J Street leaders praise IDF, but audience cheers BDS

Israel/Palestine
on 165 Comments
Tzipi Livni speaking at the 2013 J Street conference (Photo: J Street)

Tzipi Livni speaking at the 2013 J Street conference (Photo: J Street)

This is the year that the Israel lobby group J Street became part of the Jewish establishment. It has announced this fact in Washington with a conference demonstrating that it has the ear of the American president and also of the rightwing Netanyahu administration in Israel. Its program is crowded with Israeli members of Knesset, including one from Likud and Netanyahu’s Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. And Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador who once bashed J Street, has a fulsome letter to the group in everyone’s packet.

J Street still can claim to be a liberal Zionist organization that wants to pressure Israel to leave the settlements. But more than that it wants access to the Israeli establishment, and it is not going to alienate that establishment by advocating any measure that will isolate Israel or put real pressure on it.

So the conference has often sounded as if J Street is, like AIPAC, an agent for a foreign country. The first three of four main speakers Saturday night had Israeli accents. Tzipi Livni wore a tight black dress that looked like a form of body armor, and she scolded American liberal Jews. I know you don’t care about us any more, she said, in so many words–then she said Fine, just so long as the American Jewish community never criticizes the Israeli army. Dror Moreh, director of the Gatekeepers, bragged that both his children are in the Israeli army. Yesterday the chic-est Knesset member here, Ruth Calderon of Yesh Atid, said that if American Jews wanted to have a say over Israel they have to send their children to volunteer in service for the state of the Jewish people.

Clueless, yes. But it has long been the spiritual position of religious Zionists that Israel is higher – aliyah—than the diaspora. So the diaspora must defer to Israeli political thought. In its soul, J Street seems to have that orientation. When speaker after speaker describes the land of the West Bank as the land of our forefathers. When Livni brags that her parents were in the Irgun and denies that they were terrorists. When a rightwing member of the Knesset says that the Arab Spring is a disaster. When Livni and J Street’s leader Jeremy Ben-Ami say that Palestinians must forget about the right of return, and when Ben-Ami says the world is a tribalist place, so get used to that… you are seeing an organization shaped by Israeli values and not American liberal ones.

These insensitive statements reflect the great disjuncture at J Street, as every year, between the rank and file idealists and the leadership. J Street’s young recruits and a lot of its older ones cheer whenever the occupation is criticized, when the word persecution is used, when the checkpoints and unending settlements are cited. But then the next speaker in a Hebrew accent brags that his son is an officer in that occupation. J Street is trying to balance both elements. I don’t see how they can get away with it, except by an elaborate form of lip service, i.e., selling out liberal Jews.

The balancing act crumbles when a strong Palestinian speaks to the group. A year or so back Mustafa Barghouti was the rock star of J Street. The young liberals and old dreamers were captivated by a man of soul and eloquence. You could hear a pin drop when he spoke. And there were 500 people in the room. This year that role has been filled by Husam Zomlot, a Fatah man and official in the Palestinian Authority. Yesterday he stole the show. Because when you put any thoughtful  Palestinian up against the thickskinned Israelis, there is no contest. It is  like the difference between Muzak and Bach.

So while J Street’s leader and the keynote speaker Israel’s justice minister decry the Palestinian right of return as a fantasy of Israel’s destruction, Zomlot explained why it is a right that it is impossible for any Palestinian leader to sign away. It is the right of two thirds of the Palestinian community, he said. He himself is a refugee, born in a camp, and his parents were expelled from Israel. And these Palestinian rights were not incompatible with Israeli ones.

Some of the refugees might want to stay where they are, he said, as the audience went stone silent. Some might want to resettle in third country. Some might want to return to their original homes. Some want to go to Palestine.

“All of them want one thing. Full recognition of the Nakba that has befallen on them. All of them.”

Zomlot can’t imagine that his father would want to leave England for a country where people speak Hebrew, but: He has to be given the option, it is his right to choose to return.

Zomlot’s statements drew strong applause, even as you saw old Zionists shaking their heads in disbelief and anger. Just as Zomlot and Riman Barakat of Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information both got applause for praising BDS as the nonviolent tool of the Palestinian people in their struggle.  Zomlot called BDS a “gamechanger,” and said, “How do you discomfort the very comfortable status quo”?

It is of course remarkable that an Israel lobby group would cheer the right of return and BDS, or that a great number of them would do so.

But as Zomlot himself said, this is a group that has come to talk about values and rights, and values cannot be subdivided.

That is J Street’s crisis. It has organized to support Zionism in the United States. But the community it claims to speak for, liberal Jews, are sure to undermine that agenda by embracing a language of Palestinian rights. And in the end, J Street will not abandon the IDF.

165 Responses

  1. just
    September 30, 2013, 7:51 am

    A great article, Phil!

    This infuriates me:

    “if American Jews wanted to have a say over Israel they have to send their children to volunteer in service for the state of the Jewish people.”

    That is utter hogwash in so very many ways…

    • Citizen
      September 30, 2013, 9:26 am

      COMPARE: “If Jewish Americans want to have a say over America they have to send their children to volunteer in service for the state of the American people.”

    • Sumud
      September 30, 2013, 11:32 am

      Yesterday the chic-est Knesset member here, Ruth Calderon of Yesh Atid, said if American Jews wanted to have a say over Israel they have to send their children to volunteer in service for the state of the Jewish people.

      …they need only pressure their American government to stop using it’s veto power in the UN SC to enable Israeli crimes, and to also ask their American government to stop sending American taxpayer’s hard-earned money to Israel by the billion.

      Being desperately dependant on US charity in more way than one, neither Ruth Calderon nor any other Israeli get to tell Americans what to think, say or do.

    • chris o
      September 30, 2013, 11:38 pm

      If Israeli Jews don’t want Americans to have any say over Israel, they should return every penny of foreign aid they receive from the US. And even then, we have free speech so we can say whatever we want on Israel!

  2. Shingo
    September 30, 2013, 9:06 am

    Superb analysis Phil.

  3. American
    September 30, 2013, 9:38 am

    ” when Ben-Ami says the world is a tribalist place, so get used to that…”

    Well if the world is a tribalist place or becomes any more tribal their small tribe will be in deep doo doo.
    This is the 21st century not 70 CE.
    They keep going backwards.

    • Krauss
      September 30, 2013, 1:13 pm

      It’s simply harder and harder for any truly diverse and liberal democracy like America to identify with Israel’s hardliners. You see that in J Street’s young Jews.

      They’re essentially asked to throw out all their values they otherwise hold and create one giant excemption for Israel. This is why they cheer for BDS and the right of return.
      In their hearts, they know it’s right.

  4. ritzl
    September 30, 2013, 9:57 am

    Playing devil’s advocate for a second (only a second), J Street DID invite Zomlot and let him speak to contrast the utter reasonableness of the Palestinian view with the utter unreasonableness of the prevailing Israeli wisdom. Sounds like that had effect.

    If they’re trying to provide that contrast, great. If they only invited him as dismissible foil, not so great. But even in the latter case, events are moving so quickly away from the prevailing Israeli wisdom (as the article shows) that they may have inadvertently showcased the avenue of their own demise as an AIPAC alternative. So back to great.

    Great article. Thanks.

  5. flyod
    September 30, 2013, 9:58 am

    tzipi should be wearing a red dress

    blood red..

  6. seafoid
    September 30, 2013, 10:02 am

    I don’t think there is such a creature as the mythical liberal Zionist. It’s like talking about liberal Francoists, a liberal wing of a Colombian death squad or the liberal Sinaloas. Unicorns are more plentiful. Zionism is fundamentally illiberal.

    Liberal Jews exist but there are sadly very few of them in Israel.

  7. justicewillprevail
    September 30, 2013, 10:19 am

    Wow, how can any American, who may also be Jewish, not feel repelled by the hostile and intimidatory demands of Israeli zealots – ‘we know you don’t like us'; ‘you must send your children to fight our wars, ie police the occupation’ etc. Ugly, shrill, whining, and accusatory. Good luck getting people onboard the road to perdition, and not alienating them forever with your creepy fundamentalist grandstanding.

    • Annie Robbins
      September 30, 2013, 11:11 am

      and this:

      When speaker after speaker describes the land of the West Bank as the land of our forefathers…… When Livni and J Street’s leader Jeremy Ben-Ami say that Palestinians must forget about the right of return

      one side can forget the other is allowed to encourage bonding over an area they allege to be supporting as the future palestinian state. how hypocritical is that?

  8. Blaine Coleman
    September 30, 2013, 10:20 am

    Phil, Annie,

    I guess this question makes you uncomfortable, given all the hard work you do, given all the hard unseen work that goes into BDS conferences, etc.

    But let me ask that same annoying question: Where is this BDS movement on any campus, in any visible form? Where is the campus paper expressing joy or horror at BDS? Where is the student government debating a resolution to boycott Israel? Where?

    P.S. Private meetings that are unreported in the mass media do not count as BDS. They count as BS.

    • Annie Robbins
      September 30, 2013, 11:15 am

      I guess this question makes you uncomfortable

      blaine, I guess this question makes you feel in control, or relevant or powerful or something. because you keep asking it like a hammer. why don’t you just tell us blaine. better yet, how bout blame someone. you’re like a broken record. do you have any idea how many times you’ve ask this question and made this point (or tried to) on our forums? i think anyone one gets annoyed with this kind of repetitive knawing.

      what’s you point? spit it out.

      • Blaine Coleman
        September 30, 2013, 11:37 am

        Thanks, Annie, I think you’ve captured my strong feelings about this pretty well. Israel’s violent racism means that it must be boycotted, and that the Israeli state must be abolished just like Apartheid South Africa was abolished.

        But someone has to publicly demand that.

        I personally demand boycott-Israel resolutions at my City Council and at the local student government. Often. Year after year, sometimes month after month. It annoys Zionists for the obvious reasons. It annoys anti-Zionists too, who are still obsessed with keeping BDS on the down-low.

        Hence I am not heard, because no students will touch the issue with a ten-foot pole. Not in Michigan, not anywhere outside of California. It’s a terrible shame for Palestine.

        “BDS” has become a brand name for endless private meetings, private emails, private film showings, and occasional flashmobs on YouTube, but never for any concerted public demand for boycott at any university campus — outside of California. Those California resolutions were a big victory, but they never spread. I know you helped. You tried.

        Mondoweiss is, so far, the best resource for the BDS movement. All that is missing is the actual public BDS movement, on actual campuses.

        But BDS-ers are afraid of making public boycott demands against Israel, and they also don’t know how. (Hint: you just do it.)

        BDS-ers are always bellyaching privately about Israel, but never publicly thrusting themselves in front of the mass media to demand boycott against Israel. Once they do, their worries will be over because the Zionists will be defeated, faster than you would ever believe.

        Until then, we have another BDS conference at Stanford, October 25th. Great. But it’s not a substitute for a public BDS campaign on heavily populated campuses: think Michigan, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, all loaded with private BDS sentiment but public slience.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 30, 2013, 12:15 pm

        while we’re on the topic of those no nothing, do nothing, fraidy cat bds’ers. have you read this:

        link to whoprofits.org

      • Blaine Coleman
        September 30, 2013, 12:21 pm

        Out of thousands of U.S. campuses, not even one student group, not even one student, is publicly demanding any boycott of Veolia or Sodastream or Sabra Hummus or anything openly related to Israel.

        Not even one.

        I’m glad for the Veolia campaign, but the campuses are dead and buried as far as any boycott-Israel campaugn goes, and it doesn’t need to be that way.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 30, 2013, 12:33 pm

        Out of thousands of U.S. campuses, not even one student group, not even one student, is publicly demanding any boycott of Veolia or Sodastream or Sabra Hummus or anything openly related to Israel.

        yeah, blaine. you’ve been telling us this for years. same whining nagging voice. is there something you think you can accomplish here in these threads repeating this over and over? and why address me and phil? we’ve had this discussion before, or don’t you recall.

        but the campuses are dead and buried as far as any boycott-Israel campaugn goes, and it doesn’t need to be that way.

        there’s a sjp conference coming up, great kids. i donated to their kickstart campaign. maybe you should go to their conference and try spreading your message of doom about what they are not accomplishing. bye.

      • Blaine Coleman
        September 30, 2013, 12:40 pm

        Yes, they are great kids. I have seen them personally at many divestment and BDS conferences from the 2001-2002 school year through the 2012-2013 school year. How they love “strategizing” – it makes passivity look like activity. Yes, they are 100% for BDS — as long as someone else does it.

        I hope that the California experience has changed that. A whole month has been wasted in silence this semester.

        National conferences are great, but when exactly do they stop “strategizing” and start publicly demanding anything– like boycott of Israel?

      • Dutch
        September 30, 2013, 12:42 pm

        @ Blaine

        I think you’re a bit too dark in your reply, but agreed, it should be much more massive. Do you have a plan?

      • Blaine Coleman
        September 30, 2013, 1:03 pm

        Thanks, Dutch, and thanks Annie,

        Yeah, I’m a whiner on the subject of BDS. Don’t know what else to do, except to keep saying “Boycott Israel” until it catches on, in front of meetings where the media is present.

        Comatose campuses can change into BDS campuses– I just hope it happens sooner rather than later.

      • Walid
        September 30, 2013, 1:17 pm

        Annie, Veolia is moving away from transport by selling off its hundreds of bus lines to concentrate on the more profitable water and waste management. BDS-wise, of all places, it was running 3 bus/taxi services in Lebanon and nobody reacted to that; it wasn’t a question of fraidy cats but one of not giving a hoot.

      • yrn
        September 30, 2013, 2:13 pm

        Yes this is a great BDS achievement.
        BDS is doing a great job, no doubt, I don’t know what Blaine Coleman is whining about.
        Look Blaine, Due to BDS great job, Veolia sold their transportation buisnes in Israel.

      • Ron Edwards
        October 1, 2013, 2:05 am

        Blaine: up yours. We bust our asses at the university where I’m a faculty member, running BDS campaigns, organizing demonstrations, sponsoring theatrical presentations, and networking with groups all over the city, all the while enduring pushback which I never would have believed if anyone had claimed it. It’s been national and international news more than once. I am certain we are not alone in this. You should pay better attention.

      • Walid
        October 1, 2013, 3:26 am

        “Due to BDS great job, Veolia sold their transportation buisnes in Israel.”

        Not really, yrn, it was another gimmick involving Israel and the Egged Bus Company. The West Bank “Jerusalem Light Rail” project share of Veolia was sold to Egged to appear that it was out of it but it turned around and signed a management contract with Egged to finish the project on its behalf. Veolia is still heavily involved in dumping Israeli waste on the West Bank and poluting the countryside in the process. But who cares, it’s Palestinian villages that are having to endure Israel’s shit.

      • Blaine Coleman
        October 1, 2013, 8:01 am

        In response to Ron’s comment,

        This kind of vulgar defiance is something you would never, ever direct publicly against Israel. I would appreciate your defiance more if it were aimed at publicly demanding a Boycott-Israel resolution at your student government or City Council.

        As for your hard work for BDS, I don’t doubt it — but why is there no mass media coverage of it? It is because you lack the public defiance against Israel that you are capable of voicing — if you wish to.

        Is Israel really an apartheid state that deserves to be boycotted and thereby abolished? Yes, and I say so in front of the City Council and student government. What is preventing you from doing the same, with your troupe of street demonstrators?

      • Ron Edwards
        October 1, 2013, 7:41 pm

        Now you’re making things up. What I would “never do” is unknown to you. The nature of the student work at my campus is clearly unknown to you – “troupe,” et cetera, as if they capered about with interpretive dance or something. You have displayed the intellectual/argument capacity of a flunking college freshman.

        You’re not a critic. You’re a carper. And as for vulgarity, *that* wasn’t vulgar … this is (for you): link to movieboozer.com.

    • Linda J
      September 30, 2013, 2:36 pm

      Mr. Coleman,
      here is a pic of a University of Washington Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights event at UW graduation this year (definitely a public event): /Users/dougnielson/Downloads/UW Huntsman event.jpg

      The demand is for a UW divestment from Caterpillar. The commencement speaker (John Huntsman) is on the board of Caterpillar.

      (Hope the picture works. Just got on the Cloud inadvertently and not sure how it works.)

      Linda

      • Annie Robbins
        September 30, 2013, 3:00 pm

        it won’t make any difference linda, blaine’s message doesn’t ever change. i used to try linking things, it’s meaningless. but it definitely provides encouragement to israel supporters, they love blaine’s messaging. and it serves wonderfully if your intent is to bash the student activists. there comes a point i have to just see the comments for what they are, self serving and inflammatory.

      • Blaine Coleman
        September 30, 2013, 3:33 pm

        Yes, Annie,

        I am sure Israel must be thrilled to see that no student, simply no student, is demanding boycott against Israel on the entire North American continent. Nothing scares Israel more than those two words, spoken in the mass media: “Boycott Israel”.

        The students can speak those two words today, if they want to. The students can walk into their student governments and ask for a resolution favoring a boycott against Israel to the maximum extent allowed by law. It will change campus life overnight.

        Or the students can simply condemn those who have noticed that BDS has ceased to exist. Yet BDS has ceased to exist, except as a private code of solidarity, a secret handshake, an email salutation, the quietest of slogans, an intentionally obscure acronymn unkown to 99% of the country, barely heard in any media outlet.

        My experience is that the students will run back to the safety of their private meetings and work very, very hard on future private meetings.

        Public demands for boycott against Israel — that is what will save Palestine. Private conferences won’t, unless they serve to build that public movement. Since the first 2002 national divestment conference, I have expected that at least one student would say “Boycott Israel” in at least one public meeting on at least one campus. I am still waiting, as are 11 million Palestinians.

      • Walid
        October 1, 2013, 4:00 am

        Blaine, directly from the horse’s mouth, the ADL:

        Anti-Israel Activity on Campus, 2011-2012: An ADL Annual Review

        October 26, 2012

        Read the full, comprehensive report: Anti-Israel Activity on Campus, 2011-2012: An ADL Annual Review (PDF).
        link to adl.org

        “Boycott the apartheid state of Israel!”

        “The Israel lobby…leverages its access to Congress and the executive branch to gain tacit American support for Israeli actions….and to stifle any debate about American support for Israel.”

        “‘Never Again’ includes Palestinians!”

        In the 2011-2012 academic year, these and other expressions of animus toward the state of Israel and its supporters were espoused on hundreds of university and college campuses across the United States.

        Anti-Israel activity takes a multitude of forms on campus, ranging from opinion pieces in campus newspapers and speaking engagements to more well-planned weekend or weeklong conferences and long-term campaigns.

        The 2011-2012 academic year began with a flurry of anti-Israel activity. Some students used the popularity of the Occupy Wall Street movement to spread their anti-Israel messages. Others expressed solidarity with the Palestinian Authority’s unilateral declaration initiative at the UN General Assembly. And in October, hundreds of students participated in a national student conference at Columbia University to strategize about anti-Israel initiatives and form a national coalition.

        Before long, however, many anti-Israel student groups turned their attention to some of the more traditional strategies and campaigns employed by the anti-Israel movement. These include vocal disruptions of pro-Israel events on campus; Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns; calls for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and more.

        In the absence of any significant Israeli military action in the Palestinian territories over the course of the year, which often leads to reactive demonstrations from student groups, some new anti-Israel initiatives developed on campus.

        Two new strategies were particularly ubiquitous: concerted efforts to promote the allegation that Israel exploits its progressive LGBT values as a way to distract attention from the occupation, a term known as “pinkwashing,” as well as intense outreach by anti-Israel groups to Hispanic student groups under the pretext of alleged similarities between the hardships faced by immigrants and Palestinians. Both of these new trends represent an effort by the anti-Israel movement to couch their agenda in terms that will appeal to a broader base of support, in this case the LGBT and Hispanic communities on campus. These new initiatives increase the potential for more students to be exposed to hostile narratives about Israel.

        In addition, a marked increase in anti-Israel programs receiving sponsorship from university institutions provides undeserved level of credibility to biased and divisive events. In the past year, university departments provided sponsorship to at least ten anti-Israel events and conferences, including a major “one-state” solution conference at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in March 2012.

        While these trends are striking and significant, and anti-Israel groups on campus are increasingly organized (in the past year alone, at least ten new Students for Justice in Palestine chapters formed on college campuses), their programs and initiatives do not generally attract a large segment of the student population.

        Only a small percentage of college and university campuses endure frequent anti-Israel programming throughout the school year. Furthermore, university administrations across the country have consistently demonstrated a commitment to rejecting more extreme manifestations of anti-Israel activity, including support for terrorism and anti-Semitism, as well as rebuffing student-led divestment campaigns against Israel.

        And, perhaps most importantly, pro-Israel groups organize meaningful programs presenting a pro-Israel narrative and countering biased messages from anti-Israel groups on campus.

        link to adl.org

      • yrn
        October 1, 2013, 4:02 am

        Annie
        You are too much into who wins who loses.
        Do you really think that Israel supporters give a damn regarding Blaine’s messaging or any other one.
        BDS is a gimmick, they even don’t check up that Veolia sold all their transportation business world wide and just o the issue to present it as a victory that they sold their transportation business in Israel (as you send the victory link).
        Keep on with the Demo’s on Ahava, if it makes you feel good.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 1, 2013, 4:24 am

        they even don’t check up that Veolia sold all their transportation business world wide

        really. coulda fooled me link to veoliatransportation.com

        link to veoliatransportation.com

        Veolia Transportation is the largest private operator of multiple modes of transportation in North America including bus, bus rapid transit, light rail, commuter rail, streetcars, paratransit, shuttle, and taxi services.
        200 Contracts in North America

        Cities, counties, airports, companies and universities in 200 contracts in North America contract with us to manage and operate one or more modes of their transportation systems. We also work in public-private partnerships with cities, where we make investments in infrastructure and/or equipment in exchange for longer-term contracts.
        400 Million Passengers Per Year

        Every year from coast to coast more than 400 million passengers travel with us to work, study, shop or play—a responsibility we take very seriously. In every mode, in both urban and regional areas, Veolia Transportation provides superior performance—safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable mobility that passengers and city authorities can trust.
        Mobility Needs

        As the individual mobility needs of our passengers change, we offer new solutions, from services such as light rail, bus rapid transit and ferry service to improved technology such as mobile ticketing and messaging for up-to-the-minute passenger communications.

        maybe those apartheid buses weren’t helping their image.

        Do you really think that Israel supporters give a damn regarding Blaine’s messaging

        why do you think i’d be concerned for what israel supporters think? i don’t like activists coming on here and being bashed and battered. we know how hard they work. i know 17 yr old kids who’ve started SJP centers at their HS’s. and all blaine does is degrade their efforts. that’s how it reads to me. meanwhile, if bds were not considered a massive threat, well, you probably wouldn’t be here.

      • Walid
        October 1, 2013, 7:25 am

        “… maybe those apartheid buses weren’t helping their image.”

        Annie, a $2billion Saudi contract for a desalination plant up for grabs was probably at the root of Veolia pulling off the monkey business with Egged. BDS pressure on the Saudis most probably helped. The Israeli divestment came on the heels of another BDS victory in Stockholm where Veolia lost a 3.5 billion Euros 10-year contract for the Stockholm transit system. But I read somewhere in one of Veolia’s press releases that it had started moving away from transport worldwide to concentrate on water and waste management where it was making good profits and it needed the cash sales of transport operations to make this grow.

        BDS was also instrumental in making Veolia lose out on a contract with Melbourne Metro. It also lost out on the Bordeaux transit contract, on Dublin’s, and on that of Regional Council of Haaglanden, including the Hague.

        After a massive BDS campaign in Yolo County, California, Veolia withdrew from a $325 million water management contract.

        Other anti-Veolia successes:

        Important Campaign Successes in UK

        Sandwell Metropolitan, Edinburgh, Richmond, Portsmouth, Winchester & East Hants, South London Waste Partnership, Ealing, West London Waste Authority, East Sussex, North Wales incinerator project, South Wales incinerator project, Harrow, Canterbury, North London Waste Authority (£4.7 billion!), Liverpool. In addition, having faced three years of demonstrations outside the Natural History Museum in London, Veolia ended its sponsorship of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

        Queen Mary College, University of London: In February 2013 the Students Union passed a motion urging the college not to award any more contracts to Veolia (or G4S). The University of East London Students Union passed a similar motion in 2011.

        Swansea: In June 2010 the Council passed a motion to exclude Veolia from all future contracts.

        Tower Hamlets (London) Borough: The Council passed a motion in February 2011 asking the Mayor to review all contracts with Veolia, not to place any more contracts with the company and to terminate any relationship with Veolia.

        link to palestinecampaign.org

      • yrn
        October 1, 2013, 10:30 am

        Veolia Environnement SA (VIE), the world’s biggest water utility, will sell 5 billion euros ($6.7 billion) of assets to cut debt as it exits the mass-transit business to focus on water, waste and energy services.
        link to bloomberg.com

      • yrn
        October 1, 2013, 10:36 am

        “meanwhile, if bds were not considered a massive threat, well, you probably wouldn’t be here.”
        The BDS and especially the graduate of Tel Aviv university Omar Bargouti are of zero interest in Israel most Israelis don’t know even what BDS is, or who is Bargouti.
        I am here as it is amusing Sometimes.

      • Hostage
        October 1, 2013, 4:16 pm

        The BDS and especially the graduate of Tel Aviv university Omar Bargouti are of zero interest in Israel most Israelis don’t know even what BDS is, or who is Bargouti.

        I suspect that you’re simply ignorant, because the Knesset found out what BDS is and it got very interested. The members took time out of their busy schedule to debate and adopt an anti-democratic Boycott Prohibition Bill: link to acri.org.il

        All of the Zionist watchdogs here in the US get extremely angry, go a bit mental, and jump all the way to the end of their chain whenever Barghouti appears on a campus here.

      • Walid
        October 1, 2013, 8:40 pm

        yrn: “Veolia Environnement SA (VIE), the world’s biggest water utility, will sell 5 billion euros ($6.7 billion) of assets to cut debt as it exits the mass-transit business to focus on water, waste and energy services.”

        That’s what I was talking about.

      • Walid
        October 1, 2013, 8:44 pm

        Oooops, I thought all the campus BDS brouhaha being reported on by the ADL would give Blaine some comfort. Guess it didn’t.

      • Blaine Coleman
        September 30, 2013, 3:11 pm

        Thank you, Linda,

        Couldn’t access that link, but found something that must be roughly similar at: link to superuw.org

        That was very nice, I hope it made it into the newspapers. It happened in June.

        So far nothing has happened that has hit any media radar from Sept. 1st to Sept. 30th nationwide. On thousands of campuses, nothing suggesting any campus boycott or divestment demand against Israel. Not even a bravo or a complaint about the October BDS conference.

        Mind you, this is 11-and-a-half years after the first nationwide Divestment Conference at Berkeley.

        At this rate, maybe the children of those 20-year-old conference attendees will be ready, in the year 2022, to start the nationwide push for divestment and boycott resolutions.

        Or maybe not. What will Palestine look like in 2022, just going by the present trend of campus silence?

    • NickJOCW
      October 1, 2013, 6:09 am

      Blaine, There is a point at which movements take off. Before that they need to germinate and develop. So long as they consistently grow stronger they will achieve a tipping point where their growth becomes exponential. Since this pattern largely develops person to person at first it takes time, and is the stronger for it. Also remember this is a global movement. Consider for instance recent European Union directives on the financing of Israeli entities to ensure EU taxpayers’ money is not spent in the settlements. Provided they don’t give in to Israeli pressure these will have a significant economic effect, quite part hitting the Achiles heel of Israeli pride. Just continue to feed the embers and the fire will burst into flame.

  9. German Lefty
    September 30, 2013, 11:06 am

    I think that Palestinians should refuse to speak at Zionist events. There should not be any collaboration with the enemy. And the so-called “liberal Zionists” are enemies, too. J Street should have to distance itself from Zionism before any Palestinian agrees to speak at a J Street event.

    • edwin
      September 30, 2013, 11:25 am

      Pogo (out of context).

      link to jimandnancyforest.com

      It sounds from this article that there was an audience that was willing to listen for Palestinians to speak to. This is the best that any speaker can ask for. The alternative for Palestinians to speaking when and where one can is to be silenced.

      If you are never heard then nothing will change. This is part of what is so upsetting about the success the Zionists – they have succeeded in silencing. Debate in any form or location is not what they want.

      • German Lefty
        September 30, 2013, 12:14 pm

        @ edwin
        I understand what you mean. However, by speaking at such a Zionist event, Palestinians help J Street appear moderate. As if it were actually possible to combine Zionism and justice for Palestinians. Instead of speaking at such a Zionist event, Palestinians should try to expose J Street’s racist agenda by boycotting it.

      • German Lefty
        September 30, 2013, 12:46 pm

        It sounds from this article that there was an audience that was willing to listen for Palestinians to speak to. This is the best that any speaker can ask for.

        I don’t agree with this. I believe that “liberal Zionists” are people
        – who already know both the Zionist perspective and the Palestinian perspective
        – who decided against the Palestinian perspective by supporting Zionism.

        Just look at how Husam Zomlot tries to convince these Zionists to approve of the Palestinian refugees’ right of return:

        And these Palestinian rights were not incompatible with Israeli ones. Some of the refugees might want to stay where they are, he said, as the audience went stone silent. Some might want to resettle in third country. Some might want to return to their original homes. Some want to go to Palestine. Zomlot can’t imagine that his father would want to leave England for a country where people speak Hebrew, but: He has to be given the option, it is his right to choose to return.

        Zomlot basically says, “Supporting the right of return won’t threaten the existence of your oh-so-precious Jewish supremacist state because most Palestinian refugees aren’t going to exercise this right anyway.”
        Agreeing to grant people a right on the condition/supposition that they don’t actually exercise this right cannot be considered real support.

        The alternative for Palestinians to speaking when and where one can is to be silenced.

        Taking a clear stand against Zionism by boycotting Zionist events is not the same as silencing oneself.

    • Walid
      September 30, 2013, 1:42 pm

      You’re so right, German Lefty, them Zios just love it when Palestinians agree to participate with anything with them because it puts them that much closer to normalization, which in turn facilitates their manhandling of Palestinians. In this story, while the audience cheered BDS, the other guys were still happy that a Palestinian showed up to talk to them at their meet. This normalization happens big time every year at the Herzliya jamboree that discusses mostly Israel’s security and improved ways to better control and oppress the Palestinian peons; prominent Palestinian leaders and other Arabs unashamedly participate in it.

  10. Stephen Shenfield
    September 30, 2013, 11:09 am

    For a while I was in J Street, or at least on their mailing list, until I sussed them out. The abyss between the leaders and the majority of supporters was there from early on. In one amusing message they sent out to their supporters about some event where there were going to be rival pro and anti Israel demos, they pleaded — please please remember that you are supposed to be in the pro not the anti demo, though with supposedly distinctive placards “for Israel and peace”.

    • German Lefty
      September 30, 2013, 11:18 am

      they pleaded — please please remember that you are supposed to be in the pro not the anti demo, though with supposedly distinctive placards “for Israel and peace”.

      OMG! That’s so funny!
      When it comes to the I/P conflict, “peace” is a very meaningless word, because everyone claims to want peace.

  11. Elliot
    September 30, 2013, 11:27 am

    Great article, Phil. I went to the J Street’s first conference in 2010. There, too, there was a marked gap between the leadership’s positions and the mood in the audience. At the time, J Street was new and exciting for radical activists. I would have thought that, by now, that would have shaken itself out. Speaking for myself, I was excited to attend the 2010 conference but didn’t even consider going this time. I wonder if the same radicals are going or, is the J Street rank and file undergoing a transformation toward embracing BDS?

    I have one quibble with you to do with your use of “diaspora”:
    It has long been the spiritual position of religious Zionists that Israel is higher – aliyah—than the diaspora. So the diaspora must defer to Israeli political thought.

    It’s not “religious Jews” but the State of Israel (i.e. David Ben Gurion) that insisted that it had primacy over the Jews of the world.

    You don’t reject the term “diaspora” in your article. “Diaspora” was adopted and co-opted by secular Zionist nationalists out of the lexicon of traditional, religious Judaism in order to drive this point home. Today, we are all a diaspora of Ashkenazi or Sephardi Jewish civilizations. If anything, Israel is more so a diaspora than the United States Jewish community because its mass displacement of Jewish populations started more recently.

    • German Lefty
      September 30, 2013, 12:02 pm

      At the time, J Street was new and exciting for radical activists. Speaking for myself, I was excited to attend the 2010 conference but didn’t even consider going this time.

      Seriously? There’s absolutely nothing radical about so-called “liberal Zionism”. It’s just a last and pathetic attempt to preserve Jewish supremacism on 78% of Palestinian land by pretending to be moderate. These fake liberals upset me even more than honest conservatives.

      • Elliot
        September 30, 2013, 4:25 pm

        GL – Activists attended the 2010 conference because it was the biggest place to be if you cared about I/P. That was the conference where the college arm of J Street rejected the “pro-Israel” part of J Street’s slogan: “Pro-Israel, pro-peace.”
        As for Jeremy Ben-Ami and so on, that’s another matter.

      • German Lefty
        September 30, 2013, 4:59 pm

        That was the conference where the college arm of J Street rejected the “pro-Israel” part of J Street’s slogan: “Pro-Israel, pro-peace.”

        I just read this article:
        link to jweekly.com

        J Street’s university arm has dropped the “pro-Israel” part of the left-wing lobby’s “pro-Israel, pro-peace” slogan to avoid alienating students. […] “We don’t want to isolate people because they don’t feel quite so comfortable with ‘pro-Israel,’ so we say ‘pro-peace,’” said American University junior Lauren Barr of the “J Street U” slogan, “but behind that is ‘pro-Israel.’” […] She noted that the individual student chapters would be free to add “pro-Israel,” “pro-Israel, pro-Palestine,” or other wording that they felt would be effective on this issue, since “it’s up to the individuals on campus to know their audience.”

        Clearly, the term “pro-Israel” was only dropped in order to lure members, not because they actually reject Jewish supremacism. It’s just a change in promotion, not a change in values.

        Yonatan Shechter, a junior at Hampshire College, said the ultra-liberal Massachusetts campus is inhospitable to terms like “Zionist” and that when his former organization, the Union of Progressive Zionists (which has been absorbed into J Street U), dropped that last word of its name, “people were so relieved.” Shechter said that J Street U allows students who support Israel to have an address on his campus.

        They are Zionists who don’t want to call themselves Zionists. Just like M.J. Rosenberg.

    • tree
      September 30, 2013, 5:00 pm

      If anything, Israel is more so a diaspora than the United States Jewish community because its mass displacement of Jewish populations started more recently.

      Interesting point, Elliot. I had never thought of it that way until you mentioned this. On the bright side, “diaspora” is a much more positive term than “galut”, although as you point out its no more accurate a description for Jews in Europe, the Americas, and the Arab world than it is for Israeli Jews.

      • Elliot
        September 30, 2013, 8:43 pm

        The Israeli word for “diaspora” is “golah” (pronounced: goh-LAH) is pretty close to the old religious Hebrew word: “galut” (exile). Since Hebrew operates by generating many words from a limited number of “roots”, this linguistic affinity is obvious to Israelis. The disparaging, Israeli adjective “galutee” (pronounced: gah-loo-TEE) is less common than it once was. It defines Israeliness as the rejection of the old Yiddish civilization that gave birth to the State of Israel: Yiddish and being nice to the goyim are two typical “galutee” markers.
        The term “diaspora” is more than just an expression of Israel-centeredess. I find that it is used almost exclusively by Israelis. (For an American Jew, even a Zionist, his life is here and Israel is over there.) Knowing the general condescending (defensive?) attitude that Israelis have towards non-Israelis, “diaspora” always sounds quite rude to me.

    • German Lefty
      September 30, 2013, 5:07 pm

      I don’t like the term “diaspora” either. Can’t we just say “Jews outside Israel”?

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 30, 2013, 8:32 pm

        I don’t have a problem with it in a pre-zionist context. In the modern world it carries way too many assumptions and too much baggage.

    • German Lefty
      September 30, 2013, 5:26 pm

      “Jeremy Ben-Ami says J Street is proud of AIPAC’s many accomplishments and clarified that the two groups have different priorities rather than different views.”
      link to en.wikipedia.org

  12. Theo
    September 30, 2013, 12:19 pm

    Now that the ICC sentenced Taylor to 50 years of jail, it is time for Tzipi Livni to be charged with warcrimes.
    How many years should she spend thinking about the Gaza massacre?

    • Hostage
      September 30, 2013, 6:21 pm

      Now that the ICC sentenced Taylor to 50 years of jail

      Nope, that was the Appeals Chamber of The Special Court for Sierra Leone: link to sc-sl.org

      We really need one of those for the situation in Israel and Palestine.

  13. Theo
    September 30, 2013, 12:32 pm

    It is great that the IDF trains so my young americans in military skills!
    As soon as they return to the USA we should put them into american uniforms and send them to Iraq or Afghanistan, after all both those wars are fought in the interests of Israel. It is their duty to serve the country where they were born, schooled and are citizens in.
    Or as an alternative, voluntair to free Syria from Assad by joining one of those groups of rebels. No more beating up women and children, but facing an enemy that shoots back.

    • American
      September 30, 2013, 2:57 pm

      Better yet.
      The IDF against ALQ—–can you imagine?

    • tree
      September 30, 2013, 3:20 pm

      As soon as they return to the USA we should put them into american uniforms and send them to Iraq or Afghanistan…

      Our military’s reputation is bad enough as it is. We don’t need the IDF crazies to make it any worse.

    • Woody Tanaka
      September 30, 2013, 3:55 pm

      “As soon as they return to the USA we should put them into american uniforms and send them to Iraq or Afghanistan”

      Nope. They should be summarily stripped of their citizenship, declared ineligible to live in the US, hit with a 50% asset tax, taken to the border and kicked the hell out. If you chose to serve an alien state by carrying arms, you should be prepared to stay out.

      • just
        September 30, 2013, 6:03 pm

        Not a bad idea at all.

      • German Lefty
        September 30, 2013, 6:11 pm

        They should be […] taken to the border and kicked the hell out.

        Admit it! You want to throw them into the sea. Right? ;-)

      • Theo
        October 1, 2013, 11:46 am

        No, Lefty

        We also have land borders with Canada and Mexico!
        I am sure Mexico would be happy to take in such a group of well educated youngsters, who want to turn that country into a blooming paradise, they also have a lot of deserts, too.

        If I remember correctly, we have laws that forbid americans to join foreign militaries or take government jobs.
        Hostage could help with this.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 1, 2013, 4:52 pm

        “Admit it! You want to throw them into the sea. Right? ;-)”

        Oh, I wouldn’t mind if they took a boat or a plane or swam or walked as long as they didn’t come back.

      • Dutch
        October 1, 2013, 6:37 pm

        @ Theo: “If I remember correctly, we have laws that forbid americans to join foreign militaries or take government jobs.”

        I bet you have. In the Netherlands citizens joining a foreign military lose their citizenship/nationality. I guess it’s the same in the US.

      • ritzl
        October 1, 2013, 7:18 pm

        My recollection is that they have to have had command responsibilities for it to be illegal, militarily speaking. As in officer corps. Goldberg’s prison guard and Emanuel’s IDF-supporting volunteer status are not illegal. Should be, but aren’t.

        That’s 4 year old memory, so FWIW on the particulars. But there is a loophole.

      • Hostage
        October 1, 2013, 11:22 pm

        My recollection is that they have to have had command responsibilities for it to be illegal, militarily speaking.

        The secessionists in the Confederate States arrested US officials and deprived everyone subject to their jurisdiction of any rights or privileges held under the United States. In line with the US Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford, they held that blacks born in their jurisdictions were never citizens for the purposes of the Article 3 Courts.

        After the war between the states, the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution prohibited any state from denying the naturalized or natural born inhabitants of any of the privileges or immunities of citizenship.

        In a landmark case, involving a person who voted in an Israeli election, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution doesn’t expressly delegate any power to the federal government to involuntarily deprive persons of their US citizenship. See Afroyim v. Rusk link to law.cornell.edu

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 2, 2013, 9:11 am

        “After the war between the states,”

        No such thing. It was the US Civil War.

      • Theo
        October 2, 2013, 11:16 am

        Hostage

        Could you please inform us what do laws say about joining a foreign armed forces, in present times.

      • Hostage
        October 2, 2013, 11:46 am

        “After the war between the states,”

        No such thing. It was the US Civil War.

        That’s what Lincoln claimed, but the Confederate States seceded from the Union and had their own constitution, capital in Richmond, currency, and armed forces. According to their officials, the “United States” were no longer united.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 2, 2013, 12:48 pm

        “the Confederate States seceded from the Union”

        No, they didn’t. They attempted to do so by force (rather than by Amendement to the Constitution) and failed. As such, it was nothing but a slavers’ rebellion that failed.

        “had their own constitution, capital in Richmond, currency, and armed forces”

        None of which is relevant to the question. The traitors styled themselves a separate state and no one recognized it, there was no legal basis for their acts and those acts were void from the beginning.

        “According to their officials, the ‘United States’ were no longer united.”

        BFD. I can claim myself to be the King of Canada for all the good it will do.

      • Hostage
        October 2, 2013, 2:40 pm

        No, they didn’t. They attempted to do so by force (rather than by Amendement to the Constitution) and failed. As such, it was nothing but a slavers’ rebellion that failed.

        That’s a legal fiction that was employed rather haphazardly after the fact by the political branches. It was never supported by the rules for interpreting treaties or statutes. The question was never decided conclusively one way or the other by the US Courts either. They still contend that the States retain residual sovereignty and immunity over every matter that isn’t specifically delegated in the text of the Constitution itself. See for example Alden v. Maine and Seminole Tribe of Fla. v. Florida link to law.cornell.edu

        Unlike the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution didn’t establish a perpetual union and didn’t require the members to amend the document to deal with the subject of enlargements or reductions through either accession or secession. The confederacy did achieve belligerent recognition by many countries, including Great Britain.

        “had their own constitution, capital in Richmond, currency, and armed forces” None of which is relevant to the question.

        It obviously was, since the US Courts were forced to cobble together de facto rules of recognition that permitted them to enforce confederate court probate decisions and contracts for Confederate currency which “arose out of the necessity of the cases”, and “to prevent injustice to people who, when war was flagrant, had no other currency in which to make the exchanges required in the ordinary business of life.” — See for example Thorington v. Smith, 8 Wall cited in Branch v Haas (1883). link to law.resource.org

        See also the list of cases cited in the the footnote here: link to books.google.com

        In the Tinoco Arbitration case, Chief Justice Taft ruled that the evidence of nonrecognition did not outweigh the evidence like that of the de facto status of statehood under international law.

      • Hostage
        October 2, 2013, 3:02 pm

        Could you please inform us what do laws say about joining a foreign armed forces, in present times.

        I believe that Israel has compulsory military service for Jewish residents. Here, in part, is what the State Department has to say on that subject:

        A U.S. citizen who is a resident or citizen of a foreign country may be subject to compulsory military service in that country. Although the United States recognizes the problems that may be caused by such foreign military service, there is little that we can do to prevent it since each sovereign country has the right to enact its own laws on military service and apply them as it sees fit to its citizens and residents.

        Military service by U.S. citizens may cause problems in the conduct of our foreign relations since such service may involve U.S. citizens in hostilities against countries with which we are at peace. For this reason, U.S. citizens facing the possibility of foreign military service should do what is legally possible to avoid such service.

        Federal statutes long in force prohibit certain aspects of foreign military service originating within the United States. The current laws are set forth in Section 958-960 of Title 18 of the United States Code. In Wiborg v. U.S. , 163 U.S. 632 (1896), the Supreme Court endorsed a lower court ruling that it was not a crime under U.S. law for an individual to go abroad for the purpose of enlisting in a foreign army; however, when someone has been recruited or hired in he United States, a violation may have occurred. The prosecution of persons who have violated 18 U.S.C. 958-960 is the responsibility of the Department of Justice.

        — Advice about Possible Loss of U.S. Citizenship and Foreign Military Service link to travel.state.gov

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 2, 2013, 3:17 pm

        “That’s a legal fiction that was employed rather haphazardly after the fact by the political branches. It was never supported by the rules for interpreting treaties or statutes.”

        It’s inherent in the Constitution itself.

        ” The question was never decided conclusively one way or the other by the US Courts either. They still contend that the States retain residual sovereignty and immunity over every matter that isn’t specifically delegated in the text of the Constitution itself. ”

        Right, and among those powers which are exclusively delegated to the Federal Government are those which the rebel leaders attempted to assign to their own states and later to the Confederate government. The Constitution provides the only method whereby those powers can reside in any body other than the federal government (such as, for example, the several states) and that is by Amendment. Any attempt to alter the arrangement in any other manner (such as though state legislation or the adoption of an ordinance of secession in convention) is void ab initio under the Supremacy Clause.

        “Unlike the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution didn’t establish a perpetual union”

        Yes, it did. As the Supreme Court recognized in Texas v. White, the purpose of the Constitution was to establish a “more perfect Union” than existed under the Articles of Confederation, which was a perpetual union. It was thus perpetual, because anything less would be a less pefect union.

        “and didn’t require the members to amend the document to deal with the subject of enlargements or reductions through either accession or secession.”

        No, Congress was given the power to admit new states, subject to some limitations, but by its very structure, the Constitution requires Amendment (or a successful war) for any state to leave the union.

        “The confederacy did achieve belligerent recognition by many countries, including Great Britain.”

        True. Which supports my point: it wasn’t a sovereign state. The question isn’t whether there were two belligerents; there clearly were. One, however, was a sovereign state, the other was not.

        “It obviously was”

        No, it wasn’t. The fact that the insurrection occurred and, in the process, the traitors did these things among their illegal actions, meant that the courts were required to determine the legal rights of litigants under that set of facts. That does not mean that the insurrectionists constituted a sovereign state.

      • Light
        October 2, 2013, 3:49 pm

        Although a person’s enlistment in the armed forces of a foreign country may not constitute a violation of U.S. law, it could subject him or her to Section 349(a)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(3)] which provides for loss of U.S. nationality if an American voluntarily and with the intention of relinquishing U.S. citizenship enters or serves in foreign armed forces engaged in hostilities against the United States or serves in the armed forces of any foreign country as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer.

        The bold was added by me.

        from
        link to travel.state.gov

        obtaining naturalization in a foreign state upon one’s own application after the age of 18 (Sec. 349 (a) (1) INA);
        taking an oath, affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or its political subdivisions after the age of 18 (Sec. 349 (a) (2) INA);
        entering or serving in the armed forces of a foreign state engaged in hostilities against the U.S. or serving as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer in the armed forces of a foreign state (Sec. 349 (a) (3) INA);
        accepting employment with a foreign government after the age of 18 if (a) one has the nationality of that foreign state or (b) an oath or declaration of allegiance is required in accepting the position (Sec. 349 (a) (4) INA);
        formally renouncing U.S. citizenship before a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer outside the United States (sec. 349 (a) (5) INA);
        formally renouncing U.S. citizenship within the U.S. (The Department of Homeland Security is responsible for implementing this section of the law) (Sec. 349 (a) (6) INA);
        conviction for an act of treason (Sec. 349 (a) (7) INA).

        additional information at
        link to travel.state.gov

      • Hostage
        October 2, 2013, 4:02 pm

        In actual practice people have had extreme difficulty proving to the State Department’s satisfaction that they are competent to make an informed decision to voluntarily relinquish US citizenship.

        Flotilla activist Kenneth O’Keefe has formally tried to renounce his US citizenship twice without any success.

      • ritzl
        October 2, 2013, 5:13 pm

        @Hostage This from the US State Dept website link to travel.state.gov :

        Although a person’s enlistment in the armed forces of a foreign country may not constitute a violation of U.S. law, it could subject him or her to Section 349(a)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(3)] which provides for loss of U.S. nationality if an American voluntarily and with the intention of relinquishing U.S. citizenship enters or serves in foreign armed forces engaged in hostilities against the United States or serves in the armed forces of any foreign country as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer.

        Bottom line to me, “intention of relinquishing” is a totally subjective and discretionary judgement on the part of the govt, but there are laws that can apply. The govt can take your citizenship, but it has to show/declare first that you “intended” to give it up and has established some criteria for establishing that “intent.”

        Thanks, as always.

      • Hostage
        October 2, 2013, 9:20 pm

        Bottom line to me, “intention of relinquishing” is a totally subjective and discretionary judgement on the part of the govt

        The bottom line of the decision in Afroyim was that the Congress lacks the power under the Constitution to adopt any law that involuntarily deprives a person of their citizenship and that government officials do not have boundless discretion to make assumptions regarding the evidence of intent to relinquish it.

        So the bottom line is that Section 349(a)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(3)] has no force or effect, absent a showing of the required mens rea, i.e. the person joined the armed forces voluntarily and with the explicit intention of relinquishing their citizenship.

      • ritzl
        October 3, 2013, 1:08 am

        @Hostage Agree that Afroyim holds that the govt cannot unilaterally and involuntarily deprive a citizen of citizenship. The INA lists conditions that could be considered voluntary relinquishing, mainly dealing with taking oaths or assuming positions that explicitly declare and/or require allegiance to another country. Afroyim (from your link) was concerned with a practice (voting) that did not require any such affirmation of allegiance.

        Sec. 349. [8 U.S.C. 1481]

        (a) A person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality-

        (1) obtaining naturalization in a foreign state upon his own application or upon an application filed by a duly authorized agent, after having attained the age of eighteen years; or

        (2) taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after having attained the age of eighteen years; or

        (3) entering, or serving in, the armed forces of a foreign state if

        (A) such armed forces are engaged in hostilities against the United States, or

        (B) such persons serve as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer; or

        (4) …

        This section of the INA seems to be a constitutional workaround response to Afroyim (“absent his voluntary renunciation thereof”). It raises the question of whether or not a declaration of allegiance to another state is the mens rea that demonstrates “voluntary renunciation thereof,” should the govt actually ever choose to pursue such a case.

        The INA wording, “voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing” seems arguable. Does it require that two separate acts are required (one being an “I relinquish…” statement), or does it mean that the listed acts are the threshold for showing intent?

        I don’t know if this has ever been tested in court. If not, it’s vague enough and a big enough can of worms that it probably never well be, unless someone takes an oath to Iran or Syria or something. Fascinating discussion and info. Thanks again.

      • Hostage
        October 3, 2013, 3:06 am

        It was never supported by the rules for interpreting treaties or statutes.”

        It’s inherent in the Constitution itself. . . . “Unlike the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution didn’t establish a perpetual union”

        Yes, it did. As the Supreme Court recognized in Texas v. White, the purpose of the Constitution was to establish a “more perfect Union” than existed under the Articles of Confederation, which was a perpetual union. It was thus perpetual, because anything less would be a less perfect union.

        You are arguing that the states ratified a provision that they left out of the text of their agreement. The other problem with that is a) the war involved third states which were never parties to the Articles of Confederation in the first place; and b) the rules for treaty interpretation don’t allow Courts to draw such inferences in the absence of an explicit constitutional or treaty provision.

        The Congress announced in its own Declaration of Independence that the people of the states could not be governed without their consent and reserved their right to alter or abolish a government and institute a new one. The 9th Amendment explicitly reserved any rights of the people that were not specifically enumerated in the Constitution. The 10th Amendment reserved any rights and powers which were not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the States, and explicitly reserved them to the States or the people. There are still secessionist movements and officials who say that secession is still possible, e.g. Texas governor says secession possible. link to politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 3, 2013, 9:43 am

        “You are arguing that the states ratified a provision that they left out of the text of their agreement. ”

        No, I’m saying that the structure of the Constitution itself precludes there from being a “right to secede” in the first place, other than through Amendment of the Constitution.

        “a) the war involved third states which were never parties to the Articles of Confederation in the first place; ”

        Irrelevant. They ratified the Constitution and thus stand in the same shoes as those states who were.

        “b) the rules for treaty interpretation don’t allow Courts to draw such inferences in the absence of an explicit constitutional or treaty provision.”

        1) it’s not a treaty, so the rules for treaty interpretation are irrelevant. 2) there is no need to make any inferences, as it is all there in black and white on the text of the Constitution.

        “The Congress announced in its own Declaration of Independence that the people of the states could not be governed without their consent ”

        Irrelevant. They gave consent when they ratified the Constitution.

        “The 9th Amendment explicitly reserved any rights of the people that were not specifically enumerated in the Constitution. The 10th Amendment reserved any rights and powers which were not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the States, and explicitly reserved them to the States or the people.”

        Irrelevant. We’re not talking about powers that weren’t enumerated. We’re talking about the powers that were enumerated.

        Think of state sovereignty as being an amalgam of the powers which a sovereign state possesses: the power to declare war, the power to administer the criminal law, the power to regulate marriage, the power to coin money, etc., etc. The Constitution says that some of those powers are exclusively delegated to the Federal Government (such as the power to declare war and the power to coin money) and some others remain with the states (such as the power to regulate marriage and the power to administer the criminal law.) So, for example, Alabama no longer has the power to coin money, because that’s exclusively delegated to the Federal Government.

        The Constitution also contains a provision whereby that delegation can be changed: the Amendment provision. Thus, the Constitution COULD be changed so that Alabama can coin money, but it would have to be through Amendment.

        The Constitution also contains the Supremacy Clause which says that a State does not have the power to enact a law which goes against the Constitution; it is void ab initio. Thus, Alabama cannot pass a law that says, “Alabama now has the power to coin money.” If it tried to pass such a law, it would a futile act, because it is of no legal effect whatsoever.

        When the Traitors of 1861 passed their secession resolutions and adopted their ordinances, they did essentially that. Those laws essentially said, “Alabama now has the power to coin money, and declare war, and establish post offices and post roads, and to grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, etc., etc.,” and on and on through all of the powers which were delegated to the Federal Government.

        But these resolutions, laws and ordinances were void ab initio because they no more had the legal power to say that, e.g., “Alabama now has back all the powers previously delegated to the Federal Government,” than it had the power to pass a law saying that “Alabama now has the power to coin money.”

        Those secession ordinances and laws — all of which were in conflict with the delegation of power in the Constitution — were null and void because of the Supremacy Clause precluded them from legally passing them in the first place, as the ONLY way a state, once it adopts the Constitution, could possess all of the powers of a fully sovereign state, is by the return of the powers delegated to the Federal Government, and states are precluded by the Constitution from doing that except through Amendment.

        Thus, the terms of the Constitution itself precludes secession.

        “There are still secessionist movements and officials who say that secession is still possible, e.g. Texas governor says secession possible. link to politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com”

        So what? Rick Perry is a patent moron.

      • Hostage
        October 3, 2013, 7:41 pm

        No, I’m saying that the structure of the Constitution itself precludes there from being a “right to secede” in the first place, other than through Amendment of the Constitution.

        In fact there is no written provision in the Constitution that precludes secession or you could have simply quoted it for us. That’s why you and the Courts have to resort to legal fictions and strained inferences.

        The government has never used the authority to amend the Constitution contained in Article V to add members to the union, i.e. the formal consent of the other state parties is NOT required. The Congress has always added states to the union through adoption of an ordinary statute.

        a) the war involved third states which were never parties to the Articles of Confederation in the first place; ”

        Irrelevant. They ratified the Constitution and thus stand in the same shoes as those states who were.

        That is not what the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties says about the obligation of third states and multiple treaties that deal with the same subject.

        Irrelevant. We’re not talking about powers that weren’t enumerated. We’re talking about the powers that were enumerated.

        In fact, there was no such enumerated power that prohibited secession and you are simply engaging in pilpul and legal fictions rather than quoting it for us.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 3, 2013, 10:10 pm

        “In fact there is no written provision in the Constitution that precludes secession or you could have simply quoted it for us.”

        No, there doesn’t need to be. It is inherent in the text of the document. It’s impossible for a party, subject to a constitution with exclusive delegation of powers and a Supremacy clause, to legally alter the delegation of powers by any method other than that set out in the constitution.

        “That’s why you and the Courts have to resort to legal fictions and strained inferences. ”

        LMAO. No, it’s just basic legal reasoning. But then there are still deluded folks out there that reject the reasoning of Marbury v. Madison and suggest that the Supreme Court doesn’t have the power to declare a law unconstitutional over that of the other branches because there’s no written provision in the Constitution to that effect. Whatever.

        “The government has never used the authority to amend the Constitution contained in Article V to add members to the union”

        Doesn’t need to. Congress is explicitly given the power to add new states under Art. 4, Sec. 3. Any state that ratifies the Constitution agrees to this, so Amendment is not necessary. Thus, the issues surrounding adding new states is totally irrelevant to the secession issue.

        “That is not what the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties says about the obligation of third states and multiple treaties that deal with the same subject.”

        LMAO. The Vienna Convention is wholly irrelevant. The Constitution isn’t a treaty and the US never ratified it.

        “In fact, there was no such enumerated power that prohibited secession ”

        Yes, there are. Every enumerated power that exclusive to the Federal Government coupled with the Supremacy Clause.

        “you are simply engaging in pilpul and legal fictions rather than quoting it for us.”

        No, I explained the reasoning how it is inherent in the document, and you didn’t even attempt to counter that reasoning. You can keep your head lodged up your ass all you want.

      • Hostage
        October 4, 2013, 12:09 am

        No, there doesn’t need to be. It is inherent in the text of the document. It’s impossible for a party, subject to a constitution with exclusive delegation of powers and a Supremacy clause, to legally alter the delegation of powers by any method other than that set out in the constitution. . . . You can keep your head lodged up your ass all you want.

        Well you are the babbling idiot who is arguing that there was no war between the states. So what exactly did the Congress mean when it adopted “An act to provide for the more efficient government of the Rebel States”, March 2, 1867, 14 Stat. 428-430, c.153? If the Constitution was “perfected” and the union made “perpetual”, then how on Earth could the State of Texas be denied equal representation in the Senate long after the rebellion in violation of the express provision of Article V of the Constitution? Justice Grier noted that inconvenient fact in his dissenting opinion in Texas v White:

        Now we have here a clear and well defined test by which we may arrive at a conclusion with regard to the questions of fact now to be decided.

        Is Texas a State, now represented by members chosen by the people of that State and received on the floor of Congress? Has she two senators to represent her as a State in the Senate of the United States? Has her voice been heard in the late election of President? Is she not now held and governed as a conquered province by military force? The act of Congress of March 2d, 1867, declares Texas to be a “rebel State,” and provides for its government until a legal and republican State government could be legally established. It constituted Louisiana and Texas the fifth military district, and made it subject not to the civil authority, but to the “military authorities of the United States.”

        It is true that no organized rebellion now exists there, and the courts of the United States now exercise jurisdiction over the people of that province. But this is no test of the State’s being in the Union; Dacotah is no State, and yet the courts of the United States administer justice there as they do in Texas. The Indian tribes, who are governed by military force, cannot claim to be States of the Union. Wherein does the condition of Texas differ from theirs?

        link to law.cornell.edu

        Once again, the Constitution doesn’t preempt any unenumerated powers. Those were explicitly reserved to the states and the people. So there is no Secession clause for the Supremacy clause to operate on or enforce in any State Court.

        Texas v White wasn’t a case on the question of the constitutionality of secession in any event. You are quoting dicta that was explicitly labelled a “legal fiction” in Justice Robert Grier’s dissent. The discussion on secession was employed as rationale to support a decision Chief Justice Chase had made regarding non-payment of fully-matured federal bonds that Texas had sold to others when he was serving as the Secretary of the Treasury. It was considered highly improper for him to even sit in judgment on the case. BTW, his holding on the question of the bonds was reversed by a subsequent Supreme Court in Morgan v US, 1885.

        In any event, half the States in the union obviously did not interpret the Constitution according to the notions cherished by Chase and the other half went along when they suspended the operation of the Constitution during “Reconstruction”. I’ve pointed out that the dicta in White hasn’t stopped subsequent governors of Texas from proposing secession. The bottom line is that entire States were subjected to military occupation and administration in the Reconstruction era, not just the individual insurrectionists. So it’s axiomatic that there was a war between the states.

        The Vienna Convention is wholly irrelevant. The Constitution isn’t a treaty and the US never ratified it.

        The Constitution was indeed an international agreement between sovereign states. The US participated in the UN Diplomatic Conference in Vienna that codified the customary rules of law reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of Treaties. The US is a signatory and is therefore obliged to respect customary law and the object and purpose of the convention pending ratification. The convention itself stipulates that the rules of customary law still govern any questions not covered by the convention.

        Parties are customarily bound by the explicit terms that appear within the four corners of a contract or agreement, e.g. the 9th and 10th amendments. Not by inferences or non-existent clauses.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 4, 2013, 10:14 am

        “Well you are the babbling idiot”

        LMAO. Says the man applying a 20th Century Convention on Treaties to an 18th Century Constitution.

        “So what exactly did the Congress mean when it adopted ‘An act to provide for the more efficient government of the Rebel States’, March 2, 1867, 14 Stat. 428-430, c.153?”

        It meant that the place was lousy with traitors, who started a war of treason, and the act was necessary to restore proper constitutional governance. (Sadly, because of political concerns, they instituted a slap-on-the-wrist Reconstruction and the treasonous poison still exists in that part of the Country to this day. One need not drive far in the South to see disgraced-Colonel Robert E. Lee’s Red Rag of Treason — the Southern Swastika — being flown to this day.)

        “If the Constitution was “perfected” and the union made “perpetual”, then how on Earth could the State of Texas be denied equal representation in the Senate long after the rebellion in violation of the express provision of Article V of the Constitution? ”

        Because Texans participated in the insurrection by hijacking the legitimate Texas state government, and the military occupation was deemed by the Congress to be necessary and proper to suppress that insurrection and to insure a republican form of government.

        “Justice Grier noted that inconvenient fact in his dissenting opinion”

        Yes, dissenting opinion. Meaning: it is irrelevant to what the law actually is, but merely shows that Grier disagreed with what the law actually is.

        “Once again, the Constitution doesn’t preempt any unenumerated powers. ”

        And once again, its not about unenumerated powers. It’s about the logical and legal incompatibility between the text of the Constitution and supposed “right” or “power” to secede.

        “So there is no Secession clause for the Supremacy clause to operate on or enforce in any State Court.”

        There doesn’t need to be. There is no logical or legal way whereby a state can, on its own initiative, take back all of the powers assigned exclusively to the federal government any more than there is a legal or logical way it can, on its own initiative, take back some subset of them. The case for a power or right to secede is absurd.

        “Texas v White wasn’t a case on the question of the constitutionality of secession in any event.”

        LOL. Yes, it was. The question of the legality of the attempted secession was critical and necessary to the resolution of the case.

        “You are quoting dicta that was explicitly labelled a “legal fiction” in Justice Robert Grier’s dissent.”

        No, it’s not dicta because it was essential to the Court’s rationale, and Grier’s opinion is irrelevant as it was not adopted by the Court so it is interesting trivia, but nothing more.

        “It was considered highly improper for him to even sit in judgment on the case. ”

        So what? If he doesn’t recuse himself, his participation is valid. And it was a 4-2 decision, so his opinion would have still prevailed nevertheless.

        “BTW, his holding on the question of the bonds was reversed by a subsequent Supreme Court in Morgan v US, 1885.”

        Yes, in part, but that had nothing to do with the decision regarding secession, so that part of the opinion continues to be good law.

        “In any event, half the States in the union obviously did not interpret the Constitution according to the notions cherished by Chase”

        Irrelevant. See, Marbury v. Madison.

        “and the other half went along when they suspended the operation of the Constitution during “Reconstruction””

        Nonsense. The Insurrection clause, combined with the Republican Form of Government Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause show that the slap-on-the-wrist Reconstruction was absolutely Constitutional.

        “I’ve pointed out that the dicta in White hasn’t stopped subsequent governors of Texas from proposing secession.”

        It’s not dicta, no matter how much you want it to be. And this point means nothing other than the fact that Rick Perry is just the latest in a long line of patent morons.

        “The bottom line is that entire States were subjected to military occupation and administration in the Reconstruction era, not just the individual insurrectionists.”

        Yes, and that was deemed by the Congress to be necessary and proper to end the insurrection and restore a republican form of government, things which are, Constitutionally speaking, proper.

        “So it’s axiomatic that there was a war between the states. ”

        Nope. it was a civil war.

        “The Constitution was indeed an international agreement between sovereign states.”

        No, it wasn’t. It was and is a constitution. And the original states were subnational, quasi sovereign states confederated in a perpetual union. To say that this was an “international agreement between sovereign states” is you mangle the meaning of “international,” “agreement,” “between,” “sovereign,” and “states.”

        “The US participated in the UN Diplomatic Conference in Vienna that…”

        Interesting trivia. And meaningless because a constitution isn’t a treaty or a contract or an agreement or anything other than a constitution.

        “Parties are customarily bound by the explicit terms that appear within the four corners of a contract or agreement”

        The Constitution is not a contract. It’s a constitution.

        “Not by inferences or non-existent clauses.”

        False. The doctrine of implied powers has been recognized as part of Constitutional law since the 1790s. (It’s also false stated as an absolute as to contracts, for other reasons, but that is irrelevant here.)

      • Hostage
        October 4, 2013, 3:47 pm

        “If the Constitution was “perfected” and the union made “perpetual”, then how on Earth could the State of Texas be denied equal representation in the Senate long after the rebellion in violation of the express provision of Article V of the Constitution? ”

        Because Texans participated in the insurrection by hijacking the legitimate Texas state government, and the military occupation was deemed by the Congress to be necessary and proper to suppress that insurrection and to insure a republican form of government.

        What “Congress”? It was certainly not the perpetual, indestructible one that you claim is prescribed by the US Constitution. Half the States were excluded and denied any representation or participation at all. You’re engaged in a self-defeating line of argumentation that simply proves my point that there was a “war between the states”. FYI, the so-called Reconstruction Acts even provided de jure statutory recognition of the existence of the “Rebel States”.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 4, 2013, 6:09 pm

        “What “Congress”?”

        The Congress of the United States of America. Maybe you’ve heard of it. They work in the big, domed building down in Washington.

        “It was certainly not the perpetual, indestructible one that you claim is prescribed by the US Constitution.”

        The one and the same.

        “Half the States were excluded and denied any representation or participation at all.”

        LMAO. No, they weren’t excluded or denied, they excluded and denied themselves by their treason. Half of the states were taken over by traitors; their Congressmen and Senators either quit or were expelled (which each house is permitted to do under Art. 1, Sec. 5 of the Constitution) for their support of the treason. Thus, their delegations existed but, for the most part, remained vacant. (But not completely. For example, after the Richmond politicians turned traitor, the honorable, loyal men of northwestern Virginia restored the Virginia government and the vacancies in the Virginia delegation were, for a time, filled.)

        Neither the fact that there were vacancies in these delegations during the War of Southern Treason nor the fact that they remained vacant (as the Congress deemed necessary and proper to put down the rebellion and restore a republican form of government) affected in anyway the legitimacy of the Congress nor the fact that the union is perpetual. It merely means that there were vacancies due to the insurrection.

        “You’re engaged in a self-defeating line of argumentation ”

        LMAO. Nope. Not even close.

        “that simply proves my point that there was a ‘war between the states’.”

        Nonsense. There was a war between a State — The United States of America — and a bunch of craven, dishonorable traitors, who sadly were not made to suffer, in the aftermath of their treason, what they so richly deserved. It was a Civil War.

        “FYI, the so-called Reconstruction Acts even provided de jure statutory recognition of the existence of the “Rebel States”.”

        Nonsense, “rebel States” is simply a term of art that recognized the fact that those states had been taken over by traitors during the Civil War. Indeed, the Act of March 23, 1867, which set out the oaths for the delegates under reconstruction, described what occurred as a “rebellion” or “insurrection” or “civil war” “against the United States.” Thus, the Congress recognized that the states, themselves, were not fighting, but, rather, the traitors who took over the states who were fighting. (Indeed, the Act of July 19, 1867 specifically affirms that the governments in those states during the war and thereafter were “not legal State governments.”)

      • Hostage
        October 5, 2013, 6:16 am

        Woody you’ve managed to claim that half a Congress can abrogate any article of the Constitution that they please. While the rebels couldn’t deprive the law abiding citizens of their rights, privileges, and immunities, you blithly claim that half a fucking Congress can do exactly that by calling it “Reconstruction”?

        “Rebel states” was a statutory term that included all of the territory, inhabitants, and departments of state government – without exception. It was never limited to only the insurrectionists. The conditions imposed under Reconstruction were explicitly prohibited by the Constitution itself, unlike secession. Your mental gymnastics here illustrate my point exactly. The notion that the Union was perpetual or indestructible was a legal fiction that was applied haphazardly at best and was obviously false to any sane observer. The Constitutional rights, immunities, and priveleges of everyone in the so-called rebel states were violated for years on end, long after the organized insurrection was over.

        You can argue that there was no war between the states, or statutory recognition of the existence of the rebel states And their governmental departments, but it just makes you look stupid.

  14. hophmi
    September 30, 2013, 1:10 pm

    I propose a trade: recognition of the Naqba for recognition of Israel as a Jewish State. Straight up trade. Both people have their narratives recognized. One will not happen without the other.

    I see no reason why you would have one without the other. The creation of the Jewish State of Israel may be a tragedy for Palestinians, but it is not a tragedy for the Jews who live there and call it home.

    I’d like to hear exactly what Zomlot proposes for Palestinians who wish to return to their “ancestral homes” where there are now Jews living, some of whom have lived there for generations. Many Jews who live over the Green Line certainly have their own historical narratives of pre-state dispossession. It is, again, one of the great injustices of the history of this conflict that Jews who were dispossessed are not valued as much as Arabs who were dispossessed. The reason no one focuses on the issue is because Israel exists and took in most of those dispossessed. The other reason is that the world contains very few Jews and many Arabs.

    • Woody Tanaka
      September 30, 2013, 2:21 pm

      “I propose a trade: recognition of the Naqba for recognition of Israel as a Jewish State. Straight up trade.”

      This is nothing but disgusting Naqba denial and you should be banned for it, as well as your anti-Arab bigotry.

      The Naqba is a historical fact, not a matter of negotiations to score some lame political points. Your statement is the equivalent to some neo-Nazi saying: “I propose to recognize that the Holocuast was real and you recognize that the Jews really did stab Germany in the back at the end of the First World War. Strait up trade. Both people have their narratives reconized.” Absolutely disgusting. The Naqba happened, regardless of what evil political ideology israel wants to press or what devilish points you are trying to make.

      “The creation of the Jewish State of Israel may be a tragedy for Palestinians, but it is not a tragedy for the Jews who live there and call it home. ”

      The morality of the criminal and the zionist: the theft of your possessions might be a tragedy for you, but it was not a tragedy for the criminals who benefited…

    • seafoid
      September 30, 2013, 2:38 pm

      ” Jews who were dispossessed are not valued as much as Arabs who were dispossessed. ”

      Jews who were dispossessed got the property of the Palestinians who don’t even have. citizenship or a state. By what metric are the Jews “less valued” ?

    • Walid
      September 30, 2013, 2:56 pm

      “I propose a trade: recognition of the Naqba for recognition of Israel as a Jewish State. ” (Hophmi)

      That’s a gimmick. Recognizing that the Nakba was a catastrophe for the Palestinians wouldn’t buy them a cup of coffee but recognizing Israel as a Jewish state implies full acceptance by the Palestinian minority that it could no longer expect anything special pertinent to it on matters of language, schooling etc. Accepting its Jewishness also implies acceptance that there could never be a RoR that could somehow upset it. Israel is founded on gimmicks.

      • Shmuel
        September 30, 2013, 3:13 pm

        It’s a double whammy gimmick, because the demand that Israel be recognised as a Jewish state (or the “state of the Jewish people” in its more explicit form) is, in itself, a gimmick to keep any reasonable solution at bay — and to blame it all on the Palestinians.

    • tree
      September 30, 2013, 3:14 pm

      I propose a trade: recognition of the Naqba for recognition of Israel as a Jewish State.

      Well, there’s a perfect example of “liberal” Zionist thought. Let’s trade a recognition of a historical truth for an institutional codification of inequality. Why not trade a recognition of American slavery for the recognition of the US as a White State, with rights determined by the color of your skin. Straight up trade, right? Hey, we could also recognize the historical truth of the genocide of the American Indians and still get away with giving more rights to White people. Win-win, right hophmi?

      Hey, and while we are at it, why not trade the recognition of the Holocaust for the right to call the US a White Christian State? More rights for Christians, less for all other religions. That must be a fair trade in your mind, right? Because its exactly the same type of trade that you are proposing, except of course that the US never dispossessed any Jews. Oh, wait, that would be unfair to Jews, wouldn’t it? Its a “fair trade” to discriminate against Palestinians, buts an abomination to discriminate against Jews. Liberal Zionism at its “finest”.

      As you can see, hophmi’s fair trade is pure cr*p, only acceptable to him if Jews are the ones who get the advantage from institutional inequality.

    • German Lefty
      September 30, 2013, 5:51 pm

      I propose a trade: recognition of the Naqba for recognition of Israel as a Jewish State. Straight up trade.

      Imagine that Germany had made the following proposal in 1945: “We recognise the Holocaust on the condition that we can keep our Aryan state with the Nazi regime.”

      The mere recognition of the Nakba is not sufficient. It must be accompanied by the will to right past wrongs. And this means first and foremost granting all Palestinians refugees their right of return and making Israel a state for all its citizens.

    • talknic
      September 30, 2013, 5:59 pm

      @ hophmi

      “I propose a trade: recognition of the Naqba for recognition of Israel as a Jewish State. “

      There is no legal basis for demanding the State of Israel be recognized as the Jewish state. No country has recognized Israel as anything but the State of Israel, that is the official name of the State. Numerous states do not recognize each other, it has not prevented them from being UN Member states. Recognition is not mandatory.

      Meanwhile, the Law is mandatory, the Nakba is still happening, Israel has never stopped illegally acquiring non-Israeli territory.

      “Both people have their narratives recognized”

      The Israeli narrative attempts to justify what is illegal under International Law.

      “The creation of the Jewish State of Israel may be a tragedy for Palestinians, but it is not a tragedy for the Jews who live there and call it home”

      Problem is the Israelis living in territory “outside the state of Israel” link to pages.citebite.com for 65 years.

      “I’d like to hear exactly what Zomlot proposes for Palestinians who wish to return to their “ancestral homes” where there are now Jews living, some of whom have lived there for generations”

      The Jews now living there didn’t live there for generations BEFORE the Palestinians were dispossessed.

      “Many Jews who live over the Green Line certainly have their own historical narratives of pre-state dispossession”

      Irrelevant if they’re Israeli citizens. Israel is the Occupying Power. It is illegal for the citizens of the Occupying Power to settle in Occupied Territories.

      “It is, again, one of the great injustices of the history of this conflict that Jews who were dispossessed are not valued as much as Arabs who were dispossessed”

      Uh? They took citizenship in countries other than the countries of return, thereby forfeiting their status as refugee. Israel encouraged them to take up Israeli citizenship. Now it encourages them to break International Law by illegally settling in non-Israeli territory and illegally sells them land that is not within the territory of the state of Israel. What a rip off

      “The reason no one focuses on the issue is because Israel exists and took in most of those dispossessed”

      The reason no one focuses on the issue is because there aren’t any Jewish refugees to focus on, they’re all citizens of other states.

      “The other reason is that the world contains very few Jews and many Arabs”

      LOL Never give up, no matter how empty your Hasbarrow

    • dbroncos
      September 30, 2013, 8:23 pm

      @hophmi

      ” The creation of the Jewish State of Israel may be a tragedy for Palestinians, but it is not a tragedy for the Jews who live there and call it home.”

      “Jim Crow may be a tragedy for Black people, but it is not a tragedy for White Americans who live there and call it home.”

    • ritzl
      September 30, 2013, 9:55 pm

      Heads I win. Tails you lose. That about sums up the entire history and desired outcome of this conflict from the Zionist perspective.

      • Eurosabra
        October 1, 2013, 3:31 am

        Again, given the non-starter nature of the proposed solutions re: recognition, I would point out opportunities for flexibility in the implementation of return brought about by the differences of history and geography. Bir’am, Ikrit, and Ain Hawd can be rebuilt and resettled by Israeli citizens, thus, no net demographic change and something already owed to them as citizens and internally displaced persons. Maliha, Lifta, and Kastel can be rebuilt and resettled by people who are not currently Israeli citizens. Things get dicier with Jaffa, Haifa, and West Jerusalem where everyone with a possible or impossible claim (especially those not registered with UNRWA) will stake a claim with the intent of demographically swamping Israeli Jews and then enacting whatever comes next in various Israeli-Jewish nightmare scenarios.

        The Israeli governments have seen the nightmare scenarios as inevitably arising from any return, which is why the return of internally displaced Israeli citizens to destroyed villages has been prevented in defiance of the courts, for fear of setting a precedent.

      • ritzl
        October 1, 2013, 6:33 pm

        @Eurosabra Yeah well, maybe you mean well, but your comment contains a perfect example of the “Heads I win. Tails you lose.” [Call it in the air…snicker] scenario.

        Heads: You are so meticulously reasonable in suggesting that former residents of a few cleansed Palestinian villages can return. Specifically Iqrit [Ikrit] and Kafr Bir’im [Bir’am]. What a magnanimous gesture. (You WIN.)

        Tails: Palestinians are free to pursue that path, and did, but the GoI and the Israeli High Court would/will not allow any of it. link to palestineremembered.com (Palestinians LOSE.)

        That was the situation in 2001. Have any Palestinians returned to those villages in the past decade? Not that it matters much, because that particular 1-2 obstacle/tactic is fluid, repeatable, and generalizable, and so expensive to counter. What’s changed?

      • talknic
        October 2, 2013, 4:57 am

        Eurosabra “Bir’am, Ikrit, and Ain Hawd can be rebuilt and resettled by Israeli citizens, thus, no net demographic change and something already owed to them as citizens and internally displaced persons”

        Israelis are not internally displaced. They have citizenship … in Israel as it is officially recognized link to wp.me

        Having taken citizenship in a country other than that of return, Jewish folk no longer have refugee status or refugee rights.

        “Things get dicier with Jaffa, Haifa, and West Jerusalem where everyone with a possible or impossible claim (especially those not registered with UNRWA) “

        UNRWA is not involved in any claims for RoR. Its mandate extends as its name suggests to relief and works while people are still refugees. UNRWA’s limited mandate

        (Q2) “Is UNRWA involved in the Middle East peace negotiations and in the discussions on a solution to the refugee issue?”
        (A2) “No. UNRWA is a humanitarian UN agency and its mandate from the UN General Assembly defines its role as one of providing services to the refugees. As such, the Agency is not involved in the political discussions on the future of the refugees.“ link to unrwa.org

        “will stake a claim with the intent of demographically swamping Israeli Jews”

        The Palestinian RoR is based on UNGA res 194, which was written a year before UNRWA was formed. UNGA res 194 definition of a refugee is here link to unispal.un.org

        “The Israeli governments have seen the nightmare scenarios as inevitably arising from any return “

        It’s nonsense. Only folk who actually lived in the region of return have a right to return. 65 years has passed. Life expectancy of anyone born in the region in 1950 was about 46 yrs. The majority of those with RoR to Israel of 1948 as recognized “an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947″, are DEAD!

        Any Palestine refugee older than 65 years was at best a baby or very young child in 1948, took part in no war.

      • Eurosabra
        October 2, 2013, 4:18 pm

        So you agree that internally-displaced Israeli citizens of Palestinian nationality have no claim against the State of Israel, that the destruction of Bir’am, Ikrit, and Ayn Hawd was an act of immediate military necessity giving the State immunity from related claims, and claims for return and rebuilding by Israeli citizens are null and void? See, I know what you meant, you just assumed that Israeli meant Jewish, and Jews get to go without because they’re not refugees in your definition. Actually, Jews get to go without, in your calculus. It’s not often that your legal literalism leads you to a faux pas like this, but it’s amusing in a bitter way. “Residents of Old Ayn Hawd: You are citizens, you have no claim to return.”

        I suggest that you start convincing groups like al-awda and Palestine Remembered that “return” does not include all descendants and all UNRWA-registered refugees, because they seem very committed and very sincere, and the fact that their position is the mainstream for Palestinian advocacy continues to make any return a non-starter.

      • talknic
        October 4, 2013, 3:01 am

        Eurosabra “So you agree … etc … etc … (your words BTW) … etc … etc .. ? See, I know what you meant”

        Your words and thoughts are not mine. You know what you’d like me to mean. However, what I actually wrote is still there for all to see. Try something else.

        “you just assumed that Israeli meant Jewish, and Jews get to go without because they’re not refugees in your definition”

        If they have citizenship, Jew or non-Jew, they’re not refugees. I have no say in the official UNHCR definition

        The competence of the High Commissioner shall cease to apply to any person defined in section A above if: (c) He has acquired a new nationality, and enjoys the protection of
        the country of his new nationality; link to refworld.org

        “I suggest that you start convincing groups like al-awda and Palestine Remembered …”

        They’re not making the official claim. The official Palestinian claim is under UNGA res 194 adopted (1948) 12 months before UNRWA even existed (1949). Chronologically impossible that the UNRWA definition is relevant and; the UNRWA mandate does not extend to RoR link to unrwa.org

        The 1948 UNGA res 194 claim is for people who actually lived in the territory that became Israel in 1948 link to unispal.un.org

        They were a minority when they fled. Their life expectancy in 1950 was about 45yrs. 65 years has passed. Simple maths based on their life expectancy tells us the majority of that minority are DEAD! Those few who have survived are all over 65yrs, are passed the age of rampant procreation and probably only number a couple of thousand. They are not a demographic threat to Israel. Simple maths also tells us they were ALL children in 1948, they didn’t fight in any war in 1948.

        ” Actually, Jews get to go without, in your calculus. It’s not often that your legal literalism leads you to a faux pas like this”

        Er … they’re YOUR words leading to a faux pas. My words are there for all to see. Try something else

    • thetumta
      October 2, 2013, 10:55 pm

      I propose a fair trade: recognition of the Naqba for recognition of Israel as a failed State, consigned to the dustbin of history. Start over time. Straight up trade. Both people have their narratives recognized. One will not happen without the other.
      Hej! Tumta

  15. eljay
    September 30, 2013, 1:41 pm

    >> I propose a trade: recognition of the Naqba for recognition of Israel as a Jewish State. Straight up trade.

    That’s a comment only an imbecile or a Zio-supremacist could make.

    • Theo
      October 1, 2013, 11:51 am

      How about recoignition of Nakba against recognition of Holocaust.
      Both are historical events.

      • hophmi
        October 1, 2013, 2:15 pm

        Naqba for Jewish State recognition. The world already recognizes the Holocaust. You don’t want to do it? You’re the one who will lose.

      • eljay
        October 1, 2013, 7:47 pm

        >> Naqba for Jewish State recognition.

        A comment only an imbecile or a Zio-supremacist could make…and that only an imbecile or a Zio-supremacist could defend.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 1, 2013, 11:20 pm

        you’re not being honest hops. first israel wanted palestine to recognize it’s right to exist. once they got state recognition they moved on to something else. they are not an honest broker and they will use this new demand against palestine in a cruel way. they won’t trade it for anything. they will just say

        “The world already recognizes the jewish state. You don’t want to do it? You’re the one who will lose.”

        it is more likely the holocaust will go on being recognized, just not the way it’s been recognized in the simplified box it’s in now. you are probably not the best situated to be predicting winners and losers.

      • talknic
        October 2, 2013, 5:11 am

        hophmi “Naqba for Jewish State recognition”

        They’re irrelevant to each other. Furthermore there is no legal basis for demanding recognition. Numerous states in the UN do not recognize each other, they are never the less states.

        ” ..in the view of the United States, International Law does not require a state to recognize another state; it is a matter for the judgment of each state whether an entity merits recognition as a state. In reaching this judgment, the United States has traditionally looked for the establishment of certain facts. The United States has also taken into account whether the entity in question has attracted the recognition of the International community of states.” link to tinyurl.com

        Look at Israel’s own history. The new state pleaded for recognition as it was officially named,

        “MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have the honor to notify you that the state of Israel ( link to pages.citebite.com ) has been proclaimed as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947, and that a provisional government has been charged to assume the rights and duties of government for preserving law and order within the boundaries of Israel, for defending the state against external aggression, and for discharging the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the world in accordance with international law. The Act of Independence will become effective at one minute after six o’clock on the evening of 14 May 1948, Washington time.” link to trumanlibrary.org

      • Eurosabra
        October 2, 2013, 4:26 pm

        There is an asymmetry in that Israel is being asked to give up tangible assets, land, housing, security, of immediate strategic advantage in an existential conflict, in exchange for Palestinian promises of future recognition, non-belligerence, and cooperation. Sadly from the perspective of a PLO Charter-nik, the best and most convincing way to do this is for Palestinians to recognize not Zionism, but at least WHY Jews became Zionists. Since I think even recognition of an abstract State of Israel in a final peace agreement is a bridge too far for any Palestinian nationalist, except for the woolier parts of Hadash, Ram-Ta’al, etc (and they are Israelis already) it’s a moot point.

      • Theo
        October 3, 2013, 12:22 pm

        When a thief is forced to return the goods he stole, the owner of those goods do not have to make any promises in exchange.
        Israel has only the 1948 borders recoignised by the UN, all other real estate was taken by force and it is against international laws to annect and populate areas taken in war. Even if you go back to the 1967 lines, (not borders), you are still breaking laws.

      • talknic
        October 4, 2013, 3:23 am

        Eurosabra “There is an asymmetry in that Israel is being asked to give up tangible assets, land, housing, security..”

        No one is asking Israel to give up ANY Israeli territory. Israel has never legally acquired any territory beyond its proclaimed and recognized boundaries link to trumanlibrary.org It is illegal to acquire territory by war… ANY war link to pages.citebite.com

        Israel should have thought before creating illegal facts on the ground in territories which according to the Israeli Government lay “outside the State of Israel” link to pages.citebite.com

        .. security, of immediate strategic advantage in an existential conflict”

        It is illegal for the Occupying Power to have Israeli civilian “assets, land, housing” in occupied territories and it is illegal to have one’s civilians in areas necessary for “defense” in territories occupied

        “..in exchange for Palestinian promises of future recognition, non-belligerence, and cooperation.”

        Palestinian recognition is a unilateral matter for the Palestinians. Israel is DEMANDING recognition. There is no legal precedent for demanding recognition. Nor is there any other state on the planet who has been asked to or has recognized Israel as the ‘Jewish state’. Recognition has been of the “State of Israel” its official name and recognition has only ever been granted as Israel asked to be recognized ” as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947″ (ibid)

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 4, 2013, 12:14 pm

        “There is an asymmetry in that Israel is being asked to give up tangible assets, land, housing, security, of immediate strategic advantage in an existential conflict, in exchange for Palestinian promises of future recognition, non-belligerence, and cooperation.”

        Yeah, in a conflict where a nuclear-armed power supported by the world’s only superpower is fighting a bunch of people with rocks, yeah, this – the asymmetry of the demands – is the goddamned asymmetry that we need to think about. Are you out of your mind?

  16. W.Jones
    September 30, 2013, 1:48 pm

    Why doesnt the audience and Jstreet’s cool members just join JVP?

  17. W.Jones
    September 30, 2013, 1:55 pm

    “When a rightwing member of the Knesset says that the Arab Spring is a disaster.”
    So… the Israeli army funds Syria’s foreign “rebel” under the cover of the spring and then calls the spring a “disaster”?

    Also, were there many people clapping for Livni and the other Isr. military speakers?

  18. fnlevit
    September 30, 2013, 5:33 pm

    When you mention Palestinian Naqba and Palestinian refugees you must always mention the Jewish Naqba and Jewish refugees from Arab countries. Both happened in parallel and as a result of the same conflict.

    The only difference was that Israel (and France and other countries to which Jews fled) resettled Jewish refugees while Arab League explicitly forbade any Arab country from accepting these refugees or settling them in normal housing, preferring to leave them in squalid camps.
    link to en.wikipedia.org

    Former UNRWA Director Alexander/Ralph Galloway stated: “The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders do not give a damn whether Arab refugees live or die.”
    For uninformed about Arab Jewish refugees – here is a link with a table summarizing the numbers exiled vs year and Arab country.
    link to justiceforjews.com
    You will also be able to see the narrative of each particular country. Take e.g. Egypt’s story
    By 1897, there were more than 25,000 Jews in Egypt, concentrated in Cairo and Alexandria. In 1937, the population reached 63,500.
    In the 1940’s, with the rise of Egyptian nationalism and the Zionist movement’s efforts to create a Jewish homeland in adjoining Israel, anti-Jewish activities began in earnest. In 1945, riots erupted – ten Jews were killed; 350 injured, and a synagogue, a Jewish hospital, and an old-age home were burned down. After the success of the Zionist movement in establishing the State of Israel, between June and November of 1948, violence and repressive measures by the Government and Egyptians began in earnest. Bombs were set off in the Jewish Quarter, killing more than 70 Jews and wounded nearly 200. Rioting over the next few months resulted in many more Jewish deaths. 2,000 Jews were arrested and many had their property confiscated.

    In 1956, the Egyptian government used the Sinai Campaign as a pretext to order almost 25,000 Egyptian Jews to leave the country and confiscated their property

    • NickJOCW
      October 1, 2013, 8:31 am

      Nasser did not just throw Jews out of Egypt and confiscate the their property, many Egyptians and others with property suffered the same fate. Others who were allowed to stay had slices of their property confiscated each year on the anniversary of Nasser’s accession; an aunt of mine was married to one such. Once again, rather like WWII itself, we are invited to view events solely from a highly selective Jewish perspective.

      • Walid
        October 1, 2013, 10:09 am

        fnlevit said, “After the success of the Zionist movement in establishing the State of Israel, between June and November of 1948, violence and repressive measures by the Government and Egyptians began in earnest. ”

        In levit’s own words, the really serious problems for the Jews started with the establishment of Israel. Unknown to levit, were the Arab League’s threats of what would happen to the Jews if the Zionists went ahead with their declaration of the state. Just about the only country that carried on with its threats was Egypt. Notwithstanding the neverending and nauseating self-pitying bogus story on how “all” the Jews had been expelled from “all” the Arab countries, the Jews of Egypt in contrast to the Jews of other Arab countries, were effectively expelled after the creation of Israel in waves over the following 19 years. Each of these waves came as an immediate result of something that Israel had done: 1948, the Lavon incident, the ’56 assault on Suez, the war of 67. Egypt’s expelled Jews can thank Israel for what happened to them.

        I can believe what happened to your aunt; the same thing was happening to the Christians of Egypt that were “encouraged” to emigrate but not permitted to take with them more than 200 pounds.

    • eljay
      October 1, 2013, 8:57 am

      >> You will also be able to see the narrative of each particular country. Take e.g. Egypt’s story …

      Based on the information you provided, it appears that Jewish terrorism, the ethnic cleansing of Paelstinians from their homes and lands, and the creation of a supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine caused a backlash against Jews in Egypt.

      The backlash was unjust and demanded – and demands – justice.

      But the backlash in no way validated, excused or justified the creation of an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine.

      Nor did it – nor does it – validate, excuse or justify the supremacist “Jewish State’s” 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder.

      The past and ON-GOING crimes of Zio-supremacist Jews and their supremacist “Jewish State” against the people of Palestine demanded – and continue to demand – justice.

    • amigo
      October 1, 2013, 10:23 am

      “The only difference was that Israel (and France and other countries to which Jews fled) resettled Jewish refugees while Arab League explicitly forbade any Arab country from accepting these refugees or settling them in normal housing, preferring to leave them in squalid camps.”levit.

      Yawn.Tiresome troll-ope.

    • talknic
      October 1, 2013, 11:19 am

      @ fnlevit Alexander Galloway was only a local director of UNRWA in Jordan. He wanted to concentrate on resettling refugees rather than assist them while they fought for their legal right to return. He was removed from office.

    • talknic
      October 1, 2013, 11:30 am

      @fnlevit “In 1956, the Egyptian government used the Sinai Campaign as a pretext to order almost 25,000 Egyptian Jews to leave the country and confiscated their property”

      Countries at war inter or expel likely 5th columnists and freeze their assets.

      Its NORMAL!

      That the Israeli Government enticed Jews to Israel and forbade them by 1948 Israeli law to enter hostile states, preventing their return and; encouraged them to take up citizenship in a country other than that of return, thereby forgoing their refugee status and rights, was not the doing of the Arab States.

      • Ludwig
        October 1, 2013, 11:32 am

        Talknic. Ethnic cleansing cannot be justified by you or anyone else. It was wrong for the Egyptians to expel these Jews of Egypt and you know it!

      • NickJOCW
        October 1, 2013, 3:43 pm

        Agreed, but was it more wrong than expelling others? My uncle was Egyptian. It was essentially a political revolution. Nasser dealt harshly with anyone with meaningful assets. My point was that Jews were not alone in being victims.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 1, 2013, 4:56 pm

        “Ethnic cleansing cannot be justified by you or anyone else. It was wrong for the Egyptians to expel these Jews of Egypt and you know it!”

        Ludwig, are you willing to say here and now that the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and the creation of the israeli state was not justified; that was evil?? Or is it only when it is done to Jews that it is a problem?

      • Hostage
        October 1, 2013, 5:07 pm

        Talknic. Ethnic cleansing cannot be justified by you or anyone else. It was wrong for the Egyptians to expel these Jews of Egypt and you know it!

        It wasn’t ethnic cleansing when Nasser asked British and French Jews and the former protégés of western consulates to leave after the Captiulations lapsed in 1949 and after the Suez Crisis. The members of the large ex-pat Jewish community weren’t Egyptian in the first place. There were still 15,000 Jews living in Egypt after Zionist historiographers claim they were all thrown out. See the discussion here:
        * link to mondoweiss.net
        * link to mondoweiss.net
        * link to mondoweiss.net

        By way of comparison, Israel had to retroactively denationalize the citizens of Palestinian it had expelled in order to prevent them from returning after the war in 1948.

        I’d also add that Israel has signed two treaties ending all claims against the alleged culprit states that don’t even mention this particular issue at all. The Camp David Accords stipulated that they would establish the normal state of relations between two countries at peace with one another. So, Israeli and Jewish petitioners have not been barred from filing lawsuits in Egyptian or other international courts demanding compensation for themselves, e.g. “Businessman seeks new hearing in Coca-Cola lawsuit: A Jewish Canadian-Egyptian businessman wants a full U.S. appeals court to rehear his lawsuit against Coca-Cola for using his family’s property in Egypt.” — link to jta.org

      • talknic
        October 2, 2013, 5:31 am

        Ludwig “Ethnic cleansing cannot be justified by you or anyone else”

        Quite. So start condemning Israel’s ethnic cleansing of non-Jews from within Israel (1948) and from territories “outside the State of Israel” link to pages.citebite.com

        All civilians have a right to flee the violence of war, no matter who told then or when or why and they have a right to return because they are civilians who by fleeing took no part in any war. Palestine refugees have been dispossessed by the fact that Israel has not allowed any RoR.

        ” It was wrong for the Egyptians to expel these Jews of Egypt and you know it!”

        It is NORMAL for countries at war to expel or inter and freeze the assets of possible fifth columnists. The US, Australia, UK and many other countries expelled and/or interred there own citizens of German and Japanese origin during WW2. It is also normal to allow them to return and/or be released and to return their property/assets after hostilities have ceased.

        Israel dispossessed non-Jews A) from Israel and B) from territories “outside the State of Israel” by C) not allowing them return and by D) confiscating and destroying their properties, which in territories under occupation is illegal.

        These territories have been under occupation (never legally annexed or recognized as Israeli)

        the Provisional Government exercises control over the city of Jaffa; Northwestern Galilee, including Acre, Zib, Base, and the Jewish settlements up to the Lebanese frontier; a strip of territory alongside the road from Hilda to Jerusalem; almost all of new Jerusalem; and of the Jewish quarter within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. The above areas, outside the territory of the State of Israel, are under the control of the military authorities of the State of Israel, who are strictly adhering to international regulations in this regard. The Southern Negev is uninhabited desert over which no effective authority has ever existed.” … ” the Government of the State of Israel operates in parts of Palestine outside the territory of the State of Israel” link to unispal.un.org

        “international regulations ” at the time

        Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV); October 18, 1907 Art. 42 SECTION III
        “Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.” link to avalon.law.yale.edu

        MORE at link to wp.me

  19. pabelmont
    September 30, 2013, 6:12 pm

    Phil:

    J-Street is, oddly and surprisingly to me, doing it exactly right:

    [A] the leadership sides with AIPAC (or close enough) and thus snuggles up to the Jewish Establishment in the USA and thereafter get all these fancy-dancy Israelis to come to their conference (as they did this weekend); and

    [B] the membership lets those Israeli speakers and N’yahu (and, natch, the USA’s Jewish Establishment) have it with both barrels.

    Who else but J-street could make those people sit and listen (at least figuratively — they may have left earlier) to pro-BDS, pro-RETURN, pro-Justice talk.

    The Leadership masquerades as APIAC-lite, and may well intend to be just and exactly that — but it has also rounded up quite a fine membership.

    Bravo J-Street. You’ve made my day.

    • W.Jones
      September 30, 2013, 10:36 pm

      Pabel,

      There are several problems with your idea. First, as you describe it, the Israelis are the speakers, the liberals are the audience. In other words, JStreet has gathered liberals to listen to the militant nationalists. Second of all, you have to consider the positions of the JStreet leadership on the questions at hand, which Phil has discussed elsewhere.

      Imagine an organization dedicated to peace and liberal ideals for pre-Independence India. Would it be a liberal plan to invite a conference’s array of speakers to be British government officials who take a pro-colonial approach, even if there are other ministers with a harder stance?

      Perhaps you are really arguing that this will be helpful in liberalizing Israeli nationalists, and you may not be wrong in that, but……..

      • dbroncos
        October 1, 2013, 10:41 am

        @W. Jones

        “Perhaps you are really arguing that this will be helpful in liberalizing Israeli nationalists, and you may not be wrong in that, but…”

        I agree W. Whatever the intentions of J Street sponsors – inviting Israeli bigots to convince J Streeters of Israel’s fascist agenda or including Palestinian speakers in a “dialogue” meant to help legitimize Israel’s crimes – the end result, as Phil describes it, was that the J Street audience and membership was more receptive to the Palestinian perspective than they were to the Israeli hasbara.

        That’s a big deal. If the J Street audience isn’t reading from the script, even as it’s being dictated from the bully pulpet from the mouths of high ranking Israeli government officials, that’s a big problem for Israel and its supporters. Israel is supposed to enjoy home court advantage at J Street venues. Livni will be haunted by the cheers for BDS and RoR on her long plane ride back to Israel.

  20. LisaAK
    September 30, 2013, 11:25 pm

    I love you, Phillip Weiss, and great article. Just one bone to pick with you: feel free to criticize away the substance of what female speakers say, but please refrain from commenting on the way they’re dressed. You should be above pedestrian sexism.

    • W.Jones
      October 1, 2013, 4:38 pm

      Lisa,

      It was not sexist. She had a dress, and one of the things commonly liked by Israelis is militancy. There is a special sabra image, and she talked about military background. I don’t think any of that is necessarily bad by itself either, although it may be ironic if JStreet is a peace group.

      • LisaAK
        October 1, 2013, 11:44 pm

        “Tzipi Livni wore a tight black dress that looked like a form of body armor”
        “Yesterday the chic-est Knesset member here, Ruth Calderon of Yesh Atid”

        With all due respect, W. Jones, what she was wearing looked NOTHING like what the IDF wears, and I’m not sure what “sabra image” is related to a black dress, a staple in most women’s closets in many countries. And what is the relevance of Calderon’s chic-ness? Why is it that when the substance of what men say is being criticized (or applauded), there is no reference to THEIR appearance?

        I realize, in this case, Phillip Weiss didn’t like what these 2 women were saying (and neither did I), so he took a couple of relatively mild shots where it is perceived that women are most vulnerable: their appearance. In my mind, progressives have a responsibility to be consistently progressive and to rise above and set an example. When advocating the struggle against racism, you should take care not to use misogynist language. You do not strengthen one cause by undermining another.

        link to now.org
        “The Conversation about women happens everywhere, publicly and privately. We are described and detailed, our faces and bodies analyzed and picked apart, our worth ascertained and ascribed based on the reduction of personhood to simple physical objectification. Our voices, our personhood, our potential, and our accomplishments are regularly minimized and muted.’ Ashley Judd

        “[M]any journalists don’t seem to know what to do with strong women. These professionals, who should know better, often revert to old-fashioned sexism in describing women leaders (e.g. denigrating women for qualities, like aggressiveness or ambition, that are seen as positive attributes in men), scrutinizing their appearance, and concentrating on their roles as dutiful wives and mothers to the exclusion of their political accomplishments and records on the issues.

        Indeed, in Pelosi’s first days as Speaker of the House, The Washington Post’s Style section ran an article on Nov. 10 dissecting her choice of clothing for her swearing in ceremony, in which writer Robin Givhan used the word ‘chic’ to describe her appearance and claimed that ‘an Armani suit, for a woman, is a tool for playing with the boys without pretending to be one’.”

    • Woody Tanaka
      October 1, 2013, 4:59 pm

      “I love you, Phillip Weiss, and great article. Just one bone to pick with you: feel free to criticize away the substance of what female speakers say, but please refrain from commenting on the way they’re dressed. You should be above pedestrian sexism.”

      How is saying that “Tzipi Livni wore a tight black dress that looked like a form of body armor” in any way sexist? (N.B.: I’m not knee-jerk hostile to the charge, I just don’t see it.)

      • LisaAK
        October 1, 2013, 11:47 pm

        “Tzipi Livni wore a tight black dress that looked like a form of body armor”
        “Yesterday the chic-est Knesset member here, Ruth Calderon of Yesh Atid”

        Commenting on women’s appearance is a way of objectifying them and undermining them. What is the relevance of what Tzipi Livni was wearing to the point of this piece? And what is the relevance of Calderon’s chic-ness? Why is it that when the substance of what men say is being criticized (or applauded), there is no reference to THEIR appearance?

        I realize, in this case, Phillip Weiss didn’t like what these 2 women were saying (and neither did I), so he took a couple of relatively mild shots where it is perceived that women are most vulnerable: their appearance. In my mind, progressives have a responsibility to be consistently progressive and to rise above and set an example. When advocating the struggle against racism, you should take care not to use misogynist language. You do not strengthen one cause by undermining another.

        link to now.org
        “The Conversation about women happens everywhere, publicly and privately. We are described and detailed, our faces and bodies analyzed and picked apart, our worth ascertained and ascribed based on the reduction of personhood to simple physical objectification. Our voices, our personhood, our potential, and our accomplishments are regularly minimized and muted.’ Ashley Judd

        “[M]any journalists don’t seem to know what to do with strong women. These professionals, who should know better, often revert to old-fashioned sexism in describing women leaders (e.g. denigrating women for qualities, like aggressiveness or ambition, that are seen as positive attributes in men), scrutinizing their appearance, and concentrating on their roles as dutiful wives and mothers to the exclusion of their political accomplishments and records on the issues.

        Indeed, in Pelosi’s first days as Speaker of the House, The Washington Post’s Style section ran an article on Nov. 10 dissecting her choice of clothing for her swearing in ceremony, in which writer Robin Givhan used the word ‘chic’ to describe her appearance and claimed that ‘an Armani suit, for a woman, is a tool for playing with the boys without pretending to be one’.”

      • German Lefty
        October 2, 2013, 8:37 am

        What is the relevance of what Tzipi Livni was wearing to the point of this piece? And what is the relevance of Calderon’s chic-ness? Why is it that when the substance of what men say is being criticized (or applauded), there is no reference to THEIR appearance? […] When advocating the struggle against racism, you should take care not to use misogynist language.

        Misogynist language? Oh, please! Leave the church in the village. That means: Keep a sense of proportion. Phil just wanted to give us an image of his impressions. And as a straight dude, he is much more likely to notice what women wear than what men wear. Also, I think that women choose their clothes much more deliberately than men. Most women want to send a certain message with their clothes, whereas most men just put on random clothes in order to avoid nudity. Therefore, what women wear matters more than what men wear.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 2, 2013, 9:13 am

        “What is the relevance of what Tzipi Livni was wearing to the point of this piece?”

        Because she was, in rhetorical terms, attacking American Jews for their perceived lack of support for israel, while wearing what appeared to be body armor. The image reinforces the notion that she was on the assault, rhetorically, against her audience. I see no sexism in this comment. Because while commenting about a woman’s appearance CAN be sexist, it does not follow that a comment about a woman’s appearance MUST be sexist.

        “And what is the relevance of Calderon’s chic-ness?”

        To be honest, I didn’t even see this reference before posting my first post, so my question really has to do with the comment about Zippy and her dress. Calderon’s chic-ness (or lack thereof) seems to be a superfluous commentary and at first blush I have no problem with your criticism regarding this comment.

        “Why is it that when the substance of what men say is being criticized (or applauded), there is no reference to THEIR appearance?”

        Men’s appearances are mentioned all the time. Especially if they are short, fat or have a disheveled or unusual look to them, and the writer is a critic of them. (How many times do people who are critical of Iran refer to Ahmadinejad’s short stature? Critics of John Boehner have been known to refer to his “orange skin”? Critics of Mitch McConnell likewise have been known to reference his weak chin and general turtle-like appearance.) The issues aren’t the same, I’ll grant you. But to say that men’s looks are never referenced is simply wrong.

        “(e.g. denigrating women for qualities, like aggressiveness or ambition, that are seen as positive attributes in men),”

        Well, I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I don’t find aggressiveness or ambition to be a positive attribute in either men or women, and I wonder how many people actually do.

      • seafoid
        October 2, 2013, 9:20 am

        Hasbara is like a little black dress. You can team it up with anything and it always looks good. Until it goes out of fashion. Which is any day now.

      • German Lefty
        October 2, 2013, 9:32 am

        I don’t find aggressiveness or ambition to be a positive attribute in either men or women, and I wonder how many people actually do.

        I partly agree. I hate aggressiveness in men and women. Ambition is usually a good thing in men and women. However, if ambition is accompanied by selfishness, ruthlessness and lack of cooperativeness, then that’s really bad.

      • hophmi
        October 2, 2013, 9:47 am

        “Most women want to send a certain message with their clothes, whereas most men just put on random clothes in order to avoid nudity.”

        That’s JUST a bit of stereotype.

      • German Lefty
        October 2, 2013, 1:13 pm

        That’s JUST a bit of stereotype.

        Yes, but it’s a true stereotype.

    • German Lefty
      October 2, 2013, 5:54 am

      feel free to criticize away the substance of what female speakers say, but please refrain from commenting on the way they’re dressed. You should be above pedestrian sexism.

      I agree with W.Jones and Woody. I can’t see any sexism in Phil’s comment. He just suggested that Livni’s militant mindset is underscored by her choice of clothes.
      If Phil had complained that Livni showed too much or too little cleavage or that her ass looks fat in her dress, then I would agree with you that this is sexist.
      Commenting on a person’s way of dressing is not sexist in itself. It depends on what you say.

  21. fnlevit
    October 1, 2013, 11:13 am

    In the statement below there is no any link to substantiate the claim that ” Israeli army funds Syria’s foreign “rebel” under the cover of the spring “. Such comments should not be allowed to be posted. They are hearsay at best and slander at worst.

    W.Jones says:

    September 30, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    “When a rightwing member of the Knesset says that the Arab Spring is a disaster.”
    So… the Israeli army funds Syria’s foreign “rebel” under the cover of the spring and then calls the spring a “disaster”?

  22. fnlevit
    October 1, 2013, 2:12 pm

    HEAR, HEAR!!! @talknic ‘s words
    “Countries at war inter or expel likely 5th columnists and freeze their assets.

    Its NORMAL!”

    So it was normal for Israel to expel Palestinians as likely 5th columnists and freeze their assets? I cant believe my eyes. Even a Hasbara man like myself would not push in such a deplorable direction.

    Kol hakavod Mondoweiss for letting such people among most frequent commenters.

    • Annie Robbins
      October 1, 2013, 2:32 pm

      it was normal for Israel to expel Palestinians as likely 5th columnists

      fnl, you can’t make your point by cherry-picking the portion of the comment you like while discarding what doesn’t fit your agenda. here’s the rest of the comment you’re evading:

      That the Israeli Government enticed Jews to Israel and forbade them by 1948 Israeli law to enter hostile states, preventing their return and; encouraged them to take up citizenship in a country other than that of return, thereby forgoing their refugee status and rights, was not the doing of the Arab States.

      not only is it ‘normal’ for refugees to return after a war, it is in compliance w/international law.

      • fnlevit
        October 1, 2013, 3:16 pm

        Please read what I posted in the initial comment. I copy it below – can you and @talknic imagine what would have happened to Jews trying to return. We are talking about continuous persecution from 40’s untill all the Jews were expelled in ’56. Similar things happened in other Arab countries.

        The quote
        “In 1945, riots erupted – ten Jews were killed; 350 injured, and a synagogue, a Jewish hospital, and an old-age home were burned down. After the success of the Zionist movement in establishing the State of Israel, between June and November of 1948, violence and repressive measures by the Government and Egyptians began in earnest. Bombs were set off in the Jewish Quarter, killing more than 70 Jews and wounded nearly 200. Rioting over the next few months resulted in many more Jewish deaths. 2,000 Jews were arrested and many had their property confiscated.

        In 1956, the Egyptian government used the Sinai Campaign as a pretext to order almost 25,000 Egyptian Jews to leave the country and confiscated their property

      • talknic
        October 2, 2013, 5:53 am

        @ fnlevit “can you and @talknic imagine what would have happened to Jews trying to return”

        Why would they even try? They’ve taken citizenship elsewhere thereby relinquishing their refugee status and refugee rights. There are no longer any Jewish refugees from ANYWHERE

        “In 1956, the Egyptian government used the Sinai Campaign as a pretext to order almost 25,000 Egyptian Jews to leave the country and confiscated their property”

        The Sinia Campaign was a war. It’s NORMAL for countries at war to expel and/or inter possible 5th columnists and freeze their assets until hostilities are over. By the time Israel agreed to sign a Peace Treaty with Egypt those who fled had taken citizenship elsewhere, forgoing their refugee status.

    • eljay
      October 1, 2013, 2:51 pm

      >> HEAR, HEAR!!! @talknic ‘s words

      Be sure to applaud talknic’s words when he points out – as he has on countless occasions – that it’s also normal for states to allow refugees to return.

      For a professer, you’re not very bright.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 1, 2013, 3:31 pm

        no he’s not is he eljay. and this: We are talking about continuous persecution from 40′s untill all the Jews were expelled in ’56.

        i wasn’t. i was talking about it was normal for Israel to expel Palestinians as likely 5th columnists and freeze their assets? .

        link to mondoweiss.net

        always bouncing around like a jumping bean. him and miram are quite the pair.

      • libra
        October 1, 2013, 4:29 pm

        annie: him and miram are quite the pair.

        Goodness me, I could have sworn it was Mahane and miriam who were our Birthright couple. Now the shameless hussy has dumped the potato purveyor for the physics professor.

        The two-timing trollop. How can we ever again trust a word she says?

    • talknic
      October 2, 2013, 5:44 am

      fnlevit So it was normal for Israel to expel Palestinians as likely 5th columnists and freeze their assets?”

      Israel did not freeze their assets, it razed entire villages and immediately (1948) passed Israeli laws to confiscate property/land and forbade return of all non-Jews. Can you point to another country who has done similar in the last 65 years… ( be careful who you nominate professor )

      Israel also immediately (1948) passed laws forbidding residents and citizens from entering the territory of any hostile state (still in force today). Refugees who fled to Israel were prevented by ISRAELI LAW from returning to Arab states. Jordan was an hostile state, ISRAELI LAW prevented Israelis from praying at the temple mount while it was under Jordanian sovereignty.

  23. miriam6
    October 1, 2013, 5:26 pm

    Libra – you have abandoned your Agony Uncle duties for THIS ?!How the hell did I get dragged into all this?

    I was peaceably minding my own business on another thread when I saw this;

    Goodness me, I could have sworn it was Mahane and miriam who were our Birthright couple. Now the shameless hussy has dumped the potato purveyor for the physics professor.

    Actually I like both fnlevit and MY1 and their comments – in strictly platonic terms of course.

    I also like James Canning because he is always pleasant and polite in his comments and replies to other commenters – even when I have ragged on him a bit in some of my comments to him.

    Other commenters could take a lesson from him and also MY1 and fnlevit in remaining polite even though they are being sprayed with vitriolic comments.

    I’m a shameless hussy? How rude! What about you?

    For that ‘hussy’ remark you have more than earned THIS riposte

    In the meantime Libra – button up that pretty lacy blouse of yours – straighten and readjust your pantyhose – reapply that smeared red lipstick – and get back to the grindstone of answering those waiting agony Uncle letters of yours.

    Many , many broken hearts await your advice – crapulous and useless though that advice is.

    • libra
      October 1, 2013, 7:42 pm

      miriam: I also like James Canning because he is always pleasant and polite…

      And talks a great deal of sense too. But I can’t help thinking miriam, you’re going to be in for a shock if you ever make it to Australia.

      • miriam6
        October 2, 2013, 12:14 am

        But I can’t help thinking miriam, you’re going to be in for a shock if you ever make it to Australia.

        I would imagine that if I am half the ardent Zionist you wish to paint me as – I will fit right in in Australia.

        After all the Australians treat THEIR indigenous people abominably too.

        But they are hypocrites with it too.

        Which explains the fashionably ardent anti Israel attitudes and poses struck by a few particularly hypocritical Australians.

      • talknic
        October 4, 2013, 3:55 am

        miriam6 “I will fit right in in Australia.”

        Australia is returning land to its indigenous people

        “After all the Australians treat THEIR indigenous people abominably too”

        So that makes it OK for Israel to be in breach on International law?

        The British colonized Australia BTW. I agree though we have treated the indigenous population abominably. However in the last few decades Australia has given huge tracts of land back to the Aboriginals and is at least attempting to address other matters in a manner befitting a civilized country.

        Meanwhile Israel is STILL illegally acquiring non-Israeli territory, is STILL in breach of hundreds of UNSC resolutions, is still purposefully endangering its citizens by encouraging them to break the law and illegally settle in Occupied Territories.

        “Which explains the fashionably ardent anti Israel attitudes and poses struck by a few particularly hypocritical Australians”

        Explains nothing except your attempt to hypocritically shift focus

        Hypocrisy link to thefreedictionary.com

        Without know who people are or what people might have fought for in Australia you’re making a non-informed hypocritical assumption in order to justify your own stance. Try something else.

    • eljay
      October 1, 2013, 7:51 pm

      >> Actually I like both fnlevit and MY1 and their comments – in strictly platonic terms of course.

      Of course you do: They’re Zio-supremacists who advocate for Israel as a supremacist “Jewish State” and who justify, excuse, deflect from or gloss over their supremacist state’s past and on-going (war) crimes.

  24. miriam6
    October 2, 2013, 12:05 am

    eljay@;

    No, they are just Israelis whose opinion you don’t share.

    It is their country after all.

    So what’s your explanation for my liking for James Canning’s style then?

    • Woody Tanaka
      October 4, 2013, 12:21 pm

      “It is their country after all.”

      No, it’s their state. The country is Palestine and belongs to the Palestinians.

  25. weindeb
    October 3, 2013, 9:52 am

    It seems to me, and has for a while, that J Street is a phony, simply another shill for Israel and may even be a subtle AIPAC adjunct, designed to weaken opposition to Israeli crimes and hard-core Zionism by making critics of Israel think that at last we have a well organized opposition that is doing something. An example of all this is J Street’s insistence that a two-state solution is very much in the cards, even as the Israeli government blatantly permits more and more illegal settler residences, encroachments and ethnic cleansing. Where is J Street’s outrage over this? Doesn’t exist. Why isn’t J Street enthusiastically promoting the very modest little beginning of détente between America and Iran? Such détente might ultimately take war against Iran off the table, an action our neo-cons and Israel could never tolerate. I suspect that J Street is a deliberate distraction from honest examination of, and action against, what Israel has become and is doing daily in contravention of international law and norms. J Street supports the two-state solution that Israel has made sure will never come to pass, except on its terms.

  26. yonah fredman
    October 3, 2013, 9:26 pm

    Phil- Minor quibble: “But it has long been the spiritual position of religious Zionists that Israel is higher – aliyah—than the diaspora.” It is the spiritual position of religious Jews (Torah and Halacha Jews) that Israel is higher than the diaspora. You don’t have to be a Zionist to believe this, you just have to accept the Torah and Halacha and they would tell you this. The political implications of this that you perceive: ” So the diaspora must defer to Israeli political thought,” is really not a result of the spiritual position of attitudes about the spiritual advantages of living in Israel, but it is the result of “they’re the ones with meat in the game, so we defer to them.” It’s not based upon anything spiritual.

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