commit more crimes against humanity with total impunity.

If that’s not terrorism then nothing is.

The article, headlined “Enlisting From Afar for the Love of Israel”, states that “Warhit, who grew up in New Rochelle, N.Y., and graduated from the University of Rochester after spending several summers in Israel, was one of 127 soldiers-to-be who landed Tuesday morning at Ben-Gurion International Airport.”  The enlistees, referred to as “lone soldiers,” were given “a hero’s welcome that included a live band, balloon hats and a speech by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” who praised them for deciding “to defend the Jewish future.

In Jihad Joe, Berger writes, “Since 1979, American citizens have repeatedly packed their bags, left their wives and children behind, and traveled to distant lands in the name of military jihad, the armed struggle of Islam.”

Compare that to what the Times report tells us of the young IDF cadets who “left behind parents, girlfriends, cars and stuffed animals to become infantrymen, intelligence officers, paratroopers and pilots in a formerly foreign land.”

Their motivation is often way higher than the average Israeli,” Colonel Shuli Ayal, who oversees the lone-soldier program, told the Times. “They want to make their service as meaningful as possible.”

With such zealous fervor and passionate commitment to his co-religionists and the ethnocentric, exclusivist nationalism of Zionism, it is no wonder that Warhit desperately hopes to join the Givati Brigade, an IDF military unit which Rudoren innocuously writes “has been active around the Gaza Strip” over the past ten years.  What she should have told her readership is that the commander of the Givati Brigade, Colonel Ilan Malka, was directly responsible for authorizing the airstrike that murdered 21 members of the Samouni family in Gaza on January 5, 2009 for which no one has been held accountable.

Soldiers in the Givati Brigade are also known to have custom t-shirts designed and printed for their units at end of training or field duty that bear such images as dead Palestinian babies, mothers weeping at their children’s graves, guns aimed at kids and destroyed mosques.  These shirts glorify, celebrate, and mock the rape of Palestinian girls, the murder of Palestinian men, women (especially if they’re pregnant) and children.

An anonymous Givati soldier was recently sentenced to a mere 45 days in prison for “illegal use of a firearm,” a charge reduced from manslaughter through a plea bargain.  He had willfully murdered 65 year old Ria Abu Hajaj and her 37 year old daughter Majda Hajaj, after they were ordered to evacuate their home in Juhr ad-Dik with their families during the Gaza massacre in early January 2009.  They were waving white flags and moving slowly in an area in which there was no combat whatsoever when the Israeli soldier opened fire on the group of 28 Hajaj family members, which included at least 17 children.  Apparently, the use of his firearm was illegal, not the execution of civilians.

Clearly, for Warhit, it’s all about the love.

The article continues, “[A]ccording to a military spokeswoman, Israel has enlisted 8,217 men and women from other countries since 2009, 1,661 of them from the United States, second only to Russia’s 1,685,” adding, “They receive a host of special benefits: three times the typical soldier’s salary, a personal day off each month, a free flight home and vouchers for holiday meals.”

How’s that for incentive? Come for the perks, stay for the war crimes.

A March 2012 article in the Jewish online journal Tablet chronicles “Aluf Stone, an organization for Diaspora-born soldiers who have served in the Israel Defense Forces” that was formed in 2008 and is affiliated with the American Veterans of Israel (which is something that apparently exists).  The report quotes Aluf Stone co-founder Marc Leibowitz describing service in the Israeli military as “a specific and meaningful shared experience.  Deeper than an alumni group or a fraternity, which people are fanatical about.”

Fanatical.

Leibowitz explained that most Jewish groups are wary of associating with Aluf Stone since “[n]o organization wants to be seen as if they are encouraging Americans to fight in a foreign army.”  Still, Tablet reveals, in 2011 “the group was invited by the Friends of the IDF to speak at a synagogue in New York and share their stories with an audience composed of family members of IDF soldiers from the States.”

One member of Aluf Stone told Chandler that American-born former IDF soldiers “don’t belong in U.S. veterans’ groups and networks, as they didn’t [all] serve in the American military.”  Consequently, “Aluf Stone occupies an interesting middle ground in the U.S.”  More accurately, perhaps, the members of Aluf Stone were actually occupying Palestine.

While it’s clear that these Jewish foreigners who join the Israeli military do so out of some sort of fervent compulsion and perceived obligation to their own religious tribe, so much so that they leave their own nation to bear arms on behalf of another, it should be noted that numerous studies have found religious ideology not to be a prime motivating factor in most of the terrorist attacks credited to Muslims.

An unclassified study published by the Pentagon-appointed U.S. Defense Science Board on Sept. 23, 2004 determined that:

Muslims do not “hate our freedom,” but rather, they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the longstanding, even increasing support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, and the Gulf States.

Professor Richard Jackson of The National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies in New Zealand concurs that “terrorism is most often caused by military intervention overseas, and not religion, radicalization, insanity, ideology, poverty or such like.”

Political Science professor at the University of Chicago and founder of the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, Robert Pape, who has conducted some of the most comprehensive research and written the most respected analysis of terrorist motivation, concluded in a 2010 study that “suicide terrorism such as that of 9/11 is particularly sensitive to foreign military occupation, and not Islamic fundamentalism or any ideology independent of this crucial circumstance.”   His data reveals that “[m]ore than 95 percent of all suicide attacks are in response to foreign occupation.”

That U.S. and Israeli policies of invasion and occupation rather than religious extremism are the guiding forces behind acts of terrorist violence is evidenced in a letter allegedly written by those responsible for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and published in The New York Times. It stated, “This action was done in response for the American political, economical, and military support to Israel, the state of terrorism, and to the rest of the dictator countries in the region.”

The letter adds, “The American people are responsible for the actions of their government” and “all of the crimes that their government is committing against other people.”

Tragically, those American lone soldiers, that zealous minority of homegrown ideologues who – in J.M. Berger’s words – “travel abroad to fight in wars because of their religious beliefs,” will now be personally responsible for the actions and crimes of the Israeli government and military as well.

(h/t Glenn Greenwald)

*****

About Nima Shirazi

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

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

  1. Newclench says:

    snip
    One member of Aluf Stone told Chandler that American-born former IDF soldiers “don’t belong in U.S. veterans’ groups and networks, as they didn’t [all] serve in the American military.”
    snip

    Interestingly, Veterans for Peace folks told me they’d love to have me as a member, on the basis of my service in the Israeli army. I never took them up, but I appreciate the work of that great organization.
    The MSM always ignore VFP when they speak of veterans groups and networks. Don’t let them get away with it.

    • Mooser says:

      “Interestingly, Veterans for Peace folks told me they’d love to have me as a member, on the basis of my service in the Israeli army.”

      Wait a minute, let me get this straight. You are trying to pass yourself off as some kind of liberal or reasonable Zionist, and you carried a frickin’ gun for the Zionist regime? Or am I mistaken, or what? You are an American who decided it was no big deal to obligate yourself to kill on Israeli orders? That’s charming. What was it which so attracted you, the possibility you might get to shoot somebody with legal cover, or the fact of doing it for Israel? You went into any army when you didn’t have to? Weren’t compelled to? Okay , you’re normal. Real sane, a regular guy. Remind me not to turn my back on you if we disagree.

      • Newclench says:

        Good job Mooser! You’ve really torn me a new one.
        (I was a refusenik, class of 1988. Drafted to the IDF. Spent two months in military prison. And I’m not a Zionist.)

        • Mooser says:

          “I was a refusenik, class of 1988. Drafted to the IDF. Spent two months in military prison. And I’m not a Zionist”

          And you were born in Israel? That’s too bad. Still, I wouldn’t put it past them to employ a refusenik for some purpose or other. Very hard to take Israelis at their own words, or at face value. Sorry, but that’s the way it goes. People must take sensible precautions.

        • Mooser says:

          Ahh, I’m probably being too paranoid. It’s probably just my tendency not to trust any Israeli. Well the man says he is not a Zionist, so, Newclench, since you’re dedicated to the proposition that Israel has no right to exist, does not now and was never intended to solve the problems it claimed to solve for the Jewish people, and that we would be better off without it, that even apart from Zionism’s other victims, it’s a fraud on and an embezzlement from the Jewish people, and murders and steals in our name, and would like to drag us back into the Middle Ages, but with the most modern technology of repression, well, welcome to the club! BTW, as someone who has the experience of Israel, you would say I put it pretty neatly, wouldn’t you?

        • Mooser says:

          Oh yes, we are gonna have some fun as the Zionists, the not-a-Zionists, and the anti-Zionists slug it out. I guess “post-Zionist” didn’t get past the preliminary rounds?

          So would I be too lazy in my thinking if I assumed “not-a-Zionist” meant the same thing as “anti-Zionist”?

        • Newclench says:

          Again, you and your misconceptions. I wasn’t born in Israel. But keep on demonstrating how little you understand. Or for that matter, making blanket statements about ‘Israelis.’ I wonder if you know just how many Israelis are Palestinian Arabs.

        • Newclench says:

          You sound hateful and belligerent. All that is necessary for one to not be a Zionist is to reject the Zionist premise: that a modern sovereign Jewish state in Palestine is a remedy to the alleged problem of Diasporic Jewish existence. This is an utterly boring proposition, held by the vast majority of secular and observant Jews prior to the middle of the last century.

        • ColinWright says:

          Newclench says: “…that a modern sovereign Jewish state in Palestine is a remedy to the alleged problem of Diasporic Jewish existence. This is an utterly boring proposition, held by the vast majority of secular and observant Jews prior to the middle of the last century.”

          The irony is that this isn’t so. Zionism was a minority position among Jews, and sometimes more of a fringe position. I posted this the other day:

          “According to David Fromkin (‘A Peace to End All Peace’) in 1917, of the then three million Jews living in the United States, a total of 12,000 (0.4%) belonged to groups participating in the Zionist Federation, and the movement had an annual budget of $5200 or less. The New York City branch had five hundred members.”

        • Newclench says:

          Colin, I was agreeing with you. No one disputes this. The point is that not being a Zionist merits none of the sturm and drang that is often given to it nowadays, but Mooser or the ADL.

  2. Kathleen says:

    One would think that to continue to be a U.S. citizen one would not be able to become a soldier in a foreign nations military. One would think that would be the case.

    Often wonder about the Israeli soldiers who have come out (Israeli soldiers speak out and Break the Silence) and have spoken against the illegal occupation and some of the horrific things they have done. A few who were about to do tours in the U.S. seemed to be shut down.

    • ritzl says:

      “One would that would be the case.”

      Especially when the US is at [perpetual and ill-defined, or is that ill-defined and therefore perpetual?] war, per the DC CW.

      It’s always so hard to get past how people are forgiven for ignoring the heated GWOT (or whatever it’s called these days) rhetoric, the fact that only a few service men and women and their families are shouldering the whole responsibility for implementing that elite[ist] policy, and the casual assumption of “it doesn’t affect me personally therefore I feel free to enlist in a foreign military even while my neighbors are fighting and dying for their birth country” normality.

      I’ll never understand the rationalization in the first place, nor the mentality that uncritically embraces it. At least they should be made to pay someone to take their place in the US military like was the option in the Civil War.

  3. pabelmont says:

    The USA (gov’t) is fairly conflicted about defining “terrorism” (usually defining it to exclude the doings of a professional military). It has recently characterized some doings of Israeli settlers as “terrorism”.

    But what the Israeli (or USA) army does is not usually characterized as terrorism.

    Isn’t it fun what you can do when you control the really important definitions, the statutory definitions?

    But on dissident web-sites, we can define “terrorism” as we wish to.

    • Nima Shirazi says:

      Actually, the U.S. government has a clearly articulated definition of terrorism enshrined in its legal code. It has long been established, and was even reinforced and reaffirmed by the PATRIOT ACT.

      Both international and domestic terrorism are defined as:

      …activities that –
      (A) involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that
      are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of
      any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed
      within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;
      (B) appear to be intended –
      (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
      (ii) to influence the policy of a government by
      intimidation or coercion; or
      (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass
      destruction, assassination, or kidnapping

      Nowhere in this definition is it stated that only “non-state actors” can be classified as “terrorists.”

      By this definition, the IDF (war crimes and intimidation of civilian population) and Mossad (murdering of Iranian scientists and other civilians) are clearly terrorist groups.

      Make sure to keep this legal code in mind whenever the “non-stop actor” argument is presented.

  4. American says:

    “Professor Richard Jackson of The National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies in New Zealand concurs that ——-> “terrorism is most often caused by military intervention overseas, and not religion, radicalization, insanity, ideology, poverty or such like.”

    Except Israel is the exception to that, their terrorism is caused in variations by religion, radicalization, insanity and ideology.
    Another one of those things about Israel that is as plain as the nose on our faces but that no government leaders will name as the cause of Israeli actions.
    It really is a black is white world when it comes to Israel.

  5. dimadok says:

    You are mixing national aspirations and religious beliefs. 99% of these wonderful young people are secular Jews.

    • RoHa says:

      “You are mixing national aspirations”

      What is a “national aspiration”?

      If it has something to do with supporting nations, then these “wonderful young people” are leaving their nations to join the forces of a foreign nation. Why aren’t they supporting their own nations?

      • Kathleen says:

        Serving in their own nations military? Can U.S. citizens serve in Iraq’s military?

      • dimadok says:

        Is every American who supports his nation HAS to serve in US army- I don’t think so. Only people who claim that supporting Israel goes against US national interest may say something against serving in IDF. But then it becomes a point of view and not legal question.

        • RoHa says:

          So what do “national aspirations” have to do with it?

        • Mooser says:

          Gee, dimadok, I would think an Israeli patriot like you would have a few choice words for a refuseniks, but I guess not, after all, everybody is entitled to put Israel in existential danger if they feel like it, huh?

    • ColinWright says:

      dimadok says: “You are mixing national aspirations and religious beliefs. 99% of these wonderful young people are secular Jews.”

      Then they really don’t have an excuse.

    • NickJOCW says:

      Forgive me. I am trying to get my head around this. Are ‘secular’ and ‘orthodox’ antonyms in this context?

  6. Roya says:

    Is there really no law that says American citizens can’t fight in a foreign army?

    • just says:

      ……………….. “Parental consequences aside, did Jeon break U.S. law?

      Probably not. The U.S. government certainly doesn’t encourage citizens to go off and fight in foreign wars, but there’s a long history of it — from the Abraham Lincoln Brigade that fought against Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War to the many Jewish Americans who have served in the Israel Defense Forces.

      According to the U.S. code, any citizen who “enlists or enters himself, or hires or retains another to enlist or enter himself, or to go beyond the jurisdiction of the United States with intent to be enlisted or entered in the service of any foreign prince, state, colony, district, or people as a soldier or as a marine or seaman … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.” But a court ruling from 1896 involving U.S. citizens who fought with Cuban revolutionaries against Spanish colonial rule interpreted this to mean that it was only illegal for citizens to be recruited for a foreign army in the United States, not to simply fight in one. (Note to Libya’s National Transitional Council: It probably wouldn’t be wise to set up a recruiting station on the UCLA campus in hopes of attracting more fighters.)

      Since Jeon appears to have traveled to Libya without any encouragement (he bought a one-way ticket because he didn’t want to risk losing $800 “if I get captured or something”), he’s probably in the clear.

      A few caveats: If an American joins an army engaged in hostilities against the United States, that’s considered an act of treason and punishable by death. The law also, obviously, doesn’t sanction membership in designated terrorist organizations, though the family of “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh has tried to argue that he was simply serving in the armed forces of another country and didn’t intend to aid al Qaeda or attack U.S. troops.

      But what if Jeon happened to take part in an attack on Sirte or some other Libyan city, in which civilians were slaughtered? There might be precedent in the case of Chuckie Taylor, a U.S. citizen and son of the former Liberian warlord Charles Taylor. The younger Taylor was convicted in 2008 in a court in Florida for acts of torture committed during Liberia’s civil war, the first U.S. citizen to be convicted in the United States of crimes against humanity in another country.

      What about citizenship? If you hold a U.S. passport, you’ll note that it advises that you “may lose your U.S. citizenship” by “serving in the armed forces of a foreign state.” The word may is critical. In the 1967 case Afroyim v. Rusk, the Supreme Court ruled that under the 14th amendment, U.S. citizens cannot be involuntarily stripped of their citizenship. (That case involved a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen who had his U.S. citizenship revoked after voting in an Israeli election, but the precedent applies to military service as well.) Since then, the government has had to prove that an individual joined a foreign army with the intention of relinquishing his or her U.S. citizenship. The army in question must be engaged in hostilities against the United States or the individual must serve as an officer.*

      So as long as Jeon manages to avoid committing treason or war crimes and doesn’t get promoted — which seems unlikely given that he reportedly asked, “How do you fire this thing?” after being handed an AK-47 — he’s probably safe from legal consequences. As for what his mom is going to do to him when he gets home, he’s on his own. ”

      link to foreignpolicy.com

      • Citizen says:

        @ just
        You won’t lose your citizenship by enlisting in the IDF below officer rank–unless you declare your intention to do so, and, although the US law indicates you may lose your citizenship by being an officer (NCO or otherwise) in the IDF, it still requires a clear intent to give up your US citizenship. We just went over all this in an earlier article on the subject of this latest bunch of young American Jews joining the IDF. Oren never lost his US citizenship although apparently he served in the IDF as both an officer and regular private until he renounced it officially, which was required under Israeli law for anyone serving Israel in an official representative position outside Israel.

        • Citizen says:

          @ just

          RE “The word may is critical. In the 1967 case Afroyim v. Rusk, the Supreme Court ruled that under the 14th amendment, U.S. citizens cannot be involuntarily stripped of their citizenship. (That case involved a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen who had his U.S. citizenship revoked after voting in an Israeli election, but the precedent applies to military service as well.)”

          Was the word “may” critical in the Afroyim case, or the fact there was no Mexican on our highest court?
          “In 1958, for instance, an American citizen named Perez voted in a Mexican election. The case went to the Supreme Court, where the majority opinion held that Perez must lose his American nationality. The court said Congress could provide for expatriation as a reasonable way of preventing embarrassment to the United States in its foreign relations.
          But then something very odd happened.
          In 1967 an American Jew, Beys Afroyim received an exemption that set a precedent exclusively for American Jews. Afroyim, born in Poland in 1895, emigrated to America in 1912, and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1926. In 1950, aged 55, he emigrated to Israel and became an Israeli citizen. In 1951 Afroyim voted in an Israeli Knesset election and in five political elections that followed. So, by all standards he lost his American citizenship — right? Wrong.
          After living in Israel for a decade, Afroyim wished to return to New York. In 1960, he asked the U.S. Consulate in Haifa for an American passport. The Department of State refused the application, invoking section 401 (e) of the Nationality Act — the same ruling that had stripped the American citizen named Perez of his U.S. citizenship.
          Attorneys acting for Afroyim took his case to a Washington, DC District Court, which upheld the law. Then his attorneys appealed to the Court of Appeals. This court also upheld the law. The attorneys for Afroyim then moved the case on to the Supreme Court. Here, with Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas, Lyndon Johnson’s former attorney and one of the most powerful Jewish Americans, casting the swing vote, the court voted five to four in favor of Afroyim. The court held that the U.S. government had no right to “rob” Afroyim of his American citizenship!
          The court, reversing its previous judgment as regards the Mexican American, ruled that Afroyim had not shown “intent” to lose citizenship by voting in Israeli elections. Huh?”
          link to viewzone.com

          Mark Krikorian, National Review, May 9, 2012:
          Dual citizenship isn’t simply a matter of convenience, a way to make travel easier or a sentimental tie to the Auld Sod. It’s a formal declaration of divided allegiance, civic bigamy, if you will. As Theodore Roosevelt said: “There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag . . . and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”
          link to nationalreview.com [Of course he was talking about Swiss, not Israeli]

          No person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.
          - United States Constitution

        • dimadok says:

          @Citizen. What requirement of service is in ANY Israeli laws? You saying nonsense.

      • RoHa says:

        “a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen who had his U.S. citizenship revoked after voting in an Israeli election”

        Interesting problem for dual Australian-US citizens. Australian citizens are legally required to vote in Australian elections.

  7. just says:

    dimadok– your argument just went ‘splat’.

    In 2 sentences you managed to deliberately ignore the truth through hyperbole with a great dollop of fantasy.

  8. talknic says:

    dimadok August 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Secular, schmecular. Stupidity has no religion.

  9. just says:

    Laws need to be changed, imho. Here’s the oath that one must take in order to become a citizen of the US.

    I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.[1]

    (wiki)

    Why should this oath be circumvented at all?

    Why should any dual citizen be allowed to vote or be recruited to vote in more than one country’s election?

    Laws need to be congruent.

    • RoHa says:

      That is the oath for people who become citizens by naturalization. Some people are born US citizens, but also have other citizenships by right of being born to parents who hold other citizenships. (My son has four citizenships!)

      Those people did not take that oath, so they would not be circumventing it by holding allegiance to another state. Mind you, I think they should only hold that allegiance if they are normally resident in that other state.

      “Why should any dual citizen be allowed to vote or be recruited to vote in more than one country’s election”

      Here I fully agree with you. I think that people should only be allowed to vote in the country in which they are normally resident. I am not normally resident in the UK, so I think I should not be allowed to vote in U.K. elections even though I am a British citizen. (I am also an Australian citizen, so it is my duty to vote here.)

  10. NickJOCW says:

    Personally, I consider it perfectly OK for individuals to go off and support whatever they believe in wherever their beliefs take them. What is not OK is for nations to do so.

    • ColinWright says:

      “Personally, I consider it perfectly OK for individuals to go off and support whatever they believe in wherever their beliefs take them. What is not OK is for nations to do so.”

      I don’t think that’s valid. While our enemies played into our hands, ultimately the US chose to involve itself in World War Two. We could have stayed out quite easily — but felt it incumbent upon ourselves to stand up for what we believed was right.

      It boils down to some goals being good and some goals being evil. I cannot say Israel is wrong because she seeks to realize her beliefs. I can say those beliefs are evil, and I do.

  11. About the citizenship oath, for those cItIzens through birth there is no requirement to take this oath. That oath poses issues for pacifists and those who see their sovereign as God.

  12. Citizen says:

    @ Sherri Munnerlyn

    Similarly, the origin of the right of American kids born here not to recite the Pledge Of Allegiance in school was a case brought by the Jehovah Witnesses Christian sect on the basis of their belief such requirement would be tantamount to worshipping an idol.

  13. Fredblogs says:

    I love how you guys believe two contradictory ideas at once. Something is only an occupation, when it is the territory and people of a sovereign state being occupied by a force from some other country. Meanwhile something is only Apartheid if it is your own citizens being kept separate on the basis of race. So if the Palestinians are Israeli citizens, and what is going on is Apartheid, then they aren’t Occupied and if the Palestinians are a sovereign people and Occupied, then it isn’t Apartheid.

    Pick one.

    • Mooser says:

      “I love how you guys believe two contradictory ideas at once.”

      Two contradictory ideas at once? You mean sort of like being a rabid Zionist and wanna-be settler, but living in the United States? You mean a really pathetic and revealing contradiction like that?

    • Walid says:

      Fredblogs, it’s confusing you because you’re only thinking of the West Bank and its tyranical occupation. In Israel proper, you have a Palestinian-Israeli population that’s not being treated the same as other Israelis and it makes it apartheid. So you have the 2 situations but in both, Israel is the villain.

    • ColinWright says:

      Fredblogs: ‘Pick one.’

      I don’t see the need. Why can’t Israel be committing two crimes at once? Anyway, as I posted below, it would be unfair to label Israel’s policies ‘Apartheid.’

    • eljay says:

      Fredblogs @ August 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      I love the fact that while Israel – an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State”, born of terrorism and ethnic cleansing, and maintained by means of a 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder – f*cks over Palestinians both within and without its borders, a hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist like Fraudblogs is able to take the time to debate what the true meaning of “is” is.

      What a jackass. Bravo, Fraud!

  14. Mooser says:

    “Pick one.”

    Sure, no problem, Ferdfortz! I pick “you’re an idiot, and your comment is indecipherable, anyway” Now, what do I win for picking the right answer?

  15. Woody Tanaka says:

    Nonsense, Fredo.

    “Apartheid” is simply the fact of how the occupation is enforced, day to day, by the Jews running israel against the non-Jews whose land they’re stealing. None of the silly distinctions you point to matter at all.

    • ColinWright says:

      ‘Apartheid’ would be if the Zionists confined the Palestinians to the West Bank and gave them limited autonomy under a regime run by the PA.

      That’s precisely what the Zionists refuse to let the Palestinians have. I’m a little unsure what final solution it is that Israel has in mind — but it’s considerably more radical than Apartheid.

  16. Mooser says:

    Wow, so all you gotta do is say “I’m not a Zionist”, and away you go… free as a bird. Wow, if I had known it was that easy….

    • Mooser says:

      Gotta wonder, as far as Israel has moved to the right, if “not a Zionist” doesn’t mean what I think it does, but instead means “doesn’t agree with the Greater Israel plan” or “dislikes the Occupation”. Actually, I’m sort of scared to challenge Newclench on what his anti-Zionism consists of. Do we really want to see that kind of anger sprawled on the page? Probably make my effete anti-Zionism look like tame stuff.

  17. eljay says:

    >> Wow, so all you gotta do is say “I’m not a Zionist”, and away you go… free as a bird.

    Only if “not a Zionist” actually mean “not an advocate for a supremacist ‘Jewish State’”. I suspect many “not a Zionists” will fall just shy of that particular criterion.