‘FT’ blast on settlements will strike fear at Hasbara Central (if not among liberal Zionists and ‘glitzy blondes’)

Israel/Palestine
Lost in Translation (graphic: Stephanie Westbrook)

Lost in Translation (graphic: Stephanie Westbrook)

An editorial in this weekend’s Financial Times, the salmon-colored tribune  of London’s City, the financial district, is certainly striking terror into Hasbara Central in Israel– if not at the State Department in Washington. In forceful language that looks like it could have been lifted from a Palestine solidarity publication, the FT says that Scarlett Johansson has “accidentally turned a searchlight on an important issue–whether it is right or lawful to do business with companies that operate in illegal Israel settlements on Palestinian land…”

We cannot describe the issue any more clearly than the anonymous FT leader-writer has already done:

Ms Johansson says the company  [SodaStream] is “building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine”. That is naive…

And at a time when J Street, the Forward, Rabbi Andy Bachman, and other liberal Zionists in the US have only praise for Johansson and her settlement of choice, Ma’ale Adumim, the sprawling development on a hill east of Jerusalem that blocks Palestinian access to the city, the FT doesn’t suffer fools:

The status of the settlements is clear in international law even if Israel chooses to ignore this and expand its colonisation of Palestinian land, while ostensibly negotiating on the creation of a Palestinian state…

“You’ll note that there’s not one of Isabel Kershner’s favorite tropes in her NY Times articles—the discredited point that Israel asserts that the occupied Palestinian territory isn’t occupied (which would make civilian colonization illegal) but rather that it is ‘disputed’ (and therefore not subject to Geneva IV),” our friend Ilene Cohen points out.

The FT then refers to the EU policy of restricting funds so they don’t go to settlements.

That is not a boycott. It is the application of the law. Yet if Israel maintains its occupation, and spurns the peace terms being negotiated by US secretary of state John Kerry, such distinctions will erode. European pension funds are already starting to pull their investments in Israeli banks with branches in the settlements…

Compare the prevarications of the State Department spokesperson who says the SodaStream boycott is illegitimate and so are the settlements to the FT’s bright line distinction.

The paper doesn’t mince any words in ending its editorial, language we wish we would read in the New York Times:

It is disingenuous to romanticise settlement enterprises. The occupation imprisons thousands of the Palestinians’ young men, gives their land and water to settlers, demolishes their houses and partitions the remaining territory with scores of checkpoints and segregated roads. There are almost no basic foundations for an economy. The way to create Palestinian jobs is to end the occupation and let Palestinians build those foundations – not to build “bridges to peace” on other people’s land without their permission.

Astonishing. And important. Coming here before long, we hope.

The editorial is accompanied by a piece of analysis of Johansson’s achievement in doing the SodaStream Super Bowl ad. Peter Aspden and John Reed write:

[T]his is the age of social media, in which reputations can be trashed within minutes. The anti-Johansson lobby gleefully pounced on a line from the SodaStream ad – “If only I could make this message go viral!” says the actress huskily – and has duly granted her wish with a plethora of doctored images and online slogans (“Set the bubbles free, not the Palestinians!”).

Perhaps the biggest disappointment for fans of Ms Johansson’s acting talents is the sheer banality of the ad. The star’s stiff and cliched turn is strangely reminiscent of Bill Murray’s performance-within-a-performance in her breakthrough film of 11 years ago. The cool indie beauty of that time has turned disappointingly corporate. Something appears to have been lost in translation all right.

As for the anti-Israeli lobby, it is discovering to its pleasant surprise that a sprinkle of stardust can grant instant worldwide access to a long-fought and infernally complicated campaign…

It is hard to believe that such portentous issues should suddenly become the focus of the world’s attention thanks to a glitzy blonde pushing a fizzy drink. But this is a multi-layered world. Celebrities on the make think twice – that brand “ambassadorship” you are after may turn out to be a more complicated job than you have ever imagined.

Update: This piece originally said that Peace Now has been silent on Johansson. That was inaccurate, the organization has called for a boycott of SodaStream.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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107 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    February 1, 2014, 2:34 pm

    wow, superb.

    • Krauss
      February 1, 2014, 4:17 pm

      The editorial was brilliant – a breath of fresh air from the suffocated and cramped liberal Zionist propaganda you get in the NYT.

      The seperate “analysis” piece, however, was far weaker. The reporters characterized the opposition to Apartheid as an “anti-Israeli lobby”, as if Palestinians don’t exist and the Occupation isn’t the central issue. Further, the entire thing is portrayed as one of mere PR tactics rather than a question of morality. The implication: just watch that social media thing-y and things will work out okay!

      The “analysis” was idiocy.
      The editorial was refreshingly liberal and brilliantly forceful.

      • seafoid
        February 1, 2014, 7:30 pm

        “a breath of fresh air from the suffocated and cramped liberal Zionist propaganda you get in the NYT”

        Or the New York Review …
        Americans are not getting the info.
        It’s the gorilla in the room.
        And the Brits have basically abandoned hasbara. Because it is just not cricket. I wonder what Regev thinks.

        link to youtube.com

        This didn’t happen overnight. The bots undermined their own diplomatic flexibility over decades .

        And the systematic dehumanization of Gaza is right at the centre of the whole clusterfuck.

      • RoHa
        February 1, 2014, 8:02 pm

        “And the Brits have basically abandoned hasbara. Because it is just not cricket.”

        The Palestinians need to build up a decent cricket team. Cricket was a major factor in changing South Africa.

        link to livecricketcentral.com
        link to stopthewall.org
        link to cricketforchange.org.uk

      • thankgodimatheist
        February 2, 2014, 7:25 am

        “The Palestinians need to build up a decent cricket team”
        They have football. Always had.
        Australia VS Palestine Football Match from… 1939

      • RoHa
        February 2, 2014, 6:32 pm

        Even though it is the world’s most popular sport, it doesn’t seem to be getting much political traction for them.

        If they try the world’s second most popular sport, it might stir things up a bit more. It certainly had an impact on South Africa.

        link to news.bbc.co.uk

    • Shingo
      February 3, 2014, 3:06 am

      Superb indeed

  2. K Renner
    February 1, 2014, 3:38 pm

    Have to love the pro-Israeli people who champion the “900 Palestinians! You’re taking their jobs away!” absolutely cravenly, whilst those very Palestinians report, have reported, on something being very rotten in Sodastream in more subtle ways, and especially in terms of payment and treatment.

    These pro-sodastream settlement people fail to bring up the squandered economic opportunities and lost income (from overt meddling by Israeli authorities, confiscation of products at the borders, destruction of property) for Palestinians across the West Bank, due to the actions of hyperagressive “settlers” and the army of occupation. Suffice to say it’s an infinitely larger amount of Palestinians pissed on by the Israeli presence in the West Bank and everything that comes with it.

    • MahaneYehude1
      February 2, 2014, 12:46 pm

      @thankgodimatheist:

      Australia VS Palestine Football Match from… 1939

      You already uploaded this video in this site. Here is the list of the player from Palestine: (Thanks to aparatchik):

      Palestinian starting 11:
      Z Fooks
      M Menahem
      S Shulamson
      F Neufeld
      J Sidi
      S Ginsberg
      A Beth-Halevy
      J Lieberman
      L Werner
      G Makhlis
      Abraham Reznik

      • Woody Tanaka
        February 2, 2014, 1:13 pm

        Hmmm… So many European names on a supposedly Middle Eastern team. Well, I guess a whole lot of colonialist invaders will do that to a team…

      • MahaneYehude1
        February 2, 2014, 1:53 pm

        @Woody:

        If so, I hope thanksgodiamatheist won’t upload this video again and say that the Palestinians had football team.

      • Woody Tanaka
        February 2, 2014, 2:17 pm

        “If so, I hope thanksgodiamatheist won’t upload this video again and say that the Palestinians had football team.”

        Oh, I’m sure the Palestinians had a soccer team at the time. But the fact is, in this era, the alien zionist invaders cloaked themselves with the name “Palestine” in order to hide their theft and make their planned attempted genocide more palatable to the world. If anyone is to blame for the confusion, it is that band of soul-less criminals, not thankgodiamatheist.

  3. puppies
    February 1, 2014, 3:39 pm

    “…her settlement of choice, Ma’ale Adumim…”
    One more little thing.
    Let’s name it correctly. As far as I could ascertain, the names are Abu Dis and Khan el Ahmar and El Isawiyya and El Izriyya and Anata and El Tur. I am not a specialist but would like to have all the correct names from someone who knows.

    • pabelmont
      February 1, 2014, 4:17 pm

      puppies, thanks for the idea. The right way to refer to the Israeli settlements is, generically,

      The Israeli settlement, X, built in violation of international law upon the land of the former (and now destroyed) Palestinian towns and villages of Y,Z.

      • Bumblebye
        February 1, 2014, 4:45 pm

        “The exclusively Jewish Israeli settlement, X, built in violation of international law on the land of the ETHNICALLY CLEANSED Palestinian towns and villages of Y, Z whose former inhabitants are now either internally displaced or refugees abroad”

      • puppies
        February 1, 2014, 9:40 pm

        @Bumblebye
        …or permitted to go through humiliating checkpoints to work their ass off and get robbed without the usual lawful protections –on their very own land.

  4. DICKERSON3870
    February 1, 2014, 4:03 pm

    RE: “The star’s [Johansson's] stiff and cliched turn is strangely reminiscent of Bill Murray’s performance-within-a-performance in her breakthrough film of 11 years ago.” ~ Aspden and Reed

    THIS FILM BORED ME TO TEARS: Lost in Translation (2003)
    101 min – Drama – 3 October 2003 (USA)
    A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.
    Director: Sofia Coppola
    Writer: Sofia Coppola
    Stars: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni . . .
    IMDB – link to imdb.com

    • DICKERSON3870
      February 1, 2014, 4:37 pm

      P.S. RE: “It is hard to believe that such portentous issues should suddenly become the focus of the world’s attention thanks to a glitzy blonde pushing a fizzy drink.” ~ Aspden and Reed

      POSSIBLE EXPLANATION: “Scarlett Johansson reveals ‘pretty low’ SAT score”, by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, today.com/entertainment, 10/02/13

      [EXCERPT] High school was half a lifetime ago, but actress Scarlett Johansson, 28, still remembers her SAT score.

      The “Don Jon” star sat down for a chat with director Darren Aronofsky for Interview magazine, and the question-and-answer format made her think of that long-ago exam.

      She asked Aronofsky for his SAT score, and the director at first said he didn’t remember. But Johansson recalled hers, from her days at New York’s Professional Children’s School.

      “I think the way it worked when I took them was that they were out of 1,600, so maybe you’d get a 1,240 if you were a smarty-pants,” she said. “I got a 1,080, which was pretty low. But that was probably because I didn’t answer half of the math questions.”

      Aronofsky later confessed he did know his SAT score, which was 1,360. “You suck,” said Johansson. “Damn it … Now I feel like a big dummy with 1,080.” . . .

      SOURCE – link to today.com

      • DICKERSON3870
        February 1, 2014, 5:00 pm

        P.P.S. I wonder whether SodaStream asked the Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman [1400+] to be their “brand ambassador”. Perhaps they decided that Portman’s intellect disqualified her. Or, perhaps she was smart enough to have said no!

        SEE: “5 Celebrity SAT Scores – Did you score higher than Scarlett Johansson”, By Evann Gastaldo, newser.com, 10/20/13

        (NEWSER) – Want to feel bad about yourself? Consider this: If Ke$ha is to be believed, she scored 1500 out of 1600 on the SATs. That’s probably better than you got, right? But all is not lost: You may have scored above some of the others on this list rounded up by the Huffington Post:

        • Like Sopranos actress Drea De Matteo, who got an 800 out of 1600.
        • Or perhaps even Scarlett Johansson, who got a 1080.
        • Maybe Courteney Cox? She supposedly got an 1150.
        But you may not have fared better than smartypants
        Natalie Portman, who’s said to have gotten a score in the 1400s.

        SOURCE – link to newser.com

      • lysias
        February 1, 2014, 7:02 pm

        I got 1588 on my SAT’s. I know (or at least did know) people who got 1600.

      • tree
        February 1, 2014, 8:17 pm

        They changed the “perfect score” of 1600 in 2005 because they added a writing section, so the new perfect score is now 2400. I would guess that Portman, Cox and Johansson took the test before 2005, but Ke$ha likely took the test after 2005, so 1500 is not a very impressive score.

        Not that anyone’s score really matters in the grand scheme of life.

      • bilal a
        February 2, 2014, 4:41 am

        wow you beat James Woods (1579) who turned down MIT to enter acting..

        James Woods, 66, Debuts His 20-Year-Old Girlfriend At ‘White House Down’ Premiere Read more: link to businessinsider.com

      • Citizen
        February 2, 2014, 10:30 am

        Who the hell remembers their SAT? I don’t even I remember if I took the SAT–I didn’t go to undergraduate school until I got out of the army, but I remember I did take the LSAT, but sure don’t remember what my score was…

      • Misterioso
        February 3, 2014, 5:18 pm

        FYI: Natalie Portman and Dershowitz.

        link to tabletmag.com

        “Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson at DNC”

        September 5, 2012

        “Will the two Jewish Hollywood stars outshine RNC highlight Clint Eastwood?”

        “Though tomorrow’s DNC schedule hasn’t been released yet, there’s been word three surprise guests will headline the evening: actresses Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, and Kerry Washington. While some commentators have already suggested that these picks are a clear attempt to appeal to young women voters, they’ve neglected another demographic being pandered to: Jews.

        “After all, Portman and Johansson are two of Hollywood’s most prominent Jewish starlets. And both are renowned for their Jewish literacy and commitment. While an undergraduate, Portman served as a research assistant on Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz’s bestseller, The Case for Israel (she is credited under her real name, Natalie Hershlag). And Johansson is famed for her wide knowledge of Jewish ethnic foods and willingness to sing the Dreidel Song on MTV.

        “The actresses will have their work cut out for them. New polling by the Pew Research Center indicates that the RNC’s surprise Hollywood guest, Clint Eastwood, was deemed the “highlight” of the convention by most Republican viewers—even more so than the speech from nominee Mitt Romney. Can Portman and Johansson measure up? Stay tuned.”

      • Citizen
        February 3, 2014, 11:51 pm

        @ Misterioso
        “Johansson is famed for her wide knowledge of Jewish ethnic foods and willingness to sing the Dreidel Song on MTV.”

        So that’s what being Jewish means to a secular Jew?”

        And Portman? It means to help a gross liar like Dershie make a plagiarized case for apartheid and decades of belligerent occupation and land grabbing?

    • lobewyper
      February 2, 2014, 7:18 am

      No disrespect, DICKERSON, but I thought the film was quite good.

      • Citizen
        February 2, 2014, 10:31 am

        I didn’t think he film was much good. What did you like about it? I just remember, when I was watching it, that it seemed unreal, something that would never happen in real life, although it was presented as a real life drama.

      • lobewyper
        February 2, 2014, 2:56 pm

        Well, Citizen, it’s been a while since I saw it, but I think what I liked was the intense emotional intimacy between the two very different lead characters. Two people each sharing their own overpowering sense of aloneness with each other and needing to do so. Emphasized the unbearable nature of human loneliness (at least for normal humans). Sure, the fact that they didn’t wind up in bed makes the story even more implausible, but that fact IMO made for a better and more intense story. I found the film charming and a welcome respite from the crap Hollywood usually dishes out.

      • Citizen
        February 2, 2014, 8:34 pm

        The only thing plausible in the movie was the fact that they didn’t wind up in bed; I mean come on.

      • DICKERSON3870
        February 2, 2014, 6:30 pm

        RE: “No disrespect, DICKERSON, but I thought the film was quite good.” ~ lobewyper

        MY REPLY: You are certainly not alone.
        FROM IMDb – Ratings: 7.8/10 from 250,548 users
        Metascore: 89/100

        P.S. I didn’t give it a terrible rating myself. I cut it some slack because it was an “indie” film, and also perhaps out of deference Sofia Coppola’s father.

      • RoHa
        February 2, 2014, 6:42 pm

        I’m with Dickerson. Since I have strong connections with Japan, I usually watch films which are set there. I couldn’t figure out the point of the tedious thing. Staying in a hotel can be boring? We didn’t need a boring film to tell us that. The Japanese are weird? Everyone already knows that, and anyone who lives in Japan finds out they are even weirder.
        So what?

  5. seafoid
    February 1, 2014, 4:07 pm

    The FT is the go-to paper for corporate f*ckups .
    They are relentlessly consistent. Man up, fess up, tell how much it is going to cost, do not procrastinate, face the music, tell them what you are going to do differently., draw a line under it and move on.

    They do it week in, week out- for JP Morgan, BP, Nokia – doesn’t matter who.
    Accountability is at the heart of business.

    Israel is in deep doo doo.
    This ed and Gideon Rachman during the week.
    You don’t want to lose your business elite.

    • lysias
      February 1, 2014, 7:02 pm

      What did Rachman say?

    • pabelmont
      February 1, 2014, 7:25 pm

      What did FT say? It was hidden to me. Didn’t say “paywall” but didn’t show up either.

      • seafoid
        February 1, 2014, 7:51 pm

        You have to go back to Danon to see where the FT is coming from

        link to youtube.com

        FT editorial
        link to ft.com

        The status of the settlements is clear in international law even if Israel chooses to ignore this and expand its colonisation of Palestinian land, while ostensibly negotiating on the creation of a Palestinian state. Last year the EU adopted rules prohibiting grants to entities operating in illegal settlements. Yet the EU still let Israel into Horizon 2020 – the only non-member state in this €80bn research and development programme – making Israeli tech high flyers eligible for European public money provided it is not spent in the settlements.

        That is not a boycott. It is the application of the law. Yet if Israel maintains its occupation, and spurns the peace terms being negotiated by US secretary of state John Kerry, such distinctions will erode. European pension funds are already starting to pull their investments in Israeli banks with branches in the settlements.

        Israeli leaders, from former prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert to Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid, justice and finance ministers in the present rightwing government of Benjamin Netanyahu, have warned that Israel faces ostracism unless it makes a deal on Palestine. Now it is the settlements that are being targeted. But that could easily morph into a general boycott.

        It is disingenuous to romanticise settlement enterprises. The occupation imprisons thousands of the Palestinians’ young men, gives their land and water to settlers, demolishes their houses and partitions the remaining territory with scores of checkpoints and segregated roads. There are almost no basic foundations for an economy. The way to create Palestinian jobs is to end the occupation and let Palestinians build those foundations – not to build “bridges to peace” on other people’s land without their permission.

        Rachman

        “The Johansson-SodaStream controversy is significant because it highlights the fact that the movement to impose economic sanctions on the Israeli state is gradually gathering momentum. The specific disagreement between the actress and Oxfam was about a Sodastream factory that is based in an Israeli settlement on the West Bank. A sanctions movement targeted at businesses with links to the West Bank would be quite threatening in itself since, for example, all the major Israeli banks have branches in the occupied territories. But the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) has an animus against Israel that goes well beyond the question of settlements in the occupied territories. For example, one of the three main objections to Israel that BDS cites on its website is the denial of the right of return to all Palestinian refugees, displaced in 1948.

        The Johansson affair is a boost for the sanctions drive simply because it is great publicity for a movement that has been struggling to make headlines. It may also be significant that it involves a charity that has its roots in Britain – since the BDS movement is particularly strong here.

        However, the sanctions problem – while threatening to Israel in the long-term – may soon be put into the shade by the dilemma that will be presented by the unveiling of a Kerry plan for a two-state solution. Whatever his private feelings, Benjamin Netanyahu (the Israeli prime minister, in case you forgot) will probably feel compelled to back the Kerry plan – at least, in general. But many of his own Likud party are openly opposed to a two-state solution. If Likud splits and other pro-settler parties leave the governing coalition, the Israeli government would surely collapse.

        And if, despite all that, the peace process struggled onward, the Israelis would be faced with the situation they most dread – a full-on confrontation with the settler movement, as well as the final abandonment of the day-dream of incorporation of the West Bank into Israel proper. Perhaps I lack imagination or am being unfair, but I cannot see any Israeli government being willing to go down that road. However, if the two-state solution is unambiguously rejected by Israel, we will be in a new diplomatic world. Then you really would see a sanctions movement.”

    • Walid
      February 2, 2014, 4:46 pm

      “Israel is in deep doo doo.”

      Not just in business, seafoid, more deep doo doo ahead with the matter of Israel’s big 99-year lease in Jerusalem that’s set to expire in 37 years leaving behind billions in properties they will have to walk away from. I’m wondering what rabbit they will pull out of the hat when that time comes.

      • seafoid
        February 2, 2014, 10:05 pm

        “I’m wondering what rabbit they will pull out of the hat when that time comes.”

        Anti-Semitism, I bet
        and nobody will buy it.

        Is the Emperor’s new clothes a Jewish story?
        Ya haram.

      • Shingo
        February 3, 2014, 3:11 am

        el’s big 99-year lease in Jerusalem that’s set to expire in 37 years

        Who did they officially lease it from Walid? I never heard of this arrangement.

  6. Steve Macklevore
    February 1, 2014, 4:14 pm

    The Israeli case is essentially lost in Britain.

    There are a few (very few) hasbara pushers like Mad Mel Philips and Howard Jacobson, but otherwise support for Palestine is almost universal among most people.

    Hence the F.T editorial was nothing particularly remarkable, although it’s heartening to see how much traction BDSM is getting these days. It really does seem to be the only thing that makes Israelis scared – never mind the paper tiger of the Iranian H-Bomb.

    • Sumud
      February 1, 2014, 8:21 pm

      …it’s heartening to see how much traction BDSM is getting these days…

      It’s a long road from “No Sex Please We’re British” to BDSM going mainstream, eh? :-)

      • seafoid
        February 1, 2014, 8:37 pm

        Yeah. How would you unfuck Israel, Sumud?

      • Ecru
        February 2, 2014, 2:07 am

        I used to live in Britain for quite a while Sumud so I’ll explain to you what happens shall I?

        The Brits don’t make a fuss, they don’t go on huge solidarity marches (except for sociology students obviously) they just quietly with no real fanfare stop buying Israeli goods, raise their eyebrows whenever a mediocre Israeli actress is chosen over a good non-Jewish one, and tut and shake their heads every time an Israeli mentions the words “existential threat.” And then, behind the times as always, Whitehall gets the message – people want as little to do with Israel as possible and see it not Iran as a major threat to world peace. The Mandarins then pass that message on to the politicians and lo and behold, again with no real fanfare (it is foreign policy after all) there’s a shift in policy. Oh don’t get me wrong most Brits probably won’t do a thing, but the ones who do are the ones who vote. And their opinions count a LOT more in Westminster.

        It’s not fast, it’s not accompanied by the sounds of trumpets, but it is inexorable. And Israel is screwed in yet another country.

        (The visceral hatred that comes out of the Zionist camp every time Britain is mentioned doesn’t help either.)

      • seafoid
        February 2, 2014, 4:53 pm

        Ordinary Brits are very decent.
        They’d never run Zionism 4.0.

      • Ecru
        February 4, 2014, 3:31 am

        Exactly Seafoid, most Brits in my experience are very decent people.

        Please don’t get me wrong, when I mentioned those who would do nothing I was just referring to the overwhelming apathy of the entire human race, not just that of the British (although granted that is salted with the uniquely British and Irish cynicism which tends to act against action sometimes) when confronted with injustice.

  7. Daniel Rich
    February 1, 2014, 5:30 pm

    @ Steve Macklevore

    Off topic.

    Q: … BDSM …

    R: Grappling with the proverbial ropes or … ?

    • Philip Munger
      February 1, 2014, 6:57 pm

      “S” for the Zios, “M” for the rest of us….?

      • seafoid
        February 1, 2014, 7:25 pm

        Philip

        Under the MBTI system it would be S for the Zios and N for us

        link to myersbriggs.org

      • tree
        February 1, 2014, 7:49 pm

        Philip wasn’t using the Briggs-Meyer personality system, He was asking “S (sadism) is for Zionists and M (masochism) for the rest of us?”. Steve used the term BDSM. BDSM, as opposed to BDS, usually stands for Bondage, Discipline, Sadism and Masochism.

        link to en.wikipedia.org

      • seafoid
        February 1, 2014, 8:40 pm

        There is something in the Briggs Myers ranking about S types not being able to join the dots. It would go with being a sadist too. As long as there are no consequences you keep on doing it.

        It is so interesting that all of this is happening during the month following the death of Sharon , the wizard sadist.

  8. MRW
    February 1, 2014, 5:35 pm

    This article appeared yesterday, Jan 31, 2014. The following appeared on the op-ed page of the NYT, Jan 30, 2014. Not a good week for Israel.

    Israel Needs to Learn Some Manners
    By AVI SHLAIM JAN. 30, 2014
    link to nytimes.com

    • pabelmont
      February 1, 2014, 7:30 pm

      And that’s THREE (on ONE Sunday) over at NYT-Sunday:

      [1] Omar Barghouti’s : “Why the Boycott Movement Scares Israel”
      [2] Hirsh Goodman: How Israel is losing the propaganda war
      [3] Avi Schlaim: “Israel Needs to Learn Some Manners”

  9. dbroncos
    February 1, 2014, 7:34 pm

    “Ambassador” Johansson will be watching for her Super Bowl ad with tear stained cheeks. Bad move ScarJo. Sometimes you get what you ask for, although I’m sure SodaStream waved their contract in her face and threatened to sue if she ditched them for Oxfam.

    • Philip Munger
      February 2, 2014, 4:15 am

      I doubt she will cry until the reviews of the ad’s quality come in early next week.

  10. Sumud
    February 1, 2014, 8:23 pm

    I read the article yesterday when seafoid posted it – impressed by the no-nonsense nature of it, almost Chomsky-esque in it’s refusal to engage with stupidity (ie. most hasbara).

    • seafoid
      February 1, 2014, 9:00 pm

      I wonder how Hasbara Central will respond

      Maybe “The FT hates Jews. The Capitalist elite hates Jews”
      Wouldn’t it be hilarious to see Mark Regev go after Goldman Sachs?

      • Sibiriak
        February 1, 2014, 9:57 pm

        seafoid:

        I wonder how Hasbara Central will respond

        I submit that the FT editiorial IS Hasbara–a highly sophisticated variety– in that it calls for the acceptance of Kerry’s settlement terms and yet pretends that this would constitute a reversal of Israeli settlement policy and triumph of international law.

      • seafoid
        February 1, 2014, 11:17 pm

        Kerry has the same challenge as Beinart – try to come up with something rational that isn’t oppressive and qualifies as Jewish and is acceptable to Joe Goy . Yossi Israeli is going to have to swallow regardless.
        It’s about coming to some sort of sustainable equilibrium, right ? And this is some sort of Zionist master plan? I think they gave up knowing what they were doing a long time ago.

        Insanity

        Yoffie
        link to haaretz.com

        “But the real point is that the acquiring of Jewish influence is not a misfortune; it is a blessing and a cause for celebration. I applaud the fact that AIPAC—and a whole range of Jewish organizations—are respected political players on the Washington scene and that Jewish concerns—including, first and foremost, the welfare of Israel – are advanced by these groups. And while AIPAC has won the backing of many Americans, American Jews are instrumental in leading it, supporting it, and extending its influence. Again, this is a source of pride; let’s not suggest otherwise. ”

        link to mondoweiss.net
        “For certain Israeli and American Jews, Israel has always been the strongbox of Jewishness, the place where the most vivid, authentic strain of its modern existence has been unfolding for the last sixty-five years, and there has been a constant stream of American Jews passing through Ben Gurion Airport on their way to imbibe this heady brew from the source.”

        Shavit: Gideon, You want a secular, democratic state. You’re worse than the extremists among the Palestinians.
        Levy: Terrific. OK. Perfect. Anti-Semite.
        Shavit: And this is a kind of anti-Semitism, an unwillingness to recognize the right of the Jewish people to self-determination.
        Levy: [Just] say Nazi.
        Shavit: No, this is an extreme anti-Israeli approach that you spread like poison around the world. And then you call it demagoguery. This is demagoguery of the worst kind, your demagoguery.
        Levy: I’m a little tired of Ari Shavit. Who tries to have it all. It is … I want to refresh people’s memory, once and for all. We came to a country inhabited by another people.
        Margalit: Oh, delegitimizing of Israel. We understand.
        Shavit: Then let’s leave. That’s why you’re not worried about Iran, because you agree with Ahmedinejad. You think we should go back to Austria. That’s what you’re saying.
        Levy: [Just say] Adolf Hitler.

        link to newseum.org

        “Terrorism has altered the landscape in many areas, including the rules of war and engagement, law, investigative and interrogation techniques, and the detention of enemy combatants. Journalism is no exception”

        Reason

        Sternhell

        link to haaretz.com

        “How will the Jews of the world react once it becomes clear to them beyond any shadow of a doubt that Israel is on a collision course with their very existential interests? The various expressions of fanaticism in Israel, such as the exclusion of women in the military and, in a short while, in institutions of higher learning; the denial of equal rights to its non-Jewish citizens and the division of the population according to ethnic origin can all ultimately be considered as subversive actions undermining the status of Diaspora Jews in their various countries of residence.”

        link to haaretz.com

        “We, the Palestinians, are the protectors of the Jews. Peace with us will guarantee your existence here. Today, the Arabs are asleep, regarding the situation and this conflict. Once they awaken, only respecting the religious sensitivities of a billions Muslims, restoring our rights and coexistence with us will protect you.”

        link to ft.com

        “I am not a religious Jew, my family were not religious Jews. But I feel that I am a representation of the Jewish spirit, whatever that might be. To me, it is honesty, rectitude, intellectual achievement

        And Israel has 6 weeks to sort all of this out? And this was planned ?

        link to theguardian.com

      • bilal a
        February 2, 2014, 5:19 am

        Shavit: Then let’s leave. .. You think we should go back to Austria. That’s what you’re saying.
        Levy: [Just say] Adolf Hitler.

        The Liberal vs Zionist dispute

        “For the so-called [Austrian] Jewry of liberal disposition did not reject the Zionists as non- Jews, but only as Jews of an impractical stamp, whose public confession of their Jewishness might even be dangerous .. this phoney struggle between Zionisticand Liberal…”

        H-German, Kaiserreich, 1871-1918, Hitler on Antisemitism in Vienna (1925)
        link to h-net.org

        Shavitt-Levy , weird echo of classical Austrian anti-Semitism.

      • Sibiriak
        February 1, 2014, 11:33 pm

        seafoid:

        And this is some sort of Zionist master plan? I think they gave up knowing what they were doing a long time ago.

        Kerry’s terms –80% of settlers absorbed into Israel/no right of return/demilitarized, Israeli-supervised Palestinian statelet etc.–are, in essence, the fulfillment of Sharon’s vision. They know exactly what they are dong.

      • seafoid
        February 2, 2014, 1:50 am

        Who did Sharon line up to tell the Arabs that Jerusalem is lost forever ?
        Rudy Giuliani ?

        This is epic stuff. What is happening now will be written about for the next 500 years.

        If I were Hindu I would say that Sharon was the reincarnation of Oliver Cromwell.

        link to olivercromwell.org
        “i need pity. I know what i feel. Great place and business in the world is not worth looking after.”
        On himself, letter to Richard Mayor, July 1650.

        “cruel necessity”.
        Cromwell on the execution of King Charles I. Jan 1649.
        Oxford dictionary of quotations.

        “this is a righteous judgement of god upon these
        barbarous wretches, who have imbrued their hands in so much innocent blood….”
        Oliver Cromwell after the storming of Drogheda.1649.

        “no one rises so high as he who knows not whither he is going.”
        Cromwell on personal fortunes.

        “god has brought us where we are, to consider the work we may do in the world, as well as at home.”
        Cromwell to the army council. 1654.

        “you have accounted yourselves happy on being environed with a great ditch from all the world beside.”
        In a letter, 1658.

        “not what they want but what is good for them.”
        Remark by Oliver Cromwell.
        Ibid.

        “my design is to make what haste i can to be gone.”
        Cromwell’s last words; in Cromwell, by John Morely.

        link to olivercromwell.org

        * “And as he went on, though he yet resolved not what form the New Commonwealth should be moulded into, yet he thought it but reasonable, that he should be the chief person who had been the chief person in the Deliverance.”

        * “When he quitted the Parliament, his chief dependence was on the Army, which he endevoured by all means to keep in unity, and if he could not bring it to his sense, he, rather than suffer any division in it, went-over himself and carried his friends with him into that way which the army did choose, and that faster than any other person in it.”
        Sir John Berkley, Memoirs of Sir John Berkley.
        The Dictionary of Biographical Quotations.

        * “.. A devotee of law, he was forced to be often lawless; a civilian to the core, he had to maintain himself by the sword; with a passion to construct, his task was chiefly to destroy; the most scrupulous of men, he had to ride roughshod over his own scruples and those of others; the tenderest, he had continually to harden his heart; the most English of our greater figures, he spent his life in opposition to the majority of Englishmen; a realist, he was condemned to build that which could not last.”
        John Buchan, Oliver Cromwell.
        The Dictionary of Biographical Quotations.

        * “Saw the superb funeral of the Protector:…but it was the joyfullest funeral that I ever saw, for there were none that cried, but dogs, which the souldiers hooted away with a barbarous noise; drinking and taking tobacco in the streets as they went.”
        John Evelyn, Diary. 22 November 1658.
        The Dictionary of Biographical Quotations.

        * “This day (to the stupendous and inscrutableJudgements of God) were the Carcasses of that arch-rebell Cromwell and Bradshaw the judge who condemned his Majestie & Ireton, son-in-law to the Usurper, dragged outof their superbe tombs (in Westminster among the Kings), to Tyburn & hanged on the Gallows there from 9 in the morning til 6 at night, and then buried under that fatal and ignominious monument, in a deepe pitt: Thousands of people who (who had seen them in all their pride and pompous insults) being spectators: look back at November 22, 1658, & be astonish’d – And fear God & honour the King, but meddle not with those who are given to change.”
        John Evelyn, Diary,30 January 1661.
        The Dictionary of Biographical Quotations.

      • Sibiriak
        February 2, 2014, 5:08 am

        Seafoid:

        [Sibiriak:Kerry’s terms –80% of settlers absorbed into Israel/no right of return/demilitarized, Israeli-supervised Palestinian statelet etc.–are, in essence, the fulfillment of Sharon’s vision. They know exactly what they are doing.]

        Who did Sharon line up to tell the Arabs that Jerusalem is lost forever ?

        Kerry will propose that the Palestinians get a portion of Jerusalem to call their capital.

        As Chomsky put it:

        The policies are quite clear. Their roots go back to the 1967 war and they have been pursued with particular dedication since the Oslo Accords of September 1993.

        [...]A second step was to carry forward the creation of a vastly expanded Greater Jerusalem, incorporating it within Israel, as its capital.

        [...] A corridor to the east of the new Greater Jerusalem incorporates the settler town of Ma’aleh Adumim, established in the 1970s but built primarily after the Oslo Accords, virtually bisecting the West Bank.

        Corridors to the north including other settler towns divide what is to remain under some degree of Palestinian control — “Bantustans,” as they were called by one of the main architects of the policy, Ariel Sharon, in a reference to the territory set aside for black South Africans during the apartheid era.

        Meanwhile Israel is incorporating the territory on the Israeli side of the “separation wall” cutting through the West Bank, taking arable land and water resources and Palestinian villages.

        Included are the settlement blocs that “will remain part of Israel in any possible future peace agreement,” as stated by Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev as the current negotiations were announced.

        link to edition.cnn.com

  11. Sibiriak
    February 1, 2014, 9:04 pm

    It is the application of the law. Yet if Israel maintains its occupation, and spurns the peace terms being negotiated by US secretary of state John Kerry such distinctions will erode…

    By all indications, the peace terms being negotiated by Kerry will result in Israel annexing Ma’ale Adumim.

    • Citizen
      February 1, 2014, 10:57 pm

      @ Sibiriak
      Yeah, I noticed that too. And it does look like Kerry’s now feverishly working to basically just bribe the carefully selected Palestinian representatives to take the money and run, not hopelessly keep sticking to their basic rights. Will cost USA a fortune.

      • puppies
        February 2, 2014, 3:43 am

        @Sibiriak – “Bribe”? The guys are Israeli employees. They’ll do as told anyway, otherwise a swift and painful mysterious hematologic disease is waiting for them.
        The money is for trying yet once more the idea that all popular movements can be stopped by panem et circenses.

      • amigo
        February 2, 2014, 7:08 am

        “Yeah, I noticed that too. And it does look like Kerry’s now feverishly working to basically just bribe the carefully selected Palestinian representatives to take the money and run, not hopelessly keep sticking to their basic rights. Will cost USA a fortune.” Citizen

        Yup, and then when “Palestine ” fails , as it is intended, Dick and Jane can say ,”well we tried”.We gave them billions and they screwed it up.

        They can then go back to stuffing their faces with dorritos and swigging soda stream scarjo juice and sit and relax knowing good ole uncle sam has once again failed to civilize those damn Arabs.

        The whole project is sickening.

      • pabelmont
        February 2, 2014, 9:09 am

        Citizen: Israel costs the USA a fortune whatever happens. Bribing Abbas is far cheaper than providing a real economy for Palestine — if the bribing works, and you cannot know unless you try. If the bribing works, the can gets kicked down the road a little farther, because the Palestinians will then have to decide whether or not to accept the “deal”.

        Providing a real economy for Palestine is far cheaper (I’d suspect) than doing so after paying Israel a huge bribe to remove all (or most) of the settlers and destroy the wall and all (or most) of the settlement buildings.

        I think the cheapest path for the USA, now, is to say “We tried! Really, we tried!” and quit, passing the reins to EU and any others willing to pick them up.

        If BDS (among consumers) makes the leap (like the leap of the tobacco ringspot virus to become a bee virus) to become a sanctions-movement among nations (and there is some sign of this in the EU’s ever-so-mild actions on Israeli banks, on products-labeling), then USA can sit back and watch BDS-in-action take Israel down whilst USA wrings its hands and asks AIPAC, “What can WE do about it?”

        And, BTW, by “bring Israel down” I mean get it to voluntarily (under the much changed circumstances, of course) retract to the green-line, remove all settlers, and demolish the wall and all settlement buildings. What that would mean for Israeli society I cannot imagine, except to say that it would be the rude awakening that Israel cannot get away with everything — as it has done since 1948. Add a little TLC from the ICC and Israel will look very different indeed. The end of immunity and impunity for Israel and its leaders (and the former-settlers) will be an enormous revolution just in itself.

        At that point, there could be talks about water, oil-and-gas, refugees from 1948, reparations, and many other issues.

  12. Sibiriak
    February 1, 2014, 9:41 pm

    An editorial in this weekend’s Financial Times, the salmon-colored tribune of London’s City, the financial district, is certainly striking terror into Hasbara Central in Israel– if not at the State Department in Washington

    The editorial calls for Israel to accept Kerry’s terms for a negotiated settlement. Under those terms some 80% of Jewish settlers would remain in what would become Israeli sovereign territory. Why would that “strike terror” into the State Department or, for that matter, any but the most extreme Zionist?

    • Talkback
      February 2, 2014, 5:20 am

      Sibiriak, the other thread is closed, so here’s my reply to your question:

      What “right to self-determination of state citizens “? The “right of self-determination” in international law belongs to peoples (nations), not citizens of states, does it not?

      You are correct. It allready belongs to the denizens of a certain territory which has not become a state yet and is for example under colonial domination. I just wanted to emphasize that the denizens of Palestine were not only denizens of a certain territory (or colony, which it wasn’t), but had become citizens of a mandated state and therefore were the people/nation (Jews and Arabs) of Palestine. The people of Palestine had the right to self determination, regardless of their faith and heritage. This right is always connected to a territory. Jews (or Arabs) of Palestine were not regarded as a nation of their own, but a “nation WITHIN citizenship” (within nation). The right of self determination IN Palestine didn’t include Jews who were living outside of Palestine or had not acquired citizenship yet. It only belonged to the people (denizens or citizens) OF Palestine.

      • mcohen
        February 2, 2014, 5:49 am

        Talkback

        “the right of self determination”

        Did not include jews living outside palestine,
        Does that also apply to arabs living outside palestine
        and which palestine do you refer to
        the one ruled by the ottaman turks or the one under the british mandate

      • Talkback
        February 2, 2014, 10:14 am

        mccohen: “the right of self determination”

        Did not include jews living outside palestine,
        Does that also apply to arabs living outside palestine

        It only applied people with Palestinian citizenship no matter where they (temporarily or not) lived.

        and which palestine do you refer to
        the one ruled by the ottaman turks or the one under the british mandate

        It was the state of Palestine under mandate which enacted a nationality law in 1925 which created Palestinian citizenship.

        Former ex-Ottomans (Jews, Arabs, Bedouins …) habitually resident in post-Ottoman Palestine on the day the Treaty of Lausanne came into effect became Palestinans automatically. Compare this customary behaviour (as reflected in resolution 181) to Israel’s racially motivated perversion of a nationality law. (They would even keep angels expelled and denationalized, if they are not “Jewish”.)

      • Sibiriak
        February 2, 2014, 11:23 am

        Talkback:

        [ “the right of self determination”] only applied people with Palestinian citizenship no matter where they (temporarily or not) lived.

        UNSCOP, in contrast to Hostage, seems to have recognized that the Mandate, by incorporating the Balfour Declaration, violated the principle of self-determination:

        176. With regard to the principle of self-determination, although international recognition was extended to this principle at the end of the First World War and it was adhered to with regard to the other Arab territories, at the time of the creation of the “A” Mandates, it was not applied to Palestine, obviously because of the intention to make possible the creation of the Jewish National Home there.

        Actually, it may well be said that the Jewish National Home and the sui generis Mandate for Palestine run counter to that principle.

        Let’s assume that to be true, for the sake of argument, and consider the situation of Palestine in 1947 when the UNSCOP was formulating its recommendations.

        UNSCOP noted that there were in Palestine

        more than 1,200,000 Arabs and 600,000 Jews, who, by and large, are from different cultural milieux, and whose outlook, languages, religion and aspirations are separate.

        This demographic reality was a new situation which resulted from the previous (alleged) violation of the Palestinians right to self-determination.

        UNSCOP deemed the Jews and Arabs in Palestine to be “two peoples” with conflicting “national aspirations”.

        Now, given that reality and the new post-Jewish-immigration demographics, however unjustly created, was it not logical for UNSCOP to try to find a way to balance the rights of self-determination and national aspirations of BOTH of those separate peoples and the most practical way (even if they failed to find such a way)?

        So, even if the principle of self-determination had been violated by the obligation to create a Jewish “national home”, it does not follow that the UN violated that principle when it recommended the partition of Palestine at a later date and in response to a vastly changed reality .

        Hostage seems to be correct, in that regard:

        After 25 years of riots, strikes, bloody civil war, and stalemate, adopting a transition plan for independence and a Corpus Separatum that provided protection for existing rights, indigenous provisional governments, and elections of representative assemblies – all under the administrative oversight of the UN Palestine Commission during the period from 29 November 1947 to 1 October 1948 – can’t be adequately described as a denial of self-determination.

      • Hostage
        February 2, 2014, 4:57 pm

        UNSCOP, in contrast to Hostage, seems to have recognized that the Mandate, by incorporating the Balfour Declaration, violated the principle of self-determination:

        Maybe you just need to read the heading above paragraph 176, “Appraisal of the Arab case”. That is NOT UNSCOP’s opinion about the legal character or nature of the mandate, that is the Arab Higher Committee’s complaint about their situation.

        Here is the text of the message from the British Foreign Secretary admitting that for 25 years his government had failed to fulfill its obligation to secure self-governing institutions as required by the Mandate. I guess nobody ever told him that principle did not apply to Palestine:

        TEXT OF MESSAGE RECEIVED FROM MR. BEVIN DATED FEBRUARY 7TH 1947
        Following is summary of the proposals.
        The document begins by reciting our obligations under the Mandate,
        and points out that during the last twenty-five years we have done,
        our best to further the legitimate aspirations of the Jews without
        prejudicing the interests of the Arabs. We have not however been
        able to “secure the development of self-governing institutions”
        in accordance with the Mandate because it has not been possible to find a
        basis of co-operation acceptable to both Arabs and Jews.

        link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        You need to read all six South Africa/Namibia cases (the requests for opinions, preliminary objections, oral arguments, and final judgments) before you find out how the “international status of the mandate” bedtime story ends. Spoiler Alert! I’ve already pointed out that the primary judicial organ of the United Nations ruled that the object of the sacred trust of civilization was the well being and independence of the inhabitants who were not yet ready to stand alone – and that the principle applied to all of the mandates, including Palestine.

        Lets just assume that since I’ve already shown that the Chairman of the Permanent Mandates Commission and the members had advised the British Government, for the official record, that Article 2 of the Mandate required the establishment of self-governing institutions for all the inhabitants, that the Arab petitions and complaints were actually based upon the British government’s refusal to comply with either the explicit terms of Article 2 of its own Mandate or the explicit safeguarding clauses for the rights and position of the non-Jewish communities contained in both the Balfour Declaration and the San Remo resolution regarding their rights of representation in governing bodies.

        The declassified British Cabinet records provide a veritable cornucopia of documentary evidence of British assurances from Balfour himself “that Palestine was included in the areas as to which Great Britain pledged itself that they should be Arab and independent in the future.” The terms of the Mandate and the Balfour Declaration were never the source of the problem, i.e.:

        In short, so far as Palestine is concerned, the Powers have made no statement of fact which is not admittedly wrong, and no declaration of policy which, at least in the letter, they have not always intended to violate.

        – –See Nº. 242. Memorandum by Mr. Balfour (Paris) respecting Syria, Palestine, and Mesopotamia’ [132187/2117/44A]
        link to scribd.com

      • Hostage
        February 2, 2014, 7:29 am

        You are correct. It allready belongs to the denizens of a certain territory which has not become a state yet and is for example under colonial domination.

        It belongs to peoples even after they become a state. See for example common article 1 of the ICCPR and ICESCR
        * link to ohchr.org
        * link to ohchr.org

        I think you guys are trying to read nuances into the UNSCOP report that aren’t actually there. Much of the objectionable material was simply a recitation of the historical record that was employed to justify the unanimous recommendation to terminate the mandate.

        The ICJ punctured the old myth that the A Mandate for Palestine did not include the right of self-determination. The various Judges repeatedly cited the cases of South West Africa/Namibia to support the proposition that the right of self-determination was included in the sacred trust of civilization, even for the C mandates.

        The Permanent Mandates Commission had advised the representative of Great Britain in 1932 that Article 2 of the Mandate required the development of self-governing institutions for all the inhabitants. link to unispal.un.org

        I’ve pointed out an many occasions that the San Remo resolution contained an additional legal undertaking for Great Britain:

        “that there was inserted in the proces-verbal an undertaking by the Mandatory Power that this would not involve the surrender of the rights hitherto enjoyed by the non-Jewish communities in Palestine;

        link to cfr.org

        The UNSCOP Commission specifically cited the fact that there was an international undertaking to preserve the status quo resulting from the Crimean war (1855) and the Russo-Turkish war (1878). It also noted the term “Jewish national home” never had any agreed upon meaning or scope in international law. link to unispal.un.org

        The ICJ noted in paragraph 129 of its advisory opinion in the Wall case that “existing rights” under Article 62 of the the Treaty of Berlin (1878) were safeguarded under the terms of Article 13 of the Mandate and that an entire Chapter in the UN partition plan was devoted to the same subject. That was the protection plan for religious and minority groups that guaranteed quiet enjoyment of homes and property, equal rights for all, and freedom of access and movement for all. Article 62 of the Treaty of Berlin had always prohibited the denial of political or civil rights to the non-Jewish communities on the basis or religion. It stipulated:

        The Sublime Porte having expressed the intention to maintain the principle of religious liberty, and give it the widest scope, the Contracting Parties take note of this spontaneous declaration. In no part of the Ottoman Empire shall difference of religion be alleged against any person as a ground for exclusion or incapacity in matters relating to the enjoyment of civil or political rights, admission to public employments, functions, and honors, or the exercise of the various professions and industries, in any locality whatsoever. . . .

        The UN representative from Lebanon pointed out during the hearings on Israel’s membership in the UN that it wasn’t the UN plan that violated the rights of Palestinians or their territorial integrity, it was Ben Gurion and the Zionists who drove 90 percent of the Palestinian population of the Jewish state into exile and settled European Jews in their homes in violation of the explicit terms of the UN plan:

        The United Nations had certainly not intended that the Jewish State should rid itself of its Arab citizens. On the contrary, section C of part I of the Assembly’s 1947 resolution had explicitly provided guarantees of minority rights in each of the two States. For example, it had prohibited the expropriation of land owned by an Arab in the Jewish State except for public purposes, and then only upon payment of full compensation. Yet the fact was that 90 per cent of the Arab population of Israel had been driven outside its boundaries by military operations, had been forced to seek refuge in neighbouring Arab territories, had been reduced to misery and destitution, and had been prevented by Israel from returning to their homes. Their homes and property had been seized and were being used by thousands of European Jewish immigrants.

        link to unispal.un.org

        Like the Zionists, Great Britain had simply violated the terms of its own undertakings regarding Article 13 and 14 of the Mandate. For example, even the Jewish Virtual Library has biographical articles which explain that one of the Palestinian representatives from the District of Jerusalem, Yussef Diya’uddin Al-Khalidi, had been the Speaker of the Ottoman Parliament. link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

        Here is a link to a discussion in the Ottoman Parliament in 1911 in which the two lawmakers from Jerusalem, al Khalidi and al Husayni, argued with Jewish lawmakers that “the district of Palestine” had reached the limit of its capacity of Jewish immigrants, and that they should be settled elsewhere in the Ottoman Empire. See Yuval Ben-Bassat and Eyal Ginio, Late Ottoman Palestine: The Period of Young Turk Rule (Library of Ottoman Studies), 2011, page 111 et seq link to books.google.com

        So “the rights hitherto enjoyed by the non-Jewish communities in Palestine” included representation in the appropriate lawmaking bodies that could consider and adopt “suitable conditions” for foreign Jewish immigration.

        David Ben Gurion certainly understood that democratic principle. During the 20th Sitting of the first Knesset Ben Gurion explained that annexing the Triangle and Hebron would add 500,000 to 800,000 Arabs to the population of the State of Israel. He noted that the Arabs would outnumber the Jews and that they would have to be given the vote. The Herut MKs replied that there were millions of Jews elsewhere in the world that would be willing to immigrate. Ben Gurion replied that the new Arab Knesset would adopt laws that would prevent them from ever coming.

        If there hadn’t been any ethnic cleansing, that would have been the first order of business for the Palestinian Arab majority in the greatly enlarged “Jewish state”. See “The Armistice Agreements with the Arab States”, in Netanel Lorch (ed), Major Knesset Debates 1948-1981, Vol. 2, JCPA/University of America Press, 1993, pages 514-515 (pdf file page 94 of 186) link to jcpa.org

        Now compare that actual historical record to the canned and insincere response of the representative of the British mandatory administration to petitions received by the Permanent Mandates Commission in 1926 regarding the rights of representation previously enjoyed by the non-Jewish communities. He simply dismissed the idea that there was any such right and told the Commission when pressed to use the same written response that Great Britain had provided in the past:

        Arab Complaints with Respect to their Political Freedom.

        M. PALACIOS thought that the development of local government was beginning to follow a satisfactory course. He would refer, however, to the complaint made in the last Arab petition to the following effect:

        The Palestinian under the Turk elected his village representative called “Mukhtar”, his mayor and municipal council in town, the members of the administrative Council, who administered the district under the presidency of the governor, the members of the Common Council, who legislated for all questions relating to local affairs of the district, and, finally, his member of Parliament at Constantinople, where the general affairs of the Empire were freely discussed. Under the British mandate, the village representative is in practice appointed by the district governor, the mayor and the municipal council are appointed by the High Commissioner, the administrative and common councils do not exist, and the Parliament is out of the question.”

        Colonel SYMES said the complaint was more accurate in theory than in fact. The conception of the Turkish administration had been totally different from that of the British, for the former knew perfectly well that their district officers had, in practice, complete control over all local governing bodies, which, if they ran counter to the Government, found themselves dissolved. It was quite true that in many instances the Mukhtar had been appointed by the mandatory Power and not elected, but the Commission should remember that the Mukhtar was the Government agent in the village with whom the Government had all its dealings. Whenever it proved possible for villages to elect them they were allowed to do so, but in cases where animosity was very strong it had been necessary in the interests of peace and good work to appoint a Mukhtar. In theory, municipalities had held wide powers under Turkish rule. In actual fact, however, those powers had been but a shadow, for they had been unable to run counter to the desires of the Turkish district officers.

        The municipal bodies would gradually be re-established on a popular basis, but it should not be forgotten that the nominated municipalities had rendered good public service in the past five years. Had the members been elected instead of nominated it is doubtful if they would have been equally efficient.

        With regard to the complaint to the effect that the Arabs had been deprived of their deputies in the Ottoman Parliament, Colonel Symes did not think that such deputies had ever exercised much influence in the direction of the Ottoman Empire.

        M. VAN REES thought that the explanations of Colonel Symes, which were of great interest, ought to have been furnished in writing by the British Government when replying to the petition. In general, the British Government should endeavour to answer petitions in greater detail.

        The CHAIRMAN agreed. What the Commission required was a clear and definite reply in writing in answer to all petitions.

        Colonel SYMES pointed out that all his observations had already been made to the Commission and would be found in the record of its Seventh Session.

        The CHAIRMAN expressed the hope that the mandatory Power would take account of the Commission’s desires in this respect in future. –

        link to unispal.un.org

      • Sibiriak
        February 2, 2014, 8:39 am

        Hostage:

        [The UNSCOP Commission] also noted the term “Jewish national home” never had any agreed upon meaning or scope in international law.

        The fact that there was no agreed upon meaning to the term “national home” does not mean that obligations associated with that term had no force. The “right of self-determination” also has no agreed upon meaning or scope, yet it remains a guiding principle in international law.

        While the UNSCOP noted different interpretations of the term “national home”, it suggests that the authoritative interpretation was that expressed in the 1922 Churchill White Paper:

        [UNSCOP:] 142. What exactly was in the minds of those who made the Balfour Declaration is speculative. The fact remains that, in the light of experience acquired as a consequence of serious disturbances in Palestine, the mandatory Power, in a statement on “British Policy in Palestine,” issued on 3 June 1922 by the Colonial Office, placed a restrictive construction upon the Balfour Declaration.143/

        143. The statement recognized for the first time “the ancient historic connection” of the Jews with Palestine144/, and declared that they were in Palestine “as of right and not on sufferance”. It, however, excluded in its own terms “the disappearance or subordination of the Arabic population, language or customs in Palestine” or “the imposition of Jewish nationality upon the inhabitants of Palestine as a whole”, and made it clear that in the eyes of the mandatory Power, the Jewish National Home was to be founded in Palestine and not that Palestine as a whole was to be converted into a Jewish National Home.

        144. It should be noted here that this construction, which restricted considerably the scope of the National Home, was made prior to the confirmation of the Mandate by the Council of the League of Nations145/ and was formally accepted at the time by the Executive of the Zionist Organization, in its capacity as the “appropriate Jewish agency” provided for in article 4 of the Mandate.146/

        145. Nevertheless, neither the Balfour Declaration nor the Mandate precluded the eventual creation of a Jewish State. The Mandate in its Preamble recognized, with regard to the Jewish people, the “grounds for reconstituting their National Home”. By providing, as one of the main obligations of the mandatory Power the facilitation of Jewish immigration, it conferred upon the Jews an opportunity, through large-scale immigration, to create eventually a Jewish State with a Jewish majority.

        link to unispal.un.org

        The crux of the problem, as I see it, is that rights of self-governance etc. were in fundamental conflict with the obligation to create a Jewish national home.

        The UNSCOP seems to have clearly recognized this:

        137. The practical significance of the controversy was that, if the country were to be placed under such political conditions as would secure the development of self-governing institutions, these same conditions would in fact destroy the Jewish National Home.

        It would appear that, although difficulties were anticipated, when the Mandate was confirmed it was not dearly contemplated that these two obligations would prove mutually incompatible. In practice, however, they proved to be so. The conflict between Arab and Jewish political aspirations, intensified by the growth of Arab nationalism throughout the Arabic-speaking countries and by the growth of anti-Semitism in some European countries, excluded any possibility of adjustment which would allow the establishment of self-governing institutions.

        Had self-governing institutions been created, the majority in the country, who never willingly accepted Jewish immigration, would in all probability have made its continuance impossible, causing thereby the negation of the Jewish National Home.

        link to unispal.un.org

      • Hostage
        February 2, 2014, 1:20 pm

        The fact that there was no agreed upon meaning to the term “national home” does not mean that obligations associated with that term had no force.

        What UNSCOP “suggested” after the fact was irrelevant in actual practice during the whole mandate era. The Balfour declaration expression of “sympathy” had no legal force whatsoever. For that matter, neither did the terms of the Mandate itself. The Palestine High Court of Justice upheld the validity of the 1940 Land ordinance that prohibited land sales to Jews in most of the country. The case was Bernard A. Rosenblatt (petitioner) Vs. the Registar Of Lands, Haifa (1947). It cited an earlier case, Jamal Effendi Husseini v. Government of Palestine (1 P.L.R. 5O), and reaffirmed that “the terms of the Mandate are enforceable in the Courts only as far as they are incorporated by the Palestine Order-in-Council, 1922, or any amendment.” The latter case is discussed on page 219 of 398 in the Yearbook Of The International Law Commission 1950 Volume II link to legal.un.org

        The UNSCOP Committee was not aware of some of the classified documents, that were published in the 1950s. So it failed to mention that on the day the declaration was adopted, Balfour could only gain approval for the measure after he had stipulated that the term national home did not mean a Jewish state. Many of the members of the War Cabinet who adopted the Balfour Declaration would only agree to the establishment of a national shrine or cultural center, not a Jewish state or territory. Declassified documents show that there were War Cabinet sponsors of the Balfour Declaration who interpreted the national home clause as meaning nothing more than assistance in establishing such a shrine in one of the main Jewish communities. See CAB 24/30, “The Future of Palestine” (Former Reference: GT 2406), 26 October 1917; CAB 24/4, “The Zionist Movement”(Former Reference: G 164), 17 October 1917; and CAB 24/28 (Former Reference: GT 2263) “Zionism, 9 October 1917.

        The mandate didn’t explicitly cede any territory for the exclusive use of the Zionists settlers and only treats them as potential immigrants, not inhabitants, natives, or even citizens. In fact, many members of the Jewish Agency. like Rabbi Silver, never were.

        The declassified record shows that the Cabinet rejected the idea that the Zionists had any legal claim or legal connection to the territory, and that anything they did for them was out of charity, not a legal obligation. See PRO FO 371/5245, cited in Doreen Ingrams, Palestine Papers 1917-1922: Seeds of Conflict, George Brazziler, 1972, pages 99-100

        Jewish members of the Cabinet, like Montagu, insisted that the rights and position of Jews as citizens and natives of other countries be explicitly preserved and protected and opposed the idea of a national homeland in Palestine.

      • Sibiriak
        February 2, 2014, 7:36 am

        Talkback:

        …the denizens of Palestine were not only denizens of a certain territory (or colony, which it wasn’t), but had become citizens of a mandated state and therefore were the people/nation (Jews and Arabs) of Palestine.

        The problem is: the Balfour Declaration was incorporated into the Mandate, and the Mandate became the legal foundation for many subsequent UN opinions– and the Balfour Declaration recognized “the Jewish people” as a separate people, not territorially bounded, that had a right to a “national home” in Palestine . Thus, while “the people” (first meaning: the inhabitants) of Mandatory Palestine contained persons of various faiths and ethnicities, Palestine contained more than one “people” (second meaning: a collective ethnos).

        However ambiguous the term “national home” may have been, the Mandate recognized the existence of a Jewish people spread across various territories, while in your view it would seem that no such dispersed people could ever exist.

        Jews (or Arabs) of Palestine were not regarded as a nation of their own

        Rightly or wrongly, the Jewish people were indeed widely regarded as such (i.e., as a separate people or nation).

        The UNSCOP clearly spoke of “two peoples” in Palestine with separate national interests. For example:

        In the circumstances of the mandatory regime, that necessary measure of understanding between the TWO PEOPLES of Palestine has not yet been evident. The immediate and compelling reality is the constant pressure exerted by Arab and Jewish political leaders to maintain and advance their respective national interests.

        ————–

        In view of the fact that these TWO PEOPLES [Jews and Arabs] live physically and spiritually apart, nurture separate aspirations and ideals, and have widely divergent cultural traditions…

        (emphasis added).

        link to unispal.un.org

        The 1922 Churchill White Paper, which the UNSCOP recognized as “the authoritative interpretation”, stated that national home for the Jewish people as a whole was in Palestine “as of right and not on sufferance.”

        The inhabitants of Mandatory Palestine did not have democratic veto power over the establishment a Jewish national home in Palestine –it was imposed on them. And the imposition of such a national home, and the concomitant immigration policies it required, was based on an alleged right . Now, that right was either a right of self-determination in Palestine of the global Jewish people, or it was another kind of right that was on equal (or superior) standing with the right of self-determination of the inhabitants of Palestine.

        Once that right, whatever it’s nature, was recognized, Jewish immigration into Israel enlarged the community of Jews, a separate people in Palestine , and it could be argued that the UN recognized that the Jewish people in Palestine had a right self-determination, as did the Arabs in Palestine. That right did not necessarily mean the establishment of an independent state–but the U.N. eventually recommended that.

      • seafoid
        February 2, 2014, 8:35 am

        “the Balfour Declaration recognized “the Jewish people” as a separate people, not territorially bounded, that had a right to a “national home” in Palestine . ”

        The bots bought Balfour just like they buy congress. Palestine is a human issue more than a law issue. The law can always be changed.
        It would be better if we didn’t have to bring Israel to full sanctions but dynamics are funny things.

      • Sibiriak
        February 2, 2014, 8:51 am

        Seafoid:

        Palestine is a human issue more than a law issue.

        I agree completely. But the legal dimension has to be addressed, nevertheless.

        The bots bought Balfour just like they buy congress.

        Well, I’m not sure that is historically accurate. There was/is quite a bit of un-bought support for the Zionist cause (Christian Zionist, imperialist, popular-cultural, post-Holocaust sympathetic etc.)

      • seafoid
        February 2, 2014, 9:25 am

        Sibiriak

        “At a time when crucial decisions had to be taken decisions which affected the future of the entire population of Palestine, those Palestinians were unrepresented in London while the Zionist spokesmen were strongly entrenched in the corridors of power and made astute use of their influence.

        The first drafts of the Balfour declaration were actually written by Zionists on Balfour’s behalf
        The Foreign Secretary minuted

        “I have asked Lord Rothschild and Weizmann to submit a formula”So great was the influence of the Jewish community in Whitehall that the committee paid more attention to expressions of opposition to Zionism when they came from Jews rather than Arabs”

        Publish it not, Mayhew and Adams pages 30-31

        It was a stitch up

        Same as the crap in the NY congress today. Money and money only.

      • Hostage
        February 2, 2014, 10:47 am

        The problem is: the Balfour Declaration was incorporated into the Mandate, and the Mandate became the legal foundation for many subsequent UN opinions

        No, the problem for the Jewish Agency was that the Balfour Declaration had not been incorporated in the UN Charter (or the sacred trust mentioned in Article 22 of the Covenant for that matter). The UN intended to phase out the Mandates and General Assembly resolution 24 (I) stipulated that the UN would not automatically inherit any functions or obligation of the League of Nations by default. link to un.org

        During the 271st meeting of the Security Council US Ambassador Austin cited UN General Assembly Resolution 24 (I) and stated:

        The United Nations does not automatically fall heir to the responsibilities either of the League of Nations or of the Mandatory Power in respect of the Palestine Mandate. The record seems to us entirely clear that the United Nations did not take over the League of Nations Mandate system.

        See UN General Assembly Resolution 24 (I), Transfer of Certain Functions, Activities, and Assets of the League of Nations link to un.org
        and the verbatim minutes of the Security Council S/PV.271, 19 March 1948

        The General Assembly’s limited supervision of the mandates fell under its own powers and rules of procedure contained in Chapter IV, Article 10 and Chapter XI Declaration Regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories, Article 73.

        The Jewish Agency had desperately tried to get a prohibition inserted into the UN Charter to prevent the Organization from altering any of the rights of the Jewish people under the Balfour Declaration through the use of a trusteeship agreement. It also tried to insert a clause preserving the rights of Jews who were not yet in the country. But the San Francisco Conference did just the opposite. The first clause of Article 80 stipulated that the Organization COULD alter rights of states and peoples using a trusteeship agreement. – See Jacob Robinson, Palestine and the United Nations: Prelude to a Solution, Greenwood Press, 1971 Reprint (1947), pages 2-3

        Worse still, the Jewish Agency, the Arab Higher Committee, and Great Britain had all demanded that the mandate be immediately terminated. That automatically triggered the requirement for some sort of international trusteeship under the terms of Article 28 of the Mandate itself. Ben Gurion asked UNSCOP for direct UN administration and a commitment to turn all of Palestine into a Jewish state, using force if necessary. He also said he was willing to compromise if offered a Jewish State in an adequate area of Palestine. No one was stupid enough to believe that was a compromise. UNSCOP adopted a finding that specifically said that Palestine could not be used to solve the Jewish Question or the problems of displaced Jewish persons outside the country. Ben Gurion’s request for a UN trusteeship is here: link to unispal.un.org

        The General Assembly could also terminate any onerous mandate under the terms of Chapter XI article 73 and Chapter VI, Article 18. Those Chapters were outside the scope of applicability of Article 80, which was limited to Chapter XII, i.e. “Except as may be agreed upon in individual trusteeship agreements, made under Articles 77, 79, and 81, placing each territory under the trusteeship system, and until such agreements have been concluded, nothing in this Chapter shall be construed . . . . [emphasis added]. Zionist hasbara portrays Article 80 as some sort of supremacy clause, but in reality it was not. Article 103 also lies outside the scope of applicability of Article 80 and it stipulates that in the event of a conflict between the obligations of the Members of the United Nations under the Charter and their obligations under any other international agreement, like the Palestine Mandate, their obligations under the present Charter shall prevail, i.e. the new obligations in Chapter XI and VI could easily trump article 80 – and General Assembly resolution 9 (I) “Non-Self- Governing Peoples” said as much. link to un.org

        So the only entities that ever inherited obligations under the Balfour Declaration were Great Britain, and the defunct League of Nations.

      • James North
        February 2, 2014, 4:28 pm

        Hostage: A question, if you have the time. The odds are strong against Kerry’s framework succeeding, but just in case: the Palestinian Authority says any agreement must be ratified by a referendum. My question is: how can a referendum take place under a hostile military occupation? What does international law have to say on this subject?

      • Hostage
        February 3, 2014, 1:14 pm

        My question is: how can a referendum take place under a hostile military occupation? What does international law have to say on this subject?

        There’s a contradiction in terms embedded in your proposition. Conducting a referendum isn’t a problem under international law, but the far-fetched idea of concluding a valid treaty within the terms of the reported framework presents insurmountable problems. Kerry’s framework is based mainly on power politics and circumvention of international law.

        The Mitchell report noted that Security Council resolution 242 criteria would logically require Israel to withdraw its armed forces from the occupied territory as a preliminary to the requirement for a termination of all claims or states of belligerency under any final settlement. You can’t eat your cake and still have it too.

        I assume that the object of any referendum would be a signed agreement with the government of Israel recognizing an independent State of Palestine and dropping all belligerent claims. At that point, Israel would have the standing treaty obligation under terms of the UN Charter not to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any other state, including elections or national referendums.

        In principle, Article 43 of the Hague rules of 1907 reflects a similar customary obligation for an occupying power to interfere as little as possible with local government and its legal decrees, administrative regulations, and legislation, unless absolutely prevented by military necessity. That customary principle was also reflected in Annex 1 on Elections in the now-lapsed Oslo Declaration of Principles.

        I’ve commented in the past that the UN Charter, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, and the 4th Geneva Convention do not permit a final settlement like the one envisioned in Kerry’s framework. Here are a few examples:

        Article 52: Coercion of a State by the threat or use of force A treaty is void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force in violation of the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations.

        Article 53: Treaties conflicting with a peremptory norm of general international law (jus cogens) A treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law.

        It’s doubtful that any agreement concluded during a hostile occupation can ever be considered valid. But in this case, we are dealing with a blatant attempt to conclude a treaty that condones a serious crime against humanity, deportation or forcible transfer of a population and violation of a jus cogens UN Charter norm.

        There are hundreds of thousands of examples of Palestinians displaced in violation of Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention and of Israeli settlers who have taken-up residence in their place. Article 6 of the Convention explains that protected persons continue to enjoy the all of the safeguards of the Convention until they are released, repatriated, or re-established. Israel insists that not a single one of the persons displaced by its wars can be repatriated to areas that it wishes to annex under the final settlement.

        That violates the norm of international law embodied in the UN Charter against the acquisition of territory by war, and the prohibition contained in Article 7 of the 4th Geneva Convention against concluding any special agreement that adversely affects the situation of protected persons or restricts the rights which the Convention confers upon them under Article 49. Furthermore, Article 8 of the convention doesn’t allow protected persons to renounce their rights under any circumstances, including special agreements or referendums.

      • Talkback
        February 2, 2014, 11:43 am

        Sibiriak: However ambiguous the term “national home” may have been, the Mandate recognized the existence of a Jewish people spread across various territories, while in your view it would seem that no such dispersed people could ever exist.

        No, that is a common misunderstanding. Two different concepts of the term”nation”/”people” are conflated (Israel does the same) :
        (1) “nation”/”people”/”nationals” in the sense of nationality/citizenship
        (2) “nation”/”people” in the sense of ethnicity within (1). This concept is called “nation within citizenship”.

        In mandatory Palestine Jews and Arabs were two “nations within citizenship” (see 2). But all of the citizens belonged to the nation (see 1) of Palestine, regardless of their faith or heritage. Same goes for Israel. But Israel wants the Jewish “people” (2) to be recognized as a “nation” (1) and that Israel is the state of the Jewish “nation” (1) despite the fact that Jews are only a “nation within citizenship” (2).

        BTW, even the PLO-definition of “Palestinians” recognizes pre-mandate Jews and their paternal descendants to be automatically part of the Palestinian nation (1).

        … and it could be argued that the UN recognized that the Jewish people in Palestine had a right self-determination, as did the Arabs in Palestine.

        The right to self determination is not automatically expressed as a right to secession, but also as majority ruling. American Jews have also a right to self determination in the US – they can vote and participate in the determination of their future goverment. That doesn’t mean that they would have the right to partition the US.

        In countries with majority ruling the right of self determination of the majority outweighs the right of self determination of the minority. But a moral case for secession can be made when the rights of the minority are fundamentally violated by the majority. For instance in the case of Kosovo or in Israel before 1966 when Gentiles were made to live under military control and in enclaves and their movement was restricted by the same way established after 1967. Nobody would argue that the Arab people of Israel would have the right to secede because of their rights to self determination. But they have the right to exercise this right by voting.

        Another obstacle is that – contrary to Kosovo or let’s say Scotland – not all the people of the territory which became Israel belonged to the “nation within citizenship” (2).

        Not even half of the denizens wanted to secede. And not even half of the half of denizens or residents which wanted to secede had become citizens of Palestine and had right to self determination in Palestine. So Israel never had any internal legitimation as a result of majority ruling. And until it today it has to keep Gentiles expelled and denationalized to fake a Jewish majority and assure their domination which amounts to the Crime of Apartheid.

        In Kosovo the majority of people (if not all) wanted secession, their rights were violated fundamentally and everyone habitually residing in this region became citizens of the succesor state Kosovo and a “Kosovarian”, a citizen of the Kosovarian nation (see 1).

        Kosovo is not recognized by the UN (or Israel), but Israel is and also wants to be recognized as the state of a fake majority. What a lough.

      • Sibiriak
        February 2, 2014, 12:28 pm

        Talkback :

        Sibiriak: However ambiguous the term “national home” may have been, the Mandate recognized the existence of a Jewish people spread across various territories, while in your view it would seem that no such dispersed people could ever exist.

        No, that is a common misunderstanding

        No. It’s clear as day. Look at these two statements from the Palestine Mandate:

        …the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, [the Balfour Declaration] and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people…

        —-

        Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.

        Now, as I said, the term “national home” was ambiguous, but how could the expression “the Jewish people” not refer to global Jewry, i.e. “Jewish people spread across various territories”? It surely does NOT refer only to Jews in Palestine!

        I didn’t say that that conception of a “Jewish people” was a valid one; I simply said that the Mandate recognized the existence of such a people. It clearly does.

        The right to self determination is not automatically expressed as a right to secession…

        I never said it was. (And, btw, partition is not necessarily the same as secession.) In fact, I wrote:

        That right [of self-determination] did not necessarily mean the establishment of an independent state–but the U.N. eventually recommended that.

        In our discussion of the UN recommended partition of Palestine, you write:

        But a moral case for secession can be made when the rights of the minority are fundamentally violated by the majority.

        UNSCOP put forward balancing conflicting, irreconcilable national aspirations of separate peoples as the moral basis for the creation of two independent states in Palestine.

        1. The basic premise underlying the partition proposal is that the claims to Palestine of the Arabs and Jews, both possessing validity, are irreconcilable, and that among all of the solutions advanced, partition will provide the most realistic and practicable settlement, and is the most likely to afford a workable basis for meting in part the claims and national aspirations of both parties.

        2. it is a fact that both of these peoples have their historic roots in Palestine, and that both make vital contributions to the economic and cultural life of the country. The partition solution takes these considerations fully into account.

        3. The basic conflict in Palestine is a clash of two intense nationalisms. Regardless of the historic origins of the conflict, the rights and wrongs of the promises and counter promises and the international intervention incident to the Mandate, there are now in Palestine some 650,000 Jews and some 1,200,000 Arabs who are dissimilar in their ways of living and, for the time being, separated by political interests which render difficult full and effective political cooperation among them, whether voluntary or induced by constitutional arrangements.

        4. Only by means of partition can these conflicting national aspirations find substantial expression and qualify both peoples to take their places as independent nations in the international community and in the United Nations.

        I do not believe that the UN proposal was either realistic or practicable, but that does not mean that the idea of partition itself had no moral basis.

      • Hostage
        February 2, 2014, 2:35 pm

        Nobody would argue that the Arab people of Israel would have the right to secede because of their rights to self determination. But they have the right to exercise this right by voting.

        I would argue that they do. 90 percent of the Palestinians who were eligible to vote were ethically cleansed and stripped of the citizenship retroactively.

        Israel does not allow the remaining non-Jewish population to vote for any party list of candidates that denies the territorial integrity or right of Israel to exist as the State of the Jewish people, and only the Jewish people. So it conditions full participation in the political system on Jewish ethnicity and unequal rights and treatment of non-Jews.

        The Government of Israel has never had an Arab party in the governing coalition and Jewish officials refuse to adopt a constitution that legally entrenches equal rights for Arabs and Jews. It would not be unconstitutional for Jewish officials to implement the Prawer plan or to strip Arabs living in the triangle of their citizenship without consulting their wishes or conducting a national plebiscite on the issue. There are efforts underway to raise the legal threshold for representation in the Knesset to prevent Arab parties from obtaining any seats at all. So Israel does not satisfy the bottom line criteria of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action:

        2. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status, and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

        Taking into account the particular situation of peoples under colonial or other forms of alien domination or foreign occupation, the World Conference on Human Rights recognizes the right of peoples to take any legitimate action, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, to realize their inalienable right of self-determination. The World Conference on Human Rights considers the denial of the right of self-determination as a violation of human rights and underlines the importance of the effective realization of this right.

        In accordance with the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation Among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, this shall not be construed as authorizing or encouraging any action which would dismember or impair, totally or in part, the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent States conducting themselves in compliance with the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples and thus possessed of a Government representing the whole people belonging to the territory without distinction of any kind.

        link to ohchr.org

      • Hostage
        February 2, 2014, 5:19 pm

        Now, as I said, the term “national home” was ambiguous, but how could the expression “the Jewish people” not refer to global Jewry, i.e. “Jewish people spread across various territories”? It surely does NOT refer only to Jews in Palestine!

        Yes it really only applied to the “Jewish communities” of Palestine and those individuals who managed to become assimilated to them through the process of immigration and acquisition of “Palestinian” citizenship. The preamble of the mandate expressly exempted Jews living in other countries. Their status was governed in most cases by other LoN treaties.

        For example, the Treaty that created Poland explicitly stated that the minorities were being added to the Polish nation. The Jews of Poland were Polish nationals, the Jews of Palestine were Palestinian nationals, & etc. The Polish Jews weren’t exiles or refugees. Their rights as a Polish national ethnic minority were governed by a treaty deposited with the LoN. Even the Palestine Mandate noted that it did not prejudice their rights and political status. See “Rights of Minorities in Upper Silesia (Minority Schools), Germany v. Poland, link to worldcourts.com

        It dealt with the Geneva Convention concerning Upper Silesia. Articles 70 and 71 implemented the provisions regarding the rights and standing of Polish Jews contained in Articles 10 and 11 of the Versailles Minorities Treaty of June 28th, 1919. Jews like Bernheim vigorously defended their rights petition and there was a World Court case that dealt with the same subject.

        Here is Prime Minister Clemenceau’s memo that was attached to the Polish Minority Rights Treaty:

        This treaty does not constitute any fresh departure. It has for long been the established procedure of the public law of Europe that when a State is created, or when large accessions of territory are made to an established State, the joint and formal recognition of the Great Powers should be accompanied by the requirement that such States should, in the form of a binding International convention undertake to comply with certain principles of Government. In this regard I must recall for your consideration the fact that it is to the endeavors and sacrifices of the Powers in whose name I am addressing you that the Polish nation owes the recovery of its independence. It is by their decision that Polish sovereignty is being restored over the territories in question, and that the inhabitants of these territories are being incorporated into the Polish nation…. …There rests, therefore, upon these Powers an obligation, which they cannot evade, to secure in the most permanent and solemn form guarantees for certain essential rights which will afford to the inhabitants the necessary protection, whatever changes may take place in the internal constitution of the Polish State.’

        See Sovereignty, Stephen D. Krasner, Princeton University Press, 1999, ISBN 069100711X, page 92-93 link to books.google.com

        So they were Polish Jews, not Palestinian Jews. The provisions on minorities in the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye created Czech Jews, and so on.

      • Talkback
        February 2, 2014, 10:00 am

        Hostage: It belongs to peoples even after they become a state.

        That’s what I wrote before. And then I explained that it ALLREADY belongs to the people before the state.

        The ICJ punctured the old myth that the A Mandate for Palestine did not include the right of self-determination.

        This is a strawman argument. The incorporation of the Balfour declaration into the mandate (enforcing an unwanted immigration of foreigners as part of a Zionist plan to takeover Palestine) and ignoring the wishes of the people of Palestine regarding their mandatory (they prefered the US) violated their rights of self determination.

        For, as is all too evident from the Cabinet documents of this period, the British Government never intended to allow the Arab majority any voice in shaping the future of their own country. “The weak point of our position”, Balfour wrote to Lloyd George in February 1919, “is of course that in the case of Palestine we deliberately and rightly decline to accept the principle of self-determination”. If the existing population were consulted, he added, they would “unquestionably” return an anti-Zionist verdict. And in reply to Curzon, Balfour stated quite categorically that “in Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country. [...]”
        link to balfourproject.org

      • Hostage
        February 2, 2014, 11:29 am

        This is a strawman argument. The incorporation of the Balfour declaration into the mandate (enforcing an unwanted immigration of foreigners as part of a Zionist plan to takeover Palestine) and ignoring the wishes of the people of Palestine regarding their mandatory (they prefered the US) violated their rights of self determination.

        Correction: The Mandate was a strawman argument. I’ve pointed out on many occasions that the Mandate was full of very qualified legal language that did not require Great Britain to assist a single Jew to enter the country Palestine over the objections of the non-Jewish majority. It was only required to facilitate immigration under “suitable conditions” made according to its own arbitrary standards – and at its sole discretion – while preserving the pre-existing rights and position of the non-Jewish communities. Great Britain deliberately chose to violate its obligations to the Arabs. The Declassified British Cabinet Papers establish that fact beyond any possible doubt.

        Nothing prevented the British Government from adopting the 1939 White Paper quotas in 1922 and declaring the national home to be a done deal consisting of the existing Jewish autonomous communities of the four holy cities of Jerusalem, Hebron, Safed and Tiberias. In 1932 the Chairman of the Permanent Mandates Commission claimed that the mandatory Power had long since set up the Jewish National Home. Since neither the term “Jewish” nor “national home” had any universally agreed upon legal meaning or scope, go argue that he was wrong.
        link to unispal.un.org

        The San Remo resolution put the UK in charge of incorporating the policies contained in the Balfour Declaration into the terms of the draft mandate and gave it full powers of administration to make determinations needed to interpret and implement its very own undefined policies. Since decisions of the Council and the Assembly of the League of Nations could only be adopted on the basis of unanimity, Great Britain, one of the commonwealth countries, or the India colony could always prevent the League from taking any action whatsoever. Full Stop.

        The Government of the UK may as well have argued that “The Devil made me do it”. It would make just as much sense as falsely claiming that the Mandate made it fuck-up Palestine. It simply isn’t so.

      • Talkback
        February 2, 2014, 2:38 pm

        Hostage: [Great Britain] was only required to facilitate immigration under “suitable conditions” made according to its own arbitrary standards – and at its sole discretion – while preserving the pre-existing rights and position of the non-Jewish communities.

        Well, the pre-existing rights (including the right to self determination) and position of the non-Jewish communities (including their wishes regarding the choice of their Mandatory) were, that they neither wanted GB to be their Mandatory nor anyone to facilitate anything regarding (Jewish) non-Palestinians, but that the US should implement independence for the Palestinians asap. So in any case the rights to self determination of the (majority of) citizens of Palestine were denied. Since 1919. Either by Zionists or on their behalf.

      • Hostage
        February 2, 2014, 3:20 pm

        Well, the pre-existing rights (including the right to self determination)

        The Palestinians claimed they had a pre-existing right to “representation” in the Ottoman Parliament. There was no right to self-determination in either the Ottoman Empire or in Article 22 of Covenant. In fact, the UN Charter employed a gloss that only referred to it as the “principle” of equal rights and self-determination of peoples. It isn’t even mentioned in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

        The General Assembly was empowered under Articles 10 and 13 to consider any question of law dealing with the UN Charter and to promote the progressive development and codification of international law. So it published the results of its own inquiry into the customary laws contained in the Charter, i.e. The Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. It stated that the Organization was convinced that the subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a major obstacle to the promotion of international peace and security, Convinced that the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples constitutes a significant contribution to contemporary international law, and that its effective application is of paramount importance for the promotion of friendly relations among States, based on respect for the principle of sovereign equality.

        It considered that the progressive development and codification of “the principle” [emphasis added] of equal rights and self-determination of peoples , so as to secure their more effective application within the international community, would promote the realization of the purposes of the United Nations, it Solemnly proclaimed the following [circumlocution] principles:

        Every State has the duty to refrain from any forcible action which deprives peoples referred to in the elaboration of the “principle” of equal rights and self-determination of their “right” to self-determination and freedom and independence.

        So the “progressive development ” amended the codification of law contained in the Charter and turned a customary principle into a customary right. See resolution 2625 (XXV), 24 October 1970 link to un-documents.net

      • Hostage
        February 2, 2014, 11:51 am

        If the existing population were consulted, he added, they would “unquestionably” return an anti-Zionist verdict. And in reply to Curzon, Balfour stated quite categorically that “in Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country.

        The Council of the League of Nations never saw or approved of the terms of Balfour’s Secret Paris memo. He was actually lamenting the fact that the Allies were legally obliged to not only consult the wishes of the inhabitants, but had promised in 1918 to help establish “Governments and administrations freely chosen by the populations themselves”. Nothing in the Balfour Declaration prevented the UK from doing exactly that, since Weizmann had told US Secretary Lansing in Balfour’s presence that the Jewish national home did not mean an autonomous Jewish government. link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

      • Talkback
        February 2, 2014, 2:53 pm

        … the Allies were legally obliged to not only consult the wishes of the inhabitants, but had promised in 1918 to help establish “Governments and administrations freely chosen by the populations themselves”.

        My reply is the same as in my comment before your comment, which overlapped. The fact that GB was the Mandatory of Palestine and that mandate included the possibility to carry out a immgrating policy on behalf of foreigners and against the wish of the citizens of Palestine violated their right to self determination.

        It doesn’t even matter, if the establishment of a Jewish national home didn’t mean an autonomous Jewish government. Both were not sanctioned by the people of Palestine.

      • Talkback
        February 2, 2014, 4:17 pm

        @ Sibiriak. I honestly don’t understand our differences. Would you be willing to sum them up in a nutshell without much work?

      • MHughes976
        February 2, 2014, 5:16 pm

        On Balfour and all that, I often mention that Margaret Macmillan’s ‘Peacemakers’ shows effectively how the Declaration was made in extreme bad faith, promising but not meaning that the rights of non-Jewish residents of Palestine would be preserved. I don’t put this down to the Jewish Zionist ability to buy our ruling class but to the fact that Balfour, and even more importantly his boss Lloyd George, were at a time when most people who were both Jewish and British did not give Zionism their support, committed Christian Zionists, heirs to a tradition three centuries old. That was the last time we were able to act as the world’s greatest power, and look what we did with our opportunity.

      • James Canning
        February 2, 2014, 6:15 pm

        Lord Balfour’s letter to Lord Rothschild of course came at a time of titanic global struggle, and assumptions were made about the power of “international Jewry” that with hindsight were seen to be inflated.

        Most upper-class English Jews were anti-Zionist, prior to the war.

      • Hostage
        February 3, 2014, 9:53 am

        Why don’t you start with a list what “rights” Great Britain or Jewish foreigners had regarding Palestine?

        Legal positivism claims that they enjoyed whatever rights the Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiary Powers representing the world community conveyed to them. Whether it was right, wrong, or indifferent it was the law in force at the time.

        FYI, you can employ anachronistic arguments to claim that slavery was always unconstitutional in the United States, but that still doesn’t make it so.

        It doesn’t even matter, if the establishment of a Jewish national home didn’t mean an autonomous Jewish government. Both were not sanctioned by the people of Palestine and violated their right to self determination.

        When you talk about self determination of the people of Palestine you are obviously not talking about the “communities” of Ottoman Asia whose existence was provisionally recognized as independent nations in Article 22 of the Covenants. You seem to be talking about territorial areas instead. In 1917, the phrase “self-determination of peoples” had not yet been employed or enshrined as a principle of international law. The Covenant established 1) the principle that the well-being and development of peoples not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world form a sacred trust of civilisation; and 2) that the best method of giving practical effect to this principle is that the tutelage of such peoples should be entrusted to advanced nations, i.e. the polar opposite of self-determination.

        Article 73 of the UN Charter stood for the very same proposition:

        Members of the United Nations which have or assume responsibilities for the administration of territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self-government recognize the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of these territories are paramount, and accept as a sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost, within the system of international peace and security established by the present Charter, the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories,

        You’re either consciously or unconsciously engaging in revisionist history and denying the existence of the Yishuv as a legal entity and “community”. Some Zionist’s try to nullify Palestine and Palestinians. The British government took on a task that required them to turn six Ottoman administrative districts into a state or states immediately after the LoN had just declared the ethnic communities living in the area “provisionally independent nations”.

        That meant all of the communities were entitled, at least in principle, to autonomous self-governing institutions to defend their integrity and independence, to provide for their conservation and prosperity, and consequently to organize themselves as they saw fit, to legislate upon their own interests – including immigration – to administer their services, and to define their jurisdiction and the competence of their courts. That was an obvious recipe for disaster from the very beginning – and the abstract idea of self-determination provided no solutions to it at all.

        The local Jewish communities already enjoyed civil autonomy and guarantees regarding their “national” religious rights, long before anyone ever said a word about the Zionist “national home” project. Before the war they had their own officials, like the Hakim Bashi, and their own courts, and they exercised a great degree of civil authority and self-government even under the Ottomans.

        Palestine had been divided into six administrative districts that were governed jointly by the Ottomans and a dozen Western Consuls under the regime of the Capitulations. So there were already other governments interfering and protecting the local Jewish communities and their political autonomy long before the mandate era. Some members of the Old Yishuv were also, after all, political Zionists.

        A few thousand Jews had lived there for generations as subjects or protégés of the western powers and were not included in the Ottoman census. The idea of a national home and autonomy were sanctioned by some of the indigenous Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews. Many of them had been acting as purchasing agents or employees of Rothschild, Montefiore and others for decades. There had been European emigrants, both Ashkenazi and Sephardi, who were Ottoman subjects. Some of them had lived in Palestine since the 1600s. They were indigenous and had been quietly facilitating immigration and colonization by legal means under the regime of capitulations.

        The British had no warrant under article 22 of the Covenant to deprive these Jewish communities of their previous autonomous status or to use the mandate to make them worse-off than they had been before the war. If these “provisionally independent nations” could establish agricultural colonies before the war and populate them, in part, with new Jewish immigrants, they would almost certainly insist on their legal right to do so after the war.

        FYI, whenever you use terms in the context of international law that are undefined and have no agreed-upon meaning or scope of applicability they can only be treated as platitudes. Otherwise they only lead to confusion or frustration. A few of them that spring to mind in this context are the terms “State”, “Jewish”, “national home”, “peoples”, and “self-determination”. The use of those undefined terms can never solve the conflict or end an argument, because they were employed in order to conceal and obfuscate the underlying problems in the first place.

      • Talkback
        February 2, 2014, 6:12 pm

        Hostage: There was no right to self-determination in either the Ottoman Empire or in Article 22 of Covenant.

        Why don’t you start with a list what “rights” Great Britain or Jewish foreigners had regarding Palestine?

  13. Citizen
    February 1, 2014, 11:05 pm

    Scarjo may just keep getting awards. I mean, after all beauty or talent goes a long way in Hollywood. Woody Allen just got a golden globe to gigantic sentimental applause. He just got another award, in the form of an open letter from Dylan Farrow to all his die-hard fans: link to kristof.blogs.nytimes.com

    • Ecru
      February 2, 2014, 2:25 am

      Never liked his movies to be honest and have never seen why he’s so feted. But Hollywood does have a worrying tendency to protect its own no matter what. Just look at the hullabaloo a couple of years back from the film industry when admitted child rapist Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland.

  14. just
    February 2, 2014, 2:56 am

    January 31/February 1 , 2014. Many thanks for the editorial in the FT. Please, may I have some more?

    The beginning of the “change” has come.

  15. amigo
    February 2, 2014, 8:48 am

    Meanwhile back in the real world!!!.

    ” Roger Waters takes Neil Young and Scarlett Johansson to task on Facebook
    ‘Scarlett, you are undeniably cute, but if you think Soda Stream is building bridges towards peace you are also undeniably not paying attention,’ writes musician.”haaretz

    Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters vented at Neil Young and Scarlett Johansson for supporting Israel on his Facebook page on Saturday.

    Noting he had written each one privately, the pro-BDS rock star lamented that he was “confused” about Young, who was “always one of my heroes,” coming to Israel to give a concert, and that Johansson, who “was a young woman of strength and integrity” had made an “about face” in choosing to be a spokesperson for Israeli company SodaStream.

    Most of his post is directed at Johansson, asking her if she was aware “that the Israeli government has razed to the ground a Bedouin village in the Negev desert in Southern Israel 63 times, the last time being on the 26th of December 2013.” He notes that while Bedouin are Israeli citizens, they do not enjoy full rights “because in ‘Democratic’ Israel there are fifty laws that discriminate against non-Jewish citizens.”

    He then takes her to task for defending her association with SodaStream by claiming that the Palestinian workers in the factory enjoy equal pay, benefits and rights. “Really? Equal Rights? Do they?” posts Waters.

    The rock star ends with the statement: “Scarlett, you are undeniably cute, but if you think Soda Stream is building bridges towards peace you are also undeniably not paying attention.”

    Neither Young nor Johansson have responded publicly to the post.

    In August, Roger Waters published an open letter calling on fellow musicians to unite against Israel. “I write to you now, my brothers and sisters in the family of Rock and Roll, to ask you to join with me, and thousands of other artists around the world, to declare a cultural boycott on Israel,” Waters wrote.

    He officially announced he was joining the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in 2011

    link to haaretz.com

    • yrn
      February 2, 2014, 10:49 am

      Amigo

      Looks like comrade Roger’s will have a lot of non Answered letters to write those days, as this summer is just full of International concerts.
      Neil Young has been here a few times…..
      I think you should push him quick to write to the Pixies, that were BDS claimed success a few years ago and are coming this summer, so to prevent a total defeat, urge him to start writing.
      Looks like Justin Timberlake is not popular enough for the OLD rocker, that he missed him, or he just get’s in his head , that it’s a lost case.

      BTW his wall singer Cyndi Lauper had a great concert in Tel Aviv………….

      • seafoid
        February 2, 2014, 4:55 pm

        “BTW his wall singer Cyndi Lauper had a great concert in Tel Aviv………….”

        Wow Yrn.Cyndi Lauper is real cutting edge.
        She redefined rap, didn’t she?
        She took Dre to a totally different level and then went one further herself.
        Or am I confusing her with Bonnie Tyler ?

      • yrn
        February 3, 2014, 7:09 am

        Seafoid

        Your Ignorance in Music is even bigger then your ignorance regarding Israel.
        Your Idol Comrade Roger took Cyndi Lauper to sing his Wall songs……
        So if she is something for your master roger, who are you not to follow the herd.

  16. German Lefty
    February 2, 2014, 10:06 am

    Hi everyone! I wonder if you have heard about this story:

    Attorney Aharon Papo criticized the government ministers in the nationalist camp for their silence over the case of Adam Verta, the teacher who called the IDF “immoral” and pushed a leftist-communist agenda in his classroom.
    Verta was let off with a warning by the ORT educational network and sent back to work at his high school in Kiryat Tivon near Haifa. The teacher had reportedly said in class that “the state did not belong to the Jews at all but to the Arabs, and as far as he was concerned, the Jews had no business being in Israel at all.”
    “Verta gives extreme radical leftist propaganda in the classroom, says the land belongs to the Arabs and that we are intruders,” remarked Papo.

    link to israelnationalnews.com

    • Sycamores
      February 2, 2014, 11:49 pm

      i notice this story a forthnight ago. it said then that a student sent a letter to the education minister claiming Verta said some negative comments about the idf

      According to her, Verta said that “the IDF is not the most moral army in the world and I am ashamed of it.” She also claimed he said that the State belongs to the Palestinians.

      as for the latest piece you mention:

      The teacher had reportedly said in class that “the state did not belong to the Jews at all but to the Arabs, and as far as he was concerned, the Jews had no business being in Israel at all.”
      “Verta gives extreme radical leftist propaganda in the classroom, says the land belongs to the Arabs and that we are intruders,” remarked Papo.

      beginning to smells like a set up. it’s worth noting that some 200 students took to the streets to protest the potential dismissal of one of their teachers who allegedly made left-wing comments.

  17. James Canning
    February 2, 2014, 6:10 pm

    The superb leader in the Financial Times this weekend indeed is something it would be good to see appear in the New York Times. As an NYT editorial. Fat chance.

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