On the Jewish Israeli street, there’s no solution to Palestinian issue but more violence

Israel/Palestine
on 583 Comments

Jewish Israelis see no solution to their conflict with the Palestinians living alongside them, and wholly approve of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s aggressive response to Gaza.

That was the takeaway from interviews I did with about three dozen Jewish Israelis this past week on the street in Jerusalem and in towns hit by rockets from Gaza. Like American soccer moms who voted for George Bush in ’04, these Jewish Israelis overwhelmingly support their government’s militant answers to a horizon crowded with ominous forces. 

But when asked what the solution was to the Palestinian political issue, the people I talked to shrugged. None of them paid even lip service to the two-state solution. Many expressed fears of Islamists taking power in the Arab spring. 

“In my life I don’t see a solution with the Arab,” said a young woman server at the Aroma coffee shop in Kiryat Gat, which has been struck by rocket fire.

“A solution? I hope– next generation,” said a father in Sederot, walking to his car. 

And shockingly, several Jewish Israelis I spoke to called for genocide in Gaza. “Kill them all,” said Chen, 23, in Ashkelon.

My survey was hardly scientific, but it suggests that even if a Labor coalition can oust Netanyahu’s Likud-led coalition in the January elections, its policies in the West Bank and Gaza will be no different. The interviews left me despairing about the Israeli Jewish public. They are separated from Palestinians, have no sense at all of Palestinian grievances, and would much rather bash Palestinians than even think of sharing power with them. 

Only one person I spoke to had a humanistic approach to the Gaza siege – “The only solution is to make a real peace. They have to be able to get in and get out of Gaza,” Ingbal, a mother of three in Ashkelon, said.

But everyone else was for war. “We need war to get peace… quietness,” Elraz Azran, a restaurant owner in Sederot, said. “They [Gazans] need to know who is the owner.”

And what about the seven or eight wars that Israel has fought before this one, also to give it peace? The Israelis I spoke to seemed to look on war as their condition, and just let us be sure and deliver more violence than we receive.  

Several people offered genocidal statements unprompted. What is the solution to Gaza? “Long term? I don’t think you should write it down,” Debbie, an Australian who had emigrated to a town near Gaza, said. “Push delete on Gaza,” said a 22-year-old man standing on a hill in Sederot overlooking Gaza.

“Gaza need to disappear,” said Chen, 23, a clerical worker in a doctor’s office in Ashkelon. “Disappear?” “Yes, kill them all. Of course. One time, and that’s it.” She dusted her hands together. “Nobody’s good there.” Her coworker, Miri, 52, nodded agreement.

These vengeful Israelis live near Gaza, but even “leftwing” Israeli Jews are hardened. Shulamit, 62, a Jerusalem artist, her neck strung with colorful beads, said she had often voted Meretz (a leftwing party) but was leaning toward Netanyahu’s Likud party this time round.

“Netanyahu, he’s thinking very well with Gaza,” she said.

I asked her about Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert’s warning five years ago that Israel is “finished” if it does not get out of the West Bank and allows an apartheid struggle to begin.

“I agreed with him at the time. Now– there has been some changes… in the surroundings,” Shulamit said. Obama has a “beautiful soul,” but he had made a terrible mistake with Egypt in encouraging Mubarak to leave and Islamists to come in. The Middle East is not ready for democracy, she said.

Shulamit was typical of Jewish Israelis who have been made to feel insecure by the Arab spring. The two state solution is a dead letter to them. 

“The world and Israeli also, we give [Palestinians] hope… we will leave … [the] West Bank. This hope is a mistake,” Maer, 30, an Orthodox Jew in Jerusalem, said. “We are here. This is the security principle, we can’t leave the West Bank, because the geographic area is so small.” He said Israel needs to hold the West Bank as a bulwark against Islamist radicals.

My sense of the deadend on the Jewish street is echoed by today’s frontpage New York Times story where Ethan Bronner openly despairs about Israel’s lack of vision: “Many analysts and diplomats outside Israel say the country today needs a different approach to Hamas and the Palestinians based more on acknowledging historic grievances and shifting alliances.”

Amazingly, Bronner quotes Rami Khouri criticizing “maniacal Zionists.” 

It is a good thing that the New York Times is putting Zionism on the front page. My interviews left me with the sense that out of a core commitment to Jewish sovereignty and a Jewish majority, the Jewish Israeli collective now contains widespread hatred of Palestinians. Almost all the Jewish Israelis I spoke to have no desire to live with Palestinians or to figure out how to go forward. They only want to punish Palestinians for resistance.

But note that the Times front page is talking about Palestinians’ “historic grievances.” Israel was created in 1948 by expelling hundreds of thousands of Palestinians– many of whom ended up in Gaza.

The Jewish Israelis I spoke to are not interested in the causes of resistance or in human rights. They see themselves engaged in an existential struggle that demands the law of the jungle, again and again. Who cannot observe these attitudes and wonder about the wisdom of establishing a Jewish state.

583 Responses

  1. jewishgoyim
    November 17, 2012, 11:44 am

    This is from John mearsheimer:
    “Ehud Olmert said in November 2007, when he was prime minister, that if ‘the two-state solution collapses’ Israel will ‘face a South-African-style struggle’, and ‘as soon as that happens, the state of Israel is finished.’ One would think Israel’s leaders would appreciate where they are headed and allow the Palestinians to have a viable state of their own. But there is no sign that is happening; instead, Israel foolishly continues to rely on military campaigns like Pillar of Defence to break the Palestinians.”
    link to lrb.co.uk
    Who I think makes good sense of the situation.

    But why is nobody asking about the Israeli game plan? How do you go from where we are to Eretz Israel? The gap seems so wide that I wonder if there are not people somewhere who could think that the only way to bridge that gap would be “a new Pearl Harbor”. Some serious people somewhere must be thinking of this apparent Israeli bridge to nowhere and how to make it arrive somewhere. Creating a new Pearl Harbor seems the only way. A crisis that could be an opportunity like Rahm Emanuel likes to underline.

    Or is it really the slowest, most painful and cankerous ethnic cleansing in the history of mankind??? What is the plan here? Why is no one asking the question.

    It’s like the Israelis are lying about being intent on expanding and nobody is looking pass the lie. Some people are pointing out the lie, fair enough. But what are the outcomes possible in 50 or a 100 years? What are the Israelis shooting for (litterally)? They are lying. But what do they have in mind? Ever expanding Israel for a millenium?

    And if there is a gap between what they want and what can be achieved and that they feel cornered and hated around the world because of that, isn’t a new Pearl Harbor a way out? What are the other possible exits?

    Also what is creating this extremism within Israeli society? It wasn’t always like that. In 2002 one could see how hearts could harden with suicide bombings all over the place. But now? There seems to be absolutely no compassion in the Israeli psyche. Maybe it’s just that one has to hate in order to mistreat and that mistreating Palestinians is the policy. It’s coming from the top so people comply in order to live comfortably otherwise it’s dissidence.

    • Mooser
      November 17, 2012, 1:10 pm

      “allow the Palestinians to have a viable state of their own.”

      Gee, this may so more about me than about the Zionists, but if I was a Zionist, the first thing I would do is make damn sure that we got everything we needed to maker a viable state, and deny the essentials of viability to the Palestinians.
      I’m sure there is a viable Palestinian state, but most of it is in Israel. Which isn’t to say there isn’t enough left over for the Palestinians to have an non-viable state, no doubt Israel would be fine with that.

      • Mikhael
        November 20, 2012, 2:05 am

        I’m sure there is a viable Palestinian state, but most of it is in Israel.

        There have already been two Palestinian states for decades, Israel and Jordan. An Arab Palestinian state was first founded on part of the former British Mandate of Palestine as the Emirate of Transjordan in 1921 and became fully independent in 1946. The second Palestinian state was also founded in 1948 on parts of the former British Mandate of Palestine, and the second Palestinian state is Israel. The question is if a third Palestinian state (and the second Arab Palestinian state) can prove to be peaceful and not have designs on the sole Jewish Palestinian state if it attains full sovereignty. The routine firing of rockets from Gaza is not conducive to demonstrating to Israeli civilians that their lives would not be threatened but who might otherwise be disposed to territorial compromise and the establishment of the second Arab (and third in total) Palestinian state.

      • Hostage
        November 20, 2012, 12:25 pm

        There have already been two Palestinian states for decades, Israel and Jordan.

        Correction: There have already been three for decades. Western Jordan was recognized by the majority of the international community of states, when its union with the Hashemite Kingdom was dissolved and it once again declared its independence in 1988.

      • Bing Bong
        November 21, 2012, 11:03 am

        “..when its union with the Hashemite Kingdom was dissolved”

        You mean by union the Jordanian occupation before annexation?

      • Hostage
        November 21, 2012, 1:11 pm

        You mean by union the Jordanian occupation before annexation?

        Please explain how the indigenous population of the region can “occupy” or annex themselves? “Jordan” always consisted of the inhabitants of the two banks. They were composed entirely of the Arab territories of the former mandate of Palestine. Half of the seats in the Parliament were reserved for representatives from the West Bank who ratified the union. Palestinians also headed-up the government of Jordan. Husayn al-Khalidi, served as Mayor of Jerusalem under the British mandatory regime, as a member of the Arab Higher Committee and the Egyptian-backed All-Palestine Government of Gaza, and as the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

        You can read all about the formation of the union in the written statement the Kingdom of Jordan submitted to the ICJ in 2003. I’ll include extracts from Israel’s loosing arguments on that subject too:

        2.18 In 1948, during the Arab-Israeli hostilities, the only effective authority in relation to the West Bank was that of Jordan: in December 1949 the West Bank was placed under Jordanian rule, and it was formally incorporated into Jordan on 24 April 1950 . This was the result of the signing by King Abdallah of a resolution passed to him for signature by Jordan’s National Assembly (including representatives of both East and West Banks), which supported the unity of the two Banks as one nation State called the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, “without prejudicing the final settlement of Palestine’s just case within the sphere of national aspiration, inter-Arab cooperation and international justice”.

        2.19 The signing of this resolution was the culmination of a series of earlier requests made by the Palestinian Arabs through conferences attended by the elected Mayors of major West Bank towns and villages (Hebron, Ramallah, Al-Beereh, Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarm, Qalqilya and Anabta), as well as leading religious clerics (Muslims and Christians alike), and a multiplicity of notables, tribal leaders, activists, college presidents, the Chief Shariaa Judge, and the Mufti of Jerusalem Saed-Ideen Al-Alami. Following these conferences, King Abdallah consented to a proposed constitutional amendment to expand the membership of the Jordanian Parliament to include elected representatives from all the West Bank constituencies. Elections for the expanded Parliament were held on 11 April 1950 and a new Parliament was elected with half of its members elected from the West Bank.

        2.20 This provoked something of a crisis in relations between Jordan and other Arab States, but any risk of serious problems was averted when the
        Government of Jordan formally declared in 1950 that unity with the Palestinian territory was “without prejudice to the final settlement” of the
        Palestinian problem: this declaration was accepted by the Arab League.

        2.21 The boundaries of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan as it resulted from these events are illustrated in Sketch Map No. 4 following page 7. It was with those publicly known boundaries that Jordan became a Member of the United Nations in 1955, without any objection about Jordan’s territorial extent being made by any State (including Israel, which was already at that time a Member State). Furthermore, after the unification of the West Bank within Jordan’s territory, Jordan concluded with a considerable number of States bilateral and multilateral treaties whose application extended to the entirety of Jordan including all of the West Bank: none of the other parties to those treaties made any reservation to the effect that their applicability to the West Bank was excluded. The Security Council evidently shared that view when it adopted Resolution 228 (1966): the Council observed that, “the grave Israeli Military action which took place in the southern Hebron area [of the West Bank] on 13 November 1966… constituted a large scale and carefully planned military action on the territory of Jordan by the armed forces of Israel” (emphasis added).
        link to icj-cij.org

        Here is an extract from Israel’s losing position from the Secretary General’s report to the International Court of Justice:
        Annex I
        Summary legal position of the Government of Israel . . .
        3. Despite having ratified the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel has not incorporated it into its domestic legislation. Nor does it agree that the Convention is applicable to the occupied Palestinian territory, citing the lack of recognition of the territory as sovereign prior to its annexation by Jordan and Egypt and, therefore, not a territory of a High Contracting Party as required by the Convention. link to unispal.un.org

        In the course of hearings held from 23 to 25 February 2004, the Court
        heard oral statements from Mr. James Crawford, S.C., Whewell Professor of
        International Law, University of Cambridge, Member of the Institute of International Law, Counsel and Advocate for Palestine. Here is an extract from his “Conclusions” chapter in “The Creation of States in International Law”:
        “In the first place, the concept of “sovereignty” as a criterion for plenary competence has been rejected. Although that view gained a certain degree of acceptance among nineteenth-century writers and was accepted in the twentieth century in Soviet and in some western doctrine, the notion of “sovereignty” has been seen to be both unhelpful and misleading as a criterion. It is unhelpful since both the legal and the effective capacities, rights, immunities and so on of States may vary widely, within the limits established by the criteria for separate independence. It is misleading since it implies a necessary and overriding omnipotence which States do not possess in law or in fact. Rejection of “sovereignty” as a criterion involves rejection of the old notion of the “semi-sovereign” State. Those dependent, devolving or sui generis entities that qualify as States under the general criteria do so despite specific limitations as to capacity and the like;”

      • Bing Bong
        November 22, 2012, 6:07 am

        In the same way the same indigenous people can have a state within a state like the PLO had in Jordan. Jordan as a country occupied and annexed the WB. There were those who ‘agreed’ to the occupation but no government did so and no genuine will of the people can be said to have concurred. To say they annexed themselves is only correct if you class ‘themselves’ as those allied to Abdullah, namely those within his influence.

        As to keeping the goal of Palestine’s final settlement alive, Black September’s regrettable events are one illustration of exactly what Jordan’s idea of a final settlement of Palestine’s just case was, that being “the West bank is an inseparable part of Jordan, and its inhabitants are Jordanian citizens.” King Hussein.

        The PLO was an organisation of Palestinian liberation from Jordan’s claim on the WB as much as Israel’s occupation.

      • Mooser
        November 22, 2012, 12:20 pm

        Once again: Thank you, Hostage.

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2012, 12:33 pm

        In the same way the same indigenous people can have a state within a state like the PLO had in Jordan.

        There was a federal union between Arab Palestine and Transjordan. So there’s no theoretical legal objection to recognizing either as a “state within the state”. The US has 50 of them. But the PLO was only recognized as the representative of the Palestinian people after the Rabat Conference. The Kingdom of Jordan also formally recognized some of the Palestinian militias, but Israel has always refused to treat them as Prisoners of War in accordance with the 3rd Geneva Convention. See Prof L.C. Green’s comment on that fact in light of the 1988 UDI in the Israel Yearbook of International Law, link to books.google.com

        There were those who ‘agreed’ to the occupation but no government did so and no genuine will of the people can be said to have concurred.

        Nice try, but as I’ve repeatedly noted, the Security Council and the ICJ rejected that loosing Zionist argument. Neither Jordan nor Israel were ever treated as “belligerent occupying powers” under the terms of the 1949 UN Armistice Agreements. Full Stop. Both countries extended the jurisdictions of their municipal laws and courts right up to the Green Line. The UN agreed to grant them “exclusive jurisdiction” to formulate any plans for the future government of Jerusalem and ordered its own Truce organization to implement them.

        Zionists had no legal standing to challenge the resolutions of the Arab Palestine Congress at Jericho or the subsequent Jordanian national plebiscites. But even if they had, its a matter of public record that Eliyahu Sasson, a representative from the Jewish Agency Arab Section and the Provisional Government of Israel’s Foreign Office, met with the Jordanian negotiator, Aballah al-Tal, on December 13th and told him to “speed up and implement the Jericho resolution.” In his own words Sasson reported that “My purpose was to encourage him in case of conflict with the Arab League and to convince him that he could rely on our friendship.” See Documents on the Foreign Policy of Israel, Volume 3, Document #181, pages 331-32, December 14, 1948. So the government of Israel actually urged the King to hurry up and ratify the union and annex the territory as early as 1948.

        FYI, the US government’s official documentary record of major foreign policy decisions records the fact that this country did officially recognize the union between the two peoples as an expression of their free will and that we also recognized Jordanian sovereignty over the annexed territory:

        In response to Mr. Rifai’s question as to when the US was going to recognize the union of Arab Palestine and Jordan, I explained the Department’s position, stating that it was not the custom of this country to issue formal statements of recognition every time a foreign country changed its territorial area. The union of Arab Palestine and Jordan had been brought about as a result of the will of the people and the US accepted the fact that Jordanian sovereignty had been extended to the new area. Mr. Rifai said he had not realized this and that he was very pleased to learn that the US did in fact recognize the union.

        — See “Memorandum of Conversation, between Mr. Stuart W. Rockwell of the Office of African and Near Eastern Affairs, US State Department and Mr. Abdel Monem Rifai, Counselor, Jordan Legation in Washington, June 5, 1950″ in Foreign relations of the United States, 1950. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa, Volume V (1950), Page 921 link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        The UK and France followed suit, and all three countries issued their Tripartite Declaration on the Armistice Borders. After the attacks in the Hebron area in 1966 and the Six Day War, all of the governments of the Permanent members of the Security Council made statements recognizing the West Bank as Jordanian territory.

      • Bing Bong
        November 22, 2012, 5:26 pm

        You can read about Jordanian expansionism at electronic intifada

        link to electronicintifada.net

        “In the aftermath of the Nakba, with Palestinian society shattered and more than half of its indigenous population refugees, including over 300,000 in the West Bank and Jordan alone, Abdullah gained acceptance for his rule in a sham conference led by the representatives of his allies in the Palestinian National Defense Party. The combined territories were officially renamed the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1950, and received de jure recognition by London and private approval from Washington. A year later Abdullah was assassinated by a Palestinian at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque in front of his grandson, and later king, Hussein.”

        “Perhaps like his predecessors, King Abdullah II believes that absorbing Palestine will not only make Jordan more viable economically, but will further ingratiate him to American and Israeli policy makers. Yet, in an increasingly unstable region, it is questionable how long Amman will be able to support the US’ disastrous policies and maintain control over its own population. What is apparent, however, is that should the Hashemite regime attempt to swallow Palestine again, they do so at their own peril.”

        I can only think you cling to your version to maintain the notion of a continuous tangible Palestinian state throughout this period or to maintain the simple clear and unequivocal singular bad guys, Israel. Denying the machinations of Jordan against the facts doesn’t help the cause of Palestinian nationalism.

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2012, 10:06 pm

        You can read about Jordanian expansionism at electronic intifada

        link to electronicintifada.net

        LOL! Ali Abunimah’s father served on the Jordanian negotiating team that normalized relations with Israel in 1994, and as the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Jordan to the UN afterward. He still is serving as the director of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies. So, do you think he’s being held hostage?
        link to riifs.org

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2012, 10:51 pm

        I can only think you cling to your version to maintain the notion of a continuous tangible Palestinian state throughout this period or to maintain the simple clear and unequivocal singular bad guys, Israel. Denying the machinations of Jordan against the facts doesn’t help the cause of Palestinian nationalism.

        No dummy, I cling to my version because it is based upon the authentic and official historical documentary sources; the applicable international law; and most importantly the decisions of the various courts including: the PCIJ, a League of Nations Arbital Court, the D.C. District Court, the Supreme Court of Palestine, and the ICJ on the issue of Palestinian statehood. Jordan’s position was recognized and affirmed by the ICJ’s legal analysis on the status of the territory in the Wall case. There was no rule in international law that prohibited Abdullah from acting on any political ambitions he might have had to become the King of Arab Palestine. After all, he had already served for more than twenty years as the legal head of the government of one of the two states that comprised the mandated territory of Palestine. The people were completely disillusioned with the exiled Mufti, because he had promised that the Jewish militias would be quickly defeated. The only other option open to the Jericho Congress was to declare Ben Gurion their next head of state. The Jordanian union was always provisional and “without prejudice to the final status and settlement of the Question of Palestine”. We all know why hypocrites, like Yehuda Blum and Meir Shamgar, have tried to portray the Palestinians living in Western Jordan before 1988 as a foreign power occupying themselves, but no government has ever accepted the bogus “Missing Reversioner” theory or the idea that Palestine was terra nullus. Israel is facing a legal disaster in the international criminal court as a result.

      • Bing Bong
        November 23, 2012, 7:10 am

        A “LOL” and a “dummy”, that’s good. You shouldn’t deny Palestinian mistreatment by Jordan because it suits your political argument.

        “The only other option open to the Jericho Congress was to declare Ben Gurion their next head of state. The Jordanian union was always provisional and “without prejudice to the final status and settlement of the Question of Palestine”.”

        The only option open at Jericho was Abdullah’s wishes. An independent Palestine sponsored by Jordan was as far fetched as choosing Ben Gurion as head of state.

        It wasn’t provisional, it was expansionism in agreement with Israel. That’s why this provisionality never had any movement towards an independent Palestine and even after ’67 Jordan was still trying to claw back the WB with the lie of continuing to liberate the Palestinian people there.

        Since Jordan was forced by popular will to recognise the PLO and give up it’s claim over the territory look how liberated these Palestinians are now that Jordan is suddenly at the forefront of upholding the right of return to an independent Palestine.

        link to hrw.org

      • Hostage
        November 23, 2012, 10:51 am

        A “LOL” and a “dummy”, that’s good.

        No, a half dozen international and national court decisions on the subject of the statehood of Palestine and documentary evidence regarding official recognition of the union combined with a laugh out loud dummy that’s still living in denial.

        You shouldn’t deny Palestinian mistreatment by Jordan because it suits your political argument.

        Any number of states mistreat their citizens. That doesn’t effect their legal status or jurisdiction. I don’t disagree that the union was dissolved after a violent falling out, but I’m not going to check my brain at the door and listen to Zionist propaganda and Palestinian fairly tales. Jordan had Palestinian Prime Ministers, Ambassadors, and half of it’s Parliament was composed of elected lawmakers from the West Bank. The Palestinians are so mistreated there that Ali Abunimah’s father has chosen to remain a high government official and Jordan still hosts the largest Palestinian refugee population in the world.

        In fact, Abdullah II has turned aside Israeli and PLO suggestions that he re-annex the territory on a number of occasions because the inhabitants of Palestine and Jordan are simply not in favor of the idea:

        In a blunt interview last year, Jordan’s King Abdullah stated he would not support any sort of union between his country and the West Bank. “Jordan will never be a substitute land for anyone,” he said. “It makes no sense…. We have an army and we are ready to fight for our homeland and the future of Jordan. We should speak loudly and not allow such an idea to remain in the minds of some of us. Jordan is Jordan, and Palestine is Palestine.”

        — See ‘PLO leader backs Jordan annexation of W. Bank’ link to jpost.com

        It wasn’t provisional, it was expansionism in agreement with Israel.

        The April 1950 Act of Union between the Two Banks which ratified the annexation was adopted by the elected lawmakers from both the East and West Banks. It explicitly stated that the union was without prejudice to the final settlement or status of Palestine. Jordan remained a member of the League of Arab States and had a treaty obligation under it’s Charter to recognize the de jure existence of the State of Palestine – which was also fully represented in the Secretariat and all of the Councils of Ministers.

        The Security Council directed Israel to sign cease fire and armistice agreements with the government of “Jordan” (not Transjordan) under the terms of a series of UN Security Council resolutions. Those resolutions were adopted as “provisional measures” in accordance with Article 40 of the UN Charter. See for example:
        *Footnote 24 of Yehuda Z. Blum, “The Missing Reversioner: Reflections on the Status of Judea and Samaria”
        *The text of UN Security Council resolution 73;
        link to un.org
        *Article 40 of the UN Charter: “In order to prevent an aggravation of the situation, the Security Council may, before making the recommendations or deciding upon the measures provided for in Article 39, call upon the parties concerned to comply with such provisional measures as it deems necessary or desirable.” link to yale.edu

        I’ve already cited Jordan’s written statement to the Court which noted that the Security Council considered the West Bank Jordanian territory, but that recognition was provisional too. the Security Council has long since adopted the Quartet Road Map which requires it to recognize the State of Palestine within interim borders as a Phase II obligation.

      • Bing Bong
        November 23, 2012, 12:11 pm

        “In a blunt interview last year, Jordan’s King Abdullah stated he would not support any sort of union between his country and the West Bank.”

        I wonder if there is any reason other than support of an independent Palestinian state for saying that. The Palestinians are revolting perhaps?

        “…but I’m not going to check my brain at the door and listen to Zionist propaganda and Palestinian fairly tales”

        You seem to listen to Jordanian fairy tales easily enough. Just when do you think the Palestine issue was going to be resolved by Jordan if Israel’s occupation hadn’t happened in ’67? When the Palestinian fairy waved her wand over the discriminatory minority monarchy that made peace with Israel?

      • Hostage
        November 23, 2012, 1:31 pm

        “…but I’m not going to check my brain at the door and listen to Zionist propaganda and Palestinian fairly tales”

        You seem to listen to Jordanian fairy tales easily enough.

        No it’s just that in a few instances, involving the Palestinian narrative, the actions of the many members of the notable families who served as Jordanian government officials speaks much more loudly than their words. The revisionist camp Israelis who weep crocodile tears over the mistreatment or betrayal of the Palestinians always cover-up the pertinent facts in order to facilitate their own colonial ambitions. Abdullah may have wanted to govern Greater Syria or his fellow Arabs, but he certainly didn’t want to colonize them.

      • Hostage
        November 23, 2012, 1:56 pm

        P.S. re: When the Palestinian fairy waved her wand over the discriminatory minority monarchy that made peace with Israel?

        It never ceases to amaze me how much the Jewish Agency spokesmen and Zionist propagandists have struggled to reframe the realities of Arabian politics to make the Hashemites seem “more foreign” than Jews from Lithuania or Poland, like Ben Gurion.

        The patriarch “Hashem” is buried in Gaza City, not Mecca. The “Husseinis”, including Yasser Arafat and his uncle Haj Amin al-Husseini are also technically considered Hashmites. The implication that an indigenous Arab and descendant of the Prophet, living anywhere in Arabia, might be construed to be a member of an illegitimate minority group is pretty fanciful. Donald Trump uses the same logic when he attempts to cast doubt upon the validity of Obama’s birth certificate. FYI, Transjordan was part of Palestine, and Abdullah I’s political ambitions to be the governor of all of Palestine were perfectly legitimate.

      • Taxi
        November 23, 2012, 2:28 pm

        “The Palestinians are revolting perhaps?”

        No, israel’s revolting.

    • Kathleen
      November 17, 2012, 10:02 pm

      Can you really point out a time when there was compassion for Palestinians in the “Israeli psyche”

      • Reuben_Manhattan
        November 18, 2012, 11:30 am

        There has not been a time Kathy. Even back in the earliest of 1900s they were abusing the Palestinians as a big city tourist would abuse a local in their own town. They have made them non human since the very beginning with the great lie “A land without a people for a people without a land”

        “… Ahad Ha’am warned that the settlers must under no circumstances arouse the wrath of the natives … ‘Yet what do our brethren do in Palestine? Just the very opposite! Serfs they were in the lands of the Diaspora and suddenly they find themselves in unrestricted freedom and this change has awakened in them an inclination to despotism. They treat the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, deprive them of their rights, offend them without cause and even boast of these deeds; and nobody among us opposes this despicable and dangerous inclination …’

        Kohn, Hans, “Ahad Ha’am: Nationalist with a Difference” in Smith, Gary (ed.): Zionism: The Dream and the Reality (New York, Harper and Row, 1974), pp. 31-32.

        The only difference is that these vacationers never went back to their big cities. They remained and continued their assault.

  2. pipistro
    November 17, 2012, 12:10 pm

    “But everyone else was for war. “We need war to get peace … quietness,” Elraz Azran, a restaurant owner in Sederot, said. “They [Gazans] need to know who is the owner.”

    Depressing and idiot. One wonders why humanity isn’t yet extinct.

    • Antidote
      November 18, 2012, 11:42 pm

      In view of what’s happening Gaza and Israel, and reading the posts and comments on MW, I’m starting to believe in the Mayan calendar business. So maybe we won’t have much more than a month to go here

  3. Woody Tanaka
    November 17, 2012, 12:24 pm

    “And shockingly, several Jewish Israelis I spoke to called for genocide in Gaza.”

    Why would you be shocked?? Genocide is the natural result of zionism. The call to genocide is inherent in zionism.

    • Mooser
      November 17, 2012, 1:04 pm

      “The call to genocide is inherent in zionism.”

      Now, take it easy, Woody, don’t push it. The man is wondering about the wisdom of establishing a “Jewish” state. One day he might even wonder about the wisdom (let alone the morals, religion and ethics) of using Jews to establish a Zionist state! Softly, softly, one thing at a time.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      November 17, 2012, 6:17 pm

      Historically Zionism has always aimed at “transfer” (i.e., expulsion, ethnic cleansing) and not genocide. Nur Masalha demonstrates this in his classic study “Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of ‘Transfer’ in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948.” As in many other historical cases, ethnic cleansing can escalate to genocide when further “transfer” is blocked, typically because other states refuse to admit more refugees. I fear this transition is currently occurring in Israel. It wasn’t an inevitable result of Zionism. For example, if the Zionists had been stronger when the British withdrew and managed to expel 99 or 100% of the Palestinians at that point they would not now “need” to contemplate genocide.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 17, 2012, 8:34 pm

        dude, did you just say that? it boggles my mind how some people…really, i am speechless.

      • Donald
        November 17, 2012, 8:40 pm

        Annie, I think you’re reading some sort of approval or recommendation into what he said. I think he’s just describing the logic. His final sentence reads like bitter irony to me.

      • Kathleen
        November 17, 2012, 10:10 pm

        “they would not now “need” to contemplate genocide” A horrific reality that that this is being considered. Read the comments from the racist Phillip interviewed, Max Blumenthal has interviewed, Jewish students at Ohio state that I met and talked with. They talk about transfer and wiping Palestinians out like they are talking about what they are going to buy at the grocery store. Casual.

        Stephen in that book that you mentioned do they discuss if the idea of transfer does not work?

      • Annie Robbins
        November 18, 2012, 6:59 am

        donald, aside from the last line, because the idea of a now “need” for genocide is really grotesque (even if there is no indication of ‘approval’), there is this:

        As in many other historical cases, ethnic cleansing can escalate to genocide when further “transfer” is blocked, typically because other states refuse to admit more refugees. I fear this transition is currently occurring in Israel.

        note how the responsibility of the escalation is laid on the action of other states, their blockage? the framing suggests the refugees being transferred have no will, no beingness, like inanimate objects. certainly wrt israel as it applies to palestinian refugees or palestinians who are not refugees it is not the case of ‘blockage’ by outside states. it is the people’s will to resist their own transfer because they do not want to leave.

        so while it might be applicable to say historically Zionism has been aimed at ethnic cleansing and not genocide, one cannot make the argument if it were to escalate to genocide now it would be related to a blockage by outside states. therefore, when historians look back on this period of history i am not sure this assessment of zionism’s aim will ring true.

        their aim is to rid themselves of the population and it doesn’t really appear as tho it matters how that is manifested. if ethnic cleansing doesn’t work, death is just fine now isn’t it? as long as you don’t pay a price for it, right?

        if no one notices and it’s disguised as an act of defense can one really say ‘our intent was transfer but since we couldn’t get you to leave and had to kill you’ and historically that’s because other states blocked your transfer, but zionism never required your death. leave zionism alone!

        anywhichway, this transition …currently occurring in Israel that stephen fears, has nothing to do a blockage from outside forces,currently. so it’s completely irrelevant to today’s zionism which as a political movement is very young. it’s still defining itself and what’s happening now is integral to how it will be remembered historically.

        the cleansing of the land was not been limited to completely unrealistic human tradeoffs with other countries or violent forced transfer. it included a lot of ‘demographic management’ (calorie counting and withholding of medical,decent water inhumane living conditions), it’s always included a lot of death. and placing that death in a box with ‘defensive’ wrapping paper and tying it with a glossy ribbon won’t fool everyone.

        when historians look back on this period of history with the same keen view phan has taken wrt statistics who knows what may be revealed as it relates to genocide. either way, the study of genocide is in its toddler phase, not even as old as zionism. they have sort of grown up together in a twisted sort of way. it remains to be seen if zionism can ever completely extract itself from genocide. right now it looks rather doubtful.

      • Donald
        November 18, 2012, 12:23 pm

        Annie, Stephen may come back and explain what he meant, but I think he’s just describing how the logic of actually existing Zionism has worked. It’s how I’d describe the behavior of settler colonial states in general–if you start off with the presumption that outside immigrants have more right to the land than people who are already living there, and if those outsiders plan on taking over, then there is going to be a “need” to take care of the natives. One way or another. One can try ethnic cleansing, genocide, slavery, apartheid or maybe try to buy some out and just hope the rest will pack up and move “voluntarily”.

      • Mooser
        November 18, 2012, 3:45 pm

        I, too, am certain Mr. Shenfield was using a dispassionate, detached tone as a way of heightening, starkening (?) the brutality and barbarity of the Israeli logic and solutions he mentions.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 18, 2012, 4:10 pm

        donald, i will concede it may very well not have been his intent but this is how it read to me. perhaps my senses are heightened (well i know they are heightened because i am very worried about gaza so nothing has been normal for me for almost a week) but i mean what i said when i wrote “even if there is no indication of ‘approval’”. it is just very hard for me right now to talk about people i know as ‘the natives’ and as if there will does not exist.

        and as for my argument, i think it stands:

        so while it might be applicable to say historically Zionism has been aimed at ethnic cleansing and not genocide, one cannot make the argument if it were to escalate to genocide now it would be related to a blockage by outside states. therefore, when historians look back on this period of history i am not sure this assessment of zionism’s aim will ring true.

        my argument has more in it than judging stephen’s intent. it’s my opinions of his ideas. and when i read the phrasing ‘need for genocide’ it grossed me out. perhaps the next time i feel like that it would be better to wait to post, or not post at all. and when i say their aim is to rid themselves of the population and it doesn’t really appear as tho it matters how that is manifested. i am speaking about the subject in the main text, the ‘they’ that phil referenced.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 18, 2012, 4:43 pm

        and one other pt i would like to reiterate because it is unclear to me if you understood my meaning as you did not reference it at all.

        stephen spoke of ‘historically’, the point i was making is that zionism, the state and the study and concept of genocide are so young, ‘historically’, it may be too early to predict how its beginnings will be perceived in the future.

        I’d describe the behavior of settler colonial states in general

        not all settler colonial states emerged on the heals of their own genocide. if in the future genocide is perceived as a fluid movement sans a clear beginning and end (my theory) perceptions of what has been going on psychologically (especially in terms of state sponsored propaganda/management perception) wrt people’s behavior or the intent of a movement could look very different.

        there are a lot of differences between “settler colonial states in general” and israel. one being it is still colonizing and it is colonizing with a global social media unlike settler colonial states ‘in general’ therefore the attention and funding on outside and inside perceptions (propaganda) and the effect of that propaganda…well, it means we’re all indoctrinated in a way future historians may not be.

      • Donald
        November 18, 2012, 5:43 pm

        Annie–Well, I’ll agree it could rub someone the wrong way at this moment, though to me it reads like the sort of thing Chomsky or Finkelstein could have written. But sometimes they probably go overboard on the heavy sarcasm.

        I didn’t respond to all of your arguments, in part because I didn’t understand all of it, but mainly because I was just defending Stephen, since it’s my impression he didn’t mean it the way you took it. Of course he could come back and settle it one way or another.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        November 18, 2012, 8:54 pm

        A long time ago an editor warned me: don’t use irony, there will always be people who take you literally. But I keep forgetting his advice.

        The logic of the situation is this. You are committed to a movement that pursues the goal of an ethnically/racially “pure” territory. That means the “impure” people living there must be gotten rid of, one way or another. This is an ideological imperative. Questioning it would be treason.

        And yet you start off with humane intentions. We’ll get rid of them, but we’ll do it humanely. We’ll offer them financial incentives, encourage them to emigrate. But this proves less effective than you hoped. So you “need” to escalate to deportation. “Need” in inverted commas. It isn’t a genuine need, but it feels that way because the ideological imperative that is driving you goes unquestioned.

        But the results are still disappointing. Many of those you have deported are still inconveniently nearby and insist on making trouble. So you escalate further. Reluctantly, perhaps, but you feel you have no choice. Of course, an alternative exists but the ideological imperative rules it out. At the end of this road lies genocide.

        Masalha does not discuss what happens if “transfer” doesn’t work. The source from which I derive this model was Mark Mazower, Hitler’s Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe. The Nazis went through all these stages. In the 1930s they encouraged Jews to emigrate. When war broke out this became impractical and they played around with various deportation schemes. One was a Jewish “reservation” in the Lublin area of Poland. Another was a plan to send Jews to Madagascar, where they would run local government under overall German military control (rings a bell?). But circumstances made these schemes impractical, and in 1941-42 they escalated to genocide.

        Genocide does not always mean direct killing. Driving people into the desert works equally well. That was how the Hereros in southwest Africa perished in 1906. Many Armenians were driven into the desert in 1915. When I try to think about what might happen to the inhabitants of Gaza in the event of further escalation, I cannot avoid the fact that Gaza too borders on desert, the Sinai.

        When I conjectured that neighboring states might refuse to look after further waves of refugees, I was not blaming them or trying to shift responsibility away from Israel. There are practical limits to how many refugees a country can cope with. There are already so many refugees in the Middle East — not only from Palestine but also from Iraq and now from Syria. Turkey accepted an enormous number of Syrian refugees, but then it closed the border. It had reached its limit. These are not wealthy countries and they can no longer rely on adequate international assistance — the whole system is already overburdened.

      • Bing Bong
        November 20, 2012, 6:17 am

        “perhaps my senses are heightened ”

        No, they’re not. You just misunderstood what was written.

      • Ellen
        November 22, 2012, 4:28 pm

        Stephen, so cold….so true.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 23, 2012, 12:18 pm

        thanks for responding further stephen, just saw this.

      • Sibiriak
        November 17, 2012, 9:37 pm

        Historically Zionism has always aimed at “transfer” (i.e., expulsion, ethnic cleansing) and not genocide. Nur Masalha demonstrates this in his classic study “Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of ‘Transfer’ in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948.”

        This is entirely accurate. Early schemes envisioned “voluntary transfer” involving substantial payments to other Arab countries to take in Palestinians. These plans were utterly unrealistic and went nowhere, so the Israel’s Zionist leaders turned to the planning and execution of violent “forced transfer”, aka ethnic cleansing. Genocide, properly defined, was not on the agenda.

        In addition to ethnic cleansing, Israeli forces have engaged in concrete acts of oppression, aggression and terror against the Palestinian people in what Jewish Israeli sociologist Baruch Kimmerling has labeled “politicide”.

        Politicide is a process that covers a wide range of social, political and military activities whose goal is to destroy the political and national existence of a whole community of people and thus deny it the possibility of self-determination.

        Murders, local massacres, the elimination of leadership and elite groups, the physical destruction of public institutions and infrastructure, land colonization, starvation, social and political isolation, re-education, and partial ethnic cleansing are the major tools to achieve this goal.

        –“Politicide: Ariel Sharon’s War Against the Palestinians” p.4

      • Hostage
        November 18, 2012, 4:42 am

        This is entirely accurate. Early schemes envisioned “voluntary transfer” involving substantial payments to other Arab countries to take in Palestinians.

        Herzl’s draft charter for the Ottoman Palestine Land Company reserved the Zionist’s rights to involuntarily transfer Palestinians to other parts of the Ottoman Empire. There is very little doubt they would have remained penniless beggars, even after the compensation (bribes) had been paid to the government officials in the receiving provinces.

      • Sibiriak
        November 22, 2012, 8:14 pm

        Hostage:

        Herzl’s draft charter for the Ottoman Palestine Land Company reserved the Zionist’s rights to involuntarily transfer Palestinians to other parts of the Ottoman Empire. There is very little doubt they would have remained penniless beggars….

        No doubt, but the point stands that transfer/expulsion was on the agenda, not genocide.

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2012, 11:16 pm

        No doubt, but the point stands that transfer/expulsion was on the agenda, not genocide.

        Sigh. Facilitating the mass transfer of penniless and landless subsistence farmers to a new district or province through the payment of bribes would have been the functional equivalent of genocide. In any event the international criminal courts have long-since ruled that rape and other acts that destroy group cohesion, may constitute genocide – even in cases where they don’t result in the physical destruction of the targeted group members. See The ICTR Prosecutor v. Jean‑Paul Akayesu starting on pdf page 8 link to un.org

        Past experience has shown that mass deportations or forced transfers normally result in many deaths during transit. The UN is leaning in the direction of calling the destruction of social units genocide. A report on international criminal law and the defense of the rights of indigenous peoples issued by the UN Special Rapporteur discusses “cultural genocide” (aka politicide & etc.) consisting of non-violent acts that are included in the definition of the crime of genocide in the international convention. He discusses the fact that the use of the term “ethnic cleansing” has been a tactic to avoid responsibility for genocide in some past cases:

        The recent tendency to define as “ethnic cleansing” policies that could prove to be genocidal under the definition of “genocide” established in international law has been a way of escaping responsibility, and even of fostering impunity. “Ethnic cleansing” may be the ideal term for journalistic and even scientific purposes because of its emotional content, but its ineffectiveness makes it a poor choice in the field of law. The same may be said of “ethnocide” and “cultural genocide” as fully separate terms distinct from “genocide” as defined in criminal law. Use of one or both of these expressions is frequently a way of circumventing the legal effects of use of the word “genocide” even in the face of the evidence.

        So the point that forced transfer/expulsion was on the agenda, means that ethnic cleansing and genocide were too.

      • Sibiriak
        November 22, 2012, 11:58 pm

        So the point that forced transfer/expulsion was on the agenda, means that ethnic cleansing and genocide were too.

        Your entitled to your opinion, but in my view, conflating transfer/expulsion, ethnic cleansing, politicide and genocide results in conceptual, moral and legal confusion. Subjecting the term genocide to verbal inflation and banalization is objectionable.

        If genocide was on the agenda, that needs to be proved on its own terms. Plans, policies and actions involving expulsion/ethnic cleansing do not by themselves constitute such proof.

      • Sibiriak
        November 23, 2012, 12:04 am

        Legal definitions of the term “genocide” are, of course, highly problematic and disputed. The “in whole or in part” clause in the UN definition, for example, is notoriously overbroad and unworkable.

      • Sibiriak
        November 23, 2012, 12:13 am

        Hostage,

        Btw, when someone makes a statement on a issue, I respectfully suggest you stop making the assumption that that person is only referring to the *legal* dimension of the issue. For example, when I wrote about genocide, I in no way meant to limit my comments to legal definitions, court rulings, international law etc. I know that world is your world, but its not the whole world–not even close.

      • Hostage
        November 23, 2012, 11:29 am

        Btw, when someone makes a statement on a issue, I respectfully suggest you stop making the assumption that that person is only referring to the *legal* dimension of the issue.

        I don’t. I’ve only taken exception when you’ve misstated the facts and the law on a particular subject.

      • Hostage
        November 23, 2012, 11:35 am

        The “in whole or in part” clause in the UN definition, for example, is notoriously overbroad and unworkable.

        The European Court of Human Rights decision in Jorgic v. Germany upheld a conviction for genocide, while exonerating the defendant of all but 8 murder convictions. So there is no evidence that the Courts construe “in part” in an overly broad or unworkable fashion. The only thing that is difficult to ascertain is the defendant’s mental state, i.e. genocidal “intent” has to be established beyond a reasonable doubt.

      • Hostage
        November 23, 2012, 11:44 am

        Your entitled to your opinion, but in my view, conflating transfer/expulsion, ethnic cleansing, politicide and genocide results in conceptual, moral and legal confusion.

        Well then, are you saying that the Armenian genocide should only be viewed as a case of transfer/expulsion? The majority of victims perished as a result of the lack of food and water, either while being taken on death marches heading south toward the Syrian Desert, or once they arrived at that destination.

      • Sibiriak
        November 23, 2012, 8:40 pm

        Hostage,

        I’ve only taken exception when you’ve misstated the facts and the law on a particular subject.

        But in this case, I made NO statements about the law and misstated no facts– yet you replied ONLY with references to law, international court rulings, legal definitions, etc., and implied that that evidence from that narrow legal sphere was somehow sufficient to answer the points I raised. It wasn’t–not by a long shot.

      • Sibiriak
        November 23, 2012, 8:58 pm

        are you saying that the Armenian genocide should only be viewed as a case of transfer/expulsion

        No.

        Are YOU saying that every single plan, policy or actual case of transfer or forced expulsion should be referred to with the term genocide? (And I’m not asking about the law).

        Recall the assertion which you are attempting to refute:

        Historically Zionism has always aimed at “transfer” (i.e., expulsion, ethnic cleansing) and not genocide. Nur Masalha demonstrates this in his classic study “Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of ‘Transfer’ in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948.”

        Do you have evidence that historically Zionism had aimed at genocide, via “death marches” or any other method, as opposed to transfer, forced expulsion, or “ethnic cleansing”?

        Why should I not follow the example of scholars like Nur Masalha, Illan Pappe, Bruce Kimmerling et al. who eschew the use of the term “genocide”?

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 5:05 am

        Hostage,

        The European Court of Human Rights decision in Jorgic v. Germany upheld a conviction for genocide, while exonerating the defendant of all but 8 murder convictions

        With all due respect, you just can’t get it through your head that I am not confining my remarks to the legal sphere. The conviction of someone the European Court of Human Rights hardly addresses my point.

        Obviously, the number of people killed by that particular defendant is not the issue; he was part of a much wider Serbian ethnic cleansing campaign, and it is that wider campaign which would have to be taken into consideration regarding the “in whole or in part clause.”

        Actually, the case you site just begs the question: did this person commit genocide by being part of Serbia’s ethnic cleansing campaign? (If he had acted alone murdering 8 people, without there being a wider campaign, then there wold be no question of genocide– or would that “part” be big enough to qualify?).

        In the 1990s, several authorities, along with a considerable number of legal scholars, asserted that ethnic cleansing as carried out by elements of the Bosnian Serb army was genocide.[8] These included a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly and three convictions for genocide in German courts, (the convictions were based upon a wider interpretation of genocide than that used by international courts).[9]

        However, in line with a majority of legal scholars, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) have ruled that, in order for actions to be deemed genocide, there must be physical or biological destruction of a protected group and a specific intent to commit such destruction. To date, only the Srebrenica massacre has been found to be a genocide by the ICTY, a finding upheld by the ICJ.

        (Wikipedia)

        It should be clear to you the the case you cite hardly settles the matter– and is indeed part of the dispute–in the legal sphere, let alone in terms of logic , ethics and semantics.

        Let’s get back, though, to the main point.

        Do you think Jews have committed genocide against Palestinians?

        If so, how do you distinguish that genocide from the genocide against Armenians by Turks and Jews by Nazis? Would you propose different grades of genocide?

        And, again, please *do not confine these questions to the legal sphere*.

        Hostage:

        So the point that forced transfer/expulsion was on the agenda, means that ethnic cleansing and genocide were too.

        You still have not substantiated that assertion.

        By your own admission:

        genocidal “intent” has to be established beyond a reasonable doubt.

        So, even assuming the UN definition with its broad “in whole or in part” clause, how do you propose to argue that “genocidal intent” is always inherent in *any* plan for transfer/expulsion?

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2012, 7:36 am

        Are YOU saying that every single plan, policy or actual case of transfer or forced expulsion should be referred to with the term genocide? (And I’m not asking about the law).

        Of course I am. Raphael Lemkin coined the non-legal term “genocide” to describe the effects of actions that broke down group cohesion with the intention of deliberately destroying a society, culture, or nation, as such. The legal term of art has a number of varying definitions in national laws that can be much more limited in scope. In any event, no physical destruction of the individual members was ever required, only the destruction of the shared feeling of unity, togetherness, or belonging to the group. For example discouraging births or taking children from the group doesn’t result in anyone being physically killed. But according to international convention those acts have always constituted genocide.

        Lemkin noted that genocide did not require the physical destruction of a nation, but rather that it was intended to signify a coordinated plan of different actions with the long term objective of:

        the disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups.”

        Nothing could be more destructive for a territorial entity, like a “nation” or a “state” than the act of subjugating the political independence of its government and evicting its permanent population by forcibly transferring them into an exile of penniless destitution beyond their country’s established frontiers. That’s why the territorial integrity norm is absolute, i.e. the moral and legal prohibition against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2012, 8:14 am

        Do you have evidence that historically Zionism had aimed at genocide, via “death marches” or any other method, as opposed to transfer, forced expulsion, or “ethnic cleansing”?

        Of course. The Secretary General’s 1,000 page dossier in the Wall case explained that Israel had created enclaves that were walled-off from their own sources of sustenance and that human beings were suffering from the obvious symptoms of malnutrition, i.e. shortened life expectancy, stunted growth, and permanent mental and learning disabilities – all while their unharvested crops were withering in the fields. The current UN Rapportuer for human rights in the Occupied Territories is an Emeritus Professor of International Law from Princeton who described the conditions in Gaza many years ago as “a prelude to genocide”. Francis Boyle has earned PhDs from Harvard in International Law and Political Science. He says

        “What we’re seeing in Gaza now, is pretty much slow-motion genocide against the 1.5 million Palestinians who live in Gaza…. If you read the 1948 Genocide Convention, it clearly says that one instance of genocide is the deliberate infliction of conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction of a people in whole or in part,”

        link to mwcnews.net

        Why should I not follow the example of scholars like Nur Masalha, Illan Pappe, Bruce Kimmerling et al. who eschew the use of the term “genocide”?

        Because the UN’s International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid observed that the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide contained certain acts which may also be qualified as acts of apartheid and crimes under international law. Do you have any evidence that Nur Masalha, Illan Pappe, and Bruce Kimmerling eschew the use of the synonymous term apartheid?

        In their written statements to the ICJ in the 2003 Wall case Palestine, Lebanon, and several other states accused Israel of committing constituent acts of apartheid including the denial of adequate sources of sustenance. Lebanon observed:

        “The construction of the wall and the resulting situation correspond to a number of the constituent acts of the crime of apartheid, as enumerated in Article 2 of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, adopted by the General Assembly on 30 November 1973: that is to say, the denial of the liberty and dignity of a group, the deliberate imposition on a group of living conditions calculated to cause its physical destruction in whole or in part, measures calculated to deprive a group of the right to work, the right to education and the right to freedom of movement and residence, the creation of ghettos, the expropriation of property, etc. Such actions constitute measures of collective punishment.”

        The Court’s findings of fact in the Wall case included the fact that Israel had deliberately cut-off populations from their sources of sustenance and denied them the right to adequate supplies of food and water (paragraphs 132-134). In my opinion, that’s pretty dispositive evidence of a genocidal intent.

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2012, 8:37 am

        P.S. It is generally agreed that a state is comprised of a government, a permanent population, and a defined territory. If you forcibly deport the population, the refugees can become “stateless”. That process is exactly the sort of thing Raphael Lemkin described as genocide.

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2012, 9:21 am

        But in this case, I made NO statements about the law and misstated no facts

        Correction, you were writing about specific instances of genocide and ethnic cleansing, which as a matter of fact, happen to be subjects of on-going Palestinian-Israeli legal disputes. I pointed out that experts, like the UN Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, have noted that the term ethnic cleansing can be considered synonymous with the crime of genocide. The XVIIth ICRC Diplomatic Conference, which authored and adopted the drafts of all four Geneva Conventions in August of 1948, also struggled with the very real problem of the survival of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living outdoors and foraging for supplies and food. See the statement of the representative of Lebanon in the report of the 17th Red Cross Conference, Stockholm, August 1948, link to loc.gov

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 9:36 am

        Hostage,

        human beings were suffering from the obvious symptoms of malnutrition, i.e. shortened life expectancy, stunted growth, and permanent mental and learning disabilities

        Terrible, of course. Not genocide though, by any logical definition of the term.

        . Do you have any evidence that Nur Masalha, Illan Pappe, and Bruce Kimmerling eschew the use of the synonymous term apartheid?

        Apartheid is not synonymous with genocide.

        Apartheid, ethnic cleansing, forced deportation, forced expulsion, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity, war crimes, massacres, collective punishment, oppression, politicide–none of these terms are synonymous with genocide (which isn’t to say that genocide may not involve them).

        the conditions in Gaza many years ago as “a prelude to genocide”

        A “prelude” to genocide is not genocide, anymore than a prelude to murder is murder.

        The construction of the wall…

        The construction of the wall constitutes genocide? No, it doesn’t. That’s what I and many others object to–“verbal inflation.” Every and all forms of oppression then potentially can be labelled “genocide” and the term loses all precision.

        the deliberate imposition on a group of living conditions calculated to cause its physical destruction in whole or in part

        As I wrote earlier, legal scholars have objected to the overbroad clause, “in whole or in part”. Without further definition of “in part”, it’s logically meaningless.

        Such actions constitute measures of collective punishment.

        No doubt about it. But collective punishment is not synonymous with genocide.

        Israel had deliberately cut-off populations from their sources of sustenance and denied them the right to adequate supplies of food and water (paragraphs 132-134). In my opinion, that’s pretty dispositive evidence of a genocidal intent.

        You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but I strongly disagree, as would most people, including legal scholars.

        If you forcibly deport the population, the refugees can become “stateless”. That process is exactly the sort of thing Raphael Lemkin described as genocide.

        Forcible deportation leading to statelessness is not genocide. That would best be described in those exact terms, or possibly put under the label “politicide”.

        Do you have any evidence that Nur Masalha, Illan Pappe, and Bruce Kimmerling consider apartheid to be *synonymous* with genocide?

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 9:54 am

        @ Hostage

        According to Lemkin:

        [Genocide] is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, WITH THE AIM OF ANNIHILATING THE GROUPS THEMSELVES.

        (emphasis added).

        Lemkin also stated:

        I became interested in genocide because it happened so many times. First to the Armenians, then after the Armenians, Hitler took action.

        Now you, Hostage, would have us believe that forced expulsion of a population, in and of itself, is genocide.

        But clearly, by itself the forced expulsion of a group, however terrible and criminal, does not *necessarily* have the aim of annihilating that group. Thus, forced expulsion is not synonymous with genocide.

        Lemkin’s definition of genocide simply does NOT support your misuse of the term.

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 10:27 am

        Hostage:

        you were writing about specific instances of genocide and ethnic cleansing, which as a matter of fact, happen to be subjects of on-going Palestinian-Israeli legal disputes

        But I made no reference to those legal disputes and no statements about the law.

        I pointed out that experts, like the UN Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, have noted that the term ethnic cleansing can be considered synonymous with the crime of genocide.

        The notion that ethnic cleansing is synonymous with genocide is an opinion, not a fact (and it happens to be a distinctly minority opinion).

        You can’t show that I “misstated the facts” by pointing to a terminological opinion.

        Opinions are not facts.
        So I ask you, what facts did I misstate?

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2012, 10:46 am

        With all due respect, you just can’t get it through your head that I am not confining my remarks to the legal sphere. The conviction of someone the European Court of Human Rights hardly addresses my point. . . . Obviously, the number of people killed by that particular defendant is not the issue; he was part of a much wider Serbian ethnic cleansing campaign, and it is that wider campaign which would have to be taken into consideration regarding the “in whole or in part clause.”

        You are constantly arguing about the law, then complaining that you aren’t.

        1) The ECHR is an international court. Its decisions are final and are not subject to any appeal.
        2) No person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed.
        3) The ICJ doesn’t exercise jurisdiction over individual criminal cases. It’s role is limited to determinations of state responsibility for the crime of genocide and settling disputes between contracting state parties in accordance with Article 9 of the Convention. Article V permits the Contracting Parties to enact their own enabling legislation to give effect to the convention in accordance with their respective Constitutions. So each state is free to define the necessary elements of the offense(s) in its own legislation.
        4) Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales has always advised that Wikipedia articles are not a reliable source of information.

        So the case that I cited does settle the matter (res judicata) for the purposes of the State of Germany, and the EU. It held that the defendant had acted with the intent to commit genocide and that no physical destruction was required at all:

        The court also found that the applicant had acted with intent to commit genocide within the meaning of Article 220a of the Criminal Code. Referring to the views expressed by several legal writers, it stated that the “destruction of a group” within the meaning of Article 220a of the Criminal Code meant destruction of the group as a social unit in its distinctiveness and particularity and its feeling of belonging together; a biological-physical destruction was not necessary. It concluded that the applicant had therefore acted with intent to destroy the group of Muslims in the North of Bosnia, or at least in the Doboj region.

        Ultimately, following further proceedings before the domestic courts, the judgment of Düsseldorf Court of Appeal of 26 September 1997 remained final regarding the applicant’s conviction for genocide and on eight counts of murder, including the court’s finding that his guilt was of a particular gravity.

        link to sim.law.uu.nl

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 11:17 am

        Hostage:

        You are constantly arguing about the law, then complaining that you aren’t.

        Wrong. My initial points were not confined to the legal sphere. My complaint was that YOURS were. I only touched on legal matters in response to YOUR arguments, which consist of little more than references to legal cases, and international law.

        1) The ECHR is an international court. Its decisions are final and are not subject to any appeal.

        So what? That doesn’t make them right, or logical, or the final say on the definition of terms, particular outside the legal sphere, but inside that sphere as well.

        2) No person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed.

        Did anyone claim otherwise? I certainly didn’t.

        . So each state is free to define the necessary elements of the offense(s) in its own legislation.

        How certain states define genocide has no logical bearing on how genocide *should* be defined.

        If many states adopt illogical, overbroad definitions of genocide, those definitions don’t thereby become any less illogical or overbroad.

        4) Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales has always advised that Wikipedia articles are not a reliable source of information.

        I suggest you not rely on them then. I don’t. Did I quote anything that was false? If so, please explain.

        So the case that I cited does settle the matter (res judicata) for the purposes of the State of Germany, and the EU.

        It may settle the matter legally in those places but 1) it doesn’t settle the matter outside that narrow legal field, and 2) it doesn’t settle the matter outside those places–in short, it doesn’t settle the matter in any meaningful sense.

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2012, 11:32 am

        WITH THE AIM OF ANNIHILATING THE GROUPS THEMSELVES.
        (emphasis added).

        Yes but he made it clear that did not require the physical destruction of the individual members and that the offense included terrorism, vandalism, provocation of catastrophes and any action that would permanently “cripple a human group”. It specifically included actions taken to obtain a “demographic advantage”, including deportations or mass flights and the concomitant exposure to the elements and disease without blankets, provisions, currency – not just extermination of entire populations. He said:

        The crime of genocide involves a wide range of actions, including not only deprivation of life but also the prevention of life (abortions, sterilizations) and also devices considerably endangering life and health (artificial death in special camps, deliberate separation of families for depopulation purposes and so forth). All these actions are subordinated to the criminal intent to destroy or to cripple permanently a human group.

        link to preventgenocide.org

        He observed that:

        acts of barbarity carried out in an organized and systematic fashion, often cause the emigration or the disorganized flight of the population of one State to another which can cause damaging repercussions in the economic situation in the State of immigration, given the difficulties of finding work and the lack of means of existence among immigrants.

        *http://www.preventgenocide.org/lemkin/madrid1933-english.htm

        He eventually described all of those methods as “techniques of genocide” and cited the German plan to annex “and destroy demographically and culturally ” the French element in Alsace-Lorraine as genocide. He noted “Expulsions of law-abiding residents from Germany before this war created frictions with the neighboring countries to which these peoples were expelled. Mass persecutions forced mass flight. Thus, the normal migration between countries assumes pathological dimensions.”

        *http://www.preventgenocide.org/lemkin/freeworld1945.htm
        *http://www.preventgenocide.org/lemkin/americanscholar1946.htm

        You obviously are not familiar with the writings of Lemkin on the subject of population transfer and its role in genocide.

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2012, 11:53 am

        Hostage: human beings were suffering from the obvious symptoms of malnutrition, i.e. shortened life expectancy, stunted growth, and permanent mental and learning disabilities

        Sibiriak: Terrible, of course. Not genocide though, by any logical definition of the term.

        Lemkin:

        The most direct and drastic of the techniques of genocide is simply murder. It may be the slow and scientific murder by mass starvation or the swift but no less scientific murder by mass extermination in gas chambers, wholesale executions or exposure to disease and exhaustion. Food rations of all territory under German domination were established on racial principles, ranging in 1943 from 93 per cent of its pre-war diet for the German inhabitants to 20 per cent of its pre-war diet for the Jewish population. A carefully graduated scale allowed protein rations of 97 per cent to Germans, 95 per cent to the Dutch, 71 per cent to the French, 38 per cent to the Greeks and 20 per cent to the Jews. For fats, where there was the greatest shortage, the rations were 77 per cent to the Germans, 65 per cent to the Dutch, 40 per cent to the French and 0.32 per cent to the Jews. Specific vitamin deficiencies were created on a scientific basis.

        The rise in the death rate among the various groups reflects this feeding program.

        link to preventgenocide.org

        Apartheid is not synonymous with genocide.

        Yes it is.
        Article II

        For the purpose of the present Convention, the term “the crime of apartheid”, which shall include similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practised in southern Africa, shall apply to the following inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them:
        (b) Deliberate imposition on a racial group or groups of living conditions calculated to cause its or their physical destruction in whole or in part;
        link to www1.umn.edu

        Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
        (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
        link to preventgenocide.org

        From the preamble of the Apartheid Convention:
        Observing that, in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, certain acts which may also be qualified as acts of apartheid constitute a crime under international law
        link to www1.umn.edu

        If you don’t know what you’re talking about just STFU.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        November 24, 2012, 12:18 pm

        Death marches were part of the Nakba:

        “The people of both cities [Lydd and Ramla] were forced to march, without food or water, to the West Bank, many of them dying from thirst and hunger on the way… Rabin estimated that 50,000 people had been ‘transferred’ in this inhumane way” (Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, p. 169).

      • Mooser
        November 24, 2012, 12:24 pm

        “But in this case, I made NO statements about the law and misstated no facts– yet you replied ONLY with references to law, international court rulings, legal definitions, etc., and implied that that evidence from that narrow legal sphere was somehow sufficient to answer the points I raised.”

        Wow! Did you just indict yourself or what?!? Yes, exactly, you want the discussion to take with no reference to facts. You are saying that quite plainly.

      • Mooser
        November 24, 2012, 12:31 pm

        “If you don’t know what you’re talking about just STFU”

        Whew! I was beginning to think we had a Saint commenting on Mondowiess! I feel better now.

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 12:52 pm

        Hostage:

        the offense included terrorism, vandalism, provocation of catastrophes and any action that would permanently “cripple a human group”.

        Inclusion of any of those elements does NOT mean that any one of those elements in and of themselves constitute genocide.

        Vandalism, per se, for example, is not synonymous with genocide.
        Likewise for forced expulsion of a group.

        Lemkin himself makes this clear with his statement:

        All these actions are subordinated to the criminal intent to destroy or to cripple permanently a human group.

        So it must be proved that some individual action is subordinated to the criminal intent to destroy or cripple a group. The existence of the individual action alone is not enough, despite your claim that it is.

        You obviously are not familiar with the writings of Lemkin on the subject of population transfer and its role in genocide.

        1) His writings do not support your position that *any* form of transfer/forced expulsion is *synonymous* with genocide.

        2) Lemkin expressed his opinion. That’s not the final say on the matter. He is just one person. For your position to be accepted as valid, it must be shown to be so via logic and facts.

        Quoting another person’s opinion may be enlightening, but from a logical standpoint it is simply an *appeal to authority* which carries no logical weight whatsoever..

        3) “Having a role in genocide” is clearly NOT the same as being synonymous with genocide.

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 1:10 pm

        Hostage:

        Apartheid is not synonymous with genocide.

        Yes it is.
        Article II

        I was, among other things, questioning the reasonableness and desirability of the definition of genocide given in Article II.

        You point to Article II to refute my points. That’s what’s called circular reasoning.

        The definition of genocide in Article II is only one of MANY. Which of them is the most logical and preferable? That’s the question. Quoting from article II proves nothing, in that regard.

        Try again. Try making an argument that doesn’t simply consist of referencing a legal decision, international law, a UN document etc.

        From a logical standpoint all those are “authorities” and an “appeal to authority” is nothing other than fallacious reasoning.

        The issue I have raised from the beginning–and which you refuse to address–is NOT what the definition of genocide *is* in international law, but what the definition of genocide *ought* to be.

      • Taxi
        November 24, 2012, 1:20 pm

        Lol Mooser!

        Every now and then an egomaniacal know-it-all challenges Hostage without researching his posting history first to know who they’re dealing with – and seeing for themselves the pathetic ending of past challengers.

        I don’t know why Hostage isn’t the president of the United States of Cyberspace?

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 1:20 pm

        Yes, exactly, you want the discussion to take with no reference to facts.

        Legal opinions, the opinions of courts, etc. are not facts. (Unless you are referring to the fact that they exist, a truism I’ve never denied, of course.)

        I’m very interested in facts.

      • seanmcbride
        November 24, 2012, 1:22 pm

        Sibiriak,

        The careful logical distinctions you are making regarding genocide make perfect sense to me.

      • seanmcbride
        November 24, 2012, 1:34 pm

        Googling “genocide” [define genocide], this is the top hit:

        The deliberate killing of a large group of people, esp. those of a particular ethnic group or nation.

        That is certainly how I understand the term.

        Also:

        the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.

        I found the Wikipedia entry to be informative:

        link to en.wikipedia.org

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 1:35 pm

        Death marches were part of the Nakba

        Indeed they were, as were horrendous massacres, brutal murders, terrorism, summary executions, inhuman treatment etc. I’ve read Pappe’s book. I don’t recall him referring to these actions as genocide. Please, correct me if I am wrong.

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2012, 1:39 pm

        Do you have any evidence that Nur Masalha, Illan Pappe, and [sic] Bruce Kimmerling consider apartheid to be *synonymous* with genocide?

        According to Ilan Pappe, “Genocide in Gaza”, The Electronic Intifada, 2 September 2006:

        A genocide is taking place in Gaza.

        link to electronicintifada.net

        He has also written about the fact that Israeli apartheid includes “atrocities” such as barring people from using water sources, from cultivating their fields, obtaining health care, building more houses, from getting to work, schools or universities and it bans them from commemorating their history and in particular the 1948 Nakbah.
        See Ilan Pappe, Introducing ASOI, Israel’s Latest Apartheid Law, 22 March 2011, Counterpunch link to counterpunch.org

        Baruch Kimmerling concluded in Politicide that Israel had become a Herrenvolk democracy and noted that it was a term coined to describe South Africa under Apartheid. The term he coined, politicide, corresponded to Lemkin’s definition of genocide as a plan with the objective of permanently crippling a nation or ethnic group which included massacres, starvation, and ethnic cleansing that threatened the very survival of all the peoples of the region:

        By politicide I mean a process that has, as its ultimate goal, the dissolution of the Palestinian people’s existence as a legitimate social, political, and economic, entity. This process may also but not necessarily include their partial or complete ethnic cleansing from the territory known as the Land of Israel. This policy will inevitably rot the internal fabric of Israeli society and undermine the moral foundation of the Jewish state in the Middle East. From this perspective, the result will be a double politicide— that of the Palestinian entity and, in the long run, that of the Jewish entity as well. Therefore, the current Israeli Government poses a considerable danger to the stability and the very survival of all the peoples of the entire region.

        Politicide is a process that covers a wide range of social, political, and military activities whose goal is to destroy the political and national existence of a whole community of people and thus deny it the possibility of self-determination. Murders, localized massacres, the elimination of leadership and elite groups, the physical destruction of public institutions and infrastructure, land colonization, starvation, social and political isolation, re-education, and partial ethnic cleansing are the major tools used to achieve this goal.

        See Politicide: Ariel Sharon’s War Against the Palestinians, Versio, 2003, pages 3 and 4

        Similarly Nur Masalah illustrates that Zionists developed plans for the compulsory transfer and exile of the Palestinians with the objective of bringing about a “radical ethno-religious-demographic transformation of the country” through the various modalities outlined by Lemkin, including terror, massacres, and deportations.

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 1:43 pm

        challenges Hostage without researching his posting history first to know who they’re dealing with

        Personally, I have a whole file filled with Hostage’s posts.

        But if you think he is infallible–an absurd proposition– then you haven’t followed all his posts as closely as I have.

        That statement is particular valid in relation to issues, such as the one I’ve been discussing here, that transcend questions of legality, international law etc.

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2012, 1:56 pm

        seanmcbride says:

        Sibiriak,

        The careful logical distinctions you are making regarding genocide make perfect sense to me.

        What’s your so-called logic? If you don’t think that intentionally depriving racial enclaves of their sources of food and water – resulting in shortened life expectancy (i.e. increased death rates) – is genocide, then go argue with Raphel Lemkin.

        I’ve provided ample material from Lemkin’s writing to illustrate that he specifically included reduced caloric rations, starvation, and brutal acts that resulted in mass flights and emigration to neighboring states in his definition of genocide. Neither of you have cited a single authority who contradicts that. In short you’re both being very illogical.

      • seanmcbride
        November 24, 2012, 2:08 pm

        Sibiriak,

        I’ve read Pappe’s book. I don’t recall him referring to these actions as genocide. Please, correct me if I am wrong.

        Google: ilan pappe genocide link to google.com

        The term is certainly in play in the field of language surrounding Pappe’s writings.

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 2:12 pm

        Hostage

        According to Ilan Pappe, “Genocide in Gaza”, The Electronic Intifada, 2 September 2006:

        A genocide is taking place in Gaza.

        And he may well be right about that. That does NOT however indicate that he considered “apartheid to be *synonymous* with genocide”, which was what I asked about. And please recall that this discussion began with the assertion:

        Historically Zionism has always aimed at “transfer” (i.e., expulsion, ethnic cleansing) and not genocide. Nur Masalha demonstrates this in his classic study “Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of ‘Transfer’ in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948.”

        Please note the word “historically”.

        Critically, Pappe makes a clear, unequivocal distinction between forced expulsion/ethnic cleansing and genocide:

        The conventional Israeli policies of ethnic cleansing employed successfully in 1948 against half of Palestine’s population, and against hundred of thousand of Palestinians in the West Bank are not useful here.

        You can slowly transfer Palestinians out of the West Bank, and particular out of the Greater Jerusalem area, but you can not do it in the Gaza Strip – once you sealed it as a maximum-security prison camp.

        As with the ethnic cleansing operations, the genocidal policy is not formulated in a vacuum.

        .

        His distinction between ethnic cleansing and genocide is clear and precise and derived from a factual/logical analysis.
        He is drawing a distinction between Israel’s historical use of ethnic cleansing and the current slide into genocide in Gaza.

        He does NOT support your contention that forced transfer/ expulsion/ethnic cleansing is *synonomous* with genocide.

        He has also written about the fact that Israeli apartheid includes “atrocities”

        Including atrocities–yes; being synonymous with genocide–no.

        Baruch Kimmerling concluded in Politicide that Israel had become a Herrenvolk democracy and noted that it was a term coined to describe South Africa under Apartheid. The term he coined, politicide, corresponded to Lemkin’s definition of genocide

        I have Kimmerling’s book and have quoted from the same passage as you in this very thread.

        Kimmerling went out of his way to coin the term “politicide” because he felt the term “genocide” was NOT appropriate for the actions he was subsuming under that term.

        Nur Masalah illustrates that Zionists developed plans for the compulsory transfer and exile of the Palestinians with the objective of bringing about a “radical ethno-religious-demographic transformation of the country” through the various modalities outlined by Lemkin, including terror, massacres, and deportations.

        Ethno-religioius-demographic transformation, terrorism, massacres, deportations–none of these terms are *synonymous* with genocide, although the may be *included* in genocidal campaigns.

        Nur Nur Masalha never claims that genocide was “on the agenda” in the time period he covers in his book.

      • seanmcbride
        November 24, 2012, 2:18 pm

        Hostage,

        What’s your so-called logic? If you don’t think that intentionally depriving racial enclaves of their sources of food and water – resulting in shortened life expectancy (i.e. increased death rates) – is genocide, then go argue with Raphel Lemkin.

        I am still trying to wrap my mind around this subject — I haven’t investigated it in depth.

        I agree with Sibiriak that not all acts of forced explusion, vandalism, etc. constitute genocide.

        But the more I look into Lemkin’s writings (I am doing it now), and Israeli behavior overall, I lean to the belief that Israel is in fact committing slow-motion genocide against the Palestinians. On its current trajectory, that slow-motion ethnic cleansing and genocide could easily escalate into full-scale and blatant genocide.

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2012, 2:30 pm

        The notion that ethnic cleansing is synonymous with genocide is an opinion, not a fact (and it happens to be a distinctly minority opinion).

        No, it’s a fact that ethnic cleansing can be one of the acts for which an individual can be prosecuted under the terms of the genocide convention. That was the consensus of opinion reported by an international panel of experts that was specifically commissioned by the UN Security Council and mandated to study the practice of ethnic cleansing:

        I. MANDATE, STRUCTURE AND METHODS OF WORK

        A. Mandate

        Furthermore, in its resolution 787 (1992) of 16 November 1992, the Security Council requested the Commission, inter alia, to pursue actively its investigations on this matter, in particular the practice of “ethnic cleansing”.

        link to his.com

        and:

        B. “Ethnic cleansing”

        In its first interim report (S/25274), the Commission stated:

        “55. The expression `ethnic cleansing’ is relatively new. Considered in the context of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, `ethnic cleansing’ means rendering an area ethnically homogenous by using force or intimidation to remove persons of given groups from the area. `Ethnic cleansing’ is contrary to international law.

        “56. Based on the many reports describing the policy and practices conducted in the former Yugoslavia, `ethnic cleansing’ has been carried out by means of murder, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, extra-judicial executions, rape and sexual assaults, confinement of civilian population in ghetto areas, forcible removal, displacement and deportation of civilian population, deliberate military attacks or threats of attacks on civilians and civilian areas, and wanton destruction of property. Those practices constitute crimes against humanity and can be assimilated to specific war crimes. Furthermore, such acts could also fall within the meaning of the Genocide Convention.

        The Commission emphasizes that in addition to the individual criminal responsibility of perpetrators who commit violations, military and political leaders who participate in the making, execution and carrying out of this policy are also susceptible to charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, in addition to grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of international humanitarian law.

        See United Nations Security Council document S/1994/674 – 27 May 1994, “Final Report of the Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992), Part III. GENERAL STUDIES link to his.com

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 2:31 pm

        Hostage:

        Neither of you have cited a single authority who contradicts that. In short you’re both being very illogical.

        With all due respect, you don’t seem to realize the I have not been arguing from authority, but rather from logic and facts.

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 2:42 pm

        seanmcbride:

        But the more I look into Lemkin’s writings (I am doing it now), and Israeli behavior overall, I lean to the belief that Israel is in fact committing slow-motion genocide against the Palestinians. On its current trajectory, that slow-motion ethnic cleansing and genocide could easily escalate into full-scale and blatant genocide.

        I don’t fundamentally disagree with that assessment. I am, however, inclined to think that if an “escalation'” is taking place, it involves the distinction between the current slide toward genocide and the previous ethnic cleansing –the distinction Pappe made in his article on Gaza.

        From a political standpoint, I am concerned that the problematic use of the term genocide in relation to past Israeli actions could backfire.

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 2:51 pm

        Hostage:

        … it’s a fact that ethnic cleansing can be one of the acts for which an individual can be prosecuted under the terms of the genocide convention.

        No one has denied that fact.

        You really seem to be incapable of understanding that the issue being raised transcends the legal sphere and cannot be resolved by reference to legal decisions or international law.

        Surely, you don’t hold that legal decisions and international law are beyond question, that they are some kind of absolute authority?

        To repeat, if the definitions of genocide in international law are under question, as they are in this discussion, merely pointing to those definitions in response is circular reasoning.

        The question is: are those definitions logical and desirable?

      • Annie Robbins
        November 24, 2012, 2:53 pm

        the issue being raised transcends the legal sphere
        perhaps the legal decisions and international law transcend your ‘issues’, it is not as if your ideas are original and have not been examined before.

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 3:01 pm

        The term is certainly in play in the field of language surrounding Pappe’s writings.

        No doubt. But the first hit on that Google search, for example, is to Pappe’s article on Gaza. As I already pointed out, in that article Pappe makes a clear distinction between Israel’s past ethnic cleansing and Israel’s actions in Gaza, which may qualify as genocide.

        I’ve made the argument that that distinction between ethnic cleansing and genocide is a valid one. The two terms cannot be collapsed into one. I still hold to that.

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2012, 3:05 pm

        Wrong. My initial points were not confined to the legal sphere. My complaint was that YOURS were. I only touched on legal matters in response to YOUR arguments, which consist of little more than references to legal cases, and international law.

        You made a comment that ethnic cleansing had occurred but not genocide. That of course is contradicted by the non-legal definition of the term genocide by Lemkin himself. That of course ignores the hundreds of people who perished in the death march from Lydda and Ramle which Rabin himself confirmed in his own autobiography and the deliberate massacres that caused the mass flight of the refugees. Add to that the fact that Israel would not allow the starving refugees to return to their homes, sources of livelihood, or sustenance and the genocidal intent becomes unmistakable.

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 3:08 pm

        Annie Robbins:

        perhaps the legal decisions and international law transcend your ‘issues’

        If you think legal decisions and international law transcend all other considerations, you are certainly entitled to that opinion.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 24, 2012, 4:06 pm

        legal decisions and international law are a reflection of other considerations sib. i never made the argument they transcended “all” other considerations. but what original issues are you introducing that have not been previously considered legally? you were the person (i think) who introduced the term ‘transcend’ into the conversation which implies your ideas are over and above or more advanced or in some way new. do you think your ‘issues’ have not already been considered? it appears to me you are attempting to create an alternate framework with which to define the crime of genocide because israel is implicated.

        legal decisions and international laws do not spring up out of nowhere. they follow issues, events and ideas. what gives you the idea your ‘issues’ transcend what has already been considered and codified into law? a transcension is the act of transcending, what act has occurred that’s ‘transcended’ legal decisions of international law and why do you describe it as such.

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2012, 5:12 pm

        Inclusion of any of those elements does NOT mean that any one of those elements in and of themselves constitute genocide.

        Nice try at dissembling, but the inclusion of all of those elements does make it genocide. Ethnic cleansing is a form of genocide whenever it corresponds to or falls within the category of acts prohibited by Article II of the Convention under the rubic of “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part” . “An attempt” is all that’s necessary to secure a conviction according to Article III of the convention and no physical destruction is even entailed in several of the constituent acts.

        When General Assembly resolution 47/121 referred in its Preamble to “the abhorrent policy of ‘ethnic cleansing’, which is a form of genocide” that was not merely an opinion. That was an authoritative legal statement expressed by the UN body which has the responsibility for the progressive codification of international law and which authored the International Convention on the Crime of Genocide in the first place.

        The fact that Israel practiced all of the techniques of genocide mentioned by Lemkin is another indication of genocide. Israel did commit all of the barbaric acts that Lemkin described. Nur Mashalah established that the Zionists had a plan to radically alter the etho-religious-demographic balance of the entire country. They used all of Lemkin’s modalities including physical, political, cultural, religious, and economic measures. In 1948 that included local massacres; acts of terror; mass flight and exile in other countries without adequate provisions; towns, villages, and crops were plowed under to prevent return and to deny Palestinians their source of sustenance. There were “death marches” like the forced exodus from Lydda and Ramle in which hundreds died. In the refugees camps the victims were exposed to exhaustion, disease, hunger, and the elements. Many simply perished as a result according to the ICRC, the PCC, and the predecessor of the UNRWA.

        His writings do not support your position that *any* form of transfer/forced expulsion is *synonymous* with genocide.

        In fact his writings include forced expulsion as one of the specific modalities of genocide.

        Lemkin expressed his opinion. That’s not the final say on the matter. He is just one person. For your position to be accepted as valid, it must be shown to be so via logic and facts.

        That’s illogical since Lemkin coined and defined the non-legal term “genocide” that you are employing when you claimed that ethnic cleansing occurred, but not genocide.

        Quoting another person’s opinion may be enlightening, but from a logical standpoint it is simply an *appeal to authority* which carries no logical weight whatsoever.. . . . “Having a role in genocide” is clearly NOT the same as being synonymous with genocide.

        Once again, the consensus of the Security Council’s legal experts and the General assembly was that leaders who engage in planning and carrying out “ethnic cleansing” are susceptible to charges of “genocide” and that ethnic cleansing is a form of genocide. The Security Council appealed to those same authorities when it drafted the Statute of the ICTY. It mentioned concern over the practice of ethnic cleaning, but did not define it as a separate criminal offense: link to icty.org

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2012, 5:22 pm

        I was, among other things, questioning the reasonableness and desirability of the definition of genocide given in Article II.

        Well while you are consulting your inner muse, that definition is still the legally binding one – and the ICJ has declared that it reflects customary law that is binding on non-signatories.

        Try again. Try making an argument that doesn’t simply consist of referencing a legal decision, international law, a UN document etc.

        What would be the point in that? We would still be obliged to observe the legally binding consensus definitions contained in the apartheid and genocide conventions.

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2012, 8:21 pm

        That statement is particular valid in relation to issues, such as the one I’ve been discussing here, that transcend questions of legality, international law etc.

        Stating that “ethnic cleansing has occurred, but not genocide” is not a discussion that transcends questions of legality. Both of those are considered examples of crimes.

        I’ve read Pappe’s book. I don’t recall him referring to these actions as genocide. Please, correct me if I am wrong.

        In the first chapter Pappe says that a search for comparable cases only turned-up the Armenian genocide, the Nazi Holocaust against the Roma or Sinti people, and the expulsion of non-Hungarians (Roma) at the end of the 19th century. All of those cases of ethnic cleansing, including Palestine, have been the subject articles in the Journal of Genocide Studies. Pappe wrote his book long after the General Assembly had declared that ethnic cleansing was a form of genocide. Full stop. There is a rich history of failed attempts to overturn General Assembly definitions of crimes. During the USA’s efforts at desegregation, the General Assembly prohibited apartheid and policies of racial segregation and declared them to be crimes against humanity in the conventions on the elimination of all forms of racism and suppression of the crime of apartheid. Even after the prohibition was declared jus cogens by the ILC and incorporated in the Rome Statute, the US government objected that apartheid wasn’t really a customary part of international law. Finally the US Supreme Court allowed it to be treated as customary law as part of an Alien Tort Statute claim, when it couldn’t bench a quorum to overturn the decision of a lower court.

        The same sort of thing happened with the General Assembly’s Definition of the Crime of Aggression. Even after the ICJ declared that it reflected customary law in the Nicaragua versus United States case, the USA and it’s supporters kept it from being included in the final drafts of the Rome Statute. Eventually, the Assembly of State Parties adopted the verbatim definition of the General Assembly (30 years after the fact) during a 2010 review conference. Even then the Court acted over the strenuous objections of non-member observer states, including the USA and Israel.

        Pappe is a historian, not a lawyer. He admits in the Introduction of Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine that he starts with a definition of the crime of ethnic cleansing that “replaces the usual complex and impenetrable legal discourse on the subject”. But he readily admits that he is only discussing a crime and various sources which attempt to conceptualize it. He does not claim that his definition “transcends legality”. On the contrary he claims that the definition has served as the basis for legal actions in the past against perpetrators of similar crimes. He uses a quote as an intro to Chapter 1 which is extracted from “Ethnic Cleansing – An Attempt at Methodology written by Drazen Petrovic from Sarajevo University Law School for the European Journal of International Law in 1994:

        It is the present writer’s view that ethnic cleansing is a well-defined policy of a particular group of persons to systematically eliminate another group from a given territory on the basis of religious, ethnic or national origin. Such a policy involves violence and is very often connected with military operations. It is to be achieved by all possible means, from discrimination to extermination, and entails violations of human rights and international humanitarian law . . . Most ethnic cleansing methods are grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and 1977 Additional Protocols.

        pp. 342-60.

        That extract is culled from 18 pages of dense argumentation that isn’t nearly as concise or clear as the General Assembly’s simple statement that the policy of ethnic cleansing constitutes a form of genocide. It also fails to note the original author’s conclusions:

        very precise violations of international law can be recognized: from intolerance and discrimination, ethnic and religious exclusivity, dominance and the sense of superiority of one group to crimes against humanity and genocide. Further, the motivating factors behind ethnic cleansing policies in the former Yugoslavia are not historical, but stem from strategic political interests. … it is hoped that the Tribunal will apply well defined tenants of international law rather than emotive phrases and terms, so far, ‘ethnic cleansing’ has been used merely as a political rather than as a legal term.”

        link to balkansnet.org

        Pappe’s statement that the crime of ethnic cleansing as such was incorporated in the Rome Statute is also a mistaken view, since it is susceptible to application under the heading of a number of separate offenses, including genocide, but is not explicitly defined or mentioned anywhere in the text itself. link to untreaty.un.org

        I’ve already provided citations which illustrate that Pappe does not eschew the use of either the term “genocide” or “apartheid” to describe Israel’s conduct. He certainly says nothing in any of his books that would exonerate Israel of either charge in connection with the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine in 1948.

        If we accept his claims that Zionist had plans to use whatever mean necessary, including extermination, to achieve their ends, then their attempts constitute genocide and have the necessary intent.

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 9:33 pm

        Annie Robbins,

        do you think your ‘issues’ have not already been considered?

        These are not “my” issues, and of course, they have already been considered. There is great controversy about the definition of genocide, in and out of the legal sphere. It’s an important issue.

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 10:29 pm

        Hostage,

        You made a comment that ethnic cleansing had occurred but not genocide.

        I agreed with Stephen Shenfield’s statement:

        Historically Zionism has always aimed at “transfer” (i.e., expulsion, ethnic cleansing) and not genocide. Nur Masalha demonstrates this in his classic study “Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of ‘Transfer’ in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948.”

        I still believe that statement is accurate.

        You replied with the assertion that:

        forced transfer/expulsion was on the agenda, means that ethnic cleansing and genocide were too.

        You thus asserted that any kind of forced transfer/expulsion, in and of itself, without any other considerations, is equivalent to genocide.

        I’ve contested that assertion.

        You’ve acknowledged that:

        genocidal “intent” has to be established beyond a reasonable doubt.

        But you have NOT shown that genocidal intent is *inherent* in every single instance of ethnic transfer/expulsion. The fact that genocidal intent may exist in some instances of transfer/expulsion does not prove that such intent exists in all instances of transfer/expulsion.

        You argued that:

        every single plan, policy or actual case of transfer or forced expulsion should be referred to with the term genocide.

        I argue that that kind of collapse of meaningful terminological distinctions constitutes a form a verbal inflation the results in the banalization of the term genocide. I stand by that.

        That of course is contradicted by the non-legal definition of the term genocide by Lemkin himself.

        1) I’ve shown that Lemkin’s definition in fact does not make the complete equation of transfer/expulsion with genocide that you do. Transfer/expulsion may be a “modality” of genocide in specific cases, but it is not *necessarily* such a modality.

        2) Lemkin may have coined the term “genocide”, but once a term enters human discourse it is no longer the property of its inventor. Meanings change, often radically. Interpretation of terms is open to dispute. This is not a controversial proposition.

        Rabin himself confirmed in his own autobiography and the deliberate massacres that caused the mass flight of the refugees.

        The reality of horrible massacres during the Nakba has been confirmed again and again. But was the intent behind them genocidal, or was the intent to cause a “mass flight of refugees”? That is a legitimate question. It may be that the intent was genocidal, but we cannot simply assume that.

        Massacres may well be acts of genocide in some cases, but they cannot be said to be so *by definition*, as you seem to suggest.

        For the same reason, not every war crime in and of itself constitutes genocide.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 24, 2012, 10:37 pm

        These are not “my” issues

        in this thread they are.

        There is great controversy about the definition of genocide

        great? not really, only by supporters of israel, so what? they want to change the definition of genocide! of course. there is no controversy about the definition of the crime of genocide tho. it is a law, one israel is breaking. you claim “the issue” transcends the legal sphere (it doesn’t), but all you offer is your opinions about “reasonableness and desirability of the definition” . You offer only your opinion to refute hostage’s points grounded in established laws. That’s what’s called circular reasoning.

        Try again. Try making an argument that doesn’t simply consist of your opinion of what the definition of genocide “ought to be” in order for israel’s ongoing actions to fall outside the parameters. try incorporating a legal decision, international law, a UN document etc.

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 10:53 pm

        Hostage:

        In the first chapter Pappe says that a search for comparable cases only turned-up the Armenian genocide, the Nazi Holocaust against the Roma or Sinti people, and the expulsion of non-Hungarians (Roma) at the end of the 19th century. All of those cases of ethnic cleansing, including Palestine, have been the subject articles in the Journal of Genocide Studies

        According to Pappe:

        Ethnic cleansing is not genocide, but it does carry with it atrocious acts of mass killing and butchering.

        Ilan Pappe, “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Kindle Locations 4099-4100).

        He could not be clearer. I agree with that position. I disagree with any attempt to conflate, by definition, genocide and ethnic cleansing. I’ve already expressed my criticism of the UN definition’s “in whole and in part” clause.

        Pappe also writes:

        Petrovic and others draw our attention to the distinction between massacres that are part of genocide, where they are premeditated, and the ‘unplanned’ massacres that are a direct result of the hatred and vengeance whipped up against the background of a general directive from higher up to carry out an ethnic cleansing.

        Thus, the encyclopedia definition outlined above appears to be consonant with the more scholarly attempt to conceptualise the crime of ethnic cleansing.

        In both views, ethnic cleansing is an effort to render an ethnically mixed country homogenous by expelling a particular group of people and turning them into refugees while demolishing the homes they were driven out from. There may well be a master plan, but most of the troops engaged in ethnic cleansing do not need direct orders: they know beforehand what is expected of them.

        Massacres accompany the operations, but where they occur they are not part of a genocidal plan: they are a key tactic to accelerate the flight of the population earmarked for expulsion.

        Later on, the expelled are then erased from the country’s official and popular history and excised from its collective memory. From planning stage to final execution, what occurred in Palestine in 1948 forms a clear-cut case, according to these informed and scholarly definitions, of ethnic cleansing.

        I agree with Pappe’s analysis.

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 10:56 pm

        Annie Robbins:

        not really, only by supporters of israel, so what?

        That is simply false.

        there is no controversy about the definition of the crime of genocide tho

        Again, simply false.

        As I mentioned above, according to Pappe:

        Ethnic cleansing is not genocide, but it does carry with it atrocious acts of mass killing and butchering.

        Clearly, the definition of genocide is contested.

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2012, 11:01 pm

        Critically, Pappe makes a clear, unequivocal distinction between forced expulsion/ethnic cleansing and genocide:

        No he does not. He is simply saying that Israel is not trying to forcefully expel the population in the case of Gaza and that the policy will not work there. His comparison does not signify that cases of conventional ethnic cleansing cannot be considered a form of genocide too. Pappe devoted a great deal of time and space in “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” to the efforts of others to conceptualize the crime of ethnic cleansing. He even devoted several paragraphs to the significance of anonymous Wikipedia editors, casting them in the role of some sort of voice of the people (vox populi). Unfortunately, he has never devoted any space or time to a discussion of the works of Lemkin, the International Law Commission, the Security Council Commission, or the General Assembly’s efforts in conceptualizing forced population transfers and segregation/confinement under a regime of martial law as modalities of genocide.

        Kimmerling went out of his way to coin the term “politicide” because he felt the term “genocide” was NOT appropriate for the actions he was subsuming under that term.

        A citation and blockquote would be nice, because I’ve never seen any such passage in his book. Like Pappe, Kimmerling’s field of expertise is not the law. An argument from ignorance to the effect that genocide or apartheid do include the elements of “Politicide” is hardly dispositive. That very point was recently highlighted by one of the legal experts on the Russell Tribunal.

        Kimmerling did not cite the relevant works of Lemkin, the International Law Commission, the Security Council Commission, the General Assembly’s Sixth Committee, or the constituent acts of the crimes of genocide and apartheid. The latter more than adequately defines the policy of Politicide.

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2012, 11:35 pm

        With all due respect, you don’t seem to realize the I have not been arguing from authority, but rather from logic and facts.

        Since you enjoy Wikipedia so much, here’s an entry which describes that situation: Ipse dixit (“He, himself, said it”) is known as the bare assertion fallacy. link to en.wikipedia.org

        Lemkin’s categories and techniques of genocide were political, social, cultural, religious, moral, economic, biological, and physical.
        link to preventgenocide.org

        He specifically dealt with the partial destruction of a national group as such. He wrote “By genocide we mean the destruction of a nation or … ethnic group”. Lemkin went on to argue that “Genocide has two phases: one, the destruction of the national identity of the oppressed group, the other, the imposition of the national identity of the oppressor.”

        The distinctive feature of genocide then, according to Lemkin, is that it aims to destroy or annihilate a group rather than the individuals that make up the group – with the ultimate purpose of genocide being to destroy the group’s identity and impose the identity of the oppressor on the survivors. No physical destruction is required to legally convert a Palestinian national into a stateless and penniless refugee or a “present but absent” Israeli-Arab living a hand to mouth existence under a regime of martial law that physically segregates and prevents the victims from taking part in the political, social, cultural, religious, moral, and economic life of their own country. That’s the non-legal definition of genocide, and nothing in the Genocide Convention excludes it. That is an example of imposing conditions of life that are calculated to destroy the group as such in whole or in part.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 24, 2012, 11:45 pm

        ok, other criminal states probably don’t like it either. anyway, i’m tired of arguing with someone who supports letting war criminals go unpunished.

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 11:52 pm

        Annie Robbins:

        i’m tired of arguing with someone who supports letting war criminals go unpunished.

        I do not support any war criminals going unpunished. Please, have the decency not to put words in my mouth.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 25, 2012, 12:08 am

        you misunderstood my comment, this is my opinion of your position. as for decency, apparently you have nothing better to do with your energy than water down the legal definition of the crime of genocide while people are suffering.dying and being ethnically cleansed from their homes.. don’t talk to me about decency. good bye.

      • Hostage
        November 25, 2012, 12:12 am

        To repeat, if the definitions of genocide in international law are under question, as they are in this discussion, merely pointing to those definitions in response is circular reasoning.

        The question is: are those definitions logical and desirable?

        Lemkin was not being irrational, illogical, or equivocal when he defined the term genocide and observed: “As Von Rundstedt has suggested the term does not necessarily signify mass killings although it may mean that. ”
        link to preventgenocide.org

        So how can a nation be killed off without mass killings?

        It is eminently logical to conclude that acquiring the territory of a nation using Lemkin’s techniques includes:
        1) driving half the population of a nation into exile and declaring them stateless;
        2) completely destroying their homes, towns, or villages and refusing to let them return;
        3) persecuting any remaining population under a regime of martial law;
        4) classifying the remaining population as “present but absent”;
        5) expropriating the property and lands of the oppressed nation for use by the aggressors;
        6) Assigning the remaining population a new “Israeli Arab” nationality without equal civil, political, or economic rights;

        You’ll quickly succeed in killing off the nation (genes meaning tribe or race and the Latin cide meaning killing, i.e. genocide) It was perfectly logical and desirable to have a term of art that describes that modern crime. Read Genocide – A Modern Crime and try to get some clue.
        link to preventgenocide.org

      • Sibiriak
        November 25, 2012, 12:40 am

        Annie Robbins,

        this is my opinion of your position.

        Your opinion blatantly misrepresents my position. You said I support ” letting war criminals go unpunished.” That is false.
        I think all war criminals should be prosecuted.

        On the issue of ethnic cleansing and genocide, I agree with Illan Pappe.

        I also believe that inflating the term genocide so that it becomes synonymous with ethnic cleansing and various war crimes can be counterproductive and harmful.

        This is a serious, legitimate issue.

      • Sibiriak
        November 25, 2012, 1:09 am

        Sibiriak: Pappe makes a clear, unequivocal distinction between forced expulsion/ethnic cleansing and genocide:

        Hostage: No he does not

        Pappe writes:

        Ethnic cleansing is not genocide

        How much clearer would you like Pappe to be?

      • Hostage
        November 25, 2012, 1:33 am

        These are not “my” issues, and of course, they have already been considered. There is great controversy about the definition of genocide, in and out of the legal sphere. It’s an important issue.

        If its so controversial in the legal sphere, why is it so trivially easy to cite statements by the responsible international organs to the contrary? Here is the statement on the Rome Statute from the UN Treaty Organization:

        It has been 50 years since the United Nations first recognized the need to establish an international criminal court, to prosecute crimes such as genocide. In resolution 260 of 9 December 1948, the General Assembly, “Recognizing that at all periods of history genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity; and being convinced that, in order to liberate mankind from such an odious scourge, international co-operation is required”, adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Article I of that convention characterizes genocide as “a crime under international law”, and article VI provides that persons charged with genocide “shall be tried by a competent tribunal of the State in the territory of which the act was committed or by such international penal tribunal as may have jurisdiction . . .” In the same resolution, the General Assembly also invited the International Law Commission “to study the desirability and possibility of establishing an international judicial organ for the trial of persons charged with genocide . . .”

        Since that time, the question of the establishment of an international criminal court has been considered periodically. In December 1989, in response to a request by Trinidad and Tobago, the General Assembly asked the International Law Commission to resume work on an international criminal court with jurisdiction to include drug trafficking. Then, in 1993, the conflict in the former Yugoslavia erupted, and war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide — in the guise of “ethnic cleansing” — once again commanded international attention. In an effort to bring an end to this widespread human suffering, the UN Security Council established the ad hoc International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, to hold individuals accountable for those atrocities and, by so doing, deter similar crimes in the future.

        link to untreaty.un.org

        Obviously Ilan Pappe’s remarks don’t exclude the possibility that ethnic cleansing can be considered an example of genocide. Even if that’s what Pappe mistakenly thinks, it doesn’t transcend the legal determinations of the UN organs or the Courts of the State Parties to the ICC, like Germany. All that Pappe actually said was that Israel was not trying to expel the besieged population of Gaza, as they had in the situations in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

      • Hostage
        November 25, 2012, 2:16 am

        Again, simply false.

        As I mentioned above, according to Pappe:

        Fair enough, here is what Pappe actually said. But he doesn’t provide any supporting logic or explain why it’s supposedly desirable or factual:

        Ethnic cleansing is not genocide, but it does carry with it atrocious acts of mass killing and butchering. Thousands of Palestinians were killed ruthlessly and savagely by Israeli troops of all back grounds, ranks and ages. None of these Israelis was ever tried for war crimes, in spite of the overwhelming evidence

        There is no statute of limitations for the crime of genocide. Some laymen read too much into an acquittal. When a trail chamber finds the accused “not guilty” that is not the same thing as a finding of innocence. Absolutely nothing Pappe has said is exculpatory in any way. He readily admits that thousands were killed by one of the known modalities of genocide and cites Nur Mashalah as a witness that expulsion by any means – including extermination – was part of the Zionist leadership’s plan. The General Assembly, and the Security Council Commission both said that leaders who participated in planning ethnic cleansing were susceptible to the charge of genocide in such cases. Pappe does not explain why he thinks leaders and the rank and file are not liable to charges of genocide – or why it would be desirable to drop the charges of genocide.

        Clearly, the definition of genocide is contested.

        It’s hard to see how you can claim Pappe is “contesting” anything. He certainly doesn’t have the necessary legal standing to challenge any of the decisions and definitions that I’ve cited.

      • Hostage
        November 25, 2012, 3:41 am

        He could not be clearer. I agree with that position. I disagree with any attempt to conflate, by definition, genocide and ethnic cleansing. I’ve already expressed my criticism of the UN definition’s “in whole and in part” clause.

        Actually his thinking could not be more obtuse. What danger arises from conflating one crime with another, when both carry the same life sentence?

        Pappe says that thousands of Palestinians civilians were killed as a result of atrocities and cites Nur Masalah to illustrate that fact that the Zionist Leadership had plans to expel the population by any means necessary – including extermination. He says that no individuals were charged with war crimes despite overwhelming evidence. Other than feeble-mindedness, what possible logic are you employing to distinguish these thousands of deliberate deaths from a policy and plan of genocide? And why would such a distinction be useful in the first place?

        FYI, there is no difference between 1) a life sentence for the international crime of genocide; and 2) a life sentence for the international “crime against humanity” of systematic attacks directed against any civilian population that results in murder or extermination; or 3) the “war crime” of willfully killing a protected person. None of those offenses is subject to any statutory limitations. In the case cited by Pappe thousands of people are dead – and the sentences for all of the the possible offenses are the same. Compare the Rome Statute Article 8 (2)(a)(i); Article 7(1) (a) and (b); with Article 6 (a) or (c).

        In cases of attempts or where no physical destruction occurs, the sentences would also be the same for 1) the crimes against humanity of persecution or apartheid; 2) war crimes of inhuman treatment, willfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health; 3) the war crime of unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement; and 4) an act of genocide caused by serious bodily or mental harm, or the imposition of conditions of life meant to destroy the group as such.

        Here are the necessary ICC elements of the genocide offenses from International Criminal Court, Elements of Crimes, U.N. Doc. PCNICC/2000/1/Add.2 (2000) link to www1.umn.edu

        Article 6 (b)
        Genocide by causing serious bodily or mental harm
        Elements
        1. The perpetrator caused serious bodily or mental harm to one or more persons.

        2. Such person or persons belonged to a particular national, ethnical, racial or religious group.

        3. The perpetrator intended to destroy, in whole or in part, that national, ethnical, racial or religious group, “as such”.
        *This conduct may include, but is not necessarily restricted to, acts of torture, rape, sexual violence or inhuman or degrading treatment.

        4. The conduct took place in the context of a manifest pattern of similar conduct directed against that group or was conduct that could itself effect such destruction.

        Article 6 (c)

        This would also include “attempts” at Genocide by deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction

        Elements

        1. The perpetrator inflicted certain conditions of life upon one or more persons.

        2. Such person or persons belonged to a particular national, ethnical, racial or religious group.

        3. The perpetrator intended to destroy, in whole or in part, that national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.

        4. The conditions of life were calculated to bring about the physical destruction of that group, in whole or in part.
        * The term “conditions of life” may include, but is not necessarily restricted to, deliberate deprivation of resources indispensable for survival, such as food or medical services, or systematic expulsion from homes.
        5. The conduct took place in the context of a manifest pattern of similar conduct directed against that group or was conduct that could itself effect such destruction.

        Please explain why you disagree with the UN position, when none of the 142 State Parties to the Genocide Convention or the 121 State Parties to the Rome Statute have contested the definitions, elements of the offense, or expressed any reservations calling for the exclusion of so-called “ethnic cleansing”?
        *Rome Statute link to untreaty.un.org
        *Ratifications and Reservations
        link to treaties.un.org

      • Hostage
        November 25, 2012, 5:12 am

        I agreed with Stephen Shenfield’s statement

        Yes, but his statement failed to mention the fact that both Masalha and Kimmerling claimed that the Zionist leadership had deliberately planned to use terror and localized massacres to expel the population. The ICC elements of the offense of “genocide by killing” only requires that the perpetrator kill one or more persons. None of the other forms of genocide require that anyone be killed at all. Your flawed reading skills won’t help you in the instance of the crime of “Genocide by forcibly transferring children”. All that’s required to destroy the group “as such” in those cases is for the perpetrator to forcibly transfer one or more persons. All that’s required in cases of “Genocide by deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction” is for the perpetrator to inflict “certain conditions of life” upon one or more persons. The term “conditions of life” may include, but is not necessarily restricted to, deliberate deprivation of resources indispensable for survival, such as food or medical services, or systematic expulsion from homes.

        So planning and imposing a low calorie diet or using terror or local massacres to expel one or more persons from the shelter of their homes is all that’s required. See printed page numbers 2-4 of Elements of Crimes Copyright © International Criminal Court 2011 link to icc-cpi.int

        And yes by God, the consensus of opinion among the international community of states is that it’s supposed to be considered genocide when you plan on deliberately using terror or local massacres to drive populations from their homes. There is similar agreement that it’s genocide when unlawful confinement or limitations on freedom of movement and deliberate deprivation of food and health care are employed to produce malnutrition. Full stop.

      • Emma
        November 25, 2012, 7:52 am

        Hostage is great.

      • Taxi
        November 25, 2012, 9:20 am

        The greatest!

      • Hostage
        November 25, 2012, 12:00 pm

        On the issue of ethnic cleansing and genocide, I agree with Illan Pappe.

        So far, we are only talking about his personal opinions about international criminal law, i,e, the rules that the international community of states have adopted to govern their mutual relations. Only states can become parties to the genocide convention or the Rome Statute and have a say in the Elements of Crimes developed by the UN or ICC. You still haven’t explained why the definitions and elements of crimes that they have adopted are undesirable or illogical. After all Pappe is talking about thousands of deaths that resulted from what he describes as atrocities and a life sentence for murder or wanton killing has the same consequences whether it is deemed to be genocide, a crime against humanity, or a war crime.

      • Hostage
        November 25, 2012, 1:18 pm

        Sibiriak: Pappe makes a clear, unequivocal distinction between forced expulsion/ethnic cleansing and genocide:

        Hostage: No he does not

        Pappe writes:

        Ethnic cleansing is not genocide

        How much clearer would you like Pappe to be?

        1) I would like for him to define the term genocide or cite the sources that he is using for his definition.
        2) Pappe tells us from the outset in the Introduction that he is replacing the normal definition of the crime of ethnic cleansing and using one that he selected to avoid the usual impenetrable legal jargon. He notes that it has been used to prosecute similar acts in the past.
        3) The definition of ethnic cleansing that Pappe borrowed from Drazen Petrovic’s 1994 article can’t really be employed to exclude genocide, since Petrovic himself warned in his Conclusion that he was not aware of any such tenant of international law at that point in time:

        … it is hoped that the Tribunal will apply well defined tenants of international law rather than emotive phrases and terms, so far, ‘ethnic cleansing’ has been used merely as a political rather than as a legal term.”

        link to balkansnet.org

        Pappe warns us that he is not using the normal definition of ethnic cleansing, but does not mention the source that he is relying upon to define genocide. He does a fine job of documenting the fact that thousands were deliberately killed in acts of terror, local massacres, and atrocities. He uses declassified documents and cites the work of others, like Nur Masalha, to establish that this was all part of the Zionist leadership’s plan of deliberate expulsion or transfer.

        By the time that he published his book, the elements of the crime of genocide by imposition of adverse conditions of life had been reviewed and published by the UN Diplomatic Conference on the Rome Statute. The report of the Security Council’s Panel of Experts had stated that ethnic cleansing was susceptible to charges under the genocide convention and the General Assembly had adopted a resolution which stated that ethnic cleansing is a form of genocide. Pappe doesn’t mention any of that, or say why he would disagree with those conclusions. He only briefly mentioned the work of one UN body on the subject, the old UN Human Rights Council.

        While he states that ethnic cleansing was added to the Rome Statute, he failed to mention where it appears. Deliberately depriving one or more persons of items considered essential for survival, like food or medical care, or driving them from their homes is specific to the UN and ICC elements of the crime of “Genocide by deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction”. “Genocide by killing” only requires that the perpetrator kill one or more of persons.

        So it’s baffling when he states that this instance of ethnic cleansing isn’t genocide. He is obviously using his own private definition of the term “genocide”, not the one used by the UN or the ICC. You pretend that he does that deliberately, but I see no evidence that he was aware of what he was doing.

      • Sibiriak
        November 25, 2012, 8:33 pm

        Hostage:

        The definition of ethnic cleansing that Pappe borrowed from Drazen Petrovic’s 1994 article can’t really be employed to exclude genocide,

        The argument has never been that plans and actions involving transfer/expulsion/ethnic cleansing can never be a “modality” of genocide, but that they are not * necessarily *such a modality. If such actions, seen in their full context and fully taking in the question of intent, do constitute such a modality, then they should be labeled genocide. Otherwise, the genocide label is not appropriate.

        Pappe:

        Ethnic cleansing is a crime against humanity, and the people who perpetrate it today are considered criminals to be brought before special tribunals.

        So there is no question of impunity, or going light on the perpetrators of ethnic cleansing. The issue is conceptual clarity, and not just in the legal sphere.

        I’m not necessarily endorsing Pappe’s conceptual and terminological position in its entirety. I do think Pappe, Kimmerling, Masalha and many other writers have made the right decision to use terms such as forced expulsion, ethnic cleansing, and politicide and not argue that those crimes *as such* constitute genocide.

        Pappe warns us that he is not using the normal definition of ethnic cleansing, but does not mention the source that he is relying upon to define genocide.

        Please provide a quote to support that assertion.

        Pappe, in fact, says his definition of ethnic cleansing IS the normal one, and is fundamentally in accord with scholarly, legal, and popular understandings of the term.

        Pappe begins his section on the definition of ethnic cleansing with the statement, “Ethnic cleansing is today a well-defined concept” and proceeds to explain that concept:

        The Hutchinson encyclopedia defines ethnic cleansing as expulsion by force in order to homogenise the ethnically mixed population of a particular region or territory. The purpose of expulsion is to cause the evacuation of as many residences as possible, by all means at the expeller’s disposal, including non-violent ones, as happened with the Muslims in Croatia, expelled after the Dayton agreement of November 1995.

        This definition is also accepted by the US State Department. Its experts add that part of the essence of ethnic cleansing is the eradication, by all means available, of a region’s history. The most common method is that of depopulation within ‘an atmosphere that legitimises acts of retribution and revenge’. The end result of such acts is the creation of a refugee problem.

        The State Department looked in particular at what happened around May 1999 in the town of Peck in Western Kosovo. Peck was depopulated within twenty-four hours, a result that could only have been achieved through advance planning followed by systematic execution. There had also been sporadic massacres, intended to speed up the operation. What happened in Peck in 1999 took place in almost the same manner in hundreds of Palestinian villages in 1948.1

        When we turn to the United Nations, we find it employs similar definitions. The organisation discussed the concept seriously in 1993. The UN’s Council for Human Rights (UNCHR) links a state’s or a regime’s desire to impose ethnic rule on a mixed area – such as the making of Greater Serbia – with the use of acts of expulsion and other violent means.

        [...]Such references to ethnic cleansing are also the rule within the scholarly and academic worlds. Drazen Petrovic has published one of the most comprehensive studies on definitions of ethnic cleansing. He associates ethnic cleansing with nationalism, the making of new nation states, and national struggle. From this perspective he exposes the close connection between politicians and the army in the perpetration of the crime and comments on the place of massacres within it. That is, the political leadership delegates the implementation of the ethnic cleansing to the military level without necessarily furnishing any systematic plans or providing explicit instructions, but with no doubt as to the overall objective.3

        [...]the encyclopedia definition outlined above appears to be consonant with the more scholarly attempt to conceptualise the crime of ethnic cleansing. In both views, ethnic cleansing is an effort to render an ethnically mixed country homogenous by expelling a particular group of people and turning them into refugees while demolishing the homes they were driven out from.

        [...] Popular Definitions The electronic encyclopedia Wikipedia is an accessible reservoir of knowledge and information. Anyone can enter it and add to or change existing definitions, so that it reflects – by no means empirically but rather intuitively – a wide public perception of a certain idea or concept. Like the scholarly and encyclopedic definitions mentioned above, Wikipedia characterises ethnic cleansing as massive expulsion and also as a crime. I quote:

        “At the most general level, ethnic cleansing can be understood as the forced expulsion of an ‘undesirable’ population from a given territory as a result of religious or ethnic discrimination, political, strategic or ideological considerations, or a combination of these.”

        Nowhere does Pappe suggest he is employing an unusual definition of ethnic cleansing–just the opposite.

        I see no evidence that he was aware of what he was doing.

        You are entitled to your opinion of course, but Pappe’s analysis, agree with it or not, is well-thought out and coherent, and I find it rather ludicrous to think he was not aware of what he was doing.

      • Sibiriak
        November 25, 2012, 8:43 pm

        Hostage:

        After all Pappe is talking about thousands of deaths that resulted from what he describes as atrocities and a life sentence for murder or wanton killing has the same consequences whether it is deemed to be genocide, a crime against humanity, or a war crime.

        Yes, that is an important point. There is no question of going light on Zionist perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. The perpetrators of these crimes do not need to be charged with genocide for them to receive the most severe punishment possible under the law.

      • Sibiriak
        November 25, 2012, 9:56 pm

        Hostage:

        You still haven’t explained why the definitions and elements of crimes that they have adopted are undesirable or illogical.

        Previously, I drew attention to the “in whole or in part” clause, which I claimed was overbroad.

        Article II states:

        in the present convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.’

        There are other problems with the UN definition of genocide, such as ambiguity in the word “destroy”, failure to state adequate reasons why national, racial, ethnic and religious groups can be the target of genocide, but not gays, lesbians, adherents to a particular political philosophy or party etc., the arbitrariness of the list of acts included in the definition, etc.– but let me focus just on the “in whole or in part clause,” for now.

        The UN definition gives us no guidance on exactly what would constitute a “part’’ of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. Is it a matter of percentage of the total numbers? Is it a matter of a functional sociological “part”? Is it a geographical part?

        Of course, there have been reams and reams of analysis and argument on what constitutes such a “part,” but the fact remains that the definition is extremely lacking in logical-analytical clarity.

        Such lack of logical-analytical clarity is undesirable for a whole host of reasons. I won’t bore you by listing the obvious drawbacks of vague legal definitions.

        Instead, let’s look to the ICJ’s groundbreaking decision in Bosnia and Herzogovina v. Serbia and Montenegro for a clear and concrete example of the undesirability of such a vague definition.

        In that case, the ICJ ruled that in the entire campaign of murderous ethnic cleansing under consideration, *only* the massacre at Srebrenica constituted genocide (and the court did not find the state of Serbia guilty of genocide).

        The numbers of people killed and the crimes committed in other areas, in their aggregate, far outweighed the killings in Srebrenica alone–yet they were not judged to be genocide. In the campaign of ethnic cleansing some 100,000 to 200,000 people were killed in total, but only the killing of the 8,000 people in Srebrenica qualifed as genocide.

        This makes no sense, in my opinion and in the opinion of many others—there is no logical consistency there.

        How did the ICJ arrive at this rather strange–but precedent-setting– ruling? How did the court distinguish the killings in Srebrenica from all the other killings in the conflict?

        The answer involves the “in part” clause. The court effectively *spatialized* the meaning of that phrase. The “part” of the targeted group was deemed to be a geographical part. The court ruled that destruction “in part” refers to the total destruction of a part of group targeted as such *within a limited geographical area*–rather than partial destruction of a target group over a wider geographical area.

        I would argue that this “geographical” interpretation of “in part” is quite undesirable and that it is a direct result of the shortcomings in the UN definition of genocide.

        (The ICJ also ruled that the form of the destruction of the targeted group must be physical and biological, and not only sociological or cultural, pace Lemkin and Hostage– but that’s another issue.)

      • Sibiriak
        November 25, 2012, 11:42 pm

        What danger arises from conflating one crime with another, when both carry the same life sentence?

        This argument makes no sense to me. Are you saying that there would be no problem if every single crime that involves a life sentence were labelled “genocide” ? Would it be okay to call certain instances rape “murder”, simply because they might be subject to the same punishment?

        And please note, words have huge significance in human discourse *outside* the legal sphere. To lump all kinds of disparate acts together in a single concept is a surefire recipe for confusion, not to mention the demagogic abuse of language.

      • Sibiriak
        November 27, 2012, 3:09 am

        Hostage:

        The European Court of Human Rights decision in Jorgic v. Germany upheld a conviction for genocide

        The ECHR did not express the opinion that transfer/expulsion was *necessarily* genocide.

        Furthemore, the ECHR decision in that case by no means represents a consensus in international law on what constitutes genocide. In fact, that decision represented the view of a minority of legal scholars:

        In the 1990s, several authorities, in line with a minority of legal scholars, asserted that ethnic cleansing as carried out by elements of the Bosnian Serb army was genocide. These included a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly and three convictions for genocide in German courts, (the convictions were based upon a wider interpretation of genocide than that used by international courts). [4] In 2005, the United States Congress passed a resolution declaring that “the Serbian policies of aggression and ethnic cleansing meet the terms defining genocide”. [5]

        However, in line with a majority of legal scholars, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) have ruled that, in order for actions to be deemed genocide, there must be physical or biological destruction of a protected group and a specific intent to commit such destruction. To date, only the Srebrenica massacre has been found to be an act of genocide by the ICTY, a finding upheld by the ICJ.[6

        link to factualworld.com

        Your argument that transfer/expulsion *always* means genocide, and that that international law is clear on that, is simply not true.

      • Hostage
        November 28, 2012, 2:19 am

        Nowhere does Pappe suggest he is employing an unusual definition of ethnic cleansing–just the opposite. . . . I find it rather ludicrous to think he was not aware of what he was doing.

        He crafted one that deleted references to genocide in the original source, presumably to harmonize it with his conclusion that ethnic cleansing is not genocide.

        In the Preface he says:

        The book opens with a definition of ethnic cleansing that I hope is transparent enough to be acceptable to all, one that has served as the basis for legal actions against perpetrators of such crimes in the past and in our own days. Quite surprisingly, the usual complex and ( for most normal human beings) impenetrable legal discourse is here replaced by clear, jargon-free language. This simplicity does not minimise the hideousness of the deed nor does it belie the crime’s gravity.

        He cited an extract from an article written by Drazen Petrovic, who came to exactly the same conclusion as the UN Rapporteur for the Rights of Indigenous People. He said:

        “So far the international community has been employing precisely this term, but only as an excuse not to comply with duties laid down by international law. . . . it is hoped that the Tribunal will apply well defined tenants of international law rather than emotive phrases and terms, so far, ‘ethnic cleansing’ has been used merely as a political rather than as a legal term.”

        Petrovic did not say that ethnic cleansing isn’t genocide. In fact he spent a great deal of time and space establishing the fact that, in Bosnia, “the means and methods of ethnic cleansing policies” did in fact include “identifiable acts of genocide” and different elements which implied intent to commit genocide. He specifically included “extermination” in his definition of ethnic cleansing and “genocide” in his conclusions about the precise nature of the offenses included in the systematic and widespread attacks:

        On the basis of the tragic events of Bosnia and Herzegovina and taking into consideration the many reports and analyses of all aspects of so-called ethnic cleansing very precise violations of international law can be recognized:, from intolerance and discrimination, ethnic and religious exclusivity, dominance and the sense of superiority of one group to crimes against humanity and genocide.

        link to ejil.org

        So Pappe is quoting Petrovic out of context, misrepresenting his views on genocide, and minimizing the gravity of the so-called crime of ethnic cleansing.

        When we turn to the United Nations, we find it employs similar definitions.

        No, we actually do not. The Petrovic article that Pappe cited points out that:
        1) the UN Security Council’s panel of experts on ethnic cleansing included genocide in the chargeable offenses;
        2) The General Assembly said that ethnic cleansing was a form of genocide; and
        3) The UN Human Rights Committee adopted a resolution that was endorsed by the UN Economic and Social Council which “calls upon all States to consider the extent to which the acts committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Croatia constitute a genocide, according to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide;
        See Paragraph 12 link to un.org

        So Pappe does not actually quote the stated views of the UN HRC on the subject.

        This definition is also accepted by the US State Department.

        Except of course for the fact that the US government has claimed all along that the systematic and widespread attacks were part of a plan of genocide, e.g.:

        The United States deplores the statement made by newly elected Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic denying genocide in Srebrenica.

        Genocide in Srebrenica is not a subjective determination—it is a defined criminal act which the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has confirmed in final and binding verdicts in multiple cases. The International Court of Justice also has concluded that genocide occurred in Srebrenica. It cannot be denied.

        link to state.gov

        In 2005, the Senate and House of Representatives adopted resolutions that said:

        the policies of aggression and ethnic cleansing as implemented by Serb forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995 meet the terms defining the crime of genocide in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide;

        link to chrissmith.house.gov
        Senate Resolution 134 2005
        link to govtrack.us

        The US Courts had allowed genocide charges in cases of alleged ethnic cleansing from the very beginning. In 1993 a lawsuit had been filed against Radovan Karadžic for genocide committed in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Second Circuit held that Karadžic, a non-state actor, could be held liable under the Alien Tort Statute for his complicity in the crime. link to ccrjustice.org

      • Sibiriak
        November 28, 2012, 10:17 am

        Hostage, thanks for the link to the Petrovic article.

        You write:

        [Pappe] drafted [a definition of ethnic cleansing] that deleted references to genocide in the original source, presumably to harmonize it with his conclusion that ethnic cleansing is not genocide.

        My response:

        1) Petrovic was not “the original source” for Pappe’s definition of ethnic cleansing. Petrovic was only one of various sources that were used as points of comparison. Pappe, of course, never claimed that his definition of ethnic cleansing was *identical* to all those various sources, or that he agreed with those sources on all points.

        2) Pappe did not “delete” references to genocide. He simply didn’t quote those parts of Petrovic’s text, since he was focused on the definition of ethnic cleansing, not genocide–two different concepts.

        3) Pappe did not need to misrepresent Petrovic’s text in any way in order to “harmonize” it with his own definition of ethnic cleansing, because they ARE, in fact, fundamentally harmonious.

        Let’s recall our basic point of difference.

        I asked you:

        Are YOU saying that every single plan, policy or actual case of transfer or forced expulsion should be referred to with the term genocide?

        And you replied:

        Of course I am

        I have argued that that position lacks logical coherence and is not consistent with international law. Although not central to my argument, I also pointed out that Pappe did not think that expulsion/ethnic cleansing was *necessarily* genocide.

        Now you claim that Pappe’s definition of ethnic cleansing is fundamentally different than Petrovic’s.

        But Petrovic, like Pappe, argues that ethnic cleansing is NOT necessarily the same as genocide.

        Petrovic (in the article you link) says that:

        On the global level, the aim [of ethnic cleansing] could be defined as an irreversible change in demographic structure, creation of ethnically-homogenous regions, and achieving a more favourable position for a particular ethnic group in ensuing
        political negotiations based on the logic of division along ethnic lines.

        [...]It is the present writer’s view that ethnic cleansing is a well-defined policy of a particular group of persons to systematically eliminate another group from a given territory on the basis of religious, ethnic or national origin.

        On the other hand, Petrovic reminds us that:

        The Genocide Convention defines genocide as the intentional destruction of a group, in whole or in part.

        For Petrovic, as with Pappe, ethnic cleansing does NOT automatically mean genocide. They are two separate concepts.

        Petrovic:

        It is apparent that a policy of ethnic cleansing, aimed at the elimination of a population from a given territory, without precise designation of the target group and without any clear intention of their destruction as a group, could fit into the
        definition of crimes against humanity.

        Read that closely. Petrovic says that ethnic cleansing can occur *without* any clear intention to destroy a group (in whole or in part). Thus ethnic cleansing can occur and yet NOT amount to genocide, which *requires* the specific intention to destroy a group. Ethnic cleansing, without such genocidal intentions, then becomes a matter of other crimes against humanity.

        Petrovic:

        The majority of ethnic cleansing policies in
        former Yugoslavia appear to correspond to crimes against humanity

        But he asks:

        …. could we consider extreme examples of
        ethnic cleansing as crimes of genocide?

        He answers, yes–but only if there is genocidal intent along with genocidal acts.

        Clearly, by referring to “extreme examples” of ethnic cleansing, Petrovic implies that there are less extreme examples of ethnic cleansing that would NOT be genocide.

        Petrovic:

        In order to differentiate genocide from other crimes against humanity, it is essential to establish an intent to destroy a certain group.

        Petrovic is interested in *differentiating* non-genocidal crimes against humanity, including acts of ethnic cleansing, from genocide.

        He is not interested in *conflating* those terms, as you are.

        We can conclude then that Pappe and Petrovic are in fundamental agreement that ethnic cleansing, as such, is not genocide. Only if ethnic cleansing involves genocidal acts AND genocidal intentions can it be said to rise to the level of genocide.

        Their position is in fundamental opposition to yours, in which:

        every single plan, policy or actual case of transfer or forced expulsion should be referred to with the term genocide

        It is true, however, that although they *shared a similar definition* of the term ethnic cleansing, Petrovic did not approve of its use, preferring existing terminology, while Pappe did .

      • Sibiriak
        November 28, 2012, 10:39 am

        Hostage,

        You have also claimed that there is little disagreement or controversy regarding the definition of genocide.

        I have shown that not to be the case.

        You point to a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly that equates ethnic cleansing with genocide.

        The General Assembly said that ethnic cleansing was a form of genocide

        Fair enough. But you fail to acknowledge that, as quoted above:

        …in line with a MAJORITY of legal scholars, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) have ruled that, in order for actions to be deemed genocide, there must be physical or biological destruction of a protected group and a specific intent to commit such destruction. To date, only the Srebrenica massacre has been found to be an act of genocide by the ICTY, a finding upheld by the ICJ.

        (emphasis added)

        You, of course, are entitled to make the case for the minority opinion. However, it is simply wrong to suggest that the minority opinion is actually a *consensus opinion*–it is not.

        You also point to the U.S. State Department statement that:

        Genocide in Srebrenica is not a subjective determination—it is a defined criminal act which the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has confirmed in final and binding verdicts in multiple cases. The International Court of Justice also has concluded that genocide occurred in Srebrenica. It cannot be denied.

        But you fail to point out that the ICJ ruled that the NONE of the rest of the Serbian campaign of ethnic cleansing constituted genocide.

        Thus the ICJ ruled that ethnic cleansing is not necessarily genocide, explicitly repudiating your position.

      • Hostage
        November 28, 2012, 12:39 pm

        The argument has never been that plans and actions involving transfer/expulsion/ethnic cleansing can never be a “modality” of genocide, but that they are not * necessarily *such a modality.

        In fact you cited a comment by Pappe which claimed that ethnic cleansing is not genocide, and tried to employ his layman’s view as a proof text.

        But the sources that he was citing including Drazen Petrovic , the UN etc. held that: once you exceeded the in-place “administrative measures” (which amount to apartheid or persecution), and begin using armed force to either terrorize or exterminate part of the members of the group you’ve cross the threshold which makes it a crime susceptible to prosecution as genocide.

        The Zionists and the Serbs were not simply persecuting their victims in hopes that they would voluntarily get up and leave the area. They were not simply deporting them either. The Zionist used terror raids to toss grenades into market places. They rolled barrel bombs down hills into Arab villages and used mortar attacks to literally drive Arabs into the sea. They massacred Arabs and destroyed their homes, villages, and crops. That satisfies the necessary elements of the crime of genocide laid down in the text of the treaty. The British High Commissioner, General Sir Alan Cunningham, noted that the Arabs of the large towns, had borne the brunt of the Jewish offensives. Menachim Begin’s autobiography indicated that was not a consequence of the war, but rather its objective. Cunningham’s reports by late April that Jewish attacks

        “had led to a crisis with ominous and intolerable implications for the British: Recent Jewish military successes (if indeed operations based on the mortaring of terrified women and children can be classed as such) have aroused extravagant reactions in the Jewish press. . . .Jewish broadcasts, both in content and in manner of delivery, are remarkably like those of Nazi Germany.”

        See Theory and practice in the history of European expansion overseas, By Robinson, et.al, Routledge, 1988, ISBN 0714633461, page 142 link to books.google.com

        Robert Lifton, a genocide scholar and Nobel lecturer, commented on the tactics used in Bosnia: “What’s happening there merits the use of the word genocide. “There is an effort to systematically destroy an entire group. It’s even been conceptualized by Serbian nationalists as so-called ‘ethnic cleansing.’ That term signifies mass killing, mass relocation, and that does constitute genocide.” See John Nichols, Bosnian Horrors Termed Genocide by a leading Holocaust Scholar,Toledo Blade, 28 February 1993 link to news.google.ca

      • Hostage
        November 28, 2012, 4:42 pm

        But you fail to acknowledge that, as quoted above: …in line with a MAJORITY of legal scholars the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) have ruled that, in order for actions to be deemed genocide, there must be physical or biological destruction of a protected group and a specific intent to commit such destruction.

        I fail to follow your logic. Legal scholars and the ICJ didn’t write or ratify the genocide convention and they don’t exercise criminal jurisdiction. State parties control the content of international treaties, criminal laws, and the scope of their own criminal jurisdiction. They retain the right to enforce their laws without regard to decisions of the ICJ or ICTY. Nothing would prevent a State from prosecuting an individual for genocide after the ICTY had convicted them of crimes against humanity for the same underlying conduct. The ICTY itself has convicted defendants of multiple offenses for the same underlying conduct, so long as the elements of the crimes are different. That’s NOT double jeopardy. Radovan Karadžić is currently charged with two counts of genocide; two counts of crimes against humanity, and one war crime on the basis of essentially the same conduct – and each count includes a charge of murder, killing, or extermination. Only one of the genocide counts mentions Srebrenica. link to icty.org

        The fact that the ICTY refused to prosecute an offense on the basis of an arbitrary rule that it alone has established, does not debar State parties, like Germany, or the United States from treating that same underlying conduct as genocide in their own courts. Full Stop.

        The ICTY decision is NOT completely dispositive. The rule that you mention was never reflected in either Article 4 of the ICTY Statute that was adopted by the Security Council or the text of the Genocide Convention itself. The ECHR noted that fact in its Joric v Germany decision.

        The German prosecutors and Courts pointed out that nothing prevented it, or any other state, from exercising universal jurisdiction over crimes of genocide committed by foreigners against foreigners. The German and EU authorities also approved of, and cited, the views of several legal publicists who pointed out that the Genocide Convention contains no rule which says that physical and biological destruction is required. That ECHR decision has not been appealed by any of the other interested State Parties. link to invisiblecollege.weblog.leidenuniv.nl

        The US Courts have allowed ATS cases on the Bosnian genocide. The US Congress has enacted a statute on genocide which implemented the terms of the genocide convention. So the fact that they have also adopted a sense of the Congress resolution which stated that the policy of aggression and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia satisfied all of the elements of the crime of genocide is legally relevant.

      • Sibiriak
        November 28, 2012, 7:53 pm

        Hostage, I think we are getting closer to agreement.

        The argument has never been that plans and actions involving transfer/expulsion/ethnic cleansing can never be a “modality” of genocide, but that they are not * necessarily *such a modality.

        In fact you cited a comment by Pappe which claimed that ethnic cleansing is not genocide

        There is no contradiction there. When Pappe –and the ICJ, other courts, and the majority of legal scholars–say that ethnic cleansing is not genocide, they mean that they are two different concepts that cannot be conflated, and that ethnic cleansing, *as such*, has a different intention than genocide. When and if ethnic cleansing includes genocidal acts AND genocidal intentions, then, and only then, can it then be judged to be genocide.

        Rape is not murder. But if an incident of rape includes murder (act and intention), then the incident rises to the level of murder. When someone says “rape is not murder” they are not saying that acts of rape can never include or rise to the level of murder.

        once you exceeded the in-place “administrative measures” (which amount to apartheid or persecution), and begin using armed force to either terrorize or exterminate part of the members of the group you’ve cross the threshold which makes it a crime susceptible to prosecution as genocide.

        Not quite. In addition to the genocidal acts, such as you mention, there must be the genocidal *intention* to destroy a group, in whole or part. Petrovic is clear on that, as is international law.

        If genocidal acts AND genocidal intentions are evident, then it is genocide under international law.

        It is not a given that forced expulsion/transfer/ethnic cleansing includes genocidal intention.

        Therefore, you were wrong to argue that ethnic cleansing *always* should be called genocide.

        They are two different concepts involving two different intentions. Only in certain cases are both intentions present, or the intentions collapse into a genocidal one, and only those cases can be construed as genocide.

        I do think you are correct now, however, to point out the category of “persecution” that can involve grave violations of international law and human rights, yet not constitute genocide.

        (Also note that the majority of legal scholars, the ICJ, and other courts state that the destruction of a group, in whole or in part, must be physical or biological. A minority of legal scholars, and certain court decisions (the German courts et al) have taken a broader view. This question is not really settled law, as you suggest).

      • Hostage
        November 28, 2012, 9:17 pm

        Sibiriak, I don’t believe that the ICJ has ever said that what happened in Srebrenica wasn’t an example of ethnic cleansing. The official summary said:

        The Court states that “ethnic cleansing” can only be a form of genocide within the meaning of the Convention, if it corresponds to or falls within one of the categories of acts prohibited by Article II of the Convention. Neither the intent, as a matter of policy, to render an area “ethnically homogeneous”, nor the operations that may be carried out to implement such policy, can as such be designated as genocide. However, this does not mean that acts described as “ethnic cleansing” may never constitute genocide, if they are such as to be characterized as, for example, “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”, contrary to Article II, paragraph (c), of the Convention, provided such action is carried out with the necessary specific intent (dolus specialis), that is to say with a view to the destruction of the group, as distinct from its removal from the region.
        — ICJ Summary of the Judgment link to icj-cij.org

        Note: The international consensus of state parties to the Rome Statute is that systematically depriving members of the group of things necessary to their survival, including food, health care, or forcibly driving them from their homes is sufficient evidence of genocidal intent and an example of imposing conditions calculated to bring about their destruction. Even the ICTY held that the genocidal intent can be inferred from the crimes systematically committed against the group:

        Intent to “destroy” means:
        – the genocidal intent may be inferred, among other facts, from evidence of other culpable acts systematically directed against the same group;
        – the inference that a particular atrocity was motivated by genocidal intent may be drawn, moreover, even where the individuals to whom the intent is attributable are not precisely identified.
        See Judgment in The Prosecutor v. Radislav Krstic – Case No. IT-98-33-A

        The ICJ rejected both of those premises. Although it doesn’t have a Prosecutor or investigators that can gather the necessary facts. So it really isn’t equipped to conduct criminal investigations in a contentious case. It also wasted 14 years fumbling around with jurisdictional issues like the claim of Serbia and Montenegro that Bosnia was not a state capable of becoming a party to the Genocide Convention, and that Serbia and Montenegro were not UN member states – and thus not parties to the ICJ Statute or subject to the Court’s compulsory jurisdiction.

        The Vice President of the Court complained that through a combination of methods and assumptions, uncalled for in law and not suitable to the facts of the case, the Court achieved the extraordinary feat of absolving Serbia of its responsibility for genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina save for failure to prevent the genocide at Srebrenica, where in any case Serbian responsibility was more actively involved than the mere failure to prevent. See page 23 of the ICJ Summary at the link above.

        One of the inane and arbitrary rules the Court had adopted, which was not required by law, was the conclusion that it should deal with the matter on the basis that the targeted group must in law be defined “positively”, and thus not “negatively” as the “non-Serb” population. So according to the majority opinion, any evidence of orders that targeted the so-called non-Serb population for destruction was only sufficient to establish crimes against humanity. Those crimes are not the preserve of the ICJ and are outside the scope of its compulsory jurisdiction under Article IX of the Genocide Convention. See page 8 of the ICJ Summary of the case at the link above.

        Instead, let’s look to the ICJ’s groundbreaking decision in Bosnia and Herzogovina v. Serbia and Montenegro for a clear and concrete example of the undesirability of such a vague definition. . . The numbers of people killed and the crimes committed in other areas, in their aggregate, far outweighed the killings in Srebrenica alone–yet they were not judged to be genocide. . . . How did the ICJ arrive at this rather strange–but precedent-setting– ruling?

        It really didn’t establish any such precedent. It had to accept that genocide had occurred in Srebrenica, because a UN tribunal had already determined that it had. But in 1999 the German Courts also found that Joric had committed genocide in the Dojob region of Northern Bosnia (despite all of the conclusions by some observers to the contrary). Srebrenica is no where near that region. It’s in Eastern Bosnia.

        The Bosnians had obtained a preliminary order from the Court which directed Serbia to turn over some additional evidence, but Serbia refused to cooperate. So, the ICJ was forced to proceed using only the evidence developed by the ICTY. But it arrived at dramatically different conclusions about the responsibility of Serbian officials. The ICTY determined that they had committed genocide and aided and abetted genocide through participation in a joint criminal enterprise in which they had exercised “overall control”. The ICJ applied an arbitrary rule it had developed in the Nicaragua vs United States aggression case, which held that a State can only be held liable if it exercises “effective control”. See the comments about that on page 23 of the ICJ Summary of the Judgment.

        Previously, I drew attention to the “in whole or in part” clause, which I claimed was overbroad.

        Those are everyday dictionary terms that mean it’s illegal to try to destroy either a whole national, ethnical, racial or religious group – or even just a little bit of one. That rule doesn’t interfere with the exercise of any fundamental right, so I don’t see much danger in having an “overly broad” prohibition.

        In fact, the parties to the Convention have used that very same stipulation for 60 years in the Statutes of the various international tribunals and the ICC, without any exceptions or modifications.

        national, racial, ethnic and religious groups can be the target of genocide, but not gays, lesbians, adherents to a particular political philosophy or party etc.,

        Genocide was proposed as a special denomination of crime that targeted entire nations or communities on the basis of the group’s national characteristics, including race, ethnicity, and religion.

        The Rome Statute actually does extend protection to gays, lesbians, adherents to a particular political philosophy or party, and “any other identifiable group” as an aggravated offense in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court – including genocide. Article 7(1)(h) explains that:

        Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;

        link to untreaty.un.org

      • Hostage
        November 28, 2012, 9:39 pm

        This argument makes no sense to me. Are you saying that there would be no problem if every single crime that involves a life sentence were labelled “genocide” ?

        No I’m saying that the ICTY charges defendants, like Radovan Karadžić with counts of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes based upon the same underlying conduct so long as the crimes have different elements. All of them include murder, killing, or extermination. link to icty.org with multiple offenses

      • Hostage
        November 28, 2012, 10:31 pm

        Your argument that transfer/expulsion *always* means genocide, and that that international law is clear on that, is simply not true.

        Well we’ve already been over the Elements of the Crime of Genocide used by the ICC for Genocide by deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction. That does represent an international consensus. It says The term “conditions of life” may include, but is not necessarily restricted to, deliberate deprivation of resources indispensable for survival, such as food or medical services, or systematic expulsion from homes.

        Despite claims by factualworld.com to the contrary, the ICC is an international court with 121 member states. The Statute, Rules of Evidence and Procedures, and Elements of Crimes were drafted by an international diplomatic conference of Plenipotentiaries. They have also been endorsed by the signatories and their representatives in the ICC Assembly of State Parties. The members of the EU have accepted the exercise of the Court’s jurisdiction on their territories and have an obligation to harmonize their national criminal laws and rules of procedure with those used by the Court.

        The ECHR did not express the opinion that transfer/expulsion was *necessarily* genocide.

        Furthemore, the ECHR decision in that case by no means represents a consensus in international law on what constitutes genocide.

        *It ruled that no physical or biological destruction is required to sustain a conviction of Genocide.* As noted above, the EU member states are parties to the Rome Statute and neither the ICJ nor the ICTY can prevent them from exercising universal jurisdiction over the crimes in question.

      • Hostage
        November 28, 2012, 10:56 pm

        2) Pappe did not “delete” references to genocide. He simply didn’t quote those parts of Petrovic’s text, since he was focused on the definition of ethnic cleansing, not genocide–two different concepts.

        Correction: Petrovic’s article was devoted entirely to the subject of *Ethnic Cleansing*. Genocide was one of the precise violations of international law that he cited as an example of so-called ethnic cleansing.

      • Sibiriak
        November 29, 2012, 3:30 am

        No I’m saying that the ICTY charges defendants, like Radovan Karadžić with counts of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes based upon the same underlying conduct so long as the crimes have different elements. All of them include murder, killing, or extermination. link to icty.org
        with multiple offenses

        Yes, that’s true.

      • Sibiriak
        November 29, 2012, 4:15 am

        Hostage:

        I fail to follow your logic. Legal scholars and the ICJ didn’t write or ratify the genocide convention and they don’t exercise criminal jurisdiction.

        No. The ICJ has jurisdiction over states that are a party to the Court’s statute. They can also give advisory opinions. The ICJ jurisdiction is a critical one, though, when it comes to genocide, as genocide is more often than not a matter of the *coordinated* activities of states. The ICJ has the power to hold states responsible for genocide (not just responsible for preventing genocide).

        It is interesting to note that Raphael Lemkin already stated that ‘ [g]enocide is intended to signify a *coordinated plan of different actions* aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves ’ .

        (Claus Kreß)

        But it is not just the ICJ:

        In September 2006, former Bosnian Serb leader Momcilo Krajisnik was found guilty of multiple instances of crimes against humanity, but while the ICTY judges found that there was evidence that crimes committed in Bosnia constituted the criminal act of genocide (actus reus), they did not establish that the accused possessed genocidal intent, or was part of a criminal enterprise that had such an intent (mens rea).

        link to factualworld.com

        And the ECHR quoted the ICJ:

        Neither the intent, as a matter of policy, to render an area “ethnically homogeneous”, nor the operations that may be carried out to implement such policy, can as such be designated as genocide..

        The intent behind expulsion/ethnic cleansing is NOT necessarily the same as the intent behind genocide. This is the crucial point (also stressed by Pappe in his definition of ethnic cleansing).

        Thus the ICTY and the ECHR as well as the ICJ have taken the postion that forced expulsion/ethnic cleansing, *as such*, cannot be designated as genocide.

        Even genocidal acts do not constitute the crime of genocide if they are lacking genocidal *intent*.

        Ethnic cleansing, therefore, absent of genocidal intent is not genocide.

        You asserted that:

        every single plan, policy or actual case of transfer or forced expulsion should be referred to with the term genocide

        But that position is NOT supported by the court decisions I have referred to above, it is not supported by the great majority of legal scholars, and is not supported by historians and sociologists such as Pappe, Kimmerling, and Masalhna, et al.

        That is has been my main point.

        Nothing would prevent a State from prosecuting an individual for genocide after the ICTY had convicted them of crimes against humanity for the same underlying conduct.

        I have not asserted otherwise.

        ethnic cleansing in Bosnia satisfied all of the elements of the crime of genocide is legally relevant.

        If the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia rose to the level of genocide, it was genocide.

        The point is: not all ethnic cleansing necessarily rises to that level. Not all ethnic cleansing has *genocidal* intent.

        Therefore, despite your assertion, ethnic cleansing, *as such*, is not genocide. Ethnic cleanisng/expulsion can occur without genocidal intent. The two terms are not synonymous. They cannot be conflated.

      • Sibiriak
        November 29, 2012, 4:55 am

        Hostage:

        Genocide was one of the precise violations of international law that he cited as an example of so-called ethnic cleansing.

        Correction: you have it exactly backwards.

        Petrovic writes:

        could we consider extreme examples of
        ethnic cleansing as crimes of genocide?

        So, certain extreme forms –but not all forms– of ethnic cleansing could be examples of genocide, not vice versa, as you stated.

        Petrovic shows that ethnic cleansing as such is not genocide.

        Petrovic:

        It is apparent that a policy of ethnic cleansing, aimed at the elimination of a population from a given territory, without precise designation of the target group and WITHOUT ANY CLEAR INTENTION OF THEIR DESTRUCTION as a group, could fit into the
        definition of crimes against humanity.

        (emphasis added).

        Read that carefully, please. Ethnic cleansing can exist without any clear intention to destroy a group, thus it can exist *without constituting genocide.*

        Petrovic and Pappe agree on that point.

      • Sibiriak
        November 29, 2012, 5:17 am

        Hostage:

        Sibiriak, I don’t believe that the ICJ has ever said that what happened in Srebrenica wasn’t an example of ethnic cleansing

        I never made that claim.

        According to the ICJ decision, the massacre at Srebrenica rose to the level of genocide because it involved the actions and intention to destroy a group, in whole or in part. The phrase, “in part”, as I wrote earlier, was given a geographical interpretation:

        The court effectively *spatialized* the meaning of that phrase. The “part” of the targeted group was deemed to be a geographical part. The court ruled that destruction “in part” refers to the total destruction of a part of group targeted as such *within a limited geographical area*–rather than partial destruction of a target group over a wider geographical area.

        The court found that in the entire campaign of murderous ethnic cleansing against Bosniaks, *only* the massacre at Srebrenica constituted genocide.

        All the other actions of the Serbian ethnic cleansing campaign, even though they involved 10 or 20 times more deaths, were deemed to be NOT genocide.

        Conclusion: ethnic cleansing as such is not genocide. There must be the added element of intent to destroy a group, in whole or in part.

      • Sibiriak
        November 29, 2012, 5:40 am

        Hostage:

        [Sibiriak: ]The ECHR did not express the opinion that transfer/expulsion was *necessarily* genocide. [...]

        *It ruled that no physical or biological destruction is required to sustain a conviction of Genocide.*

        Yes, but it also ruled that genocidal intent is required to sustain a conviction of genocide , and that because not all transfer/expulsion involves genocidal intent, not all transfer/expulsion constitutes genocide.

        Therefore, my statement holds true.

      • Hostage
        November 29, 2012, 6:39 am

        There is no contradiction there. When Pappe –and the ICJ, other courts, and the majority of legal scholars–say that ethnic cleansing is not genocide, they mean that they are two different concepts that cannot be conflated, and that ethnic cleansing, *as such*, has a different intention than genocide.

        There are fewer than 200 states in the world community and 121 of them are ICC member states. If you include the countries, like the USA, that have also declared ethnic cleansing to be a form of genocide, then they constitute the majority view in the realm of jurisprudence. There is no difference between the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the crime of genocide. The systematic terror campaign; systematic expulsion from homes; the total destruction of 400+ villages; the summary executions and massacres; the rape and the deaths of thousands of Palestinian Arabs as a result of all those atrocities adequately satisfies the elements of the crimes of Genocide by causing serious bodily or mental harm and Genocide by deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction.

        Rape is not murder. But if an incident of rape includes murder (act and intention), then the incident rises to the level of murder. When someone says “rape is not murder” they are not saying that acts of rape can never include or rise to the level of murder.

        ???? Acts of sexual violence, like rape, constitute the actus reus for genocide because they cause serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group and are considered to be torture and measures intended to prevent births within the group. Women were deliberately singled out for humiliation in front of their partners, children and neighbors. This connection between sexual violence, specifically rape, genocide and destruction of the group was first made in 1998 by the ICTR in the Akayesu Trial Chamber Judgment. That Court concluded that rape constitutes genocide and was conduct that could itself effect destruction of a group or a substantial portion of a group.
        link to web.wm.edu
        link to icty.org

        Not quite. In addition to the genocidal acts, such as you mention, there must be the genocidal *intention* to destroy a group, in whole or part. Petrovic is clear on that, as is international law.

        Petrovic was writing in 1994 before the ICTY and other tribunals had ruled that rape constitutes genocide and that “the genocidal intent may be inferred, among other facts, from evidence of other culpable acts systematically directed against the same group”. That Judgment was part of an ICTY landmark sexual abuse case: The Prosecutor v. Radislav Krstic. The Trail Chamber also noted that “ethnic cleansing” is not a proper legal term. link to icty.org

        If genocidal acts AND genocidal intentions are evident, then it is genocide under international law.

        No shit Sherlock. How many citations do you need from courts and experts who say that so-called “ethnic cleansing” is only a political term and that genocide is one of the precise offenses that it has been used to describe?

      • Hostage
        November 29, 2012, 6:58 am

        Neither the intent, as a matter of policy, to render an area “ethnically homogeneous”, nor the operations that may be carried out to implement such policy, can as such be designated as genocide

        Of course not, unless the operations fall within one of the categories of acts prohibited by Article II of the Genocide Convention. There can be no doubt in our case that thousands of Palestinian Arabs were the targets of atrocities and that they were killed, even according to Pappe’s account.

      • Hostage
        November 29, 2012, 7:38 am

        Genocide was one of the precise violations of international law that he cited as an example of so-called ethnic cleansing.

        Correction: you have it exactly backwards.

        No I am quoting him verbatim:

        On the basis of the tragic events of Bosnia and Herzegovina and taking into consideration the many reports and analyses of all aspects of so-called ethnic cleansing, very precise violations of international law can be recognized: from intolerance and discrimination, ethnic and religious exclusivity, dominance and the sense of superiority of one group to crimes against humanity and genocide.

        Petrovic had just spilled 13 pages of ink writing about the fact that ethnic cleansing has different forms, ranging from simple non-violent administrative and economic discrimination, to acts of terror that cause extreme mental and physical harm, and military measures which aim at extermination of a portion of the targeted group. He also noted that the policies are always part of a systematic plan.

        The examples of non-violent administrative and economic measures of ethnic cleansing that he cited are employed on the captive population, i.e. removal of lawfully elected officials, dismissal from work (especially from important public service positions), restrictions on the distribution of humanitarian aid, constant identity checking of members of minority ethnic groups, official notices to the effect that security of the members of other nations cannot be guaranteed; colonization by settlers in the region; discriminatory and repressive legislation; refusal of treatment in hospital, making the departure of one member conditional upon the departure of the entire family; disconnection of telephones; forced labor very often including work on the front-lines of armed conflict; prohibiting women of particular ethnic groups from giving birth in hospital; and ‘voluntary’ transfer of property by forcing people to sign documents stating that the property was permanently abandoned by the owner.
        2. Other Non-violent Measures
        These could include: local media inflaming fear and hatred; harassing phone-calls, including death threats, and publishing lists of citizens indicating their ethnic origin.

        I’ve noted repeatedly that all of the other systematic methods of ethnic cleansing that he cited correspond to acts in Article II of the Genocide Convention.

      • Hostage
        November 29, 2012, 7:56 am

        According to the ICJ decision, the massacre at Srebrenica rose to the level of genocide because . . .

        they had no criminal appellate jurisdiction to overturn the ruling of the ICTY to that effect.

        All the other actions of the Serbian ethnic cleansing campaign, even though they involved 10 or 20 times more deaths, were deemed to be NOT genocide.

        Because the Court adopted a rule that was not required by either the Genocide Convention or the facts of the case that it should deal with the matter on the basis that the targeted group must in law be defined “positively”, and thus not “negatively” as the “non-Serb” population. Evidence of orders that targeted the so-called non-Serb population for destruction were deemed insufficient to establish the identity of the targeted group. I supplied a link to the Official Summary of the Judgment and the page number where that information can be found.

        So using that feeble logic, the Zionists could order the extermination of all the non-Jewish communities and it wouldn’t be genocide, only a war crime or crime against humanity outside the remit of the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction. The ICJ would consider it genocide if the plan targeted the same communities by identifying them as Gentiles, Arab Muslim, Arab Christian, Druze, & etc.

      • Sibiriak
        November 29, 2012, 11:00 am

        Hostage:

        I am quoting him verbatim:

        On the basis of the tragic events of Bosnia and Herzegovina and taking into consideration the many reports and analyses of all aspects of so-called ethnic cleansing, very precise violations of international law can be recognized: from intolerance and discrimination, ethnic and religious exclusivity, dominance and the sense of superiority of one group to crimes against humanity and genocide.

        But that quote does not say what YOU said:

        Genocide was one of the precise violations of international law that he cited as an example of so-called ethnic cleansing.

        Nowhere in that quote does he say that genocide was an *example* of ethnic cleansing.

        He says that genocide could be an *aspect* of ethnic cleansing.

        But nowhere does he say that genocide is everywhere and always an aspect of ethnic cleansing. In other words, he does not conflate the terms, as you are attempting to do.

        Thus the point stands: ethnic cleansing as such is not genocide.

        There can be ethnic cleansing WITHOUT it constituting genocide.

        Petrovic made that clear.

      • Sibiriak
        November 29, 2012, 11:37 am

        Hostage,

        I wrote:

        According to the ICJ decision, the massacre at Srebrenica rose to the level of genocide because it involved the actions and intention to destroy a group, in whole or in part.

        You responded:

        they had no criminal appellate jurisdiction to overturn the ruling of the ICTY to that effect.

        The IJC ruled that the massacre at Srebrenica was genocide– what do you mean by “overturn the ruling of the ICTY to that effect”?

        In any case, those IJC and ICTY have *different* jurisdictions, so I don’t get your point. (It’s late where I am, so I may just be missing something).

        Because the Court adopted a rule that was not required by either the Genocide Convention or the facts of the case that it should deal with the matter on the basis that the targeted group must in law be defined “positively”, and thus not “negatively” as the “non-Serb” population.

        Article II defines four categories of groups protected by the Convention: national, ethnical, racial, and religious. This list is exhaustive. It excludes other all other groupings, whether based on politics, economics, sexual orientation etc.

        As I wrote before:

        There are other problems with the UN definition of genocide, such as ambiguity in the word “destroy”, failure to state adequate reasons why national, racial, ethnic and religious groups can be the target of genocide, but not gays, lesbians, adherents to a particular political philosophy or party etc., the arbitrariness of the list of acts included in the definition, etc.

        But you correctly point to another problem: the abstractness of the terms national, ethnical, racial, and religious. Article II gives no guidance in how to deal with the numerous questions that arise when interpreting these abstract terms in relation to the complex concrete forms actually existing group identities (often overlapping) take.

        The ICJ Court in dealing with these interpretive issues ruled that the “group” had to be defined according to positive characteristics.

        The Court correctly recalled that ‘ the drafters of the Convention also gave close attention to the positive identification of groups with specific distinguishing characteristics in deciding which groups they would include and which (such as political groups) they would exclude ’ . Such an understanding does not only require a positive identification of the group, but also an essentially objective one. (Claus Kreß)

        You don’t like that IJC decision–you are certainly entitled to that opinion.

        But the IJC did rule the way it did, reasonably so, and in doing so set a precedent in interpretation of international law regarding genocide.

      • Sibiriak
        November 29, 2012, 11:47 am

        Hostage:

        There can be no doubt in our case that thousands of Palestinian Arabs were the targets of atrocities and that they were killed, even according to Pappe’s account.

        We can certainly agree on that point.

        Not sure, though, why you say “even” according to Pappe’s account.

        You make it sound as if Pappe had some reason to downplay the atrocities inflicted on Palestinians. I don’t see any basis for that insinuation.

      • Hostage
        November 29, 2012, 2:49 pm

        Yes, but it also ruled that genocidal intent is required to sustain a conviction of genocide , and that because not all transfer/expulsion involves genocidal intent, not all transfer/expulsion constitutes genocide.

        Therefore, my statement holds true.

        No it does not. You are repeating the dicta and ignoring the applicable legal standard that was applied by the ECHR, i.e. This is not to say that acts described as ‘ethnic cleansing’ may never constitute genocide, if they are such as to be characterized as, for example, ‘deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part’, contrary to Article II, paragraph (c), of the Convention, provided such action is carried out with the necessary specific intent (dolus specialis), that is to say with a view to the destruction of the group, as distinct from its removal from the region.

        In the case of the “ethnic cleansing” of Palestine the Zionists weren’t trying to merely remove the targeted groups from their homes in the winter of November 1948, they had besieged and razed entire villages, imprisoned the farmers to prevent them from harvesting the fall crops, or simply plowed them under and seeded the areas with non-native trees in order to deny the group its means of sustenance. By that time they had imposed martial law and thousands of family providers were rounded up and subjected to what Pappe described as inhuman imprisonment. When the Red Cross was finally allowed into the areas they found women and children living in scenes of total desolation. The genocidal intent of these operations can be inferred by all of the other crimes that had targeted the group. It is completely disingenuous to ignore that the object of the terror campaigns, local massacres, the demolition of four hundred entire villages and the destruction of their crops, sexual crimes, death marches, summary execution of prisoners, the establishment of closed zones, martial law, and prison camps was not simply transfer.

      • Hostage
        November 29, 2012, 6:39 pm

        You make it sound as if Pappe had some reason to downplay the atrocities inflicted on Palestinians. I don’t see any basis for that insinuation.

        Pappe, Flapan and others have written that the goal of the military campaign was the conquest and destruction of both the rural and urban areas of Arab Palestine. If Ben Gurion & Company only wished to drive out the inhabitants, why did their propaganda stress that they were repeating the genocidal conquests of ancient Palestine and make extravagant claims and comparisons between the acts of the modern militias and the ancient events recorded in the books of Joshua and Samuel? Pardon me if I infer a genocidal intent from that sort of thing.

        In those accounts all of the enemy cities, men, women, children, and animals were utterly destroyed or put to the sword. Here for example, is a passage from “The Bible is our Mandate” in Nur Masalha, The Bible and Zionism, starting from the last paragraph on page 27 thru page 28:

        Ben-Gurion also, and crucially, argued that he was fighting all Zionist battles with the help of the Hebrew Bible. Already in his first published work, in Yiddish, entitled: Eretz Yisrael: Past and Present (1918), which he co-authored with Yitzhak Ben-Tzvi – later to become the second president of Israel – he argued that the Jewish ‘ return’ to Palestine is actually a ‘repeat’ of Joshua’s conquest of ancient Palestine. The 1948 Palestine war drew Ben-Gurion ever nearer to the biblical narrative, as seen from his frequent references to biblical figures and biblical battles of conquest.

        Apparently the Book of Joshua was the biblical book to which Ben-Gurion
        was most drawn. On more than one occasion Ben-Gurion pointed to an
        ‘unbroken line of continuity from the days of Yehoshua bin Nun [Joshua
        son of Nun] to the IDF ’ (Israel Defence Force) in and after 1948. When
        he spoke of sweeping Jewish offensives in the 1948 war, he apparently
        did so in language evocative of the Book of Joshua. The Israeli army,
        he declared, had ‘struck the kings of Lod and Ramleh. the kings of Belt
        Naballa and Deir Tarif, the kings of Kola and Migdal Zedck’.

        link to books.google.com

        If the hasbara minister in chief had merely wanted to drive out the Palestinians, he could have always employed the scriptures which emphasized the Divine plan of gradual ethnic cleansing from Deuteronomy Chapter 7 instead. That passage explained that the Gentile inhabitants were still necessary for the time being to prevent the country from being overrun by wild animals and such.

      • Sibiriak
        November 29, 2012, 7:26 pm

        Hostage:

        I wrote:

        The ECHR did not express the opinion that transfer/expulsion was *necessarily* genocide.

        it ….ruled that genocidal intent is required to sustain a conviction of genocide , and that because not all transfer/expulsion involves genocidal intent, not all transfer/expulsion constitutes genocide.

        Therefore, my statement holds true.

        You reply:

        No it does not.

        You say:

        This is not to say that acts described as ‘ethnic cleansing’ may never constitute genocide ETC.

        But that is exactly my position. By saying that acts of ethnic cleansing only *sometimes* constitute genocide, you are confirming Pappe’s view and mine (which is widely held and supported by international law)–that ethnic cleansing, as such, is not genocide.

        As you write, ethnic cleansing, to rise to the level of genocide, MUST be

        carried out with the necessary specific intent (dolus specialis), that is to say with a view to the destruction of the group, as distinct from its removal from the region.

        That has been one of my key points.

        You are, thus, contradicting your previous assertion that:

        EVERY single plan, policy or actual case of transfer or forced expulsion should be referred to with the term genocide

        (emphasis added)

        Since you now are affirming the position I have been arguing for, I see no further point in continuing this debate, which, btw, has been an interesting and informative one, imo.

        HOSTAGE: It is completely disingenuous to ignore that the object of the terror campaigns, local massacres, the demolition of four hundred entire villages and the destruction of their crops, sexual crimes, death marches, summary execution of prisoners, the establishment of closed zones, martial law, and prison camps was not simply transfer.

        I’ve never ignored those campaigns or argued that all those crimes were “simply transfer”. If that is what you are saying, that’s a strawman, frankly.

        You know very well that I have read Pappe’s book and have not questioned a single account in it.

        We agree on the facts of what was done.

        We disagree on whether forced expulsion/ethnic cleansing–even with multiple crimes against humanity– necessarily constitutes genocide.

        We’ve both made our arguments. Any one reading this thread can come to their own judgment–as will the courts, if and when Zionists (or the state of Israel) are charged with crimes related to those events.

      • Hostage
        November 30, 2012, 10:06 am

        But that quote does not say what YOU said:
        Genocide was one of the precise violations of international law that he cited as an example of so-called ethnic cleansing.

        Nowhere in that quote does he say that genocide was an *example* of ethnic cleansing.

        He says that genocide could be an *aspect* of ethnic cleansing.

        Sibiriak, I’ll leave you to argue against your own feeble straw men. You can either argue that ethnic cleansing can be an example or aspect of ethnic cleansing, as Petrovic did, or you can say that ethnic cleansing is never considered the same thing as genocide, like Pappe did.

      • Hostage
        November 30, 2012, 10:11 am

        But that quote does not say what YOU said:
        Genocide was one of the precise violations of international law that he cited as an example of so-called ethnic cleansing.

        Nowhere in that quote does he say that genocide was an *example* of ethnic cleansing.

        He says that genocide could be an *aspect* of ethnic cleansing.

        I’ll try again: Sibiriak, I’ll leave you to argue against your own feeble straw men on that point. You can either argue that “genocide” can be an example or aspect of ethnic cleansing, as Petrovic did, or you can say that ethnic cleansing is never considered the same thing as genocide, like Pappe did.

      • Hostage
        November 30, 2012, 10:31 am

        In any case, those IJC and ICTY have *different* jurisdictions, so I don’t get your point.

        Read the ICJ judgment. The ICJ had to accept the ICTY decisions as a form of proof that genocide had occurred. Neither the Charter nor the Security Council gave the ICJ any role in reviewing the decisions of criminal tribunals. They UN ones were established under Chapter VII resolutions as subsidiary organs of the Security Council. They have their own Statutes that define genocide and establish their jurisdiction over the crime. The only references to the ICJ in the Statute of the ICTY are ones which say that the Judges will be selected using the same procedures.

      • Sibiriak
        November 30, 2012, 10:36 am

        Hostage,

        If Ben Gurion & Company only wished to drive out the inhabitants, why did their propaganda stress that they were repeating the genocidal conquests of ancient Palestine and make extravagant claims and comparisons between the acts of the modern militias and the ancient events recorded in the books of Joshua and Samuel? Pardon me if I infer a genocidal intent from that sort of thing.

        Yes, I pardon you. Do you really think Biblical references would suffice in court as proof of genocidal intent?

        In any case, I wouldn’t hold your breath on Ben Gurion getting prosecuted for genocide.

      • Taxi
        November 30, 2012, 10:49 am

        Hostage & Sib,

        Man you both deserve the Mondo Marathon Golden Feather Award, for running the longest race EVER with the heaviest load on the crowns of your heads.

        Oh eternal gravitas!

      • Hostage
        November 30, 2012, 11:11 am

        But that is exactly my position. By saying that acts of ethnic cleansing only *sometimes* constitute genocide, you are confirming Pappe’s view and mine

        Let’s review:
        Sibiriak: According to Pappe:

        Ethnic cleansing is not genocide, but it does carry with it atrocious acts of mass killing and butchering.

        Ilan Pappe, “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Kindle Locations 4099-4100).

        Sibiriak: As I mentioned above, according to Pappe:

        Ethnic cleansing is not genocide, but it does carry with it atrocious acts of mass killing and butchering.
        link to mondoweiss.net

        Clearly, the definition of genocide is contested.
        link to mondoweiss.net

      • Philip Weiss
        November 30, 2012, 11:11 am

        Agreed

      • Hostage
        November 30, 2012, 11:27 am

        Do you really think Biblical references would suffice in court as proof of genocidal intent?

        No, but the preponderance of evidence proves that they were willing to exterminate part of the group and did so. I’ll let you be Israel’s lawyer, it’s not my job.

        In any case, I wouldn’t hold your breath on Ben Gurion getting prosecuted for genocide.

        We are discussing State responsibility for genocide under the terms of the UN convention. It doesn’t provide for any statutory limitations. Prime Minister Netanyahu has extended the time that Israel State Archives remain classified. So you can’t base your conclusions on the documentary record just yet.

      • Hostage
        November 30, 2012, 11:45 am

        Oh eternal gravitas!

        I tend to agree. I just try to answer posts that raise doubts or questions. The ICJ adopted a higher standard of proof in the Bosnia case than any of the criminal courts have employed, but it’s decisions are not binding on other civil or criminal courts who have gone-off in their own directions.

      • Bing Bong
        November 30, 2012, 11:58 am

        Hits the nail right on the head. On its own throwing a mountain of legislation and commentary on legislation underneath an already held political position is not the full story.

        It’s a credit to you that some are seeing this point thanks to your arguments here.

      • seanmcbride
        November 30, 2012, 12:43 pm

        I have often argued that fair, free, open, rational and exhaustive debate is the heart and soul of the democratic process and a main driver of human progress in general.

        This exchange between Sibiriak and Hostage was one of the best debates I have seen on Mondoweiss and on Internet forums overall. I thank them for the effort they made in conducting it.

        Again, my takeaway from the debate: not all acts of ethnic cleansing constitute genocide (in my opinion), but many leading Zionists have divulged the genocidal intent of their program in numerous quotes on the public record. Hostage’s comment on the David Ben-Gurion’s use of the Book of Joshua cuts through to the heart of the matter.

        I would argue that ethnic cleansing is usually a sign of genocidal intent — but perhaps not always.

      • Hostage
        November 30, 2012, 5:17 pm

        throwing a mountain of legislation and commentary on legislation underneath an already held political position is not the full story. . . . It’s a credit to you that some are seeing this point thanks to your arguments here.

        LOL! You’re just jealous, because there isn’t a molehill’s worth of legislation for you to throw around in support of your position.

        The bottom line is that the ICJ doesn’t exercise criminal jurisdiction. The international courts that do, use their own statutes to define the elements of the crime and have their own criminal procedures. The majority of states are members of the ICC and have agreed to harmonize their laws and procedures with the ones that I’ve cited here in this discussion.

        The definition hasn’t changed in 11 years and the OTP, trial chambers, and appeals chambers have already used it in the Bashir case.

      • Bing Bong
        December 1, 2012, 7:23 am

        “LOL! You’re just jealous, because there isn’t a molehill’s worth of legislation for you to throw around in support of your position.”

        I’d love to have your knowledge of the law but I would never argue just the legal aspect of a political (or whatever) opinion I held to the exclusion of all other facts. Why would I want to be seen as dogmatic and unable to admit I was wrong even just by the minority who would question that wisdom? I think it would make everything I stated questionable.

        Texas is a country, the state of Palestine asked to be occupied and annexed by Abdullah as part of a plan for future independence, the writing in a letter by Ben Gurion isn’t actually there because of subsequent events years later and I live in Israel are all opinions that I don’t share which don’t actually require much more than a molehill of legal knowledge.

        I think it’s great that Sibiriak shares your knowledge of the law but has the flexibility of mind to also argue a case not based on dogmatism and an abject terror of being contradicted.

      • Hostage
        December 1, 2012, 7:13 pm

        I think it’s great that Sibiriak shares your knowledge of the law but has the flexibility of mind to also argue a case not based on dogmatism and an abject terror of being contradicted.

        I think it’s obvious that Sibiriak wasn’t aware that the UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Rome Statute and the Assembly of State Parties, representing a sizable majority of states, included the act of systematically driving members of the group from their homes in the ICC Elements of the Crime of Genocide.

        The lengthy discussion here started when he claimed that forcible transfer rules out a charge of genocide or that ethnic cleansing is not genocide. Several of the experts cited have explained that ethnic cleansing is just a political term employed by some parties to avoid their responsibilities to prevent or prosecute genocide.

        I’d love to have your knowledge of the law but I would never argue just the legal aspect of a political (or whatever) opinion I held to the exclusion of all other facts.

        I didn’t. I pointed out the absurdity of the situation when the best legal intellects of our times wasted 14 years to deliver a ruling that says it isn’t evidence of genocide when Serbian officials issue written directives for the extermination of the “non-Serbian” population, because they failed to positively identify which groups they intended to target. My main objections to that are based on moral and logical grounds. The degree of caution the Judges exercised over their jurisdiction was absurd and embarrassing:

        277. . . . The killings outlined above may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, but the Court has no jurisdiction to determine whether this is so. (emphasis added)

        The President of the Court, Judge Higgins, didn’t hesitate at all to call attention to illegal situations in the Wall case. She noted then, that the fact the situation just so happened to be discovered during the course of an advisory proceeding was irrelevant.

        Sibiriak said that the ICJ could hold states responsible for genocide. But it is mostly a toothless civil court that can only issue rebukes or suggest reparations in genocide cases. In this particular case, the Court wasn’t interested in pursuing that course of action at all – even in the face of a mountain of evidence, including hundreds of thousands of dead victims buried in mass graves from one end of the country to the other. It held that Bosnia was required to prove the genocidal intent of the Serbians and that it wouldn’t follow the rules adopted by the UN criminal courts, which allow intent to be inferred from the totality of acts committed against the targeted group.

        The customary rules of proof in civil proceedings, like those conducted by the ICJ, are normally based upon a much lower burden of proof than the ones used in corresponding criminal cases. In the Bosnia case, the ICJ set the bar higher.

        The Court added insult to injury by allowing Serbia to redact portions of the documents containing minutes of its meetings where the attacks against civilians were discussed. Serbia was allowed to withhold evidence because it asserted that they contained classified “military secrets”:

        204. On the burden or onus of proof, it is well established in general that the applicant must establish its case and that a party asserting a fact must establish it ; as the Court observed in the case of Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America), “it is the litigant seeking to establish a fact who bears the burden of proving it” (Jurisdiction and Admissibility, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1984, p. 437, para. 101). While the Applicant accepts that approach as a general proposition, it contends that in certain respects the onus should be reversed, especially in respect of the attributability of alleged acts of genocide to the Respondent, given the refusal of the Respondent to produce the full text of certain documents.

        205. The particular issue concerns the “redacted” sections of documents of the Supreme Defence Council of the Respondent, i.e. sections in which parts of the text had been blacked out so as to be illegible. The documents had been classified, according to the Co-Agent of the Respondent, by decision of the Council as a military secret, and by a confidential decision of the Council of Ministers of Serbia and Montenegro as a matter of national security interest. The Applicant contends that the Court should draw its own conclusions from the failure of the Respondent to produce complete copies of the documents. It refers to the power of the Court, which it had invoked earlier (paragraph 44 above), to call for documents under Article 49 of the Statute, which provides that “[f]ormal note shall be taken of any refusal”.

        –http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/91/13685.pdf

        The members of that particular Court panel couldn’t have done a better job of representing Serbia if they’d been hired to do the job.

      • Hostage
        December 1, 2012, 7:37 pm

        P.S. Re: I think it’s great that Sibiriak shares your knowledge of the law but has the flexibility of mind to also argue a case not based on dogmatism and an abject terror of being contradicted.

        I pointed out here that we are discussing state responsibility for genocide and that there are no statutory limitations involved. Like Annie, I wonder why you and Sibiriak are bothered by the idea that Pappe’s layman’s view doesn’t settle the open legal questions.

        There are plenty of lawyers with earned PhD’s, like Francis Boyle, who have volunteered to take on a genocide case against Israel in the ICJ. They have been waiting on the General Assembly to recognize the State of Palestine, so that sort of legal action can be pursued.

      • Sibiriak
        December 1, 2012, 11:55 pm

        Hostage:

        I wonder why you and Sibiriak are bothered by the idea that Pappe’s layman’s view doesn’t settle the open legal questions.

        Why would I be bothered by an idea I fully agree with?

        Am I glad, though, that you are now accepting that there are open legal questions regarding what constitutes genocide, which has been precisely my position all along.

      • Sibiriak
        December 2, 2012, 6:56 am

        Hostage:

        The lengthy discussion here started when he claimed that forcible transfer rules out a charge of genocide

        I never said that. I’ve said numerous times: forcible transfer/ethnic cleansing is not *necessarily* genocide. It *can* rise to the level of genocide, but *only if* genocidal acts AND genocidal intent are involved. Ethnic cleansing as such, therefore, is not genocide.

        This contrasts to your assertion that forcible transfer/ethnic cleansing is *always* genocide.

        You asserted that:

        every single plan, policy or actual case of transfer or forced expulsion should be referred to with the term genocide

        That is simply wrong: genocidal intent is not necessarily present in every single case of transfer/forced expulsion.
        There is little dispute on that point.

        The ECHR quoting the ICJ:

        Neither the intent, as a matter of policy, to render an area “ethnically homogeneous”, nor the operations that may be carried out to implement such policy, can as such be designated as genocide.

        The ICJ approved of the ICTY Trial Chamber judgment in Stakic, which held that

        a clear distinction must be drawn between physical destruction and mere dissolution of the group

        and that the

        expulsion of a group or part of a group does not
        in itself suffice for genocide

        The second disagreement we had was on the question of whether or not the destruction of a group had to be physical or biological. Here I pointed out that there were different legal opinions and different court rulings, in contrast to your position that this issue had been settled.

        On the one hand:

        … in line with a majority of legal scholars, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) have ruled that, in order for actions to be deemed genocide, there must be physical or biological destruction of a protected group

        On the other hand, the ECHR, in line with a minority of legal scholars, ruled that that *no physical or biological destruction is required to sustain a conviction of genocide.* This ruling was consistent with several rulings by German courts and with a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly.

        Finally, I pointed out that the “in whole or in part” clause was open to multiple interpretations, and that the ICJ had

        effectively *spatialized* the meaning of that phrase. The “part” of the targeted group was deemed to be a geographical part. The court ruled that destruction “in part” refers to the total destruction of a part of group targeted as such *within a limited geographical area*–rather than partial destruction of a target group over a wider geographical area.

        I argued that this “geographical” interpretation of “in part” was unfortunate and that it is a direct result of the shortcomings in the UN definition of genocide.

        Sibiriak said that the ICJ could hold states responsible for genocide.

        Yes, that’s true. The ICJ did hold that the massacre at Srebrenica was genocide, and that the Serbian state had failed in its duty to prevent that genocide. But I also pointed out very serious problems with the ICJ decision in the Serbia case.

        ————
        I’ve made my arguments for my position, and you have made yours.
        I see no reason to continue this debate.

      • Hostage
        December 2, 2012, 2:06 pm

        Why would I be bothered by an idea I fully agree with?

        Am I glad, though, that you are now accepting that there are open legal questions regarding what constitutes genocide, which has been precisely my position all along.

        No you and Pappe have exonerated the Israelis of the charge of genocide, but no Court has ever done that. We are talking about a crime that is not subject to any statutory limitations and you are pre-judging the question by posting bare assertions that ethic cleansing is not genocide. That is not how you describe an open question.

      • Hostage
        December 2, 2012, 3:01 pm

        The ECHR quoting the ICJ:

        Is non-binding dicta.

        In any event, the ECHR specifically found that the intent to commit genocide within the meaning of Article 220a of the German Criminal Code did NOT require physical or biological destruction in direct contradiction to a specific rule that had been adopted by the ICJ and ICTY.

        It also held the German’s were NOT debarred from adopting their own legislation on the subject and exercising jurisdiction over crimes committed by foreigners against foreigners using that definition.

        FYI, the ECHR has to forward its judgments to the Council of Ministers and request that they in-turn enforce them. But the criminal courts do not agree that they are necessarily bound by the decisions made in Strasbourg. See for instance: “Senior judge raises doubts over power of European court: Lord chief justice Lord Judge says UK courts not bound by rulings of Strasbourg-based court of human rights” link to guardian.co.uk

      • Hostage
        December 2, 2012, 4:54 pm

        The lengthy discussion here started when he claimed that forcible transfer rules out a charge of genocide

        I never said that. I’ve said numerous times: forcible transfer/ethnic cleansing is not *necessarily* genocide.

        Let’s make this clear. The members of the General Assembly defined the crime and gave themselves the right to adopt statutes and prosecute the crime of genocide. They did not include a requirement for physical or biological destruction to take place in each of the examples of genocide contained in Article II of the Convention or grant the ICJ legislative powers to include additional requirements. The scope of the ICJ’s jurisdiction does not include the national statutes mentioned in Article 1, only disputes between states about the interpretation of the Convention itself and state responsibility for genocide.

        In any event, the ICJ does NOT have the legislative authority to say that deliberate massacres are not genocial in intent if the are carried out as part of a systematic plan of transfer or ethnic cleansing. Every time that deadly force is deliberately employed to exterminate a part of a group, as such, it satisfies the definition of genocide contained in the Convention.

        I wonder why you keep arguing about Palestine as if the massacres, death marches, destruction of hundreds of entire villages and their crops, and the planting of land mines in the rubble of those villages and their fields afterward were only unintended threats to the survival of the group?

      • Annie Robbins
        December 2, 2012, 6:11 pm

        I wonder why you keep arguing about Palestine as if the massacres, death marches, destruction of hundreds of entire villages and their crops, and the planting of land mines in the rubble of those villages and their fields afterward were only unintended threats to the survival of the group?

        hostage i noticed recently a plethora of posts positing/stressing zionisms intentions and aims as if..as if something. like the claim ‘their preference was always transfer’. i’m way to lazy to wade thru the almost 600 comments on this thread but i am sure many are here. this idea israel is a less guilty because it’s aims were innocent is such bs. anyway, have you read “Following UN vote on Palestine, Israel may now find itself at The Hague” ?

        link to haaretz.com

      • Sibiriak
        December 2, 2012, 8:09 pm

        Hostage:

        I wonder why you keep arguing about Palestine as if the massacres, death marches, destruction of hundreds of entire villages and their crops, and the planting of land mines in the rubble of those villages and their fields afterward were only unintended threats to the survival of the group?

        I’ve never argued that. Full stop.

        If you wish to keep this thread going by creating strawman, that’s your right, but I don’t see the point.

      • Sibiriak
        December 2, 2012, 8:16 pm

        Annie :

        . this idea israel is a less guilty because it’s aims were innocent is such bs

        Annie,

        Zionists’ aims were NOT innocent

        “Massacres, death marches, destruction of hundreds of entire villages and their crops, and the planting of land mines in the rubble of those villages and their fields afterward “–all these actions and others constituted serious war crimes and crimes against humanity at the minimum, and all were conducted with criminal aims. There is no about impunity or going light on these crimes.

      • Sibiriak
        December 2, 2012, 8:22 pm

        Hostage:

        ECHR specifically found that the intent to commit genocide within the meaning of Article 220a of the German Criminal Code did NOT require physical or biological destruction …

        1) You are repeating yourself.

        2) I made that point myself–several times– which you will see if you read my post just above where I write:

        the ECHR, in line with a minority of legal scholars, ruled that that *no physical or biological destruction is required to sustain a conviction of genocide.

        Do we really need to go over these points again and again?

      • Hostage
        December 3, 2012, 2:52 am

        like the claim ‘their preference was always transfer’. . . . this idea israel is a less guilty because it’s aims were innocent is such bs.

        I’ve pointed out three sources, including the expert cited by Pappe, who explain that ethnic cleansing is a non-legal, political, or propaganda term that has been employed to avoid responsibility for preventing or prosecuting cases of genocide.

        The organizers and planners must have a discriminatory motive. But at the same time, the individual participants can also have any number of other irrelevant incentives, like peer pressure, financial gain, acquisition of territory, jealousy, political ambitions, & etc. There can be no legitimate doubt that the framers of the genocide convention intended, as a minimum, to prohibit the act of deliberately and systematically massacring or exterminating “part” of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group, as such, regardless of any other motive that might be involved. Failed attempts even count as an offense.

        At first Sibiriak argued that his remarks weren’t confined to the “legal sphere”, but he suddenly had legions of angels dancing on the head of pin, while complaining that the meaning of the terms “whole” or “part” required a much more precise legal definition than the common meanings supplied by Websters dictionary. It’s as if to suggest that 1) there should exist some “part” of “the Arabs” of Palestine that can be deliberately and systematically exterminated, without transgressing the prohibition against genocide; and 2) it would be dangerous or violate the exercise of some fundamental right if we employ overly broad definitions in the law, like the ones found in everyone’s dictionary.

      • Bing Bong
        December 3, 2012, 11:51 am

        “Do we really need to go over these points again and again?”

        Hostage does, take it as a good sign that your point has been very well made if you’re keeping him at it. Don’t feel compelled to repeat yourself because he does so.

      • Hostage
        December 3, 2012, 2:16 pm

        1) You are repeating yourself.

        2) I made that point myself–several times– which you will see if you read my post just above where I write:

        No you keep arguing in circles. What you have NOT pointed out is:

        *That neither the ECHR nor the German Court’s considered themselves to be legally bound by the arbitrary rule adopted by both the ICTY and the ICJ in their cases, i.e. that a physical or biological destruction of a substantial part of the group must occur.

        *That other countries, the International Law Commission, and the General Assembly have added examples of non-lethal offenses or stipulated that their lists are not exhaustive, e.g. the addition of Rape by the ICTR; 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1091 added “causes the permanent impairment of the mental faculties of members of the group through drugs, torture, or similar techniques;” and the General Assembly declarations concerning ethnic cleansing and apartheid.

        *That many States which participated in drafting the Convention, including the UK and USSR, successfully argued that, while evidence of intent to target the group – as a group – was essential, the motives involved were not relevant or a necessary element that should be included in the Convention.

        *That, while the jurisdiction of the ICTY and ICJ are strictly limited, the ECHR agreed with the German Courts that States can exercise universal jurisdiction over crimes committed by foreigners against foreigners using their own statutes, procedures, and elements of the crime. Nothing in the Genocide Convention or the ICTY Statute can prevent States from doing that.

        *That genocide can occur in cases where there is no state responsibility or party to the genocide convention to trigger the ICJ’s limited jurisdiction under Article IX. For example, crimes committed by non-state actors, like the Bosnian Serb militias in Doboj, and Srebrenica, or Zionist militias in Deir Yassin, before 14 May 1948.

        *That countries, like the United States, have established different rules for the burden of proof needed to establish the guilt or liability of persons like Slobodan Milošević and his Bosnian Serb confederates. Nothing prevents States from prosecuting those sort of cases against the responsible individuals or determining civil liability for genocide/ethnic cleansing using procedures, elements of the crime, and definitions that interpret international law “not as it was . . . but as it has evolved and exists among the nations of the world today (Filártiga v. Peña-Irala). That means the State Courts are not barred from using the definition of ethnic cleansing proposed by the UN Security Council Panel of Experts, the General Assembly, or the sense of the US Congress, e.g. Kadic v. Karadžić United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit (1995), link to tjsl.edu

      • Taxi
        December 3, 2012, 2:18 pm

        Bing Bong,

        Sour grapes much or green envy at Hostage’s inimitable and astounding brilliance?

      • Hostage
        December 3, 2012, 4:51 pm

        There is no about impunity or going light on these crimes.

        Of course there is. That’s why the ICC was established. Crimes against humanity and war crimes almost always go unpunished. God forbid that we should accuse Israel of a crime with a sufficient stigma attached, like genocide, apartheid, or torture and that it would “register on everyone’s Radar”. Those acts are simply erased from the historical record and anyone who brings them up is attacked by the apparatchiks at CAMERA, Campus Watch, and StandWithUs.

        The US Courts have ruled that piracy, slavery, genocide, apartheid, and torture are part of the customary “Law of Nations” for which individuals, including foreign officials, can be held civilly liable. But at one and the same time, the Congress and the Courts have ruled that international conventions which establish criminal penalties for those same acts do not provide a private right of action. The Executive branch, the Congress, and the Courts routinely decline to exercise universal jurisdiction over crimes committed by foreigners against foreigners or by foreign States – and they have adopted policies to prevent the ICC from exercising jurisdiction over US leaders, citizens, or those of our “Allies”. See the American Service-Members’ Protection Act, link to state.gov

        In the Wall case, the Palestinians and several other interested State Parties charged Israel with the crime of apartheid, but the Court avoided the issue. In the Bosnian genocide case, the ICJ once again refused to even say whether mass killings were war crimes or crimes against humanity. It cited the lack of compulsory jurisdiction over those offenses under Article IX of the Genocide Convention, while ignoring the UN Convention which said those crimes are not subject to any statutory limitations. Technically it would also have been impossible on the basis cited by the ICJ to rule that a non-State Party, or non-State actor, like the Bosnian Serb militias had committed genocide. But it just so happened that the Security Council had established its own criminal tribunal to handle the task in that particular case.

        We all know that the Security Council does not ordinarily establish tribunals or refer cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity to the ICC. Even when it does, the resolutions specifically exempt foreign mercenaries (Libya) and the actions of the tribunals are overruled or their work suspended for political reasons (Lebanon).

        Lemkin viewed and described genocide as a single process that involved attacks, occupation, eviction (aka ethnic cleansing), colonialism, and what we now call apartheid: the denial of nationality and self-governing institutions, combined with exclusion from the political, cultural, social, and economic life of the country through the application of the various “techniques of genocide”:

        Genocide has two phases: one, destruction of the national pattern of the oppressed group; the other, the imposition of the national pattern of the oppressor. This imposition, in turn, may be made upon the oppressed population which is allowed to remain or upon the territory alone, after removal of the population and the colonization by the oppressor’s own nationals.

        See I. GENOCIDE – A NEW TERM AND NEW CONCEPTION FOR DESTRUCTION OF NATIONS and
        II. TECHNIQUES OF GENOCIDE IN VARIOUS FIELDS

        It’s no accident that genocide was included in the list of “war crimes and crimes against humanity” for which no statutory limitations apply or that the acts described by the General Assembly and the international community of states are all part of the two phased process of genocide that Lemkin described in the Axis Occupation of Europe: “eviction by armed attack or occupation and inhuman acts resulting from the policy of apartheid, and the crime of genocide as defined in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, even if such acts do not constitute a violation of the domestic law of the country in which they were committed.” — Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity link to www2.ohchr.org

      • Hostage
        December 3, 2012, 6:24 pm

        Take it as a good sign that your point has been very well made if you’re keeping him at it. Don’t feel compelled to repeat yourself because he does so.

        No you can take it as a sign that you can’t exonerate Zionists militias or Israel of a serious crime by adopting rules that aren’t required by law or the facts of the case – or appealing to arguments “outside the legal sphere”.

        I’m happy to point out that he’s arguing in circles, while ignoring the many examples of States and international organs with jurisdiction to define and codify the law and to prevent and prosecute genocide that have not adopted Pappe’s view that ethnic cleansing is not genocide. At one and the same time, Raphael Lemkin, did not confine his definition of the crime of genocide to the “legal sphere” either – and he definitely said that genocide included situations, like the one in Palestine, where a part of the population was either removed or massacred before the techniques of genocide were employed on the population that remained or on the territory that had been occupied and colonized by the oppressor.

        I take it as a good sign that you’ve been unable to offer any arguments, beside ad hominems.

      • Patrick
        November 17, 2012, 10:43 pm

        The quote that always resonated most for me is David Ben Gurion’s statement to Nahum Goldman: “Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? …They may perhaps forget in one or two generations’ time, but for the moment there is no chance. So, it’s simple: we have to stay strong and maintain a powerful army. Our whole policy is there. Otherwise the Arabs will wipe us out.”

        In this statement we can see the essence of Israel’s approach to Palestinians over the decades. Attention is usually given to the ‘we have taken their country’ aspect of this statement. But Ben Gurion takes this for granted. After all the Zionist are fully aware of this history – they know what they’ve done. What counts is the part that follows. Ben Gurion believes that the Palestinians probably will not ever be reconciled to having their country ‘taken’. Since they will always want to reclaim their land, they must be suppressed now, and indefinitely into the future. This is the story of Israel’s relations with the Palestinians since 1948 and it continues to this day.

      • American
        November 18, 2012, 2:00 pm

        “It wasn’t an inevitable result of Zionism”

        I am afraid it was. Where Herzl suggested both ‘buy outs’ of land and also moving inhabitants around, ‘arranging natives and their occupations and where they would live ” within a Jewish state” to ‘accommodate’ Jewish rule for Jews ..it was inevitable.

        But never mind, here’s what you’re looking at today.

        Genocide Prevention- Warning signs and Pathology of Genocide- Journal of Criminology http://www.internetjournalofcr

        *Day and Vandiver (2000) have observed that two of Kelman’s processes (of genocide) can be recognised in Sykes and Matza’s (1957) ‘techniques of neutralisation’, the two that are of interest being ‘Denial of the Victim ’ and ‘Appeal to Higher Loyalities’.

        *Alvarez (2001) has stressed the importance of ‘denying the victim’ in mass atrocities, whereby perpetrators assert their victims deserved their victimisation and go so far as to claim their violence as self-defence arguing they are the true victims.

        *‘Condemning the Condemners’ ….Perpetrators have an acute consciousness of political history and past victimisation which is used to reverse victimhood (Cohen, 2001. Perpetrators deflect blame by referring to instances of past inhumane policies and atrocities. Ratko Mladic (cited in Alvarez, 2001: 125) referred to America’s ‘chemical cleansing of the Indian tribes’ to deny America any moral authority over the Serbs attack against the Muslims (Alvarez, 2001). Finally, by ‘appealing to higher loyalties’, perpetrators portray their actions as patriotic and nationalistic, rather than personal.
        Thus, perpetrators contributing toward the goal of the ‘Final Solution’ could claim they were acting for the benefit of their country, thus the act becomes an obligation, rather than a criminal offence (ibid).

        *The nature of perpetrators and bystanders is complex; however, by focusing on situational influences on the individual, this chapter has demonstrated that it is the situation that is essential to understanding why people participate in genocide and why others fail to intervene. Individuals react to the social world around them and perceive their actions as justified in the abnormal situation they find themselves in (Waller, 2007). Organisers of genocide ensure that ordinary boundaries are blurred throughout the genocidal process facilitating the breakdown of moral boundaries in the perpetrator and bystander.

        The international response to the 1994 Rwandan genocide was heavily dictated by the United States who, as one of the five members of the Security Council, arguably has the most influence of all member states. The US State Department continually resisted the use of the term ‘genocide’, instead insisting that ‘only “acts of genocide” were occurring’ (Bradshaw, 2004). This effectively demonstrated to the extremist Hutu’s in Rwanda that international intervention was unlikely.

        All of these markers are present in Israel’s I/P:

        1) The denial of ‘victims’, the justification of “higher loyalty” ..i.e. …greater good of the Jews and Jewish state.
        2) The perpetrators claiming they are the victims and acting in self defense.
        3) The perpetrators ‘condemning the condemners’’, using political history and their past victimisation to maintain they are still the victims. The perpetrators try to deflect blame by referring to instances of past inhumane policies and atrocities committed by others.
        4) The perpetrators ‘blur the morality’.

        You can see all these used deliberately used by Israel and it’s defenders. You can even see others who fall into the trap by making comparisons of today’s I/P to ‘western colonization” which is totally immaterial to this conflict.
        You can also expect the US to do no more than it for the Rwanda genocide….they will say they are sorry and condemn it…’after’ …it happens…and not admit to enabling it.

      • Donald
        November 18, 2012, 5:40 pm

        American–

        I agree that those four markers you list are present. I disagree with this one comment at the end–

        “. You can even see others who fall into the trap by making comparisons of today’s I/P to ‘western colonization” which is totally immaterial to this conflict.”

        To me it’s not at trap–it puts the whole thing in the proper perspective. Israel is doing now what white people thought they had a right to do back in the 19th century and before. The rest of the world recognizes that this was wrong, but Israel apologists embrace the age of white colonialism/imperialism/racism. So Israel supporters use America’s treatment of the Native Americans as a justification for what they do to the Palestinians. I first saw this with Benny Morris back in an interview in 2004 and now you see Israel supporters using this argument all the time. The logic is upside down. In fact, Norman Finkelstein wrote a chapter in “Image and Reality in Palestine” where he compares the reasoning of white Americans (vs. Native Americans), Israelis, and, yes, the Nazis, in their attitudes towards their victims. The point was that it was similar. (Without claiming that the level of killing is the same.) I’d have to go back and look at the essay, but I think Norman said that Hitler himself used the American conquest/expulsion/genocide of the natives as justification or model for what he wanted to do to the Slavs. So if Morris and other Israelis want to use that same justification, they’re damning their own movement with their own words.

      • MHughes976
        November 18, 2012, 5:53 pm

        I agree with Donald about the logic of actually existing Zionism – the logic of nationalism in any form which claims exclusive and superior rights for people who are of the more deserving group, the rightful inheritors of the land. Other people either have to accept what amounts to inferior status or else to leave either for money, under a resettlement scheme, or at the point of a sword. The Altneuland-style argument is that a status which is inferior may be only mildly inferior and may be better than the people concerned would have had without the economic benefits brought by the true inheritors. This argument may contain some truth, but never enough truth. No one can live in real peace in a place which is proclaimed every day not to be really his/hers.

      • American
        November 18, 2012, 7:36 pm

        Donald and Hughes..

        My point about comparisons is it inadvertently takes away from the immediacy of “now” by using well worn terms like ‘colonization’ or Jim Crow . ….because for most people, except those who actually suffered Jim Crow or colonizing, it doesn’t really bring home the full horror and full import of 60 years of occupation and terror involved for Palestine. When pre war 1930’s clearing out of Jews and/ or the holocaust was going on in Germany would you have compared it to the US eliminating Native Indians in the 16-1700’s? I don’t think so.

      • MHughes976
        November 19, 2012, 7:07 am

        If you mean that what’s going on here is horrible not because it reminds us of something else but because of what it is in itself you’re absolutely right.

      • Donald
        November 19, 2012, 7:49 am

        “When pre war 1930′s clearing out of Jews and/ or the holocaust was going on in Germany would you have compared it to the US eliminating Native Indians in the 16-1700′s? I don’t think so.”

        I probably would. The only reason I say “probably” is because in the 30’s and 40’s there might have been less understanding that what the US had done to the Native Americans was utterly immoral. Some people did understand, but some still thought in terms of “civilized white man vs savage red man”–in other words, when non-whites were concerned they thought like Nazis.

        Outside the weird world of pro-Israel apologetics, I think it is generally understood that comparing Israel to America’s treatment of the Indians is a pretty harsh critique. The fact that some Israel defenders embrace that model is something critics of Israel should be publicizing, rather than running away from. No sensible person would ever be stupid enough to compare Israel to America’s treatment of the “Indians” and think this would shed a good light on Israel. In fact, about ten years ago in the New Yorker a “liberal” writer did make a comparison to something from 19th century American history–he said that the occupation was like the Northern occupation of the South, and the Palestinian terrorists were the KKK, and by implication the Israelis were the newly freed slaves. The comparison is completely insane and upside down, but if you want to garner sympathy that’s what an Israel defender has to resort to. OTOH, even Israel apologists still understand that comparisons to apartheid South Africa is pretty damning, so they resent that one and try to claim that critics who make it are “anti-semitic”. But it all just shows their stupidity and inconsistency. I’d point that out too, if one has the opportunity.

      • Marlene
        November 19, 2012, 7:49 am

        There’a nothing that is ever exactly alike but this certainly reminds me of something because had I lived in Germany during a certain period in time I would have lost all my rights, and then subsequenntly throw onto a train to a concentration camp simply because I would have met the criteria of who the Nazis defined as a Jew and, of course, considered “subhuman.” However, Israel who uses basically the same criteria based on the Nazi Nuremberg laws (which is a fact) grants me privileged rights and denies others their rights, while treating the Palestinians as the “subhumans.” This is ongoing for decades. All this happening while Israel tries to impress upon the world the “lessons” of the Holocaust. and why it has a right to exist? What “right”? To emulate those that you despise. I just cannot make a separation between two sides of the same coin.

      • American
        November 19, 2012, 8:36 am

        Hughes,

        I think there is a unintended psychological effect when a current horror like I/P or any event of this kind is described with comparisons or labels from the past. It tends to suggest to people an ‘inevitability’ about conflicts like this, that they have always occurred and always will because that is the nature of the world and men and they can’t do anything about it. That may be true, but we should treat it as if it isn’t.

      • Donald
        November 19, 2012, 11:58 am

        “It tends to suggest to people an ‘inevitability’ about conflicts like this, that they have always occurred ”

        I see what you’re saying, but then it’s a matter of presentation. Comparisons are normal–Israel is also compared to apartheid South Africa and South Africa was understood as a bit of 19th century white imperialism still big as life in the 1980’s. But sure, Israelis sometimes use the inevitability argument. Funny thing is, they don’t use it when Hamas shoots rockets. I don’t think the doublethink of Israel apologists should stop us from making accurate historical comparisons, especially when the ones they embrace reflect so badly on them.

  4. Ramzi Jaber
    November 17, 2012, 12:26 pm

    This criminal, genocidal thinking will certainly accelerate the demise of the zionist criminal regime. Keep it up!

    • Stephen Shenfield
      November 19, 2012, 8:58 am

      You are probably right. The demise will be accelerated. But what will happen in the meantime, especially to the Palestinians? After all, genocidal thinking often leads to genocidal action. Wouldn’t it be better for the demise to follow a less catastrophic path, even if it takes a little longer? Perhaps you have heard of the concept of “Pyrrhic victory”? The Zionist regime is well past its zenith. It is going to collapse anyway. A few more years at most.

  5. David Doppler
    November 17, 2012, 12:31 pm

    “Who cannot observe these attitudes and wonder about the wisdom of establishing a Jewish state.” History has known many Christian, Muslim, Bhuddist, etc. states. Even a handful of Jewish states. There is nothing to prevent Israel from reforming itself into a viable state, one dominated by the Jewish people, institutions, and values. Loving justice, a core Jewish value, would lead to elimination of the corrusive anti-Arab bias eating at Israel. One need not be anti-Israel to oppose the institutionalization of prejudice and violence against dispossessed, disenfranchised minorities practiced by Likud-Beiteinu. What you see among the Israeli population is no different from the prejudice that existed in the Old South: cultures can and do change. It is up to America and American Jews especially to stop enabling this behavior. “Maniacal Zionists” has made the New York Times. Are you for them, or against them? You don’t have to be anti-Israel to stop enabling institutionalized prejudice: just turn Israel’s own values onto its own unacceptable behavior. Prejudice may never disappear, but it can be made culturally unacceptable.

    • Woody Tanaka
      November 17, 2012, 1:20 pm

      “There is nothing to prevent Israel from reforming itself into a viable state, one dominated by the Jewish people, institutions, and values.”

      This is all a bunch of self-congratulatory bullshit. israel currently is a state “dominated by the Jewish people, institutions, and values” and it’s not working out too good, justice wise.

      “Loving justice, a core Jewish value, would lead to elimination of the corrusive anti-Arab bias eating at Israel.”

      Again, if this Jewish value was to work, one would have expected it to have done so by now. One must conclude that there are other Jewish, zionist or israeli values which are overriding this love of justice.

      “One need not be anti-Israel to oppose the institutionalization of prejudice and violence against dispossessed, disenfranchised minorities practiced by Likud-Beiteinu. ”

      Oh, please. The Nakba of the Palestininans has not been a partisan affair. In fact, stomping on the Palestinian face with the israeli boot is about the only thing every israeli government agrees upon, regardless of party.

      “It is up to America and American Jews especially to stop enabling this behavior.”

      And I would note that you, too, appear to be calling for a Jewish-supremacist state, albeit a velvet-gloved one. (“reforming itself into a viable state, one dominated by the Jewish people, institutions, and values”) If you can’t even divorce yourself from the institutionalized prejudice, then what is the point of pointing at the NYT?

      • Mooser
        November 17, 2012, 5:06 pm

        It’s really something, isn’t it, Woody? You see Woody, as soon as we admit that the idea of a Jewish State is (besides being ridiculous in terms of real, not imagined Jewish history, but let it go, let it go) a fundamentally bad idea, well the next step is admitting how badly we were taken in. And remember, you can’t cheat an honest man. (Just a joke! Or we would have to really admit to ourselves how badly Judaism got mauled over the Century, and that’s no fun either, to reduce our sights to Zionism, but let it go, just my opinion.)
        So yeah, if he needs it,(God knows why) let him have it. (And if he can bring it up like this, here, now, man, he must need it bad!)Yeah, somewhere in Cloud-Cuckoo land, there the possibility of a wonderful Jewish State, based on wonderful Jewish values. Cause if they based it on say, oh I don’t know, the concepts in the American founding documents, it wouldn’t be half as good…. Wait, what’s this?…. Sorry, I’ve had Mr. Doppler all wrong! I must have in my haste, over-read this sentence: “What you see among the Israeli population is no different from the prejudice that existed in the Old South: cultures can and do change.” Okay, now we’re talkin’! You bet, Dave, baby, I’m sure we could change Israel the same way we ‘changed’ the ‘culture’ in the South. See you at the Bennett Place, Dave.

      • Mooser
        November 17, 2012, 5:18 pm

        “One must conclude that there are other Jewish, zionist or israeli values which are overriding this love of justice.”

        Now, I’ve noted that among people, materialism, greed, fear, trauma or superstition or ethnic prejudice, and a lot of other things besides, can very easily over-ride their love of justice. But of course, I don’t know if this applies to Jews, too. Reading Mr. Doppler, I tend to believe it couldn’t, possibly.

      • Mooser
        November 17, 2012, 5:57 pm

        Can’t help noticing the words “Zionist” or “Zionism” appear nowhere in Mr. Doppler’s comment on “Israel’s” (hmmm, no Zionism in that name) possibly rosy future. (It’s gonna take A Whole Lotta Rosie)
        It just disappeared, and suddenly “Israel’s” future got a whole lot brighter. Oh well, can’t argue with that.

      • Mooser
        November 17, 2012, 6:13 pm

        “History has known many Christian, Muslim, Bhuddist, etc. states. Even a handful of Jewish states. There is nothing to prevent Israel from reforming itself into a viable state, one dominated by the Jewish people, institutions, and values.”

        Yowsah, Theocracy is the political wave if the future!
        And uh, Dave, excuse me, but “dominated”? At this time, under these circumstances that’s the word you use to try and describe a benign Zionism fantasy?
        Dave, I don’t want to alarm you, but have you read Mondo lately? Did you know Israel is pounding the hell out of civilians in Gaza? Hey, if you think this is the time to talk about Jewish “domination” as a desireable goal, and advocate the certainty of a revolutionary attitudinal change in Israel (if we just remind them of themselves, or some damn thing) be my guest.
        I’m stunned. Does anybody know where this comes from?

      • Dutch
        November 17, 2012, 9:36 pm

        Mooser: “Does anybody know where this comes from?”

        I think the crux is when you mistakingly described Jewish domination as a ‘desireable goal’. It’s been the reality for a long time, so why not discuss this when the heat is on?

        This happens when you tell people for decades that they are chosen – spoil them, give them land, weapons, money and blind support, kill their enemies and even corrupt the world’s institutions for them. Now they believe it. Ask Phil.

      • Mooser
        November 17, 2012, 11:22 pm

        “I think the crux is when you mistakingly described Jewish domination as a ‘desireable goal’.”

        I don’t think Jewish domination is a desirable goal. I was commenting on David Doppler’s 12:31pm comment, which includes these lines, and further elaborates along this line: “There is nothing to prevent Israel from reforming itself into a viable state, one dominated by the Jewish people, institutions, and values. Loving justice, a core Jewish value, would lead to elimination of the corrusive anti-Arab bias eating at Israel”
        I take that to mean Mr. Doppler contends that “Jewish domination” will lead to the positive results he posits. I most vociferously, do not agree. And furthermore, I find liberal Zionist imaginings of revolutionary positive attitudinal change in Israel, very alarming at this particular time.

      • David Doppler
        November 18, 2012, 1:01 am

        Woody & Mooser, just as Netanyahu and his Likudnik Neocon followers cannot abide any criticism of Israel without claiming that it denies Israel’s right to exist, you two cannot imagine Israel existing without behaving exactly as it does. BS. Their transgressions must be opposed, not their people’s right to exist. If you cannot see the difference, you are as tiresome as they are.

      • seafoid
        November 18, 2012, 8:21 am

        Mooser

        We may also need Black Betty

        Oh Israel’s F@#$ed bam balam

      • Woody Tanaka
        November 18, 2012, 11:30 am

        Doppler, my position is simply that the evil acts of the israelis is an inherent consequence of the ideology of zionism. When you talk of one people “dominating” what you see today is what you get. The Jewish people living in Palestine, of course, have the human right to life and freedom and equality and the vote (as do the Palestinians — currently denied them by the israelis) They DO NOT have the right to dominance. That’s the evil.

      • Mooser
        November 18, 2012, 3:49 pm

        “you two cannot imagine Israel existing without behaving exactly as it does.”

        Because if there is anything which is demanded of us now, it’s imagination!. Why, I bet we could fr–kin’ imagine any goddam thing about Israel that we want. And what you want us to imagine, is anything but the obvious, current and very deadly reality.
        Maybe you should have linked me to an Israeli cover of the Stones “Hey You Get Offa My Cloud!”.

      • seafoid
        November 18, 2012, 4:09 pm

        DD

        What would you build a “day after the Goetterdaemmung Israel” around ?
        Don’t say Kadima.

        TBH Israel sounds like a serial wife beater who is now in therapy for the xth time and suffering from Bourbonitis- learnt nothing. Will beat her up again tonight. She said something and he can’t hold it in. You could be his mother. They rarely lose hope.

        At what point did people give up on Detroit?
        When do people give up on Israel?

      • Mooser
        November 18, 2012, 4:12 pm

        “They DO NOT have the right to dominance.”

        Woody, my friend, a depressing thought hit me this morning, as I was struggling into my teeth (and making sure the plate was screwed down tight, so it wouldn’t blow away with my hat. I have a glass eye, too. I wouldn’t tell you that, but it usually comes out during the conversation, anyway.), and this is it:

        Okay, let’s say that tomorrow, Israel gets miraculously gruntled, and decides they done ‘em wrong, and that’s not good, and they are gonna make it up to the Palestinians, and it’s all like this (from about 8: 06 on) , that still doesn’t do anything about the water problems, the environmental problems, the Israeli urban and agriculture and lifestyle not being sustainable, all that. None of that will go away.
        Oh what am I saying. When Yonah ‘fine tunes the past’ he’ll “r’are back and pass a miracle” and it’ll take care of that, too.

        And please, God, let me not be here when Yonah writes back and tell us that, indeed, “imagination” is exactly what’s needed now!

      • sardelapasti
        November 24, 2012, 3:00 pm

        “their people’s right to exist.”
        And who ever contested that? Even their politicians cannot be hanged anymore!
        Let them all exist –if possible back where they came from. Or with a Palestinian passport if they can receive one.

    • Hostage
      November 18, 2012, 4:55 am

      “Maniacal Zionists” has made the New York Times.

      Yes, but so has the fact that “In most minds here, the changes do not demand a new strategy, simply a redoubled old one.”

      That overlooks the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood on the other side of the Egyptian border has obtained control of a military establishment with US supplied training; 220 F-16s; and about 1,000 Abrams tanks.

      • gamal
        November 19, 2012, 7:57 am

        “That overlooks the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood on the other side of the Egyptian border has obtained control of a military establishment”

        when did the Muslim Brotherhood defeat the Egyptian army? and how, do you think they’ll order them into Gaza, please, the Egyptian army is in control of the MB, just becausse Morsi appointed Sisi doesnt mean he controls the army which is pretty much defenceless anyway, you think thirty years of kissing America arse has made them strong who wants a powerful Egyptian army America? what for ? the Egyptian army is shadow of its former useless self.

        from reuteurs today:

        Three killed as Egyptian soldiers, residents clash over land:

        CAIRO | Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:09am EST

        (Reuters) – Three people were killed and 12 injured in a firefight between soldiers and armed residents over a disputed island in the Nile west of Egypt’s capital Cairo, a security source said.

        An army statement said the authorities were clearing the island, which the army says it owns and is a centerpoint for its operations to keep Cairo secure, after armed-residents raided it on Friday night forcing guards out.

        Residents exchanged fire with security forces from buildings overlooking the island, at Giza, injuring four soldiers.

        Many cases of illegal building on or usage of land owned by the government took place in the security vacuum following the popular uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak last year. A new Islamist-led government is trying to restore order.

        Such campaigns to remove residents claiming land rights are often carried out by police, and have been met with resistance. However, incidents of firing at soldiers are very rare.

        Twenty five locals were arrested by the army. Their families have blocked a main road adjacent to the Nile demanding their release.

        and

        (Reuters) – Egypt’s most senior military commander has promised better training and more modern weaponry for the army in an apparent effort to satisfy officers’ demands for change, which have multiplied after an uprising last year.

        Commander-in-Chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is also the defense minister, was appointed by the country’s first Islamist president Mohamed Mursi only last month and is under pressure to shake up a military which until recently had held the balance of power in Egypt for decades.

        Addressing troops last week during the first military drill in a series to mark the 39th anniversary of the 1973 war with Israel, Sisi reassured troops that change was on its way despite the fact that the drill was being conducted using old arms like the Soviet BM-21, a rocket launcher in use for 40 years.

        “We will devise a comprehensive programme that develops real training for the forces in all military branches to maximize the performance of individual officers and soldiers during my time here,” he said, according to a live recording of his speech obtained by Reuters.

        Addressing troops participating in the drill, which took place along Egypt’s western border with Libya, Sisi, 57, acknowledged that Egypt’s military capabilities trailed those of other armies.

        The army would replace some of its arsenal within 3-6 months and was working to extend the range of a missile system known as “Saqr” to45 kilometers, he said.

        “Regarding the status of our military equipment, we may feel that some of it is modest but we must work with what arsenal we have. We will not be able to change all of our hardware completely. What we can do is achieve the highest standards of shooting and efficiency. This will compensate for the modest equipment we are gradually trying to replace,” he said.

      • gamal
        November 19, 2012, 8:04 am

        oh sorry about bold html beyond me

      • Hostage
        November 19, 2012, 1:18 pm

        when did the Muslim Brotherhood defeat the Egyptian army? . . . the Egyptian army is shadow of its former useless self.

        Gamal, Senator Leahy made it perfectly clear that he intended to place a hold on future military assistance to Egypt and that there wouldn’t be another waiver for the military coup provisions of the foreign assistance statute. The same thing applies to the IMF line of credit. That means Morsi and the Parliament control the purse strings, not the Armed Forces.

        I don’t know what you’ve been smoking, but Egypt has about 1,000 M1 Abrams main battle tanks and the fourth largest fleet of F-16 fighters in the entire world. You don’t use those sort of weapons for crowd control. Unlike Israel, the US and Egypt have conducted joint exercises for many years now. Egypt already has deployed its tanks in the Sinai.

      • gamal
        November 19, 2012, 11:48 pm

        ok i defer to your superior military knowledge but well forgive for finding the idea of formidable Egyptian army hard to swallow. As to the purse strings this is Egypt Hostage, the army is major economic player too, they own about 35-40% of the Egyptian economy and control all the security apparati, and Morsi is an American client but well we will see, I am smoking my citizenship and acquaintance with the place, but you are right i am perhaps too cynical and expect very little of the Arab regimes.

        “Egypt already has deployed its tanks in the Sinai.” and conducted commemorative exercises of the 73 Yom Kippur war along the Libyan border about as far away as possible from the actual theater of that triumph. They have tanks do think the airforce could protect them or would they end up just being sitting ducks for the IAF.

      • Hostage
        November 20, 2012, 12:15 pm

        They have tanks do think the airforce could protect them or would they end up just being sitting ducks for the IAF.

        It depends upon whether they take the initiative, like they did during the Yom Kippur war. The tanks could be kept safe for a time under a surface to air missile umbrella. If I had 200 F-16s, I’d try to litter Israeli air bases with anti-personnel mines and fill their runways with craters. After all, the IDF doesn’t budget for SAMs or anti-aircraft artillery. Even if you didn’t catch the IAF planes on the ground, there would be no place for them to land in a hurry, refuel, re-arm, and take-off again.

      • Shingo
        November 24, 2012, 9:43 pm

        If I had 200 F-16s, I’d try to litter Israeli air bases with anti-personnel mines and fill their runways with craters. After all, the IDF doesn’t budget for SAMs or anti-aircraft artillery.

        I often think that myself Hostage – Israel’s military could very easily be disabled by those with the means and hardware, which explain why the lobby lobbies so hard to block sales of arms to Arab states.

      • gamal
        November 26, 2012, 7:44 am

        Thanks Hostage i see the often very good Eric Walberg agrees with you, even my senior cousin Dr. Abdulsattar “Subhi”, seems to think the MB can resist the enormous pressure of the old oligarchy and the secularists and leftists who seem to be forming some kind of opposition, apparently its a long game says Subhi, and Morsi has won the first few rounds, well i am amazed, apparently the politics of the army are a bit more complex as well, the rank and file now have avenues to pressure the top brass, and are a bit restive, well we will see how far it goes.

  6. Danaa
    November 17, 2012, 12:45 pm

    Phil, glad you got out of the bubble of the “good israelis” to see what the reality on the Israeli “street”.

    I have been saying for quite a while that the well-meaning visitors to israel – especially those who don’t speak hebrew – bury their heads in the sand about what israelis really want and how they speak.

    If you Phil could only read one hundredth of what israelis are putting on their facebooks – most of it in Hebrew, you wouldn’t be shocked. You would go into full PTSD lock-down mode. That’s why I wouldn’t suggest having anyone translate a sample for you.

    “Kill the all”, “Nuke them” “Get rid of them” is the most common sentiment you hear in israel and it looks like you got a very small dose of it in your interviews. Max Blumental had it right in “Feeling the Hate” because hate is the most common sentiment you find among israelis – may be not the fine, sensitive, humanistic ones who host you there – but hate suffuses the common everyday speech – and not just towards Palestinians or Arabs. That sense of hatred and deep abiding antipathy towards fellow humans and the hatred bubbling just barely concealed – clearly with effort – is why I can’t talk to my relatives in israel any longer. Even the smallest of small talks brings up that unpleasant core – and when it’s not hate, it’s complete indifference to the suffering of ANYONE not Israeli. Including jewish Americans – most certainly those they call ‘bleeding hearts’ like yourself. I can’t even talk to them about cats for fear someone might – in an unguarded moment – lapse, call them “vermin” and say something about “getting rid of them all” (the most common sentiment expressed about just about anything they don’t like that disturbs THEIR “peace and quiet”).

    I know we are not allowed to bring up the 30’s in a certain country in Europe and/or the notion of collective guilt. But I think you may be starting to get a little of the sense of dread that was pervasive among all kinds of people in the streets and shops and offices of that ‘certain country’. It’s the sense – actually a conviction – that something truly horrible is coming and that no one can stop it. Of course, later on, after history took it’s ghastly toll, we see lots of things common, every day and not so movers and shakers COULD have done. But it’s the dread- it has a strange preventative power.

    So I’ll keep advocating we should start taking blinders off collective eyes and stop projecting our good intentions on others who don’t share them. And here is the truth Israelis – en mass- would indeed raise the whole of Gaza down – men, women, children and animals – if only the world would let them. That’s their deepest fantasy – that one day it could be done. What is ‘en mass’ is the only element about which there’s room for any argument.

    If you are getting that sense of dread- why, one can always have an uplifting conversation with Halper.
    .

    • Keith
      November 17, 2012, 1:33 pm

      DANAA- “I know we are not allowed to bring up the 30′s in a certain country in Europe and/or the notion of collective guilt.”

      Actually, for a while now, some of those who experienced the 1930s in Europe have commented how they have a sense of déjà vu. It is happening all over. In the US, the Patriot Act and the NDAA indicate a rapid descent into a Third World oligarchic police state. In Europe, the intentionally induced financial turmoil in the European periphery have re-energized latent fascism. In the face of a vicious class war, the average person is confused and fearful, retrenching into various modes of fundamentalism. Sectarianism rules the day. The ‘other’ feared and hated. Divide and conquer, divide and rule. Perhaps planetary chaos is the inevitable consequence of rule by the masters of the universe. The US military, of course, has contingency plans to deal with this.

      In the U.S. Space Command’s Vision for 2020, they anticipate that “globalization of the world economy” will lead to “a widening between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’” with “deepening economic stagnation, political instability, and cultural alienation” leading to violence and unrest among the “have-nots.”

      “According to a November 2008 report of the U.S. Army War College, the Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence establishment are preparing for what they see as a historic crisis of the existing order that could require the use of armed force to quell social struggles at home.” (“The Global Economic Crisis,” Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall, Editors, p259)

    • Abierno
      November 17, 2012, 2:03 pm

      And the comments, Facebook diatribes not only call for genocide for Gaza,
      but also West Bank Arabs, Syria, Lebanon and Iran. This is the end result of
      three generations of education wherein the Jew is the ubermenschen, the chosen
      and wherein all others are less than animals. The King’s Torah is not a radical
      document reflecting a splinter sect but in fact correctly characterizes the ethos
      of Israel. It is this ethos which is causing an overwhelming dissonance with US/
      European Jews whose basic orientation is toward peace, concern for their fellow
      man and a truly remarkable intellectual tradition which has contributed enormously to all of the countries wherein they reside. It is also this ethos
      which – when experienced in full – is leading to a significant outflow of dual
      citizen Israelis as well as those who had previously made aliyah. One can anticipate that, in current conditions, this outflow will become a torrent. Netanyahu has forgotten that Israel for many of its citizens is a provisional
      country. Not in the sense that Israel will cease to exist, but in the sense that
      many of those citizens who could provide stability to the country and a counterforce to the current racist and facist trends, have made it their choice
      to obtain a “backup” passport or maintained their citizenship (and also for their
      children). These people, whom the state of Israel needs most, are moving
      to countries which they see as more truly democratic. Countries wherein ethics,
      education, health care and human rights are a priority.

      • seafoid
        November 17, 2012, 4:33 pm

        I think there is hope in the fact that the Israeli economy is very open, that most people prefer money to ideology, that it was possible to reform Japan post ww2 and that when TSHTF Jews will have to choose between nihilism and their own self interest. Most of the Bibi speech that Phil heard on the street is probably borne out of fear and insecurity.

        Even the hardliners come around when the wind shifts.

        It will probably take something really stupid to move things but Israel is led by morons anyway.

    • Bumblebye
      November 17, 2012, 4:04 pm

      Danaa
      If only the hatred was confined to feral felines!
      Apparently little Israel has some 2 million of those. Waaayyy more than it has Israeli-“Arabs”.

    • anonymouscomments
      November 17, 2012, 4:20 pm

      thanks danaa-

      i worked for halper briefly and have heard his delusional positive “takes”. he seems to have learned nothing from what the fascistic and nuttier zionists DID from 1900-1949, when his mentality was actually much more common among jews in palestine.

      there is one thing that always struck me so deeply, having lived briefly in hippie south tel aviv (florentin), and in a palestinian city next to bethlehem (beit sahour)…

      israelis were majority racist, and often let loose their genocidal desires. even with no infringement on their rights, and almost no violence, they were largely sickly racist, in some cultural darwinism BS mode. the few who took comething close to my view, were utterly silent. someone could say the most insane thing, and to give any resistance made you liable for verbal or possibly physical attack. to voice my view was what would cause “outrage”, and i always soft-pedaled my views for the israelis.

      among all the palestinians i met, which were not entirely representative i’ll admit, they were friends with israeli activists and jews, desired one or 2 states, and did not talk in such ways….. but it is PALESTINIANS who have suffered the lion’s share of injustice, and live under repeated and constant violence and dehumanization.

      i actually think that judaism does feed to some degree into this mentality we see in israelis, even though most are not religious in the least; as does the drilling in of the holocaust for psychological and political reasons. but even history and religion aside…. the root is the media and education system in israel, and the power players and political elites in israel….

      the reality is that we have a very sick and racist israeli population, on the whole. almost entirely insensitive to palestinian suffering, and the attacks on their rights and their expulsion(s), while israelis live with the “benefits” of such (i see no benefit from it however).

      the other very odd thing is the clear “displacement” of the respective mentalities. yes, *some* palestinians want all the jews out or some such nonsense; that is actually quite predictable given what zionism has done to them, and given their hopelessness and impotence (who would not wish away their very harsh oppressor for so many decades?). but at the core, israelis on a majority level desire or support the following, directly or indirectly-
      1) the expulsion of arabs (almost all support the 1948 expulsion, many wish it was 100%, and about a majority support further actions of this type)
      2) the “destruction” of palestine, which of course was never allowed to exist
      ->likud position deleted from the knesset website months ago, but found here-
      link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org
      3) the use of lies and propaganda to relentlessly advocate for their policies
      4) attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure to achieve political or military aims
      5) the use of lobbying abroad, even with very questionable and even illegal means, even in a conspiratorial way, to ensure support for said repression of and effective destruction of palestine

      in reality, many israelis are in denial about their very clear support for the above…. but they turn all these very real political desires and political actions on their head- and they relentlessly accuse “arabs” and “muslims” of these criminal postures.

      the tragedy is that the trends and actions they accuse arabs of, they possess at more prevalent levels. further, israel has the ability, and HAS, and DOES, partake in these very crimes.

      israel is like the pinnacle of hypocrisy. ever. almost everything i hear from a typical israeli supporter about the “other”, applies more tangible to themselves. i really feel like i am living in 1984 in israel, and it has seeped into the USA since 9/11/01.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        November 17, 2012, 6:33 pm

        I agree that Judaism plays a big role, but it is Judaism as influenced by Zionism. Since the late 18th century Judaism had undergone (to varying degrees in different countries) a process of reform and enlightenment. Zionism formed an alliance with some of the most backward rabbis (Kook, for instance) and succeeded in halting and reversing this process, restoring late medieval practices, texts and beliefs. So we end up with a fusion of secular racial-organic nationalism with neo-medieval religious fanaticism. It would be hard to devise a more toxic combination.

      • anonymouscomments
        November 17, 2012, 10:10 pm

        i agree

        the profiteers and puppet-masters of zionism are basically thugs and have very narrow goals; money and power. they tend to be secular, even atheist. some likely know the cage they made of judaism, quite intentionally, just as jews were being emancipated and assimilated.

        it is all about means of control, and having a captive identity you can utilize; skim money from, and direct in a form of actualized political or economic power. same goes for extreme strains of islam or most anything. the zionists just did it in amazing fashion.

        but to get things done they need their zealots, and their true-believers. they have, largely, made secular israelis into nutty ethnic nationalists, but the true religious zealots who buy the talmud/etc. are the very useful front line. they will be the ones who follow the “king’s torah”, and will jump into ethnic violence the most readily. who do you think will bomb the al-aqsa mosque with an IAF jet, or some other means?

        and jews will drift in and out of this more extreme political current. i’ve seen secular jews in my family go from secular, to religious…. and with it comes a shocking transformation…. frequently including base racism, delusions of grandeur, coupled with a paradoxical obsession with both jewish persecution and power.

        all i know is that this is going to end badly. it started badly. it already has ended badly, just has more to play out…

      • seafoid
        November 18, 2012, 8:28 am

        “the profiteers and puppet-masters of zionism are basically thugs ”

        They wouldn’t have gotten their Balfour Declaration playing nice.Or their UN vote. Or 29 standing ovations in Congress. Or omerta from the MSm.

        there is no nice way for such a small group to pull strings for so long. I am sure the Alawites in Syria are very similar.

    • Marlene
      November 17, 2012, 4:36 pm

      I would have to agree with Daana and I speak as a person who had actually lived in Israel for a short while many years ago when things were not so well-known and even before Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza. What I had done that was so terribly “criminal” was to cross a divide (which I didn’t even know existed at that time) and made friends with Palestinian Arabs who were citizens of Israel. I was ridiculed, cursed, spat at, for my choices. I was brought up in an environment with my family where there were no divisions as regarded religions, ethnicities, color, etc., only one’s character was the determining factor. Even before I had made these friendships there, I had decided to leave Israel after a while because I found there was something terribly wrong there in the majority of the attitudes of people that was so damn arrogant, and they despised Americans and did not hesitate to let you know that.

      I think the best opinion one can come to and the most objective is when one finds themselves in a particular situation where there is no previous knowledge and when there are no political, ideological or religious associations which was exactly how it was with me. So one of the first things that came to my mind was the 1930’s in Europe and I suddenly had this sort of awakening of what it might have been like because I was facing somewhat the same thing in a reverse role. I eventually married one of those friends who I was married to for a number of years, and when I returned to Israel with my new last name, I was treated like an enemy because I had married the “enemy.”

      What I would find out many years later that Israel does indeed fashioned itself after that country of the 1930’s in its laws and policies. So, it is not just the overwhelming hatred on the part of the people, but it is on the part of the government which gives its full support to the people to behave that way and not conceal it.

      • Kathleen
        November 17, 2012, 10:17 pm

        “I was ridiculed, cursed, spat at for my choices” by? Thanks for sharing this

      • Marlene
        November 18, 2012, 6:49 am

        I was ridiculed and subjected to insults mostly by Jewish ciizens of Israel, as well as some other Jewish students from other places in the world ,especially ar that time,when I guess these kind of friendships were extremely rare. I was working on a Kibbutz about 1/2 hour from Haifa, and later I would leave that place in disgust, and live in Haifa for awhile where I also encountered many incidents. They said horrible things about Arabs at that time which has never changed, and also which was probably said about Jews in the 1930’s. Personally, I couldn’t have cared less because no one determines for me how I should live my life. and I’m not one to be intimidated. The best hospitality was given to me by the Palestinian Arabs, and that has never changed.

        There was one person who came to my mind initially when all this began, and that was Anne Frank and what possibly could have happened to anyone who would have still befriended her in public before she was forced to go into hiding. She became very symbolic to me as now I was in a reverse role at that time,

        My lessons in hatred did not come from books, but from my experiences in Israel. This is how Palestinians have to live on their own land as second-class citizens with such vile hatred from people who have the audacity to want to teach lessons about hatred to the rest of the world.

    • Erasmus
      November 17, 2012, 5:47 pm

      @ Phil and Danaa

      OMG – is it rrreally so unsayably bad?
      No justifiable hope left?

    • YoungMassJew
      November 17, 2012, 7:15 pm

      I posted on my FB to the birthright group the MW article about how even the IDF’s own numbers don’t add up. At least the birthrighters haven’t deleted my comments or complained about anti-Semitism to Mark Zuckerberg….Yet. I just responded to a soldier who posted a YouTube of right-wing fanatic Dennis Prager speaking about the origins of the conflict. Even so-called liberal, progressive Israelis believe right winger crap. They cooked the books and their own goverment agencies don’t even agree with the amount of rockets fired. Yup, it’s all double-speak with Michael Oren and all those hasbarists on CNN. Yes, I’m afraid it might end like that “certain country.”

    • MRW
      November 17, 2012, 11:52 pm

      Just came back from my neighborhood Jewish deli (went after sundown), and dammit, left my phone at home. It was like a Superbowl party. During late December 2008/January 2009 there had been gravitas, hand-wringing, concern. Not now.

      They hooked up two extra TVs so there were four stations to watch. Ex-pat Israelis, all ages of Americans, giddy with war lust standing in the aisles. Kids coming in to cheer with their grandparents (the bubbes were calling them to Get over here). Calling family members in Israel in loud voices and relaying the conversation to no one in particular. Whooping, hollering, high-fives at every reported Israeli hit. Even the geezers I usually see there stooped over tables with half-mast eyes were up and animated. The stench of the words leveled at any Palestinian shown onscreen was breathtaking.

      Some of these people are neighbors in my gated community. I’ve heard the Jewish justice, Jewish humanitarianism, Jewish morality speeches–the regular ‘tell a goy’ tripe–from them for 15 years. I’ve heard the dramatic persecution and victimization stories culled from every extended relative they ever had, and history, for the same 15 years as well. Highly educated, accomplished people. The parking lot at the deli was full of tricked-out German cars, and one old Rolls, cream-colored.

      Nothing prepared me for the truth as they see it, tonight. This was a group hooked on the cocaine of their Chosenness, the heroin of hatred, mainlining. (I was the only goy in there, and the fact that more than a handful greeted me must have telegraphed I was one of them.)

      American Judaism was the worst of Jabotinsky Zionism tonight. Not even separate. Not even indistinguishable. When the two rabbis showed up, they were rock stars, and when they opened their mouths it was Kahane come home, the approval thunderous.

      • Keith
        November 18, 2012, 4:49 pm

        MRW- “Highly educated, accomplished people.”

        Members of the 1%?

      • MRW
        November 19, 2012, 2:48 am

        The top 5-10%, absolutely.

      • Shmuel
        November 19, 2012, 3:26 am

        The top 5-10%, absolutely.

        You say that like it’s a good thing ;-)

      • MRW
        November 19, 2012, 6:31 am

        You say that like it’s a good thing ;-)

        Yeah…why did I write that? ;-) I have no idea whether they are in the 1%, that’s a pretty heady group around here. But they are clearly upper middle class and retirees. It was disturbing to watch, Shmuel. I had the same reaction I get when I watch our drone attacks on YouTube, or read about them in detail: anger, revulsion, and impotence. My mind does sidewinders over our drone ‘policy’ and sense of entitlement. . . .

      • Shmuel
        November 19, 2012, 6:42 am

        anger, revulsion, and impotence

        There’s a lot of that going around.

      • Keith
        November 19, 2012, 12:27 pm

        MRW- “The top 5-10%, absolutely.”

        The reason I even bring this up is that there is a common tendency for the privileged to denigrate the less privileged as a way of justifying their own status. A consequence of a guilty conscience. Joel Kovel discusses this at length in “Overcoming Zionism.” So too with many Jews and Israel. Given a choice of guilt and shame over the actions of the “Jewish state,” or to scapegoat and revile the victims, they choose the latter. It is the pure racism underlying imperialism and Zionism. The fat-cats usually have a more highly developed ability rationalize and distort obvious reality. To put a city to the sword with a clear conscience, even self-righteous zeal.

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 12:43 pm

        If I am not mistaken (which, these days, is really just another way of saying “I was too lazy to go to Google and find out”, but that’s me) to be in the American 1% you need an income of $250,000 or more.

      • MRW
        November 19, 2012, 3:09 pm

        Nah, this was bordering on disturbing, Keith, as in the kind of feeling at a soccer game when out-of-control (drunk) fans get caught up in the power of the group and go wild. It was madness. One station was on ShalomTV, another Fox, another CNN, and I think the other was MSNBC. The deli changed hands a couple of years ago. The previous owners were New Yorkers, owned it for decades. Best food around. The new owners are a young Israeli couple, who are actually hysterically funny until you mention the word Palestine, then they turn into heat-seeking missiles.

    • Hostage
      November 18, 2012, 5:07 am

      If you Phil could only read one hundredth of what israelis are putting on their facebooks – most of it in Hebrew, you wouldn’t be shocked. You would go into full PTSD lock-down mode. That’s why I wouldn’t suggest having anyone translate a sample for you.

      A lot of my acquaintances out here in Kansas have been shocked over the years when I tell them the same thing concerning the vehement hatred expressed by Jewish religious leaders toward Evangelical Christians in the Hebrew press. In that particular case there are groups that review the media outlets and provide translations, e.g. link to caspari.com

  7. subconscious
    November 17, 2012, 12:51 pm

    “… no solution to Palestinian issue but more violence … None of them paid even lip service to the two-state solution. Many expressed fears of Islamists taking power … “I don’t see a solution with the Arab” … “Kill them all” … not interested … in human rights … existential struggle that demands the law of the jungle.”
    And yet many on this site steadfastly hold that the only viable solution to the conflict is a single democratic/binational state, where Netanyahu & Abbas take turns as heads of the ruling coalition, Barak & Jaabari’s successor jointly supervise IDF al-Qassam military exercises with Nassrallah as a dignitary observer, Livni & Haniyeh hold hands while campaigning as the loyal opposition shuttling from the River to the Sea, and the Israeli & Palestinian flags have merged into the world’s first psychedelically sext-colored (bi)national emblem featuring a post-Zionist Ahmar al-Davood symbol. The last sentence of the blog should be reiterated w/ a minor modification to read, “Who cannot observe these attitudes and wonder about the wisdom of establishing a single democratic/binational state.”

    • Mooser
      November 17, 2012, 1:12 pm

      , “Who cannot observe these attitudes and wonder about the wisdom of establishing a single democratic/binational state.”

      That’s what I’ve been wondering, too. Seems like all that would do is turn the Palestinians over to the tender ministrations of Zionist death squads.

      • subconscious
        November 17, 2012, 8:39 pm

        Since the Israel-Palestine conflict is often compared to Apartheid S. Africa, it’s noteworthy that even though a minority of blacks have risen to positions of power and privilege, generally the black majority is economically worse off than during the Apartheid era:
        link to globalresearch.ca

    • Taxi
      November 17, 2012, 2:17 pm

      subconscious,
      I’ve been posting on MW for years and the only solution I’ve always arrived at, is war. The great equalizer of a great evil.

      War. Unfortunately. Because the suffering sinews of the conflict have now contorted into a Gordian Knot.

      I just don’t see a two state or a one state. I see war. A terrible war. Followed by a major redrawing of the map, to Palestine’s advantage.

      • Mooser
        November 17, 2012, 5:30 pm

        “I just don’t see a two state or a one state. I see war. A terrible war. Followed by a major redrawing of the map, to Palestine’s advantage.”

        All I can ask is, and you would know better than me, has war ever been to “Palestine’s advantage”? Or who do you see fighting and redrawing the map on Palestine’s behalf? (which isn’t to say I wouldn’t hope to see this!)

      • Antidote
        November 17, 2012, 5:49 pm

        “A terrible war. Followed by a major redrawing of the map, to Palestine’s advantage.”

        I wouldn’t count on Palestine’s advantage in that scenario. Redrawing of the map could just as likely result in a ‘no state solution’, with Israel/Palestine being divided and its parts annexed by neighboring countries. Like the gradual partition of Poland in the late 18th c. (not the result of war, though), or the gradual partition and de facto elimination of Prussia (after 2 terrible wars)

      • American
        November 17, 2012, 6:12 pm

        “I see war”….Taxi

        Could be interesting times some day Taxi. Here’s the competition below. There is huge fallacy and a lot of spin for whatever reason about both the military strength of Israel and that pouring a trillion US dollars into Israel’s military ‘edge” over the years has actually given them the deciding edge in the ME. It is not the Israel military that prevents ME states from responding militarily to Israel aggression, it is the question of US military action that constrains them. The biggest fact is that none of the ME states can be defeated in a ‘conventional war’ without a ground war and invasion. So . the No 1 trillion dollar question is……given the changes in the ME will a or some ME states ond day decide they can respond to Israeli aggression without triggering a US military response? Particulary the two most powerful and important alies to the US in ME stability, Egypt and Turkey and the one most important to Israel’s position, Egypt. The No 2 question is….if that happened would the US put troops into a ground war for Israel? We may find out some day.

        EGYPT…..The Egyptian Armed Forces are the largest in Africa, and the Arab World, and is the 10th largest in the world.
        PERSONNEL Total Population: 82,079,636 [2011] Available Manpower: 41,157,220 [2011] Fit for Service: 35,305,381 [2011] Of Military Age: 1,532,052 [2011] Active Military: 468,500 [2011] Active Reserve: 479,000 [2011
        EGYPT……LAND ARMY Total Land Weapons: 51,965 Tanks: 3,980 [2012] APCs / IFVs: 8,745 [2012] Towed Artillery: 2,760 [2012] SPGs: 965 [2012] MLRSs: 1,601 [2012] Mortars: 10,334 [2011] AT Weapons: 23,590 [2011] AA Weapons: 4,195 [2012] Logistical Vehicles: 57,235
        EGYPT……..AIR POWER Total Aircraft: 884- F-16 and Russian [2011] Helicopters: 306 [2011] Serviceable Airports: 86 [2011]
        EGYPT……. Navy Total Ships: 221 Merchant Marine Strength: 66 [2011] Major Ports & Terminals: 7 Aircraft Carriers: 0 [2012] Destroyers: 0 [2012] Submarines: 4 [2012] Frigates: 9 [2012] Patrol Craft: 130 [2012] Mine Warfare Craft: 28 [2012] Amphibious Assault Craft: 20

        TURKEY……Turkey The Turkish Air Force operates one of the largest combat aircraft fleets of NATO. It has around 60,000 active personnel In 2010, the Turkish Army had around 402,000 active personnel[21] and is the second largest army of NATO (after the United States Total combined forces are 378,700 reserve personnel and 152,200 paramilitary personnel for a combined component strength of around 1,041,900 personnel.
        TURKEY….. Turkey is one of five NATO member states which are part of the nuclear sharing policy of the alliance, together with Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.[32] **A total of 90 B61 nuclear bombs are hosted at the Incirlik Air Base, 40 of which are allocated for use by the Turkish Air Force** in case of a nuclear conflict, but their use requires the approval of NATO
        TURKEY……PERSONNEL Total Population: 78,785,548 [2011] Available Manpower: 41,637,773 [2011] Fit for Service: 35,005,326 [2011] Of Military Age: 1,370,407 [2011] Active Military: 612,900 [2011] Active Reserve: 429,000 [2011]
        TURKEY……LAND ARMY Total Land Weapons: 69,774 Tanks: 4,246 [2011] APCs / IFVs: 6,592 [2011] Towed Artillery: 1,838 [2011] SPGs: 1,419 [2011] MLRSs: 559 [2011] Mortars: 7,574 [2011] AT Weapons: 47,546 [2011] AA Weapons: 5,547 [2011] Logistical Vehicles: 24,906
        TURKEY…….AIR POWER Total Aircraft: 1,940 [2011] Helicopters: 874 [2011] Serviceable Airports: 99 [2011
        TURKEY……NAVAL POWER Total Navy Ships: 265 Merchant Marine Strength: 645 [2011] Major Ports & Terminals: 8 Aircraft Carriers: 0 [2011] Destroyers: 0 [2011] Submarines: 16 [2011] Frigates: 19 [2011] Patrol Craft: 108 [2011] Mine Warfare Craft: 20 [2011] Amphibious Assault Craft: 55 [2011] –

        * Sources: US Library of Congress; Central Intelligence Agency

      • Taxi
        November 18, 2012, 3:40 am

        American,
        You’re right, it’s the giant American gun that Arab countries fear more than the israeli gun. And I note here with pleasure that the Palestinians, having sent rockets to tel aviv and jerusalem for the first time ever this past week, have now OFFICIALLY and finally lost their fear of israel. Ironically, netanyahu’s recent assault on Gaza is all about asserting israel’s ‘deterrence’, the idf honchos inform us – a plan that’s looking like it’s backfired right in the faces of the zionist regime. (Can’t help but snigger here heh heh heh!)

        @ Mooser, others,
        There is something in the middle east called ‘Uruba’, roughly translated it means ‘Arabicness’. It is a deeply felt sensibility, a ‘feeling’ of oneness, of dignity and pride in this oneness, shared by hundreds of millions of Arabs across the board. This ‘feeling’ of Uruba, has nothing to do with geography or religion – it is even older than judaism. It is equally felt by a christian Lebanese and moslem Tunisian alike. It is connected to their common threads of history and especially to the language of Arabic itself – common language being an underestimated emotive power, a nuanced psychic glue that unites people. This ‘Uruba’ has been quashed by various colonialisms for the past 800 years or so. Several Arab leaders, even in recent history (read the Egyptian General Nasser), tried to genuinely revive it, indeed encouraged it’s expression amongst the common Arab man and woman. It is the ultimate motivator of Arab unity, beyond national boarders, beyond politics and economics – therefore it is israel’s ultimate conceptual enemy. And it is one area of the mass Arab body that neither israel nor America will ever be able to defeat. Yes they can throw it in disarray, subjugate it for 60 odd years – but that’s about the maximum damage they can incur upon it. This cross-boarder ‘Uruba’, eventually translated into a coordinated series of actions, will be what liberates Palestine at the end of the day. What shape and what date this will occur is still an ambiguity, but more and more, it’s looking like it will be happening within our lifetime.

        The near-future shape of the map of a liberated Palestine will very much resemble what is historically known as Palestine. No new lines!

        Post zionism, when peace returns to the wider Levant, the natural ingenuity of it’s people (collectively known as Ahl Elsham), plus their traditional ace trading skills, will eventually facilitate a dissolving of boarders between them and some kind of United States of Elsham might very well be birthed around the year 2250 (hey one can project that far ahead and why not try and see the Mother of the Big Picture?!)

        The West and israel have never understood that in the eyes of ‘Uruba’, Palestine is seen as the spiritual sister, the virgin sister who was raped by zionism while she prayed. Even if it takes another thousand years (which it won’t), justice for this abominable crime MUST BE, will be sought out by the Arabs and redressed. The essence of Uruba within, is, after all, a oneness that enables deep empathy and a fealty amongst a rainbow of Arabs. Living in social and spiritual dignity, is seen as Uruba’s ultimate promise and reward.

        And what better life to have than in prosperous trade, self-respect and spiritual dignity? We can call this the ‘Arab Dream’ – not unlike, in substance and concept, to our ‘American Dream’. But much older (and more beat up).

        Man is corruptible. But dreams aren’t. Yes, you can quash a dream, but soon enough, you dream another. But it’s the same dream really that man dreams all the time. And it’s a dream shared by all life-loving humanity: to live in peace and prosperity.

        Zionism, desiring no peace, and prosperity ONLY FOR ITSELF, will never ever ever ever ever be accepted by Uruba. And there is more Uraba in the region than there is zionism. You can’t mix oil and water and no frigging biblical or American miracle can reverse this.

        Israel has a present, but no possible future in the middle east.

      • Betsy
        November 18, 2012, 8:54 am

        @Taxi — I don’t know what I’m talking about here — because my knowledge of ME history & cultures is patchy at best. But, it’s important to also note the diversity within ME — and that the concept of “Arabicness” is contested. Leila Ahmed’s beautiful memoir “A Border Passage” has some fascinating discussion of how the idea of being “Arab” felt like something new & grafted into & onto the much more variegated tapestries of identity in Cairo when she was growing up in the 1950s — part of the modernizing dreams of Nasser’s socialist vision given much heft by the new petropowers & stature of the Arab heartland (e.g., Saudi Arabia, etc.). She values the universalizing border crossing solidarities it brings in many ways, but mourns what it displaces & covers up. I myself (from a position of great ignorance) suspect that, under conditions of democracy & demilitarization — it would fade like “Pan-Africanism” or anti-colonial, anti-British Celtic identifications — a diffuse feeling of solidarity & history perhaps but not particularly central to democracy building (once the colonial forces are fought back). There’s also the fact that we’re talking about the Mediterranean here — there could be a interesting new mix of southern Europe with ME — if Egypt & Turkey are ever able to regain their normal historical roles as regional Mediterranean powerhouses. This would provide another center of influence from the Arab heartland that is culturally much more diverse & much older histories of state & empire.

        The other problem with the kind of pan-Arabism that was tried in the post- WWII period, is that there are large minorities which really aren’t in any real sense “Arab” — which are struggling for more self-determination. How will this help them?

      • gamal
        November 18, 2012, 10:47 am

        Arab is a variegated identity and i think you are missing the point, if you re-read your own comment you will see that you go from claiming only patchy knowledge to misconstruing what urubiya is, what do you think these “large minorities which really aren’t in any real sense “Arab” — which are struggling for more self-determination” are and how does anything Taxi said interfere in this? are, what do think being “Arab” in a real sense is, Urubiya as Taxi explains very clearly is cultural linguistic designation which pretty much all the peoples of the ME share.

        After the signing of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel a group of Israeli journalists and intellectuals visited Cairo, they took a Falluqa down the Nile at sunset, one of their number was a Mizrahi from Iraq i think, as the sun went down over Cairo he was suddenly seized with an intense emotion of belonging and stood up in the boat, startling his companions and declaimed “My name is Salim and I am an Arab” amazing them, one of his fellow Israelis spoke to him the next morning in pretty hostile terms, read the piece so long ago i dont where, but that is Urubiya.

        Urubiya is the spirit of the common culture of the Arabic speaking peoples, Arab is a highly nuanced term, which people in the middle-east do you think are not in any real sense “Arabs” and who are? There have been speakers of Arabic and closely related languages all over this region for thousands of years this is their appreciation of their own culture not some exclusionary imperialist ideology, as you say your knowledge is patchy, do you know any Arabic? Algerians, Iraqi’s, Egyptians all share this feeling, the Cultural Attache at the London embassy spent 15 minutes lamenting to me that modern youth in Cairo “Do not speak Arabic beautifully, there is something wrong with their throats” that is Arabicness not some colonial dominative ideology, cool it Betsy, this discourse posing Arab identity as a problem has a rather unsavory colonialist history, it is an inclusive cultural commonality, shared by many people who are not in any way Arab, Malays and Iranians, Nigerians merely by speaking Arabic and appreciating its literature and culture. it has nothing to with Arab armies erupting out of the jazzeera one and half millenia ago and putting paid to the classical world. mine is pretty weak by now, i could feel the distance when i was last in Egypt sitting in a huge Cairo street congregation pray the Eid prayer on the day they hung Saddam Hussein, but then i have never lived in an Arab country only ever visited, all my close Arab friends and family are dead and i miss that milieu even though i was never really only Arab for one minute, my mother was a militant celt and i am not sure what you mean about the decline of Celtic consciousness i was living in Ireland till recently i reckon your wrong their as well, it has nothing to do with domination or deny others identity, what gave you the idea that it did in anythig Taxi wrote? what is a real Arab? that notion is a bit worrying.

        democracy and demilitirization, thats just crazy, its an ancient thing as Taxi makes clear, your weird remark about Pan-Africanism, which is very much alive makes me think that you are viewing this from a colonialist perspective. Egypt is suffused with Urubiya, it is its throbbing heart with all due deference to the Lebanese, ismek e or shu ismek? tala elli hod, that just sounds funny. ahlan Betsy, ahlaan wasahlan, fadal, wallahi barakficum. urubiya is not a problem its a culture.

      • Taxi
        November 18, 2012, 12:07 pm

        Thanks Betsy for your thoughtful post.

        I’m not familiar with Leila Ahmed’s work and I’m not really clear on what she believes will be “displaced and covered up” under pan-Arabism – so I can’t really comment on this.

        With regards Uruba and zionism, Uruba considers the occupation of Palestine it’s foremost crisis to be resolved, so I can’t see a negative with it in this context whatsoever.

        Uruba is a unification of disparate people, not a path to neglecting minorities. Pan-Arabism has not been “tried in post WWII period”, it was merely presented in Egypt for a revival during Nasser’s brief reign – the west made sure it didn’t spread past Egypt to other Arab countries. Also, a cynical Saddam Hussein at some stage in the late seventies picked up the mantle of Uruba but soon dropped it for personal power and rewards. In fact, he ousted the Iraqi president Al Bakr because Al Bakr was about to sign a deal with Syria’s Hafez Assad to make the countries of Syria and Iraq into one socialist secular state with Assad as it’s first president and Al Bakr, it’s Prime Minister – leaving therefore Saddam out of the equation.

        “The other problem with the kind of pan-Arabism that was tried in the post- WWII period, is that there are large minorities which really aren’t in any real sense “Arab” — which are struggling for more self-determination”.

        I can’t really fully agree with the above statement. Take for instance, Lebanon, it’s people are not Arabs but a mishmash of Phoenician minorities, yet they’ve embraced being Arabized for centuries and are now solidly linked to the Uruba – confirmed through their daily use of the Arabic language.

        I don’t believe that an advent of democracy across the mideast will result in the dissipation of the feeling of Uruba. Did we Americans ‘dissipate’ when we flung the chains of British colonialism off our backs and pursued democracy? I’d say not in the least. In fact, it unified and clarified and solidified our American identity, our Americaness, our progress and progressiveness.

      • Betsy
        November 18, 2012, 1:46 pm

        @Gamal — what you describe about the meanings & a feeling of belonging is very beautiful. And, yes, on rereading my comment about ‘real Arab’ — I see that’s a wrong comment & I apologize for it. Given my lack of knowledge of the languages & of the histories — I’m sure I’ve absorbed various colonialist memes from American culture. @Taxi — that’s totally wonderful if “Uruba is a unification of disparate people, not a path to neglecting minorities. ” I find much in what both of you have written to be inspiring & paints exciting possibilities for the future.

        And, I don’t want to belabor anything here –b ecause the really horrible & urgent questions have to do with what’s happening in Gaza & Palestine in general — so I’m afraid I’m getting off on tangents here a bit.

        btw, Leila Ahmed’s memoir just blew me away — it’s so beautiful & powerful — she’s really the one that got me wondering about this question. I tried to find my copy so I could accurately convey it — I can’t find it & I lack the knowledge to explain her points well — so I just urge you to read it. She can explain far better than I. If I find my book — I’ll cite from it.

        I do think it’s always important to keep space open for questions anytime we talk about a collective identity that encompasses diverse peoples — especially when there’s not some kind of democratic process that guarantees voice & rights to minorities. This not a criticism of anything going on in ME — or in Uruba as a movement. It sounds like it can be a very positive force. But, I particularly worry about identities that are connected strongly with language. The reason is that I was born in India & spent half of my childhood there. In India, there have been many claims & counter-claims about how good or bad it is to bind the country together under Hindi (which is itself a complicated mix-up of Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit & other elements). There have been violent struggles — linguistic minorities have resisted & much has been at stake. Plus, the Hindu fundamentalists have been trying to strip the “Urdu” (e.g., Arabic & Persian influences) out — (which are so beautiful, btw. To my ears at least– and when I’m with ARabic speaking friends I sometimes enjoy exploring the similarities in words) It’s much more complicated than I can express in a post here — but it’s left me with a desire to keep open a space for questioning how linguistic identities work. I don’t speak Arabic, but I speak 3 different — but related — Indian languages — and I find I have to be careful in when I speak what to whom — because very complicated meanings are carried in different social contexts & times. Even switching from a more Sanskrit to a more Urdu phrasing, while speaking Hindi– can shift the implications.

        Re/ Celtic identities — yes, gamal, that’s also a vibrant reality in many places & growing with reclamation of languages, literatures, music. But, on the other hand, there’s also a whole lot of baloney & made up mystified stuff in US “Celtic” diaspora identities — as these things circulate around over time & space they can take on problematic or shapeshifting meanings…that’s not bad necessarily — but it’s also important to periodically question what’s happening…

        Anyway, I’ve learned a lot from both of your comments & I will try to keep educating myself…

      • gamal
        November 18, 2012, 2:07 pm

        Leila Ahmed is an upper class Egyptian academic whose idyllic childhood was interrupted by the Nasserite revolution, my father was a village boy from the eastern provinces, Ahmed and the upper classes had always been very cosmopolitan, privileged with an extensive sense of entitlement. The common people, the people of the land were also various, but part of Britains project in Egypt was precisely to break the kind pan-Arab sense of identity, and to assert a separate notion of Egyptianess, all middle-eastern countries are mixed, its a consequence of their ancientness, and culture is divided along class lines, as everywhere, remember the Kurdish problem occurred precisely at the point that Turkey became an ethnic nation state, rather than the heart of a multi-ethnic empire, Kurds and Turks had been living together forever, as far as one can tell, why Palestine was finally liberated and the Mongol hordes stopped by a Kurdish ruling family in the Levant, back in the day.

        The use of Arab either as a rallying call or an object of suspicion is a function of the competition for influence in the region. My old man ended up fleeing from Nasserite Egypt having been quite involved in the nationalist revolt, his village was burned to the ground 3 times during the occupation and he in fact bought a load of faulty rifles from some cute British soldiers in his youth, remarking that on the two previous times his village was destroyed they had no arms and on the final occasion they arms which didnt work, what Ahmed describes in her book is no doubt the clumsy efforts to instrumentalize Arabness as a tool of nation building and frankly the revenge of the lower classes in Egypt after years of haughty condescension from upper classes, I knew many Egyptians who complained of the sudden surliness of the fellahin after liberation and the relaxing of class divisions which came back with a vengeance under Sadat, but rather than the old Upper Class, the higher reaches of Egyptian society were assaulted by the nouveau riche of the mercantile classes, no doubt very upsetting, Egypt under Farouk and the British was no picnic for common people and there is to this day intense class conflict in Egypt.

        Like American or British values state sponsored Arab identity is both distinct from and vastly inferior to the actual common culture of the peasants, like most of my cousins, whose kids have technical degrees now, and that of the learned and literary elite who have of course by now been deeply influenced by European culture for well over a century but still retain all manner of elements of an ancient settled cultural milieu.
        the advent of the modern nations has profoundly affected the Arabs, my fathers family stretched from the eastern provinces up in to Palestine some of them became Egyptians and some had the misfortune to become Palestinians, Towils from Nablus.

        The use of the idea of Phoenicians and ancient Egyptians etc as factors of the modern identities in the region is really problematic and the assertion of Arab identity as something foreign is a meme beloved of western imperialism, Arab is not a racial or ethnic identity but solely linguistic and cultural, and that culture is deeply imbued with Islam, even for Arab Christians and Jews, its worth saying Arab does not mean Arabian, Arabs in conversation can use the term and it is quite clear from context what they mean, as when Ibni Khaldun famously said “God damn the Arabs everywhere they go they bring ruination”, a statement much loved by Zionists, Arabs of course know precisely who he talking about and why.

        in the Levant Armenians are Arabs, Druze, Marionites even the Douay, whose name is French and of crusader origin are Arabs, I used to know a blond blue very German looking Palestinian who was a “Circassian” he spoke perfect un-accented Arabic and used to amaze visiting European academics and after 200 years those Circassians are also Arabs, Arab isnt a problem.

      • gamal
        November 18, 2012, 2:17 pm

        i dont disagree with anything you have written and know quite alot of cod oirishness from visiting ameericans and the Irish culture that was so vibrant in the 80’s has been washed away by the paper tiger of money.

        As you can see one can hardly imagine the crisis and stress than Plaestinian society has endured for a century now once agian devolving in to brutal slaughter, they abide by an extraordinary will and amazing steadfast courage, sadly they can expect little from the “Arabs” so much for identity.

      • Betsy
        November 18, 2012, 11:46 pm

        @gamal — very helpful & interesting! the class dimension is crucial — I get very nervous when discussions move too far into culture without talking about economic class. I work in economically marginalized communities now in US, where cultural identity often becomes a way of duping people & hiding questions of economic class. (btw, my memory of Leila Ahmed’s work is that she does struggle to be critical about her own class position — but it might still distort things irredeemably). I read Amitav Ghosh’s books with great interest — from his time in peasant communities in Egypt that maybe are what you’re talking about (e.g., In an Antique Land about when he was doing his doctoral fieldwork). He comes from an Indian family that moved over centuries around the Indian Ocean & into ME — so he has a sense of the rich flows of life & culture before the nation-state changed things so profoundly. If you have any comments about his work I’d be very interested (if it’s relevant to Mondoweiss — but perhaps that veers too far off from the really urgent questions for this site.)

        I do want to say re/ Celtic American identities of some of my kin — if they ever took it beyond anything more than a kind of sentimental, weekend entertainment, the rest of the family would have to organize some tough love kidnapping & deprogramming — diaspora nostalgia for imaginary ethnic homelands is an American tendency that ain’t pretty. and, Americans desperately need to learn of the many-faceted realities of identity that you’re talking about…

        I feel so helpless watching what’s happening in ME — but then remember that we’re in the belly of the beast in US — so our work might make a difference.

      • Sibiriak
        November 19, 2012, 10:19 am

        Taxi, Betsy, gamal…. enlightening posts. Thanks.

      • Betsy
        November 19, 2012, 10:35 am

        @gamal — ignore my question about Amitav Ghosh. I just searched Mondoweiss about him — and found out about his acceptance of the award (along with Margaret Atwood) from Tel Aviv Univ in 2010 — in which they dissociate their art from the call to support BDS. They are both favorite novelists of mine — but what they say in their statements is cowardly & reprehensible. So, the best one can expect from him is an artistic rendering of the cultural fabrics of historical flows…not any artistic engagement with power & violence. I;m very disappointed.

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 12:47 pm

        Again if I’m not mistaken, isn’t “Arab” a term imposed by the colonial West on that area for their own convenience and political use? It’s no wonder it doesn’t adequately describe the peoples in the area, nor is it how many of them would describe themselves..

      • Betsy
        November 19, 2012, 3:02 pm

        @Taxi — your question re/ revolutionary American identity is an important one. Isn’t our best “Americanness”, the most progressive identity — that which arises from “We the People” (that is, all citizens as humans, universally defined, who live together in our republic)? NOT as a people bound together by culture, language, or some other particularistic identity like ethnicity or race? That said, I also honor the border-crossing solidarities of which you speak — which are also important, but seem different to me from national citizenship. Now, maybe it’s possible for people to build a political structure better than nation-state citizenship….that would be great…

        Here’s a link to a piece I’ve written on this — after the death of a close friend in Afghanistan — arguing for “democratic republicanism” as basis for American identity — not the Far Right type “America” that was fueling, at that time, the ugly furor re/ mosque in Manhattan:

        Eighteenth century democratic republicanism is, in other words, misrepresented by conservative commentators like Douthat. It does not require citizens to construct a common national identity out of a shared language, ethnicity, religion. It does not require, as do Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, that we forge our collectivity by enclosing ourselves in a hallowed space with defensive boundaries where near-magical icons, like flags or war memorials, carry a sacred essence of common identity.

        Rather, the (small ‘r’) republican national identity is what political philosopher Hannah Arendt describes as a civic “We the People”—the bonds between people who pledge to act together for the common good. It is the stuff of covenant, not culture or law. The (small ‘r’) republican “We” is more open and less anxious about boundaries. Its strength comes from the civic trust, respect, and equality that arises from working together over time to build and steward actual communities, places, public institutions, public communications media. It is a covenant to both care for the commons and to safeguard individual dignity and agency—to recognize their interdependence.

        for rest go to “Islam, violence & mourning” link to noclexington.com

      • Taxi
        November 19, 2012, 3:04 pm

        Mooser,

        When you write the word ‘Arab’ in the Arabic language, the first letter used has no corresponding letter in the English language. It’s impossible to even write it phonetically in English, and it’s also very hard for English speakers to pronounce it too. This tells you that the word itself is of Arab origin, not western. ‘3a’ is what Arabs use to denote this letter when writing in English, so it becomes: 3arab = Arab.

        I was told by an Arab poet once that the word ‘Arab’ comes from the name ‘Rabia’. Rabia was the first pagan goddess worshiped by the early desert semites, an estimated eight thousand years ago. The region where Rabia was worshiped therefore first became known as ‘Rabia’, evolving eventually into ‘Arabia’. Curiously, the masculine word ‘rabb’ in Arabic means ‘one who rears/nurtures’, or, ‘god’. And ‘rabb’ is not too far off from the hebrew ‘rabbi’ either. Unfortunately, islam destroyed all of early Arab pagan literature and art and what little that remained were stories passed down orally as ancestral folktales, rarely collected in books since the advent of islam, and these few books are now extinct – dust in the wind.

      • gamal
        November 19, 2012, 3:19 pm

        no please leave us “Arab” it wasnt imposed just doesnt mean what many in the west assume it means, it doesnt mean foaming at the mouth scimitar wielding pillaging nomad, Arabs call themselves all sorts of things, and come in a bewildering array of flavours, shapes and sizes and degrees, only the Arabians of the desert have no hyphens, well except Arabian, there are the Showa Arabs of Nigeria, black Africans who mostly dont speak a word of Arabic, they are nomads i met some on a drive in northern Nigeria camped quite luxuriously by the roadside, we spoke in English, i led the midday prayer got confused and prayed too many Raka’at, they giggled spared my blushes, it was 140 in the shade, and put it down to appending supererogatory prayers right onto the end though we all knew it didnt add up, and my recitations were poor, but they were so kind and didnt denounce my obvious impiety, its the Arab way, and the women were stunning elegant and coolly detached, they fed me, sold me some small trinkets and sent me on my way to Maiduguri, which was all peaceful back then.

      • Taxi
        November 19, 2012, 3:55 pm

        Betsy,

        Uruba occurred organically and over thousands of years. America’s ‘we the people’ occurred by willful design. Neither is better than the other – the point is that they’re different but parallel paths that lead to the same relative peaceful coexistence.

        And you’ll forgive me if I don’t read your link. I have zero interest in both a republicanism rebirthed and that ziocon monstrosity called Hannah Arendt.

      • RoHa
        November 19, 2012, 9:00 pm

        “’3a’ is what Arabs use to denote this letter when writing in English, so it becomes: 3arab = Arab”

        Which always looks weird to me, because lots of textbooks use 9 to denote the letter in romanized Arabic.

      • Taxi
        November 20, 2012, 12:26 am

        The digit number 3 is used because it strongly resembles the actual shape of the letter in written Arabic.

      • Mooser
        November 22, 2012, 12:44 pm

        Thanks, Taxi. I guess the Arabness I was talking about is the perception of the people from the area in the West. No matter how authentic the word Arab is, that perception of the people is one that we have invented, and constantly manipulate.

      • subconscious
        November 17, 2012, 8:27 pm

        With each major attack or war, Israel’s options for the next attack/war become more constrained. Israel is having difficulty pulling a Cast Lead in this attack; its war options are shrinking. And w/ each attack Gaza & Hamas become more politically integrated into the Arab world, witness the parade of officials from the Arab countries & Turkey that have visited Gaza in the past few days or are scheduled for tomorrow. This increasing integration will also constrain Hamas’ exercise of armed options, as diplomacy will be considered the preferred choice. Another constraining factor on Israel’s military options is Hamas’ increasing missile range.

      • eljay
        November 17, 2012, 10:37 pm

        >> I just don’t see a two state or a one state. I see war. A terrible war. Followed by a major redrawing of the map, to Palestine’s advantage.

        I can’t say that I see a terrible war, but I do imagine that if a terrible war were to occur, the result would be massive devastation and loss of life, which would be to the advantage of neither “the (Israeli) Jews” nor “the Palestinians”.

  8. Abdul-Rahman
    November 17, 2012, 1:59 pm

    And these fascist Zionists are the repugnant occupying criminals that are going to also then turn around and be the ones to lecture everyone about the history of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis (of course Norman Finkelstein has documented the reasons beyond this is in his book “The Holocaust Industry” in relations to the Zionist movement and its abuse of history). Of course no contradiction in these Zionist fascists wanting to commit genocide and then invoking the memory of the Nazis every other second! Of course also putting aside the documented reality of the historical relationship and alliance Zionists (in particular German Zionists) developed with Hitler and the Nazis themselves link to amazon.com

    Literally these disgusting Zionists sound almost like what pro-Nazi Germans would say about a partisan resistance group or something!

  9. Keith
    November 17, 2012, 2:00 pm

    PHIL- You seem puzzled. You are a victim of democratic mythology which posits something called a rational political man. Nonsense. People aren’t rational. They are, however, logical and react logically to cues as to appropriate behavior. Most are faithful followers and act accordingly. For quite a few years, the Israeli leadership, influenced and supported by American Zionist Jews, have restructured the Israeli doctrinal system to prepare the Israeli Jewish public for a never ending war against the Arab ‘other,’ an inevitable condition of a Jewish state in Palestine. Also, a great way to divert attention away from the consequences of neoliberalism. So much for those demonstrations against austerity. Herman Goering describes how it works:

    “Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don’t want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” (Herman Goering)

  10. Kathleen
    November 17, 2012, 4:42 pm

    “The interviews left me despairing about the Israeli Jewish public. They are separated from Palestinians, have no sense at all of Palestinian grievances, and would much rather bash Palestinians than even think of sharing power with them.” Since the birth of Israel

    Phil “Several people offered genocidal statements unprompted. What is the solution to Gaza? “Long term? I don’t think you should write it down,” Debbie, an Australian who had emigrated to a town near Gaza, said. “Push delete on Gaza,” said a 22-year-old man standing on a hill in Sederot overlooking Gaza.

    “Gaza need to disappear,” said Chen, 23, a clerical worker in a doctor’s office in Ashkelon. “Disappear?” “Yes, kill them all. Of course. One time, and that’s it.” She dusted her hands together. “Nobody’s good there.” Her coworker, Miri, 52, nodded agreement.

    I have talked with Jewish students on Ohio State’s campus in Columbus who said radically hateful things like this. It’s called racism!

    Phil “It is a good thing that the New York Times is putting Zionism on the front page. My interviews left me with the sense that out of a core commitment to Jewish sovereignty and a Jewish majority, the Jewish Israeli collective now contains widespread hatred of Palestinians. Almost all the Jewish Israelis I spoke to have no desire to live with Palestinians or to figure out how to go forward. They only want to punish Palestinians for resistance.”

    What makes you think it has ever been any different? From people I know who have been going over to the area for three decades this is the way the majority in the Israeli public has always been. Racist! Sounds like you are getting it Phil. Israel is the face of a racist apartheid state.

    A depressing reality. The only way Israel will shift is if they are forced to. Cut all aid to Israel. Divest. They are not going to do the right thing.

    • Dutch
      November 17, 2012, 6:02 pm

      Kathleen: “What makes you think it has ever been any different?”

      That’s exactly what I have often asked myself, seeing Phil manoeuvre. It is 35 years ago that I first spoke to Jews who left Israel to return to the Netherlands. For them, already then, the hatred and racism were unbearable. They rather reurned to the soil that devastated their lives, than being complicit to crimes themselves.

      Literally everything about Israel is a myth, Phil. We’ve just refused to accept it.

      • Kathleen
        November 17, 2012, 10:48 pm

        I have one friend who has been going over for close to 30 years they have said Israeli’s they have talked with have often shared very similar racist statements, thoughts, goals similar to what Phil shared in his latest post.

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 12:53 pm

        “What makes you think it has ever been any different?”

        I say we cut the man a break. Phil’s been honest about where he came from, as honest as he could be, and he’s been scrupulous about describing his changes. You can’t ask for much more than that.

  11. seafoid
    November 17, 2012, 4:43 pm

    link to guardian.co.uk

    If there is a peculiarity about this campaign, however, it is in the aura of incoherence surrounding it. The message coming from Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his inner circle often seems confused. Even as cabinet ministers were vowing to push ahead with the second phase, the Jerusalem Post reported a phone call from Netanyahu to US president Barack Obama in which it said they discussed “de-escalation”.

  12. Kathleen
    November 17, 2012, 4:44 pm

    Hey I am going to lose my bet that no one took me up on. Chris Hayes announced at the top of his Sat program he will be talking about this issue on his Sunday program. We will be listening for where he starts the report who started this latest debacle

  13. Les
    November 17, 2012, 4:49 pm

    And the US media is doing its usual part. Note this cartoon cited by Glenn Greenwald.

    link to twitpic.com

    Speaking of Greenwald:

    UPDATE

    According to Haaretz, Israel’s Interior Minister, Eli Yishai, said this about Israel’s attacks on Gaza: “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages.” Let me know if any of the US Sunday talk shows mention that tomorrow during their discussions of this “operation”.

    link to guardian.co.uk

    • seafoid
      November 18, 2012, 7:11 am

      “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages.”

      to join the Haredim . LOL
      Ideally the Gazans should dress up in 16th century Lithuanian garb while they are at it.

      Ultimately Gaza will be bombed back to AD 70 just in time for Masada.

  14. yonah fredman
    November 17, 2012, 5:45 pm

    Phil, the current situation is certainly disheartening to those who favor Ben Gurion’s actions of early 1948, including the declaration of independence and the nakba. I try to fine tune the past, trying to figure out where it went wrong, how it might have gone right instead of wrong. Currently it seems that Ben Gurion’s combined acts resulted in permanent war and permanent war is bad.

    • thankgodimatheist
      November 17, 2012, 11:20 pm

      “I try to fine tune the past, trying to figure out where it went wrong,”
      Yonah, let’s face it. It was all wrong from the very beginning.The whole idea of planting a state/colony in those foreign lands was a huge MISTAKE!

      • yonah fredman
        November 18, 2012, 3:20 pm

        tgia- I give the Zionist movement not only a pass but credit for most everything it did before the Khurban, (my word for the well known genocide, to avoid the use of a religious term per se). After the Khurban, the wheel of history could not be stopped.

        the jewish urge towards survival included the urge towards an army and an urge towards an army includes an urge for a land and the jewish urge for a land inevitably led to a jewish urge for that land.

      • eljay
        November 18, 2012, 3:31 pm

        >> I give the Zionist movement not only a pass but credit for most everything it did before the [Holocaust] … After the [Holocaust], the wheel of history could not be stopped.

        What an amusing bit of apologetics on behalf of Zio-supremacism: Jews are not only victims of other men but victims, too, of “the wheel of history”…even as they do everything in their power to set the wheel spinning and to keep it spinning smoothly. How terrible!

        Aggressor-victimhood sure is a tough gig… :-(

      • RoHa
        November 18, 2012, 10:32 pm

        “I give the Zionist movement not only a pass but credit for most everything it did before the Khurban”

        That includes:
        (1) Peddling the idea that Jews are special and different from the people they live among.
        (2) Peddling the idea that Jews can’t live with Gentiles.
        [And aren't those the ideas that the people who perpetrated the well known genocide held?]
        (3) Planning to take over a land already inhabited by other people.
        (4) Planning to expel or subjugate the other people from that land.
        (5) Setting up and operating institutions (including terrorist organizations) in said land which started the process of 3 and 4.

        Are there any of those do you not give credit for?

      • yonah fredman
        November 21, 2012, 9:07 pm

        RoHa- Sorry for taking so long in getting back to you.

        1. I do not believe that the Jews are special or different. (Understanding that I do not mean to contradict the following: No two snowflakes are identical and no two groups are identical.)

        2. I think the idea that Jews cannot live among the Gentiles is not a permanent fact, but was a very true temporary fact during the years 1939 to 1945 referring to that land mass known as Europe. Regarding the situation that the Zionists exaggerated a temporary fact that they were facing (even if they thought they were facing Russian hatred in 1881 -1921 and in fact the greater danger turned out to be Nazi German hatred in 39 to 45) and viewed it as permanent, I have two observations: 1. This reflects human nature’s tendency to extrapolate from the fact on hand to a permanent situation and 2. Their claim that the temporary was in fact permanent might have helped move some Jews out of their lethargy and to Israel and survival.

        A large part of my family survived WWII because they moved from Poland to I/P in the ’30’s. If not for Zionism they would have joined those relatives of mine that were murdered. The Zionist movement that allowed them to move to I/P despite the objections of the indigenous, accomplished its goals to get the Balfour Declaration and the British mandate due to their single minded determination.

        (For example Martin Buber, whose Zionism was more in tune with my philosophy post 1945, might have limited immigration before 1939 in order to curry favor with the indigenous. Those Jews who would have been refused entrance into Palestine due to Buber’s more balanced point of view would probably have died in Europe. Thus I reject Buber’s position regarding Israel before the Khurban, but accept his position after the Khurban.)

      • gamal
        November 21, 2012, 10:18 pm

        that was a really good try but the “limited immigration before 1939 in order to curry favor with the indigenous” gives it away, should have saved your breath.

      • RoHa
        November 21, 2012, 10:45 pm

        So for you, the most important thing is the survival of Jews, even at the expense of Palestinians.

        That is just “We matter and you don’t” again.

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2012, 1:17 pm

        Those Jews who would have been refused entrance into Palestine due to Buber’s more balanced point of view would probably have died in Europe.

        Well we know for a fact that the President of the WZO considered most of them “little more than dust” with no future, that was unfit for use in his Zionist nation building exercise. link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        You can’t move millions of persecuted people around the globe, like so many chairs on the deck of the Titanic, while ignoring the fact that the crime of persecution and impunity, not emigration, are the only real problems.

    • Mooser
      November 17, 2012, 11:43 pm

      “Currently it seems that Ben Gurion’s combined acts resulted in permanent war and permanent war is bad.”

      Yonah, at this time, you may be the region’s only hope. Please, please, get in there and try to “fine tune the past” ( I did not know you had this time-traveling and adjusting power, or I would have been much nicer. Sorry) and fix it so it goes right instead of wrong.
      But whatever you do, don’t step on any bugs or anything, while you’re back there, fixing 1948, or it’ll raise hell with the evolution and stuff.

      Yonah, do you think this isn’t telling? Over the past two days, all you’ve talked about is “strategy” and “getting in Netanyahu’s mind”. All of a sudden you’re so abstract and clinical and historical. Now you’ve descended into fantasy (“fixing the past?” You can’t do that Yonah.). Why is that, Yonah?

      • yonah fredman
        November 18, 2012, 3:54 pm

        Mooser- At some point in time you might be interested in communicating with me, which would mean questions asked for the purpose of receiving an answer, rather than questions asked for rhetorical purpose. I wonder how I will be able to tell that communication rather than rhetoric is your purpose? Give me a hint, or do you think it is so unlikely that you needn’t bother.

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 12:59 pm

        Gosh Yonah, I thought we were communicating very well. You tell me what you think, and I have no doubt you are honest about it (although I still have my doubts you can go back and “fine tune the past”) and I, in return, tell you what I think. Sounds great to me. Why, what are you scared of? I can’t hit you, or spit on you.

        Oh, and Yonah, I appreciate you telling me I “shouldn’t bother” but really, bro, it’s a pleasure. I’m looking forward to the day you finally open your eyes, and see what’s what.

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 1:11 pm

        What you don’t seem to understand, Yonah, is that I have no intention of being BS’d by you, nor will I let you whine until you obtain the privilege of being treated like a precocious child. I understand why you don’t want to be talked to like a responsible adult, that’s your problem.

  15. yourstruly
    November 17, 2012, 6:05 pm

    down with maniacal zionists
    otherwise?
    what happened to humpty-dumpty
    but not only down
    no more todays nor tomorrows
    the world
    gone

  16. Shlomo
    November 17, 2012, 7:35 pm

    Interesting. I imagine Shirer filing a similar report 80 years ago:

    “But when asked what the solution was to the Jewish question, the people I talked to shrugged. None of them paid even lip service to non-violent co-existence. Many expressed fears of Ultra-Orthodox taking power in the Jewish uprising. Shockingly, several Germans I spoke to called for genocide. “Kill them all,” said Gunter, 23, in Dachau.”

  17. DICKERSON3870
    November 17, 2012, 7:45 pm

    ● RE: “On the Jewish Israeli street, there’s no solution to Palestinian issue but more violence” ~ Weiss

    ● MY COMMENT: It’s not just the Jewish Israeli street that sees no solution to the Palestinian issue except for more violence. The Likud-run government of Israel has fully adopted Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s concept of the “Iron Wall”: an approach that in essence calls for beating the Palestinians into submission. Hence Ariel Sharon’s dictum: that force is the only thing the Arabs understand. And the only alternative to force is more force. [ David Bromwich, Mondoweiss, 9/04/09 ]
    Another famous statement by former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in March 2002 signifies Israel’s official and reductionist view of the enemy: “The Palestinians must be hit and it must be very painful: we must cause them losses, victims, so that they feel the heavy price”. [ Report of the UN Secretary-General regarding Jenin ]
    And former Israeli president Moshe Katsav is on record as having said: “There is a huge gap between us (Jews) and our enemies -not just in ability but in morality, culture, sanctity of life, and conscience. They are our neighbors here, but it seems as if at a distance of a few hundred meters away, there are people who do not belong to our continent, to our world, but actually belong to a different galaxy.” [ The Jerusalem Post ~ May 10, 2001 ].

    • DICKERSON3870
      November 17, 2012, 7:49 pm

      ● “The Likud-run government of Israel has fully adopted Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s concept of the ‘Iron Wall’: an approach that in essence calls for beating the Palestinians into submission. Hence Ariel Sharon’s dictum: that force is the only thing the Arabs understand. And the only alternative to force is more force. [ David Bromwich, Mondoweiss, 9/04/09 ]” ~ me (above)

      ● ALSO SEE: “A Pillar Built on Sand”, By John Mearsheimer, London Review of Books, 11/16/12

      [EXCERPT] . . . Israel’s leaders have a two-prong strategy for dealing with their Palestinian problem. First, they rely on the United States to provide diplomatic cover, especially in the United Nations. The key to keeping Washington on board is the Israel lobby, which pressures American leaders to side with Israel against the Palestinians and do hardly anything to stop the colonisation of the Occupied Territories.
      The second prong is Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s concept of the ‘Iron Wall’: an approach that in essence calls for beating the Palestinians into submission. Jabotinsky understood that the Palestinians would resist the Zionists’ efforts to colonise their land and subjugate them in the process. Nonetheless, he maintained that the Zionists, and eventually Israel, could punish the Palestinians so severely that they would recognise that further resistance was futile.
      Israel has employed this strategy since its founding in 1948, and both Cast Lead and Pillar of Defence are examples of it at work. In other words, Israel’s aim in bombing Gaza is not to topple Hamas or eliminate its rockets, both of which are unrealisable goals. Instead, the ongoing attacks in Gaza are part of a long-term strategy to coerce the Palestinians into giving up their pursuit of self-determination and submitting to Israeli rule in an apartheid state.
      Israel’s commitment to the Iron Wall is reflected in the fact that its leaders have said many times since Cast Lead ended in January 2009 that the IDF would eventually have to return to Gaza and inflict another beating on the Palestinians. The Israelis were under no illusion that the 2008-9 conflict had defanged Hamas. The only question for them was when the next punishment campaign would start.
      The timing of the present operation is easy to explain. For starters, President Obama has just won a second term despite Netanyahu’s transparent attempt to help Mitt Romney win the election. The prime minister’s mistake is likely to have hurt his personal relations with the president and might even threaten America’s ‘special relationship’ with Israel. A war in Gaza, however, is a good antidote for that problem, because Obama, who faces daunting economic and political challenges in the months ahead, has little choice but to back Israel to the hilt and blame the Palestinians.
      The Israeli prime minter faces an election of his own in January and as Mitchell Plitnick writes, ‘Netanyahu’s gambit of forming a joint ticket with the fascist Yisrael Beiteinu party has not yielded anything close to the polling results he had hoped for.’ A war over Gaza not only allows Netanyahu to show how tough he is when Israel’s security is at stake, but it is also likely to have a ‘rally round the flag’ effect, improving his chances of being re-elected. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to lrb.co.uk

      • seafoid
        November 18, 2012, 2:17 am

        That regular beatings until the Untermenschen get the message policy is neat but it is a very hard sell in Galut when there is no Palestinian state as carrot to contrast to the current stick. Maybe Israeli society is moving en masse to a higher state of racist consciousness but nobody else is. I think the point made by the tunisian PM in Gaza yesterday was important. This insanity is no longer acceptable.

  18. Les
    November 17, 2012, 7:49 pm

    ‘Anonymous’ crashes hundreds of Israeli websites over Gaza air assault

    link to rawstory.com

  19. ToivoS
    November 17, 2012, 9:19 pm

    Phil this report of yours is quite stunning. It sounds like you have made some type of change. I participated or lurked here for about 5 years and have not seen you make a more depressing assessment of what is going on in the Israeli mind. You seem to be implying that the Israeli public is ready for to commit not just ethnic cleansings but down right genocide. Personally I have always hated those terms because they bring up Nazi comparisons and believed Israel is just not there yet. I have personally witnessed IDF vets spouting off much as you describe these Israelis but have dismissed the extremism to either personal psychosis or to some kind of military bonding rituals that all soldiers experience. You Phil seem to have come to the conclusion that these extreme racist sentiments have penetrated all of Israeli society.

    I have for a few years been worried that this might be happening but haven’t really believed it to be true. Your reporting raises my level of concern. If this is the current Israeli reality it is so important that the American people learn what is happening.

    This raises a difficult problem. Many who have opposed the policies of Israeli governments may begin thinking that they reflect the general thinking of the Jewish Israeli public. That way leads to stereotyping and ugly antisemitic memes. This is a very treacherous line to follow.

    • RudyM
      November 17, 2012, 10:47 pm

      This raises a difficult problem. Many who have opposed the policies of Israeli governments may begin thinking that they reflect the general thinking of the Jewish Israeli public. That way leads to stereotyping and ugly antisemitic memes.

      Not high on my list of concerns at the moment.

      • Cliff
        November 18, 2012, 4:53 am

        Same here RudyM.

        This ‘shoot-and-cry’ characterization/benefit of the doubt, given to Israeli Jews and American Jews is nauseating.

        Is there a precedent for this? I think it’s simply because of the history of Jewish suffering and the Holocaust (as well as Holocaust guilt) that pro-Palestinian activists feel compelled to step on egg-shells around the blatant fact that most Jews in the former, are rabid Zionists.

        And really, the organized Jewish community EVERYWHERE in the world, is mostly Zionist too.

        But that is something to do with demographics and sociology. It is not inherent. It is not genetic.

        So there is an obvious and clear line that should function as a big loud roadblock to any antisemitic feelings.

        I think people play up antisemitism as some kind of intellectual Mt. Everest. It’s more of an ant-hill.

        The truth is that there are plenty of legitimate criticisms to be made about identity, culture, community, etc. that do not remotely resemble racist or bigoted discourse.

        Hence why the noise over Greta Berlin was so monumentally worthless and why seeing personalities of the Palestinian solidarity movement prostrate themselves for some phantom PC committee that cares about everyone(identity) fairly, was so laughable.

      • Danaa
        November 18, 2012, 1:23 pm

        Cliff
        Hence why the noise over Greta Berlin was so monumentally worthless and why seeing personalities of the Palestinian solidarity movement prostrate themselves for some phantom PC committee that cares about everyone(identity) fairly, was so laughable.

        How trite that whole incident seems now: On one side we have one Greta berlin MAY have tweeted something that – looked over under a very bright light and with a powerful microscope – may contain a nugget of that which some others consider “anti-semitic”. At the most unfavorable interpretation, Great is said to have POSSIBLY harbored some feelings of enmity towards the Jewish people of israel and their Jewish supporters elsewhere in the world. On the other side, millions of people shouting at the top of their throats the most racist, ugly sentiments one can ever find – backed by action that is DELIBERATELY targeting civilians and rejoicing over every drop of blood spilled. The latter all in the open without a hint of embarrassment or back-tracking.

        Glad you brought this up Cliff – not that I think l’affaire Greta needs to be rehashed just now, but the juxtaposition is breathtaking in its revealingness.

    • Mooser
      November 17, 2012, 11:48 pm

      I have for a few years been worried that this might be happening but haven’t really believed it to be true. Your reporting raises my level of concern.

      Don’t get all famisht over it. I mean, it’s not as if Israel has started bombing Gaza again, or called up 75,000 soldiers. If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about it until Israel actually starts killing people. They just like to use rough language, they get a kick out of it.

    • Mooser
      November 17, 2012, 11:57 pm

      “This raises a difficult problem. Many who have opposed the policies of Israeli governments may begin thinking that they reflect the general thinking of the Jewish Israeli public.”

      Uh, Tovios, they do, that’s what this article, and many more from others, tell us. Are you saying Phil should lie about what he sees and hears?

      “That way leads to stereotyping and ugly antisemitic memes. This is a very treacherous line to follow.”

      Well, a lot of people in the ME read Mondoweiss. No doubt, people in Gaza will read your sage advice and make sure to moderate their speech. Besides, I think they have to save their breath for screaming.

    • Danaa
      November 18, 2012, 1:15 am

      Toivo S – I think you may be finally getting it – that “treacherous line” notwithstanding.

      Though, I must say, you have obviously not been listening to what I have been trying to say, lo this last few years (and that’s bad… You should always listen!). And if my rants were not your cup of tea – there is what Shmuel had to tell – with his more measured temperament – just on this blog. Plus you can’t have missed Avi – who gave many nuggets worth cherishing (don’t know about Shlomo who posts here sometimes – just a hunch he may hail from the motherland as well – seems to get much that needs getting). What of the posts we had from Joseph Dana or max Blumental’s interviews? just to name a few…

      Or if you want to cast your net still wider there’s Miko Peled and his sister Nurit who wrote much about the textbooks used to “teach” the young. And many others whose names escape me just now, but I’ll be happy to make a list for you when time is found.

      If you cared to pay attention you’d have noticed a few common themes – as different as all the refugees from Israel are in lives and styles. So were we all out to lunch you think? guilty of exaggeration? seeing the glass as half empty?born pessimists? see what Marlene wrote above? that’s a slight taste of what is and has been happening.

      The reality of the Israeli people is what it is – and the people they elect are not an accident. Perhaps it’s high time people – including you – woke up to see the gaping heart of darkness just up ahead and smell them ghastly flowers before it is too late and some real treacherous lines will indeed start converging. Mooser’s and Marc Ellis’ and Phil’s and Adam’s and many other people’s efforts notwithstanding. As important and numerous as the good guys may seem to us who read this blog and Richard Silverstein and Glenn Greenwald and The Magnes Zionist and +972 – among others – the sad truth is – it’s way too few. Whether in Israel or the US or the UK or anywhere else where the zionists reign supreme.

      We are way too few and our combined wealth and power – such as they are – but a drop in the bucket. WE all speak up – each in their own way – but the MSM does not hear – and the killings of the Gazans and the oppression of the palestinians go on – as if no one has said a thing.

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 1:14 pm

        “(and that’s bad… You should always listen!).”

        I concur. Listening to Danaa has been good for me!

      • Danaa
        November 19, 2012, 3:18 pm

        You pulling my leg, Mooser (or just my pony tail)?

        But if you not be [totally] jesting then I will instantly liquify with self-stupefaction – a sight to behold (except not sure I have recovered yet my fully solid form from the last bout of liquefaction, so perhaps not so impressive, this time. Sorry).

        Thanks for your light touches here on this and the other threads. I know I needed something to dispel the dark clouds if just for a bit….

      • Mooser
        November 22, 2012, 1:03 pm

        “You pulling my leg, Mooser (or just my pony tail)?”

        Your comments Danaa, help me overcome my congenital prejudice against Israelis. I doubt I’ll ever lose it completely, but you are moderating the heck out of it. Thanks, and I hope Mondo will hear from you far into the future. And I certainly don’t know (they never answer my postage-due letters or collect phone calls, and employ former WWF stars as security guards!) but I bet they feel the same at Mondoweiss Plaza, even in the sumptuous 110th floor offices.

    • Shmuel
      November 18, 2012, 3:34 am

      I have for a few years been worried that this might be happening but haven’t really believed it to be true. Your reporting raises my level of concern. If this is the current Israeli reality it is so important that the American people learn what is happening.

      ToivoS, Sadly, it is true, although it is accompanied with so much self-justification (including heavy doses of internal and external propaganda and “-washing” of various kinds) and incongruous views, attitudes and behaviour, that it can be hard to identify and harder to accept. The “American people” may learn what is happening, but it’s a long way from there to believing and internalising it. Read some of Phil’s earlier posts on drinking beer in Tel Aviv and you may get an idea of what the Palestinians are up against (and Phil is by no means your ordinary USian).

      This raises a difficult problem. Many who have opposed the policies of Israeli governments may begin thinking that they reflect the general thinking of the Jewish Israeli public. That way leads to stereotyping and ugly antisemitic memes. This is a very treacherous line to follow.

      So what do you do when a generalisation (and a terrible one at that) is more or less on the money? You make sure not to exaggerate it further (an easy trap to fall into) and to steer clear of those who do. You stay rooted in human rights and anti-racist discourse. You could do worse than follow the lead of Palestinians like Abunimah and Omar Barghouti. And as much criticism as there is of Palestinian solidarity groups and individuals who identify “as Jews”, we are a necessary part of the movement.

      At the demonstration I went to last night, I met a friend who has moved away from our local “Jews against the occupation” group. She said she was fed up with “playing the ‘good’ Jew”. She’s right, but unfortunately, that is the way the world works. Just as we were marching, they were getting ready for a pro-Israel demo in the Jewish Ghetto, right near the main synagogue (which had a giant picture of Gilad Shalit up for years, and still has one of Ron Arad). The president of the Jewish community then has the nerve to complain that demonstrators (at a labour demo last week) shouted “free Palestine” in front of the synagogue. “What do we have to do with it?” he said, accusing the demonstrators of anti-Semitism.

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 1:18 pm

        “So what do you do when a generalisation (and a terrible one at that) is more or less on the money?”

        Well, Shmuel, I know what I do about it. I buy Tums and Bepto-Bismol by the case lot, and keep a lot of Seconal handy. So you see, it doesn’t bother me at all!

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 1:25 pm

        “So what do you do when a generalisation (and a terrible one at that) is more or less on the money?”

        I don’t think it’s a generalisation, I think it’s a bigoted prejudice! What about Benny Goodman, Lee Konitz, Stan Getz, Sammy Davis Jr., Eddie Landsberg, Mezz Mezzrow and so many others! Jews can to swing!

      • Klaus Bloemker
        November 19, 2012, 5:05 pm

        Mooser –
        You didn’t mention Dave Brubeck who told his son, who was going to play with him on a gig, to take off his kippa.

      • Mooser
        November 22, 2012, 1:13 pm

        “You didn’t mention Dave Brubeck…”

        Brubeck? Feh! Brubeck doesn’t swing, he bounces!

        No, of course Brubeck is wonderful! (I gotta get this past The Moderators.) But I didn’t mention him because I heard he converted to Roman Catholicism. Might have been a rumor, but I heard he did it the week he was born! The moser!

      • jon s
        November 22, 2012, 1:44 pm

        Mooser, the derogatory term for a convert is “meshumad”.

      • Mooser
        November 24, 2012, 12:44 pm

        “Mooser, the derogatory term for a convert is “meshumad”.

        First of all, “jons” I have no derogatory term for those who convert to Judaism, I welcome them as my brothers and sisters (unless, of course, they are Zionist, which trumps anything else). After all, my family must have been converted at some point. Of course, you descend directly from Moses, so you are probably more snobbish about it.
        And Dave Brubeck was born, and later reaffirmed, that he is a Catholic.
        Which makes the term for you (not derogatrory, but simply descriptive) “a stupid idiot”

      • American
        November 19, 2012, 5:14 pm

        “The president of the Jewish community then has the nerve to complain that demonstrators (at a labour demo last week) shouted “free Palestine” in front of the synagogue. “What do we have to do with it?” he said, accusing the demonstrators of anti-Semitism”…….Shmuel

        Free advice. Jews will not be able to convince people ( the general public) that Jews in general have nothing to do with the Jewish State…that tie is set in concrete. It does them no good to respond like…’“What do we have to do with it?”. ….whether it’s true of the person(s) or of the group of Jews saying it or not. A denial of “involvement”…(once again even it’s true)….is not what people want to hear…..it’s taken as a ‘shrugging off’ of responsibility. What they want to hear and will accept is …”We know, we are trying to stop it, or them or change it”…(once again ,even if the person saying it has not contributed to the problem). If you want to convince people that ‘not all’ Jews are involved in the Israel problem that is how you respond. You don’t duck it, you admit a problem, own the problem on behalf of the Jewish community and make it clear you are fighting the problem elements in it. People will get that. That is how you fight anti semitism. Not by just saying or thinking don’t blame us all cause anti semitism scares us.

      • Shmuel
        November 20, 2012, 2:02 am

        I’ll be sure to pass your advice on to the president of the community, although my first attempt to contact him through the community website was blocked. Apparently (according to said president), some critical comments started to appear on the site by people with “ostensibly Jewish names”, who must have been “infiltrators”, and the site closed to comments – with the exception of practical questions about the availability of kosher food (I kid you not).

        The war party actually held their demonstration inside the main synagogue (with community president, chief rabbi and Israeli ambassadors presiding). What’s a little more sacrilege between co-religionists eh? For some time now, my attitude to the synagogue has been that of the Psalmist: “Happy the man who has not walked in the wicked’s counsel, nor in the way of offenders has stood, nor in the session of scoffers has sat.”

      • Mooser
        November 22, 2012, 1:19 pm

        “own the problem on behalf of the Jewish community”

        No cheating, either. Only own the percentage of the problem you are indeed responsible for. No claiming more than your share, just to be a big man or something!

      • American
        November 22, 2012, 2:06 pm

        Simple psychology Moose pous. But if having company makes you feel better change Jewish to American and community to society…..the same applies. You’ve either in or you’re out……the only out I can think of is some other world paradise ….maybe Tahiti.

    • Klaus Bloemker
      November 18, 2012, 4:56 am

      ” … the policies of Israeli governments … reflect the general thinking of the Jewish Israeli public. That may lead to stereotyping and ugly antisemitic memes.”
      ——————
      Not long ago Phil wrote: “Israel is losing legitimacy”. – This is obviously not the case. (Not with its Jewish population and – so far – not with most Jewish organizations in America or elsewhere in the world.)

      Legitimacy is usually based on a common value system. Since Israel defines itself as a “Jewish state”, one can only infer that the value system is that of Judaism.
      This is no “stereotyping” – it may be “ugly”, but it’s logic.

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 1:31 pm

        “This is no “stereotyping” – it may be “ugly”, but it’s logic.”

        And logic, if I am not mistaken, leads to a conclusion, right? Want to tell me what it is?
        And a conclusion should lead to a plan of action. Got one of those?

        Now, let’s see, we have an evil, evil system, which we must conclude is intrinsically (please, Klaus, no anti-semantics, okay?) Jewish. And that conclusion can only lead to one plan of action.

        Gosh, I gotta wonder why it’s so important to Klaus to prove that Judaism is intrinsically evil. What on earth will he gain from that?

      • seanmcbride
        November 19, 2012, 1:51 pm

        Mooser,

        Why was it so easy for Zionism — and the most extreme forms of Zionism at that — to fully devour and digest Judaism — nearly the entire Jewish religious establishment worldwide — including the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform branches of Judaism?

        Might goodness of ideological fit help explain what has happened? The fact that messianic ethnic nationalism lies at the core of ancient Judaism?

        Here is Max Nordau on this subject in “Zionism and Anti-Semitism” (1905):

        Zionism is a new word for a very old object, in so far as it merely expresses the yearning of the Jewish people for Zion. Since the destruction of the second temple by Titus, since the dispersion of the Jewish nation in all countries, this people has not ceased to long intensely, and hope fervently, for the return to the lost land of their fathers. This yearning for, and hope in, Zion on the part of the Jews was the concrete, I might say, the geographical, aspect of their Messianic faith, which in its turn forms an essential part of their religion.

        Messianism and Zionism were really, for nearly two thousand years, identical conceptions, and without caviling and hair-splitting interpretation, it would not be easy to make a distinction between the prayers for the appearance of the promised Messiah, and those for the not less promised return to the historical home,–both of which stand side by side on every page of the Jewish liturgy. These prayers were, until a few generations ago, meant literally by every Jew, as they still are by the simple believing Jews. The Jews had no other idea than that they were a people which as a punishment for its sins had lost the land of its forefathers, which was condemned to live as strangers in strange lands, and whose great sufferings would first cease when it was again assembled on the consecrated soil of the Holy Land.

        link to gutenberg.org

        Do you regard Max Nordau to be an authoritative voice on these matters?

      • Hostage
        November 19, 2012, 2:39 pm

        Sean, how do you reconcile what Max Nordau claimed with the contents of the Reform movement’s Pittsburgh Platform of 1885? There’s absolutely no evidence of any yearning for Zion in that document.
        link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

        Most American Jews probably aren’t attending synagogues on a regular basis anyway. At the recent Baltimore General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America the new head of the Reform movement bemoaned that fact and told the attendees that American Jews no longer think that Israel represents their core values. See Haaretz: “Reform Rabbi Rick Jacobs: American Jews are ‘afraid’ to talk about Israel”: URJ president also says that because of issues of religion and state such as Anat Hoffman’s recent arrest at the Western Wall, ‘North American Jews don’t see an Israel that reflects their core values.’
        link to haaretz.com

        There’s absolutely no way the Jews in Israel will take Jacob’s criticism of religion and state seriously, so the relationship is headed for a falling out. See Haaretz “The right way to change the system”: Reform Rabbi Rick Jacobs is correct that something is badly screwed up in Israel’s state-religion relationship, but his diagnosis is off course. link to haaretz.com

      • seanmcbride
        November 19, 2012, 4:00 pm

        Hostage,

        At the time that Max Nordau wrote that document, during the infancy (pre-infancy?) of Zionism, Reform Judaism still adhered strongly to Enlightenment and universalist values — in fact, Nordau complained about this:

        The premises of political Zionism are that there is a Jewish nation. This is just the point denied by the assimilation Jews, and the spiritless, unctuous, prating rabbis in their pay.

        It has been remarkable to observe how easily and quickly Reform Jews succumbed to the ideological and political agenda of Zionism, Israel and the Israel lobby. Was their embrace of the Enlightenment ever truly and sincerely felt? We must now wonder.

        The only Jewish religious group I know of that has tried to draw a firm line between Zionism and Judaism is Neturei Karta —

        Wikipedia: Neturei Karta link to en.wikipedia.org

        — and their influence within the worldwide Jewish establishment and community has been negligible. They are regularly derided, ridiculed and abused by mainstream Jews.

      • seanmcbride
        November 19, 2012, 4:07 pm

        Hostage,

        Apropos the earlier contentious discussion here about the worldwide Jewish establishment and “world Jewry,” one finds this passage in Max Nordau’s book cited above:

        The Zionist Jewish community is at present organized in both hemispheres in about nine hundred societies, which display great activity. In the matter of organization covering the whole of Jewdom, Zionism possesses national federations of its societies,—the “great” and the “smaller committee of action,” and the congress which maintains a permanent secretarial office in Vienna. The cost of this apparatus is covered by the voluntary yearly offerings of the Zionists, to which offerings the name of the old Jewish coinage is applied, and which accordingly are known as “shekels,”—their amount being in America forty cents, and in Western lands a unit of the coinage (one mark, one franc, one shilling, etc.). The payment of the shekel gives the right of vote for the congress. Zionism possesses its official organ, “Die Welt,” published in German in Vienna. Its ideas are further set forth in about forty other periodicals in the Hebrew, German, Russian, Polish, Italian, English, French, and Roumanian languages, and in the Jewish-German and Judeo-Spanish jargons. Its American organ is the periodical, “The Maccabæan.” It has founded numerous schools, Toynbee Halls, and educational institutes, and has recently begun to acquire a share in the administration of the Jewish communities, in order to devote their resources, more than has heretofore been the case with the anti-national or unthinking leaders, to the promoting of national Jewish instruction, education, and culture.

        Nordau uses the term “Jewdom” seven times in the book, to describe world Jewry — a term that sounds even more potentially offensive to my ear than “world Jewry.” But there you go.

        Nine hundred societies worldwide? This was written 110 years ago –around 1902.

      • seanmcbride
        November 19, 2012, 4:16 pm

        Hostage,

        That Pittsburgh Platform document from 1885 contains many noble sentiments, for instance:

        5. We recognize, in the modern era of universal culture of heart and intellect, the approaching of the realization of Israel s great Messianic hope for the establishment of the kingdom of truth, justice, and peace among all men. We consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religious community, and therefore expect neither a return to Palestine, nor a sacrificial worship under the sons of Aaron, nor the restoration of any of the laws concerning the Jewish state.

        6. We recognize in Judaism a progressive religion, ever striving to be in accord with the postulates of reason. We are convinced of the utmost necessity of preserving the historical identity with our great past. Christianity and Islam, being daughter religions of Judaism, we appreciate their providential mission, to aid in the spreading of monotheistic and moral truth. We acknowledge that the spirit of broad humanity of our age is our ally in the fulfillment of our mission, and therefore we extend the hand of fellowship to all who cooperate with us in the establishment of the reign of truth and righteousness among men.

        How would contemporary Reform leaders square their current beliefs and policies with assertions like this one:

        We consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religious community, and therefore expect neither a return to Palestine, nor a sacrificial worship under the sons of Aaron, nor the restoration of any of the laws concerning the Jewish state.

        They can’t.

        One might detect the hint of a supremacist tone in these passages:

        1. We hold that Judaism presents the highest conception of the God­idea as taught in our Holy Scriptures and developed and spiritualized by the Jewish teachers, in accordance with the moral and philosophical progress of their respective ages. We maintain that Judaism preserved and defended midst continual struggles and trials and under enforced isolation, this God­idea as the central religious truth for the human race.

        2. We recognize in the Bible the record of the consecration of the Jewish people to its mission as the priest of the one God, and value it as the most potent instrument of religious and moral instruction.

      • seanmcbride
        November 19, 2012, 4:23 pm

        Hostage,

        Interesting comment from the Haaretz article:

        There is no such thing as Judaism without Israel. It just doesn’t make sense. That’s not some kind of recent invention. It’s at the core of every part of the Jewish tradition.

        link to haaretz.com

        Isn’t this obvious and irrefutable?

      • Klaus Bloemker
        November 19, 2012, 5:35 pm

        Mooser –
        “we have an evil, evil system” – you mean Israel.

        – This system calls itself a “Jewish state”.
        – This system is legitimate with the Jewish public and the Jewish diaspora.

        I don’t say the system is “intrinsically Jewish”. (To say so I would have to know what is “intrinsically Jewish”. I have a hunch, but that’s all.)

        I say as an observer that the value system of that “evil system” is shared by both its Jewish citizens and the vast majority of diaspora Jews.

        – Why should I take you as an authority on what’s Jewish?
        – (You never told me, beside Jewish values being 25% off.)

      • Hostage
        November 19, 2012, 6:31 pm

        It has been remarkable to observe how easily and quickly Reform Jews succumbed to the ideological and political agenda of Zionism, Israel and the Israel lobby. Was their embrace of the Enlightenment ever truly and sincerely felt? We must now wonder.

        In fact, the American Jewish establishment wanted nothing to do with Israel’s claim to be their homeland for at least half a century after the Zionist Organization was established. AJC President Jacob Blaustein obtained Ben-Gurion’s acquiescence to the 1950 “Entente” agreement which stipulated that American Jews are not living in exile.

      • Hostage
        November 19, 2012, 6:42 pm

        Isn’t this obvious and irrefutable?

        Judaism survived thousands of years outside of Palestine. Israelis aren’t governing their country according to the halakhah by any stretch of the imagination.

        Secular Jews aren’t worried too much by concerns about preserving Orthodoxy. Rabbi Rick Jacobs should re-read the Pittsburg platform and inform the rest of us why his movement changed its positions on Israel in the first place?

      • RoHa
        November 19, 2012, 9:10 pm

        “There is no such thing as Judaism without Israel. It just doesn’t make sense. That’s not some kind of recent invention. It’s at the core of every part of the Jewish tradition.”

        IF this is true (and I’m pretty sure it isn’t), does it not support condemnation of the Jewish tradition and constitute a good reason for abandoning that tradtion?

      • Philip Weiss
        November 19, 2012, 10:26 pm

        It’s not true; and the Jewishness of many writers on this site is a reproof to the claim

      • seanmcbride
        November 19, 2012, 11:15 pm

        Phil,

        It’s not true; and the Jewishness of many writers on this site is a reproof to the claim

        The issue is not the “Jewishness” of some individual Jewish dissidents on Zionism (or even anti-Zionists) — many of whom are secular or non-religious.

        We are talking about the Jewish religious establishment — the organizational representative and public face of Judaism — which is now ardently Zionist and which seems to have blended Judaism and Zionism into a single ethno-religious nationalist ideology.

        The combined power of the organized Jewish religious establishment — including Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Judaism — is greatly more influential in American and global politics than the relatively small number of mostly secular Jewish dissidents. (And even many secular liberal Jews are militant Zionists.)

        Isn’t this a major issue for several reasons? The unified backing of the Israeli government by the Jewish religious establishment largely explains why neither the Republican nor Democratic Parties dare to defy or even mildly criticize Benjamin Netanyahu, Likud, Avigdor Lieberman and the most extreme right-wing regime in Israeli history.

        We are also facing the possibility that Zionism will take down Judaism with it — severely damage its reputation or “brand” for centuries to come.

        As has been truthfully pointed out before here, with no disagreement that I recall, the Israeli government and the Israel lobby claim to speak for the entire Jewish people and Judaism. They have relentlessly hammered this idea into global mass consciousness, and most people around the world now believe this to be the case.

      • seanmcbride
        November 19, 2012, 11:21 pm

        Hostage,

        Rabbi Rick Jacobs should re-read the Pittsburg platform and inform the rest of us why his movement changed its positions on Israel in the first place?

        Well, yes, he should. I am surprised that a few major books haven’t already been published which delve into the question of why and how Reform Judaism lost its bearings and is now orbiting the culture and political agenda not only of Zionism, but of Likud Zionism.

      • Elliot
        November 20, 2012, 12:10 am

        Sean –
        As your quotes show, the 1885 Pittsburg is mostly an inspired document. Yes, there is that bit of supremacist attitude. But they needed something to hold on to, otherwise what’s the point?
        Even the Bahais, who claim to be all inclusive and respectful of all religions, say they are better than anybody else, precisely because they alone recognize everybody else (I heard it in pretty much those same words from a Bahai practitioner).

        On the Rick Jacobs question, I’m getting the sense that he and his immediate predecessor have a pact. Eric Yoffie pitches to the right (massacre of Gazans = progressive values) while Rick pitches to the center with shades of left of center. That covers the entire Jewish world, in their eyes.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        November 20, 2012, 5:29 am

        As long as there is widespread talk about “diaspora”, “galut”, “exile”, I must infer that Palestine is still the Jewish geographical and spiritual center.

        Does anyone else in the US talk about living in exile? Maybe the Cubans in Miami.

      • Hostage
        November 20, 2012, 9:06 am

        At the time that Max Nordau wrote that document, during the infancy (pre-infancy?) of Zionism, Reform Judaism still adhered strongly to Enlightenment and universalist values

        By 1885 Anti-Semitism had long been the established and official policy of countries, like Prussia, under the “Cabinetsordre” of 1841 and the circular of Minister of Justice von Mühler who recommended that every court obtain a copy of a pamphlet directed against the Jews (Thiele, “Die Jüdischen Gaụner in Deutschland”). link to jewishencyclopedia.com

        So you’re overlooking the fact that German Reform intellectuals, like Rabbi Samuel Holdheim, were more or less the lone defenders of so-called European Enlightenment. Most of the continent was much more enamored with racial theories and the idea of building ethnic nation states.

        The contributions of Rabbi Holdheim and Rabbi Elmer Berger in the areas of Reform theology or philosophy are much more important in my estimation than those of the later Zionist figures, like Rabbi Eric Yoffie.

        I am surprised that a few major books haven’t already been published which delve into the question of why and how Reform Judaism lost its bearings

        I think that Jack Ross intended to do exactly that sort of thing with his recent book Rabbi Outcast: Elmer Berger and American Jewish Anti-Zionism. During his long and distinguished career, Berger devoted many of his own scholarly works to critiques of Zionism and the State of Israel. He passed away 1996. But like Holdheim, much that Berger had to say is still very relevant today.

      • seanmcbride
        November 20, 2012, 9:16 am

        Elliot,

        As your quotes show, the 1885 Pittsburg is mostly an inspired document. Yes, there is that bit of supremacist attitude. But they needed something to hold on to, otherwise what’s the point?

        Yes — that is why I wouldn’t make a big deal about it — all religions require some degree of supremacism — a feeling of specialness — to maintain a sense of mission and to sustain their existence.

        Actually, messianism (including Jewish messianism) can be a highly creative and positive force in human affairs (as well as highly destructive and self-destructive), and I feel considerable empathy for the inspiring 1885 Pittsburgh document. (My favorite religions these days are Buddhism, Unitarian Universalism, Reform Judaism and Reconstructionist Judaism.)

        I do look forward to hearing Rick Jacobs explain why Reform Judaism permitted itself to become so entangled with Jabotinskyism, Kookism, CUFIism, etc. by means of its association with the current Israeli regime. That will come to be viewed as a colossal mistake, in my opinion. The Jewish world should not be putting all its eggs in one basket (Zionism). No one should put all his or her eggs in one basket — what happens if the basket falls? — you lose everything.

      • seanmcbride
        November 20, 2012, 9:39 am

        If I were going to start a religion, I would never attach it to a particular nation or government. Nations and governments are highly fallible and mess up badly all the time — you can count on it. For religions to survive, to maintain their credibility, they need to hover serenely above the fray of nationalist and mundane politics, untouched by that muck.

        And this is why seamlessly blending Judaism with the nation and government of Israel and with the regimes of political leaders like Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu is probably going to turn out to be a disaster for Judaism. I would bet on that outcome with confidence.

      • Hostage
        November 20, 2012, 11:44 am

        The combined power of the organized Jewish religious establishment — including Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Judaism — is greatly more influential in American and global politics than the relatively small number of mostly secular Jewish dissidents. (And even many secular liberal Jews are militant Zionists.)

        If the Jewish Federations of North America and the leaders of Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Judaism were to endorse Israel’s policy of arresting and persecuting Anat Hoffmann and the Women of the Wall, it wouldn’t influence the opinion of most American Jews on that particular subject at all. Israel doesn’t reflect our core values of tolerance. Full stop. The same thing applies to efforts to enlist American Jews to support hasbara campaigns to defend Israel against “delegitimization”. Most American Jews are no longer comfortable listening or talking to anyone else about that subject.

      • Hostage
        November 20, 2012, 11:51 am

        As has been truthfully pointed out before here, with no disagreement that I recall, the Israeli government and the Israel lobby claim to speak for the entire Jewish people and Judaism.

        Then they shouldn’t have wasted all their efforts and money on those Romney ads;-)

      • Taxi
        November 20, 2012, 3:16 pm

        I agree, Sean. You just described perfectly how to kill a religion.

        And the downfall of one Abrahamic religion will soon enough make the other Abrahamic religions look like spiritual Swiss cheese – melt into the sun of yesterday like the Aztec and Ancient Egyptian religions did.

        Replaced by? Hopefully stuff that’s more universalist, less institutionalized.

      • Hostage
        November 20, 2012, 3:17 pm

        And this is why seamlessly blending Judaism with the nation and government of Israel and with the regimes of political leaders like Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu is probably going to turn out to be a disaster for Judaism.

        Judaism never has been seamlessly blended with the government of Israel. The non-Orthodox streams have no official say in matters of religion and are only dealt with through the new arrangement with the Ministry of Sports and Culture.

        The Episcopal Church here survived the split with the Anglican Church of England after the American Revolutionary War. I don’t think Israel will cause too many problems for individuals here, even if it does become a pariah state. After all, Israel refuses to acknowledge the Reform or Conservative movements as valid expressions of “Judaism”.

      • seanmcbride
        November 20, 2012, 7:04 pm

        Hostage,

        Judaism never has been seamlessly blended with the government of Israel.

        One sees Jewish religious leaders, all across the Jewish religious spectrum, defending the Israeli government all the time and attacking critics of outrageous Israeli government policies. It is difficult or impossible now to detect where Judaism ends and Zionism begins in the public statements of most of these leading representatives of Judaism. They seem to be on board with the belief of Christian Zionists that contemporary Israel is the fulfillment of ancient biblical dreams and imperatives. They encourage that belief in the world at large.

      • Hostage
        November 20, 2012, 8:21 pm

        One sees Jewish religious leaders, all across the Jewish religious spectrum, defending the Israeli government all the time and attacking critics of outrageous Israeli government policies.

        Fair enough, but there have always been leaders from the various streams who are critics of Israel, like Elmer Berger and Henry Siegman. The latter was ordained as an Orthodox Rabbi.

        The co-chairs of JVP’s Rabbinical Council are both congregational Rabbis, and Brant Rosen was named one of America’s top 25 pulpit rabbis by Newsweek in 2008. There’s a list of JVP Rabbinical Council members available here and they run blog that serves as “a repository of their opinions, ideas, articles, prayers, commentaries, poems, and teachings.”
        * link to jewishvoiceforpeace.org
        * link to palestiniantalmud.com

        Judaism certainly isn’t immune to criticism, but you need to avoid overly-broad generalizations and appeals to stereotypes.

      • seanmcbride
        November 21, 2012, 12:32 pm

        Hostage,

        Fair enough, but there have always been leaders from the various streams who are critics of Israel, like Elmer Berger and Henry Siegman. The latter was ordained as an Orthodox Rabbi.

        I know the writings of these few dissidents (especially Siegman’s), but they remain a minuscule minority within the Jewish religious establishment — truly an anomaly and outlier. They exert absolutely no influence on the Israeli government, the Israel lobby and the Jewish establishment as a whole.

        Judaism certainly isn’t immune to criticism, but you need to avoid overly-broad generalizations and appeals to stereotypes.

        But the truth is that I haven’t indulged in overly-broad generalizations and appeals to stereotypes. I have stated correctly, based on facts that should be evident to close observers, that the Jewish religious establishment overall is fully complicit with the beliefs and policies of the Israeli government and the Israel lobby. Mainstream Judaism has been fully Zionized. From the standpoint of the world at large, Judaism = Zionism. The Jewish establishment has relentlessly and successfully indoctrinated the world in this belief.

        The reason I am bearing down on this point so strongly is because I believe that this is a development of enormous historical significance for Jewish civilization and because I think that the Jewish religious establishment needs to start thinking clearly about where it is heading. My impression is that currently it is sleepwalking into a catastrophe.

      • Hostage
        November 21, 2012, 11:58 pm

        I know the writings of these few dissidents (especially Siegman’s), but they remain a minuscule minority within the Jewish religious establishment — truly an anomaly and outlier. They exert absolutely no influence on the Israeli government, the Israel lobby and the Jewish establishment as a whole.

        You’re welcome to your opinion, but Siegman and Berger headed up a major Jewish establishment organization during its heyday, the American Jewish Congress. AJC was a member of The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

        Siegman was a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He served as President of its U.S./Middle East Project from the time it was launched in 1994, and after it became an independent policy institute in 2006 under the chairmanship of General Brent Scowcroft. He is also a visiting professor at the University of London. Believe you me, the government of Israel and the Lobby do not ignore the CFR or the LSE. CAMERA has conducted a very nasty hasbasra campaign against Siegman. So he must be doing something right.

        But the truth is that I haven’t indulged in overly-broad generalizations and appeals to stereotypes

        I think that you have, but just don’t realize it. There always have been plenty of outspoken Rabbis and Jewish laymen who are critical of Israel and its policies. Many of them are on the blog rolls in the sidebar here and at other progressive sites. Most non-Orthodox streams of Judaism can’t get the time of day from the government of Israel. There are also Jewish groups like B’tselem, JVP, Peace Now, Yesh Din, et al whose significance you dismiss a bit too easily. You sound a little like our neocon opponents who complain that Muslim clerics need to speak out against terrorists, despite the fact that many of them have always done just exactly that.

        The fact is that the overwhelming majority of Jews didn’t vote the way that Benjamin Netanyahu or Bill Kristol’s “Emergency Committee for Israel” hoped that they would and that Jewish civilization is a lot more diverse and civilized than some might imagine.

      • Philip Weiss
        November 22, 2012, 8:05 am

        Thank you Hostage

      • seanmcbride
        November 22, 2012, 9:28 am

        Hostage,

        The issue is not whether there are a quite a few dissidents “speaking out” within the Jewish world, but whether their words are having any meaningful influence on the Israeli government, the Israel lobby, the Jewish establishment, the Republican and Democratic Parties and the mainstream media. And the truth is, they are having none.

        In fact, with each passing year and decade their influence continues to shrink and the Jewish establishment (especially the Israeli government and the Israel lobby) continues to drift farther to the extreme right, dragging the American government (and the American people) along with it.

        I know Henry Siegman’s background and writings quite well. At one point it was possible to hope that people in his camp were going to prevail over Likud, neoconservatives, neoliberals, religious Zionists, etc. But it didn’t come to pass. It turned out that most of his supposed allies or like-minded people who were promoting the “peace process” were playing a double game and may well have been Likud moles all along (think of Dennis Ross, Martin Indyk and Aaron David Miller).

        The peace process is now dead, Netanyahu will almost certainly win reelection and the Israeli government continues to move towards even greater extremism.

        During the era of German Nazism and Italian Fascism, there were quite a few German and Italian dissidents on the left, but the German and Italian establishments (the German and Italian “peoples,” if you will) easily marginalized them. It required the combined military power of the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union and other outside players to bring down those regimes.

        It is no longer possible to believe that the Israeli government and Israeli society are going to reform themselves — it is not going to happen. And the worldwide Jewish establishment (including the worldwide Jewish religious establishment — Judaism) shows few signs that it is going to make that reform happen by exerting pressure from the outside, from the Diaspora. Instead, all the energy of the Jewish establishment continues to be directed at forcing Americans and Europeans to go along with whatever racist and aggressive policies Israel continues to pursue — including the agenda of building Eretz Yisrael and fanning the flames of Islamophobia and the Clash of Civilizations.

        How is it possible to envision a happy or sane outcome and climax for this narrative? Nightmare scenarios are easy to imagine.

        One would have expected leading Jewish liberals and progressives like Al Franken, Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner and Alan Grayson to have joined forces with visionary dissidents like Henry Siegman. It hasn’t happened.

      • Sibiriak
        November 22, 2012, 11:27 am

        seanmcbride,

        I used to think Aaron David Miller was quite a bit more moderate and even-handed than Ross and Indyk. Did he swing over to the Ross/Indyk side, or do you think he was always there?

      • Sibiriak
        November 22, 2012, 11:38 am

        Judaism never has been seamlessly blended with the government of Israel.

        One sees Jewish religious leaders, all across the Jewish religious spectrum, defending the Israeli government all the time and attacking critics of outrageous Israeli government policies.

        I think there is an important difference between the idea of Judaism being “seamlessly blended” with the government of Israel (and militarist-expansionist Zionism) and that of Judaism being temporarily allied with the government of Israel etc., no matter how deep and wide that alliance.

      • seanmcbride
        November 22, 2012, 11:54 am

        Sibiriak,

        I think Miller was always there — and I came to that conclusion only recently, especially after a piece he wrote for Foreign Policy last year which was rife with neoconservative attitudes and language. I think these people have engaged in deliberate deception — used the peace process as a stalling device while Israel continued to build more settlements and pursue a Greater Israel agenda.

        I don’t say this lightly — I once harbored enthusiastic hopes for the efforts of Israeli and pro-Israel “liberals” and “progressives.” I now feel the need to place the terms “liberals” and “progressives” in quotes to convey heavy sarcasm.

        The turning point for me came when none of these “liberals” and “progressives” came to the aid of Barack Obama and Joe Biden in their battles with Benjamin Netanyahu over Israeli settlements. In fact, some of them attacked Obama and Biden — siding with Netanyahu and Likud! They have been full of it from day one. The world is beginning to figure this out and will never trust them again. Fool me once…

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2012, 1:00 pm

        The issue is not whether there are a quite a few dissidents “speaking out” within the Jewish world, but whether their words are having any meaningful influence on the Israeli government, the Israel lobby, the Jewish establishment, the Republican and Democratic Parties and the mainstream media. And the truth is, they are having none.

        No, the party that booed the amendment to its platform on Jerusalem and failed to adopt it during several embarrassing voice votes prevailed. Their candidate for President garnered 70+ percent of the Jewish vote, despite all the money and effort that was poured into right wing/Likud political campaign advertisements & etc. The waning power of the Jewish Establishment, the Lobby, or the Government of Israel has never been more evident from my perspective.

        One would have expected leading Jewish liberals and progressives like Al Franken, Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner and Alan Grayson to have joined forces with visionary dissidents like Henry Siegman. It hasn’t happened.

        The status quo is unsustainable. Those figures are not going to waste their precious political capital on efforts to shield corrupt Israeli officials from western courts that provide the accused an opportunity to defend their actions, while affording them all of the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2012, 1:03 pm

        You’re welcome Phil.

      • Mooser
        November 22, 2012, 1:35 pm

        “Why was it so easy for Zionism — and the most extreme forms of Zionism at that — to fully devour and digest Judaism — nearly the entire Jewish religious establishment worldwide — including the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform branches of Judaism?”

        It’s easy: everything you say happened pretty much because Jews are people, every single one of them, and much like all the other people in the world. Israel isn’t doing any thing, or thinking anything. That hasn’t been done, a lot, before. After all, that’s how we know how wrong Israel is!
        None of which makes it right, desirable to do, sane, or anything else positive.

        “Might goodness of ideological fit help explain what has happened? The fact that messianic ethnic nationalism lies at the core of ancient Judaism?”

        Sure, as soon as you tell me how that “messianic ethnic nationalism” is inculcated, and in exactly that way, in every Jew. And when you can eliminate the much more obvious and factual motivations of the Zionists.
        Of course, you can believe in that “core” of “messianic ethnic nationalism” is at the heart of every Jew, but me being Jewish, I have an unfortunate tendency not to take the Zionists at their word.
        But if you wish to, I can’t stop you.

      • Mooser
        November 22, 2012, 1:41 pm

        Nobody (Well, one guy claimed to be) is born circumcised, and no Jew is born with any knowledge of “the Jewish tradition” until he, or she, is told.
        The difference is, it’s very hard to not listen to a circumcision, or change it.
        Judaism can be, in an instant, anything we goddam well think it should be. (Keeping in mind, of course, that an inheritance is a gift, not an obligation)

      • seanmcbride
        November 22, 2012, 1:48 pm

        Hostage,

        To what degree do you think mainstream Christian churches in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s — both Protestant and Roman Catholic — the German Christian establishment — bore responsibility for the policies and crimes of Nazism?

        How about “the German people”? The German establishment in general?

        To what degree did the existence of dissidents within German society mitigate the responsibility of the German establishment for the activities of the German government?

      • seanmcbride
        November 22, 2012, 1:51 pm

        Hostage,

        No, the party that booed the amendment to its platform on Jerusalem and failed to adopt it during several embarrassing voice votes prevailed.

        Which leaders of the Jewish establishment — especially the Jewish religious establishment — have stood with those who booed this amendment?

        How has this dissident faction within the Democratic Party managed to exert any influence on the policies of the Obama administration or the Democratic Party?

      • MHughes976
        November 22, 2012, 2:02 pm

        Klaus Scholder’s ‘The Churches and the Third Reich’ is good.

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2012, 2:51 pm

        To what degree do you think mainstream Christian churches in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s — both Protestant and Roman Catholic — the German Christian establishment — bore responsibility for the policies and crimes of Nazism?

        It’s a fundamental principle of western law that no person may be held criminally responsible or punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. The war crimes and crimes against humanity in question only give rise to individual criminal responsibility for the persons concerned. The German people, as a whole, have elected to pay reparations for tort claims on several occasions. Payments have gone to individual survivors or the government of Israel – and that is the limit of any Protestant or Catholic group liability. That’s still fairly unprecedented. The US government has paid modest reparations to its own Japanese-American citizens for wrongfully interning them during WWII, but it refuses to do anything much more than publicly acknowledge it’s wrongful acts in connection with the illegal overthrow and annexation of the Kingdom of Hawaii; the ethnic cleansing and massacres of Native American tribes; and the US role in the African slave trade. It implicitly denies that it committed genocide or any other crime against humanity during the conflicts in the Philippines, Indochina, or Iraq. At one and the same time it condemns others, like the modern-day government of Turkey for its possible connection to the Armenian genocide.

        The former colonial powers have used criticism of “Zionism” as an excuse to avoid attending the Durbin Review Conferences, where reparations for past wrongdoing against other peoples was an item on the agenda.

        In my view it would be much more productive for us Americans to do a little more personal soul searching before we go off on tangents about the possible responsibilities of German church groups for the wrongdoing of the Nazis. The German people “already gave at the office” – we haven’t.

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2012, 3:02 pm

        Which leaders of the Jewish establishment — especially the Jewish religious establishment — have stood with those who booed this amendment?

        That’s irrelevant, since 70+ percent of the Jewish voters obviously don’t care whether the so-called “Jewish Establishment” stands by their decisions in the polling booths or not.

      • American
        November 22, 2012, 4:00 pm

        Those figures are not going to waste their precious political capital on efforts to shield corrupt Israeli officials from western courts that provide the accused an opportunity to defend their actions, while affording them all of the judicial guarantees which ….”….Hostage

        Humm…I wouldn’t be too sure of that….some in congress have publicly demanded the release of Pollard. Not the exact same thing….but that’s a lot of political capital at risk, with certain agencies of the US, and would be with the general public if it was knowledgeable about it or it actually happened and got reported on in the ms media.
        I think some politicians have a sense of invincibility on the Israel issue and feel they can justify or spin any position they take. And they would surely try to tie it to the US’s own risk of war crimes if Israelis were allowed to be tried for war crimes for support…and they would find support for that rationale. US politicians have been protecting Israel and Israeli from being charged with war crimes for a long long time, I don’t see that changing. Maybe they couldnt stop it but I think they would try.

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2012, 6:03 pm

        And they would surely try to tie it to the US’s own risk of war crimes if Israelis were allowed to be tried for war crimes for support…and they would find support for that rationale. . . . US politicians have been protecting Israel and Israeli from being charged with war crimes for a long long time, I don’t see that changing.

        I don’t think that liberal Democrats can count on support from our European allies, while running around shreying like their criminal justice system is operated by vengeful barbarians.

        Even the Bush administration quietly dropped its provisions for immunity from prosecution in the ICC from the Security Council resolutions on its Iraq mandate after the Abu Grahib prison scandal went public. There was no chance at all that those assurances would have escaped a veto from the other members. When former President Bush had to cancel his European book tour in order to avoid being arrested on war crimes charges stemming from its revelations about authorization of torture, there was no ground swell of support or complaints from our Congress.

        I don’t think that the members of the group you named are going to attack the officials of other civilized countries for simply bringing responsible Israeli officials to court to explain their acts, e.g. tenders for bids on construction of illegal settlements.

      • Sibiriak
        November 22, 2012, 6:35 pm

        seanmcbride:

        How has this dissident faction within the Democratic Party managed to exert any influence on the policies of the Obama administration or the Democratic Party?

        Exactly.

      • Sibiriak
        November 22, 2012, 7:05 pm

        Hostage:

        the party that booed the amendment to its platform on Jerusalem and failed to adopt it during several embarrassing voice votes prevailed

        But it WAS adopted. (And in any case, party platforms are not particularly meaningful when it comes to actual party policy.)

        Their candidate for President garnered 70+ percent of the Jewish vote, despite all the money and effort that was poured into right wing/Likud political campaign advertisements & etc.

        Your logic is specious here. From the fact that Obama was the chosen candidate of delegates that booed the Jerusalem amendment it does not follow that Obama and the party leadership reflect those delegates views on Israel/Palestine.

        And since Obama has made NO significant moves whatsoever that threaten Israel’s continued expansion in the West Bank and nullification of a two-state solution–and during the recent Gaza attacks, said little more than “Israel has a right to defend itself against terrorism”–it does not follow that a 70% Jewish vote for Obama represents any fundamental shift in attitude toward Israel.

        The status quo is unsustainable.

        That assertion is essentially meaningless unless you put a time frame on it. Can the status quo not last another 10 years, 20 years, fifty years?

        Those figures are not going to waste their precious political capital on efforts to shield corrupt Israeli officials from western courts that provide the accused an opportunity to defend their actions…

        What makes you think it would not be politically popular to trash those “western courts” if they were to begin looking into Israeli crimes?

        And if “western courts” were suddenly to start prosecuting Israeli individuals, why would you think that would just as suddenly make the status quo in Israel/Palestine unsustainable?

        And just what do you think the reaction of “the West” would be to such action by “western courts”? You don’t think it would be supportive, do you?

        And suppose a few Israelis were eventually convicted of violations of international law—then what? Why would you think that would effect some fundamental change in Israeli policy and “facts on the ground”?

      • Sibiriak
        November 22, 2012, 7:48 pm

        Hostage:

        70+ percent of the Jewish voters obviously don’t care whether the so-called “Jewish Establishment” stands by their decisions in the polling booths or not.

        70+ percent of Jewish voters just voted for a President whose views and actions on the Israeli/Palestine conflict are in complete accord with the views of the “Jewish Establishment.”

      • Sibiriak
        November 22, 2012, 7:54 pm

        Hostage,

        I don’t think that the members of the group you named are going to attack the officials of other civilized countries for simply bringing responsible Israeli officials to court to explain their acts…

        You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but it seems rather far-fetched given the realities of U.S. politics.

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2012, 9:54 pm

        But it WAS adopted. (And in any case, party platforms are not particularly meaningful when it comes to actual party policy.)

        Yes, the party platform is irrelevant, because the Obama administration gave Zionists a raspberry and refused to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as a matter of official policy and as the respondent in ZIVOTOFSKY v. CLINTON link to oyez.org

        And 70+ percent of Jewish voters supported Obama, Secretary Clinton, and all of those delegates who booed the amendment of Jerusalem in spite of all that.

        That assertion is essentially meaningless unless you put a time frame on it. Can the status quo not last another 10 years, 20 years, fifty years?

        No, the Palestinians will not tolerate the status quo, once they can prosecute Israel in the ICC. I don’t believe that the state parties to the Rome Statute will allow non-members, like the US or Israel, to “call the shots” on what investigations or cases their Court pursues either. All of them have too much invested in an organization whose raison d’etre is ending impunity. Israel has been given fair warning about its illegal acts for many decades and it hasn’t earned any favors.

        And suppose a few Israelis were eventually convicted of violations of international law—then what? Why would you think that would effect some fundamental change in Israeli policy and “facts on the ground”?

        We’re talking about indictments for the members of the regional councils, the cabinet ministers, and the Jerusalem city officials. So yes, it would make soliciting tenders or deporting Palestinians much more difficult.

      • Sibiriak
        November 22, 2012, 10:49 pm

        Hostage:

        So yes, it would make soliciting tenders or deporting Palestinians much more difficult.

        And that’s it? That confirms my point.

        the Obama administration gave Zionists a raspberry and refused to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as a matter of official policy

        And that has achieved what? Was there something fundamentally new there?

        And 70+ percent of Jewish voters supported Obama, Secretary Clinton,

        And, as we know, Obama and Clinton are in fundamental accord with the “Jewish Establishment” regarding the Israel/Palestine conflict.

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2012, 10:59 pm

        How has this dissident faction within the Democratic Party managed to exert any influence on the policies of the Obama administration or the Democratic Party?

        Exactly.

        I take it that neither of you experts have read the Solicitor General’s arguments in M.B.Z. v. Clinton. link to scotusblog.com

      • Hostage
        November 23, 2012, 12:16 am

        I don’t think that the members of the group you named are going to attack the officials of other civilized countries . . . You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but it seems rather far-fetched given the realities of U.S. politics.

        First of all, the ICC has never asked for permission from any country to issue arrest warrants. When I was talking about attacking the officials of other civilized countries, I had the Hague invasion act in mind, aka the American Service-Members’ Protection Act. It authorizes the use of necessary force to liberate any of our Israeli allies, civilian or military, who happen to be in custody awaiting trial in the Hague. I seriously doubt that any of the members of the group in question are willing to actually go to war with the EU. link to state.gov

      • Hostage
        November 23, 2012, 12:23 am

        70+ percent of Jewish voters just voted for a President whose views and actions on the Israeli/Palestine conflict are in complete accord with the views of the “Jewish Establishment.”

        So if Obama’s refusal to recognize Jerusalem as a city in Israel, much less its capital, is in complete accord with the Jewish establishment, why did they file an amicus brief with the Supreme Court opposing the President’s policy position?

        Amicus Briefs in Support of the Petitioner

        Brief for the Anti-Defamation League et al.
        Brief for the Lawfare Project
        Brief for the Members of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives
        Brief for the Zionist Organization of America
        Brief for the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists 

        Merits Briefs for the Respondent

        Brief for Respondent Hillary Rodham Clinton

        Amicus Briefs in Support of the Respondent

        Brief for Americans for Peace Now

      • Hostage
        November 23, 2012, 12:30 am

        And that’s it? That confirms my point.

        By “difficult” I mean that it would be hard to find officials who would volunteer to do those things, since they would be wanted war criminals who would be pursued for the rest of their days in connection with offenses which are not subject to any normal statutory limitations. That would already apply to any offenses committed since July of 2002, when the Rome Statute entered into effect. So your opinion about the status quo is beside the point.

        Of course the Palestinians have already accused Israeli officials with much more serious war crimes and crimes against humanity. I was simply citing the immediate impact on the settlement enterprise and Judaization pograms.

      • Sibiriak
        November 23, 2012, 12:33 am

        Hostage:

        I take it that neither of you experts have read the Solicitor General’s arguments in M.B.Z. v. Clinton…

        I don’t see anything there that refutes seanmcbride’s basic point:

        The issue is not whether there are a quite a few dissidents “speaking out” within the Jewish world, but whether their words are having any meaningful influence on the Israeli government, the Israel lobby, the Jewish establishment, the Republican and Democratic Parties and the mainstream media. And the truth is, they are having none.

        Please explain how Jewish dissidents speaking out relate to the Solicitor General’s arguments and how those arguments prove “meaningful influence.”

        In any case, if that is the most compelling example of “meaningful influence” you could come up with, then clearly seanmcbride’s point stands.

      • Sibiriak
        November 23, 2012, 12:46 am

        seanmcbride:

        I think Miller was always there — and I came to that conclusion only recently, especially after a piece he wrote for Foreign Policy last year which was rife with neoconservative attitudes and language.

        I asked because back in 2004 or so I was researching the Camp David negotiations and the “myth of the generous offer” and I found that Ross and Indyk had a clear, malicious agenda and were hooked into a rightwing talking point machine pushing falsehoods to blame Arafat for everything. Miller sounded much less polemical and one-sided –much more of a “liberal zionist”.

      • Hostage
        November 23, 2012, 11:25 am

        The issue is not whether there are a quite a few dissidents “speaking out” within the Jewish world, but whether their words are having any meaningful influence on the Israeli government, the Israel lobby, the Jewish establishment, the Republican and Democratic Parties and the mainstream media. And the truth is, they are having none.

        Please explain how Jewish dissidents speaking out relate to the Solicitor General’s arguments and how those arguments prove “meaningful influence.”

        Nice attempt at reframing, but I’ve provided the links to the legal briefs. I think its obvious that the head of the Democratic Political Party refuses to recognize Jerusalem as a city in Israel in line with the position contained in an amicus brief from the Peace Now organization. A number of so-called “Jewish establishment organizations” filed amicus briefs opposing the position taken by Secretary Clinton and Peace Now on the status of Jerusalem.

        Nonetheless 70+ percent of Jewish voters supported Obama, despite the fact that Romney called Jerusalem the “capital of Israel” and promised that he would move the US Embassy there. He also publicly criticized Obama for refusing to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 5:36 am

        Hostage:

        So if Obama’s refusal to recognize Jerusalem as a city in Israel, much less its capital, is in complete accord with the Jewish establishment, why did they file an amicus brief with the Supreme Court opposing the President’s policy position?

        They are in fundamental accord; minor exceptions prove the rule.

        As I stated before, if that is the most compelling example you can come up with, then your case is feeble, to but it mildly.

        Let me draw your attention once again to the main issue under discussion (and no, this is not “reframing”):

        Seanmcbride: The issue is not whether there are a quite a few dissidents “speaking out” within the Jewish world, but whether their words are having any meaningful influence on the Israeli government, the Israel lobby, the Jewish establishment, the Republican and Democratic Parties and the mainstream media. And the truth is, they are having none.

        You still have yet to show:

        1) How Jewish dissidents influenced the Jewish organizations which filed amicus briefs in the case you site.

        2) How the Obama adminstration’s position on that case, and on the recognition of Jersualem as a city in Israel etc., constitutes any significant change in the status quo in Israel/Palestine, or in U.S. /Israeli relations.

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2012, 10:01 am

        They are in fundamental accord; minor exceptions prove the rule.

        As I stated before, if that is the most compelling example you can come up with, then your case is feeble, to but it mildly.

        The status of Jerusalem in any final settlement is a deal breaker for the Israelis. To call it a minor exception only demonstrates your failure to grasp political realities of the divisive nature of the problem for Jewish communities.

        The centrality of the Holy City of Jerusalem (i.e. East Jerusalem) to many Jews is reflected by the fact that they go through the ritual of reciting “Next year in Jerusalem” as part of their religious observances. The Israel Lobby has expended tremendous amounts of effort and political capital to get the United States government to pre-judge the outcome by moving its Embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing the undivided city as Israel’s capital.

        Seanmcbride: The issue is not whether there are a quite a few dissidents “speaking out” within the Jewish world, but whether their words are having any meaningful influence on the Israeli government, the Israel lobby, the Jewish establishment, the Republican and Democratic Parties and the mainstream media. And the truth is, they are having none.

        Look dummy the Democratic party that Sean mentioned publicy booed the platform plank and made it necessary to repeat the voice vote on Jerusalem three times. Despite that open hostility to the idea, 70+ percent of the Jewish voters supported the Administration, which refused to alter its position on MBZ v Clinton during the hearings on remand in the lower court. That’s not a few dissidents or a minor issue. That’s the utter failure of the government of Israel and the Lobby to get one of its major policy items supported by the US Jewish community.

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 10:48 am

        Hostage:

        The status of Jerusalem in any final settlement is a deal breaker for the Israelis. To call it a minor exception only demonstrates your failure to grasp political realities of the divisive nature of the problem for Jewish communities

        You are engaging in sophistry. I did NOT refer to the status of Jersusalem itself, but to the Obama administration’s position on that status.

        The U.S. position on Jerusalem has not fundamentally changed for years.

        If you disagree, please explain the major, status quo-altering position Obama has taken on this issue. I won’t hesitate to admit my error if you can do so.

        Look dummy….

        Name-calling is beneath you.

        …70+ percent of the Jewish voters supported the Administration, which refused to alter its position on MBZ v Clinton during the hearings on remand in the lower court.

        70+ percent of Jewish voters just voted for a President whose views and actions on the Israeli/Palestine conflict are in fundamental accord with the views of the “Jewish Establishment”.

      • Mooser
        November 24, 2012, 12:53 pm

        - “(You never told me, beside Jewish values being 25% off.)”

        This, Klaus, is typical of your mendacity, and is obviously a cheap attempt to ruin my reputation in the Jewish community. But it won’t work Klaus, it won’t work (of course, neither will I, just ask my wife). I am on record, in several places (notarised links can be provided on request) as asserting, even asseverating vociferously, that “Jewish values” begin at %50 of retail, and no higher, in accordance with all Torah and Talmud teachings. And if you don’t believe me, ask Shmuel or Hostage!
        On this, I am completely Orthodox.

      • seanmcbride
        November 24, 2012, 1:15 pm

        Hostage,

        Regarding my main point:

        The issue is not whether there are a quite a few dissidents “speaking out” within the Jewish world, but whether their words are having any meaningful influence on the Israeli government, the Israel lobby, the Jewish establishment, the Republican and Democratic Parties and the mainstream media. And the truth is, they are having none.

        I am frankly baffled by the consternation and discomfort which this assertion has created among some of the anti-Zionists on Mondoweiss.

        The truth is, the worldwide Jewish establishment (including the Jewish religious establishment) aggressively supports not only Zionism, but the current Israeli government, which is controlled by the most extreme right-wing regime in Israel’s history.

        This fact of life was underlined when “liberal Zionists” in the Democratic Party failed to come to the aid of Barack Obama and Joe Biden in their conflict with Benjamin Netanyahu over Israeli settlements.

        The Israeli government has worked hard to create the impression that Israel represents “the Jews” and Judaism. The worldwide Jewish establishment has done little to disabuse the world of this notion. Jewish dissidents who have challenged the Israeli government and the Israel lobby have been notoriously ineffective in moving the needle on Israeli policies.

        This is rather a big deal, don’t you think? How do you envision this situation unfolding?

      • seanmcbride
        November 24, 2012, 1:24 pm

        Mooser,

        You get extra points for asseverating vociferously.

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2012, 2:54 pm

        70+ percent of Jewish voters just voted for a President whose views and actions on the Israeli/Palestine conflict are in fundamental accord with the views of the “Jewish Establishment”.

        Once again the amicus briefs filed by the Lawfare Project, the Zionist Organization of America, the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, the Anti-Defamation League, Association Of Proud American Citizens Born In Jerusalem, Israel, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, B’nai B’rith International, Hadassah, Jewish Council For Public Affairs, National Council Of Jewish Women, National Council Of Young Israel, Rabbinical Assembly, Union For Reform Judaism, Union Of Orthodox Jewish Congregations Of America, And The Women’s League For Conservative Judaism in support of the Petitioner – and against the Secretary of State – put the lie to your claim. I think you’re engaging in sophistry by downplaying the influence of actual Jewish voters versus the Jewish Establishment on the policy pursued by the Democrat Party and its Administration.

      • seanmcbride
        November 24, 2012, 3:04 pm

        Hostage,

        I think you’re engaging in sophistry by downplaying the influence of actual Jewish voters versus the Jewish Establishment on the policy pursued by the Democrat Party and its Administration.

        What exactly is the distinction between the views of the Jewish establishment and the views of the majority of Jewish voters regarding Israeli policies in general?

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 3:05 pm

        Hostage,

        I repeat my request:

        The U.S. position on Jerusalem has not fundamentally changed for years.

        If you disagree, please explain the major, status quo-altering position Obama has taken on this issue. I won’t hesitate to admit my error if you can do so.

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2012, 5:34 pm

        The truth is, the worldwide Jewish establishment (including the Jewish religious establishment) aggressively supports not only Zionism, but the current Israeli government, which is controlled by the most extreme right-wing regime in Israel’s history.

        This fact of life was underlined when “liberal Zionists” in the Democratic Party failed to come to the aid of Barack Obama and Joe Biden in their conflict with Benjamin Netanyahu over Israeli settlements.

        You asked for an example of Jewish dissenters influencing the Democrats and I gave you one. The Jewish Establishment formally opposed the Obama administration on the issue of Jerusalem, settlements and all, but Peace Now and the Jewish voters did not. I can’t understand why you won’t just acknowledge that and move on. I happen to think that Jewish dissidents have helped keep the US from accepting and adopting Israeli policies lock, stock, and barrel.

      • Sibiriak
        November 24, 2012, 9:26 pm

        Hostage,

        You asked for an example of Jewish dissenters influencing the Democrats and I gave you one.

        No, you did not. You gave NO evidence that the influence of “Jewish dissenters” has been a major factor determining the Obama administration’s position on Jerusalem.

        Just as importantly, you have yet to show how that position on Jerusalem represents any significant change in US policy.

      • Hostage
        November 25, 2012, 12:35 am

        The U.S. position on Jerusalem has not fundamentally changed for years.

        If you disagree, please explain the major, status quo-altering position Obama has taken on this issue. I won’t hesitate to admit my error if you can do so.

        I’m saying that the US position on Jerusalem was, and still is a reflection of the influence of Jewish dissident organizations, like the American Jewish Congress, and the positions they have staked out on the issues from the very beginning.

        For example, The State Department response to inquiries from Rabbi Elmer Berger was specifically cited in the Department’s Digest of International Law. The government adopted the Rabbi’s position that the Jewish People concept is not a valid concept of international law. — See Whiteman’s Digest of International Law, Volume 8, U.S. Dept. of State, U.S. Govt. Print. Office, 1967, page 35

        That is another example of an important position that does not reflect the views of the government of Israel, AIPAC, & the ADL et al. You and Sean are suffering from denial.

      • American
        November 25, 2012, 11:20 am

        ”I’m saying that the US position on Jerusalem was, and still is a reflection of the influence of Jewish dissident organizations, like the American Jewish Congress, and the positions they have staked out on the issues from the very beginning.”…Hostage

        No it’s not. The reason the US adms- executive –have never actually recognized Jerusalem as the ‘capitol of Israel by ‘moving’ our embassy there –despite all the congressional Res. calling for that— is because then we would have that *Apocalyptic War* over Israel being given the city, the holy grail ‘ of the three main religions of Islam, Christianity and Judaism. That would be the last straw for Islam, they would go insane over that.

        Rabbi Bergers objections to the concept of Jewish peoplehood has nothing to do with the US reason for not officially, in effect, ‘giving” Jerusalem to Israel. I am surprised you would use that. It might be understandable that some want to believe that Jewish dissident organizations have influenced this or some other policies, but the fact is the Jewish dissidents groups were drowned out of any influence on the US government long ago by the Zionist Establishment.

      • bintbiba
        November 25, 2012, 5:46 pm

        Ditto, Taxi.

      • Hostage
        November 28, 2012, 10:54 am

        Rabbi Bergers objections to the concept of Jewish peoplehood has nothing to do with the US reason for not officially, in effect, ‘giving” Jerusalem to Israel. I am surprised you would use that.

        Berger’s objections were not limited to the Jewish people issue. Rabbi Siegman was Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress. Rabbi Berger was Executive Director of the American Jewish Council and founded American Jewish Alternatives to Zionism (AJAZ) which called upon the state of Israel to abandon Zionism altogether and become a democratic State.

    • MRW
      November 18, 2012, 8:50 am

      ToivoS,

      Many who have opposed the policies of Israeli governments may begin thinking that they reflect the general thinking of the Jewish Israeli public.

      Recast them as a nation of George Wallaces* and the Palestinians as black. Still find condemnation inappropriate?
      ________________________

      *As Danaa has been underscoring for two dozen months.

      • ToivoS
        November 18, 2012, 8:26 pm

        Recast them as a nation of George Wallaces* and the Palestinians as black. Still find condemnation inappropriate?

        This little analogy reveals a conflict in my thinking. It is more emotional than rational.

      • MRW
        November 19, 2012, 3:06 am

        This little analogy reveals a conflict in my thinking. It is more emotional than rational.

        Then you don’t remember Governor Wallace, what he did, what he advocated, and you’re not hearing what Danaa, Shmuel, and Avi are saying.

      • MRW
        November 19, 2012, 3:18 am

        Or, maybe, you think Wallace had standing.

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 1:35 pm

        “Or, maybe, you think Wallace had standing.”

        ROTFL! That was cruel MRW. (but I love it) No, as I remember, Wallace ended up having no standing at all. They still wheeled him all over the place, and he claimed changed his views on race after he was shot and paralysed.

      • MRW
        November 19, 2012, 1:48 pm

        @Mooser,

        he claimed changed his views on race after he was shot and paralysed.
        Yeah, guess who had to wipe his ass. ;-)

      • ToivoS
        November 19, 2012, 3:43 pm

        mrw: Then you don’t remember Governor Wallace, what he did, what he advocated,

        I know exactly what Wallace represents and I understood and even acknowledged the analogy. I remember the time when white Southerners were despised and reviled for their racism. I just mentioned that emotionally I find it difficult to stereotype Israeli Jews with their racism since I have just met too many that fail that stereotype.

      • MRW
        November 19, 2012, 11:12 pm

        @ToivoS,

        Well, as Dr. Doidge (the guy who wrote that great book on the brain and the newest 21st C neuroscience) said in a radio interview, ‘Behavior changes the culture, and culture rewires the brain’. (Happens within six months minimum for each process if you don’t nip it in the bud.) The complete opposite of what the science taught in the 20th C apparently.

        We’re witnessing it in the stream of videos coming in from Israel. I realize that American Jews grew up feeling as part of the Galut and tied to Israel, but I didn’t. I separate Israelis in Israel from the Jews I know here (except for that display the other night at the deli which unnerved me) as easily as I separate Irish Catholics I know here from the Irish in Ireland, some of whom are my family members.

        The Israelis, IMO, need to be condemned for what they’re doing and I don’t care whether they’re Jews or Druze. They’re the ones doing things under a national umbrella and by that they should be judged.

      • MRW
        November 20, 2012, 3:36 am

        Emily Hauser’s “What Israel Doesn’t Get About Twitter”

        [...] A big part of why my Jerusalem-born-and-bred husband and I chose to raise our Israeli children in the Diaspora can be seen buried in official Israel’s hasbara-ish tweets: A callous, arrogant indifference to the lives of those we occupy (and upon whom we are now waging war), and a swaggering, overweening insistence that everybody else sit down and listen. Even if it means stretching, ignoring, or re-weighting the truth, even if it means a constant drumbeat of insistence that we, and only we, suffer. That we, and only we, deserve human compassion. That we, and only we, have a right to behave as if we live in the middle of a war.

        The unwillingness to admit the existence of legitimate competing narratives, the cavalier indifference to any lives lost on the way to our latest target, and the stalwart insistence that Israel is always right drove my husband and me from our home. It is reflecting very badly on that home as this war continues.

        And far more to the point: If more reasonable voices do not appear soon (on Twitter or, rather more importantly, in the halls of Israeli power), I fear that it will ultimately mean the end of the Zionist dream.

        link to thedailybeast.com

      • Mooser
        November 22, 2012, 1:45 pm

        “Yeah, guess who had to wipe his ass. ;-)”

        I don’t know, but it was probably somebody who has a much better chance of beautification than I do.

    • Ellen
      November 19, 2012, 6:28 pm

      Toivo, your concerns are this?? That way leads to stereotyping and ugly antisemitic memes. This is a very treacherous line to follow.

      Yes, anti Jewish sentiment is and will be emboldend as the travesty of Zionism increasingly reveals itself but so what! Hiding behind fears of anti Jewish sentiment will only embolden the beast.

      Besides, the world has known viscious anti Hindu, Muslim, Catholic and Protestant, etc. crimes, sentiment, etc. It sleeps among us. Represing it, feeds it. As it is emotional and ignorant, allowing itself expression — where it can fall on its own sword — is the best defense. Repression emboldens it.

      Anti-whatever will always be with us and loudly emerge when self appointed representatives of a group, or institutions representing a group are complicit in crimes. (i.e. the Catholic Church or a Penn State protecting the standing and interests of an institution over humanity).

      So are you more worried about feeding Jewphobia than the real possibility of the elected Israeli government and its army conducting a genocide of a people?

      Is that what makes you afraid of dealing with the truth?

      Toivo, Jews are not Zionism. Zionism is a political colonial enterprise. Genocide comes with THAT package, not Judaism.

      Drop the Zionist fantasies and Israel will do well.

  20. yourstruly
    November 17, 2012, 10:00 pm

    according to the jewish israelis and those here in america who think like them –

    without apologizing*

    the only good injun (er, palestinian) is a dead palestinian

    vitriol & hate

    vs

    unity

    where one equals one

    *being that israel’s the only “democracy” in the region

    • yourstruly
      November 18, 2012, 12:33 pm

      & in making one’s decision as to which of the above truly opposite worlds one would most like to live in

      to have been or actually be a part of

      most likely israel won’t garner very much attention

      a few maniacal zionists

      masada enthusiasts & such

      sudden violent death

      being so innately uninviting

      but if not israel, where?

      anywhere, everywhere

      specifically?

      wherever there’s equality

      the one equals one

      the spirit of those magical eighteen days in tahrir square

      live

      everlasting*

      * at least til down the road a half-trillion years or so when the lights go out on the sun

  21. Kathleen
    November 17, 2012, 10:52 pm

    There is going to be a duke out on Chris Hayes program Sunday morning. David “axis of evil” Frum, Spencer “die hard zionist” Ackerman, and Palestinian human rights attorney and adjunct professor at Georgetown Noura Erakat will be going at it about the latest Gaza attacks etc. Noura Erakat will run circles around these two Zionist. Tune into MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Up program tomorrow morning. Chris Hayes the only MSNBCer to really dig into this issue. Rachel Maddow, Al Sharpton, O’Donnell, Matthews all too chicken shit or something

    • yourstruly
      November 18, 2012, 1:09 pm

      caught the last few minutes of the discussion, but chris et al seemed quite content so it figures that they did well for palestine. every little bit helps, so kudos to chris/msnbc. a toehold on msm + the internet = more & more the word’s getting out & with congratulations to everyone partipating in the struggle. it’s heartening to realize that justice for palestine is within reach with a just & peaceful world inevitably to follow.

  22. Inanna
    November 17, 2012, 11:01 pm

    What did you expect Phil? For Israelis to suddenly turn around and admit what they’ve done to the Palestinians? No, the Jews stole the land fair and square. Now they just have to eliminate the people they stole the land from and then, see, their act of theft will be dissolved. There’s noone to give it back to, no need for hand-wringing or a guilty conscience, no opposition or resistance to what they’ve done.

    Terra nullius. A land without a people. They’ll make it true.

    • seafoid
      November 18, 2012, 8:39 am

      “A land without a people. They’ll make it true”

      Ma yinfash khaalis ya’ni

      Israel is like Lehman Bros 2005 or so. It is all going to fall over.
      The further they journey into the Zionist heart of darkness, the less they have in common with the rest of us.

      Barak calls Israel “a villa in a jungle” It’s jungle now.

  23. mcohen
    November 17, 2012, 11:23 pm

    i have finally worked out the palestinian stratergy and it is brilliant
    hamas will relinquish gaza which will win approval from the west and in return the p.a in the west bank will get their recognition from the u.n
    then the emir will pay for reconstruction and iran will have lost gaza to the sunni gulf countries
    what will confirm this is growing calls for hamas to leave the gaza strip from the west including turkey-that will start happening soon and explains why western media has not supported gaza and defended israels right to fight back
    the israelis will hold the threat of invasion if hamas does surrender and egypt will get its aid as payoff -if not they will be hunted down and egyptian forces will be pushed out of the sinai
    this call up of reservists is different -and this is not 2008
    hamas must go

    • Annie Robbins
      November 18, 2012, 5:04 am

      i have finally worked out the palestinian stratergy

      why do you call it a palestinian strategy?

      what will confirm this is growing calls for hamas to leave the gaza strip from the west including turkey-that will start happening soon

      do you have any evidence of this ‘happening soon’ other than western media has not supported gaza and defended israels right to fight back? because for the most part western media has never supported gaza and has always defended israels right to fight back, so what’s different this time around?

      the israelis will hold the threat of invasion if hamas does surrender..if not they will be hunted down

      the invasion has already started and they are already hunted down. i think you need to polish up your strategy a little. what it sounds like is using gaza as some sort of bargaining chip over the UN bid, not entirely a unique idea if i do say so myself.

      in fact, some people might think Israel instigating this blood bath for that very purpose.

      has it occurred to you that some people might think this strategy you’ve mentioned is already in effect? it sounds more like a zionist strategy if you asked me. only the zionists are not suggesting palestinians get their recognition from the u.n for the west bank. they are suggesting area a and b, 40% of the west bank. or did you forget that? it just sounds like israel wanting to chip off gaza from the rest of palestine like they have been trying to do for a long time. what makes you think palestinians will go for this, at all?

      • mcohen
        November 18, 2012, 7:34 am

        annie you ask
        what makes you think palestinians will go for this, at all?
        so what’s different this time around?

        one word- business

        1.cheap gas for europe to break russian monoply
        2.china and india support a railway from suez to haifa-http://www.alarab.co.uk/english/display.asp?fname=\201211-30\zbusinessz\942.htm
        3.emir to rebuild gaza and palestinians will be employed on these 2 projects.sunni influence
        4.blocking this are egypt and russia-loss of revenues
        5.however the main game changer is the colour of the board-it is not black white anymore but green red…. china moved its queen out from behind its pawn.a new game ,new leadership but america is still stuck in the past and playing …….not sure maybe paula knows
        6.i would call for a 7 day truce no fighting -not one single bullet
        starting monday step back and wait for a sign-it will come -then decide
        the tent is waiting to be put up-

        in my personal opinion regardless of the board, israel, no matter how much it is provoked,cannot remove a person or his family who has lived for 7 years on his land ,in his house ,and who has not raised his hands against his neighbour whether it be a jew or an arab .those people in gaza who have kept this agreement need to be protected from attack.they must be supported and recognised as such .
        both the palestinians and israelis need to rethink there next move on the board carefully and ignore outside intervention.there is money to be made and boom times ahead for both parties.you can pray all you like but you still need to put food on the table

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 1:45 pm

        “in my personal opinion regardless of the board, israel, no matter how much it is provoked,cannot remove a person or his family who has lived for 7 years on his land ,in his house ,and who has not raised his hands against his neighbour whether it be a jew or an arab .those people in gaza who have kept this agreement need to be protected from attack.they must be supported and recognised as such .”

        Oh, maybe you’ve got some quasi, laughably mistaken, idea about a ‘statue of limitations’ or some damn thing, but let me give you a little tip: Don’t try and take a Hostage to prove your point. He might prove too much for you.

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 1:39 pm

        “what will confirm this is growing calls for hamas to leave the gaza strip from the west including turkey-that will start happening soon”

        Sure, “mcohen”, we’ll count on it. And I’m waiting for the word-wide attacks on Jews you promised us a few days ago.

        Ah well, hope, as you’ve heard, springs eternal in the human heart (it makes the strings zing, you know) and I guess we all have to believe that this will be the day we won’t make an idiot of ourself on Mondo.

    • Hostage
      November 18, 2012, 6:05 am

      what will confirm this is growing calls for hamas to leave the gaza strip from the west including turkey-that will start happening soon

      Nope. I’m no supporter of their fundamentalist Muslim agenda, but they do represent the views of about a third of the Palestinians by the least favorable estimates. The governments of Russia, Turkey, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference states have asked the EU, the US, and Israel to stop secretly negotiating with Hamas through intermediaries and recognize it as both the de facto and legitimate government of the territory under its control.

  24. Mac
    November 18, 2012, 1:17 am

    Having lived in several Arab Gulf countries and having been exposed to the Sunni-Shia animosities and economic competition in these countries between different ethnic groups, I do not find the insensitivity to the suffering of the “other” and even genocidal tendencies in Israeli society to be shocking. It is not just driven by a morbid fear of the “other”, but more importantly by hubris and a sense of invulnerability. For example, while 90% of Saudis who are Sunni do not today call for the ethnic cleansing or genocide of the Saudi Shia, their attitude would change overnight if the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, where the Shia Saudis form around 30% to 40% of the population, was to become an independent country and the Shia their began demanding equal treatment in government jobs and other economic opportunities. My guess is that after a period of ethno-religious propagandizing by right-wingers on each side, a civil war would breakout, in which the Sunnis of the Eastern Province would behave very much like the Bosnian Serbs in 1992, when they attempted to expel or kill the Bosnian Muslims and Croats in the newly independent Bosnian state.

    Therefore, instead of condemning the Israelis, the Hutus, the Serbs and so many other ethnic groups as inhuman, we should recognize that they are we, and that 99% of humans who feel invulnerable will self-justify whatever crimes against humanity they or their ethnic kin may commit. I would guess that only 1% or less of humans in any society are able to see through the blinders of their ethno-religious upbringing and see the “other” as themselves.

    The way to deal with the Israelis is not to label them as irredeemable monsters, but to bring the international legal and political hammer on them and make it absolutely clear that their senior decision makers (political and military) will be prosecuted for crimes against humanity and brought to justice, just as the German, Japanese and Serb racial supremacists were brought to justice. The threat of unequivocal international condemnation, including from the United States, will work wonders with ordinary Israelis’ attitudes toward Palestinians, and will have them speaking a very different language of peace making and conciliation in very little time.

    • Kathleen
      November 18, 2012, 8:47 am

      The majority of countries around the world think Israel is in the wrong. And Abbas is trying to bring the international “hammer” down on them as other Palestinian leaders have tried. Big problem the I lobby in our congress that rules our foreign policy on these issues will not allow any consequences to be enforced.

      The everybody does it expressed in the above is what Israel always says. Everybody does it and look over there.

      • seafoid
        November 18, 2012, 9:46 am

        “Everybody does it” doesn’t really fit with “we are chosen” but maybe that’s just me.

      • MRW
        November 19, 2012, 11:17 pm

        @ Kathleen,

        Tu quoque. The You Too fallacy. Maybe we ought to clean up our act. Maybe Obama should grow some balls in his public pronouncements, even though he’s given Netanyahu all the rope in the world to hang himself. O’s silence is killing people.

  25. YoungMassJew
    November 18, 2012, 3:02 am

    Israel, as I’ve said before, is truly other-wordly. It’s like the United States in 2012 with chain coffee shops like Aromah (their Dunkin Donuts), flat-screen TV’s, 21st century shopping malls superimposed over a 1930s soon to be full fledged fascist state + America under Jim Crow with Lieberman possibly having a larger role in the gov’t by January. In the Occupied Golan Heights, I sat in on a talk by the owner of this olive oil factory place which was basically the equivalent of a meeting of the White Citizens’ Council or the KKK. He told us he agreed with Newt Gingrich that the Palestinians are “an invented people.” Complete racism, straight out of the American South of the 1950s. Imagine what it feels like to step into a country with that amount of internal contradiction. There’s nothing like it. At the Neve Ilan Hotel on the outshirts of Jerusalam I saw how stressed the workers at the hotel were that it was straight out of the 1930s German economy. It was like how many phones could they answer at the reception desk in the fastest amount of time possible. They were so stressed because under fascist economic policies the working class get screwed. Of course one didn’t see basically any Ashkenazis working these low paying service jobs, just the Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews. When my bed sheets were missing from my pull out bed, I went down to the service desk to let them know I’ve waited for over 30 minutes and the sheets still hadn’t arrived. When it did arrive the worker angerly barged in and made the bed at lightning fast speed. He looked so angry and stressed doing it. You can see why there were social protests in Israel. Seriously, it was so bizarre because Israeli Jews are in auto-pilot and the the country’s political and economic systems are totally disfuctional. The pace of society is eery and dis-comforting. It lacks a stable identity as it lives in multiple centuries.

    • kalithea
      November 19, 2012, 1:23 am

      Foundational cracks. Good. It’s hard to keep an evil operation running indefinitely. I’m looking forward to the collapse. It can’t come a moment to soon.

  26. HarryLaw
    November 18, 2012, 5:37 am

    Why do the Israelis do this? quite simple really, they think they can get away with it, and why not? They look around and they see the US backing them 100 per cent in fact urging them on, Europe falling over themselves to give them upgraded trade deals, and, closer to home they see the Arab League, “No don’t laugh” whose leaders behave like whipped curs, looking over their shoulders and hoping their master won’t take their begging bowls away, the GCC Kings and Emirs fear for their crowns and will do anything to please the master, lets hope they are all swept away in the next few years, Abdullah 2 and Al Khalifah for a start.

  27. yrn
    November 18, 2012, 8:10 am

    “The Jewish Israelis I spoke to are not interested in the causes of resistance or in human rights. They see themselves engaged in an existential struggle that demands the law of the jungle, again and again.”……..

    Phil if you and the readers here, will take the quote above, as another prospective of the conflict , you will see that you will start to see the whole picture “a bit” in a different way, how come people that are living with this conflict all thier life are getting to this point………
    As it is an daily existential struggle.

    • Mooser
      November 19, 2012, 1:51 pm

      “As it is an daily existential struggle”

      Is that the world’s tiniest violin I hear? BTW, I don’t want you to plotz or anything, but life is a daily existential struggle for much of the people of the earth, and for most of them it’s not because they are trying to retain and extend stolen lands. Ever think about it that way?

  28. Talkback
    November 18, 2012, 9:25 am

    Off topic, but I don’t know any better place to ask (comment doesn’t need to be published).

    Can Mondoweiss write an article about the Anonymous action called #OpIsrael

  29. RobertB
    November 18, 2012, 9:48 am

    AIPAC Praises Obama, Senate and House For Backing Israel’s Attack On Gaza

    Senate, House resolutions back Israel’s actions in Gaza

    By JTA

    “November 17, 2012 “JTA” — November 16, 2011 – WASHINGTON (JTA) — Both Houses of the U.S. Congress unanimously passed resolutions expressing support for Israel’s “inherent right to act in self-defense.”

    The identical non-binding resolutions passed Thursday in the Senate and Friday in the U.S. House of Representatives,

    Initiated in the Senate by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Howard Berman (D-Calif.) in the House, each resolution “expresses unwavering commitment to the security of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders, and recognizes and strongly supports its inherent right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against acts of terrorism.”

    By Thursday evening, the Senate resolution had garnered 64 cosponsors.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Click on link for the rest of the details:

    link to informationclearinghouse.info

  30. Kathleen
    November 18, 2012, 10:16 am

    To think Israel has duped one U.S. President after the next into thinking they actually wanted some sort of peace agreement. For decades just stealing more and more of the Palestinians land

  31. upsidedownism
    November 18, 2012, 1:28 pm

    I don’t think any President was duped, Kathleen. They know the Israelis want to steal all the Arab land they can get. Both the US and Israel know full well that Palestine is disappearing and a Greater Israel is taking it place. To admit that would be tantamount to endorsing genocide, so Tel Aviv and Washington just play a game, to pretend to the world, and to themselves, that they are serious about peace. Talk of peace is just so much hot air to mask this process of ethnic cleansing. Israel is addicted to Arab land, and the US is the enabler of the addiction.

  32. kalithea
    November 19, 2012, 1:12 am

    “Who cannot observe these attitudes and wonder about the wisdom of establishing a Jewish state.”

    And it took you this long to figure it out??? You really should examine why it took you so long. There’s a whole lot to be said about why you couldn’t reach this conclusion sooner, as therein lies the foundation of the PROBLEM.

    Zionism is evil to the core and its inherent evil is unfolding exactly as I predicted and those who are shocked by its manifestation today tried to silence me from expressing this opinion not too long ago.

  33. Taxi
    November 19, 2012, 2:31 am

    Look, six days down operation ‘tower of defence’, or whateverthehell it’s called, and here’s how I see it:

    1- Gaza already won soon as the first rocket hit tel aviv, confirmed the following day by hits on a jerusalem settlement. From here on, israelis in ALL of israel will sleep, eat, walk, go to work, go the hairdressers, with more worry than ever before. Talk about a limping regional superpower! If your citizens live in constant fear and paranoia with no relief in sight, you’re not a regional superpower, you’re a super frigging failed state!!! That’s why I say Gaza’s already won – if a ceasefire comes or not – and despite their higher level of casualty.

    2- The israelis are stuck, the kill button is now jammed from overuse, and every added Palestinian death this time round REALLY COUNTS IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD – israel losing more friends by the tens of thousands everyday. Massive bulks of hasbara are being neutered. Yap, losing the propaganda war.

    3- Netanyahu thought this would be a cake walk but it’s a ‘regional resistance’ trap he fell right into – being so feverish and dizzy from his ‘attack Iran’ wig-out and spin. Yes, it’s a trap meant to start militarily grinding israel from within, while the surrounding neighbors squat in the shadows, ready for the leap. Hamas is now better armed than any of us can guess – obviously, otherwise they wouldn’t have touched tel aviv or jerusalem – therefore they are prepared for the long one AND possibly the final one, if ‘Tower of Defense’ be that gate.

    4- The timing of the start of this offensive was also meant as punishment and test for Obama – explains the cold, bored tone of his ‘israel has the right to defend itself’. Moreover, the predictable but odd and hesitant way he gave the green light for more israeli attacks yesterday – an embarrassing dis-coordination with other leading western regimes, considering that the UK leader basically urged for a ceasefire and warned israel (not Hamas) that a ground invasion would not be tolerated. Clearly, aipac is squeezing the sh*t outta Obama’s sackoseeds to make pro-zio utterances. Evidently, Aipac was not going to allow Obama to enjoy a victory honeymoon – but was going be jumping on his throat immediately after winning. I’m guessing Obama’s strategy is to give ‘em zionists an inch or two before he shoots a hoop. He has a chance to do this by abstaining at the UN on the 29th. I look forward to hearing the exact wording of Ms. Rice during the vote for Palestinian Statehood. Either way it goes. And either way it goes, Palestine still wins this round.

    The israelis are fools: by launching their attack on Gaza a mere two weeks before the vote, they’ve only confirmed to the world how badly the Palestinians need a state and recognition, need access to the international criminal courts.

    I consider israel to have lost a third war in a row – unable to achieve ANY of the military objectives behind each war, while the regional ‘resistance’ took hits, yes, but ultimately emerged stronger and better armed.

    R.I.P. Gaza victims. No death will go unpunished, no death will be in vain. The winds of justice are blowing in your family’s favor. Finally.

    • ritzl
      November 19, 2012, 9:47 am

      Well said, Taxi.

      “Israelis are fools” is right. This is a lose-lose-lose scenario for them now.

      This current iteration of killing Gazans, seemingly for sport/public spectacle, reinforces the need for a Palestinian state at the UN. It throws into excruciating high relief that in order to stop the rocket attacks Israel either has to harshly garrison and suppress Gaza forever (lose/smoldering resistance/more dead Israelis) or negotiate an end to its belligerency (lose/natural gas).

      Israel’s already lost the PR battle with this kill, kill, kill method of sporadic incitement and retaliation, so there really isn’t any middle ground anymore.

      • Sibiriak
        November 19, 2012, 11:21 am

        This is a lose-lose-lose scenario for them now.

        Another view:
        link to jeremiahhaber.com

        I spoke with an expert on the Israeli military shortly after “Operation Cast Lead,” and when I told him that many argued that the operation was a reaction to Hamas rocket-fire, he laughed. He said that Hamas rocket-fire was deliberately provoked when Israel broke the cease-fire so that Israel could do a little “spring cleaning,” deplete Hamas’s arsenal of weapons. He told me that this happens every few years, and that I should expect it to happen in another few years. Israel will assassinate a Hamas leader, Hamas will have to respond (wouldn’t Israel, under those circumstances?) and Israel will perform a “clean up” operation. If Hamas is smart and doesn’t play into Israel’s hands, then Israel will also come out ahead, because it will be weakened in the eyes of the Palestinian public. It’s win-win for Israel. That’s what having control means.

        The only thing that will restrain Israel is world-wide, and especially US and European, condemnation.

        Obama:

        U.S. “Fully Supportive Of Israel’s Right To Defend Itself”

      • ritzl
        November 20, 2012, 12:28 am

        @Sibiriak I’m not sure if I disagree with Haber, but my view is that the rockets raise/beg the question (at terrible cost) for Palestinians to answer, publicly. Namely, “Why is this happening (again and again)?”

        Each time this Israeli killing spree happens, I see Palestinians increasingly humanizing themselves and creating space to explain, again publicly and broadly, the origins of the conflict (the “diet,” poison water, no electricity, et. al., i.e. conditions that no free or “western” or normal human would tolerate), as well as the repeated timeline of peace opportunity presented (ceasefire/lull) by the Palestinians, and each time viciously and cynically rejected by the Israelis (assassinations or incursions or just killing some kid playing soccer or gleaning some metal).

        So to your point about “the only way,” yes, of course I agree, but maybe the finer point is that the path to that condemnation is moving public opinion and the rocket attacks, backstopped by the grossly negative optics for Israel, give the Palestinians the ability to make their case (at which, imo, they’re getting better) compelling enough to move that public sentiment in their direction. This is a long, costly, and heartbreaking process, but I think it’s also irreversible at this point, mainly because Israel just isn’t going to stop doing what it does, per Haber.

        Heck, as an aside, I think one of the hashtags to trend in this, or at least would have been at the onset, is #IsraelAttacksFirst or something to that effect. In three words, that tag points out the flaw in the existing narrative, and opens up the discussion.

      • Sibiriak
        November 20, 2012, 5:33 am

        Ritzl:

        Each time this Israeli killing spree happens, I see Palestinians increasingly humanizing themselves

        Perhaps, but I also see this kind of brutality hardening hearts, increasing hatred, and turning people toward religious fundamentalism–which, for the most part, plays into Israeli militarist-expansionist hands.

        the grossly negative optics for Israel, give the Palestinians the ability to make their case (at which, imo, they’re getting better) compelling enough to move that public sentiment in their direction

        That’s true. I’m just not sure the movement is deep or fast enough to justify a positive view of these events, as expressed by many people here. In the meantime, the Greater Israel juggernaut rolls on.

        I think it’s also irreversible at this point,

        The change in world public opinion may be irreversible, but that doesn’t mean the position of various Western states is going to change anytime soon, let alone Israeli expansionist policy. The movement toward UN recognition of Palestine means that the two-state concept will be strengthened–yet that concept can only lead to a very unjust two-state reality, at best. Nevertheless, such a two-state reality could lessen the daily oppression and violence inflicted on Palestinians, and open up space for a very long term transformation of the region.

        think one of the hashtags to trend in this, or at least would have been at the onset, is #IsraelAttacksFirst

        Agree.

  34. Taxi
    November 19, 2012, 3:09 am

    “The rockets fired by Hamas have no military significance. Their sole aim is to focus world attention on the situation. It is a classic Gandhian strategy, not – as you well know – a realistic threat to the safety of Israeli citizens.”

    link to readersupportednews.org

    • Mikhael
      November 20, 2012, 2:15 am

      ““The rockets fired by Hamas have no military significance… is a classic Gandhian strategy, not – as you well know – a realistic threat to the safety of Israeli citizens.”

      Right, Hamas rockets are not a realistic threat to the safety of Israeli citizens. Tell that to the families of Itzik Amsalem, Aharon Smadja and Mira Scharf.

      link to haaretz.com

      • Taxi
        November 20, 2012, 3:11 am

        No Mikh, YOU go tell that to the ethnic-cleansing squatters you list.

      • Cliff
        November 20, 2012, 4:28 am

        Hamas rockets aren’t a threat. Israeli casualties are FEW and far in between.

        No one said that the rockets haven’t killed any Israelis. The point is that the rockets never kill as many Israelis even remotely as the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli artillery.

        There is no comparison. You kill more, injure more, etc. and that is on top of your colonization of Palestinian land – Palestinians are the indigenous population and you are a pretender.

      • MHughes976
        November 20, 2012, 6:11 am

        I would say that the rockets serve a purpose that is military in the sense of using force, organised among one group, to serve political objectives relating to another group. Israel’s activities are military in the same sense. The political objective of Hamas is to keep the legitimacy of Israel, even of 48 Israel, in question, while the political objective of Israel is to force acquiescence in its legitimacy throughout the vaguely defined Eretz. Neither side wants to get into, or deeper into, Goldstone-style trouble, so they would both prefer to attain their goals by killing combatants and smashing infrastructure in use by combatants. In that sense the deaths of non-combatants are not fully intended: they would have been avoided if they could have been. But they are fully accepted chances and risks – the actions involving this risk are fully intended and fully understood. On the Hamas side the chance of killing the innocent is very small, on the Israeli side it is all but a certainty. Does this disparity make a moral difference? I think so, because when risk is an essential and prominent feature of an action the scale of the risk must matter. Does it make all the difference? I think not, because the difference between a small risk and no risk does matter too. So Israel comes off worse in the moral contest but we should call on Hamas also to stop.

    • Bing Bong
      November 20, 2012, 5:34 am

      “The rockets fired by Hamas have no military significance. Their sole aim is to focus world attention on the situation. It is a classic Gandhian strategy, not – as you well know – a realistic threat to the safety of Israeli citizens.”

      They seem to have got the attention of the world in the past week or so. Nice job Hamas! Fundamentalist publicity at its finest. Now the world knows that Israel is killing your military and collaterally a number of civilians because you keep firing rockets at it.

  35. yrn
    November 19, 2012, 3:46 am

    “The rockets fired by Hamas have no military significance”…….. you mean when the explode they spread flowers……..

    • Taxi
      November 19, 2012, 4:04 am

      Which part of the word ‘military’ do you not understand?

      Okay, I’ll be nice, I’ll help y’out: rocket versus missile, rocks versus tanks, kite versus drone – which of these bare a ‘military’ edge, a “military significance”?

      I know a kite can fall from the sky and poke your eye out, but really now yrn, that’s not a good reason to go get a top of the line life insurance.

    • SimoHurtta
      November 19, 2012, 6:17 am

      Military significance means that in this case the Gaza rockets are a military threat to Israel. The Gaza rockets have at the best some psychological significance as a threat to the Israeli civil population, but certainly the rockets are no significant military threat to Israel militarily. A much bigger military significance in the military circumstances of Gaza would be achieved with modern anti-tank and air defense weapons or high power snipper rifles.

      Gaza rockets have been and are a “God given” present to Israeli regime. Israel has had much more propagandist benefits of those primitive weapons than Hamas has had. Without those rockets Israel would have been demanded to end the siege of Gaza long ago and Israel’s possibilities in the settlement expansions would have much more limited. The rockets have worked only as a “safety valve” to reduce the growing frustration among Palestinians. Militarily and politically those rockets have been a disaster for Palestinians.

      The reality is that traffic is still a more significant mortal threat for southern Israeli population than Gaza rockets have been. In the area of “Gaza rocket influence” cars driven by Jews kill and have killed many more Jews than rockets from Gaza.

      • gamal
        November 19, 2012, 7:29 am

        “Gaza rockets have been and are a “God given” present to Israeli regime. Israel has had much more propagandist benefits of those primitive weapons than Hamas has had. Without those rockets Israel would have been demanded to end the siege of Gaza long ago and Israel’s possibilities in the settlement expansions would have much more limited.”

        Because before the rockets no one was expropriated or expelled.
        For 20 years the Palestinians in the occupied territories offered very little resistance it availed them nothing, now that the extra-national refugees have ceased mounting operations against Israeli targets they have been fogotten.
        As much comfort as some seem to draw from always regarding Palestinian resistance as self defeating or counter productive history tells another story.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        November 19, 2012, 8:44 am

        Gamal: Who is saying that the Palestinians should not resist at all? Is that the only alternative to these silly rockets? There is now another Palestinian resistance, on the West Bank and internationally: civil disobedience, Bil’in, BDS etc. This resistance is making palpable progress on the most crucial front, which is the struggle for world opinion (it was the crucial front for Zionism too). How do these silly rockets affect this crucial front? Do they help or hinder it? Even in terms of effective military resistance in Gaza, wouldn’t it be more effective to concentrate on clearly defensive actions against the planes, ships etc. that are directly attacking Gaza?

      • gamal
        November 19, 2012, 9:56 am

        you are talking to yourself a bit here stephen have you read

        link to mondoweiss.net

        the rockets are not the issue, tell me other than lament Palestinians 100 years of experience in facing the old and new super powers (GB and US) and their utterly ruthless local clients what can you do, all of this if only and why oh why is the most arrant BS. In case you hadnt noticed the Palestinians are slowly but surely winning, things aint like the used to be 76 years ago and 64 years and 40 years ago and again 30 years ago they were crushed, slowly but inexorably the Palestinians have reconstituted their shattered society and revolution and proceeded to resist but then how long have you following this war, the rockets are part of that, they deny the political establishment in Israel impunity, it matters, liberation is the task of generations, if you care so much man what can you do, you are not one of Palestine’s strategists and given what they have and are facing its hard to see who could have achieved what they have, including the somewhat eccentric ikhwan of Hamas.

      • Woody Tanaka
        November 19, 2012, 10:06 am

        ” There is now another Palestinian resistance, on the West Bank and internationally: civil disobedience, Bil’in, BDS etc.”

        So the only acceptable fight is one that doesn’t inconvenience the oppressor too much?

        “Even in terms of effective military resistance in Gaza, wouldn’t it be more effective to concentrate on clearly defensive actions against the planes, ships etc. that are directly attacking Gaza?”

        No. You’re talking tactical weapons and the Palestinians fighting the zionists dogs will never prevail. The rockets are (or at least have the potential to be) strategic weapons. Know that difference and you understand what’s really going on and why the criminals in Tel Aviv and occupied West al Quds are fighting the world’s calls for a cease fire.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        November 19, 2012, 1:21 pm

        I say what I think. Whether I end up talking to myself is not up to me. It depends on whether anyone else wants to listen.

        Members of the Israeli political establishment have long been at some risk of assassination, either by Jewish ultras or by the PFLP. I can’t see that the rockets have much effect on their personal security. And I’m unclear as to how it matters.

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 1:55 pm

        Stephen, what’s so “silly” about them? I bet an awful lot of affluent, educated, dual-passport Israelis are dusting off the other passport now, and calling their friends to get a charter price on a flight out. Those rockets are like chicken soup, it couldn’t hurt.

        Of course, I regret and mourn the loss of every poor schlemiel who was dumb enough, or just unlucky enough, or meshuggah enough, to be under Zionist domination, and be used as a human shield for Israeli expansion.

        Besides, Google Spel-Chek corrects Yiddish spellings! Who could ask for anything more?

      • Stephen Shenfield
        November 19, 2012, 6:36 pm

        I never said that “the only acceptable fight is one that doesn’t inconvenience the oppressor too much?” I wasn’t talking about acceptability at all, only effectiveness. I’m getting rather pissed off with these groundless attributions of disreputable motives. (In fact, a widespread boycott would be very inconvenient, that’s why it worries them.)

        I admit that the rockets may have some positive effects, like encouraging Israelis to emigrate and harming tourism. My objection stems from my conviction that the crucial factor is Western, and especially American, public opinion. I listen to the talk of Americans who get their info from TV (there are many millions of them). They see that “the Jews and Arabs are attacking one another yet again” and react with a sort of resigned disgust and irritation directed equally at both sides: a plague on both your houses! I try to explain that the situation is not at all symmetrical, but it’s difficult: on TV it doesn’t look like that. Without those “silly rockets” (silly because they hardly ever destroy anything), if it was crystal clear who was attacking whom, the TV would still try to push a pro-Israel slant but it would be much less plausible and we (Palestinians and sympathizers with them) would be in a much stronger position in this crucial propaganda war.

        Anti-air defense, by contrast, would be clearly asymmetrical. When people shoot down planes that are raining down bombs on them, even those who have little understanding of the deeper issues will identify with the anti-air crews, not the pilots.

      • Taxi
        November 19, 2012, 8:02 am

        I beg to disagree, Simohurtta. The zionists will be kicking the Palestinians around, rockets or no rockets. It’s also debatable that israel gets “significant” PR mileage out of the rockets – I mean Hamas gets equal PR mileage of them too.

      • Sibiriak
        November 19, 2012, 11:29 am

        The zionists will be kicking the Palestinians around, rockets or no rockets.

        But the rockets make it much easier. Their propaganda value for Israel is colossal.

      • gamal
        November 19, 2012, 1:07 pm

        and if not the rockets when has Israel lacked things to sell as propaganda, or the Palestinians what? rely on the good offices of westerners, its bit late for that, when they killed Arafat Israel was opting for a total and endless war, the rockets are an almost perfect weapon they rarely kill or do any significant damage but they hamstring the Israeli government, with its baying mob of a population, Israeli politicians are now constrained by the terror that they can not halt rocket fire, which can only be done by agreement. Hizbullah demonstrated that and Palestinians were firing rockets under full occupation from the west bank and gaza in the 80′ and 90’s, its suicide for any politician to fail at this game and Hamas has many cards to play, the costs for Israels political/military establishment are becoming very high, either an all out massacre, which may not work and will be very costly in diplomatic terms or military failure which will be a career ending humiliation, Egypt must be rubbing its hands in glee, another ceasefire another payoff, Zionism is going to eat itself. The suffering of Palestinian people and lets be honest the almost negligible self inflicted pain of the Israeli Jewish populations is inescapable so long as Zionism rejects a peace agreement, you cant blame the Palestinian resistance, war has many facets most of which are not military, guerrilla’s often win not single battle but triumph in the end non the less.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        November 19, 2012, 1:29 pm

        Hamas may raise its prestige among those who are already on the Palestinian side. The PR mileage that Israel gets out of the rockets helps to keep on Israel’s side or neutral (a curse on both your houses) people whose views would otherwise be shifting against Israel. So which matters more?

      • Taxi
        November 19, 2012, 1:57 pm

        Sibiriak,
        The propaganda value for israel is shrinking with every Gaza assault. They ain’t converting ‘new’ zionist supporters because of these rocket attacks, quite the contrary. And Hamas too gleans equivalent propaganda value. So it kinda becomes moot to inquire: to rocket or not to rocket? Indeed, it becomes imperative to say: go give it your best shot – shoot baby shoot!

        The Palestinians only have these rockets and israel always breaks the ceasefire with assassinations of their leaders, missile attacks on shepherds, farms, factories and residential buildings – plus Gaza is strangled under siege, has been for over four years.

        Honestly, I have no problem with a besieged people firing rockets at their besiegers. And it’s not my place, as a free human, to tell the besieged how to resist. It’s my place to encourage them to do everything in their power to resist enslavement.

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 2:02 pm

        “Their propaganda value for Israel is colossal.”

        Gee, if my memory isn’t faulty, Israel doesn’t need anything more than stones, or even dirty looks and muttered curses. Anything will do, and you know it.

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 4:04 pm

        The PR mileage that Israel gets out of the rockets helps to keep on Israel’s side or neutral (a curse on both your houses) people whose views would otherwise be shifting against Israel. So which matters more?”

        So the Palestinians must limit themselves to waiting for the world to rescue them? In that case, they’re screwed, the excellence of Mondoweiss, and others not withstanding.

      • Sibiriak
        November 19, 2012, 8:06 pm

        So the Palestinians must limit themselves to waiting for the world to rescue them?

        Non sequitur.

        And you know it.

      • Sibiriak
        November 19, 2012, 8:10 pm

        Israel doesn’t need anything more than stones, or even dirty looks and muttered curses.

        Israel may not, but the world does. And the world matters, believe it or not.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 19, 2012, 1:43 pm

        Without those rockets Israel would have been demanded to end the siege of Gaza

        zzzzzzzzzzz

      • Mikhael
        November 20, 2012, 2:18 am

        Military significance means that in this case the Gaza rockets are a military threat to Israel. The Gaza rockets have at the best some psychological significance as a threat to the Israeli civil population, but certainly the rockets are no significant military threat to Israel militarily

        That’s what a terror weapon is. No, of course they do not pose a threat to the military infrastructure of Israel, but they pose a threat to the lives of Israelis. They kill. They may not kill efficiently, they may not be precision-guided, but they’re fucking dangerous. No country would put up with this indefinitely.

      • Cliff
        November 21, 2012, 10:06 am

        @Mikhael

        “They may not kill efficiently, they may not be precision-guided, but they’re fucking dangerous. No country would put up with this indefinitely.”

        Yea, your ‘no country would’ meme is fucking STALE.

        If we’re talking about grievances – the Palestinians have more.

        If we’re taking about length of grievances – the Palestinians have endured them longer.

        Jews aren’t being colonized and driven out of their land and homes to make way for Muslim-only colonies.

        Jews aren’t dying at ratios of 100 to 1 or 5 to 1 or 10 to 1.

        This latest batch of violence does not exist in a vacuum. After the dust settles, you’ll still be stealing from the Palestinians and expanding Jewish-only colonies.

        There is no comparison in suffering OR legitimacy. The Palestinians have both over you any day.

        In the end, the only thing that matters is who has more money and guns. You do, hence, you get to butcher and steal as much as you like.

      • Bing Bong
        November 20, 2012, 5:58 am

        “Militarily and politically those rockets have been a disaster for Palestinians.”

        Exactly. If they had any kind of guidance system on board Hamas would be better off programming them to immediately turn round and land in Gaza. That would draw the world’s attention to the conflict and according to idiots wouldn’t be any significant threat to human life. It would save Israel money and help vent the frustrations of Gazans who can’t turn their hands to anything other than launching rockets to cope with having Jews next door to their Iranian garrison.

      • straightline
        November 24, 2012, 10:40 am

        “It would save Israel money and help vent the frustrations of Gazans who can’t turn their hands to anything other than launching rockets to cope with having Jews next door to their Iranian garrison.”

        They can turn their hands to many things – I’m constantly amazed by the resilience of the Palestinians in Gaza in the face of Israeli attempts to destroy them:

        link to electronicintifada.net

        But whenever they do Israel seeks to prevent it.

    • Woody Tanaka
      November 19, 2012, 10:00 am

      “The rockets fired by Hamas have no military significance”…….. you mean when the explode they spread flowers……..

      Compared to what the zionists have brought to the region, yes.

  36. Marlene
    November 19, 2012, 6:16 am

    Very well said Taxi.

  37. Marlene
    November 19, 2012, 7:08 am

    Let’s face it folks. Even stones and molotov cocktails have been a “God given” gift to Israel as though they were weapons of mass destruction. Those were the “military” weapons used during the Intifada of 1987 against an army of occupation who certainly had far more elite weapons than that. To this day, stones still are used, yet those who dare to use it will pay heavily for such “crimes” against their brutal cowardly oppressor.

    When a child throws a stone at an Israeli tank, that child should be depicted as the epitome of courage, instead, in much of this sick world, it is those who command the tank who are portrayed as the victims.

    • Mooser
      November 19, 2012, 2:04 pm

      Thanks, Marlene, for a better written comment with more, and more accurate memory in it. I didn’t see it, or I would have refrained.

    • eljay
      November 19, 2012, 2:37 pm

      >> When a child throws a stone at an Israeli tank, that child should be depicted as the epitome of courage, instead, in much of this sick world, it is those who command the tank who are portrayed as the victims.

      I’ve read that that’s because Israeli Jews are generation-to-generation, fear-scarred individuals who can’t help but “Remember the Holocaust!”™ even as they oppress, steal, destroy and kill.

      Aggressor-victimhood sure is a tough gig… :-(

      • RoHa
        November 19, 2012, 8:41 pm

        >> When a child throws a stone at an Israeli tank, that child should be depicted as the epitome of courage, instead, in much of this sick world, it is those who command the tank who are portrayed as the victims.<<

        I think it is because they really, really, care about the paintwork. Of course the commanders are the victims.

        “Look, it’s a brand-new tank. New, shiny, paint. I’ve spent hours washing it and polishing it. Tons of Turtle Wax on there. And then this rotten little kid comes and throws a stone. You can see the scratch. There. Get the light on this side. Look! Nearly a centimetre long! You blame me for being upset?”

  38. yrn
    November 19, 2012, 8:54 am

    I wonder why the moderator canceled my comment as I mentioned that Hamas Rockets Kill……… do you find my comment false ???? or rude ????
    Hamas uses Fajr-5, developed by Iran It has a range of up to 46.6 miles (75km) and carry up to 90 kg of explosives and Grad It Has a range of 20 km Carry up to 50 kg of explosives ………
    If those are your “god given” gifts, makes one wonder twice.

    • Taxi
      November 19, 2012, 9:36 am

      A deadlier strand of Hamas:
      link to nytimes.com

    • Mooser
      November 19, 2012, 2:06 pm

      “If those are your “god given” gifts, makes one wonder twice.”

      Okay, yrn, you wanna talk about “God given gifts”? I don’t suppose you are entitled to any, huh?

    • talknic
      November 20, 2012, 1:45 am

      yrn November 19, 2012 at 8:54 am

      “Hamas uses Fajr-5″

      Uh huh. Who supplies the large and highly visible trucks used to transport and fire them?

  39. yrn
    November 19, 2012, 9:25 am

    Taxi Writes
    “I consider israel to have lost a third war in a row “…….. I accept we always lose…..
    Its better for us to lose, as we lost as you claim the 2006 Lebanon War, but since then Nasralah hides in his bunker and not even one single shot has been fired….. the north of Israel is blooming and is peaceful.
    Same here, we accept your “pride issue” and will be giving you the honor to that Israel lost the war, but once no more “god given gifts killing rockets” will be fired.
    You are the winner, as always.

  40. yrn
    November 19, 2012, 1:23 pm

    Taxi

    As I mentioned….. your pride is satisfied….. Yes Of course Israel lost.
    But you can’t argue’ that since then, not even one shot was fired and Nasralah is deep in his bunker, Israel North is blooming peacefully and that was the aim of the war…….
    So you got your pride and Israel got its goals……
    Same needs to be the goal in Gaza……. no more “god given gifts Hamas killing rockets” will be fired.
    and as Mentioned, for your pride and satisfaction…… Israel lost this war too.

    • Mooser
      November 19, 2012, 2:08 pm

      “Israel lost this war too.”

      Gee, Monday, and it’s already over (I wish)? All those 75,000 soldiers called up get home safely? Pretty sure it’s all done, yrn?

    • Taxi
      November 19, 2012, 2:14 pm

      yrn,
      You’re passive- aggression has been duly noted and puhhed away.

      Not my problem if reality and facts are alien concepts to you. Your “pride” in Apartheid israel is clearly ruinous to both your morals and to your intelligence.

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 3:59 pm

        “You’re passive- aggression has been duly noted”

        Not to mention his ziocaine amnesia. You can access any commenter’s archive by simply clicking on their name above the comment.

  41. Taxi
    November 19, 2012, 3:41 pm

    I just saw TV footage of netanyahu and his posse in some kinda meeting today and all I gotta say is this: hahahahaahahahhahaaaa!

    Boy does that sucker look worried and sallow!

    Could it have something to do with netenyahu’s recent eff ups:
    1- Alienated half of Americans by publicly backing Romney, therefore 150 million Americans now eye israel up with suspicion.
    2- Tried to cover up his embarrassing ‘not attacking Iran after all’ by attacking Gaza instead and even THAT ain’t going down well either.
    3- In precisely 10 days time, Palestine Statehood will be voted for by most of the world and this will be happening on netanyahu’s watch.

    Israeli election countdown: 8 weeks.

    No wonder he’s asking for a ceasefire with Gaza now – he knows damn well that a ground invasion is not gonna be happening cuz it could very well mean copious idf body bags and their intelligence on Hamas weaponry isn’t exactly spot on. The frigging coward can’t afford another surprise on the battlefield and so close to election.

    Okay I’m laughing… and laughing as netanyahu sits in front of TV cameras, ruffling pages and memos then looking up with horrible dark circles around his worried, tired eyes.

    This man is so snookered!

    Oh yeah one more thing: my friend who works for cnn international as a field cameraman told me today that he was filming israeli tanks on the Gaza border yesterday and at least a dozen soldiers kept asking him: “We going in? You heard anything about that?”

    LOL!

    Who the hell is in charge over there?!

  42. Mooser
    November 19, 2012, 4:13 pm

    Ever notice how some people are all for the Palestinians, as long as the Palestinians deny themselves all the tools Zionism uses, and confine themselves to waiting for an Israeli miracle, or a world-wide change of, well, just about everything.
    Why is that? Seems like the only thing which scares them more than Zionism is Palestinian agency. Can’t be a Zionist thing, most of them are not-a-Zionist.
    I know I’m pretty dumb, but it seems to me you can’t be that way unless you perceive some, well, pretty essential differences in the two sides.

    • MRW
      November 19, 2012, 11:27 pm

      Good comment.

    • Cliff
      November 22, 2012, 4:46 pm

      Latent racism.

      They don’t see the Palestinians. They see the people the Israelis/Jews are at conflict with. Two different emphasis.

  43. Taxi
    November 19, 2012, 4:16 pm

    “Could a Gaza Land War Lose the Middle East for America”? – Juan Cole

    link to readersupportednews.org

    • MRW
      November 19, 2012, 11:37 pm

      Yup. But Israel is going to lose even more. Talked to someone tonight in Calgary, which I think is Canadian PM Harper’s district or whatever they call their districts. (If it isn’t Calgary, it’s close to there.) BIG Harper country. Israel’s actions aren’t going down well, not at all. It’s having the effect of waking up the under-35 crowd to the issue to begin with. They thought Israel was some tent city besieged constantly by its neighbors. I don’t know why this is different than Cast Lead, but it is.

  44. yrn
    November 19, 2012, 5:49 pm

    Taxi

    I asked you a simple question after giving you the pride and honor that Israel lost the war……
    But as usual you choose to escape, to the empty slogan words….. typical.
    again can you explain or deny, that since Lebanon war in 2006, not even one shot was fired and Nasralah is deep in his bunker, Israel North is blooming peacefully and that was the aim of the war…….

    Again Israel lost……. is this peacefull situation a lose for Israel or Nasralah.

    And yes surprise mooser, if there is an agreement of no more “god given gifts Hamas killing rockets” , its over……..

    • Taxi
      November 20, 2012, 2:55 am

      How do you know Nasrallah’s in a bunker? Got some intelligence on his personal whereabouts that not even his wife has? Or you got x-ray vision?

      And BTW, Lebanon’s southern border is quiet cuz israel DARE NOT stir the hornet’s nest in case it gets stung again like it did in 2006.

      • yrn
        November 20, 2012, 4:16 am

        Taxi

        Google Nasrallah and Bunker….. you will find out yourself…… you want find any disproval….. how many times did he go public this year……
        The Lebanon border is quite and that’s Israel goal…… that Israel will be able to live in peace and quite and develop the north which it dose.
        All other issues as I mentioned, you can take for your benefit if it makes you happy.

        Read again Phil Wiess last sentence “They see themselves engaged in an existential struggle that demands the law of the jungle, again and again.”
        Your side wants pride and you get it…… we want peace and quite and develop our country and that’s our goal in Gaza too.

      • Taxi
        November 20, 2012, 5:46 am

        It’s not your “country” and never will be. And you’re evidently more interested in more land-theft than peace – in practice – just take your zio blinders off and look at your own maps.

        And for all we know, Nasrallah could be wearing a blond wig and sunning his buns on the beaches of Miami.

        And even IF he is ‘living’ in a bunker (just like a little hitler, right?), so frigging what?! This “bunker” dude whooped your idf’s behind and he’s waiting to do it again if you don’t behave.

      • eljay
        November 20, 2012, 7:43 am

        >> … we want peace and quite and develop our country …

        “Your country” is an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist 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.

        Such a hateful and immoral enterprise does not deserve to be peacefully and quietly developed.

      • thankgodimatheist
        November 20, 2012, 7:49 am

        “we want peace”

        No you don’t. It’s just that double speak again. Like that British Lord Rabbi two or three days ago who, thinking he’s no more on air, vomits what he really thinks but when he’s back in front of a microphone he reverts to cuddles, kisses and peace loving. You want peace like you want a hole in the head because peace means giving back stolen territory and Israel prefers expansion, no mystery here.

      • talknic
        November 20, 2012, 8:45 am

        yrn November 20, 2012 at 4:16 am

        “Google Nasrallah and Bunker….. you will find …… “

        … silly speculation about a bunker…

      • unverified__b69dj389
        November 20, 2012, 12:08 pm

        if it’s not israel’s country, i presume that the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and any other country stolen from anyone should be returned?
        i don’t agree with the way that israel treats the palestinians. i also don’t agree with the violence on either side.
        and frankly hamas would have behaved MUCH worse than they have if they’d simply had the power to do it – don’t think they’re holding back because they’re showing the love.
        things have gotten so much worse in the last 20 years but both groups have behaved reprehensibly and should show commitment to peace
        but if instead of a two-state solution, israel’s right to exist at all is called into question, we should also be calling into the question the right to exist of any country that has been conquered from any other country. the human rights violations should be the issue here, not justifying “your grandfather stole that land from my grandfather, that my people stole from someone else who stole it from you, so now i want to take it all back by stealing it from you too, and while i’m at it i’d like all israelis and jews dead”. the oppressive way that israel acts would be universally condemned if it was in response to an entirely peaceful resistance movement, or even one that doesn’t have a stated aim of genocide that presumably it would carry out if it did have the opportunity; i hope if they were hypothetically able to carry it out, you’d be condemning them instead of cheering them – unless the rights of innocent civilians only matter when it’s convenient…

      • Hostage
        November 20, 2012, 3:03 pm

        if it’s not israel’s country, i presume that the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and any other country stolen from anyone should be returned?

        Israel has spent the last 60 years illegally annexing territory, by using the lame excuse that its final status can only be settled through negotiations. There are no parallels to that situation in the cases of the other countries that you’ve mentioned.

      • LaraS
        November 21, 2012, 1:08 am

        (This is still unverified_numbers, my username didn’t show up earlier)

        Hostage, I agree wholeheartedly that some of the things that Israel are doing are completely unacceptable. For example the fact that there are settlers in the WB in the first place (you can’t say “land for peace” and then
        not give the land back properly), the fact that despite the 8-to-1
        ratio of soldiers to settlers in Hebron the settlers still manage to
        act like violent monsters (who are an embarrassment and source of shame
        to any rational Israeli/Jew) because the soldiers are only interested
        in punishing violence if “the enemy” is doing it.

        However, that doesn’t stop me from believing that Tel Aviv, etc. has
        the right to exist. Those places have been settled for 60 years, by
        people who are mostly secular Jews, many of whom long for peace and do
        nostalgically remember time when Israelis and Palestinians had much
        better relations then now, people who had Palestinian friends. Not to mention the fact that organizations like Breaking the Silence and B’tselem exist.

        What the Hamas are doing right now is the equivalent of being barehanded and trying to scratch the eyes out of a man with a gun, instead of trying to reason with that man and appeal to his humanity. It’s not helping the people of Gaza in any possible way, and there are many people in Gaza who do not support Hamas (it’s truly a shame that so many people in the West do).

        Hamas’ charter still calls for the complete destruction of Israel (that
        and the extermination of its people). I believe that a two-state
        solution is the answer (I realize Hamas are willing to consider this as
        well under certain circumstances, and hope that the intent behind it is genuinely peaceful). I also believe that the civilians of Israel do have the right to live there in the future, as neighbours to a Palestinian state, regardless of its mistakes as a military power. And I believe that the violence on both sides is abhorent.

        Human beings are naturally peaceful. If it is tragic when a civilian
        from Gaza is killed, it would be just as tragic if Hamas had more
        firepower and was able to put its stated goals into action. All
        civilians have the right to live in peace… The situation now is
        horrible, but peace can only be between two nations; so, of course, you
        can’t call for the destruction of Israel and call it peace.

        Far better than presuming that every Israeli is a racist maniac and thus their country should be wiped from the map, is to encourage positive communication between the Palestinian and Israeli people. I think you’ll find no shortage of peace-loving Israelis if you try.

      • straightline
        November 22, 2012, 2:30 pm

        “presuming that every Israeli is a racist maniac”

        Well maybe not every Israeli but a very large majority of them:

        link to jewishjournal.com

        “I also believe that the civilians of Israel do have the right to live there in the future, as neighbours to a Palestinian state”

        So which “Palestinian State” are you talking about? The one on 1947 borders, or 1948 borders, or 1967 borders, or the bantustans they are currently occupying? Or perhaps on a state that better reflected the ratio of Palestinians to Zionists at the time Israel was created? Will this state be able to defend itself from Israeli aggression? Will it be able to control its own borders? And if not, in what sense is it a state? You’re just using words – they don’t mean anything!

        “you can’t call for the destruction of Israel and call it peace”

        You are participating in the destruction of a people and then calling for peace. Please!

      • LaraS
        November 22, 2012, 3:20 pm

        I don’t want my people to be participating in the destruction of another people. As far as defense from Israeli aggression being an issue, I don’t see why there would be a need for it: there’s no way that they could justify lobbing missiles against people who are not acting in an aggressive fashion in any way.
        As things are, there are many Palestinians who are going through hell and I’m not happy about punishing a whole nation of people for what some are doing. Both sides think they’re acting in self-defense, and at the same time, both sides are doing horrible things.

        I don’t think being concerned about the cease-fire necessarily indicates racism; I’ve certainly seen a fair share of racist Israelis, but I think it’s a minority. Regardless of your opinion on whether Israel should exist in any form, it’s understandable for people anywhere to be concerned for their own safety.

        So the possible options for Israel are:

        1. Do nothing about any of the Hamas actions and behave in no aggressive manner. Perhaps also drop any blockades, allow free access to Israel to any Palestinian. But put own citizens at rather extreme risk.
        2. Behave aggressively and thus victimize millions of largely innocent people, which seems like the worst possible solution
        3. Both sides avoid violence, accept SOME form of two-state solution.
        4. Get out of Israel completely; however, that brings up the question again of whether, if both sides were being peaceful, whether Israel has the right to exist, and then we have to consider that if Israel doesn’t, neither do an awful lot of other countries.

        My point is that some form of option 3 seems a lot more reasonable than any of the others, but of course, both sides would have to be committed to that. Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel, so that’s not going to be easy to achieve. Also the Palestinians are justifiably angry; however, there are many people on BOTH sides who want peace.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        November 22, 2012, 4:38 pm

        The Israeli soldiers are under strict instructions never, under any circumstances, to use force against Jewish settlers. Many of them hate the settlers and would be very glad to clobber them if they were allowed to do so.

      • Talkback
        November 22, 2012, 5:30 pm

        LaraS, all the other countries you mentioned are “one state solutions”. Native americans are citizens of the US.

      • Sibiriak
        November 22, 2012, 7:37 pm

        Stephen Shenfield :

        The Israeli soldiers are under strict instructions never, under any circumstances, to use force against Jewish settlers.

        That may be true–but can you cite evidence for that assertion?