What Comes Next: Strategy before solutions

Israel/Palestine
on 100 Comments

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This post is part of “What Comes Next?: A forum on the end of the two-state paradigm.” This series was initiated by Jewish Voice for Peace as an investigation into the current state of thinking about one state and two state solutions, and the collection has been further expanded by Mondoweiss to mark 20 years since the Oslo process. The entire series can be found here.

It has in recent years become increasingly fashionable to compare Israel with South Africa during the apartheid era. Extending beyond an analysis of similarities in the origins and development of these settler-colonial states, and their policies towards their respective indigenous populations and regional environments, such comparisons have extended to the prescriptive realm. Since Israel is an apartheid state – so the argument goes – the solution must and indeed can only be a unitary democratic entity throughout historic Palestine in which Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs are equal before the law in rights and responsibilities.

To make the case that Israel practices apartheid as defined by the United Nations General Assembly in 1973 or the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is one thing. To conclude that Israel is South Africa, with all the attendant political consequences, quite another.

Let us start with some basic political and demographic realities. In apartheid South Africa, at most 10 per cent of the population consisted of descendants of European settlers, and the latter were also significantly outnumbered if we subtract the bantustans from the equation and focus on the main urban areas. In Palestine, Israeli Jews constitute some 50 per cent of the population of the entire territory and at least 80 per cent of residents of Israel within its internationally-recognised boundaries. The proportion of Palestinian inhabitants of the occupied territories residing within Israel, as well as their proportion of the total Israeli population, is furthermore – and in sharp contrast to the bantustans – today negligible.  In an even sharper contrast, more than half of all Palestinians are exiled beyond the borders of both Israel and the occupied territories.

Politically, therefore, the liberation of South Africa did not require a military option – although it is likely that Umkhonto we Sizwe, SWAPO and the Cuban armed forces hastened the white minority regime’s demise. The realities of South Africa were such that sustained mass popular action was sufficient to bring the country to its knees. Crucially, these realities included the delegitimization of apartheid and indeed the South African state by the international community – several decades before the struggle was crowned with success, one might add.

Palestine is a different kettle of fish. Civil rights marches, a mass uprising, even a sustained guerilla campaign is not going to bring about the end of Zionism. And in a situation where the overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews are committed to living in an entity with a Jewish demographic majority, nothing less than the unconditional surrender of the Israeli state will suffice to bring about a unitary democratic state throughout historic Palestine in which Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs are equal before the law in rights and responsibilities. (For good reason, this has been the traditional position of Palestinian advocates of a unitary state since 1948). It should in this respect also be noted that while Israel’s occupation of Arab territory in 1967 has never been legitimised, Israel today is no longer an international pariah, and is in fact recognized (as a state) by considerably more states than it was in 1990. Similarly, the United Nations General Assembly has long since renounced its condemnation of Zionism.

The latter, moreover, is a not insignificant difference; whereas the ANC could essentially bully the white minority into accepting democracy for reasons of self-preservation, in the case of Israel international isolation will have to play a much larger role to bring about its demise. Furthermore, whereas disgorging Namibia earned South Africa negligible credit precisely because the occupying state itself was deemed illegitimate, in Israel’s case it is the occupation that forms the main challenge to continued international legitimacy. Withdrawing from the territories it occupied in 1967 in response to unbearable pressure, in other words, would largely reverse efforts to once again make it an international pariah.

Put differently, it is insufficient for advocates of a one state solution to argue that it is right and just and better than the alternatives. Rather, they need to present a credible strategy for achieving the unconditional surrender of the Israeli state, or at the very least circumstances conducive to a negotiated surrender. And in view of prevailing realities, this means a credible military strategy rather than BDS. They must furthermore do so in a context where most Arab states – and the Palestinian Authority in particular – are committed to disarming rather than enabling Palestinian armed activity, while Iran – at loggerheads with both Hamas and the PLO, and seeking a nuclear deal with Washington with potential regional implications – may unlike the Cubans in southern Africa no longer be an option. Circumstances of course change, but that statement of fact falls somewhat short of a strategy. One might as well resort to Bashar al-Asad’s proclamations that Syria will respond to Israeli aggression at the time and in the manner of its choosing.

Indeed, if one insists on treating the territory of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories as indistinguishable for purposes of conflict resolution, comparisons with Algeria appear more apt than South Africa. Algeria and Palestine are also more similar in another crucial respect; unlike the ANC with its Freedom Charter, the PLO has historically identified national self-determination within an Arab state as its strategic objective. Given the choice between living in a country of their own (however defined) or sharing it on an equal basis with the descendants of those who dispossessed them, most Palestinians, including exiled refugees, would most likely choose the former. While the Palestinian national movement does not call for the expulsion of Israel’s Jews, the latter can be expected to resist the prospect of a unitary democracy that transforms them into a minority more viciously than the pieds-noirs did Algerian independence.

The question in 2013 is therefore not whether a one or two state outcome is more just or right or fair. Rather it is what strategy Palestinians should pursue to achieve their inalienable rights, first and foremost the right to national self-determination. Seen in this perspective, it seems beyond argument that Palestinians must focus their efforts on two essential objectives: to disengage from the Oslo process and consign it to history, and on this basis launch a dynamic and effective campaign to terminate the occupation. When all is said and done, the occupation remains Israel’s Achilles Heel in its relationship with the Palestinians, the Arabs and indeed the world, and terminating it therefore the essential precondition for any outcome.

In practice, this means pursuing a two-state settlement on the basis of mass action led by a vibrant national movement that mobilises the full spectrum of available resources to enforce the prevailing international consensus upon Israel. While Palestinians should under no circumstances (again) renounce the right to armed force in accordance with international standards, the struggle against occupation is in contrast to that against Zionism not dependent upon military victory and – as a comparison between the 1987-1993 and 2000-2005 uprisings suggests – may well be weakened by a resort to warfare.

Should such a strategy achieve success, it is likely to hasten rather than foreclose upon the day when a unitary democratic entity throughout historic Palestine is established in which Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs are equal before the law in rights and responsibilities. Those claiming this represents defeatism have a responsibility to respond with more than a utopian vision of justice. Indeed, they must present a concrete plan of action and demonstrate that it is more effective than that being denounced. Homilies to democracy, equality and international solidarity are in this respect simply insufficient.

Until the building blocks for such a strategy are put in place by the Palestinians themselves, and is implemented on the basis of mass mobilization (and in which external support can be critical rather than decisive) the debate about one or two states is as meaningful as a condemned man spending the night before his execution deciding whether to spend his next summer in the French or Italian Riviera.

With the recent twentieth anniversary of the Oslo Agreement, many observers have pointed to its purported failure as the ultimate indictment of a two-state settlement. If these weren’t in so many cases the same people who euphorically celebrated the White House handshake rather than experiencing near-fatal arrhythmia, one might take them more seriously. For Oslo, working precisely as planned and arguably one of the most successful diplomatic agreements of the twentieth century, was never intended to remove Israel from the occupied Palestinian territories. Using Oslo as a pretext to renounce the struggle against occupation in order to embark upon an even greater challenge – and one ultimately dependent on successfully confronting the occupation – is therefore the height of political irresponsibility, on a par with ever having supported the agreement. Under current circumstances, it is also more likely to legitimize the occupation than delegitimize the occupying power.

100 Responses

  1. just
    October 28, 2013, 10:06 am

    “For Oslo, working precisely as planned and arguably one of the most successful diplomatic agreements of the twentieth century, was never intended to remove Israel from the occupied Palestinian territories. Using Oslo as a pretext to renounce the struggle against occupation in order to embark upon an even greater challenge – and one ultimately dependent on successfully confronting the occupation – is therefore the height of political irresponsibility, on a par with ever having supported the agreement. Under current circumstances, it is also more likely to legitimize the occupation than delegitimize the occupying power.”

    I think that Mouin is correct. Thank you.

  2. pabelmont
    October 28, 2013, 11:27 am

    Yes, Oslo worked as ISRAEL wanted it to, and the (tiny Arafat-dominated) PLO leadership signed on — against the desires and without the knowledge of the people and especially of the PLO’s own diplomatic service — to OSLO for the very limited (and private, corrupt one might say) purpose of getting Arafat and Co. back in the saddle of the Palestinian national movement, then recently taken over by the “people” via its first Intifada.

    I heartily agree that Israel is MORE LIKELY to sign on to an agreement to abandon WB&G (and grant a passage between them, and remove the wall, the settlers, and possibly also the settlements, remove garbage-trash-sewage-toxic-and-radioactive-wastes and share surface and sub-surface water equitably) THAN IT IS LIKELY TO sign its own (as Zionists perceive it) death-certificate by going to a 1SS not controlled by Jews.

    This does not mean that 2SS is likely. Merely more likely.

    And it will not be done by any force wielded by Palestinians alone.

    It will require the FRUITS of the present civic BD phase of BDS, that is, the S (national Sanctions) part, brought about by international horror, hatred, anger, revulsion at Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people living under occupation (and exiled).

    It would help if — while BDS was wending its ponderous way through the lethargic, near inert governmental passions for human rights — Israel would kindly IMPLODE or take some really atrocious international action which could bring the nations out of their comatosity.

    It would help if American and European Jewry would abandon Israel (or at least its occupation and settlement project) in a VERY NOISY manner. Currently, for my taste, even the we-love-Israel-but-hate-the-occupation folks are TOO HEAVY on the LOVE and too light on the anti-occupation part. Tough Love requires Toughness. Lovey-Love is not enough. The medicine for the disease of expansive-Zionism must be very bitter and the doctors must be willing to administer it.

    So, I agree with Mouin. 2SS is the GOAL, but the MEANS is international outrage. And BDS as the educational tool to energize that outrage.

  3. NormanF
    October 28, 2013, 11:38 am

    The Palestinian Arab problem is that Zionism is a nationalist movement. The Jews are a nation in every sense of the word.

    As long the Arabs reject recognition of Jewish national rights, they will never be a normal people. Wishing Israel is going to disappear is not a strategy; its a delusion. And the majority of Israel’s Jews come from the Middle East – they are home.

    Israel is not a metropole of a colonial power – its the independent and sovereign nation-state of the Jewish people. Until the Arabs come to terms with this fact, peace will remain impossible in the Middle East.

    • just
      October 28, 2013, 4:36 pm

      ” The Jews are a nation in every sense of the word.”

      That is a completely nutsy comment. What about the Jews here, there and everywhere?

      btw– where did you get your stats re the origins of the Israeli Jewish population? I’ve never seen them before.

      • seafoid
        October 28, 2013, 4:56 pm

        Where to start? Israel is not independent. It depends on the lobby. It is not sovereign because it can’t pay its way and it needs the US veto to get out of bed in the morning.
        It is the apartheid state of the Zionists, not the nation state of the Jewish people. And it is a settler colonial state.

      • Bumblebye
        October 28, 2013, 5:20 pm

        Nah seafoid, he’s telling us that the Jews, wherever they may be in the world, are part of ONE nation, members of that ONE nation, in “every sense of the word”. He’s claiming primary loyalty to that nation by fact of being Jewish, even if he’s in the boondocks with no intention of even visiting the nation state itself. He’s trying to sell us an anti-semitic trope, but it seems he actually believes in it!

      • Mayhem
        October 28, 2013, 6:58 pm

        @seafoid, to suggest that Israel is economically dependant is utter crap. Israel is an accepted member of the OECD and has topped the OECD in terms of economic growth – see link to jpost.com. Furthermore Israel has an economy showing greater strength than any other western economy – see link to israelhayom.com
        If Israel didn’t have to waste so much on defending itself against constant threats it would be even better off economically and that benefit would flow on to ALL its citizens Jew and Arab.

      • Mayhem
        October 28, 2013, 7:05 pm

        @Bumblebye etc, the Palestinians have their diaspora around the world just as the Jews do. There is no reason they can’t establish a state of their own in the Middle East and have their far flung brethren elsewhere yet affiliated with that entity just like the Jews do.
        For example there is a strong Palestinian community in Chile, the largest in fact outside the Arab world link to en.wikipedia.org. It was established long before the Nakba. These Chilean Palestinians would have the option of ‘returning’ to a newly formed Palestinian state, but not to Israel.

      • tree
        October 28, 2013, 9:17 pm

        He’s trying to sell us an anti-semitic trope, but it seems he actually believes in it!

        Well, he doesn’t really believe it, otherwise he would admit that Israel is not a democracy. If he really thinks it’s the state of all Jews everywhere, then why are over half the Jews in the world (all those who aren’t Israeli citizens) not allowed to vote in Israel? It’s completely undemocratic.

      • NormanF
        October 29, 2013, 12:51 pm

        Jews have always considered themselves a nation. Even the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta affirm Jewish nationhood and a return from Exile. Jews are not a religion in the Christian meaning of the term; they are a civilization.

      • NormanF
        October 29, 2013, 1:13 pm

        Don’t forget those natural gas and oil shale reserves. Given that the kingdoms of the earth run on oil, the West will be changing its tune on Israel soon enough.

      • talknic
        October 29, 2013, 2:06 pm

        Mayhem “There is no reason they can’t establish a state of their own in the Middle East “

        Under occupation one is not independent therefore cannot declare independence or be recognized as independent.

        Israel refuses to end occupation and all of Israel’s so called offers preclude independence by the conditions Israel attaches, none of which have any legal basis.

        The US UNSC veto vote allows Israel to get away with what are clearly criminal activities.

        The only LEGAL way out for Israel is to negotiate an agreement in order to circumvent the law while it is protected by the US UNSC veto vote.

        The Palestinians meanwhile are under no legal obligation what so ever to forgo any of their legal rights or territory in negotiations.

        No matter how generous the Palestinian offer, Israel always refuses and continues its illegal activities, like a blind man wading thru a sea of sh*t, whining, complaining whilst always shunning advice and offers of assistance that would see it out of the quagmire it has created.

        ” These Chilean Palestinians would have the option of ‘returning’ to a newly formed Palestinian state, but not to Israel.”

        Hey stupid…. If they didn’t come from what is now Palestine, they do not have any RoR to it.

      • talknic
        October 29, 2013, 2:12 pm

        @ Mayhem “If Israel didn’t have to waste so much on defending itself against constant threats”

        Retaliation is not a threat, it’s a reaction. Israel could get out of ALL non-Israeli territory. It has NEVER been tried.

      • eljay
        October 29, 2013, 2:50 pm

        >> If Israel didn’t have to waste so much on defending itself against constant threats …

        Israel would be faced with considerably less threats if, even just for starters, it were:
        – immediately and completely halt its occupation of Palestine;
        – withdraw to within its / Partition borders; and
        – honour its obligations under international law.

        But that would mean abandoning the Zio-supremacist dream of a supremacist “Jewish State” of (Greater) Israel…and Zio-supremacists would rather continue to play aggressor-victim than pursue a just and moral course.

      • Hostage
        October 29, 2013, 7:51 pm

        Jews have always considered themselves a nation. Even the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta affirm Jewish nationhood and a return from Exile. Jews are not a religion in the Christian meaning of the term; they are a civilization.

        Clarification: There is no such thing as the right of a civilization to self-determination over territories that its members do not own or inhabit.

      • just
        October 29, 2013, 9:33 pm

        Norman– you and yours are really, really exceptional in your mind aren’t you?

        Now, please explain why your more better “civilization” practices Apartheid with gleeful abandon? Why do they oppress, occupy, terrorize and steal from the indigenous people of the land?

        Looking forward to your answers.

    • Bumblebye
      October 28, 2013, 4:48 pm

      Well, to know that we need to know exactly what “every sense of the word” is. So please enumerate all the senses that you mean, then we’ll see if we believe you!

    • Woody Tanaka
      October 28, 2013, 4:53 pm

      “The Palestinian Arab problem is that Zionism is a nationalist movement”

      Only in the same respect that Apartheid was an Afrikans nationalist movement.

      “As long the Arabs reject recognition of Jewish national rights, they will never be a normal people”

      Rather peculiar and bigoted notion that the Arabs are not a “normal” people.

      “Wishing Israel is going to disappear is not a strategy; its a delusion.”

      Yawn. Whether israel disappears or not is trivial, so long as the human rights of isreal’s victims are ensured and vindicated.

      “Israel is not a metropole of a colonial power ”

      No, it’s the site of a settler colonial project; one of the top 20 crimes against humanity of the last 100 years.

      “Until the Arabs come to terms with this fact, peace will remain impossible in the Middle East.”

      LMAO. Yeah, maybe, just maybe one day the Arabs will get together and offer, I don’t know, a Peace Initiative, then the israelis would jump on it, amirite??

    • eljay
      October 28, 2013, 5:09 pm

      >> The Jews are a nation in every sense of the word.

      “The Jews” are, fundamentally, a religion-based “nation”. In order to be Jewish, one must either undergo a religious conversion to Judaism or be descended from someone who underwent a religious conversion to Judaism.

      >> As long the Arabs reject recognition of Jewish national rights …

      Jews do not have the right to set up an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state. No-one has that right. And no-one should be expected or required to accept the existence of such a state.

      >> Israel is not a metropole of a colonial power – its the independent and sovereign nation-state of the Jewish people. Until the Arabs come to terms with this fact, peace will remain impossible in the Middle East.

      Peace will remain impossible as long as Israel – an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” – remains an oppressive, colonialist, expansionst and supremacist “Jewish State”.

      • NormanF
        October 29, 2013, 1:10 pm

        I guess we’ll be waiting until the arrival of Godot then.

    • talknic
      October 28, 2013, 5:45 pm

      NormanF “The Palestinian Arab problem is that Zionism is a nationalist movement. The Jews are a nation in every sense of the word”

      The problem is that Israel operates illegally as the occupying power over territories outside of Israel’s Internationally recognized sovereign extent.

      the majority of Israel’s Jews come from the Middle East – they are home”

      If they’re living in territory never legally acquired by Israel, they’re not in the modern homeland State of Israel

      “Israel is … the independent and sovereign nation-state of the Jewish people”

      Israel is the Occupying Power over non-Israeli territory

    • RoHa
      October 28, 2013, 10:26 pm

      The Jews are not a nation in any normal sense of the word.

    • Inanna
      October 28, 2013, 10:40 pm

      You can stand on your dunghill and crow as loud as you like. Still not gonna change the fact that Israel is built on the wreckage they created of Palestine and bleating about your rights does not change the wrongs committed in your name (or even by you) to gain those privileges and that, at some point, the punishment for those wrongs will commence.

      • hophmi
        October 29, 2013, 4:16 pm

        “Still not gonna change the fact that Israel is built on the wreckage they created of Palestine”

        Not gonna change the fact that America is built on the wreckage of Native American land.

      • Inanna
        October 30, 2013, 3:11 am

        I love how you think that’s an appropriate comeback hophmi. You should be denouncing both of those genocides. But you won’t, since you kinda like being an apologist for massive crimes against humanity as long as they ensure a Jewish state. Fortunately for Palestinians the balance of power is much better for them than for the Native Americans. At least they’ll be able to get redress at some point.

      • hophmi
        October 30, 2013, 11:43 am

        “I love how you think that’s an appropriate comeback hophmi.”

        It’s appropriate because you can talk about historiocity all you want, and it won’t change the fact that Israel is a majority Jewish state and that your persecution of it is highly, highly selective.

      • Hostage
        October 30, 2013, 1:23 pm

        It’s appropriate because you can talk about historiocity all you want, and it won’t change the fact that Israel is a majority Jewish state and that your persecution of it is highly, highly selective.

        Yeah well your definition of persecution is highly selective. The US doesn’t force Native Americans to live in ethnic enclaves anymore. They have equal rights and citizenship. The anti-miscegenation laws have been repealed. Statutes have been adopted to allow claims to be filed and provide for compensation. The government recognizes their right to self-determination and sovereignty over their resources and reports to the UN on the steps taken to implement the UN human rights conventions with regard to Native American groups.

        When is Israel going to start acting like it’s the 21st century and at least take those same steps in its dealings with all of the Palestinian inhabitants?

    • Hostage
      October 29, 2013, 12:36 pm

      The Jews are a nation in every sense of the word.

      No, states and nations are spacial entities. The Jews are scattered ethnic groups, which are not a nation in the normal sense.

      • hophmi
        October 29, 2013, 12:57 pm

        ” The Jews are scattered ethnic groups, which are not a nation in the normal sense.”

        It really doesn’t matter how you choose to define it, Hostage. It matters how most Jews define it.

        Incidentally, Americans are also a nation of “scattered ethnic groups”.

      • eljay
        October 29, 2013, 2:54 pm

        >> It really doesn’t matter how you choose to define it, Hostage. It matters how most Jews define it.

        Regardless of how Jews define it, they’re not entitled to swarm a geographic region, to engage in ethnic cleansing, and to establish a supremacist “Jewish State”.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 29, 2013, 3:21 pm

        “It really doesn’t matter how you choose to define it, Hostage. It matters how most Jews define it. ”

        Nope. Words have meanings even if all the Jews in the world disagree.

        “Incidentally, Americans are also a nation of ‘scattered ethnic groups’.”

        That’s facially stupid.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 29, 2013, 3:29 pm

        It really doesn’t matter how you choose to define it, Hostage. It matters how most Jews define it.

        hops, “most jews” do not determine what constitute a nation. and while it may matter what and how “most jews” think, if what you say were true all this propaganda would be aimed primarily or solely, at jews. it isn’t. so don’t tell me what the rest of us think doesn’t matter, because evidence suggests that’s just not true. how the rest of us define things definitely matters.

      • hophmi
        October 29, 2013, 3:43 pm

        “hops, “most jews” do not determine what constitute a nation. ”

        That’s pretty much how self-determination works.

        “nd while it may matter what and how “most jews” think, if what you say were true all this propaganda would be aimed primarily or solely, at jews. ”

        Not at all. There are always those who want to decide for Jews rather than letting them decide for themselves.

        “so don’t tell me what the rest of us think doesn’t matter, because evidence suggests that’s just not true.”

        Well, of course it matters. But you don’t get to define it for the majority. Yours is the minority view.

      • yrn
        October 29, 2013, 3:45 pm

        “hops, “most jews” do not determine what constitute a nation.”

        Says the speaker of the Jews Annie Robbins….

      • Hostage
        October 29, 2013, 4:01 pm

        It really doesn’t matter how you choose to define it, Hostage. It matters how most Jews define it. Incidentally, Americans are also a nation of “scattered ethnic groups”.

        If Jews choose to employ a definition that is ordinarily applied to political states with defined territories, then they can’t really complain when readers reject the patently incorrect claim that “Jews are a nation in every sense of the word,” because they are not a country, territory, or state – and those are definitely part of the normal sense or usage of the term.

        For example, “The New English Dictionary” (Oxford, Clarendon Press) has the following definition: An extensive aggregate of persons so closely associated with each other by common descent, language or history as to form a distinct race or people usually organized as a separate political state and occupying a definite country. In early examples, the racial idea was usually stronger than the political. In recent use, the notion of political unity and integrity is present.

        A variety of Jewish communities have been treated as subjects of international laws and treaties. Travers Twiss, “The Law of Nations Considered as Independent Political Communities”, Oxford University Press, Chapter 1 “Nations as Subjects of Law” says:

        The term Nation, in its primary and etymological sense, denotes a race of men, in other words, an aggregate body of persons, exceeding a single family, who are connected by the ties of a common lineage, and perhaps by a common language. In a secondary and political sense the term Nation signifies a society of persons occupying a common territory, and united under a common government, in other words, a Commonwealth or State.

        The Jews do not possess the political or territorial qualifications of a Nation. So they cannot be a Nation “in every sense of the word”. On the other hand, the United States of America is a country, or spatial entity, with well-defined boundaries and a population comprised of a variety of ethnic groups.

        The United States ratified the Anglo-American Palestine Mandate Convention which guaranteed the civil rights and standing of Jews living in this country. Most Jews in the United States still agree with the 1950 “Entente” agreement between AJC President Jacob Blaustein and Prime Minister Ben-Gurion which stipulated Jews living in the USA are not Israeli exiles.

        An April 20, 1964 letter to Rabbi Elmer Berger of the American Council for Judaism from Assistant Secretary Phillips Talbot of the U.S. State Department, confirmed that the US government:

        “does not recognize a legal-political relationship based upon religious identification of American citizens. It does not in any way discriminate among American citizens upon the basis of religion or ethnicity. Accordingly, it should be clear that the Department of State does not regard the “Jewish people” concept as a concept of international law.”

        — See Whiteman’s Digest of International Law, Volume 8, U.S. Dept. of State, U.S. Govt. Print. Office, 1967, page 35

      • Eurosabra
        October 29, 2013, 4:04 pm

        It matters to the extent it once again forces the Jews to defend themselves against an insensate, unreasoning, uniformly hostile world yielding to its inveterate tendencies.

      • hophmi
        October 29, 2013, 4:15 pm

        “If Jews choose to employ a definition that is ordinarily applied to political states with defined territories, then they can’t really complain when readers reject the patently incorrect claim that “Jews are a nation in every sense of the word,” because they are not a country, territory, or state – and those are definitely part of the normal sense or usage of the term.”

        Nation: ” people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, or history”

        Jews fit that description. Zionism is their movement for national self-determination.

        ” In a secondary and political sense the term Nation signifies a society of persons occupying a common territory, and united under a common government, in other words, a Commonwealth or State.”

        Jews in Israel fit this description quite well.

        “The United States ratified the Anglo-American Palestine Mandate Convention which guaranteed the civil rights and standing of Jews living in this country. Most Jews in the United States still agree with the 1950 “Entente” agreement between AJC President Jacob Blaustein and Prime Minister Ben-Gurion which stipulated Jews living in the USA are not Israeli exiles.”

        Irrelevant. The civil rights of Jews in the United States (or Greeks, Irish, Iraqis, Chinese) have nothing to do with whether they identify as a national grouping or not.

        “An April 20, 1964 letter to Rabbi Elmer Berger of the American Council for Judaism from Assistant Secretary Phillips Talbot of the U.S. State Department, confirmed that the US government:”

        A letter from Elmer Berger is a letter from Elmer Berger. It confirmed nothing and has no standing.

      • hophmi
        October 29, 2013, 4:16 pm

        “Regardless of how Jews define it, they’re not entitled to swarm a geographic region”

        Racist language.

      • MHughes976
        October 29, 2013, 4:30 pm

        If any lineage group ‘larger than a single family’ constitutes a nation then there are so many nations that the mind boggles. I must belong to many of them of whose composition I am entirely unaware. Why I should be able to make claims on others on the strength of national belonging in this sense I cannot see.
        There is also the Renan-style definition of ‘nation’ in the sense of a group organised around certain stories and myths, ie nation as a state of mind. Again, I don’t see how states of mind can confer rights.
        If we understand nations as equivalent to polities then I can see that there is in most circumstances a right – unless we are to countenance invaders, marauders and fanatics – for every nation to be left alone by outsiders, not invaded or partitioned.
        If there is a sense of ‘nation’ which is widely in use among Jewish people and which differs from those mentioned what would it be?

      • Hostage
        October 29, 2013, 6:32 pm

        Nation: ” people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, or history”

        Jews fit that description.

        Not even then. All Jews do not share a common language or culture. Converts don’t even share a common descent or history – and according to the official Israeli rabbinate, Reform and Conservative Jews don’t even share the common religion. It would be much more correct to talk about the languages, cultures, or histories of various Jewish ethnic groups.

      • Hostage
        October 29, 2013, 6:46 pm

        A letter from Elmer Berger is a letter from Elmer Berger. It confirmed nothing and has no standing.

        Wrong! It was NOT a letter from Rabbi Berger, it was a letter from Assistant Secretary Phillips Talbot of the U.S. State Department outlining official policy that was published in the US State Department Digest of International Law.

        Hasbara fail!

      • eljay
        October 29, 2013, 7:13 pm

        >> Racist language.

        Accurate language to describe mass migration, whether it’s children to a beach, tourists to a holiday destination, or large numbers of Jewish people to a geographic region from which they displace the indigenous population and in which they then set up a supremacist “Jewish State”:

        swarm: verb (used without object)
        . . .
        – (of a place) to be thronged or overrun; abound or teem: The beach swarms with children on summer weekends.

        Of course, to a Zio-supremacist fool like you, anything that doesn’t agree with your hateful and immoral ideology is either anti-Semitic or racist.

        If Zio-supremacists felt that 1 + 1 should equal 3, the number 2 would be condemned as anti-Semitic or racist.

      • eljay
        October 29, 2013, 7:23 pm

        >> Racist language.

        Addendum: Just to be perfectly clear, hophmeee, in my opinion NO group of people is entitled to swarm a geographic region, engage in ethnic cleansing, and establish a supremacist state.

        So enough with your crocodile tears, Zio-supremacist.

      • Hostage
        October 29, 2013, 7:48 pm

        That’s pretty much how self-determination works.

        No, there is no right to self-determination of a country or region you do not inhabit – and certainly not in the case of a territory inhabited by others. The customary law doctrine of uti possidetis requires the maintenance of any territorial status quo.

      • RoHa
        October 29, 2013, 10:48 pm

        “I must belong to many of them of whose composition I am entirely unaware.’

        Like me, you belong to the nation of retired philosophy lecturers. Since we do not have a state at the moment, we are being denied our right of self-determination. It’s an outrage.

        “If there is a sense of ‘nation’ which is widely in use among Jewish people and which differs from those mentioned what would it be?”

        And why would it be relevant to anything? What moral or political significance would it have? We do have some notions of the significance of nations in the ordinary sense of the word, but we cannot simply apply them to this special sense without running the risk of fallacies of amphiboly.

      • RoHa
        October 29, 2013, 11:01 pm

        Hostage, on this site there are so many posts which question the ideas of the Jewish nation and self-determination that, if they were gathered together, they would be sufficient for a small, repetitive, textbook on the subject.

        And do hophmi and co. ever really grapple with arguments presented in these posts?

        No.

        Night and day, like the beat, beat, beat, of the tom-tom and the drip, drip, drip, of the raindrops, they keep on repeating “Jewish nation, self-determination”.

        I think the only point to replying is to show new readers how empty their claims are.

      • RoHa
        October 29, 2013, 11:18 pm

        “the Jews to defend themselves against an insensate, unreasoning, uniformly hostile world yielding to its inveterate tendencies.”

        So all the rest of us, the Gentiles, are insensate and unreasoning creatures filled with hostility to Jews.
        On behalf of all Gentiles, I thank you for the compliments, and urge you to seek therapy for the paranoia.

      • Hostage
        October 30, 2013, 2:57 am

        Well, if one no longer considers liturgical language a unifying factor,

        Only some of the religous sects still give a crap about liturgical languages. You can tell any entity or group that they don’t have an exclusive right to self-determination in territory inhabited by others, because that’s the way it works. In any event Jews are not a Nation in the sense of belonging to a state, country, or commonwealth.

      • RoHa
        October 30, 2013, 5:35 am

        “Well, if one no longer considers liturgical language a unifying factor”

        Hebrew as a liturgical language does not make Jews a nation any more than Latin as a liturgical language makes Catholics a nation.

        “I’ll be sure to let all the cultures descended from the groups that used Old Church Slavonic know that they are “scattered ethnic groups” and not nations”

        They are not scattered, but concentrated in Eastern Europe. And the nations there (Bulgaria, Serbia, etc.) are unified by common language, territory, and citizenship.

      • RoHa
        October 30, 2013, 5:39 am

        “not irrationally hated as are the Jews. The Jews’ numbers are much reduced by the effects of the world’s psychosis”

        Weird, isn’t it? Everyone in the world, except Jews, shares a form of insanity which leads them to hate Jews. How did that come about?

      • Cliff
        October 30, 2013, 6:15 am

        Racist language.

        Nope. Jews have no right to colonize Palestine. Jews have no right to self-determination on land they do not reside on and in violation of the rights of the indigenous population who live there.

        The only ‘racist language’ is that which you puke on a daily basis, whether it be calling Palestinians Nazis vis a vis the Mufti OR saying Arabs are genocidal.

        You are a Jewish klansmen. Go back to AtlasShrugged or the EldersOfZiyon blog.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 30, 2013, 7:56 am

        “So all the rest of us, the Gentiles, are insensate and unreasoning creatures filled with hostility to Jews.
        On behalf of all Gentiles, I thank you for the compliments, and urge you to seek therapy for the paranoia.”

        It’s paranoia coupled with racism. Eurosabre hits a two-fer.

      • hophmi
        October 30, 2013, 11:37 am

        “The customary law doctrine of uti possidetis requires the maintenance of any territorial status quo.”

        Which side are you playing for, again?

        Uti possidetis “enables a belligerent party to claim territory that it has acquired by war.” link to en.wikipedia.org

        It’s a Roman idea to legitimize possession of territory conquered during war and applied in post-colonialist Africa and elsewhere in order to bring stability and end fratricidal conflict or borders.

        It’s the idea that if, at the end of the war, you’re on it, you keep it. It sounds like the kind of thing a settlers would say – I’ve been here with my family for two generations, and I’m going to stay here, so, uti possidetis, it’s mine ’cause I’m here. The Israelis might say, whatever the history, we’re here, we’re here to stay, and we’re not leaving, uti possidetis. The Americans certainly would say it.

        I don’t think uti possidetis is the play you want to run, buddy.

      • hophmi
        October 30, 2013, 11:41 am

        “And do hophmi and co. ever really grapple with arguments presented in these posts?

        No. ”

        LOL. I grapple with them all the time. You just don’t like my POV.

        “Night and day, like the beat, beat, beat, of the tom-tom and the drip, drip, drip, of the raindrops, they keep on repeating “Jewish nation, self-determination”. ”

        Uh huh. That’s because it happens to be true, and your POV happens to wrong.

      • Hostage
        October 30, 2013, 12:48 pm

        “The customary law doctrine of uti possidetis requires the maintenance of any territorial status quo.”

        Which side are you playing for, again?

        Stop playing stupid. I’m not talking about the Romans. I’m talking about the doctrine of uti possidetis of 1810 that the UN and ICJ have applied in other boundary dispute cases. It prohibits any state from being created through secession if it results territorial aggrandizement. It means that Jews and other scattered ethnic groups living elsewhere can’t use the excuse that the right of self-determination gives them the right to acquire territory by force in Palestine or anywhere else. The definition of a a Nation includes its territorial integrity. Forced population exchanges are no longer allowed and they have been treated as international crimes since the Nuremberg principles were adopted.

        We get it. You are the only lawyer on Earth who never heard about new international laws being adopted because of the crimes committed against Jews and other ethnic groups.

      • Hostage
        October 30, 2013, 1:03 pm

        Uh huh. That’s because it happens to be true, and your POV happens to wrong.

        No it just makes you look clueless and bad-mannered when you try to claim that Israel is no worse than other pariah states or historical examples of wrongdoing. Everyone here knows that two wrongs don’t make a right. We know that every other country in the world, including the United States, have adopted resolutions in the United Nations condemning the Israeli practices and policies that you waste so much time and effort trying to defend here at Mondoweiss.

        You must think the site is quite a threat to Israel’s legitimacy or you wouldn’t be here trolling the threads so much.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 30, 2013, 1:36 pm

        “most jews” do not determine what constitute a nation.”

        Says the speaker of the Jews Annie Robbins….

        an ad hominem won’t make this go away. “what constitute a nation” is a concept relating to human relations not confined to a “jewish” definition. that was my point. and i am not speaking for jews, i am speaking as a person.

        this reminds me of jews having their own word for racism against them, but it’s no different that the principles of racism and bigotry. we can all think for ourselves. concepts, whether they be racism, nationhood or nationalism or are not defined by “most jews.”

        and to reiterate my point, that what the rest of us think does matter, the evidence of this is everywhere. ie link to mondoweiss.net this is about the “branding” of Israel, iow, ultimately, jews do not decide what people think. if they did there would be no need for these branding efforts wrt ‘progressive elite’ . iow, it’s the masses stupid! we matter.

      • hophmi
        October 30, 2013, 1:55 pm

        ” I’m talking about the doctrine of uti possidetis of 1810 that the UN and ICJ have applied in other boundary dispute cases. . .

        “We get it. You are the only lawyer on Earth who never heard about new international laws being adopted because of the crimes committed against Jews and other ethnic groups.”

        Uti possidetis juris has nothing to do with WWII.

        In the first place, uti possidetis has never been declared a norm of customary international law by the ICJ. Regardless, it doesn’t apply to the I-P conflict; it might apply if the Mandate had simply been left to the inhabitants. The idea is that when territorial authority is transferred, the inhabitants of the territory don’t expand their boundaries beyond that of the former colony. You could argue (you’d be wrong, but you could argue) that uti possidetis applies to Israel’s taking of the Golan or the Sinai. Within the Mandate borders, the principle is not applicable.

        and the inhabitants had tried to expand the Mandate into other territories. In the second place, the doctrine has nothing to do with WWII. In the third place, customary international law has firmly established Israel as a state within its 1967 borders.

      • hophmi
        October 30, 2013, 2:02 pm

        “Everyone here knows that two wrongs don’t make a right.”

        Killing a couple hundred thousand people in Darfur is wrong. Discrimination against Palestinian-Israelis in the Israeli workplace is wrong. Which should get more attention internationally?

        “We know that every other country in the world, including the United States, have adopted resolutions in the United Nations condemning the Israeli practices and policies that you waste so much time and effort trying to defend here at Mondoweiss.”

        Oh please. The resolutions are there only because certain UN states with much worse human rights records than Israel stick them on the agenda. The UNHCR also condemns Israel far out of proportion. Selectively prosecuting human rights and then pointing the resolutions you selectively passed on the agenda is disingenuous bootstrapping, and that’s why the US, and the Europeans, who vote for a lot of this nonsense to avoid the diplomatic headache, go no further than that in pressuring Israel.

        “You must think the site is quite a threat to Israel’s legitimacy or you wouldn’t be here trolling the threads so much.”

        LOL. This site is not a threat to Israel’s legitimacy. The ideas expressed on it, and the context in which they are expressed, are potentially a threat. I’m here to combat the misinformation here, and also, to push the adherents of the site in a direction that might actually get something constructive done for the Palestinians, who are ill-served by most Western activists who claim to have their best interests at heart, but are merely jumping on the bandwagon in order to feel good about themselves.

      • Hostage
        October 30, 2013, 2:06 pm

        In the first place, uti possidetis has never been declared a norm of customary international law by the ICJ.

        False. I’ll quote the opinion for you slow-learners again:

        In this connection it should be noted that the principle of uti possidetis seems to have been first invoked and applied in Spanish America, inasmuch as this was the continent which first witnessed the phenomenon of decolonization involving the formation of a number of sovereign States on territory formerly belonging to a single metropolitan State. Nevertheless the principle is not a special rule which pertains solely to one specific system of international law. It is a general principle, which is logically connected with the phenomenon of the obtaining of independence, wherever it occurs. Its obvious purpose is to prevent the independence and stability of new States being endangered by fratricidal struggles provoked by the challenging of frontiers following the withdrawal of the administering power.

        The essence of the principle lies in its primary aim of securing respect for the territorial boundaries at the moment when independence is achieved.
        Such territorial boundaries might be no more than delimitations between different administrative divisions or colonies all subject to the same sovereign. In that case, the application of the principle of uti possidetis resulted in administrative boundaries being transformed into international frontiers in the full sense of the term. This is true both of the States which took shape in the regions of South America which were dependent on the Spanish Crown, and of the States Parties to the present case, which took shape within the vast territories of French West Africa. Uti possidetis, as a principle which upgraded former administrative delimitations, established during the colonial period, to international frontiers, is therefore a principle of a general kind which is logically connected with this form of decolonization wherever it occurs.

        link to icj-cij.org

      • hophmi
        October 30, 2013, 2:18 pm

        “The ICJ has never adjudicated whether uti possidetis is a norm of customary law. In the cases involving these types of border disputes as the Frontier Dispute Case and the Land, Island and Maritime Frontier Dispute Case both parties have stipulated by compromise or otherwise that their boundary would be determined according to the borders in effect at the time of independence.” link to esil-sedi.eu, page 7

        The ICJ’s discussion of the principle in its dicta does not elevate it to a hard and fast customary international legal norm.

      • Hostage
        October 30, 2013, 2:18 pm

        In the third place, customary international law has firmly established Israel as a state within its 1967 borders.

        I didn’t say that Israel isn’t a State. I said that Jews living elsewhere are not Israeli exiles or members of that Jewish nation.

        The ICJ cited Security Council resolutions 62 and 242, which established the armistice lines as a provisional measure pending a final mutually agreed-upon settlement that will include recognized boundaries. Those resolutions reflect customary and conventional international law, including the UN Charter prohibition against the acquisition of territory by war.

        Israel has worked assiduously to keep the question of its provisional frontiers out of the ICJ, because it was created in violation of so many customary prohibitions.

      • hophmi
        October 30, 2013, 2:23 pm

        “I didn’t say that Israel isn’t a State. I said that Jews living elsewhere are not Israeli exiles or members of that Jewish nation. ”

        Jews living elsewhere are not Israeli exiles. On that I agree. Greek-Americans are not exiles of Greece. Greeks are a national grouping.

      • talknic
        October 30, 2013, 4:39 pm

        @hophmi Your completely unsupported nonsense opinion is cute.

      • hophmi
        October 30, 2013, 4:44 pm

        “Your completely unsupported nonsense opinion is cute.”

        Your non-substantive response is telling.

      • RoHa
        October 30, 2013, 7:09 pm

        “I grapple with them all the time.”

        So where are the counter arguments? All I see is repetition of the same unsupported claims.

      • Hostage
        October 31, 2013, 6:51 am

        Jews living elsewhere are not Israeli exiles. On that I agree. Greek-Americans are not exiles of Greece. Greeks are a national grouping.

        you are deliberately missing the point. Members of national ethnic groups are not legally entitled to territory in another country or to use force to colonize one.

        Greek Americans and Jewish Americans are not territorial entities, and have no right to establish some sort of territorial integrity of their own by committing wrongful acts against their fellow inhabitants here in the USA, e.g. discriminating and excluding other citizens from purchasing land or housing on the basis of ethnicity or national origin.

        So, members of national ethnic groups lack one of the key qualifications for statehood, a well defined territory.

        During the hearings on Israel’s UN membership it was repeatedly made clear that the General Assembly had never authorized Israel to expel the majority of its Arab population. Israel agreed to implement resolutions 181(II) and 194(III), which reflected the charter principle of respect for equality and self-determination of peoples. Israel is still in violation of that basic treaty obligation.

      • eljay
        October 31, 2013, 7:48 am

        >> Jews living elsewhere are not Israeli exiles. On that I agree. Greek-Americans are not exiles of Greece. Greeks are a national grouping.

        Once again, a Zio-supremacist spells it out and still (intentionally) manages to miss the point:
        – Greeks are a national grouping.
        – Israelis are a national grouping.
        – Jews are, fundamentally, a religious grouping. (In order to be Jewish, one must either undergo a religious conversion to Judaism or be descended from someone who underwent a religious conversion to Judaism.)
        – No group – not even a religious group – is entitled to set up a supremacist state, even if setting up that state does not involve mass-migration to a geographic region and the expulsion of the indigenous population (as was/is the case with supremacist “Jewish State”).

      • Hostage
        October 31, 2013, 8:08 am

        In the cases involving these types of border disputes as the Frontier Dispute Case and the Land, Island and Maritime Frontier Dispute Case both parties have stipulated by compromise compromis or otherwise that their boundary would be determined according to the borders in effect at the time of independence.” link to esil-sedi.eu, page 7

        Why did you deliberately misquote your own source?

        Compromis: a formal agreement between nations submitting a dispute to arbitration and defining the terms of the submission, the powers of the tribunal to serve as arbitrator, and the procedure to be followed.

        After the London Conference, the British government simply gave the Zionists and Palestinians an ultimatum. It informed them that if they failed to come to a peaceful agreement on their own, their dispute would be submitted to binding international arbitration by the UN. See the FRUS, The Near East and Africa, 1947, page 1037 link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        The Mandatory power submitted the Question of Palestine to the General Assembly in accordance with Article 10 of the UN Charter. The General Assembly in-turn established the special UNSCOP Commission to gather facts, allow the parties concerned to present their cases, and to recommend a solution. The Jewish Agency accepted the majority report, subject to territorial and constitutional reservations that were immediately addressed by the Ad Hoc Committee of the whole General Assembly, which modified the plan and decided to adopted it in accordance with its powers and functions contained in Articles 18 and 85.

        The Security Council subsequently adopted several resolutions which declared the dispute a threat to international peace and security. Among other things Article 33 of the Charter stipulates that:

        The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice.

        During the subsequent hearings on Israel’s application for membership in the UN, the representative of the provisional government of Israel made declarations and undertakings to the members that the armistice agreements were provisional measure and that Israel would implement resolutions 181(II) and 194(III). The government of Israel repeatedly referred to the resolution as the only valid international adjudication on the future government of Palestine and acknowledged, that in the case of non-self-governing territories, the dispositions made by the General Assembly are legally binding.

        The Palestinians also made a declaration stating that resolution 181(II) is the source of the State of Palestine’s international legitimacy. Israel has subsequently claimed that resolution 181(II) is null and void, but the General Assembly, its subsidiary organs, and ICJ have advised that it is still relevant and the source of continuing legal obligations for Israel.

        The Court also advised that resolution 181(II) is the basis for the permanent responsibility of the United Nations for the Question of Palestine until it is resolved in a satisfactory manner in all of its aspects in accordance with international legitimacy.

        The ICJ’s discussion of the principle in its dicta does not elevate it to a hard and fast customary international legal norm.

        The Court said it’s a general principle of international law that applies wherever a new state obtains independence. FYI, when a Court explains that it is applying a general rule of law that applies wherever a legal situation occurs, that isn’t dicta:

        “Nevertheless the principle is not a special rule which pertains solely to one specific system of international law. It is a general principle, which is logically connected with the phenomenon of the obtaining of independence, wherever it occurs.

      • Hostage
        October 31, 2013, 8:24 am

        Killing a couple hundred thousand people in Darfur is wrong. Discrimination against Palestinian-Israelis in the Israeli workplace is wrong. Which should get more attention internationally?

        The Security Council can multi-task. We’ve been listening to drivel like that for decades now. FYI, the Security Council has long-since referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC, and arrest warrants have been issued. So the situation there isn’t standing in the way of taking steps to deal with the question of Apartheid in Israel. Policies and practices, like the Prawer Plan go way beyond simple discrimination and you know it.

      • MHughes976
        October 31, 2013, 10:17 am

        Any wrong that is not trivial deserves serious attention, ie if someone becomes involved in trying to correct that wrong (s)he should persevere and certainly not immediately divert all activity and attention to something else, even if that other thing is worse. Failure to persevere with any serious undertaking, ‘setting one’s hand to the plough and turning back’, is moral frivolity.

      • hophmi
        October 31, 2013, 10:48 am

        “Members of national ethnic groups are not legally entitled to territory in another country or to use force to colonize one. ”

        What force are you referring to? And how does this fit in with your novel theory of uti possedetis?

        “Greek Americans and Jewish Americans are not territorial entities, and have no right to establish some sort of territorial integrity of their own by committing wrongful acts against their fellow inhabitants here in the USA”

        No one said that Greek American and Jewish Americans were the same as Greeks and Israelis. So I really have no idea what point you’re trying to make. Jews are the majority ethnic grouping in Israel within its 1967 borders. So they have a right to have a state there.

        “During the hearings on Israel’s UN membership it was repeatedly made clear that the General Assembly had never authorized Israel to expel the majority of its Arab population.”

        That’s nice. It’s also three generations ago. Expelling the Jews would not be especially legal today. Uti possedetis.

        “Israel agreed to implement resolutions 181(II) and 194(III), which reflected the charter principle of respect for equality and self-determination of peoples. Israel is still in violation of that basic treaty obligation.”

        It is quite clear that, today, the UN accepts the land-for-peace formula and the concept of two-states-for-two-peoples as the fulfillment of those ideas by virtue of their participation in the Quartet, UN Resolution 242, and two decades of on-and-off negotiations with those parameters.

      • Hostage
        October 31, 2013, 2:36 pm

        What force are you referring to? And how does this fit in with your novel theory of uti possedetis?

        The kind defined in the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. There are no statutory limitations for the crimes defined in the Nuremberg Charter, or for any “forced eviction resulting from military occupation and inhuman policies of apartheid”. link to www1.umn.edu

        Correction: I’ve been citing the ICJ’s theory on uti possedetis and its not so novel. They said its a general principle of law that was introduced in 19th century Latin America and that it applies wherever new states obtain their independence.

        No one said that Greek American and Jewish Americans were the same as Greeks and Israelis. So I really have no idea what point you’re trying to make.

        That the Jews are not a nation “in every sense of the word” as your tag-team partner had claimed. In modern usage nations include countries, territories, and states.

        That’s nice. It’s also three generations ago. Expelling the Jews would not be especially legal today. Uti possedetis.

        You’d have to ask a Court about that, since the Israelis have been consciously violating the law for many decades, not just once upon a time three generations ago. They certainly aren’t entitled to a “state of their own” on territory obtained in violation of the rights of others and the UN Charter. The international courts might just order them to shut-up, end the apartheid and share.

        It is quite clear that, today, the UN accepts the land-for-peace formula and the concept of two-states-for-two-peoples as the fulfillment of those ideas by virtue of their participation in the Quartet, UN Resolution 242, and two decades of on-and-off negotiations with those parameters.

        It’s also quite clear today that the UN and Israel are still in violation of an Advisory Opinion requested and endorsed by the 10th Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly. The Special Rapporteurs for human rights in Palestine have recommended that another advisory opinion be obtained on the legal consequences of Israel’s on-going and deliberate human rights violations, and the legality of its regimes of military occupation, colonialism, and apartheid. A decision on the latter could very easily render the proposed two state solution moot. Israel has employed that as an excuse for forced population transfers that have illegally exiled the bulk of the Arab population that inhabited territory in the proposed Jewish state. It hasn’t offered them any land for peace and still refuses to offer them a just settlement.

      • hophmi
        October 31, 2013, 3:03 pm

        “Correction: I’ve been citing the ICJ’s theory on uti possedetis and its not so novel. They said its a general principle of law that was introduced in 19th century Latin America and that it applies wherever new states obtain their independence. ”

        YOUR version of it is novel, not the idea itself. It’s not applicable in this situation.

        “That the Jews are not a nation “in every sense of the word” as your tag-team partner had claimed. In modern usage nations include countries, territories, and states. ”

        For the purposes of self-determination in Israel, the Jews constitute a nation. Listen, I wish it weren’t necessary to assert that right. I recommend that you ask the Europeans and the Arabs about why it might be necessary for us to do so.

        “The international courts might just order them to shut-up, end the apartheid and share.”

        Well, they certainly had the chance to do that in the Wall case. I don’t remember the part of the decision that told them to leave pre-1967 Israel.

        “The Special Rapporteurs for human rights in Palestine have recommended that another advisory opinion be obtained on the legal consequences of Israel’s on-going and deliberate human rights violations, and the legality of its regimes of military occupation, colonialism, and apartheid.”

        Ah yes, the special committee on Palestine. I’m sure.

        “A decision on the latter could very easily render the proposed two state solution moot.”

        I look forward to having that debate with you when it happens. I’m not holding my breath.

      • Hostage
        October 31, 2013, 5:50 pm

        YOUR version of it is novel, not the idea itself. It’s not applicable in this situation.

        It isn’t my version at all. The international community states, the International Law Commission, the General Assembly, the Security Council and the ICJ have each applied the norm against coercive territorial revisionism since 1945.

        There were prohibitions in international law against forceable population transfers before Israel exiled the bulk of its Arab population. The UN General Assembly has created a number of subsidiary organs to investigate the law and address the rights of Palestinians. I’ve been quoting one of them, which has always held that Israel has a binding obligation under resolution 181(II) to permit all the refugees from 1948 and 1967 to return, based upon its acceptance of the customary legal protections contained in that resolution that specifically safeguard the rights of Arabs living in Israel. No international body ever has agreed that the Jews have “a right to a state of their own” in Palestine that excludes the other inhabitants:

        19. In this respect, it was pointed out that Israel was under binding obligation to permit the return of all the Palestinian refugees displaced as a result of the hostilities of 1948 and 1967. This obligation flowed from the unreserved agreement by Israel to honour its commitments under the Charter of the United Nations, and from its specific undertaking, when applying for membership of the United Nations, to implement General Assembly resolutions 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, safeguarding the rights of the Palestinian Arabs inside Israel, and 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, concerning the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes or to choose compensation for their property. This undertaking was also clearly reflected in General Assembly resolution 273 (III).

        link to un.org

        “The international courts might just order them to shut-up, end the apartheid and share.”

        Well, they certainly had the chance to do that in the Wall case.

        No they didn’t. The Court’s advisory jurisdiction is limited to the question asked. The scope of the Wall case was strictly limited to the legal consequences of the construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian territories. The rights of Palestinians living in Israel were not an issue the Court could have addressed.

        Ah yes, the special committee on Palestine. I’m sure.

        No, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights holds a mandate from the General Assembly and its Committees on Legal Affairs and Decolonization, not just the Human Rights Council.

        I look forward to having that debate with you when it happens.

        I’m no prophet. But I think Israel can count on one or two more cases in the ICJ over all of the illegal situations it has created.

  4. Citizen
    October 28, 2013, 11:49 am

    Nothing will work due to US campaign finance system. Only the unplanned consequences of bombing Iran might override this problem.

  5. MHughes976
    October 28, 2013, 4:50 pm

    The question of what is just and fair never loses importance. We have no idea of what should be done if we turn away from it. There’s a fairly clear concern with what is just and fair in Mr. Mouin’s essay: so he should not disregard that topic.

  6. fnlevit
    October 28, 2013, 6:09 pm

    This article contains many sincere points. I have actually copied it in its entirety to my files.

    1. “To make the case that Israel practices apartheid as defined by the United Nations General Assembly in 1973 or the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is one thing. To conclude that Israel is South Africa, with all the attendant political consequences, quite another.”

    2. “.. some basic political and demographic realities. In apartheid South Africa, at most 10 per cent of the population consisted of descendants of European settlers, and the latter were also significantly outnumbered if we subtract the bantustans from the equation and focus on the main urban areas. In Palestine, Israeli Jews constitute some 50 per cent of the population of the entire territory and at least 80 per cent of residents of Israel within its internationally-recognised boundaries.”

    3. ” … the struggle against occupation is … not dependent upon military victory and – as a comparison between the 1987-1993 and 2000-2005 uprisings suggests – may well be weakened by a resort to warfare.”

    etc, etc.

    BUT! This article contains this basic element which in my view is the main obstacle to any progress. The Palestinians view what we want to call a solution (withdrawal, etc) only as a first stage of the real “solution” – the eventual ellimination of Israel. This is what fuels our extremists and causes the Israeli electorate to move to the right precluding any progress.

    • Woody Tanaka
      October 29, 2013, 1:58 am

      “BUT! This article contains this basic element which in my view is the main obstacle to any progress. The Palestinians view what we want to call a solution (withdrawal, etc) only as a first stage of the real “solution” – the eventual ellimination of Israel. This is what fuels our extremists and causes the Israeli electorate to move to the right precluding any progress.”

      No, zio, this is your pathological paranoia mixed with projection as this was the plan of the devil ben gurion and his fellow criminals: steal Palestine from its rightful owners piece by piece.

    • amigo
      October 29, 2013, 6:54 am

      leviticus

      “An Arab man from central Israel has sued the Tel Aviv Port branch of Cafe Cafe for NIS 100,000, after he was told on his first day of work as a waiter that the cafe could not continue to employ him because he isn’t Jewish.”haaretz

      link to haaretz.com

      This is the face of your so called light unto the nations.

      You are a disgrace to humanity and zionism needs to be eradicated and given no opportunity to ever poison this earth again.

      • NormanF
        October 29, 2013, 1:04 pm

        Zionism is exactly why an Arab can get redress in Israel.

        In an Arab country, he would be shot dead merely for protesting injustice. In Israel he can appear in court and get heard.

        Your incident makes the opposite point of what you seek to present about the Jewish State.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 29, 2013, 3:32 pm

        you can get shot dead for merely protesting injustice in israel too, as has been the case on many occasions.

      • Ludwig
        October 29, 2013, 4:06 pm

        It is illegal for Jews to even own property in Jordan. Anyway this article promotes violence as a strategy and should be rejected outright. In fact I would be happy to hear all members of this website reject all forms of violence from both sides.

      • Hostage
        October 29, 2013, 6:39 pm

        It is illegal for Jews to even own property in Jordan.

        According to the US’s Department of State International Religious Freedom Report: The Government recognizes Judaism as a religion; however there are reportedly no Jordanian citizens who are Jewish. The Government does not impose restrictions on Jews, and they are permitted to own property and conduct business in the country.
        link to state.gov

      • talknic
        October 29, 2013, 7:25 pm

        @ Ludwig It is illegal for Jews to even own property in Jordan

        Ignorance personified ,,, Read the Peace Treaty

        “I would be happy to hear all members of this website reject all forms of violence from both sides.”

        The IDF is inherently violent. It is used to protect violent illegal settlers in territories outside the State of Israel.

      • Shingo
        October 29, 2013, 8:24 pm

        Ignorance personified ,,, Read the Peace Treaty

        I doubt it’s ignorance so much as deception. I doubt Nasrallah would have any luck buying water front property in Tel Aviv. Does that prove Arabs are not allowed to buy property in Tel Aviv?

      • tree
        October 29, 2013, 8:39 pm

        Jordan’s laws on the foreign ownership of property are reciprocal. In other words, citizens of countries that permit Jordanian citizens to purchase property in said countries are allowed to likewise purchase property in Jordan. Citizens of countries that deny Jordanian citizens the right to purchase property in said countries are denied the right to purchase Jordanian property. Since Israel denies Jordanian citizens the right to purchase land in Israel, Israeli citizens are not allowed to purchase land in Jordan. The United States has no restrictions on Jordanians owning property in the US, so all US citizens, regardless of their religion or ethnicity, are allowed to purchase land in Jordan. Israeli land laws restrict land purchases and leases on the basis of religion/ethnicity, and also condones the confiscation land from one ethnicity, Palestinian, for the public benefit of another ethnicity/religion, Jews, only. Jordanian land laws do not.

      • Shingo
        October 29, 2013, 9:05 pm

        The thing about Jordan’s land laws is that they don’t eve mention Jews – they refer to citizens of enemy states.

        There are few countries in the world that are any different in that regard.

        Anyway, since they signed the Peacd treaty, Israel is no longer an enemy state , so Jews can surly purchase land there.

      • talknic
        October 29, 2013, 9:06 pm

        @ Ludwig “It is illegal for Jews to even own property in Jordan”

        For readers who’re ACTUALLY interested

        ARTICLE 3

        INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARY

        2 Taking into account the special circumstances of the Naharayim/Baqura area, which is under Jordanian sovereignty, with Israeli private ownership rights, the Parties agreed to apply the provisions set out in Annex I (b). link to mfa.gov.il

    • Hostage
      October 29, 2013, 12:43 pm

      1. “To make the case that Israel practices apartheid as defined by the United Nations General Assembly in 1973 or the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is one thing. To conclude that Israel is South Africa, with all the attendant political consequences, quite another.”

      Okay. South African policies and practices of apartheid ended before the Rome Statute entered into effect and aren’t subject to the jurisdiction of the ICC. Israeli policies and practices of apartheid are on-going and do have political and criminal consequences.

  7. W.Jones
    October 28, 2013, 7:38 pm

    Can’t the Palestinian Auth. just go to the ICC and other bodies? Or would those organizations give them the old shoulder, like they have civilian organizations when a state plaintiff is unneeded?

    • Hostage
      October 29, 2013, 1:10 pm

      Can’t the Palestinian Auth. just go to the ICC and other bodies? Or would those organizations give them the old shoulder, like they have civilian organizations when a state plaintiff is unneeded?

      The Palestinians have already filed a declaration accepting the jurisdiction of the ICC for all crimes committed on its territory by either side since July 2002.

      The first ICC Prosecutor sandbagged the Palestinians for three years collecting opinions on statehood from just about everyone, except the UN Secretary General, the UN General Assembly, or the ICC Assembly of State Parties. Shortly before he left office he stated that his office didn’t have the statutory authority to address the statehood issue in the first place and that he had wasted three years without asking the only parties that could make such a determination: the UN Secretary General, the UN General Assembly, or the ICC Assembly of State Parties.

      The new ICC Prosecutor was the former Deputy ICC Prosecutor. She has publicly admitted that she can exercise jurisdiction using the 2009 declaration, but refuses to do so unless Palestine becomes a state party to the Rome Statute. So in effect, she is ignoring the treaty obligation to accept cases from non-member states in accordance with Article 12 of the Statute.

      If Palestine becomes a state party there is no guarantee that the Prosecutor will investigate the situation. She hasn’t taken any action:
      *Against Turkey for facilitating the transfer of portions of its population into territory its armed forces captured in an ICC member state, Cyprus; or
      *Against NATO occupation forces for transferring prisoners out of the territory illegally to the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base or targeting civilians for extrajudicial killings in ICC member state, Afghanistan.

      • just
        October 29, 2013, 9:58 pm

        Thanks for that, Hostage.

      • W.Jones
        October 29, 2013, 11:09 pm

        That’s pretty depressing. I was hoping that the problem was that the P.A. did not go to the international organizations for help because they were collaborators or afraid, but that those organizations would find in their favor.

  8. talknic
    October 28, 2013, 10:02 pm

    @fnlevit
    “This article contains this basic element which in my view is the main obstacle to any progress. The Palestinians view what we want to call a solution (withdrawal, etc) only as a first stage of the real “solution” – the eventual ellimination of Israel. “

    So you Israeli propagandists keep telling us …. and now Mouin Rabbani. Oddly the Palestinians offered to accept only 22% of their rightful territories for peace link to pages.citebite.com It was ignored. So too the Arab Peace Initiative. No offer is enough. The Jewish state wants it all!

    Palestine offers to cede territory, Israel only offers to swap non-Israeli territory for non-Israeli territory so that Israel can keep non-Israeli territory. Israel ignored the generous Palestinian offer and announced MORE illegal settlements in non-Israeli territory.

    As to your assertion. Full recognition of an independent Palestinian state would be irrevocable under International Law link to cfr.org They could not gain any more territory unless it is determined by the people of the territory they wish to gain (self determination) . Israeli’s would have to agree to cede Israeli territory.

    “This is what fuels our extremists and causes the Israeli electorate to move to the right precluding any progress” = drivel

    Israel’s intentions were voiced to the Conciliation Commission on August 31st 1949. It’s actions since, show no change of plan. link to wp.me

    Israel has ignored the law and illegally acquired non-Israeli territory, illegally annexed non-Israeli territory, illegally settled its citizens in non-Israeli territory.

    Israel has failed to have “respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force” link to wp.me

  9. Nevada Ned
    October 29, 2013, 12:26 am

    I hope Mondoweiss will ask Rashid Khalidi what he thinks comes next.

    • Rusty Pipes
      October 29, 2013, 8:31 pm

      I hope that Mondoweiss will ask Salman Abu-Sitta. I haven’t seen any of the responses yet address the UN’s responsibility for implementing the Palestinian Right of Return, the practicalities of reclaiming lost property (especially rural property) and the impact of ROR upon Israel/Palestine (whether as 1SS or 2SS).

      • hophmi
        October 30, 2013, 11:38 am

        I think his plan is the same as Nadia Hijab’s – the returning Palestinians can go in the Negev.

  10. NickJOCW
    October 29, 2013, 6:21 am

    I have doubts about a two state solution not least because Israel is too powerful, would be too resentful to be a peaceable neighbour and would forever be overflying air space, barging across borders, spying, disappearing citizens, nicking water and generally behaving as she does with Gaza and Lebanon. That might do more to break the Palestinian spirit than the present occupation.

    What Palestinians could do with right now is an old-fashioned leader, someone to unite them and command world attention. An immediate target might be to concentrate every effort down every conceivable avenue to obtain the release of Marwan Barghouti. It’s a simple, uncomplicated, unequivocal purpose that anyone might support. It’s also something Israel might be driven to do under serious and relentless international pressure.

    link to aljazeera.com

  11. W.Jones
    October 30, 2013, 12:02 am

    I suppose we are really looking at a longterm problem then that will not go away soon, due to the power of the State, and its state allies and nonstate supporters, balanced against the facts that the people who were conquered are becoming more and more weak, and that organizations that should speak out like the media and establishment NGOs range from near-silence to muffled criticism.

    Nevertheless, there is a contradictory process. Avery was only partly incorrect when he stated that the State’s founders were liberal and progressive. Yet unfortunately the State’s citizens are becoming increasingly intolerant with every generation, based on surveys. And their demographic allies add to their ranks the conservative “Christian Zionists”.

    Meanwhile, the US Left is becoming gradually aware of the issues, while some former supporters are becoming less dedicated to it, which means that there is less resistance among the Left to human rights objections.

    Unfortunately then, the State may likely become increasingly oppressive, yet the part of the American Left that already objects will not renounce its criticisms.

    In the longterm, over generations, the sands will shift again as they have so many times in the Holy Land.

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