Why Palestine is different

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 135 Comments
03654886
(Photo: EPA)

Secretary of State John Kerry is making an all-out effort to restart peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Many well-intentioned, highly intelligent people from around the world have engaged in some way, shape, or form in the Palestinian-Israeli issue and many of these people have had hands-on experience in resolving other longstanding, global issues, like those of Ireland, South Africa, and U.S. civil rights. While there is always a great deal to learn from other global experiences, the case of Palestine is different and unless Secretary Kerry recognizes this, all the efforts and millions of dollars being thrown at this conflict will be in vain, as will the latest U.S. negotiations blitz.

Three issues related to this conflict that are crucial to understand are: historic guilt, colonial responsibility, and the U.S. “special relationship” with Israel.

Today’s global powers bear a tremendous amount of historic guilt, not only, as is popularly believed, for the anti-Semitism their ancestors practiced against Jews. This was very real throughout the 19th and 20th centuries – and earlier – and it was rampant in mainly white, Christian European places like Germany, Poland, France, Austria, and, yes, even in the U.S.

But these countries should also understand their historic responsibility for making the Palestinians pay for European and American crimes. Their guilt vis-à-vis Jews has hobbled their objectivity and skewed their capacity to see the acts of Israel for what they have been, and continue to be: crimes against humanity.

Long before the Holocaust, the political ideology of Zionism charted a path towards ethnically cleansing Palestine from its native Muslim and Christian Palestinian population, aiming to create what was dubbed a “Jewish State.” This colossal, historic injustice of dispossessing Palestinians is no longer a point of contention: even Israeli historians have meticulously documented this fact.

Furthermore, many of those same global powers, led by the U.S., were born out of a colonial history that displaced indigenous populations. As such, these powers see the Israeli enterprise as very similar to their own and find it difficult to hold Israel accountable for fear that this will then boomerang on them.

Thus, instead of seeing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict for what it really is – ongoing colonialism – these powers prefer to frame the conflict as one in which the parties have equally valid, competing narratives that require a partition of the land. And meanwhile, as they remain transfixed on this outdated partition paradigm, they can offer no explanation as to why their respective governments allowed the reality on the ground to gradually render this solution unfeasible.

Ever since the New York Times headline of May 14, 1948 – “ZIONISTS PROCLAIM NEW STATE OF ISRAEL” – the U.S. has taken sides in this conflict, arming, funding, diplomatically covering for, and politically and militarily planning with Israel in its determination (always camouflaged in euphemisms) to ethnically cleanse Palestine.

Israel worked hard to cast the U.S. support in cement. Israeli leaders understood very well the inherent weaknesses of an open political system and wasted no time in creating a pro-Israel lobby that transformed what is supposed to be a foreign affairs issue into a U.S. domestic issue. Israel’s domestication of the U.S. political scene – courtesy of American proxies – is alive and well today; just ask newly appointed Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

U.S. president Barack Obama epitomizes this reality. During his recent trip to Israel, he visited the Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum) to declare that Israel’s future existence and security as a “strong Jewish state” would ensure that there will never be another holocaust.

What did he mean? Was the idea to imply that if Israel, as a “Jewish state,” ceased to exist (like other states with a racially-based raison d’etre, such as the U.S. prior to the Civil War or South Africa during its Apartheid era), then Jews in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, would be slaughtered?!

Adding insult to injury, Obama then did a huge favor to Israel’s right wing by going outside official protocol to lay a wreath on the tomb of Theodor Herzl, the founder of the political ideology of Zionism.

Through his actions, intentionally or otherwise, Obama gave credence to the ‘right’ of a Jewish state in Palestine, while ignoring the indigenous people of Palestine – including Christians, Muslims and even some Jews – upon whose ruins the Israeli state was built. Palestinians are still struggling for survival in the face of an ethnic cleansing campaign that began more than 65 years ago and is still going on.

Indeed, Palestine is different, really different. A more basic and more relevant issue than artificial partition is still waiting to be seriously addressed: Is Israel to be a state of all its citizens—Jewish and non-Jewish—or not? The answer to this question goes to the heart of Zionism’s racially-based enterprise and opens the way to a historic reconciliation and a homecoming of Palestinian refugees to what is today called Israel.

About Sam Bahour

Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American business development consultant from Youngstown, Ohio, living in the Palestinian city of Al-Bireh in the West Bank. He frequently provides independent commentary on Palestine and serves as a policy advisor of Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network. He is co-author of HOMELAND: Oral Histories of Palestine and Palestinians (1994) and blogs at www.epalestine.com.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

135 Responses

  1. Justpassingby
    May 25, 2013, 10:00 am

    “Secretary of State John Kerry is making an all-out effort to restart peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine”

    Please, there is no “Peace negogitations” of the simple reason that US/Kerry allow Israel to dictate their policy on this issue.

    • Citizen
      May 26, 2013, 7:26 am

      Kerry should at least admit in public that there is no peace process:
      link to 972mag.com

      • James Canning
        May 27, 2013, 8:03 pm

        Tel Aviv business elite have been engaged in talks with Ps this past year.

    • James Canning
      May 26, 2013, 8:01 pm

      @Just – – Let’s remember how FURIOUS Netanyahu was with Obama, when during N’s first meeting with O in Washington, Obama demanded a freeze in construction in illegal settlements in WB.

  2. just
    May 25, 2013, 10:13 am

    One of the most cogent and fundamental commentaries I have ever read with regard to I/P.

    Thank you, Sam. This will be passed along.

  3. ivri
    May 25, 2013, 10:36 am

    “A historic reconciliation and a homecoming of Palestinian refugees to what is today called Israel”
    The figure used now is 7 million refugees. Won`t bringing all those people into a miniature state in geographical size a formula for disaster for them and for the people already there – Jews and Arabs – a receipt for horrendous instability and who knows what extent of bloodshed. Is that a formula for a “historic reconciliation”. And doing so when the one thing Arab countries have in abundance is land – there is a long list of what they don`t – seems absurd. Has the wish to see Israel undone killed off common sense altogether even in the minds of intelligent people?

    • Ecru
      May 26, 2013, 6:56 am

      Won`t bringing all those people into a miniature state in geographical size a formula for disaster for them and for the people already there….

      Exactly what people with brains were saying when Jewish colonists started turning up in the first place.

    • talknic
      May 26, 2013, 9:38 am

      ivri “The figure used now is 7 million refugees” (referring to ‘ a homecoming of Palestinian refugees ‘)

      The figure used by who? The Palestinian claim of RoR to what became the state of Israel on May 15th 1948, is based on UNGA res 194 of 1948 .. UNGA res 194 definition of a refugee link to unispal.un.org nothing about lineal descendants. One had to have lived in the area.

      People with a RoR to what became Israel are now ALL over 65 yrs of age and number only a few thousand. They were ALL children in 1948, they fought no war, were not a part of any 1920’s pogroms.

      The ‘million’s figure fear mongering nonsense generated by Israeli propagandists and comes from the irrelevant 1949 UNRWA definition to ascertain who qualifies for assistance while they’re a refugee. It does not extend to final status link to unrwa.org

      Israel’s actual sovereign extent does not include any non-Israeli territories acquired by the Jewish state by war, illegally annexed and/or illegally settled since declaring statehood May 15th 1948. The demographic threat is only in the non-Israeli territories Israel would like to keep.

      Israel cannot now afford to adhere to the law. Under the law there’d be too many Israelis needing repatriation to Israel and billions of dollars owed the Palestinians in compensation. The Jewish state would be sent bankrupt.

      It is Israel who must negotiate, plea bargain its way out of the illegal ‘facts on the ground’ hole it has dug for itself. Meanwhile, the Palestinians are under no legal obligation to forgo ANY of their rights or ANY of their rightful territory in negotiations. Israel is still obliged to the law, negotiations or not.

      “…when the one thing Arab countries have in abundance is land “

      It’s not Palestinian land…

    • Hostage
      May 26, 2013, 2:01 pm

      The figure used now is 7 million refugees. Won`t bringing all those people into a miniature state in geographical size a formula for disaster for them and for the people already there – Jews and Arabs – a receipt for horrendous instability and who knows what extent of bloodshed.

      If Zionists themselves had ever worried about the horrendous instability and bloodshed that would result from bringing 7 million foreigners into the area in the first place, you’d sound a lot more sincere. Until you revoke the law of return, simply equity demands that Palestinians refugees – who are indigenous to the region – have a much more legitimate claim for repatriation.

      • ivri
        May 26, 2013, 2:51 pm

        “Palestinians refugees – who are indigenous to the region”
        Their grandfathers left 70 years ago. They have been the citizens of other countries all their lives.
        In any case I don`t think you dispute the projection of the chaos that will engulf ALL involved.

      • Hostage
        May 27, 2013, 7:50 pm

        Their grandfathers left 70 years ago. They have been the citizens of other countries all their lives.

        Many of the Zionist’s forefathers probably never lived there in the first place or left a 100 generations ago. The Palestinians have not been citizens of other countries. Many of them became Jordanian by operation of law, when Arab Palestine and Transjordan established a political union.

        In any case I don`t think you dispute the projection of the chaos that will engulf ALL involved.

        Not really. I’m a firm believer in the point of view expressed by Calvin Coolidge: “If you see ten problems down the road, nine of them will probably fall off in the ditch before you ever get there.”

        I don’t believe that most Israelis need a Jewish State or that anyone should support such a thing at the expense of others.

      • Shingo
        May 27, 2013, 7:52 pm

        Their grandfathers left 70 years ago. They have been the citizens of other countries all their lives.

        Cut the crap. They were expelled under threat of murder and no, most do not have citizenship elsewhere. That’s why they are called refugees.

        In any case I don`t think you dispute the projection of the chaos that will engulf ALL involved.

        What you really mean to say it that it would deprive the apartheid supremacist state of it’s supremacist status for Jews. For the Palestinian refugees, the chaos would be a holiday compared to the last 65 years.

      • Shingo
        May 27, 2013, 7:53 pm

        Many of the Zionist’s forefathers probably never lived there in the first place or left a 100 generations ago.

        Or not, seeing as most of them had no connection to the territory anyway.

      • eljay
        May 27, 2013, 9:32 pm

        >> Their grandfathers left 70 years ago. They have been the citizens of other countries all their lives.

        The cluelessness is breath-taking.

      • James Canning
        May 28, 2013, 6:54 pm

        Funny, but largely true.

    • eljay
      May 26, 2013, 2:12 pm

      >> Has the wish to see Israel undone killed off common sense altogether even in the minds of intelligent people?

      Israel has no right to exist as an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state. So you think “intelligent” Zio-supremacists would strive to ensure the survival of Israel as a secular, democratic and egalitarian Israeli state – a state of and for all its citizens, equally, and with a predominantly Jewish culture.

      But Zio-supremacists have proven – and continue to prove – to be three things: hateful, immoral and greedy. And this, IMO, is why Israel – and not just oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” – will ultimately be undone.

    • RoHa
      May 26, 2013, 9:20 pm

      ‘The figure used now is 7 million refugees. Won`t bringing all those people into a miniature state in geographical size a formula for disaster for them and for the people already there – Jews and Arabs – a receipt for horrendous instability and who knows what extent of bloodshed. Is that a formula for a “historic reconciliation”.’

      The Israeli Jews had better get started on making friends with the Palestinians, then.

      “And doing so when the one thing Arab countries have in abundance is land”

      If Israeli Jews were to make friends with Palestinians and other Arabs and learn to be acceptable members of society, then there would be plenty of land for them to move into.

      • James Canning
        May 27, 2013, 2:42 pm

        @RoHa – – Yes, good idea. Israelis should pursue friendship with Palestinians.

        World Economic Forum meeting in Jordan this week is helpful in this regard.

    • James Canning
      May 27, 2013, 1:56 pm

      @Ivry – – The “right of return” to Israel w/in 1966 borders is a card that will be played in effort to obtain compensation, for not exercising that right.

      Israel is trying to force Palestinians into throwing the card in, with ZERO in exchange.

    • ToivoS
      May 28, 2013, 2:00 am

      Ivri repeats that Israeli lie:

      And doing so when the one thing Arab countries have in abundance is land

      No there is not land in abundance. We are talking about habitable land. The great deserts in the ME are not habitable. They lack water. That is why the Sahara Desert in Africa does not support human populations. The first lands that the Zionist stole from the Palestinians was a narrow piece of land between the Mediterannean and WB highlands. This land has water. In fact it had been cultivated by humans for over 4000 years. That is the land that the Palestinians lived and farmed for many hundreds if not thousands of years. The Jews did not make any desert bloom. Look at the Negev today — it is as baron as it has been for centuries. You guys stole the one small area that would support human life.

      Please stop this total bs that there is all of this wonderful land in the Arab world that would support the Palestinians. It simply is not there. Those are unlivable deserts that if they could have supported human life they would have been occupied thousands of years ago.

    • Shingo
      May 28, 2013, 2:18 am

      Won`t bringing all those people into a miniature state in geographical size a formula for disaster for them and for the people already there

      The disaster for the Arabs started in 1947 and has been a disaster ever since, so clearly, your concern only relates to the Jews.

      a receipt for horrendous instability and who knows what extent of bloodshed.

      Yeah right, because we can all be thankful that the region has been spared instability and bloodshed….for Jews.

      Has the wish to see Israel undone killed off common sense altogether even in the minds of intelligent people?

      Has the wish to preserve an ethnocentric, supremacist state killed off any sense of decency, justice and regard for human rights in the minds of those that consider themselves intelligent people?

    • Woody Tanaka
      May 28, 2013, 9:14 am

      “Won`t bringing all those people into a miniature state in geographical size a formula for disaster for them and for the people already there – Jews and Arabs – a receipt for horrendous instability and who knows what extent of bloodshed.”

      Exactly. So the only solution is to send the Jews back to Germany and Brooklyn and Russia and Poland and the Arab states from whence they came, to make room in Palestine for the Palestinians. Or, you know, the zionists can act like adults and not like petulant scared little children. 1S1P1V

    • talknic
      May 28, 2013, 10:50 am

      “Has the wish to see Israel undone killed off common sense altogether even in the minds of intelligent people?

      The need to justify the Jewish state’s illegal acquisition of non-Israeli territory has killed off common sense altogether even in the minds of otherwise intelligent people.

  4. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    May 25, 2013, 10:45 am

    An interesting article, but I think you greatly overestimate the role of ‘guilt’. In reality, there is little evidence that ‘today’s global powers bear a tremendous amount of historic guilt’ towards Jews. Why should they? Most world leaders weren’t even born, or were young children, at the time of the holocaust. Why should they be consumed with guilt over it? Besides, if ‘guilt’ were a major motivation among world powers, surely you’d expect countries like France and Britain to be eaten up with guilt over what they did to Africa (among many other places), or America to be constantly trying to make amends for what it did to native Americans and African slaves? Yet you don’t see this at all. As has often been pointed out, Washington has a huge, federally funded holocaust museum, but no similar memorial to native Americans or the crimes of slavery. And both of these were things which the American government – and a large number of ordinary Americans – were directly responsible for, unlike the holocaust.

    It might be true that Germany does suffer from feelings of guilt towards Jews, but even there, it’s probably got much more to do with fear of emotional blackmail and ‘anti-semite’ name calling from Israel. And that’s what it comes down to – the fear of a very powerful Israeli lobby in many parts of the world, completely unchallenged by any contrary forces. In pragmatic terms, there’s simply nothing to be gained and much to lose for politicians in challenging the status quo in Palestine. That, and of course residual racism towards non-Europeans, are to blame for Western indifference to Palestine than any feelings of ‘guilt’.

    • Caruthers
      May 27, 2013, 7:14 am

      No great power feels “guilt” unless it is defeated like Germany and is forced to admit that it committed deeds that leaders of all countries profess to regard as crimes (genocide, launching aggressive war, wanton or intentional killing of civilians). “Guilt” is proportional to the current power of the former victims and inversely proportional to the power of the perpetrators. Since in the postwar war Jews and the Israel Lobby have considerable power, the monstrous evil of the Holocaust must be acknowledged, and the charge of antisemitism carries great weight. But since the remnants of the Native American peoples have little power, their genocidal destruction can be ignored, and a charge of bigotry against them had little force.

  5. yourstruly
    May 25, 2013, 11:14 am

    historic guilt, colonial responsibility and the U.S. “special relationship” with Israel

    how to bring about justice for Palestine?

    by ending this “special relationship”

  6. Obsidian
    May 25, 2013, 11:15 am

    @Sam

    “Ever since the New York Times headline of May 14, 1948… the U.S. has taken sides in this conflict, arming, funding, diplomatically covering for, and politically and militarily planning with Israel in its determination (always camouflaged in euphemisms) to ethnically cleanse Palestine”.

    A bald-faced lie.

    From 1948-1967 the United States was no ally of Israel.

    • Ron Edwards
      May 25, 2013, 5:15 pm

      It is true that the quoted excerpt is over-stated. But your attempted correction is even less accurate.

      1. Presidents Truman, Kennedy, and (as you imply) Johnson all stepped outside normal channels to promote various Zionist interests, often at the behest of campaign donors or in the fear (typical of their time) of presumed conspiracy-level Jewish influences on their electoral interests. Truman of course takes the brass ring in colluding with the Soviet administration to support the Israeli Declaration of Independence as if it carried any international, U.N. level validity (it didn’t). Johnson was in close second place concerning the 1967 attack on Egypt.

      Therefore Sam’s statement may lack *precision* in that we are talking about rogue-level executive initiative rather than administrative policy or (far from it) legislative support. But your statement lacks *accuracy,* a far worse logical flaw, as you imply that Eisenhower’s crackdown (also Soviet-coordinated) in 1956 or Kennedy’s frustrated and futile attempt to corral the Israeli nuclear arms program were an ongoing, characteristic, consistent policy throughout the period you outline.

      2. The U.S. has never been allied with Israel, nor is it today. There is no treaty between the two nations. The outright collusions that occurred in hiccups for decades, then become formalized in 1970-71 (Meir/Nixon), and were cemented into so-called “historic ties” during the Reagan administration, remain exactly that – collusions.

      Therefore your implication that after 1967, the states *can* be considered allies, is grossly false.

      Your attempt at being the Voice of Truth in the discussions here is yet again nothing but a blatant attempt to cement deeper lies into place under the guise of correcting minor mistakes.

    • just
      May 25, 2013, 6:16 pm

      What, the US wasn’t subservient enough, like we have been for years?

      You are, of course, joking.

    • libra
      May 25, 2013, 6:28 pm

      Obsidian: A bald-faced lie.

      From 1948-1967 the United States was no ally of Israel.

      What’s more, from 1948-2013 Israel was no ally of the United States.

    • Shingo
      May 25, 2013, 7:55 pm

      From 1948-1967 the United States was no ally of Israel.

      A bald-faced lie.

      Without the US to twist the arms of other states and bribe and cajole them, the state would not have ever been internationally recognized.

      • Shingo
        May 25, 2013, 8:53 pm

        I should at that Obsidian’s attitude is typical if the Zionist mindset. Everyone is an enemy, even those they who are friends of Israel and go to extraordinary lengths for Israel.

        Zionism is so rooted in a ghetto a d persecution mentality that it’s adherents don’t believe in friends – they are only assets.

      • Obsidian
        May 27, 2013, 12:20 pm

        Many Americans have fought and died fighting Nazism, totalitarianism, terrorism and Communism but none have died fighting for Zionism.

        Zero.

      • Cliff
        May 27, 2013, 2:29 pm

        Rachel Corrie died fighting Zionism. She was murdered by Zionist thieves.

        However, no Americans died fighting South African apartheid or the genocidalist Latin American dictators of the 70s and 80s.

        Or Mubarek or the Shah of Iran.

        Or Pinochet.

        Or Somoza.

        Or Suharto.

        Or Trujillo.

        Or Batista.

        ‘Americans’ – the government, who in-turn sends young men off to die – are not opposed to totalitarianism or Nazism or fascism. In fact, we have supported or ignored all three throughout our history unless it was not in our interests.

        The State Dept. was calling Hitler a moderate well into the 30s I believe. And we didnt declare war on Germany.

        Try again troll.

      • James Canning
        May 27, 2013, 2:35 pm

        @Obsidian – – Aren’t you forgetting the Iraq War? Part of neocon scheme to “protect” Israel. Full stop.

      • Shingo
        May 27, 2013, 4:54 pm

        Many Americans have fought and died fighting Nazism, totalitarianism, terrorism and Communism but none have died fighting for Zionism.

        False.

        4,000 died fighting for Zionism in Iraq.

        241 American servicemen died fighting for Zionism in Lebanon.

        34 were murdered by Zionists in 1967 and the US government remained silent.

        The US has vowed to go to war defending Israel.

        Millions of Americans have gone without while money was sent to Israel.

    • MLE
      May 25, 2013, 8:26 pm

      Still mad about 1956 aren’t you

      • Shingo
        May 27, 2013, 2:57 am

        Still mad about 1956 aren’t you

        And Camp David 1978.

        What we’re witnessing is the spoiled brat mentality that if Daddy doesn’t give them everything they want, and do everything they want done, it means Daddy doesn’t love them.

    • Mayhem
      May 26, 2013, 6:18 am

      Read what President Carter said in March 1978 after he had summoned Begin to Washington to save the negotiations between Sadat and Begin from collapse because of implied Israeli ‘intransigence’. He read from “a typed page and addressed Begin with disdain in his voice and fury in his eyes, saying:”

      Mr Prime Minister, the Israeli position, as I understand it, is that even if there were a clear statement by us against a total Israel withdrawal from the West Bank and against a Palestinian state, and even if this were to be accepted by Egypt, Israel would not stop building new settlements, or the expansion of settlements; Israel would not give up the settlements in Sinai; Israel would not permit an Egyptian or UN protection over the Israeli settlements in Sinai; Israel will not withdraw its political authority from the West Bank and Gaza; Israel will not recognize that Resolution 242 applies on all fronts, including the principle of withdrawal from the West Bank; Israel will not give the Palestinian Arabs, at the end of the 5 year interim period, the right to choose whether they want to be affiliated with Israel, with Jordan, or live under the interim arrangement. This is my understanding of the present situation. If I am correct, the likelihood that the peace talks can be resumed with Egypt is very remote. There are no immediate prospects of a substantial movement toward a peace agreement.”

      from The Prime Ministers:An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership by Yehuda Avner 2010.
      Ever since Carter’s opposition to Israel has been well documented.
      And then from nowhere Sam plucks the “guilt over the affliction of anti-Semitism throughout history reaching its zenith during the Holocaust” card against the US.
      Sam Bahour, your emperor is not wearing any clothes.

      • Shingo
        May 27, 2013, 3:25 am

        He read from “a typed page and addressed Begin with disdain in his voice and fury in his eyes

        With the exception of the charge that Israel would would not give up the settlements in the Sinai, Carter was right.

        Begin threatened Carter with a media campaign blaming him for the failure of the talks if Carter insisted on withdrawal from the West Bank.

        Ever since Carter’s opposition to Israel has been well documented.

        Opposition to Israel apartheid, criminality and land theft yes.

        Under Carter, aid to Israel also sky rocketed.

      • James Canning
        May 27, 2013, 2:39 pm

        @Shingo – – Jimmy Carter wants Israel out of the Golan Heights and the West Bank. But this position is actually supportive of Israel.

        And Israel lobby did much to bring about Carter’s defeat in 1980, to punish himn for forcing Israel out of the Sinai.

    • Hostage
      May 26, 2013, 2:23 pm

      A bald-faced lie. From 1948-1967 the United States was no ally of Israel.

      Oh please! When Israel was begging, borrowing, and literally stealing Palestinian Arab housing, land, and resources to bed down their incoming European refugees, the first order of business for the new Knesset was a $100 million dollar loan from the US Import/Export Bank. When the opposition members argued that Israel should take its business elsewhere, Ben Gurion pointed out that there were no other countries willing to offer Israel any credit.

      See “The American Credit Loan”, Sittings 7, 13 March – 8, 17 March 1949, Netanel Loarch (editor), Major Knesset Debates 1948-1981, Volume 2, JCPA, starting on page 451. link to jcpa.org

      • Obsidian
        May 26, 2013, 3:23 pm

        @Hostage

        You need to put on your green eye-shades.

        “The credit of one hundred million dollars is being given…we are obliged to spend that money in the USA for purchasing items, materials and machinery ..”

        “The loan will be given for a period of approximately 15 year. For the first three years we will only have to pay the interest. After that, in the following years, we will have to pay both the interest and the amortization of the capital. The interest is at the rate of three and a half percent.”

        “The contract we are signing is a standard one’.

        Boy.
        The US Import/Export bank was about as generous as, well…a banker.

      • Shingo
        May 27, 2013, 4:06 am

        The US Import/Export bank was about as generous as, well…a banker.

        What part of “loan” don’t you understand? Or have you become so accustomed to thinking in terms of loans and loan agreements to Israel – the kind that never get to be repaid because the US tax payer foots the bill?

      • Obsidian
        May 27, 2013, 4:57 am

        @Shingo

        Prove that this US Import/Export Bank loan wasn’t repaid in full.

      • Kathleen
        May 27, 2013, 11:10 am

        Bingo! Facts just do not matter to Obsidian

      • Hostage
        May 27, 2013, 6:46 pm

        Boy. The US Import/Export bank was about as generous as, well…a banker.

        Truman actually approved a $135 million Export-Import Bank loan and the sale of surplus commodities. As I pointed out, your country was being flooded with penniless beggars from Europe. It wasn’t credit worthy and no other country was willing to offer any loans whatsoever. So yes, those were very generous terms.

      • Shingo
        May 27, 2013, 8:01 pm

        Prove that this US Import/Export Bank loan wasn’t repaid in full.

        Why should I? I never suggested it wasn’t. What I stated was that your reaction is typical of the outlandish sense of entitlements Israel has and that repaying a loan (based on very reasonable terms) is considered in your eyes to be unfair.

        Given the nature of loans, aid, grants and largess the US pays to Israel today, it’s little wonder you would consider a normal loan to be an outrage.

        BTW. Prove that this US Import/Export Bank was repaid in full.

      • Citizen
        May 28, 2013, 5:24 am

        @ Hostage
        Truman promised the loan to the Zionists before he was elected. He said he knew the Jews and they were good for paying their debts. In fact, Truman did many, many things to help Israel get on its feet, and his activities cemented the Democratic Party with Zionism. He did absolutely nothing to help create, and foster a Palestinian state. He created the USA’s double standard, still in full force today: link to books.google.com

      • James Canning
        May 29, 2013, 7:23 pm

        @Citizen – – Of course Truman did nothing to help create an independent Palestine. But it was not until fairly recently that this was seen as the way forward.

      • Hostage
        May 30, 2013, 2:25 am

        @Citizen – – Of course Truman did nothing to help create an independent Palestine.

        That’s somewhat revisionist. Truman publicly backed the establishment of an Arab Palestinian state composed of all the Arab territory of the former mandate on both sides of the Jordan river. He did not support either a Jewish or Arab state in “all of Palestine” or back the establishment of a government under the leadership of a war-time enemy, the former Mufti.

        The US State Department “Digest of International Law”; the State Department Bulletin; and the State Department “Foreign Relations of the United States”-series all contain documentary evidence that there was a country called “Arab Palestine” and that Truman recognized it’s union with Transjordan and approved $23 million in foreign assistance for projects in Arab Palestine.

        For example:
        *The State Department Bulletin Vol. 22 for January 1950 reported that the United Nations had sent the Clapp Mission to the Middle East countries of Lebanon, Jordan, Arab Palestine, and Syria. The Economic Survey Mission for the Middle East, headed by Gordon R. Clapp, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority recommended four projects involving the Wadi Zerqa basin in Jordan, the Wadi Qilt watershed and stream bed in Arab Palestine, the Litani River in Lebanon, and the Ghab Swamps in Syria. (Kindle version Locations 4706- 4727).
        *The State Department Digest of International Law 1963 devoted an entire chapter to “Territory and Sovereignty of States”. In § 8 “Annexation” there is a discussion about the acquisition of sovereignty over the West Bank by Jordan on the basis of the four resolutions of the Second Arab Palestine Conference (aka Jericho Congress) held on December 1, 1948. Note: A few weeks after the Congress the name of Transjordan was officially changed to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to reflect the new joint status (January 21, 1949). The Digest also described US recognition of the union between Arab Palestine and Transjordan as an expression of the sovereign will of the two peoples. Secretary of State Acheson stated at his April 26, 1950 press conference that “The elections which were held on the 11th were on the basis of the incorporation of Arab Palestine into the Hashemite Kingdom. Those elections have taken place and this action of the parliament will be to ratify that decision. Now, our American attitude is that we have no objection whatever to the union of peoples mutually desirous of this new relationship.” See pages 1163-1168 of Marjorie M. Whiteman (editor), Digest of International Law, vol. 2 (Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1963)
        *The 1950 FRUS contains a Memorandum of Conversation, between Mr. Stuart W. Rockwell of the Office of African and Near Eastern Affairs and Mr. Abdel Monem Rifai, Counselor, Jordan Legation in Washington, June 5, 1950 which officially documents the US recognition of the union between Arab Palestine and Jordan and the sovereignty of the new joint entity over the new territory. An Editorial note on the same page explains that Congress had funded the projects recommended by the UN Clapp Mission. See Foreign relations of the United States, 1950. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa, Volume V (1950), Page 921

        Truman upgraded Israel’s recognition from de facto to de jure on the very same day that he extended de jure recognition to the new joint Kingdom of Jordan.

      • Mayhem
        May 27, 2013, 1:08 am

        Sorry Hostage your cherry picking stunt is a bit too obvious and does nothing to negate Obsidian’s assertion. In October 1965 Eisenhower admitted regret at having forced Israel to withdraw from the Sinai peninsula in 1956. You conveniently forget that the US had forced Israel’s hand very hard during the Suez Crisis.
        The US going heavy on Israel even continued after 1967.
        Go and read what President Carter said in March 1978 after he had summoned Begin to Washington to save the negotiations between Sadat and Begin from collapse because of implied Israeli ‘intransigence’. He “addressed Begin with disdain in his voice and fury in his eyes, saying:”

        Mr Prime Minister, the Israeli position, as I understand it, is that even if there were a clear statement by us against a total Israel withdrawal from the West Bank and against a Palestinian state, and even if this were to be accepted by Egypt, Israel would not stop building new settlements, or the expansion of settlements; Israel would not give up the settlements in Sinai; Israel would not permit an Egyptian or UN protection over the Israeli settlements in Sinai; Israel will not withdraw its political authority from the West Bank and Gaza; Israel will not recognize that Resolution 242 applies on all fronts, including the principle of withdrawal from the West Bank; Israel will not give the Palestinian Arabs, at the end of the 5 year interim period, the right to choose whether they want to be affiliated with Israel, with Jordan, or live under the interim arrangement. This is my understanding of the present situation. If I am correct, the likelihood that the peace talks can be resumed with Egypt is very remote. There are no immediate prospects of a substantial movement toward a peace agreement.”

        from The Prime Ministers:An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership by Yehuda Avner 2010.
        Ever since Carter’s firm opposition to Israel has been well documented.
        And then from nowhere Sam plucks the “guilt over the affliction of anti-Semitism throughout history reaching its zenith during the Holocaust” card against the US, insinuating that somehow the US was so guilt ridden that it had to atone for its sins by lavishing Israel with support. Suggesting that the US strategic interests in the Middle East were secondary.
        Sam Bahour, your emperor is not wearing any clothes.

      • Shingo
        May 27, 2013, 4:12 am

        Sorry Hostage your cherry picking stunt is a bit too obvious and does nothing to negate Obsidian’s assertion.

        Don’t be sorry Mayham. You only have hasbara drek to recycle.

        In October 1965 Eisenhower admitted regret at having forced Israel to withdraw from the Sinai peninsula in 1956.

        Really? Where is the link?

        You conveniently forget that the US had forced Israel’s hand very hard during the Suez Crisis.

        You conveniently forget that Israel has no legal claim or leg to stand on and that their attack on Egypt was an act of blatant aggression by them and the UK and France.

        The US going heavy on Israel even continued after 1967.

        Yeah, like helping Israel cover us the attack on the USS Liberty, helping the Israelis with reconnaissance in 1967, trying to sabotage and water down UNSC242 and then throwing huge amounts of money at them.

        I take it your reference to “going heavy” must be a euphemism for B&D.

        Go and read what President Carter said in March 1978 after he had summoned Begin to Washington to save the negotiations between Sadat and Begin from collapse because of implied Israeli ‘intransigence’

        We did already and with the exception of the charge that Israel would would not give up the settlements in the Sinai, Carter was right.

        Ever since Carter’s firm opposition to Israel has been well documented.

        Opposition to Israel apartheid, criminality and land theft yes.

        Under Carter, aid to Israel also sky rocketed.

        Sam Bahour, your emperor is not wearing any clothes.

        And you Mayhem, are an Israeli sycophant fellating a donkey.

      • James Canning
        May 27, 2013, 2:45 pm

        Great post, Mayhem. Begin wanted to kee3 Sharm El Sheik, in the Sinai.

        Carter said no.

        Eisenhower had reason for concern about Nasser’s idiocy, in 1965.

      • Hostage
        May 27, 2013, 7:20 pm

        Sorry Hostage your cherry picking stunt is a bit too obvious and does nothing to negate Obsidian’s assertion. In October 1965 Eisenhower admitted regret at having forced Israel to withdraw from the Sinai peninsula in 1956. You conveniently forget that the US had forced Israel’s hand very hard during the Suez Crisis.

        Whose cherry picking? Here’s a list of all the other allies of Israel that were extending you penniless beggars $135 million dollars in credit in 1948: (none).

        Eisenhower was no longer in office and was in failing health. Israel had launched an illegal invasion in 1956, just as it did again in 1967. No one really cares if Eisenhower had regrets a decade after the fact about asking Israel and its allies to comply with international law and UN resolutions. He was just as mistaken as everyone else in the Beltway about the usefulness of the domino theory for making accurate predictions about Soviet in-roads in Southwest Asia. Johnson was employing it to justify a huge military escalation in Southeast Asia.

        Eisenhower was endorsing Johnson’s misguided and failed policies regarding Vietnam in 1965 too, e.g. link to whitehousetapes.net

    • James Canning
      May 27, 2013, 8:04 pm

      Not an ally, but Truman’s recognition of Israel in 1948 was a big deal.

  7. Woody Tanaka
    May 25, 2013, 11:53 am

    Great article. And sad. And while there appears to be some hope that the European governments are beginning to slightly wake up and approach this conflict rationally, the US is still a puppet on a string to influences real and imagined.

  8. Ramzi Jaber
    May 25, 2013, 12:03 pm

    Great article Sam. Thank you.

    Obama’s statement that “a *strong Jewish state* would ensure that there will never be another holocaust” begs a simple question and a simple observation.

    The question: Mr. President, please explain how can a state based on religion also be democratic? Weren’t the US Founding Fathers adamant on the principle of separation of state and church, for an important reason? Think Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Israel……

    The observation: The creation of a state for Jews based on religion demonstrates Herzel’s illogical circular zionist argument that to protect Jews from being singled out there is a need to create a state that is singularly for Jews. This drives the fundamental perpetuation of anti-semitism. IMHO, world Jewry ought to focus on how to protect Jews in ANY AND ALL COUNTRIES in the world, as a minority that MUST be protected along with any other minority. That’s where the global united fight must focus as opposed to inventing a divisive fight based on the principle and belief that one religion is better than all others as bestowed by God onto the “chosen people”. Indefensible, illogical, unsustainable position.

    • NormanF
      May 25, 2013, 2:51 pm

      Ramzi,

      Here is my response to your observations:

      Obama’s statement that “a *strong Jewish state* would ensure that there will never be another holocaust” begs a simple question and a simple observation.

      A “strong Jewish state” guarantees the future of the Jewish people in age in which Jew hatred has never been higher. Israel is not by any means a result of the Holocaust.

      The question: Mr. President, please explain how can a state based on religion also be democratic? Weren’t the US Founding Fathers adamant on the principle of separation of state and church, for an important reason? Think Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Israel……

      Lots of countries have Christian state churches and they are democracies. It should be added that Israel has no state religion – and non-Jews engage in the reductionist error of reducing Jewish civilization simply to a religion. Religion is a Christian term that neither describes nor defines Judaism….

      The observation: The creation of a state for Jews based on religion demonstrates Herzel’s illogical circular zionist argument that to protect Jews from being singled out there is a need to create a state that is singularly for Jews. This drives the fundamental perpetuation of anti-semitism. IMHO, world Jewry ought to focus on how to protect Jews in ANY AND ALL COUNTRIES in the world, as a minority that MUST be protected along with any other minority. That’s where the global united fight must focus as opposed to inventing a divisive fight based on the principle and belief that one religion is better than all others as bestowed by God onto the “chosen people”. Indefensible, illogical, unsustainable position.

      The creation of a Jewish State was supported by some of the most liberal minds in history. They wished to see an end to the persecution and dispossession of the Jews by restoring their national life in their ancient homeland. They knew as did the early Zionists, the only way the Jews could be safe is by being a majority in their own land and the masters of their own fate. Recent events have made that more clearer than ever before. It should be added that there is nothing logical in the Arabs having 22 countries while the Jews have to make do with only one. If anything, the Arabs were richly recompensed when they where freed by the West from centuries of Turkish rule and they’re still full of resentment against Israel and America. Get over it!

      • Caruthers
        May 27, 2013, 7:48 am

        Israel is a result of the Holocaust, in that prior to the Holocaust, Zionism was a fringe political movement with little international support.
        Many of the most liberal minds of their day also endorsed the view that women are naturally inferior to men and unfit for most positions of authority. Many “liberals” also endorsed the seizure of the North American continent from the “savages” that resided there, and similarly embraced most European colonization as the spread of superior civilization.
        Jew hatred is practically nonexistent in the Western world. It is a moribund form of bigotry. American Jews enjoy unprecedented power, prestige, and influence.
        Israel has always received and depended upon a huge amount of support from other countries, which would not have happened if other countries were filled with fanatical anti-Semites and Jews were powerless and at their mercy. In other words, Israel owes its continued existence to external support. If anti-Semitism really does become rife throughout the rest of the world, then Israel is doomed. If not, then it’s unnecessary.
        How shall this logic be generalized? Do Native Americans need a strong and discriminatory state for their self-defense? What about Gypsies?
        Zionism is a vestige of the old Romantic and Germanic “blood and soil” mentality in which it arose.

      • Mayhem
        May 28, 2013, 12:59 am

        @Caruthers, why do you choose to believe what happens to suit your political agenda?
        For recent FBI crime statistics on anti-Semitism in the US please refer to link to fbi.gov
        @Shingo, digest this reference link to imra.org.il about Eisenhower. Your rage at my remarks, that were purely intended to reinforce the facts that the US historically has NOT simply kowtowed to Israel is truly obscene and surely in breech of Mondoweiss comments policy. Do you think that I would be permitted to say that you – a 110% fan of the Palestinian cause – were having sex with an animal?
        Today you bear witness to the US demonstrating enormous support for Israel because it is a TRUE friend that can be relied upon. I can understand how frustrating that must be to anybody who hates Israel.

      • Shmuel
        May 29, 2013, 1:21 am

        Mayhem wrote: @Shingo, digest this reference link to imra.org.il about Eisenhower. Your rage at my remarks, that were purely intended to reinforce the facts that the US historically has NOT simply kowtowed to Israel is truly obscene and surely in breech of Mondoweiss comments policy.

        The reality is certainly obscene, but Shingo was referring to this political satire: link to mondoweiss.net

      • Caruthers
        May 29, 2013, 3:45 am

        I am looking at many factors.
        1) There are far more Jews serving as governors, senators, and congressmen than is proportional to their part in the population, who are being elected therefore by largely non-Jewish constituents. There are also a disproportionately large number of Jews who occupy high-level positions in presidential administrations, as Supreme Court Justices, as Federal Reserve Chairmen, etc. These are all high-profile political positions once largely closed to Jews. Where once there were strict quotas, official and unofficial, limiting the numbers of Jewish students and professors at Ivy League Schools, now there are many presidents of such schools who are Jewish. Similarly, many Commissioners of major sports leagues are also Jewish (proportional to their part in the population). Unlike in the past, Jews no longer change their names or try to conceal their Jewishness from the public, as anti-Semitism once forced them to do.
        2) One need not look at FBI statistics to see how Congressmen fall all over themselves to grovel at the feet of Netanyahu when he delivers a Congressional speech. If the US were rife with closet anti-Semites, they could not do this because they would get voted out of office. Anti-Semitism is so moribund in the US that it doesn’t even affect the way people vote.
        3) Not long ago, Jewish-owned newspapers would advertise residences for sale or rent that were “restricted,” which meant “no Jews.”
        4) The most “elite” Gentile American families (Kennedys, Rockefellers, etc.) intermarry with Jews. Not long ago that would have been “socially incorrect.” Now it is socially incorrect (rightly) for Gentiles to regard it as “socially incorrect.” Today it is far more socially acceptable for Jews to object than Gentiles.
        5) When the people who commit high profile crimes that perfectly fit the most firmly entrenched anti-Semitic stereotypes are all or mostly Jews (e.g., Boesky, Milken, etc. with their financial swindles), their Jewishness rightly elicits no more comment than does their middle-age white maleness.

      • Shingo
        May 29, 2013, 7:28 am

        @Shingo, digest this reference link to imra.org.il about Eisenhower.

        That’s not a reference, it’s an unsourced quote that does not link to any official correspondence.

        Your rage at my remarks, that were purely intended to reinforce the facts that the US historically has NOT simply kowtowed to Israel is truly obscene

        It wasn’t rage, it was satire, which like so much else, clearly went over your head. Nevertheless, it’s amusing to watch you conform that the Zionist idea of support means kowtowing or submission.

        No wonder your fellow hasbarat, Obsidian, thinks that expecting the Israels to pay back a loan is malevolent.

      • James Canning
        May 29, 2013, 7:12 pm

        @Caruthers – – And don’t forget President Clinton, one child, one marriage to a Jew. President G W Bush, two children, one marriage to a Jew. Etc.
        Free intermarriage at high levels is obvious sign of complete integration.

      • piotr
        May 27, 2013, 11:31 am

        NormanF is very nicely presenting the standard Zionist views which make perfect sense, if we only disregard all facts (well, almost all). Let us consider just one fragment:

        “They [some of the most liberal minds in history] knew as did the early Zionists, the only way the Jews could be safe is by being a majority in their own land and the masters of their own fate. Recent events have made that more clearer than ever before.”

        1. Somehow “the most liberal minds in history” are unnamed.

        2. This source of authority is a bit strange, given how much liberals are detested by the contemporary Zionists. It makes me genuinely curious how “most liberal minds” are identified.

        3. Historically, having own state was a rather week protection, and nothing illustrates it better then the history of Jews. The previous Jewish state in Palestine was abolished when the Jews petitioned Roman Republic to be relieved of the rule of their king. The petition was accepted and there would be no problems for the Jews until the ingrates refused to pay taxes (something also known from the history of certain British colonies in North America, but with a different outcome). In general, smallish states have a very bad record in terms of durability. By the way of contrast, adaptation to the life in Diaspora, spreading the population among many countries and even continents, cultivation of good relations with rulers (rather than nationalistic resistance that sometimes wins but more often does not) had a very good success rate. Yes, there was a Holocaust, but consider all countries and nations that did not survive through history.

        4. The concept of “masters of their own fate” is hard to square with what we usually thing as “liberal minds”. At its most innocent, the concept of “master” evokes Maid Cafe. At the less innocent, it is associated with paranoid supremacism (are we sufficiently “master”?).

      • Citizen
        May 27, 2013, 2:13 pm

        @ piotr

        Yours is a very juicy comment. It does explain Israel’s current move to ingratiate itself with the new rising economic powers, especially China, which makes some us here reflect on, if not the Jews’ economic role wrt the feudal kingdoms, at least all Israel’s partners since Balfour, e.g., England, France, USA.

      • Ramzi Jaber
        May 27, 2013, 7:06 pm

        NormanF, I’m not sure where to start commenting on your points as the flaws and misstatements are everywhere. piotr did a great job already. Allow me make a couple of additional points:

        >>> Jew hatred is unacceptable, inexcusable. Period. Just as it is against any other religion. But you might want to ask yourself why is it on the rise? Could it be due to the criminal actions that the zionist regime and colonialist extremsists commit against Palestinians and others in the region like attacking Syria totally unprovoked?

        >>> You may want to check historical evidence to check for yourself if the USA, Europe, and the zionist movement did actually use the Holocaust as a key reason for voting to support UN 194 and the creation of Israel by illegally giving my land to someone else. My reading is that the facts are not on the side of your argument that “Israel is not by any means a result of the Holocaust”.

        >>> While it is true that all Western countries and other democratic nations have churches, they are not “Christian state churches” as you claim. I guess only the Vatican may have such a thing, but then it’s not a democracy.

        >>> While israel may not formally have a state religion, for sure Netanyahoo disagrees with you since he certainly pushed the notion of “Jewish State” very vigorously and persistently over the past several years – a new argument that was not part of the discourse before then. So yes, Israel certainly favors Jews over its other citizens and the zionist regime wants it to be a “Jewish State”, empty of Palestinian Christians and Moslems.

        >>> If your argument is to take Palestine since it’s your ancient homeland based on an anecdotal document that you are using as a real-estate guide in 2012, then how about the Arabs taking over half of Europe since we were there only a few hundred years back, not four thousand years ago as your unjustified claim is over Palestine……..

        >>> You did not explain the circular logic that I pointed out in my original post when you replied “the only way the Jews could be safe is by being a majority in their own land and the masters of their own fate”. Doesn’t this accentuate differences and superiority and racism, which begets anti-semitism??

        >>> Your argument that since Arabs have 22 countries, then there is no need for Palestine since the Jews must have at least one country. By your logic, I ask the mirror question: why North America has only three countries while Africa or Asia or Europe has much more? Maybe USA, Canada, and Mexico must be split into 20 countries? Oh wait, maybe USA must claim a few countries on one of these other continents? Or even better, each religion and sect in the world must have at least one country, including one for aethesists?? Not sure your argument makes sense to me at all.

        >>> How were Arabs richly recompensated by the West after Turkish rule? Is it by the destruction of my country Palestine and its theft by zionists? Is it by the breakup of the Arab nation into many artificial secterian dictatorships for the sole purpose of the West stealing our oil? Is it through the wars, drones, killings, and occupation of Arab countires by the USA?

        NormanF, please illuminate me.

      • RoHa
        May 28, 2013, 8:13 pm

        A “strong Jewish state” guarantees the future of the Jewish people in age in which Jew hatred has never been higher.

        There is no need to guarantee the future of “the Jewish people”. “Peoples” do not matter. People do. It is the future of individual Jews that matters, and in many countries (perhaps most) individual Jews need have no more fear for their future than other citizens of those countries.

      • Caruthers
        May 29, 2013, 11:17 pm

        I must disagree. Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Jews each need their own separate states. So do all the various competing Hassidic sects. And Mormons. And Presbyterians. And Episcopalians. Women have long been oppressed, so they need their own nuclear-armed state. Each individual should have his or her own exclusive state.

      • RoHa
        May 28, 2013, 8:17 pm

        “Lots of countries have Christian state churches and they are democracies. It should be added that Israel has no state religion – and non-Jews engage in the reductionist error of reducing Jewish civilization simply to a religion. Religion is a Christian term that neither describes nor defines Judaism….”

        If Judaism/Jewishness is not just religion, then your reference to Christian state churches is irrelevant. The intended analogy does not hold.

      • Hostage
        May 29, 2013, 3:32 am

        It should be added that Israel has no state religion

        That’s a far-fetched claim, since the Israeli Rabbinate operates the State-sanctioned Courts that govern the personal status of Israel’s Jewish citizens.

        The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs claims that Israel’s Religious Courts are unique:

        While military and Labor courts are not exclusive to the Israeli legal system, the Religious Courts are. The Israeli legal system is unique among modern legal systems in the utilization of various personal status laws in the area of family law, applied by religious courts.

        link to mfa.gov.il

        The British and Turkish authorities had civil marriages and civil courts for most of the 20th century. It’s only the Israelis that insist on clinging to the anachronistic millet system on the basis of their own political motives.

      • RoHa
        May 28, 2013, 8:27 pm

        “It should be added that there is nothing logical in the Arabs having 22 countries while the Jews have to make do with only one.”

        This is just silly.

        The Jews have many countries. Australian Jews have Australia. Swedish Jews have Sweden. Mexican Jews have Mexico.

        On the other hand, the Europeans have 47 countries, while the Egyptians have to make do with only one. The Japanese have to make do with only one.

        How many countries do English-speakers have? How many countries do Confucians have? How many countries do stamp-collectors have?

        Work out your logical fallacies for yourself.

      • James Canning
        May 29, 2013, 7:20 pm

        Great post, RoHa!

      • Shingo
        May 29, 2013, 7:41 am

        A “strong Jewish state” guarantees the future of the Jewish people in age in which Jew hatred has never been higher.

        Wrong. Jew hatred has never been lower and long may that remain.

        non-Jews engage in the reductionist error of reducing Jewish civilization simply to a religion

        So does the Rabbinate.

        IMHO, world Jewry ought to focus on how to protect Jews in ANY AND ALL COUNTRIES in the world, as a minority that MUST be protected along with any other minority.

        That’s why Israel is bad for Jews.

        <blockquote The creation of a Jewish State was supported by some of the most liberal minds in history.

        And opposed by most Jews. There is nothing liberal about supporting the expulsion of an indigenous population to accommodate Jews.

        They knew as did the early Zionists, the only way the Jews could be safe is by being a majority in their own land and the masters of their own fate.

        More Jews have died in Israel since it was created than the rest of the world, so clearly, Israel has not made Jews safe.

        It should be added that there is nothing logical in the Arabs having 22 countries while the Jews have to make do with only one.

        It should be added that there is nothing logical in the Warren Buffet having tens of billions while I don’t have any.

        If anything, the Arabs were richly recompensed when they where freed by the West from centuries of Turkish rule and they’re still full of resentment against Israel and America.

        That’s about as obscene as saying that the Jews should be happy with Hitler being defeated. Why need a state?

        Should they get over it too Norman?

      • James Canning
        May 29, 2013, 7:07 pm

        @Shingo – – Bravo. “Jew hatred” levels are very low.

    • Shingo
      May 25, 2013, 8:48 pm

      The observation: The creation of a state for Jews based on religion demonstrates Herzel’s illogical circular zionist argument that to protect Jews from being singled out there is a need to create a state that is singularly for Jews

      There’s a mistake in your assumption Ramzi. Hertzl and his adherents were never interested in Jews being assimilate and accepted. He was of the opinion that Jews were different and that anti Semitism was perfectly normal. In fact, he considered anti Semitism to be an asset to be explored.

      As someone once pointed out, Zionism and Nazism shared the same belief that Jews did not belong in society. Talk about a tragic irony!

    • Mayhem
      May 27, 2013, 12:48 am

      Ramzi, your ignorance about an essential difference between Judaism and both Christianity and Islam is profound. Islam and Christianity believe that they are universalist faiths and apply the doctrine of extra ecclesiam non est salus or ‘outside the Church there is no salvation’ for which there is no equivalent in Judaism.

      • Ramzi Jaber
        May 27, 2013, 7:10 pm

        Mayhem, you clearly missed my argument. Please read it again. Thank you.

      • Mayhem
        May 27, 2013, 11:24 pm

        Ramzi, and what were you insinuating when you said this?

        as opposed to inventing a divisive fight based on the principle and belief that one religion is better than all others as bestowed by God onto the “chosen people”.

        My point is that Judaism has no concept of religious supremacy but Christianity and Islam do.
        You have no understanding of what the “chosen people” concept is all about in Judaism.

      • Hostage
        May 29, 2013, 3:07 am

        My point is that Judaism has no concept of religious supremacy

        If the Torah and the Talmud are discussing “Judaism”, then that is based upon the concept of religious supremacy. You must have missed the parts about the treatment of idolaters.

      • Mayhem
        May 29, 2013, 8:14 pm

        @Hostage, your offhand remark about how idolaters were meant to be treated in the Torah says nothing about the fundamental premise of Judaism, which affirms the right of all those who live their lives civilly and follow the Noahide laws to attain redemption and salvation i.e you don’t need to be a Jew to live a proper meaningful life. The idolators were the evil rampagers of bygone ages that had to be eradicated by those who believed in advancing civilization through a belief in the true God. The practices of those idolaters were savage, brutal and inhumane.

      • Shingo
        May 29, 2013, 10:00 pm

        says nothing about the fundamental premise of Judaism, which affirms the right of all those who live their lives civilly and follow the Noahide laws to attain redemption and salvation i.e you don’t need to be a Jew to live a proper meaningful life.

        Christianity and Judaism preach the same.

        The idolators were the evil rampagers of bygone ages that had to be eradicated by those who believed in advancing civilization through a belief in the true God.

        Christianity and Judaism preach the same.

        The practices of those idolaters were savage, brutal and inhumane.

        Christianity and Judaism preach the same.

        Thanks for demonstrating that all 3 Abrahamic faiths are practically identical.

      • Caruthers
        May 29, 2013, 11:36 pm

        For Judaism “to have no concept of supremacy,” it is not enough that it accord “civil” non-Jews some value; rather, it must accord “civil” non-Jews a “worth” equal to that of Jews. It is a strange reading of the Talmud which concludes that such is its uniform message. How many Israeli politicians and Rabbis would concur with the statement that Jewish and non-Jewish lives have equal value?

      • Hostage
        May 30, 2013, 2:50 am

        @Hostage, your offhand remark about how idolaters were meant to be treated in the Torah says nothing about the fundamental premise of Judaism, which affirms the right of all those who live their lives civilly and follow the Noahide laws to attain redemption and salvation i.e you don’t need to be a Jew to live a proper meaningful life.

        The idea that there really was a person named Noah or that Gentiles are legally obliged to observe such a thing as “the Noahide laws” is a bunch of made-up Jewish religious malarchy. Just like the made up boundaries of the mythical land of Israel which stretch from the river of Egypt to the banks of the Euphrates.

        But that self-same malarchy is a fundamental premise of Judaism which holds that those laws are applicable in all of “Eretz Israel” and that non-Jews living within its borders have no sovereign jurisdiction of their own or any choice in the matter. That, together with the mitzvah which requires that idolaters be put to death, is a clear example of Jewish religious supremacy.

  9. AlGhorear
    May 25, 2013, 1:17 pm

    Well said, Ramzi.

    And thank you for the insightful article, Sam.

  10. Erasmus
    May 25, 2013, 1:20 pm

    Grand article: short and to the very point. Palestine is different.

    And because also the USA is sooo deeply entangled in this colonial crime in historic Palestine – apart from its own on its home grounds wrt to the Indian population, that has never been addressed appropriately – the USA has some fundamental soul searching to do. Refusing to do this “homework”, Israel finds itself in comfortable company.

    Confessing own historic guilt without qualification by the USA could imho go a long way to pave a way for Jewish Israelis to start reflecting on theirs and cut the “Gordian knot” of Jewish self-rightness.

    Three issues related to this conflict that are crucial to understand are:
    • historic guilt,
    • colonial responsibility, and
    • the U.S. “special relationship” with Israel.

    Re: ” During his recent trip to Israel, he visited the Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum) to declare that Israel’s future existence and security as a “strong Jewish state” would ensure that there will never be another holocaust.”

    Is that a verbatim quotation??

    The Haaretz gives another version in citation quotation marks as:
    “The State of Israel does not exist because of the Holocaust, but with the survival of the State of Israel there will never be a Holocaust again,”….
    link to haaretz.com

    Whatever, the statement obviously lacks not only stringent logic, quite asymptomatic for Obama’s usual standard, but indeed sends an unfortunate and wrong message.

    Re: “Adding insult to injury, Obama then did a huge favor to Israel’s right wing by going outside official protocol to lay a wreath on the tomb of Theodor Herzl , the founder of the political ideology of Zionism.
    Through his actions, intentionally or otherwise, Obama gave credence to the ‘right’ of a Jewish state in Palestine, while ignoring the indigenous people of Palestine … upon whose ruins the Israeli state was built. “

    This has been indeed a very unnecessary and misguided tribute for which the POTUS ought to feel serious regrets and be thoroughly ashamed. With this he has absolutely overstretched whatever may be justifiable to reassure whatever Jewish Israeli souls may fear another HC. One can only but agree with Sam Bahour when he observes that

    intentionally or otherwise, Obama gave credence to the ‘right’ of a Jewish state in Palestine, while ignoring the indigenous people of Palestine – including Christians, Muslims and even some Jews – upon whose ruins the Israeli state was built.

    This can best be seen how Israel’s ambassador to Washington Michael Oren, immediately tried to capitalize upon Obama’s Herzl grave event.

    “By laying a wreath at Herzl’s grave just now – an act that other foreign leaders have refused to do – President Obama was reaffirming Zionism and the idea of a Jewish state.”

    link to haaretz.com

  11. Danaa
    May 25, 2013, 1:31 pm

    To reinforce Ramzi’s comment and also, to Obama’s declaration “that Israel’s future existence and security as a “strong Jewish state” would ensure that there will never be another holocaust”:

    That statement, as quoted, explicitly excludes any other people from being considered victims on a grand scale of an ethnically based violent persecution. After all, Israel’s existence as a “strong jewish state” did not prevent the holocaust in Cambodia, or in Rwanda, or in Gaza or anywhere else that’s seen large scale ethnic cleansing and/or general human cleansing campaigns. In Gaza for example, a planned Holocaust is being executed in front of our eyes, in broad daylight. Of course, israelis have learnt the lessons of the perpetrators of their own Holocaust: it’s better to take your time, as you up the temperature – letting the world come to gradually accept the unfolding horrors that ensue; this way, by the time it’s all done and over with, and the palestinians of Gaza have been permanently “disabled” as functioning humans (something that many upright citizens of the ‘strong jewish state” bemoan daily – on their facebooks – that is taking “way too long’) it will be too late to rescue the proverbial frog. Notice how the world, in the past decade, has learnt to accept the right of israel to turn an entire area into a ghetto that is cut off from the world as it is being slowly, ever so slowly strangled, using the concept of “Hamas” as an excuse. One that apparently most of the world’s do-gooder interventionists are happy to swallow as they unleash, equip and mouth off platitudes about honorful “rebels” to commit unspeakable mayhems in countries that failed to “play ball” with the so-called West. .

    Obama, in laying wreaths on the grave of the one who presaged the Nakba – and in making that disingenuous, cowardly statement at Yad Vashem (where mostly only jewish victims of the holocaust are acknowledged) has tacitly agreed with the unstated premise that Palestinians are and have always been sub-human.

    • dimadok
      May 25, 2013, 6:40 pm

      @Danaa.
      Once you’ve started comparing Gaza and the Holocaust- you’ve lost your moral ground.
      Once you complained that Yad VaShem commemorates mostly Jewish victims of the Holocaust- you’ve started to look morally bankrupt.
      Once you’ve implied that Obama’s speech there supported sub-human status of Palestinians-you’ve just looked pathetic.

      • Shingo
        May 27, 2013, 7:58 pm

        Once you’ve started comparing Gaza and the Holocaust- you’ve lost your moral ground.

        Tell that to your psychotic leaders who threatened to visit a Shoah on Gaza. But I agree with you that Israel’s leadership lost the moral ground long ago.

        Once you complained that Yad VaShem commemorates mostly Jewish victims of the Holocaust- you’ve started to look morally bankrupt.

        The truth hurts.

        Once you’ve implied that Obama’s speech there supported sub-human status of Palestinians-you’ve just looked pathetic.

        Yeah, it’s not like you haven’t done that since participating in the comments section.

      • RoHa
        May 27, 2013, 9:08 pm

        “Once you’ve started comparing Gaza and the Holocaust- you’ve lost your moral ground.
        Once you complained that Yad VaShem commemorates mostly Jewish victims of the Holocaust- you’ve started to look morally bankrupt.”

        Why? Do, please, explain your moral reasoning.

      • RoHa
        May 29, 2013, 8:24 pm

        Hmmn. No explanation.

        I will assume you are just very busy, and not assume that you can’t do moral reasoning.

    • seafoid
      May 26, 2013, 5:13 am

      That unstated premise that the palestinians are sub human is colonialism 101. It is like the khmer attitude to their victims as well. And the antidote to that sort of thinking is a mohammed assaf video followed by fairuz. Zionism is a fraud. People help the people.

      • seafoid
        May 27, 2013, 6:31 am

        “To destroy you is no loss, to preserve you is no gain”
        link to mekong.net

        is more or less how Zionism sees Gaza

  12. Citizen
    May 25, 2013, 2:30 pm

    Ike had the power to go beyond goy guilt, and, to a lesser extent, JFK did too, and even Bush Sr tried to do so. As for the rest of all POTUS beginning in 1948, zero courage and ethics in the matter. Israel is now sucking up to China & India, as it has always sucked up to any big powers, in the tradition of Zionism, but it’s gonna come up empty–for obvious reasons. There’s no white Christian or white secular guilt resident in China or Israel.

    As a self-identified black man, Obama could make a difference in this matter, but he’s too mediocre in character to do so.

    • mikeo
      May 26, 2013, 3:12 pm

      “Israel is now sucking up to China & India, as it has always sucked up to any big powers, in the tradition of Zionism, but it’s gonna come up empty–for obvious reasons. There’s no white Christian or white secular guilt resident in China or Israel.”

      The Jewish People Policy Institute has two interesting policy papers on this subject.

      Policy paper: China and the Jewish People
      link to jppi.org.il

      (Introductory Paragraphs)
      Why China?
      China is re-emerging as a great power. This has global impacts in many areas. China’s domestic policies and foreign alignments are in flux. Its elites are avidly absorbing new knowledge and are open to many influences. The time to link up with China is now.

      Jewish history of the last two centuries was dominated by the fact that until 1939, up to 90 percent of all Jews lived in Europe and America, the two continents that determined the fate of the world. But the Shoah and the establishment of Israel have radically altered the geographic distribution of the Jews, and a gradual geopolitical power shift towards Asia is underway. These changes constitute a watershed in Jewish history and open up new oppor- tunities that must not be missed.

      Why will China’s policies affect the future of the Jewish people?

      For the first time, China will directly influence the fate of the Jews. The main challenges that China is facing are not created by Jews but will affect them. Jewish policy makers must put relations with China into a grand strategic frame.

      2030: Alternative Futures for the Jewish People
      link to jppi.org.il

      The power of the Jewish People as a whole in the first part of the 21st Century is unprecedented in Jewish history. Israel is a major Middle Eastern power with military capacities surpassing those of any combination of Arab states, supported by excellent intelligence and a regional perception of significant nuclear capacities.

      The special relationship between the US and Israel contributes an additional crucial element to Israeli power, and the Jewish community in the USA exerts significant influence, in terms of political strength and soft power. However, the several key trends put into question the future of that power:

      • Power is a relative concept: the possibility of a nuclear Iran and proliferation of weapons of mass killing to potential enemies of Israel may reduce significantly the net hard power advantage of Israel. New forms of confrontation taking the form of asymmetric medium-intensity conflict, as illustrated by Hezbollah and Hamas pose new types of challenges. New forms of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism may increasingly delegitimize Israel, and domestic developments in the US may decrease Jewish influence and soft power.

      • The global standing of the US may decrease, its involvement in the Middle East may diminish and its special relationship with Israel may be downgraded.

      • The economic crisis may cause long-term damage to Israel and weaken Jewish communities reducing their action capabilities.

      • Continuing conflicts may demoralize parts of the Israeli population and reduce their staying power.

      At the same time, other trends point towards an increase in the hard and soft power of the Jewish People:

      • Progress towards a Middle East peace agreement can significantly improve the global standing of Israel and reduce security dangers.

      • Good relations with emerging superpowers, such as China and India, could upgrade the soft power of the Jewish People.

      • Continuous scientific and technological as well as humanistic creativity could strengthen Jewish soft power.

      • Improved policy planning and strategic thinking together with a new type of Jewish foundational leadership can significantly improve the uses of power and thus making it more effective.

      Some of the stuff in these reports would no doubt result in accusations of anti-semitism if it were published by Gentiles…

    • mikeo
      May 27, 2013, 12:06 pm

      Israel is now sucking up to China & India, as it has always sucked up to any big powers, in the tradition of Zionism, but it’s gonna come up empty–for obvious reasons. There’s no white Christian or white secular guilt resident in China or Israel.

      The Jewish People Policy Institute has two interesting policy papers on this subject.

      Policy paper: China and the Jewish People
      link to jppi.org.il

      (Introductory Paragraphs)

      Why China?
      China is re-emerging as a great power. This has global impacts in many areas. China’s domestic policies and foreign alignments are in flux. Its elites are avidly absorbing new knowledge and are open to many influences. The time to link up with China is now.

      Jewish history of the last two centuries was dominated by the fact that until 1939, up to 90 percent of all Jews lived in Europe and America, the two continents that determined the fate of the world. But the Shoah and the establishment of Israel have radically altered the geographic distribution of the Jews, and a gradual geopolitical power shift towards Asia is underway. These changes constitute a watershed in Jewish history and open up new oppor- tunities that must not be missed.

      Why will China’s policies affect the future of the Jewish people?

      For the first time, China will directly influence the fate of the Jews. The main challenges that China is facing are not created by Jews but will affect them. Jewish policy makers must put relations with China into a grand strategic frame.

      2030: Alternative Futures for the Jewish People
      link to jppi.org.il

      The power of the Jewish People as a whole in the first part of the 21st Century is unprecedented in Jewish history. Israel is a major Middle Eastern power with military capacities surpassing those of any combination of Arab states, supported by excellent intelligence and a regional perception of significant nuclear capacities.

      The special relationship between the US and Israel contributes an additional crucial element to Israeli power, and the Jewish community in the USA exerts significant influence, in terms of political strength and soft power. However, the several key trends put into question the future of that power:

      • Power is a relative concept: the possibility of a nuclear Iran and proliferation of weapons of mass killing to potential enemies of Israel may reduce significantly the net hard power advantage of Israel. New forms of confrontation taking the form of asymmetric medium-intensity conflict, as illustrated by Hezbollah and Hamas pose new types of challenges. New forms of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism may increasingly delegitimize Israel, and domestic developments in the US may decrease Jewish influence and soft power.

      • The global standing of the US may decrease, its involvement in the Middle East may diminish and its special relationship with Israel may be downgraded.

      • The economic crisis may cause long-term damage to Israel and weaken Jewish communities reducing their action capabilities.

      • Continuing conflicts may demoralize parts of the Israeli population and reduce their staying power.

      At the same time, other trends point towards an increase in the hard and soft power of the Jewish People:

      • Progress towards a Middle East peace agreement can significantly improve the global standing of Israel and reduce security dangers.

      • Good relations with emerging superpowers, such as China and India, could upgrade the soft power of the Jewish People.

      • Continuous scientific and technological as well as humanistic creativity could strengthen Jewish soft power.

      • Improved policy planning and strategic thinking together with a new type of Jewish foundational leadership can significantly improve the uses of power and thus making it more effective.

      Some of the stuff in these reports would no doubt result in accusations of anti-semitism if it were published by Gentiles…

      • mikeo
        May 27, 2013, 1:55 pm

        It is also interesting to note the participants of the “brainstorming” sessions for these JPPI reports. A small selection of the better known names:

        Elliott Abrams, Alan Dershowitz, Abe Foxman, Malcolm Hoenlein, Steve Hoffman, Jeremy Issacharoff, Henry Kissinger, Charles Krauthammer, Isaac Molho, Dennis Ross, Dan Shapiro
        Natan Sharansky, Lawrence Summers.

        These are not marginal figures and they are putting their names on reports that essentially conclude that by 2030 the global influence of the US is likely to have decreased and that the “Jewish People” (not Israel) needs to act now to ensure that it has influence in China to ensure Jewish access to ongoing prosperity and geopolitical influence.

        The positioning in these reports of the interests of the “Jewish People”, as separate and in some ways antithetical to, the interests of the US (the country where most of these brainstorming participants hold citizenship) is notable.

      • ritzl
        May 27, 2013, 8:58 pm

        @mikeo This comment makes my blood boil. The people counseling Israel to Plan B the US because it is in decline are the very same people that have been instrumental in forming and effecting policies that are causing that decline.

      • Caruthers
        May 27, 2013, 11:14 pm

        Do other ethnic groups have prominent members acting similarly? Certainly they don’t represent all or most Jews, but it does show that there still persists a thriving (if small) current of particularist chauvinism among Jews, evidencing Israel Shahak’s observation that anti-Semitism and Jewish chauvinism need to be combatted simultaneously.

      • john h
        May 27, 2013, 3:56 pm

        “There’s no white Christian or white secular guilt resident in China or Israel”. I think you meant to say “China or India”, mikeo.

      • mikeo
        May 27, 2013, 7:37 pm

        Hey john h

        don’t blame the messenger, I’m quoting Citizen ;)

      • Citizen
        May 28, 2013, 8:42 am

        @ john h
        Yeah, my bad. I did mean to type India, not Israel.

      • john h
        May 29, 2013, 12:17 am

        I stand corrected – sorry, wrong poster!

  13. crone
    May 25, 2013, 3:51 pm

    Such a “cute” photo, don’t you think? Kerry’s wearing a blue tie for Israel, and Bibi is wearing a red/white/blue tie for US, with both flags behind them… yes, a photo is worth 1,000 words.

    And thanks Sam for your article and your insight into the situation.

  14. DICKERSON3870
    May 25, 2013, 4:43 pm

    RE: “Secretary of State John Kerry is making an all-out effort to restart peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine. . . [T]he case of Palestine is different and unless Secretary Kerry recognizes this, all the efforts and millions of dollars being thrown at this conflict will be in vain, as will the latest U.S. negotiations blitz.” ~ Sam Bahour

    JOEL KOVEL ON HOW ISRAEL/PALESTINE IS DIFFERENT (1-20-13):

    . . . As with everyone I know of in official political culture, [Thomas] Friedman [probably like John Kerry - J.L.D.] assumes that Israel is a rational actor on the international stage who will obey the calculus of reward and punishment that regulates the conduct of normal states.
    The presumption is that if you tell it the truth, and even pull back US support, it will get the message, reflect, and change its ways. But Israel is not a normal state, except superficially. It will make adjustments, pulling back here, co-operating there, making nice when necessary, crafting its message using a powerful propaganda apparatus employing the most up-to-date social science. But this is simply tactical and no more predicts or explains the behavior of the Zionist state than an individual sociopath can be explained by the fact that he obeys traffic signals while driving to the scene of his crime. . .

    SOURCE – link to mondoweiss.net

    • DICKERSON3870
      May 25, 2013, 4:46 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “Kerry’s Latest Mideast Trip Doomed Before It Starts”, by Mitchell Plitnick, lobelog.com, 5/22/13

      [EXCERPTS] It may seem like US Secretary of State John Kerry is chasing his own tail with regard to the Israel-Palestine issue. But he is, intentionally or otherwise, raising some important questions. One is what the official Israeli position really is on the two-state solution. Perhaps the most important one is how foolish, inept and impotent will the United States allow Israel to make it appear? And of greatest concern to Americans, why is this President even less willing to confront Israel, at so dire a time, than any of his predecessors?
      At some point during President Barack Obama’s and Kerry’s last trip to Israel earlier this year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to put a hold on issuing any new tenders for more settlement construction. To most, this means a settlement freeze, but it’s nothing of that kind.
      Building continues at a fast pace, due to a very large number (some 1,500 residential units) of tenders approved between the Israeli elections and Obama’s visit. This was, of course, intentional, as Netanyahu knew he would probably need to make some kind of gesture to Obama. And another huge round of approvals is just waiting, held up in channels, and will probably be approved sometime in the next couple of months. In terms of construction work, there is likely to be almost no noticeable break.
      But even this was not enough for Netanyahu. For much of the past months, the temporary hold on new tenders was only rumor. But a few days after Israel’s Army Radio announced it and the settlement watchdog group, Peace Now, confirmed it, Israel announced the approval of tenders for 296 units in the settlement of Beit El.
      Shortly after that, the Israeli government announced that it would declare four “settlement outposts” newly legal.
      The outposts are wildcat settlements set up without governmental approval (all settlements on territory captured by Israel in the 1967 war are illegal under international law). Sometimes Israel destroys them, sometimes it ignores them; in recent years, it has taken to legalizing some of them retroactively.
      That Israel took these steps mere days before Kerry’s return to the region cannot be ignored. It was yet another direct slap in the face by Israel to its benefactor and the one country that stands behind it no matter how egregious Israeli behavior may be. . .
      . . . This is not a negotiator who is inspiring confidence either at home or abroad. And he’s allowing Israel to make a fool of him.
      Even if this is, as one hopes, a strategy to move the United States out of the center of this conflict, which it is politically incapable of resolving, the cost is becoming very high. And while Israel laughs at Kerry, the only Israeli cabinet member who has shown any semblance of interest even in the failed Oslo process, Tzipi Livni, is isolated in that cabinet and fending off assaults from her left and right as she debates the governmental majority over whether Israel is even interested in a two-state solution . . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to lobelog.com

  15. Citizen
    May 25, 2013, 5:06 pm

    RE: “Obama, in laying wreaths on the grave of the one who presaged the Nakba – and in making that disingenuous, cowardly statement at Yad Vashem (where mostly only jewish victims of the holocaust are acknowledged) has tacitly agreed with the unstated premise that Palestinians are and have always been sub-human.”

    Exactly. Obama blessed the Nakba. What a creep. I hope he enjoys his new golf clubs for this. He can castigate even his white grandmother by stretching her encounter with a threatening black beggar into white racism, but he can’t challenge Israel’s huge racist rogue activities. What a prick.

  16. yourstruly
    May 25, 2013, 5:17 pm

    a strong jewish state will ensure that there will never be another {jewish} holocaust? even as the existence of israel is what’s dragging us towards that ultimate holocaust, doomsday? or does president obama ascribe to the end times scenario, with those jews who convert to christianity sailing off towards the pie-in-the-sky?

  17. Carowhat
    May 25, 2013, 6:06 pm

    I would sure like to know what the U.S. ever did to deserve this “special relationship” with Israel. God knows, no one ever asked me to vote on it. And if there is a treaty out there somewhere mandating our eternal, unending, uncritical support, I never saw that one either.

    • James Canning
      May 27, 2013, 8:06 pm

      Caro – – Look up the figures for how much campaign finance in US elections is provided by Jews. Will explain things partly.

  18. dimadok
    May 25, 2013, 6:46 pm

    For once I’m glad to say that Israel exists so we, Jews, would never have even a slightest possibility of Jewish persecution that existed in the millennia before that. Saying that there was no anti-Jewish sentiment prior to 19th emancipation and Zionist movement, is a blatant lie.

  19. Shingo
    May 25, 2013, 8:36 pm

    A superb essay Sam.

  20. Dutch
    May 25, 2013, 11:23 pm

    Kerry: “So you’re serious about that donkey …”

    Berry: “It’s for Israel, John.”

  21. seafoid
    May 26, 2013, 5:05 am

    I don’t think Palestine is different. Abuse is abuse. Colonialism is colonialism. Israel was a land grab. The bots know it and this explains why they still refuse to talk about it. The legal and moral foundations of Israel are incredibly weak and the country’s choice of militarism over diplomacy has further weakened its legitimacy. They should have been happy with 78% but they couldn’t help themselves in 1967. The settlers are right to say there is no difference between tel aviv and kiryat arba. It is all a mess. I think the US has always taken the easy option and Israel never had a decent leader. Another Jewish tragedy. Maybe some yeshiva can turn it into scripture. Golden calf redux.

    • edwin
      May 26, 2013, 3:01 pm

      Perhaps the reason that Israel never had a decent leader is that anyone decent would turn down the job – or if by some mistake they actually accepted the job they would be shot.

    • SQ Debris
      May 26, 2013, 5:37 pm

      seafoid says “I don’t think Palestine is different.”
      Palestine definitely is different because Israel, the purveyor of an ongoing Nakba has been treated differently than any other nation. US has singled out Israel to receive more foreign aid than any other country even though the metrics of its economy are better than the US’s. Israel receives the most advanced weapons in the world for free from the US. More than half of all UN Security Council vetoes thrown by the US were used to protect Israel from the will of the international community and provide impunity for Israel’s war crimes. The US has turned a blind eye (and an enabling hand) toward Israel’s nuke development while using the same behavior by other countries as a causus belli. On top of that there are what Allison Wier’s daughter calls The EEPS (Everyone Except Palestinians). Every pronouncement regarding democracy, human rights, pluralism, and tolerance that is mouthed by US and EU pols applies to everyone except Palestinians. Palestine is profoundly different in this regard.

      • seafoid
        May 27, 2013, 6:34 am

        It’s no different to the power dynamics within child abuse. Israel is no different to a powerful child abuser shielded by media and other elites. Money and hypocrisy and too many people who don’t want to rock the boat. There is nothing special about Israel at all.

      • James Canning
        May 27, 2013, 2:48 pm

        @SQ Debris – – Yes, the US for decades has injured its own interests in the Middle East, to “protect” Israel at the UN and facilitate the idiotic colonisation programme in the West Bank (and Golan Heights).

  22. NickJOCW
    May 26, 2013, 6:39 am

    It is a comforting perspective but it bothers me. The Western powers bear some responsibility but that is not the same as guilt. Their responsibility arises from not having thought their actions through in their anxiety to escape the persistence of a relatively small, but influential and mercilessly tiresome, Zionist consortium.

    It is fashionable today for many Jews to hijack WWII and argue that it was all a vast conspiracy against them. This is simply not true but because the real circumstances are obscured by time and the endless repetition of that particular falsehood it has become widely accepted

    The idea that Americans or Brits feel, or ever felt, a sense of guilt for the historical treatment of Jewish people is fanciful. I know no one nor have I ever met anyone with such a sense of guilt. We were shocked and horrified at images from the camps but those emotions were aroused by such graphic evidence of Man’s potential for inhumanity, they were sobering but not grounds for guilt.

    I doubt it entered any non-Zionist head that things would turn out as they have. On the contrary, after the shared and sobering slaughter of some 60 million (2.5% of the global population at the time) and the awesome reality of the first atomic bombs, the hope and expectation was for a new beginning, a fresh start…

  23. American
    May 26, 2013, 11:12 am

    ”Three issues related to this conflict that are crucial to understand are: historic guilt, colonial responsibility, and the U.S. “special relationship” with Israel.

    Today’s global powers bear a tremendous amount of historic guilt, not only, as is popularly believed, for the anti-Semitism their ancestors practiced against Jews. This was very real throughout the 19th and 20th centuries – and earlier – and it was rampant in mainly white, Christian European places like Germany, Poland, France, Austria, and, yes, even in the U.S.””

    Bullshit. And you’re taking the wrong tack buddy. The US has no guilt for anything that happened to Jews in the past, the only guilt we have concerning the Jews is in what we are allowing Israel to do to Palestine today.

    Now if you don’t like the US and blame us for I/P , fine, so do I.

    But if your goal is to avoid being called a anti semite by pandering to the Jewish victimhood meme and blaming the evil ‘entire’ world for making the poor Jews do what they are doing to Palestine …then you might as well go to work for the zionist….you are aiding and abetting the whole problem of the world’s mostest ‘entitled’ victims that has caused the Palestine problem to begin.

  24. amigo
    May 26, 2013, 3:01 pm

    The only Holocaust the Jews are going to see, is the one being created by Zionists.
    The end of Israel as a separate state for Jews only.

    Bring on the 1SS and leave the Jewish people to forever argue about whose fault it was.

    Would they dare blame it on antisemitism and Jew hatred.Who else can they blame.I mean , every possible assistance was given to them to do the right thing.

  25. Kathleen
    May 26, 2013, 3:26 pm

    Sam this is one of the clearest, fact based articulate pieces I have read on the history of the I/P issue and U.S. support for Israel no matter what they do. Thank you. Will be linking this one everywhere I can.

    This sentence really jumped out at me “Long before the Holocaust, the political ideology of Zionism charted a path towards ethnically cleansing Palestine from its native Muslim and Christian Palestinian population, aiming to create what was dubbed a “Jewish State.”

    Sam have read here at Mondoweiss and elsewhere that it is important for Palestinians to take a lead on this critical issue here in the states and elsewhere. What do you think about this? I just heard Gilad Atzmon speak and while I did not agree with by any means everything he had to say. He did mention how he believes so called progressive Jews who were knowingly silent for years about this critical issue and have become involved with this issue the last decade are framing the issue in the media in a way that Palestinians would not. That part of the reasons many of these progressive Jews in domestic issues have become involved with this issue is solely focused on Jewish interest not Palestinian interest. That many want to control the message. What do you think about these allegations? And again do you think it is important that Palestinians frame the message and take the lead back from newly involved Jewish individuals? Does it matter?

  26. yourstruly
    May 26, 2013, 3:34 pm

    President Barack Obama’s wreath-laying at the tomb of Theodor Hertzl one-upped President Ronald Reagan’s placing a wreath at the Bitburg military cemetery which included the graves of 49 members of the Waffer-SS. After all those SS’ers were carrying out the genocidal policies of Der Fuhrer, whereas, in honoring Hertzl, the founding father of Zionism, president Obama paid tribute, not to any foot soldiers per se, but to that very individual whose racist credo led to their genocidal treatment of the Palestinian people.

  27. Kathleen
    May 26, 2013, 4:06 pm

    That picture above with Kerry and Netanyahu says it all.

    Bibi “don’t f with us Kerry we’ve got your number and any thing else you might be thinking you are hiding”

  28. James Canning
    May 26, 2013, 7:56 pm

    Israel/Palestine is unusually difficult because Israel lobby is so strong in the US, and in some other countries too.

  29. James Canning
    May 26, 2013, 7:58 pm

    Re: “colonialism” aspect of Israel, this is party the result of foolish spurning of Arab peace initiatives. By Israel. Which should have been doing its best to “fit into the neighborhood”.

  30. RoHa
    May 26, 2013, 9:16 pm

    National Reconciliation Week started today.

    link to reconciliation.org.au

    May 27 is the anniversary of the 1967 referendum. (I remember voting in that.)

    link to reconciliation.org.au

  31. eileenfleming
    May 27, 2013, 7:25 am

    What follows is a story I learned from Dr. Ilan Pappe, when he spoke in East Jerusalem, on Nov. 8, 2006 at the Notre Dame Conference center to over 330 International ecumenical Christians during Sabeel’s 6th International Conference: The Forgotten Faithful: AKA Palestinian Christians regarding “The Red House.”

    “On March 10, 1948, eleven men had a meeting in the Red House headed by Ben Gurion. The eleven decided to expel one million Palestinians from historical Palestine.

    “No minutes were taken, but many memoirs were written about that fateful meeting. A systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestine began and within seven months the Zionists managed to expel one half of all the Palestinian people from their villages and towns.



    “The Red House in Tel Aviv is gone now. It was a typical building in Tel Aviv that had all the characteristics of Mediterranean homes but with the local Palestinian architecture of the ’20’s. Today a USA Sheraton Hotel stands in its place.

    “The Red House was the home of the Hagganah; a Jewish underground organization but before 1948 it was the home of a socialist movement, from which it received its name.

    “The New York Times followed Israeli troops and reported the truth of the expulsion and separation of men and women, and of the many massacres. The world was well informed in 1948, but a year later not a trace was reported in the USA press or books. It was as if nothing ever happened.

”

    “From March to October 1948 the USA State Department stated what was happening was a CRIME against humanity and ethnic cleansing.

    “When ever one ethnic group expels another group they should be treated as War Criminals and the victims should be allowed to return.

    “This is never mentioned in the USA about Palestine.

    “Israel is so successful in their ethnic cleansing because the world doesn’t care!

    “The ethnic cleansing continues via the apartheid policies of the Israeli government and because of the denial of the truth by the USA media.



    “To claim Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East is bullshit!

    “The Six Day War of 1967 escalated the ethnic cleansing and today in Jerusalem every Palestinian who fails to pay taxes, or has a minor infraction will loose their citizenship.



    “In 1948 the mechanism of denial and ethnic cleansing as an IDEOLOGY, not a policy but a formula began.

    “When Zionism began in the 19th century it was meant to be a safe haven for Jews and to help redefine Judaism as a national movement, not just a religion. Nothing wrong with either of those goals!

    “But by the late 19th Century it was decided the only way these goals could be achieved was by ridding the indigenous population and it became an evil ideology.



    “Israeli Jewish life will never be simple, good, or worth living while this ideology of domination, exclusiveness and superiority is allowed to continue. The mind set today is that unless Israel is an exclusive Jewish State, Palestinians will continue to be obstacles.

    “However, there has always been a small vocal minority challenging this.

 The only thing that can save Palestinians is for the world to say ENOUGH is ENOUGH!

    “The way to challenge and change the ethnic cleansing is to pursue true democracy and the use of sanctions and divestment, for money talks.”

    link to eileenfleming.org

  32. amigo
    May 27, 2013, 7:38 am

    “An Israeli lawmaker on Monday submitted a highly controversial proposal that would make Judaism superior to democracy in the State of Israel, amending a previous bill that was tossed by the Knesset before the last general election. ” Haaretz

    link to haaretz.com

    The longer Israel lasts, the more insane it becomes.

    So according to this newly proposed law, Judaism is greater than Jewish + Democracy .

    You just know the gig is up when this prattle surfaces in this manner.

  33. Sin Nombre
    May 27, 2013, 9:28 am

    A.)

    I love the way even well-intentioned people like Bahour get taken in by the various shams involved in all this. E.g., that Kerry is going all-out to relaunch the peace process. I would bet that not a single State Department or other foreign policy person in the U.S. government believes that any such genuine process is possible and that absolutely none were advising Kerry to go on such a fool’s errand. What Kerry was there for purely and simply was to collude with the Israeli to keep the charade going especially to give the corrupted Euro leaders a fig leaf to hide behind to resist the growing pressure in Europe to commence a serious BDS program.

    And, as always—and I have no doubt this was Israel’s idea—it turns out that this involves the U.S. paying for it. As in the $400 million Kerry just announced we are going to spend to help “build” the West Bank, so relieving Israel of course of its international legal obligation to provide for the care of those under its occupation.

    B.)

    I am sick to death of the constant, unexamined cries about how everyone owes the jews for historic discrimination practiced against them by some long-dead/maybe ancestors. Gimme one freaking tear cried by jewish figures for the massive jewish role in the Bolshevik decimation of Christian slavs—largely conducted way before the Holocaust and including a consciously planned famine that saw cannibalism being rife—and then maybe I’ll listen. Right now, the last thing I saw was that when Poland requested the extradition of just one of the communist beasts there who tortured and murdered thousands and who then fled to Israel as recently as in the 1990’s, Israel’s response was nothing less than a hack of spittle directed at Warsaw.

    What is this “historical guilt” business, a fucking one-way street only? And the idea that *America* which took in jews by the millions from Europe, bears some fundamental, ineradicable scar due to the rather mild sort of discrimination practiced on damn near everyone who came here is worse than laughable. We took them in and even after seeing things like the Rosenbergs giving the atom bomb to the communists who we were actively fighting at the time still there were no pograms here or anything of the sort.

    I’m so sick of this crap it isn’t funny. There is no such thing as “collective” guilt or “historical” guilt. There’s personal guilt and that’s that. Because if you want to extend it beyond that well then every freaking human being on earth is no doubt equally morally condemnable, and yes that includes every jew too.

  34. seafoid
    May 28, 2013, 2:21 am

    Starring John Kerry as the dutiful Jewish mother. One last twirl to bring her one and only son, the one who brought her so much grief with his childhood ADD, to the altar. Marriage will surely settle Israel down. His father agrees. What they don’t know is Israel’s fondness for abusive relationships with prisoners at the facility where he works. He isn’t interested in a nice diaspora shiksa. And the neighbours are figuring it out.

  35. James Canning
    May 28, 2013, 6:58 pm

    A foremer Jordanian foreign minister says Kerry is serious about trying to make deal on Israel/Palestine, but the real issue is whether Obama has the guts to back Kerry.

Leave a Reply