BDS and the purveyors of Israel’s democratic image

bdsThere is some debate regarding the extent to which boycott and divestment directly contributed to the fall of Apartheid in South Africa. I think there can be no doubt however, that a growing sense of isolation among white South Africans did play an important if not decisive role in bringing an end to minority rule and institutionalised discrimination in that country.

Without getting into the relative strengths and weaknesses of the Israeli economy, I think it is reasonable to assume that BDS will have little real economic impact on Israel (a few recent victories and Minister Yair Lapid’s scaremongering notwithstanding). For numerous reasons, it is highly unlikely that Israel’s largest trading partners, the United States and the European Union will ever participate in BDS in any significant way. It is also unlikely that other important markets, such as China, Russia or India will lend their support to such a campaign. What remains, in terms of exerting pressure on Israelis is the sense of international isolation.

It is often argued that Israelis have always felt isolated and shunned by the world, even during periods such as the one that immediately followed the signing of the Oslo Accords, in which Israel was very much embraced even by former enemies and harsh critics. This basic feeling that all international successes and alliances are ephemeral (witness the suspicion and outright hostility felt by many Israelis and supporters of Israel toward the Obama administration, simply because it is not quite as accommodating to perceived Israeli interests as its immediate predecessor), it is said, has made Israelis immune to campaigns to isolate it.

There is, however, a cultural, intellectual and financial elite in Israel, that is not quite so immune. This is the stratum of Israeli society that interacts the most with audiences, colleagues and partners abroad. Furthermore, the self-image of this elite is closely related to its place in the world – the western world in particular. At first, the vast majority of members of this group rejected the very notion of BDS (as I presume many white South Africans did, at the time), resorting to the familiar memes of anti-Semitism, the infamous (and ultimately unsuccessful) Arab Boycott, the misguided and counterproductive nature of academic and cultural boycott, and so forth. With time however, BDS will become harder and harder to dismiss with the kind of facile arguments offered by Israeli diplomacy and advocacy. It is not that easy to dismiss the views and actions of long-time friends and colleagues as merely stemming from latent anti-Semitism (arguments best left to Prosor and Foxman). They will probably continue to consider BDS unfair and wrong-headed, but they will take notice of it and, more importantly, of its root causes.

Figures such Prof. Zeev Sternhell and MK Zahava Gal-On are hardly mainstream in Israel, but they do represent a powerful elite – if only in terms of promoting the open, moderate and democratic image Israel cherishes so much in the world, even as they are denigrated and targeted by hostile governments and legislators at home. Neither Sternhell nor Gal-On support general BDS or all of the movement’s goals, but both have warned that Israel has in fact brought it on itself.

Omar Barghouti has said that BDS is a Palestinian choice and his message to those who wish to support the Palestinian struggle is to adhere to BDS “or get out of the way”. What will happen when the most internationally visible representatives of democratic Israel – the Israel that claims it does not deserved to be boycotted or sanctioned – decide, albeit with a heavy heart, to get out of the way?

About Shmuel Sermoneta-Gertel

Shmuel Sermoneta-Gertel is a Canadian-Israeli translator living in Italy.
Posted in BDS, Israel/Palestine | Tagged

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

  1. seafoid says:

    “For numerous reasons, it is highly unlikely that Israel’s largest trading partners, the United States and the European Union will ever participate in BDS in any significant way.”

    I dunno. A lot of ordinary people in Europe are sick of Zionism and the bullshit that goes with it. It’s easy enough to stick a BDS sticker in a supermarket vegetable aisle. Judaism vs Justice- I am not sure Judaism is going to win

    Most people though the News of the World would endure. It didn’t.

    “and we are screwing
    up our Zionist lives today ”

    • Walid says:

      I’m with Shmuel on that one. BDS can never be a formidable force if the Arabs, that are closest to the Palestinians, can’t be bothered to give it the time of day and are falling over each other in normalizing relations with the rogue state. Palestinians themselves on the WB aren’t that much into it so why should we expect the rest of the world to become totally involved? BDS will continue to grow, but I doubt it will ever be more than a big thorn in Israel’s backside.

      • seafoid says:

        “Arabs, that are closest to the Palestinians, can’t be bothered to give it the time of day and are falling over each other in normalizing relations with the rogue state.”

        Only the Lebanese government was elected, Walid.
        Those dictatorships are afraid of their own people.
        And the Arab markets are never going to amount to more than a few percent of Israel’s GDP.
        Israel’s money is most vulnerable in Europe. It’s a very exposed consumer economy with very little resources.

        Considering the Jewish history of The Netherlands what those pension funds did is pretty remarkable.

        • Walid says:

          seafoid, I was thinking of the Arabs along the lines of moral support much more than about their limited financial clout. Alstom-Veolia are working on mulkti-billion dollars Saudi contracts as well as on others in most Arab countries building either rail lines or desalination and waste-water treatment plants.

          • seafoid says:

            Even with Arab money, Walid, it’s a drop in the ocean compared to Euro GDP.
            Arab moral support will come when it’s clear the bots are losing.
            Those Saudi wankers know when the wind changes direction.

        • Walid says:

          Looks like the change has happened, but in the wrong direction.
          Prince al-Waleed being described by the WSJ last November:

          “He endorses Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s line to describe Mr. Rouhani: “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” He notes this startling alliance of Wahhabist Saudi Arabia, custodian of Islam’s holiest sites, and the Jewish state. “For the first time, Saudi Arabian interests and Israel are almost parallel,” he says, his voice rising. “It’s incredible.”

          link to online.wsj.com

          • seafoid says:

            “He notes this startling alliance of Wahhabist Saudi Arabia, custodian of Islam’s holiest sites, and the Jewish state.”

            Medieval ,Fundamentalist, War mongering

          • Al Waleed will say this sort of thing to the American press, but he would never dare do so in the House of Saud’s own media outlets. Remember when Shimon Perez addressed some meeting of the Gulf league last year? The Saudis were absolutely furious when news of this leaked out, and it went unreported in the many news outlets controlled by House of Saud.

            It’s true that these outlets have been trying to coax the Arab people into thinking that Palestine is no longer the issue and that Iran is the real enemy – with of course lots of nasty sectarianism thrown in – but for the most part they have been unsuccessful. Even the spoiled Gulf Arabs know who the real enemy is, and continue to despise Israel. There is still no way that any Gulf state will openly ally themselves with Israel, even if they have been chummy behind the scenes pretty much since the day the state of Israel was founded.

          • Walid says:

            “… chummy behind the scenes pretty much since the day the state of Israel was founded.”

            Max, in November 2008, the king invited Israel to an “interfaith conference” at the UN; Rabbi Shimon Peres and Rabbi Tzipi Livni attended.

          • piotr says:

            This example is hard to interpret. Saudis have their reasons to hate Iran: Wahhabi dislike of heretics and the paranoia that inhabitants of oil producing eastern province may be encourage to seek civil rights and get inspiration from Iran. For an aristocratic-theocratic regime, the neighboring republican-theocratic-heretic regime is a natural enemy. Holy War!

            Israel has a weaker reason. For non-Gulf Arab states, there are no particular reasons to oppose Iran, actually, they may have more problems with Saudis.

    • JeffB says:

      @seafold –

      Israel is a well developed country. Picture a practical set of boycott measures. Then go through those goods. Calculate Israel corporate margins on those goods as an absolute max. Below that try and figure out the costs incurred by Israel boosting demand and/or engaging in triangle trades for those goods. When you are done you are likely to see something like 1% of GDP from a severe European boycott. That isn’t even a recession.

      The effect of Israel being controversial is mostly in place. As a result of diminished enthusiasm for business with Israel, Israel has far less trade than it should. That hidden boycott is what did the damage and open one just wouldn’t matter too much.

      For example Israel’s a huge producer of diamonds, that’s their #1 export to Europe (yes I know what people think of). Diamonds are super easy to go through a triangle trade, and thus almost impossible to boycott. In addition because they are supply and demand constrained there can be easy substitution where as Europe buys from different suppliers Israel is able to open up opportunities with their markets. Israel would find a diamond boycott mildly annoying nothing more.

      You want a punishing trade policy that’s going to take a blockade not BDS. Israel has a 1st class air force, a blockade is going to be incredibly expensive to maintain and politically it is hard to image Europe being willing to engage in even limited firefights with the IDF.

      Moreover the demands from BDS are more or less equivalent to what Israel would suffer under a massive foreign invasion followed by settlement colonialism:

      1) The greenline / wall is a demand for Israel to relinquish control of lands on which over 10% of their population lives

      2) Equality is a demand for a radical restructuring of the government so that it is less representative of what the Israeli Jewish people want

      3) 194 is a call for Israel to be overrun with a hostile population.

      Countries generally have to lose multiple wars to agree to those sorts of terms. Even severe economic damage wouldn’t be close to enough to get them to agree to BDS’s demands.

      BDS is a means of saying mean things about Israel and hurting Israeli’s feelings. It might be a means to throw symbolic support behind the losing Palestinians cause. If that’s the goal BDS is excellent. If the goal is those sorts of policy changes the goal and the means are completely mismatched.

      • seafoid says:

        Israel is a well developed country but it’s completely dependent on the outside world.

        Exports are 37% of GDP per the Economist.
        For the US the corresponding % is 14. Bennett and co say Israel can replace Europe (and even the US) with China. What if that doesn’t work?

        The big risk for the bots is that the story spins out of their control and demand from below puts pressure on EU governments to act.

        BDS is about leveraging goy impatience with Israel.

        It hardly matters “what Israeli Jews want”. They had the choice for long enough and they fucked it up. Apartheid is not going to fly . Israel can’t triangulate its way out of this mess.

        • JeffB says:

          @Seafold

          Just using wikipedia $62.5b out of $288.3b economy that’s more like 21.7%. link to tradingeconomics.com puts Israel at around $5b / mo. Estimates are going to differ but 37% seems high.

          Bennett and co say Israel can replace Europe (and even the US) with China. What if that doesn’t work?

          This is why I was saying go good by good. The EU publishes lists. Raw materials are going to shift with only minor costs. Things like integrated circuits are going to be very hard to successfully trace without USA cooperation. Yes Europe would hurt but not very much.

          It hardly matters “what Israeli Jews want”. They had the choice for long enough and they fucked it up.

          Of course it matters what they want! In war, and activities short of war like sanctions, the goal is to bend your opponent to your will. How much they disagree with your desires determines how much force is going to be needed. Israelis are totally united in detesting the idea of right of return, likely more than they would detest a war or civil violence. So RoR is going to be comparable or possibly worse with say getting Iran to convert to Christianity.

          That’s going to make implementing right of return incredibly difficult. It probably would take multiple wars. Just because you don’t like Israelis doesn’t mean they don’t exist and can’t resist your intentions for their country.

          Colonialism is the same process more or less regardless of what the colonizers are interested in achieving. Economic exploitation generally prompts less resistance than massive social change and the benefits are higher which is why this is popular. Massive social change is possible given enough force. But you don’t have a mechanism to apply that level of force.

          • seafoid says:

            I’ll take the Economist over Wiki every time .

            “So RoR is going to be comparable or possibly worse with say getting Iran to convert to Christianity”

            It’s going to come down to liabilities Israel has built up. I wouldn’t rule out a bond run. When TSHTF Yossi Israeli will be looking for solutions.

            “Massive social change is possible given enough force. But you don’t have a mechanism to apply that level of force.”

            It all depends on what goy consumers decide. Barclays had to pull out of south Africa. Hasbara is dead. Israelis like their standard of living and if forced to decide they will make choices.

            Israel is heading towards the cliff- hard to know if it can stop before it’s too late

      • Sycamores says:

        Countries generally have to lose multiple wars to agree to those sorts of terms. Even severe economic damage wouldn’t be close to enough to get them to agree to BDS’s demands.

        how many wars did South Africa had to stop apartheid? or the US civil rights movement of the 60′s?

        Shumel makes an interesting point about the cultural, intellectual and financial elite in Israel, you know the israelis that have to deal with the rest of the world, the same people who aren’t so brainwash and fear the isolation that’s coming down the pipeline. my view is these israelis will push for policies within israel to prevent further isolation for financial reasons if for no other.

        the BDS movement is a win/win for the Palestinians even if the movement fails to bring israel in line with the rest of the democratic world through boycotts it will bring global attention including the US to the root causes of the why the Palestinians are calling for the boycotts.

        all countires needs global recognition to thrive not isolation unless you want israel to end like North Korea.

        • ”Israelis like their standard of living and if forced to decide they will make choices.”

          Exactly. JeffB seems to have swallowed the line about how all Israelis are fiercely loyal to Zionism and will fight to the last man/woman. In reality, with Israel enjoying probably the greatest period of security in their history, many of Israel’s best and brightest are emigrating, preferring to take their chances with the gentiles than live in the Jewish ghetto. Large numbers of Israelis are looking for any excuse to get out of their compulsory military service. And even when they do sign up, at the first sign of real danger (stone throwing kids don’t count as ‘danger’) they run away. See Lebanon, July 2006 for the most obvious example.

          So while no doubt there is a hard-core of Israelis who will put up with genuine hardship to defend what’s left of Zionism, it’s a fair bet that your average suburban middle class Israeli values a comfortable life above all else, much like people all over the world. That may not fit Israel’s macho image, but it may well turn out to be the truth.

          • Shingo says:

            In reality, with Israel enjoying probably the greatest period of security in their history, many of Israel’s best and brightest are emigrating, preferring to take their chances with the gentiles than live in the Jewish ghetto.

            Very true MDM. In fact, it seems that the Russian Jews who’ve made well are wanting to return to Russia to try their luck with bigger opportunities.

          • seafoid says:

            “Exactly. JeffB seems to have swallowed the line about how all Israelis are fiercely loyal to Zionism and will fight to the last man/woman”

            “it’s a fair bet that your average suburban middle class Israeli values a comfortable life above all else, much like people all over the world.”

            link to theresidence.co.il
            link to lagur.com

            If BDS hits property values Yossi will do ANYTHING

        • JeffB says:

          @Sycamores

          how many wars did South Africa had to stop apartheid?

          I could snip WW2 for one, the National Party was pro-Nazi though they weren’t the governing party at the time.

          But more seriously, South African white society was much more divided on apartheid than Israeli society is on RoR. There is nothing like the same kind of consensus nor passion. It isn’t a comparable situation. Ending Apartheid might be comparable to something like 2SS, where there is some solid minority support within Israel.

          Shumel makes an interesting point about the cultural, intellectual and financial elite in Israel

          Absolutely the majority of educated professional Israelis are to the left of center mildly. The economic and financial elite in Israel is also closely tied with the Israeli right. But regardless none of them are anywhere near supporting RoR. Given the choice between sanctions and RoR the Labor party choose sanctions. Given the choice between war and RoR the Labor party chooses war. Where do you find an elite to the left of the Labor party?

          the BDS movement is a win/win for the Palestinians even if the movement fails to bring israel in line with the rest of the democratic world through boycotts it will bring global attention including the US to the root causes of the why the Palestinians are calling for the boycotts.

          Maybe. Or maybe it like isolates Israel further and causes Israeli society to openly and fully identify with the European right rather than the European left and cultivate a long term alliance. Or maybe it does cross over to America and Israel decides to find a new patron in Russia, China or India.

          When you start a conflict the other side gets to throw punches too.

          • Hostage says:

            But regardless none of them are anywhere near supporting RoR. Given the choice between sanctions and RoR the Labor party choose sanctions. Given the choice between war and RoR the Labor party chooses war. Where do you find an elite to the left of the Labor party?

            173 countries view the failure to repatriate prisoners and displaced civilians as a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions and a war crime. So you are saying that, given a choice, most Israelis will opt to commit a war crime. In many jurisdictions it’s considered hate speech to publicly advocate, condone, or trivialize that sort of behavior. Every state is obliged to respect the right of return of displaced persons. link to icrc.org

          • Sycamores says:

            @JeffB

            you know i did mention nazi Germany in my first post as an example of a country that needed to be completely defeated before it came to it senses (Norman Finkelstein has mention this example a couple of times) but i deleted it, because of the comparision you made about israel.

            Countries generally have to lose multiple wars to agree to those sorts of terms. Even severe economic damage wouldn’t be close to enough to get them to agree to BDS’s demands.

            the reason for my deletion was out of my civility towards you. i know how much the nazi smear irks the pro-israel crowd.

            yet you bring it up and don’t even take it seriously

            I could snip WW2 for one, the National Party was pro-Nazi though they weren’t the governing party at the time.

            But more seriously,………

            i do agree that the majority of educated professional Israelis are against RoR at the moment but time has away of changing things. the majority of educated professional Israelis recognise that the illegal settlements are causing major problems internationally and have said as much. they also recognise that the inequality of the non-Jews in israel is another problem that won’t go away.

            i wonder what the majority of educated professional Israelis think of this Luxembourg pension fund dumps 9 Israeli firms over settlements link to electronicintifada.net

            the Right of Return will be the final defeat for israel as it is now only then like Germany at the end of WW2 will Israel come to its senses.

            new patrons with China, India or Russia is that a threat or a promise? israel losing its western influence is highly unlikely if they did any israeli with a dual passport would be gone in the morning.

            if israel left the US patronage where do you think Europes interest lies with the US or with the small state of israel.

      • Hostage says:

        Israel is a well developed country. Picture a practical set of boycott measures.

        Okay. The “S” in BDS stands for sanctions and that includes the ones in the Rome Statute for asset freezing and forfeiture. Nothing in the Rome Statute limits its application to government officials. It can be used to go after individuals involved in joint criminal enterprises and the proceeds of any crime, especially pillage. Plenty of European and US capital has flowed into the businesses that partner with the WZO Settlement Division in the Prime Minister’s office and other officials responsible for constructing, expanding, and marketing the illegal settlements, like Shikun and Binui. link to timesofisrael.com

        The proceeds from pillaged land going into EU pension and investment funds represents a huge moral hazard. The fund managers have a fiduciary responsibility to avoid investments that are likely to result in asset freezing and forfeiture and they are starting to realize their exposure on that account. The ICC and its member states are required to treat Israel population transfer and pillaging just like they treat any other form of racketeering.

        • just says:

          Hostage– you are incredible. You teach me so much– many thanks.

          • Hostage says:

            Hostage– you are incredible. You teach me so much– many thanks.

            You’re welcome. The fact is that most EU countries are ICC member states, and the ICC already has jurisdiction over criminal acts committed or attempted by their citizens as part of a joint criminal enterprise under the terms of Article 25 (3). So the risks of investing in the illegal settlement enterprise are not strictly limited to loss of profits or the proceeds:

            3. In accordance with this Statute, a person shall be criminally responsible and liable for punishment for a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court if that person:

            (a) Commits such a crime, whether as an individual, jointly with another or through another person, regardless of whether that other person is criminally responsible;

            (b) Orders, solicits or induces the commission of such a crime which in fact occurs or is attempted;

            (c) For the purpose of facilitating the commission of such a crime, aids, abets or otherwise assists in its commission or its attempted commission, including providing the means for its commission;

            (d) In any other way contributes to the commission or attempted commission of such a crime by a group of persons acting with a common purpose. Such contribution shall be intentional and shall either:
            (i) Be made with the aim of furthering the criminal activity or criminal purpose of the group, where such activity or purpose involves the commission of a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court; or

            (ii) Be made in the knowledge of the intention of the group to commit the crime;

            (e) In respect of the crime of genocide, directly and publicly incites others to commit genocide;

            (f) Attempts to commit such a crime by taking action that commences its execution by means of a substantial step, but the crime does not occur because of circumstances independent of the person’s intentions. However, a person who abandons the effort to commit the crime or otherwise prevents the completion of the crime shall not be liable for punishment under this Statute for the attempt to commit that crime if that person completely and voluntarily gave up the criminal purpose.

          • seafoid says:

            Hostage is relentless. I feel sorry for any bot who dares to taunt him.

        • Shingo says:

          The fact is that most EU countries are ICC member states, and the ICC already has jurisdiction over criminal acts committed or attempted by their citizens as part of a joint criminal enterprise under the terms of Article 25 (3). So the risks of investing in the illegal settlement enterprise are not strictly limited to loss of profits or the proceeds:

          Hostage,

          May I ask what the implications are for the recent fishing agreement between the EU and Morocco that the Habrats are trying to make hay about? Apparently, in the agreement, Morocco have not made a distinctions between their own water and those of Western Sahara and of course, the Habrats are jumping up and down about double standards etc.
          link to timesofisrael.com

          I must admit I know very little about this occupation. Is there anything we should know?

          • Hostage says:

            Hostage, May I ask what the implications are for the recent fishing agreement between the EU and Morocco that the Habrats are trying to make hay about?

            The most obvious difference is that Palestine is a UNESCO and UN observer state, thanks to the votes of several EU member states. There is a two part article that compares the two situations at Opinio Juris. It sparked a lively debate and I participated in it.
            * link to opiniojuris.org
            * link to opiniojuris.org

        • JeffB says:

          @Hostage –

          We’ve had this debate before. Pillage is a huge stretch for what Israel is doing. If you are going to charge them with pillage you might as well make up any other crime. Regardless though even assuming this pillage argument held water you are still counting money twice: if on the books trade with Europe dies then capital flows in Europe become unimportant to Israel. It doesn’t have additional effect. What a banking sanction might do is become a mechanism for goods sanctioning.

          But again that’s easy to circumvent. The payments just go to American or Asian banks which then issue in kind through European banks. Annoying? Yes. Crippling or even very damaging? No.

          • Hostage says:

            you are still counting money twice: if on the books trade with Europe dies then capital flows in Europe become unimportant to Israel. It doesn’t have additional effect. What a banking sanction might do is become a mechanism for goods sanctioning. But again that’s easy to circumvent. The payments just go to American or Asian banks which then issue in kind through European banks.

            I was talking about 122 state governments identifying the extent or whereabouts of property derived directly or indirectly from an ICC crime and freezing the assets or requiring their forfeiture. That money doesn’t flow anywhere else and its not easy to circumvent.

            You’re a really slow learner and suffer from denial. If you follow the link that I provided, you’ll see the impact of the type of “capital flight” that I outlined above has already been headline news in Israel. Here’s another headline story: “Israel boycott fears prompt foreign bidders to abandon ports tender” — link to haaretz.com

            That trend will only escalate if the Palestinians file a complaint with the ICC citing the situation with regard to the settlement enterprise and its many enablers.

            We’ve had this debate before. Pillage is a huge stretch for what Israel is doing. If you are going to charge them with pillage you might as well make up any other crime.

            No its not. “[E]viction by armed attack or occupation” is a war crime for which no statutory limitation applies. See the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. Nonetheless, you spend most of your time here at MW publicly condoning, denying, or trivializing the victims of that crime and denying their right to be repatriated – which also amounts to a war crime. I think you ought to be banned for engaging in hate speech.

            FYI, the Israeli High Court of Justice cited the applicable prohibition from Article 46 of the Hague Convention when it ordered the original settlement of Elon Moreh to be dismantled. It had been illegally constructed on private Palestinian property. See HCJ 390/79, link to hamoked.org

            Nothing has changed, except the government of Israel has subsequently disclosed a database that revealed a third of the land used for settlements was stolen from private Palestinian owners in the very same fashion. See Steven Erlanger, “West Bank Sites on Private Land, Data Shows”, New York Times, 14 March, 2007 link to nytimes.com

            In any event, I’m not making up anything. The Nuremberg Tribunal’s Judgement on “The Law Relating to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity” included “plunder of public or private property” in its list of war crimes, for which there must be individual criminal responsibility. Article 33 of the 4th Geneva Convention reaffirmed the prohibition and individual accountability. The Tribunal said that the rules of land warfare expressed in the convention undoubtedly represented an advance over existing international law at the time of their adoption, but by 1939 had been recognized by all civilized nations. The Hague rules contained separate prohibitions, like Article 28, that apply during hostilities; and rules, like Articles 46 and 52, that apply during the occupation phase in enemy territory. Customary law dating from the mid-19th century also prohibited pillage during civil wars. See Customary IHL Rule 52 Pillage link to icrc.org

            The governments and Courts in Israel have used a legal fiction to treat the so-called “State” land in the West Bank as if it were unincorporated Israeli territory. It has illegally expropriated more than 2 million dunams of it since 1967. That has not been a successful legal strategy either. The ICJ advised that according to the terms of the Hague and the Geneva Conventions, all of the Israeli settlements were established illegally.

            There is ample evidence from the FRUS and the personal diaries of Ben Gurion and Joseph Weitz to establish the fact that the government of Israel began violating Article 28 of the Hague rules by settling European Jewish immigrants on illegally expropriated Palestinian land and homes while the armed conflict was still in progress. The UN Mediator, Folke Bernadotte, reported as much to the Security Council:

            In regard to property Arab refugees he said apparently most had been seized for use by Jews. He had seen Haganah organizing and supervising removal contents Arab houses in Ramle which he understood was being distributed among newly arrived Jewish immigrants. He was putting problem before SC but was not counting on its assistance. Also spoke of asking for special session GA to consider refugees.

            –Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa (in two parts), Page 1295 link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

            Israeli historian Shlomo Ben-Ami confirmed those reports using Israeli archival evidence:

            The Jews did not have to buy land any more, but to ‘conquer it’, as Ben-Gurion said to an official of the Jewish National Fund in February 1948. He also instructed that abandoned Arab villages needed to be settled by Jews even before the end of hostilities. Settling the land in a way that created Jewish contiguity’ and demographic superiority was not to be an enterprise to be executed after the victory. Rather, it was part of the war itself. Villages were destroyed, their populations either evicted or fled, and their lands were settled by immigrants or cultivated by kibbutzim in the course of the war itself. This is how Ben-Gurion put in April 1948: ‘We will not be able to win the war if we do not, during the war, populate Upper and Lower, Eastern and Western Galilee, the Negev and the Jerusalem area.’ And this, he understood, would be facilitated by the ‘great change in the distribution of the Arab population’, a euphemism Ben-Gurion frequently preferred to more blunt expressions.

            Scars of War, Wounds of Peace, page 45 link to books.google.com

            That was a flagrant violation of Article 28 of the Hague rules. A simple review of the travail préparatoire for General Assembly resolution 194 (III) reveals that the initial draft supplied by the British government explicitly stated that the property of Arab refugees had been pillaged:

            11. ENDORSES the principle stated in Part I, Section V, Paragraph 7 of the Mediator’s Report and RESOLVES that the Arab refugees should be permitted to return to their homes at the earliest possible date and that adequate compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for property which has been lost as a result of pillage, confiscation or of destruction; and INSTRUCTS the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement, and economic and social rehabilitation of the Arab refugees and the payment of compensation;

            link to unispal.un.org

          • seafoid says:

            JeffB

            Liability is where it is at. If the Untermenschen go to the ICC the bill is going to arrive.

      • Sibiriak says:

        JeffB:

        1) The greenline / wall is a demand for Israel to relinquish control of lands on which over 10% of their population lives

        The Palestinians (and Arab states) have long ago signaled willingness to agree to land swaps that will put major Israeli settlement blocks under Israeli sovereignty. So, your 10% figure is only theoretical, not at all realistic.

        2) Equality is a demand for a radical restructuring of the government so that it is less representative of what the Israeli Jewish people want.

        The demand for equality within Israel proper isn’t the driving force behind BDS’ popularity–it’s the Occupation, stupid. Arab Israelis already have basic civil rights in Israel, and an increase in equality will result from a gradual social as well as political process, not a sudden “radical restructuring” of the Israeli government .

        13) 194 is a call for Israel to be overrun with a hostile population.

        1) Everything depends on how 194 is interpreted, especially in terms of the rights of descendants of refugees.

        2) Crucially, the Palestinian leadership has long ago signaled that they would agree to an implementation of a right of return that would involve symbolism, compensation, and only a very small number of Palestinians returning to Israel.

        Maximalist goals and achievable results need to be distinguished. Personally, I see BDS achievable results as: 1) Further delegitimization of Zionist ideology and policy, with long term implications. 2) Increased pressure on Israel to agree to a two “state” settlement. 3) Set the stage for a very long-term anti-Apartheid -like struggle in the unlikely event that Israeli flat-out rejects any two “state” settlement and attempts to annex the entire West Bank.

        Furthermore, BDS works synergistically with other social/political forces: international governmental and popular pressure on Israel (increased “pariah state” status); legal action via the UN, ICC etc.; non-violent Palestinian protests, and so on.

        Having said all that, I still believe a “1.5 state” arrangement, either through negotiation or imposition, is the most likely short-term outcome. But the dynamics are complex, and many possibilities exist. The future is open.

        • JeffB says:

          @Sibiriak

          The Palestinians (and Arab states) have long ago signaled willingness to agree to land swaps that will put major Israeli settlement blocks under Israeli sovereignty. So, your 10% figure is only theoretical, not at all realistic.

          The argument is about the BDS position not the PA position nor the Arab League position. They aren’t the same thing and there is no reason to conflate them. BDS is a reaction against 2SS which is both the PA and Arab League position.

          The PA and the Arab governments have actually held power. They understand what ruling over 1/2m Jews who hate the Palestinian government and have no intention to live peacefully within it would mean. They are totally opposed to the green line as anything other than a starting place for negotiations. Fetishizing the green line comes from UN worshippers not people who’ve actually run governments, particularly people who often have disgruntled minorities that have started civil wars in their own territories.

          The demand for equality within Israel proper isn’t the driving force behind BDS’ popularity–it’s the Occupation, stupid. Arab Israelis already have basic civil rights in Israel, and an increase in equality will result from a gradual social as well as political process, not a sudden “radical restructuring” of the Israeli government .

          I never said anything about BDS popularity and the “stupid” comment was unnecessary and rude. Arab Israelis have been losing their moving towards equality since the 1st Intifada as they politically identify more with foreign enemies peoples, i.e. get gradually transformed back into Palestinians. Granting them full legal equality means abandoning core components of the state like the state church.

          Crucially, the Palestinian leadership has long ago signaled that they would agree to an implementation of a right of return that would involve symbolism, compensation, and only a very small number of Palestinians returning to Israel.

          They signal lots of things. The moment they are asked for a hard statement which caps it they fall back on the concept of a permanent racial entitlement that Palestinians inherit generation after generation forever. I think the Arab League doesn’t support RoR, but the problem is Lebanon. Regardless however BDS’ position is that Palestinian is a absolute racial entitlement even for the Jordanian Palestinians.

          Personally, I see BDS achievable results as: 1) Further delegitimization of Zionist ideology and policy, with long term implications. 2) Increased pressure on Israel to agree to a two “state” settlement. 3) Set the stage for a very long-term anti-Apartheid -like struggle in the unlikely event that Israeli flat-out rejects any two “state” settlement and attempts to annex the entire West Bank.

          Israel isn’t going to annex the West Bank. I think their position is fairly clear. They annex Area C some of Area B and grant “independence” to Area A and most of Area B. This “Palestinian state” of Area A + most B + Gaza is an impoverished ungovernable mess. A generation+ of disease, crime, internal violence, poverty prevents a mass migration in and sets the stage for whatever Israel does around 2060 or so. The only way Israel just annexes the West Bank wholesale is a political environment ripe for ethnic cleansing. Say for example something like the 2016 election of President Ted Cruz who wants Israel to help destabilize the middle east.

          As far as delegitimization the anti-colonialist movement was stronger in the 1950s and in the 1970s with the Zionism is racism UN resolution. Israel survived that easily. The Tea Party has 0 international legitimacy, who cares? Putin’s United Russia party has 0 international legitimacy, who cares? The Communist Party of China has 0 international legitimacy, who cares? The problem with Israel is like the abused child they are, they still seek their abusive parent’s (Europe’s) approval. Hopefully the next generation of Israelis get over their ridiculous inferiority complex, the same way the 70s+ Israelis finally accepted that the Arab states were never going to be impressed with Israeli democracy and that Israel was going to make peace with the Arab states once pan-Arabism became unfashionable and the politics broke on other lines like what’s happening. The only thing that matters is whether Jews remain Zionist and I think Jews in 2014 are more Zionist than they were a generation ago for sure.

          or imposition, is the most likely short-term outcome

          You and I have already discussed this. You know that no one is imposing any solution on a nuclear power over a few million refugees. No one can at reasonable cost impose anything that Israel truly doesn’t want on it. That type of existential security is what 120 years of Zionism have bought the Jews. Not wanting to go back to living under the abusive parent is why Zionism will never be delegitimized among Jews, Ben-Gurion was the promised messiah.

          • Sibiriak says:

            JeffB:

            the “stupid” comment was unnecessary and rude.

            My “its the Occupation, stupid” was an allusion to James Carville’s famous “the economy, stupid” 1992 campaign message.

            The phrase has become a snowclone repeated often in American political culture, usually starting with the word “it’s” and with commentators sometimes using a different word in place of “economy.” Examples include “It’s the deficit, stupid!”[3] “It’s the corporation, stupid!”[4] “It’s the math, stupid!”[5] and “It’s the voters, stupid!”.[6]

            link to en.wikipedia.org

            It wasn’t a comment about you.

            [JeffB:]The argument is about the BDS position not the PA position nor the Arab League position…BDS is a reaction against 2SS which is both the PA and Arab League position.

            The original 2005 BDS statement of goals read:

            1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall .

            That was changed to:

            Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall;

            As I argued in another thread, a call for the end to the occupation/colonization of post 1967 territories acquired by Israel effectively equivalent to a call for two states , at least in the short term, since an end to Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza would mean Palestine, already a de jure state, becoming a de facto state alongside Israel. Of course, others disagree.

            The fact is, as stated, the official BDS goals are quite vague –deliberately so, imo–and can be interpreted different ways. Your interpretation is not invalid, but it is the most extreme possible. Other interpretations are possible.

            You know that no one is imposing any solution on a nuclear power over a few million refugees.

            I was referring there to the possibility of Israel at some point imposing a solution on the Palestinians via Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank, not anybody imposing something on Israel.

          • Sibiriak says:

            JeffB:

            Putin’s United Russia party has 0 international legitimacy, who cares? The Communist Party of China has 0 international legitimacy, who cares?

            Moral legitimacy– Jews care.

            The sad thing– from a Zionist perspective –is that the idea of “aliya” is no longer possible. There can be no ‘ascent’ via immigration to Israel, no elevation of the Jew to a higher form of living and existence. There can now only be “yerida”–descent.

          • seafoid says:

            JeffB is some recycled bot. Which of them?

          • LeaNder says:

            Could you explain:

            Arab Israelis have been losing their moving towards equality since the 1st Intifada as they politically identify more with foreign enemies peoples, i.e. get gradually transformed back into Palestinians.

            “Arab Israelis” or “present absentees” only became Palestinians during the 1st intifada? How comes they did then? If only then what exactly were they before?

            If you don’t mind, this puzzles me too more linguistically:

            The PA and the Arab governments have actually held power.

            Are you a native Hebrew speaker. How does the use of time in Hebrew work? In other words, they hold or once held power. Or did your mind wander back somewhat and this made you choose held? But yes, in case you wonder, the presence of “power” may have attracted me here.

          • talknic says:

            @ JeffB Demonstrates idiocy 101 at great length

            Fetishizing the green line comes from UN worshippers not people who’ve actually run governments”

            All members of the UN are States run by Governments you stupid stupid person. The majority of UN member states (ALL run by governments) have hundreds of times stated via UNSC resolutions reaffirming and emphasizing binding law, that Israel is in breach of binding International Law and the UN Charter

            “particularly people who often have disgruntled minorities that have started civil wars in their own territories”

            See above .. Governments are the majority. Can you name one instance of a government starting a civil war?

            “Arab Israelis … Granting them full legal equality means abandoning core components of the state like the state church”

            WOW!!! What happened?? What went wrong???

            “The moment they are asked for a hard statement which caps it they fall back on the concept of a permanent racial entitlement that Palestinians inherit generation after generation forever. “

            RoR is a LEGAL entitlement, nothing to do with race.

            “Regardless however BDS’ position is that Palestinian is a absolute racial entitlement even for the Jordanian Palestinians”

            Jordanians are Jordanians they are not a race and Jodanians have no RoR to Palestine or Israel.

            “Israel isn’t going to annex the West Bank. I think their position is fairly clear. They annex Area C some of Area B “

            Area C some of Area B aren’t in the West Bank? WOW!!! They’ve been moved?

            “and grant “independence” to Area A and most of Area B”

            Independence is not Israel’s to grant, the Palestinians aren’t seceding from Israel. It is a LEGAL requirement that Israel get the #%^& out of all non-Israeli territory

            “This “Palestinian state” of Area A + most B + Gaza is an impoverished ungovernable mess. A generation+ of disease, crime, internal violence, poverty prevents a mass migration in..”

            Palestine includes area C … A/B/C/Gaza have been under occupation by Israel you stupid stupid person

            “As far as delegitimization ..”

            Israel delegitimizes itself by being in breach of International Law and the UN Charter

            “The problem with Israel is like the abused child they are”

            Oh FFS the state of Israel got 56% of PALESTINE for NOTHING! Not one miserly shekel wa spaid for Israel’s territory. Israel has since illegally acquired by war a further 50% of what remained of Palestine. What abuse are you babbling about?

            “The only thing that matters is whether Jews remain Zionist “

            From the shear idiocy of your statements, count this Jew out. I’d rather remain sane

            “You know that no one is imposing any solution on a nuclear power over a few million refugees. No one can at reasonable cost impose anything that Israel truly doesn’t want on it”

            Not even Israel’s legal obligations. IOW with nukes Israel is a nuclear powered rogue state. Sanctions can defeat Israel. That’s why the Jewish state is in panic mode, passing more and more stupid laws and making an idiot of itself on the world stage

            “That type of existential security is what 120 years of Zionism have bought the Jews”

            120 years of Zionism has bought the Jews a stinking illegal mess from which the State of Israel cannot afford to legally extricate itself without being sent bankrupt for decades. It’s ONLY legal option is to negotiate a deal with the Palestinians who have the law in their favour.

            “Not wanting to go back to living under the abusive parent is why Zionism will never be delegitimized among Jews, Ben-Gurion was the promised messiah”

            Ben Gurion the terrorist?

        • LeaNder says:

          I still believe a “1.5 state” arrangement, either through negotiation or imposition, is the most likely short-term outcome.

          Could you explain Sirbiriak?

          Seems Shmuel triggered quite an interesting debate.

          • Hostage says:

            After 1949 Israel started a process of assimilation for those Palestinians still residing in Israel.

            Some people here seem to forget that the new government of Israel didn’t have a nationality law when it revived the lapsed Emergency Defense Regulations (1945), so that the Defense Minister, David Ben Gurion, could impose martial law on a generation of Palestinian Arabs under his area of control. Each of his successors followed suit until the mid-1960s.

            Despite the assumption by a few, that they were incorporated under the Area of Jurisdiction and Powers Ordinance (passed by the Knesset September 22, 1948), the territory of the State occupied by Jews and the parts of Palestine which the Minister of Defence defined by proclamation as being held by the IDF under martial law were still treated as separate areas. link to geocities.com

            In any event, after Israel signed an armistice agreement in line with the Hague rules, it was simply enforcing the same emergency laws that had been in effect throughout Palestine the day before the Mandate was terminated.

            John Quigley described the situation: Apartheid Outside Africa: The Case of Israel; 2 Indiana International & Comparative Law Review. 221 (1991-1992) link to heinonline.org

        • JeffB says:

          @Leader –

          Up a level

          JeffB: Arab Israelis have been losing their moving towards equality since the 1st Intifada as they politically identify more with foreign enemies peoples, i.e. get gradually transformed back into Palestinians.

          Leader: “Arab Israelis” or “present absentees” only became Palestinians during the 1st intifada? How comes they did then? If only then what exactly were they before?

          After 1949 Israel started a process of assimilation for those Palestinians still residing in Israel. This process started with them identifying as “Israeli Arabs”, an religious / cultural minority of Israelis rather than viewing themselves as a part of the Palestinian people. This was going well, until the 1980s. During the 1st Intifada this assimilation process started to halt and slowly started to reverse. During this generation+ what should have happened was much deeper integration so that by 2040 there would be a lot of intermarriage and Israeli Arabs would be having lots of half-Jewish, half-Arab children so that by 2120 or so everyone would be mixed and there would be no problem. But that didn’t happen, instead the Israeli Arabs more and more consider themselves to be part of the same people that live over the green line. They psychological view their interests as tied to the people of Ramallah not the people of Tel Aviv. That’s what I meant.

          The PA and the Arab governments have actually held power.

          What I meant here was that both the PA and the Arab governments have had to rule over peoples and thus have a degree of realism that many of the BDS advocates don’t have. I’m not sure what’s confusing about this.

          • LeaNder says:

            After 1949 Israel started a process of assimilation for those Palestinians still residing in Israel.

            Interesting way to put it. You mean a “process of assimilation” in which they had to accept to loose their homes and lands and possessions, a rather selective process that turned them from former inhabitants of the area called Palestine into a something reminiscent of Zionist ideology: Arab Israelis.

            Do you think that was a good term to choose given the dominant forces of the Yishuv considered all Arabs out there as mortal enemies? Arab Israelis versus Oriental Jews?

            I better don’t tell you what your assimilation argument reminds me of looked at within a larger frame, somewhat reminds me of the “state within the state” type of thinking over here in Europe concerning “the Jews”. If only they would assimilate, but they don’t.

            But do you have any sources concerning the ultimate aim of intermarriage you suggest, from what I read so far I found no traces of what you suggest.

            Wikipedia: Ministry of Minority Affairs:

            The Ministry of Minority Affairs was founded after independence, and was the only new ministry not based on Yishuv institutions.[1] The ministerial post was held by Bechor-Shalom Sheetrit, an Arabic speaker who was popular with the country’s Arab population. Sheetrit attempted to promote integration and equality, but was hamstrung by the Military Government, which controlled most Arab areas after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, as well as Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who vetoed Sheetrit’s proposal for an Arab advisory council in the ministry. [2]

            See also Hillel Cohen, Good Arabs: The Israeli Security Agencies and the Israeli Arabs, 1948-1967

            But I actually agree with something you said here somewhere, there seems to be an heightened interest in the early history of Zionism. Which ultimately forces me to go back all the way into matters over here, I so far avoided Nazi ideologues like Alfred Rosenberg and their white Russian friends and precursors and the extend to which they based their paranoid universe on Zionist activities.

            One question, do you think the world generally will or has to shift more towards the right especially in the ME? Do you feel that Israel is a bastion of the defense of Western values there against the Arabs generally, not only the “Israeli Arabs” mind you. What do you think about the threat scenarios like the one presented by Daniel Johnson in the Oxford Debate video linked. I wish I could find the complete video. I somewhat suspect Géza Vermes might feel misused in the context Johnson presents here.

            But strictly that is exactly the context that may well create the counterforce against the Zionist narrative. Can you see what is missing in Johnson’s “defense of culture” narrative above?

      • Shingo says:

        When you are done you are likely to see something like 1% of GDP from a severe European boycott. That isn’t even a recession.

        I had this debate before with JeffB and demonstrated the numbers would be closer to 10% or 20%.

        Even severe economic damage wouldn’t be close to enough to get them to agree to BDS’s demands.

        That’s already been disproven given that Israel already suffers the worst brain drain in the West. Polls have consistently shown that significant numbers only remain in Israel because they cannot enjoy the sane standard fo living elsewhere and would leave if they could afford to.

        • JeffB says:

          Yes you did have this debate before and you counted the same sanctions money 3 times. You also had Israel effectively manufacturing things and then dumping in the ocean in your accounting. It got tiresome and I’ve stopped debating you.

        • Naftush says:

          Fact fail.
          “The number of Israelis who left the country in 2011 had not returned by the end of 2012 stands at 16,000 – one the lowest figures over the past three decades and among the lowest rates in the developed world. [...] In 2011, about 9,500 Israelis who had resided in the country and who spent an extended period abroad returned to Israel. [...] In recent years, Israel’s rate of emigration has been two people per 1,000 residents, low [by OECD standards] [...] Since 1990, a year in which 24,700 Israelis left the country, there has been a more than 35 percent decline in the annual rate of emigration.”
          Lior Dattel, TheMarker, Oct. 1, 2013

      • JeffB says:

        @Hostage

        173 countries view the failure to repatriate prisoners and displaced civilians as a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions and a war crime. So you are saying that, given a choice, most Israelis will opt to commit a war crime. In many jurisdictions it’s considered hate speech to publicly advocate, condone, or trivialize that sort of behavior. Every state is obliged to respect the right of return of displaced persons. link to icrc.org

        RoR has to do with people 3 generations after displaced civilians. Even the UN generally is a little questionable about this idea that 4th generation Syrians aren’t really Syrian. But if we ignored this during the 1950s this was about displaced persons and Israel openly had a position of shooting the if they attempted to return. This position enjoyed broad support among the population. Essentially no one in Israel thinks the 1950s position at the time was the wrong one.

        So yes, that is the position of the Israeli population. Israel, and by that I mean the Israeli population has rather consistently rejected the Geneva convention. So BTW have the populations of the United States, Russia, China, India, Egypt in their wars. The 4th Geneva convention goes way too far, has been unable to gather popular support from people’s in conflicts repeatedly. I’m hard pressed to think of any conflicts of significance where it has enjoyed support, though I’ll grant you can likely name some. 4th Geneva is in short a terrible international treaty that if people took international law more seriously they would reject.

        As for jurisdictions attacking people who trivialize 4th Geneva, I can think of no person who did more to attack 4th Geneva than George W Bush where be broke the basic framework of civilian / combatant by creating a 3rd class of “illegal combatants” who enjoyed the rights of neither class. George W Bush freely traveled to those jurisdictions. The majority of the United States in 2004 BTW voted for him and travels freely to those jurisdictions. So maybe you should consider how serious those laws really are.

        • Hostage says:

          RoR has to do with people 3 generations after displaced civilians.

          That’s an utterly false and overly broad generalization. We are talking about an on-going process of displacing persons who continue to enjoy the protection of Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention against being deported or transferred involuntarily and having their property colonized. That protection doesn’t end until such time as they are repatriated. See Article 6 of the 4th Geneva Convention and “Israel admits it revoked residency rights of a quarter million Palestinians” link to haaretz.com

          That identifiable group includes more than a quarter of a million Palestinians which Israel admits it displaced between 1967 and 1993. Many of those persons were displaced through eviction and establishment of illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel can’t 1) retain the settlements; 2) deny repatriation; and 3) realistically expect to conclude a valid international treaty that “ends all claims” under the 4th Geneva Convention. Non-renunciation of those Article 6 and 49 rights and protections happens to be a feature of Article 8 of the 4th Geneva Convention.

          It’s also pointless to try and conclude a valid international agreement that violates a peremptory norm of international law. The use of force to effect deportations and involuntary population transfers; persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, or religious grounds; and apartheid are all crimes against humanity (Rome Statute Article 7(1)(d) and (h) and (g).

          Article 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties stipulates that:

          A treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law.

          link to treaties.un.org

          The International Law Commission has advised in the context of Article 53 that:

          Those peremptory norms that are clearly accepted and recognized include the prohibitions of aggression, genocide, slavery, racial discrimination, crimes against humanity and torture, and the right to self-determination.

          link to books.google.com

      • JeffB says:

        @Sibriak –

        Moral legitimacy– Jews care.

        The sad thing– from a Zionist perspective –is that the idea of “aliya” is no longer possible. There can be no ‘ascent’ via immigration to Israel, no elevation of the Jew to a higher form of living and existence. There can now only be “yerida”–descent.

        I don’t think it is sad at all nor do I agree. It is part of Jews walking away from the navel gazing of the diaspora. Jews become fully human and live in human societies under human rules. But if a Jew wants to spend his live navel gazing it is still possible to dedicate their life to moral service under Zionism. But for most Jews, Zionism means Jews becoming fully part of humanity, ascending from the status of abused children to being fully adult. And as full adults they understand that life is full of tradeoffs and all choices have negative consequences.

        • seafoid says:

          “for most Jews, Zionism means Jews becoming fully part of humanity, ascending from the status of abused children to being fully adult. ”

          It doesn’t stop there. Many carry on to become abusers
          Very hard to break the cycle of hatred.
          The IDF is the wrong vector.

          Are American Jews not fully human?

        • Sibiriak says:

          JeffB:

          It is part of Jews walking away from the navel gazing of the diaspora. Jews become fully human and live in human societies under human rules.

          Jews aren’t “fully human” and don’t live in “human societies” if they are not living in Israel??

          But if a Jew wants to spend his live navel gazing it is still possible to dedicate their life to moral service under Zionism.

          “Moral service” = “navel gazing”?

          ETC.

          Are you choosing your words carefully?

          • JeffB says:

            @Sibiriak

            Jews aren’t “fully human” and don’t live in “human societies” if they are not living in Israel??

            Almost, change to past tense and that’s what I was saying. Jews spent most of their time as a servile people living in a primitive state where they were unable to form meaningful societies. Diaspora Judaism wasn’t able to form the sorts of long term bonds of land and peoples in Europe and the Muslim countries. They had a guest a relationship. Israel changed that. Herzl wrote on this for example:

            The Jewish question exists wherever Jews live in perceptible numbers. Where it does not exist, it is carried by Jews in the course of their migrations. We naturally move to those places where we are not persecuted, and there our presence produces persecution. This is the case in every country, and will remain so, even in those highly civilized—for instance, France—until the Jewish question finds a solution on a political basis. ….

            We are what the Ghetto made us. We have attained pre-eminence in finance, because mediaeval conditions drove us to it. The same process is now being repeated. We are again being forced into finance, now it is the stock exchange, by being kept out of other branches of economic activity. Being on the stock exchange, we are consequently exposed afresh to contempt. At the same time we continue to produce an abundance of mediocre intellects who find no outlet, and this endangers our social position as much as does our increasing wealth. Educated Jews without means are now rapidly becoming Socialists. Hence we are certain to suffer very severely in the struggle between classes, because we stand in the most exposed position in the camps of both Socialists and capitalists.

            Etc… This is an abnormal state. Israel has moved the Jews towards normalcy.

          • Hostage says:

            The Jewish question exists wherever Jews live in perceptible numbers. Where it does not exist, it is carried by Jews in the course of their migrations. We naturally move to those places where we are not persecuted, and there our presence produces persecution. This is the case in every country, and will remain so, even in those highly civilized—for instance, France—until the Jewish question finds a solution on a political basis. ….

            I notice you snipped off the part about England and the USA which illustrates that he was really clueless. You seem to forget that France had a Jewish Prime Minister years before Israel had one:

            —for instance, France—until the Jewish question finds a solution on a political basis. The unfortunate Jews are now carrying the seeds of Anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America.

            I’ve noted in the past that the founders of Political Zionism claimed 1) all Gentiles had incurable hereditary mental disorders [Pinsker] or that Diaspora Jews actually cause anti-Semitism by producing too many feeble intellects, revolutionaries, and greedy bankers [Herzl]. They claimed that all of this could be magically cured by simply establishing a Jewish-only homeland where we could be isolated from the Gentiles who make normal life for us impossible. They were racists who employed the same stereotypes the ADL condemns others for using. Herzl specifically taught that:

            Anti-Semitism increases day by day and hour by hour among the nations; indeed, it is bound to increase, because the causes of its growth continue to exist and cannot be removed. Its remote cause is our loss of the power of assimilation during the Middle Ages; its immediate cause is our excessive production of mediocre intellects, who cannot find an outlet downwards or upwards—that is to say, no wholesome outlet in either direction. When we sink, we become a revolutionary proletariat, the subordinate officers of all revolutionary parties; and at the same time, when we rise, there rises also our terrible power of the purse.

            See — The Jewish State, link to gutenberg.org

            Herzl was really a despot who wanted to found a global empire and assume the role of the head of new royal family:

            “It is precisely the duty of the leader to set the people on the path which, by apparent detours, leads to the goal. You refuse the life which is offered you out of fear, cowardice. Miserable eunuchs that you are, you sacrifice the sources of your power. Look at Britain! It pours its excess popula­tion into the vast empire that it was able to acquire. Are we then so craven as to be frightened of the offer made to us? Starting from their national base, nations have built colonial empires that have made their fortunes. Let us accept the chance offered us to become a miniature England. Let us start by acquiring our colonies! From them, we shall launch the conquest of our Homeland. Let the lands between Kilimanjaro and Kenya become those of the first colony of Israel! They, rather than Edmond de Rothschild’s philanthropic supported refugees, will constitute the real Rishon le-Zion, the first- fruits of Zionism, of the New Israel. If we accept Chamberlain’s offer with gratitude, we strengthen our position, we oblige him to do something wise for us should our commission of enquiry reject the land proposed. In our transactions with this mighty nation we shall acquire the status of a national power. We will not stop there! Other States will follow Britain’s example, new “reserves of power” will be created in Mozambique with the Portuguese, in the Congo with the Belgians, in Tripolitania with the Italians.”

            link to books.google.com

            Here is an extract from David Zax, The Fall of the House of Herzl:

            One thing is certain, to grow up in the Herzl home was a lonely business. Margarethe Gertrude (known to the family as Trude) joined Pauline and Hans in 1893, and Herzl soon decided, in keeping with his dynastic ambitions, that the children should have private tutors and a nanny. Time with father was strictly rationed to half an hour a day. They would be raised like royalty, shielded from contact with other children to avoid infection. “Shall we go to school when Papa is king?” a visitor once overheard one of the young ones say, according to Use Sternberger, author of the 1994 book Princes Without a Home: Modern Zionism and the Strange Fate of Theodore Herzl’s Children.

            When Herzl’s children were re-interred in Israel, The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, reported that Herzl’s children had always been an embarrassment to the WZO. The report said that Herzl envisioned that his son Hans would one day serve his people as a prince and that their messy personal lives and hardscrabble existences hardly resembled the royal future Herzl imagined for them. See Dina Kraft, “Belated homecoming for Herzl´s children”, November 30, 1999
            link to jta.org

          • Hostage says:

            Here’s an updated link for the JTA story on Herzl’s children which says:

            Hans, the son Herzl envisioned would one day serve his people as a prince, lived in London and struggled for years to get by, earning a paltry living translating his father’s writings.


            Decades After Their Deaths, Bodies of Herzl’s Children Brought to Israel
            September 21, 2006 link to jta.org

          • JeffB says:

            @Hostage

            I notice you snipped off the part about England and the USA which illustrates that he was really clueless. You seem to forget that France had a Jewish Prime Minister years before Israel had one:

            I’m aware of that. I wanted to quote Herzl to just indicate I wasn’t saying anything outside of mainstream Zionism. I think the Holocaust proved Herzl right in his main themes.

            As for France, since you cited that at length. France has been mildly hostile towards its Jews since de Gaulle. Nothing horrible, but enough to make them uncomfortable and slowly switch towards the French right as they have been incited against. Certainly though 2 generations of this mild antagonism shows pretty clearly that French Jews don’t enjoy the untroubled existence of being considered genuinely French the way French Catholics are even in this bastion of secularism. So I wouldn’t consider Herzl entirely wrong there though he was off a bit on the particulars.

            ___

            As for Herzl’s kids you literally are the first person to have ever mentioned them to me. I didn’t even know he thought himself king. He wouldn’t be the first person to accidentally do good.

        • this is truly an astounding comment jeffb. all i can conclude is that you’ve been brainwashed. are other americans in this state of navel-gazing or just american jews? and how, pray tell, do american jews have a “status of abused children”? what more do you want or need to feel part of the american fabric? or, in your opinion, is america just the wrong place for jews, a place they will never become fully human, can never reach their full human/adult potential? and if that is your belief would you advocate all americans encourage jews to leave this country or consider jews to be visitors or merely foreigners on our shores?

          perhaps i am misunderstanding the implications of your words.

          • JeffB says:

            are other americans in this state of navel-gazing or just american jews?

            Mostly just American Jews. American Jews have mostly solved the problem through a pattern of assimilation.

            What more do you want or need to feel part of the american fabric?

            I really like the Jesus Seminar’s proposal for leaving Jew/Judean/Judaism… untranslated so that the Christian bible takes place in Ioudai among the Ioudaions. Honestly that stupid gimmick plus 100 years for everyone to forget that Jesus was a Jew might just do it. It puts the central Christian myth in a historical context and moves it away from being a current reality. By that mechanism Jews can be nothing more than another group of heathens and not something of central theological significance. As long as things like the Book of John are part of core theology and worldview of my countrymen, and the word is translated America can only good for now. There are ticking bombs ready to go off always and no one can get rid of them.

            Assuming that doesn’t happen. I live fully part of the American fabric. America has been very good in letting Jews become Americans, which is why prior to the holocaust American Jews mostly didn’t support Zionism. The failure elsewhere is what led to Zionism. But I fully realize that can change at any time. America is a Christian country. So for now Jews must keep open a second option. The Venezuelan Jews had to use that option in the last 2 decades and what happened to them could happen to us.

            and if that is your belief would you advocate all americans encourage jews to leave this country or consider jews to be visitors or merely foreigners on our shores?

            America is fantastic at assimilation. Right now Americans consider Jews Americans and American Jews consider themselves Americans. I think what I would advocate for American Jews is what they they have done, to create a form of Judaism which a Jewish flavored Protestantism and try to assimilate as much as possible. Live as Americans and try to merge into the nation.

            At the same time I think most Americans understand why Israel exists and are OK with Jews having that special relationship. So pretty much I like the situation we have now. The Jesus Seminar idea though would be enough that I really would worry much less about my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren….

      • JeffB says:

        @Seafold

        “Exactly. JeffB seems to have swallowed the line about how all Israelis are fiercely loyal to Zionism and will fight to the last man/woman”

        “it’s a fair bet that your average suburban middle class Israeli values a comfortable life above all else, much like people all over the world.”

        If BDS hits property values Yossi will do ANYTHING

        The 2nd intifada caused a major recession and hit property values. Yossi didn’t surrender. It wasn’t even talked about. The experiment has been tried and the Israelis became more Zionist.

        • Hostage says:

          i wonder what the majority of educated professional Israelis think of this Luxembourg pension fund dumps 9 Israeli firms over settlements

          They are probably mildly irritated. But they read the business press and see strong trade growth in the aggregate.

          You might try grounding your hasbara narrative in reality, e.g.

          Israel’s captains of industry fear boycott: Leaders from Israel’s tech and banking industries will fly to Davos economic forum to support Kerry’s peace effort, urge Israel and Palestinians to reach deal to save Israel’s economy from looming boycott link to ynetnews.com

          Netanyahu convenes strategy meeting to fight boycotts
          link to jpost.com

      • JeffB says:

        @Sycamores says:

        you know i did mention nazi Germany in my first post as an example of a country that needed to be completely defeated before it came to it senses (Norman Finkelstein has mention this example a couple of times) but i deleted it, because of the comparision you made about israel.

        the reason for my deletion was out of my civility towards you. i know how much the nazi smear irks the pro-israel crowd.

        Yes though in that case of Germany having to lose multiple wars that’s probably not so offensive. Where I think it is offensive is the comparison with how the Jews treat the Palestinians. My feeling is that if Israel were invading Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq… to drag Palestinians back into Israeli death camps the Nazi analogy would be a fair one. What was unique about the Nazis are things that are not true about Israel. What is true about Israel are the kinds of problems many people have with their indigenous populations.

        yet you bring it up and don’t even take it seriously

        Wait a minute. I didn’t make an analogy or a metaphor. The National Party is the Party that instituted apartheid. Prior to WWII they were pro-Nazi and against the allies. Had they been in power in the 1930s South Africa would have been on the Axis side. After the war and the NP took power South Africa it was grouped with those parties which had been supportive of the Axis like the Peronist in Argentina or the Nationalist party in Spain. That damaged South Africa’s international relations and partially explained why they met resistance in places like Rhodesia where they were attempting to establish themselves as a regional power.

        Talking about the actual history of WWII and its aftermath is nothing like using the word “Nazi” as a cheap insult. The quip there was that you weren’t aware that the NP/South Africa had in some sense lost WWII and the fall of the Afrikaner government did involving losing multiple wars in places like Angola, Mozambique… Your example “what wars did South Africa lose” was factually quite false. But I choose instead to focus on the more important area of divergence in your analogy between South Africa and Israel.

        i do agree that the majority of educated professional Israelis are against RoR at the moment but time has away of changing things. the majority of educated professional Israelis recognise that the illegal settlements are causing major problems internationally and have said as much.

        The opinion of educated professional Israelis, like most other Israelis have shifted well to the right with greater support for the settlements. The exact opposite of what you claim has happened, has happened. We know how they vote.

        i wonder what the majority of educated professional Israelis think of this Luxembourg pension fund dumps 9 Israeli firms over settlements

        They are probably mildly irritated. But they read the business press and see strong trade growth in the aggregate. Israel has been subject to hostile action since its birth, there is nothing new about this.

        new patrons with China, India or Russia is that a threat or a promise? israel losing its western influence is highly unlikely if they did any israeli with a dual passport would be gone in the morning.

        Nonsense. When you are talking about the educated you are talking the ethnic group that has been there the longest and has the deepest ties. A loss of influence and sanctions happened in 1954 they didn’t leave. It happened in the mid 1970s they didn’t leave. This generation of dual passport Israelis suffered through a serious of quite hideous attacks against their population inducing a major recession, they didn’t leave. I didn’t meet a single American who wanted to leave after Al-Qaeda hit us on 9/11. Israel is there home, they have defend it against enemies and they will continue to do so.

        Israel likes having an alliance with America and Western Europe. But far more of them are Eastern European, and culturally they have much more in common with Putin than Obama or George Bush. It wouldn’t be a country destroying traumatic transition at all. It would cost some money and some things would change that’s it. People don’t abandon their country, their family, their lives because of shifting international alliances.

        if israel left the US patronage where do you think Europes interest lies with the US or with the small state of israel.

        I’d expect if it happened Western Europe is leading not following.

      • JeffB says:

        @LeaNder

        Up a few level

        JeffB:After 1949 Israel started a process of assimilation for those Palestinians still residing in Israel.

        LeaNder: Interesting way to put it. You mean a “process of assimilation” in which they had to accept to loose their homes and lands and possessions, a rather selective process that turned them from former inhabitants of the area called Palestine into a something reminiscent of Zionist ideology: Arab Israelis.

        No I meant a process of assimilation that would turn them from thinking of there existing Jewish and Palestinian homes to there just being Israeli homes and they don’t differentiate. A process whereby they would have shared in the wealth of Israel and those possession lost could be easily replaced. And a process that ends in say 5 generation with them being Israeli Jews with no ties to Palestinians at all.

        Do you think that was a good term to choose given the dominant forces of the Yishuv considered all Arabs out there as mortal enemies? Arab Israelis versus Oriental Jews?

        I don’t agree with your premise. Israel was aggressively making peace overtures with limited success as the record with countries like Jordan and cultivating relationships with the Lebanese Christians show.

        I better don’t tell you what your assimilation argument reminds me of looked at within a larger frame, somewhat reminds me of the “state within the state” type of thinking over here in Europe concerning “the Jews”. If only they would assimilate, but they don’t.

        Yes. I’ve said it before. Israel causes Jews to have to look at Jewish history from the Tzar’s point of view. Jewish anti-Zionists made this point prior to Israel’s formation that once Jews had a state they would have to acting like the powerful act. When they were confronted with stateless people’s living in their territory they would face the same pressures that Christian government did with respect to Jews.

        But do you have any sources concerning the ultimate aim of intermarriage you suggest, from what I read so far I found no traces of what you suggest.

        That’s always the goal of assimilation. Assimilation is complete when a population freely mixes they become one population. There is nothing specific to Israel about that, it is just nation formation.

        You can read the debates from the 1940s onward about what to do with Israeli arabs. There certainly were advocates for full assimilation.

        One question, do you think the world generally will or has to shift more towards the right especially in the ME? Do you feel that Israel is a bastion of the defense of Western values there against the Arabs generally, not only the “Israeli Arabs” mind you.

        I think the big change regarding the ME that’s happened recently is fracking. The ME has been the world’s greatest financial prize in terms of imperialism. As natural gas becomes plentiful and green fuels decrease in price oil reserves are becoming less valuable. I think the long term direction of the west towards the ME will be seeing it as tangential and less central, it will be treated more like Africa or Latin America.

        Which will be very good for Israel. For Arab countries Israel is likely to become a more important gate to western, particularly American influence. Jordan and Egypt already benefit from that. Iraq and Syria are already harmed by that. When Saudi Arabia openly moves towards a better relationship with Israel we might see real steps towards normalization during the 21st century. Probably it doesn’t complete but substantial progress.

  2. Sycamores says:

    not a word about the Dutch pension fund PGGM….. or BDS boycott worsens as Dutch and Italian companies withdraw bids for Ashdod and Haifa seaports link to ibtimes.co.uk

  3. OlegR says:

    Meretz is gonna help you now ?
    Good luck with that…

  4. Citizen says:

    Re:
    “(witness the suspicion and outright hostility felt by many Israelis and supporters of Israel toward the Obama administration, simply because it is not quite as accommodating to perceived Israeli interests as its immediate predecessor),”

    Yet Obama has given more financial backing to Israel than any prior POTUS.
    I’d like to know how anyone can think Obama has put less US taxpayer dollars on the line for Israel than any past POTUS. And look at the US UN SC veto immunizing Israel from any responsibility…. Are the zionists mad because Obama himself has not put his heart on his sleeve for Israel like VP Beiden? What about his public statement when he puts his kids to bed, he thinks of Israeli kids, not Palestinians kids? Shhmaltz is still needed in the face of giving Dick and Jane’s pocketbook to Israel? “I just want to be loved.”

  5. seafoid says:

    I think Israelis fail to understand the implications of Israeli leaders telling the world that the time for 2 states has passed.

    Israel benefited significantly from post Shoah sympathy but apartheid is going to be very difficult to sell to Europe.
    Especially with the boomers retiring and younger people taking over.

  6. apartheid is going to be very difficult to sell to Europe.
    Especially with the boomers retiring and younger people taking over.

    Israel appears to be good to go in the core countries of the Union (Germany, France, UK, Italy) for many years to come and although there may be greater awareness among the younger population (in Italy I don’t really see it), it’s certainly not high on their list of concerns right now or in the foreseeable future. I can see shifts in policy and tighter restrictions directly related to the settlements (e.g. enforcing accurate labelling), but nothing that will really harm the Israeli economy.

    • Walid says:

      Backlash starting to develop in France among the young that despite the wall plaques in all French schools are feeling zero guilt for the holocaust. Zionists don’t know when it’s to time to shut up and stop selling; they’re in the negative returns phase and they just won’t quit.

      • Backlash starting to develop in France among the young

        What fraction of the French young really gives a damn, and do you think this can really translate into power and operative decisions? At the moment, a lot of the frustration is translated into support for the far right, and I don’t see Marine pushing BDS any time soon (especially not in her genteel, acceptable mode).

        • Walid says:

          I don’t expect the young to get involved in any way, but at least they won’t be easily knocked over by holocaust talk; Dieudonné is down but not totally out. Marine like her anti-Jewish papa hates everybody with equal fervor. No wonder she joined Islamophobe Wilders (they probably have the same coiffeur) to take on the EU elections this year, so you’re right about her not going anywhere near BDS; I doubt any French politician would since it’s against the law to simply criticize Israel, let alone to boycott it or any party dealing with it like with the Carrefour case.

          • Walid says:

            Back to Dieudonné and the French running anti-BDS interference, Atzmon expresses his views on what’s happening in France:

            link to youtube.com

          • LeaNder says:

            Walid,

            I don’t expect the young to get involved in any way, but at least they won’t be easily knocked over by holocaust talk; Dieudonné is down but not totally out. … I doubt any French politician would since it’s against the law to simply criticize Israel, let alone to boycott it or any party dealing with it like with the Carrefour case.

            I didn’t respond to you somewhere else, the context was comparable. It would have either taken too long to reply extensively or equally long to ponder what to best say shortly. Kind of: where to start and/or how to put it shortly. Thus I decided it was better at that point to say nothing at all.

            But the above triggers a poem by Goethe. I know we all need our heroes, or most do. The poem is called The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, who is someone that does neither understand nor is able to control the forces he sets loose.

            I am sure you know that criticizing Israel is not forbidden anywhere in Europe, no? So why don’t you say what exact European laws are bothering you? Do you confidentially have these in mind?

            Some of us here are not impressed by anything Atzmon supports, neither by what seems to be the gradual shift by Dieudonné himself from “left” to “right” for the very casual observer, admittedly.

  7. If, as this article claims, the impact of BDS on Israel’s economy is likely to be minimal, why are the likes of Netanyahu and Bennett – ie hardly ‘liberals’ – and Israeli embassies and lobby groups the world over so terrified by it?

    While I agree that BDS isn’t going to cripple Israel any time soon, and that for the time being at least, the chief impact will be psychological, I think the author is too pessimistic. I’m sure there was a time when South Africa felt its economy was unassailable too. And SA had and has a lot more to offer than Israel.

    • Maximus,

      1. Netanyahu and Bennett are bugged no end by anything that appears to yield the moral high ground (as they see it of course). They will not be moved by it, but it gets under their skin. Its sons of light and sons of darkness stuff.

      2. Netanyahu and Bennett thrive on the idea that “the whole world is against us”. Uncovering “anti-Semitic” plots is thus both ideologically satisfying and electorally savvy.

      • I agree, but it’s not just the two of them, is it? As I said, Israeli embassies and lobby groups all over the world are taking concerted action against BDS. I read somewhere – though can’t confirm it – that the London embassy has a staff member whose only job is to oppose BDS.

        I hardly think all of this effort is simply down to wounded egos or a sense of alienation. I think the Israeli political/business elite are genuinely worried about the financial impact of BDS. True, it’s not going to bring Israel’s economy to its knees overnight, but given the swift pace at which BDS is growing – its gone from fringe to mainstream within months – they have good reason to be afraid.

        • I agree, but it’s not just the two of them, is it?

          They do set policy and tone at the moment (certainly in terms of diplomatic efforts) but no, they are not alone. We are talking about the country that has practically copyrighted the term “existential threat” — used at the drop of an ever-so-slightly-less-than-loving hat; that terms very modest criticism of its democracy attempts to “destroy” it.

          Remember also, the resources and efforts put into the “Brand Israel” campaign, and Israel’s “hasbara” strategy/attitude (if you don’t agree with us and you’re not a rabid anti-Semitie, you must be ignorant). BDS is a thorn in the side of Israel’s PR obsession. It’s not enough not to threaten our national interests. You gotta love us and think we’re the coolest!

    • JeffB says:

      @Maximus

      Israelis are hysterics. Or if you don’t like putting countries on the shrink’s couch Israelis are exaggerators and winers. Every challenge is an existential threat. Everything short of total victory is a humiliating defeat. I wouldn’t use Israeli statements as a guide to Israeli on much of anything.

      I’d judge Israel the way you would any other state facing the threat of moderate sanctions in exchange for horrific damage and how they would likely react. For example what level of sanctions do you believe it would take for France to willing and voluntarily allow their country to be over run and then governed by Germans?

      • ”For example what level of sanctions do you believe it would take for France to willing and voluntarily allow their country to be over run and then governed by Germans?”

        Come on Jeff. You KNOW that is a totally idiotic comparison, don’t you? And you know you’re dealing with an informed readership here, don’t you? So are we to take it that this is the best you’ve got?

        It is, isn’t it?

        • JeffB says:

          Come on Jeff. You KNOW that is a totally idiotic comparison, don’t you?

          No I don’t know that. I think it is a perfectly reasonable comparison. Israel is a state. That state has a people. That people wants to continue its national existence. The Palestinians are another people.

          The whole BDS movement assumes that a nation state is going to commit suicide because a few guys like yourself like the other side.

        • Sibiriak says:

          Maximus Decimus Meridius :

          Come on Jeff. You KNOW that is a totally idiotic comparison.

          Like any analogy of this type, it is imperfect, but it is far from “idiotic”.

          The resistance of Jewish Israelis to having Israel turned into an Arab-Muslim-majority governed state is comparable to the resistance French citizens would put up to having France turned into a German majority-governed state. And, arguably, there is a greater religious, cultural and “civilizational” divide between Jewish Israelis and Arab/Muslim Palestinans than there is between contemporary French and Germans.

      • seafoid says:

        Everything is existential. Everything is the next Auschwitz.
        Load of shite. They deserve BDS.

  8. I guess I find some bemusement in the Israeli complaint. They were unhappy with bombs, missiles, stones and whatnot. But now that the Palestinians have got their heads screwed on straight and are taking a civil approach (BDS), it’s just like the holocaust/nazism?

    There’s just no pleasing some people.

    • Exactly. That’s what I’ve been saying too.

      For as long as I can remember, ‘liberal Zionists’ have been telling us that they’d, you know, just LOVE to support the Palestinian cause, but could not, in all conscience (!) do so when Palestinians were attacking civilians. Why couldn’t they Palestinians try non-violent resistance, they would say? Think of how much support they would have then!

      And now, when Palestinians DO try non-violent resistance, and when it DOES show signs of working, and when they DO gain worldwide support, the ‘liberal Zionists’ just don’t want to know. They find more excuses to oppose it because, deep down, they don’t want the Palestinians to resist occupation at ALL. Violent or non-violent really has nothing to do with.

      • They find more excuses to oppose it because, deep down, they don’t want the Palestinians to resist occupation at ALL. Violent or non-violent really has nothing to do with.

        Exactly. If you oppose the violent struggle and you oppose the non-violent struggle, you simply oppose the struggle.

        • JeffB says:

          @Shmuel Sermoneta-Gertel

          Exactly. If you oppose the violent struggle and you oppose the non-violent struggle, you simply oppose the struggle.

          Well yeah, of course. Who do you think the Palestinians are struggling against? The Israelis. Who do you think Liberal Zionists are? Israelis.

          Palestinians are Israel’s enemy. Liberal Zionists are liberals not traitors. They are no more going to support a Palestinians victory over Israel than American PETA or Save the Children supporters would back Al Qaeda against America.

          • James North says:

            JeffB: You, like some of your predecessors from Hasbara Central, try and dismiss BDS as a hopeless, puny effort against the all-powerful Israel. So why are you here, commenting every 10 minutes?
            I put it to you before and you evaded me before: I don’t waste my time over at flatearthsociety.com, so, again, why are you here?

          • Sibiriak says:

            James North:

            So why are you here, commenting every 10 minutes?

            You might find an answer to that question if you carefully consider this statement by JeffB:

            [ JeffB to Krauss:] You aren’t a parent yet. But in a couple years you start realizing you are never going to [be] that figure you pictured growing up.

            Instead your hope rests in the baby in the crib. And for the American Jewish community that baby is Israel.

      • puppies says:

        @MDM- But see, the “liberal” Zionists ARE DOING exactly what you are saying they promised. Including even a Party chairwoman..
        They are boycotting… the settlement products only, and lending some frightful attention to a half-promise of timid near-sanctions.
        Their hope while doing this is threefold:

        Delay the demise of their racist dictatorship;
        Limit the damage by deviating all discourse to “settlements, green-line, post-1967″ instead of Zionist invasion, dispossession and RoR;
        Establish some control over the Palestine solidarity movement;

        I’d say they aren’t doing poorly at all, right now. They are largely there.
        It’s no use looking only at the “bad-cop” Zionists. In fact that guarantees losing the shell game. Our eye should be fixated on the friggin’ spoon, not on their lips. While the clowns scream and shake, the “Liberals” are once more stealing a march on the Palestinians. Just the same as the US “liberals” wasting their time inveighing against Big Bad Wolf “Republicans” while Obama does more than said BBW, this time the “liberal” “concerned” Zionists are screwing us by deviating attention on the Official Yahoos.

    • JeffB says:

      @james

      I answered you before. Familiarize myself with the currently fashionable anti-Zionist arguments. The arguments shift overtime. So for example 10 years ago anti-Zionists were focused on human rights that applied equally to all. As such they were opposed to the idea of racial entitlement to land and thus could opposed settlement construction in Judea. They often were opposed to multi-generation RoR as per the Palestinian position since so wasn’t a contradiction. Today’s anti-Zionists are much more influenced by Palestinians and thus buy into 1950-70s anti-colonialism rather than human rights. This allows them to not hate Hamas, allows them to argue for racial land entitlement and makes RoR more central.

      If I didn’t refamiliarize myself in a safe setting I’d be caught off guard when I ran into this in the wild.

      • Hostage says:

        I answered you before.

        You need to supply links to your answers and try to describe your own positions before you start misstating the positions of Anti-Zionists. I’ve stated time and again that all parties who have committed serious crimes on the territory of Palestine or Israel should be investigated, prosecuted, and punished upon conviction by an international tribunal. I support AI and HRW. They have condemned serious human rights violations committed by both Palestinians and Israelis. They do not try to establish a false equivalence between the two.

        • JeffB says:

          @Hostage

          I’d group you in with the anti-Zionism that was popular in 2000 not the current BDS breed. You basically are in the Normal Finkelstein camp. Hence your support rather than contempt for the PA.

          • Hostage says:

            @Hostage

            I’d group you in with the anti-Zionism that was popular in 2000 not the current BDS breed. You basically are in the Normal Finkelstein camp. Hence your support rather than contempt for the PA.

            Nope, check the comment archives. The only reason I support the 2 state solution is simply equity. If Jews are entitled to the rights and privileges of “stateyness”, pending the pie-in-the-sky final settlement, then Palestinians are entitled to the same rights and privileges that pertain to “stateyness” too. Unlike Finklestein I’ve always said those happen to include obligations for each state to respect certain fundamental human rights in the territory of the former mandate that were placed under UN guarantee. IHe doesn’t think international law has anything to say about Israel’s treatment of its Palestinian Arab citizens. I’ve always commented that enforcement of those guarantees under the UN minority protection plan is the UN’s business. So, I support keeping those legal obligations on the UN agenda, whether the people over at UN Watch happen to like that or not.

            Unlike Finklestein, I don’t think that the international community supports the right of the Zionist regime in Israel to exist, anymore than they supported the idea that the right of a state to exist guaranteed the continuation of apartheid policies in South Africa, Namibia, Southern Rhodesia, Angola, and Mozambique.

            I prefer Fatah to Hamas on secular grounds, but have pointed out on many occasions, that the Palestinians have the right to decide the issues for themselves. In that connection, self-determination is not like the Highlander where “there can be only one” state. The Palestinians can have as many states as they want in the territory they inhabit and they can form and dissolve unions with other countries if they please. People who can only envision a 1ss or 2ss are math-challenged. I don’t care how many states there are in the final analysis, so long as the inhabitants still have the right of transit, exercise equal human rights, and enjoy the benefits of regional economic and social integration on the basis of complete equality.

            Israeli officials treat Gaza as “an enemy state” and routinely ask the UN Security Council to hold it accountable, just as if it were a UN member state with Charter obligations. Gaza certainly has the necessary qualifications for statehood. It is an odd result that European micro-states and US “rent-a-states” in the Pacific one 100th of its size have a vote in the General Assembly, while Gaza still doesn’t.

            Under the rules of international law that have applied ever since the Tinoco Arbitration case, the fact that the USA and Israel recognize Hamas as the de facto government of Gaza, means that they have already accepted its existence as another state for legal purposes. If Gaza is an “enemy entity” under Israeli law, it’s fair to ask what kind of “entity” it is?
            1) Israeli officials told the US government that Israel would be “happy” if Hamas took over Gaza, because the IDF could then deal with Gaza as a hostile state. link to wikileaks.ch
            2) The U.S. State Department has a web page which explains that blockades have historically resulted in belligerent recognition, because they are “a weapon of war between sovereign states.” link to future.state.gov
            3) According to the Washington Post and many other sources, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev cited the San Remo Manual and maintained that Israel was clearly within its rights to stop the aid flotilla, saying “any state has the right to blockade ANOTHER STATE in the midst of an armed conflict.” [emphasis added] link to washingtonpost.com

      • James North says:

        JeffB: A cunning answer, that nonetheless sidesteps the question.
        First, if the movement for BDS is so weak, why would you even have to “familiarize” yourself with the arguments for it? I don’t feel the need to visit the Flat Earth Society online to see what they’ve come up with recently.
        Second, does “familiarizing” yourself require you to comment every 20 minutes, including at 2:06 a.m.? You could silently visit, get up to date, and then leave.
        Also, your “Judea” is showing.

      • piotr says:

        JeffB: “Today’s anti-Zionists are much more influenced by Palestinians and thus buy into 1950-70s anti-colonialism rather than human rights.”

        ????? So colonialism is consistent with the concept of human rights?

        Mind you, colonialism in Israeli version is not a pretty “given them railroads, cash crops and modern court system”, but dispossession, checkpoints, choking the economy, micro-bantustans and daily fun for settlers who wage their holy war for the land.

        • JeffB says:

          @Piotr

          So colonialism is consistent with the concept of human rights?

          Well yes. I think 2000s anti-Zionists for example were simple 2SS people. They understood that Palestine would still likely be effectively (de facto) a colony of Israelis because of economic dependence they just objected to de jure colonization.

          They never really objected to past wrongs. Human rights discourse is about stopping things that are happening now, not going back in history and trying to undo the history of the world. The idea was that people live where they live and all countries should be nice to their people. It shouldn’t matter much whether someone wanted to live in France, Egypt or Israel the same way it doesn’t matter much whether someone wanted to live in Texas, Connecticut or Missouri.

          The BDS incarnation is totally opposed to this melting pot concept where people are people where ever they are. They don’t want to merely stop future wrongs, they want revenge “justice”. Etc… That’s more consistent with classic anti-colonialism of the 50s. African anti-colonialists didn’t want the white settlers out of power they wanted them kicked off the continent all together. Yes the two movements are very very different.

          • Hostage says:

            They never really objected to past wrongs. Human rights discourse is about stopping things that are happening now, not going back in history and trying to undo the history of the world.

            No I actually have discussed past wrongs that date back to the minority treaties of the mid-19th Century and the UN Partition plan. FYI, those have a direct legal bearing, under the applicable public international law, to the meaning and interpretation of the Basel platform statement “secured by public law”. They set definite legal limits on what it was possible for Zionists to achieve by using the Balfour Declaration, the San Remo resolution, and the Palestine mandate. Some of us here are a lot smarter and well informed than you suppose.

          • Donald says:

            “The BDS incarnation is totally opposed to this melting pot concept where people are people where ever they are. They don’t want to merely stop future wrongs, they want revenge “justice””

            You’re lumping everyone into the same pot. There are some who want revenge, but others want reconciliation in a 1SS and some would accept a 2SS. Personally I don’t have any strong feelings on the 1SS vs. 2SS issue–the Palestinians deserve a right of return, but it may not be achievable. On the other hand, a workable 2SS doesn’t seem achievable either. Ultimately it is for Palestinians to decide what they wish to push for, not me.

            One thing that probably confuses you is this–people here no longer accept the liberal Zionist shibboleths. We don’t accept anymore the nonsense that Israel was this wonderful democracy that did nothing wrong until after 1967. For a long time in mainstream US circles one had to endorse the liberal Zionist vision before one could then (ever so carefully) criticize some aspect of Israeli policy. The consequence was that all Palestinian sins, including antisemitism and terrorism, were open for discussion, but one had to pull one’s punches in discussing Israeli crimes against Palestinians. When Israel offered to allow Palestinians to keep some fraction of the remaining fraction of their homeland we were supposed to see this as a “generous offer”. Even if one supported a 2SS in practice this attitude tilted the playing field in Israel’s favor. Israel was guilty of “settlement building”–Palestinians were guilty of “terrorism”. Which sounds worse to someone not closely following the issue? Terrorism, of course. Nevermind that the bulk of the civilian deaths were Palestinians killed by Israelis.

            Well, this mainstream liberal Zionist framing is unfair and inaccurate and people here know it, just as we know that the 19th century American belief in Manifest Destiny were simply highminded words used to justify conquest and theft. Israel defenders haven’t adjusted to this–it’s all a threat to your ideology, so you guys you can’t tell the difference between someone who supports Amnesty International and someone who wants Palestinians to do to Israelis what Israelis have done to Palestinians. In fact, it’s convenient for you to think this. No need to question your own beliefs if the other side is your exact mirror image.

            I just deleted a paragraph, because I see below that you acknowledge that Israel has done something wrong in at least one respect. That’s news to me.

      • JeffB says:

        @Hostage –

        In terms of your long answer regarding Gaza I agree with you. Gaza IMHO meets even my 3 criteria: an army in control of the territory, a government local in control of that army, a people loyal to that government. Gaza is a state. I think the UN’s position that Gaza is occupied territory rather than a state under blockade is nonsense. So it appears we agree on that one, though I’m surprised you are disagreeing with the UN.

        As for equity… that’s 2000s not 2010 anti-Zionism. 2010 anti-Zionism doesn’t seek equity, it asserts there is only one people with rights the Palestinians. I agree with you that there are treaties and UN guidelines guaranteeing people within states rights. I’m going to really shock you by saying that I think Israel is often in violation of those when it comes to the Israeli Arabs and that’s an issue on which I wouldn’t mind even a bit of mild international pressure.

        Unfortunately after all that agreement as far the UN not supporting the right to exist and you vs. Finkelstein on that… I’m going to side with Norman on that one. I think on this you being politically unrealistic. State dissolution quite often sets off a violent explosion regionally, shorter but more intense than state formation. If a country loaded with nuclear, chemical and biological weapons completely dissolves, the IDF breaks into a bunch of freelance gangs working for whatever cause… 100m dead on the Arabian peninsula is not an unrealistic outcome. I think most of the Arab states who’ve seen this happen for example recently with Libya spilling over into Mali or a generation back with Yemen understand this. They might hate Israel the idea of a Jewish state passionately but still wouldn’t want to see Israel go down hard, it is too late to do that safely. So I think he’s right that the UN doesn’t support treating Israel like Rhodesia. That being said if you are grouping Israel in with Rhodesia, Mozambique… that is taking the BDS position and not what I’d call the 2000s position.

        But then I don’t understand how you can see that as consistent with the UN which is part of the Quartet for example.

        • Hostage says:

          I think the UN’s position that Gaza is occupied territory rather than a state under blockade is nonsense. So it appears we agree on that one, though I’m surprised you are disagreeing with the UN.

          Whether Gaza or Palestine are under military occupation or have armies in control of the territory has nothing to do with their qualifications for statehood. After all, Israel has offered to recognize a completely demilitarized Palestinian state. I do not agree that Israel is enforcing its blockade using only naval or air forces located outside the territorial waters or airspace of Gaza. So many of the rules of occupation still apply, whether Israel controls only key parts or all of the territory in question.

          The Council of the League of Nations dismissed the idea that “the ability to stand alone” required a mandated state to be able to defend its territory against foreign aggression. The members of the Council admitted that many of the their number couldn’t withstand an attack by one of the great powers. The concluded that the mandated states should be encouraged to join the League and obtain mutual defense in accordance with Article 10 of the Covenant like any other state.

          As for equity… that’s 2000s not 2010 anti-Zionism. 2010 anti-Zionism doesn’t seek equity, it asserts there is only one people with rights the Palestinians.

          No that’s just your pathetic attempt at spin for which you offer zero third-party verifiable support. The 2005 BDS call to action call for nothing other than “fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality”. JVP still allows anti-Zionists like me to join and I’ve endorsed the mission statement here on MW on numerous occasions. It calls for peace, social justice, equality, human rights, respect for international law, and a U.S. foreign policy based on these ideals and stands for the proposition that:

          All people of the Middle East deserve the right to democratic participation and equality within their societies, regardless of religion, ethnicity, culture, national origin, language, race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or other status.

          I’m going to side with Norman on that one. I think on this you being politically unrealistic. State dissolution quite often sets off a violent explosion regionally, shorter but more intense than state formation.

          I didn’t say anything about dissolving a state, I was talking about constitutional regime change. That can happen in exactly the same way that South Africa regime was “reconstituted” and its apartheid policies were abolished under the Interim Constitution of 1993 and the Constitution that replaced it in 1997.

          Nothing but racism or bigotry has ever prevented Israel from adopting the fundamental laws and the corresponding democratic constitutional measures spelled-out in resolution 181(II) that it agreed to accept and implement.

  9. Walid says:

    I heard news today that tomorrow some law will be tabled in the Knesset declaring Israeli sovereignty over Haram al-Sharif. If I understood it correctly, things will become very ugly. Israel is going out of its way to jump-start an intifada.

      • Walid says:

        seafoid, after yesterday’s Knesset vote to take over the Haram’s sovereignty, the Jordanian parliament voted today to recall its ambassador from Israel and to expel the Israeli ambassador, until the Israeli law is rescinded. There’s talk now of revoking the peace treaty with Israel but this is subject to the king’s veto.

        • seafoid says:

          The Yanks won’t let him. I bet
          What is the point of Jewish sovereignty? what did the Waqf say ?
          The bots wouldn’t dare build the third temple. Pussies

    • Walid says:

      Here’s a bit more on tomorrow’s Knesset session, from Times of Israel:

      “An upcoming Knesset debate on “the loss of Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount” has raised hackles in the the Jordanian parliament, where lawmakers consider custodianship of the holy site part of their duty.

      The Israeli debate, slated for Tuesday in the Knesset plenum, was initiated by right-wing lawmaker MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud).

      …But on Sunday, the planned Knesset debate sparked concern slightly farther afield.

      Jordan’s official Petra news agency reported that parliamentarians in Amman’s Majlis al-Umma “were angered” by the draft bill, which they believe would end Hashemite guardianship over the site and be seen as breaking the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty.

      A move of the sort urged by Feiglin would amount to a violation of “Jordanian national sovereignty and is tantamount to a breach of the peace treaty signed between Jordan and Israel,” the parliament’s Palestine Committee said.

      link to timesofisrael.com

      • Hostage says:

        “An upcoming Knesset debate on “the loss of Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount” has raised hackles in the the Jordanian parliament, where lawmakers consider custodianship of the holy site part of their duty.

        Paragraph 129 of the ICJ Wall Opinion explains how the “existing rights” of the Palestinians under Article 62 of the Treaty of Berlin were the subject of safeguarding clauses in Article 13 of the Mandate and an entire Chapter in the Partition plan. Article 13 of the Mandate mentions the “immunity” of the Muslim Holy Places in Palestine. Immunity is always an attribute of sovereignty. The Holy Places in Hebron and elsewhere had been excluded from the territory of the Brown, “International Enclave,” shown on the map attached to the Sykes-Picot Agreement in accordance with the Government of India’s Proclamation No. 4 to the Arab and Indian Sheikhs and the Sherif of Mecca. See for example paragraph 4 (c) on pp 4 (pdf page 5) and paragraph 6 (a), (d), & (e) on pp 8-9 (pdf page 9-10) CAB 24/72, “The Settlement of Turkey and the Arablan Peninsula” (Former Reference: GT 6506) , 21 November 1918 and the collection of small and large detailed maps of Palestine in CAB 24/72 “Maps illustrating the Settlement of Turkey and the Arabian Peninsula”, (Former Reference: GT 6506A) 21 November 1918

        Article 9 of the Peace treaty between Israel and Jordan stipulated that:

        in accordance with the Washington Declaration, Israel respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem. When negotiations on the permanent status will take place, Israel will give high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines.

        link to kinghussein.gov.jo

        The the recent treaty between Palestine and Jordan seemingly reaffirmed an on-going confederation of sorts between the two states and the qualified nature of the 1988 Jordanian disengagement from the West Bank.

        On it’s face, the agreement recognizes Jordanian territorial jurisdiction over 144 dunums of mosques, buildings, walls, courtyards, attached areas over and beneath the ground and the Waqf properties tied-up to “Al Haram Al Sharif” – based upon continuity of custodianship that dates back to a declaration made by the people of Jerusalem and Palestine in 1924. It notes that the custodianship also encompasses the “Rum” (Greek) Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem that is governed by the Jordanian Law No. 27 of the year 1958.

        I’ve noted before that I believe that was done intentionally to facilitate an ICC self-referral from Jordan should the need arise. Article 3(2) of the treaty with Israel said the boundary was without prejudice to the status of any territories that came under Israeli military government control in 1967.

  10. Citizen says:

    The only question is how long will Israel be able to fool the USA’s Dick and Jane? This depends on how much longer the US mainstream media will be able to do so.

  11. dbroncos says:

    Zionists have confused the issue of American citizen’s idelogical committment to Israel (disappering fast) with what money can buy from politicians. The grieved, fatigued expression on Obama’s face when he meets with Netanyahu tells the whole story if Zionists had eyes to see it.

  12. German Lefty says:

    Here’s what Shir Hever said about the impact of BDS:

    • Thank you, GL. Very interesting.

    • Citizen says:

      Here’s Hever’s latest opinion on the impact of BDS, from February 6th, 2014: link to therealnews.com

      He now thinks its importance is high; he says Kerry’s just acting as Israel’s lawyer and parroting Israeli leaders. Nobody expects the peace process to change anything.
      Israel views Scarlet J’s choice as a victory favoring Israel over humanism, while in direct contrast, the world sees Scarlet J choice as putting Brand Israel under a brighter klieg light than ever before–that it took much, much longer for BDS against apartheid S Africa to get to the point BDS is today.

    • Citizen says:

      I think this link is important: link to dw.de It references a recent BBC poll showing only 14% of Germans have a positive view of Israel. Merkel’s still mouthing the usual boilerplate, still steeped in past German guilt over the Shoah. She said the settlements weren’t the chief obstacle to peace, but the Palestinian refusal to recognize the Jewish State as such was to blame. Meanwhile, nobody furnishes more financial and economic and military support to Israel than Germany–excepting of course, the USA.

      • seafoid says:

        link to haaretz.com

        “The Prime Minister’s Office has tried hard to imbue the German-Israeli summit that began Monday evening with a festive atmosphere. But the 15 German ministers who accompanied Chancellor Angela Merkel to Jerusalem — like the flags, ceremonies and red carpets — are nothing but a dusting of makeup over the scars Benjamin Netanyahu’s five years in office have left on the bilateral relationship”

  13. Hostage says:

    Without getting into the relative strengths and weaknesses of the Israeli economy, I think it is reasonable to assume that BDS will have little real economic impact on Israel

    True enough, BDS never prevented the establishment of apartheid or the Bantustans in South Africa and Namibia. All of the evils that befell the inhabitants happened in wanton disregard for the applicable UN resolutions and ICJ advisory opinions. The movement really only became effective when it succeeded in getting government officials to adopt sanctions.

    Palestinian government officials continue to insist that they will no longer abstain from talking action through the ICC and ICJ after the deadline for the Kerry initiative expires in April. There is abundant evidence that companies and fiduciaries with responsibilities for investments in Israel have started to take that possibility seriously, since the Rome Statute requires the governments of member states to take action to investigate and secure proceeds from illegal activity subject to the Court’s jurisdiction. See for example
    Massive Norwegian state fund to divest from Israeli company: Ethics board finds Shikun and Binui ‘in breach of international humanitarian law in East-Jerusalem’ link to timesofisrael.com

    In that connection times have changed and the ICC framework makes some of the necessary sanctions automatic. Article 75 of the Rome Statute provides for reparations to victims. Article 77 includes forfeiture of proceeds, property and assets derived directly or indirectly from an ICC crime as one of the “applicable penalties”. Article 93 requires member states to assist in the identification, tracing and freezing or seizure of proceeds, property and assets and instrumentalities of crimes for the purpose of eventual forfeiture.

    Charges of pillaging have been fairly common in the cases currently pending before the ICC. The following individuals have been charged with the offense:
    *Republic of the Congo: Germain Katanga, Bosco Ntaganda, Callixte Mbarushimana, Sylvestre Mudacumura, and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui;
    *Central African Republic: Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo; Uganda: Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen;
    * Darfur, Sudan: Ahmad Muhammad Harun (“Ahmad Harun”), Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman (“Ali Kushayb”), Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir, Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, and Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein.
    link to icc-cpi.int

    Swiss federal prosecutors recently confirmed criminal proceedings against Argor-Heraeus SA, over claims it knew or should have known the gold it handled in 2004 and 2005 had been pillaged from the Democratic Republic of Congo during an armed conflict. link to bbc.co.uk

    So the risk of capital flight from Israeli industries and businesses in the occupied territories could very well snowball in the coming months.

    • just says:

      I’ll keep hoping. Thank you Hostage.

      BDS is effective, imho. It’s growing.

      It sheds brilliant sunlight on the many crimes of Israel, and makes them ‘uncomfortable’. I hope for sanctions one day– soon.

  14. Philip Weiss:

    Angela Merkel is speaking now and answering journalist questions. I hope you bring all her important statements, especially about the boycott, not only the two and half sentences criticize the Israeli policy, as you did with Schulz speech.

    I do thank you in advance.

    • Walid says:

      She didn’t say much, Mahane, only that they’re not helpful. She also didn’t say much about Iran. Probably learned her lesson to watch what she says from the Schulz experience.