BDS’ big night: Loyola student government passes divestment, U. Mich votes it down

ActivismIsrael/PalestineUS Politics
on 149 Comments
Scenes from the University of Michigan debate on divestment. (Photo: noosimsoons/Instagram)

Scenes from the University of Michigan debate on divestment. (Photo: noosimsoons/Instagram)

It was a big night for proponents of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

Yesterday, by a 12-10 vote (with 9 abstentions), Loyola University’s student government passed a resolution for a second time that called on their school to divest from corporations involved with the Israeli occupation.  “One thing I want to say our senators: they did something remarkable this week,” Sharif Abdallah, a Loyola Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) board member and a student senator herself, told me in an interview. “The beacon of justice has taken a firm stand on campus.” Loyola’s student government president still has to decide to affirm or veto the bill, though the school has said the resolution is not in line with their position.  An estimated 200 people attended the Loyola vote.

The resolution at the Jesuit university in Chicago calls on their school to investigate whether they are investing in corporations like Caterpillar that are complicit in human rights abuses–information the school did not immediately furnish.  Abdallah said senators had been told by the school that they were invested in Raytheon, which produces missiles used by the Israeli army.  Before the vote, an open letter composed by Jews in support of divestment was circulated.

But in a debate that captured the most attention and sparked nationwide media coverage, the student government at the University of Michigan rejected a divestment measure by a 25-9 vote. 

The University of Michigan debate, which followed a student sit-in at the Central Student Government (CSG) building in reaction to a previous vote that tabled discussion on divestment, featured emotional pleas on both sides and a raging debate that lasted for nearly six hours.  The University of Michigan’s Hillel chapter and Students Allied For Freedom and Equality (SAFE), the group that pushed the resolution, mobilized students to oppose and to support the divestment resolution.  Hundreds of students packed a ballroom, with hundreds in an overflow room and over 2,000 watching a live stream of the debate. You can watch the whole thing here:

Despite the loss, SAFE members are pleased that they sparked a campus-wide debate.  “It was a huge victory. Despite the fact that the resolution didn’t pass, the real purpose of one, proposing the resolution and two, staging the sit in, was not entirely geared towards passing the resolution,” said University of Michigan law student and SAFE member Andrew Dalack.  “It was to get people talking about Palestinian self determination and the role that divestment could play in achieving that.”  Now, pro-divestment students are focusing on upcoming student government elections–some SAFE members are running–and are discussing ways to bring divestment to the attention of the University of Michigan Regents, which oversees the school’s investments.

Opponents of the call to divest from companies like Caterpillar and United Technologies, which are complicit in Israel’s occupation, made various arguments last night in Ann Arbor: that there was no campus consensus on divestment; that SAFE’s resolution was “filled with falsehoods”; that “divestment from Israel was antithetical to peace,” as a student named Andrew Bronstein said; and that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Noam Chomsky opposed BDS. (Abbas has come out against the BDS movement, while Chomsky has voiced concern about an academic boycott but has supported divestment initiatives and encouraged Stephen Hawking to boycott an Israeli conference last year.)

As the Michigan Daily‘s Will Greenberg and Kristen Fedor reported, the executive officers of CSG are not permitted to vote on the resolution.  But they were permitted to speak on it.  CSG vice president Bobby Dishell, who has spoken at an American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference, said he was against the bill.

Author and journalist Max Blumenthal, who attended the debate and was SAFE’s guest speaker, strongly supported the call for divestment.  “The resolution, and its legitimacy, should be self-evident. It should be self-evident that we should want to challenge militarism on campus and end this reprieve for the military-industrial complex,” said Blumenthal, who lambasted the regime of privilege Israel grants Jews at the expense of Palestinians.

After Blumenthal spoke, an international relations professor, Yael Aronoff, spoke on behalf of Hillel and made a point of saying she supports human rights and opposes West Bank settlements. She said it was a complex conflict, and that the student government shouldn’t have to pick sides because it was a conflict of “right vs. right.”  She also claimed that only 150,000 Palestinians were expelled in 1948, and that the others left for different reasons.  (750,000 Palestinians were expelled and never allowed to come back in 1948.)

A third guest speaker, history professor Victor Lieberman, was supposed to give an objective overview of the conflict.  But SAFE members were upset at that, saying he was biased–and that showed in his presentation.  Lieberman made claims like Israel withdrew from Gaza; that Abbas had said no to a peace deal with Ehud Olmert, a claim contradicted by the reporting of Bernard Avishai in the New York Times magazine; that the 1967 war was about deterring an attack meant to destroy Israel, ignoring that Israel attacked first; and that the BDS movement encourages Israeli emigration.

Loyola’s debate was also characterized by outside forces mobilizing to defend or defeat the resolution that passed last week.  In that vote’s aftermath, pro-Israel students claimed that there was no opposition heard and that it was undemocratic, though SJP says they had been very public about the resolution for weeks. Sharif Abdallah said that the student government president told her he had met with members of StandWithUs and the Jewish United Front, who urged them to oppose divestment.

“The fact that senators were able to stand resilient in the face of that was brilliant,” said Abdallah.

About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist who focuses on Israel/Palestine and civil liberties. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

149 Responses

  1. DaBakr
    March 26, 2014, 1:49 pm

    Palestinian Hasbara 101: always declare victory no matter how significant the defeat. Say the ‘defeat’ was actually the ‘goal’ and the goal was not really the point.

    as per Loyola…..big surprise.

    • Woody Tanaka
      March 26, 2014, 2:05 pm

      LMAO. In a country where the congress bounces up and down like puppets at the whim of Netanyahoo, even getting the vote is, itself, a victory. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it took a long time to destroy Aparthied in South Africa, so we expect it will take a long time to destroy Apartheid in Israel.

      As for Loyola, not a big surprise and a harbinger of the future.

      • Hostage
        March 26, 2014, 2:14 pm

        LMAO. In a country where the congress bounces up and down like puppets at the whim of Netanyahoo, even getting the vote is, itself, a victory.

        Out of 313.9 million (mostly) apathetic Americans, the 535 voting members of Congress are a fringe group, with little public approval. See Congress Job Approval Starts 2014 at 13%: Essentially unchanged since December http://www.gallup.com/poll/166838/congress-job-approval-starts-2014.aspx

      • Kathleen
        March 27, 2014, 12:58 pm

        Still important to keep contacting the “puppets.” To keep letting them know the wind is shifting because more and more people have access to the facts

      • JusticeForPalestine
        March 26, 2014, 2:46 pm

        Dear Loyola students,

        Awesome job last night!

        Thanks in advance,
        History

      • DaBakr
        March 26, 2014, 3:07 pm

        exactly my point. loyola is the “harbinger’ and not UMich. Of course.

      • Hostage
        March 26, 2014, 5:26 pm

        exactly my point. loyola is the “harbinger’ and not UMich. Of course.

        FYI, if history teaches us anything, it’s that the University of Michigan, unlike Michigan State University, was not a “harbinger” or early supporter of the South African boycott and divestment movement.

      • DaBakr
        March 26, 2014, 6:22 pm

        now your going on about “if history teaches us anything” ? you have got to be kidding. good luck with that line of reasoning. history teaches only that if you want to stay alive and in control of your existence you better not rely on ‘history’ to have taught anyone anything. nobody learns from history and if you actually read ANY real history you would know that the greatest historians have been saying as much for eons.

        you will do much better with your fantasies of vengeance and your own concept of so-called ‘justice’ then you will depending on history for anything except eventual death.

      • Hostage
        March 27, 2014, 9:15 pm

        history teaches only that if you want to stay alive and in control of your existence you better not rely on ‘history’ to have taught anyone anything. nobody learns from history and if you actually read ANY real history you would know that the greatest historians have been saying as much for eons.

        I suspect you haven’t read many great historians, or you would have cited one who shares your opinion. In any event, there are many people, including historians and philosophers, who readily accept George Santayana’s maxim that: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

      • thetruthhurts
        March 26, 2014, 8:50 pm

        the fight for palestinian justice has just really begun in america and there’s nothing that will stop it! nothing!
        this will snowball into mass demonstrations on college campuses all over the country one day, just like they did in the 60’s protesting the vietnam war.

      • Kay24
        March 26, 2014, 11:44 pm

        Let’s not forget that the Kings College students in the UK, also voted to support this BDS movement. I would say that is a significant achievement.
        They seem to be in denial, but with the EU boycotting products from the illegal settlement areas, academia, even Stephen Hawking, it seems the apologists are finding hard to handle the stress of boycotts and sanctions.
        I guess when their economy hurts, they will feel the “pinch”.

    • joer
      March 26, 2014, 6:37 pm

      Well, at least in the time you took to post how useless BDS is, you could have been bulldozing a house or uprooting olive trees…so at least some good was accomplished. Furthermore, next time you have a clean shot at kids playing soccer, you may think about BDS and hesitate long enough for him to get away.

      Yep, BDS is young and still finding its legs, so it will take a while to get more effective. I do have a complaint about it though: There doesn’t seem to a role for someone who doesn’t go to an Ivy League college or who doesn’t sit on a board of directors of a big church…Maybe there should be a companion BDS, something like Bumper stickers, demonstrations, and speaking up to give something for people to do who aren’t connected to an elite institution.

    • thetruthhurts
      March 26, 2014, 8:03 pm

      indeed, the fight for justice in palestine, and the world, to free all the enslaved non-jews from their enslavement by the zionist monster, has only begun!

    • thetruthhurts
      March 26, 2014, 10:28 pm

      check this out; “bds leader posts overthreatening photo to facebook”

    • Sumud
      March 27, 2014, 1:05 am

      You don’t get it do you?

      Just like BDS in South Africa we will be “defeated” for many years to come and have many victories along the way. The net result is that people increasingly support BDS around the globe, and we will achieve our goals.

      Because BDS is a genuine grassroots movement – we do not have rich benefactors and paid-for senators and congresspeople who are disloyal to the US – events such as those at U Michigan are as a much about education and raising consciousness as the actual divestment. Invariably, and this takes some time, when honest and decent people engage with the issues of I/P they come to sympathise with Palestinians.

      What’s your excuse?

  2. Annie Robbins
    March 26, 2014, 1:57 pm

    go max! what an awesome speech especially the finale!

    and thanks so much alex!

    • Krauss
      March 26, 2014, 3:17 pm

      Thanks for the head up, I just watched it. Very powerful, easily one of the best and most impassioned I’ve seen him. He really cares for justice.

      It’s such a shame that the student council whimped out in such a spectacular manner as well as it was weird to have 66% of the speeches done by committed Zionists. And judging from the talks, the “objective” speaker was actually a lot more militarist than the first Zionist.

      The students and the next generation will be back each year in the coming decade. Sooner or later; they will prevail.

    • Sycamores
      March 26, 2014, 3:31 pm

      Annie Robbins

      at 48:40 Max Blumenthal explains the separation wall is to prevent “demographic spillover” quoting Netanyahu. http://new.livestream.com/csg/events/2868309

      i haven’t read his book yet (soon to be remedy) but i found this interesting and came across the Haaretz piece Netanyahu: Israel’s Arabs are the real demographic threat by Gideon Alon and Aluf Benn Dec. 18, 2003

      Netanyahu said that the “separation fence” would also help to prevent a “demographic spillover” of Palestinians from the territories

      benjamin netanyahu herzliya conference 2003 http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/netanyahu-israel-s-arabs-are-the-real-demographic-threat-1.109045

      Speaking at the Herzliya Conference [Dec 2003] on security, Netanyahu said Israel had already freed itself from control of almost all Palestinian Arabs. He said he could not foresee a future in which “any sane Israeli” could try to make Palestinians either Israeli citizens or “enslaved subjects.” The Palestinians would under all circumstances rule themselves and administer their own affairs, he said.

      “If there is a demographic problem, and there is, it is with the Israeli Arabs who will remain Israeli citizens,” he said. The Declaration of Independence said Israel should be a Jewish and democratic state, but to ensure the Jewish character was not engulfed by demography, it was necessary to ensure a Jewish majority, he said.

      If Israel’s Arabs become well integrated and reach 35-40 percent of the population, there will no longer be a Jewish state but a bi-national one, he said. If Arabs remain at 20 percent but relations are tense and violent, this will also harm the state’s democratic fabric. “Therefore a policy is needed that will balance the two.”

      The economy is the single most important factor that will lead to Jews immigrating to Israel, he said. “I go mad when I see that because of low taxation in Moscow, there is now a capital flow there. If we want Jews to come here, we need a flourishing and dynamic economy. If we want Israeli Arabs to integrate, we need a flourishing and dynamic economy.”

      He said it was necessary to improve education standards, especially for Arab citizens. Netanyahu said that the “separation fence” would also help to prevent a “demographic spillover” of Palestinians from the territories.

      • Hostage
        March 26, 2014, 5:44 pm

        If Israel’s Arabs become well integrated and reach 35-40 percent of the population, there will no longer be a Jewish state but a bi-national one, he said. If Arabs remain at 20 percent . . .

        He’s just inventing a pseudo-scientific legal test. From the standpoint of its existing legal system, Israel already is a bi-national state with a plethora of laws and regulations that discriminate against the one in five Palestinian citizens of non-Jewish nationality.

      • Talkback
        March 27, 2014, 10:22 am

        @ Sycamore

        This article by Gideon Alon and Aluf Benn is exactly the article Max Blumenthal uses (page 356) to quote “demographic spillover”.

    • Philip Munger
      March 26, 2014, 4:13 pm

      Anyone who wants to watch Max Blumenthal’s passionate and articulate presentation can cue to 30:00, where he approaches the speaker’s podium. Max always comes off as being a master of the material he is presenting, and he does that again at the U of M meeting. But I’ve never seen him so convincingly animated. Powerful document.

      These U of M activists will be back soon. They won’t lose next time.

  3. HarryLaw
    March 26, 2014, 2:01 pm

    Alex, “Abbas has come out against the BDS movement”, no, he supports the BDS movement but only confined to occupied territories. Nevertheless the Abbas position is a good weapon to use against BDS, why did he have to say anything, or even explained the reason he could not openly endorse the BDS position with regard to Israel proper, which was, if he did so it would attract sanctions from the US. Needless to say, when given the chance to explain himself on this crucial issue, he failed to do so.

    • Walid
      March 26, 2014, 3:21 pm

      “… if he did so it would attract sanctions from the US. ”

      Does it justify his actions or inactions?

      • Hostage
        March 26, 2014, 3:56 pm

        Does it justify his actions or inactions?

        Of course it does. When the government of Palestine joins the BDS Movement call for action against Israel proper, it will trigger legal obligations for US organizations under FARA and reporting and tax penalties under the antiboycott provisions of the Export Administration Act and the Ribicoff Amendment to the 1976 Tax Reform Act (TRA).

        A better question regarding inaction would be to ask the Palestinian Civil Society organizations in the BDS Movement “Why they have remained silent and have not demanded that the ICC Prosecutor take action (right fucking now) on the 2009 Article 12(3) Declaration of Palestine accepting ICC jurisdiction for crimes committed on their territory since July 2002?”

        The reports to the 10th Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly get little or no support or lip service from the BDS Movement:

        This letter is in follow-up to our previous 489 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the territory of the State of Palestine. These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921) to 12 March 2014 (A/ES-10/620-S/2014/180), constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000. For all of these war crimes, acts of State terrorism and systematic human rights violations being committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

        — A/ES-10/621 link to un.org

      • Walid
        March 26, 2014, 4:26 pm

        Can’t endorse BDS because of potential US sanctions and can’t go to the ICC because of threats of spilling the beans on Cast Lead from Lieberman. Your man is in one hell of a predicament.

      • Hostage
        March 26, 2014, 4:59 pm

        Can’t endorse BDS because of potential US sanctions and can’t go to the ICC because of threats of spilling the beans on Cast Lead from Lieberman. Your man is in one hell of a predicament.

        You are the only one still peddling Lieberman’s propaganda. Abbas has already given the ICC jurisdiction over Cast Lead in writing: See “Declaration of the Palestinian National Authority recognizing the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court,  executed for the Government of Palestine by Ali Khashan, Minister of Justice, January 21, 2009. http://iccforum.com/media/background/gaza/2009-01-21_Palestinian_National_Authority_Declaration.pdf

      • Walid
        March 26, 2014, 5:27 pm

        So the Palestinians twice recognized the authority of the ICC as far back as 12 years ago and 5 years ago for an “indeterminate period”, which is a first for me and cute and meaningless since it has yet to file a case, unless it’s a secret one about Cast Lead that you are talking about or that the ICC considers it small change.

        Has the ICC at least reciprocated for the 2 recognitions? Looks like it’s still waiting for some serious crime to be committed against the Palestinians to take action or maybe for Abbas to stop bluffing and actually surprise us all by filing a real charge.

      • Hostage
        March 26, 2014, 7:14 pm

        So the Palestinians twice recognized the authority of the ICC as far back as 12 years ago and 5 years ago for an “indeterminate period”, which is a first for me and cute and meaningless since it has yet to file a case, unless it’s a secret one about Cast Lead that you are talking about or that the ICC considers it small change.

        No, Palestine accepted the jurisdiction of the court in 2009, with retroactive effect. The acts in question were always grave breaches and war crimes in Palestine under the terms of the PLO accession to the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols in 1989 and multilateral treaties on extradition signed with the members of the Arab League in the 1990s. The ICC can exercise complimentary jurisdiction over acts that occurred after the Rome Statute entered into effect on 1 July 2002 through special agreements with the state concerned.

        FYI, states cannot file “cases” with the ICC. They can only refer “situations”, like the one in Gaza, and let the ICC Office of the Prosecutor conduct its own investigations to determine the identity of the responsible individuals.

        Palestine did file a complaint that remains under seal. It contained allegations regarding the situation in Gaza that the ICC Registrar acknowledged in writing, i.e. http://iccforum.com/media/background/gaza/2010-01-12_ICC_OTP-Letter_to_the_UN.pdf

        Palestine was also one of the members that is fully represented in the Secretariat of the League of Arab States. It commissioned its own Independent Fact Finding Mission to Gaza, which was headed-up by Judge John Dugard. The ICJ findings regarding the situation in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem were incorporated by a multitude of direct references. A copy of the report was provided to the UN Security Council.
        * Report of the Independent Fact Finding Committee On Gaza: No Safe Place http://web.archive.org/web/20100904180212/http://www.pchrgaza.org/files/PressR/English/2008/Report%20full.pdf
        * Letter from the Arab League to the Security Council
        http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/96B09E6ADF40B141852575E7004EAFE0

        The ICC Prosecutor subsequently advised the UN in a separate status report that he had traveled to Cairo where the Secretary General of the Arab League turned over a copy of the report. He also advised that he had met with the members of the Fact Finding Mission in Geneva and that South African government lawyers had communicated information on alleged crimes committed in Gaza by individuals possessing South African nationality, e.g. http://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/rdonlyres/FF55CC8D-3E63-4D3F-B502-1DB2BC4D45FF/281439/LettertoUNHC1.pdf

        Has the ICC at least reciprocated for the 2 recognitions?

        The Rome Statute is a multilateral agreement between states. The authors provided for acceptance and exercise of the court’s jurisdiction with any non-member state through special agreements (article 4 and 12):

        Article 4(2) The Court may exercise its functions and powers, as provided in this Statute, on the territory of any State Party and, by special agreement, on the territory of any other State.

        Article12(2) In the case of article 13, paragraph (a) or (c), the Court may exercise its jurisdiction if one or more of the following States are Parties to this Statute or have accepted the jurisdiction of the Court in accordance with paragraph 3:

        (a) The State on the territory of which the conduct in question occurred or, if the crime was committed on board a vessel or aircraft, the State of registration of that vessel or aircraft;

        12(3) If the acceptance of a State which is not a Party to this Statute is required under paragraph 2, that State may, by declaration lodged with the Registrar, accept the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court with respect to the crime in question. The accepting State shall cooperate with the Court without any delay or exception in accordance with Part 9.

        http://web.archive.org/web/20130310172833/http://untreaty.un.org/cod/icc/statute/99_corr/cstatute.htm

        The current Prosecutor has admitted that the Court can exercise its jurisdiction using the existing Article 12(3) declaration, but she has arbitrarily decided (in contradiction of the explicit terms of the Rome Statute) to take no further action, unless Palestine agrees to become a state party to the Rome Statute. Compare:
        * http://www.timesofisrael.com/international-criminal-court-to-consider-implications-of-un-vote-on-palestine/
        * http://www.arabnews.com/news/447737

        The fact is that the ICC Prosecutors have refused to take action on situations in Cyprus and Afghanistan even after those countries became state parties to the Rome Statute. That situation isn’t likely to change, until activists put political pressure on the ICC, instead of the governments of the victim states.

      • Daniel Rich
        March 26, 2014, 4:41 pm

        @ Hostage,

        “A better question regarding inaction would be to ask the Palestinian Civil Society organizations in the BDS Movement “Why they have remained silent and have not demanded that the ICC Prosecutor take action (right fucking now) on the 2009 Article 12(3) Declaration of Palestine accepting ICC jurisdiction for crimes committed on their territory since July 2002?”

        Thank you.

      • Walid
        March 26, 2014, 5:39 pm

        Can a non-state group such as BDS demand the ICC take action and if so, isn’t it liable to be blocked by a UNSC veto?

      • Hostage
        March 26, 2014, 7:43 pm

        Can a non-state group such as BDS demand the ICC take action and if so, isn’t it liable to be blocked by a UNSC veto?

        The 2005 BDS Call for action said: “We appeal to you to pressure your respective states to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel.”

        There is no Security Council veto as such in the ICC, because it is not a UN organ. The decision of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor NOT to undertake any further investigations or prosecutions of individuals in connection with the situation in Gaza or Palestine contradicts the explicit terms of the Rome Statute regarding non-member states. That decision also violates the provisions of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties which requires the consent of each of the state parties to the Rome Statute, before a written acceptance or agreement with a third-party state can be terminated. The Assembly of State Parties has never been consulted over Palestine’s declaration, even though the former Prosecutor admitted that body has the ultimate authority to decide the question. A majority, of about 75 of the members, have formally recognized the State of Palestine. That is an obvious point where grass-roots political pressure can be applied to put the item on the Assembly’s agenda. It should only takes one state to do that.

        The Prosecutor’s decision is also reviewable by the Judges according to the Statute and the letter provided to Palestine by the ICC’s Registrar.

      • Daniel Rich
        March 27, 2014, 3:36 am
      • Walid
        March 27, 2014, 5:17 am

        Hostage, what you are saying about the ICC, the NGO’s and the non-applicability to the UNSC does not appear to agree to what was written by Press TV in September 2012; unless of course there has been changes since then.:

        From Press TV

        “… The International Criminal Court has refused to investigate Israeli crimes against humanity allegedly committed during their invasion of Gaza in 2008. ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has drawn worldwide condemnation for arbitrarily deciding that the ICC has no jurisdiction because Palestine is, in his words, “not a country”.

        Ocampo said only the UN can provide statehood recognition, but two-thirds of the General Assembly has already done so individually. What Ocampo has really done is given the decision to the UN Security Council, where the threatened US veto continues to thwart Palestinian aspirations.

        Groups like Amnesty International and even the UN ‘s Goldstone Report have already accused Israel of war crimes in Gaza, but Ocampo’s decision appears to leave little recourse to justice.

        A coalition of human rights groups is now calling for ICC members to fast-track Palestinian membership.

        The prosecutor’s decision is far from definitive, however.

        Moreno-Ocampo is scheduled to leave his post in several months, and human rights advocates say they will continue to petition the ICC on behalf of Palestine.”

        http://www.presstv.com/detail/235108.html

      • Hostage
        March 27, 2014, 3:52 pm

        what you are saying about the ICC, the NGO’s and the non-applicability to the UNSC does not appear to agree to what was written by Press TV in September 2012

        I gave you a link to an article where Ocampo’s successor stated that the Court could exercise jurisdiction using Palestine’s existing Article 12(3) declaration. It can either do that with respect to Cast Lead right now or after Palestine joins the Court. Nothing in Ocampo’s last status update precludes that from happening:

        8. The Office could in the future consider allegations of crimes committed in Palestine, should competent organs of the United Nations or eventually the Assembly of States Parties resolve the legal issue relevant to an assessment of article 12 or should the Security Council, in accordance with article 13(b), make a referral providing jurisdiction.

        http://www.icc-cpi.int/en_menus/icc/structure%20of%20the%20court/office%20of%20the%20prosecutor/comm%20and%20ref/pe-cdnp/palestine/Pages/update%20on%20situation%20on%20palestine.aspx

        The Rome Statute makes it clear that the members of the UN Security Council cannot prevent investigations or prosecutions by simply vetoing a resolution. The Pre-Trial Chamber, the Prosecutor, member states, and non-member states can take independent actions to initiate the process.

        The UN Security Council can only request a temporary postponement of an ICC investigation or prosecution if all of the P-5 acquiesce to such an unlikely request as part of a resolution adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

        ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has drawn worldwide condemnation for arbitrarily deciding that the ICC has no jurisdiction because Palestine is, in his words, “not a country”.

        Press TV simply reports the news. It noted that Ocampo’s remarks had triggered outrage, but failed to explain that experts on international law had condemned the faulty reasoning Ocampo had employed at the end of his three-year long ad hoc mini-legal seminar on Palestinian statehood. He invoked an inapplicable portion of a UN legal department informational pamphlet on the “Practice of the Secretary General Acting as Depositary for Multilateral Treaties” that only applies in cases of doubt. But he ignored the legally binding portions of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties regarding full state members of UN specialized agencies, like Palestine, which clearly stipulate that the Secretary General is legally obligated to accept such members as states capable of concluding multilateral treaties. Unlike the UN pamphlet, Article 5 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties stipulates that its rules govern any treaty, like the Rome Statute, which creates or constitutes an international organization.
        http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/viennaconvention.html

        Ocampo made a number of bizzare claims, but he really never said Palestine isn’t a country. He stipulated in his status update that the Office of the Prosecutor is NOT empowered to make any such determinations regarding statehood. So his opinion, even if he had expressed one, was irrelevant at best:

        Thus, competence  for  determining  the  term  “State” within the meaning of article 12 rests, in the first instance, with the United Nations Secretary General who, in case of doubt, will defer to the guidance of General Assembly. The Assembly of States Parties of the Rome Statute could also in due course decide to address the matter in accordance with article 112(2)(g) of the Statute.

        6. In interpreting and applying article 12 of the Rome Statute, the Office has assessed that it is for the relevant bodies at the United Nations or the Assembly of States Parties to make the legal determination whether Palestine qualifies as a State for the purpose of acceding to the Rome Statute and thereby enabling the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court under article 12(1). The Rome Statute provides no authority for the Office of the Prosecutor to adopt a method to define the term “State” under article 12(3) which would be at variance with that established for the purpose of article 12(1).

        http://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/rdonlyres/C6162BBF-FEB9-4FAF-AFA9-836106D2694A/284387/SituationinPalestine030412ENG.pdf

        FYI, John Quigley and the Arab League had already provided Ocampo with a list of accessions to multilateral treaties from Palestine, dating back to the year 2004, which the Secretary General, acting as the depositary, had accepted on behalf of the UN. So he was simply “playing dumb” and kicking the can down the road. He tried to obfuscate that by drawing an inference from Palestine’s irrelevant observer status in the UN organization, even though it is merely a custom with no basis in the UN Charter or General Assembly rules of procedure:

        However, the current status granted to Palestine by the United Nations General Assembly is that of “observer”, not as a “Non‐member State”.

        Many experts quickly pointed out that the Secretary General had been obligated to accept the Cook Islands accession to the Rome Statute, based upon its membership in UN specialized agencies, despite the fact that it is NOT currently recognized as an observer state by the General Assembly – and thus has fewer rights than Palestine.

        For its own part the General Assembly had long-since officially acknowledged the 1988 Declaration of the State of Palestine. In the 1990s the General Assembly had gone ahead and granted Palestine rights superior to those enjoyed by any non-member observer state up until that time. The same resolution noted with approval that Palestine had establish a government on a portion of its own territory and was a full member state in numerous other international intergovernmental organizations.

  4. Ecru
    March 26, 2014, 2:07 pm

    “Yael Aronoff, spoke on behalf of Hillel and made a point of saying she supports human rights…”

    as long as those humans aren’t Palestinians……

  5. Woody Tanaka
    March 26, 2014, 2:07 pm

    “A third guest speaker, history professor Victor Lieberman, was supposed to give an objective overview of the conflict. ”

    Well, that was a mistake, given his reputation for pro-Israel slant.

  6. hophmi
    March 26, 2014, 2:18 pm

    Yes, awesome. There are 29 members of the Loyola student government. 17 of them either voted against the resolution or abstained from voting on it. Of the 12 that did vote for it, 9 of them are SJP members. The school has already disclaimed it, and has said that they will not follow it even if the President of the student body does not veto it.

    Not such a victory, it seems to me.

    “Author and journalist Max Blumenthal, who attended the debate and was SAFE’s guest speaker, strongly supported the call for divestment. ”

    Of course. He also supports ethnically cleansing Jews who don’t “indigenize.” Wouldn’t hitch my wagon to his star.

    • Hostage
      March 26, 2014, 5:54 pm

      Of course. He also supports ethnically cleansing Jews who don’t “indigenize.” Wouldn’t hitch my wagon to his star.

      Like most Zionists, you don’t know how to use the term “ethnic cleansing” in a sentence about Palestine and misrepresent views of those who do.

    • Sumud
      March 27, 2014, 1:16 am

      The school has already disclaimed it, and has said that they will not follow it even if the President of the student body does not veto it.

      Source?

  7. JusticeForPalestine
    March 26, 2014, 2:35 pm

    With some notable (and very articulate) exceptions, there was a strong positive correlation among participants in last night’s Michigan debate between being avowedly Jewish and opposing the BDS resolution.

    For any parents (or future parents) of young children who might be reading this, I find this very instructive.

    Last night, dozens of intelligent and well educated Jewish students at Michigan (my alma mater) expressed purported facts and opinions with which I vehemently disagree — but which they have been expressly taught for their whole lives.

    I don’t blame them for not managing to abandon in one night (or even one or two years’ worth of debate on campus) world views that they have been steeped in since before they can remember.

    But I do wish to learn from them.

    What if anything should I tell my own six year-old child about last night’s debate? When and how should I expose my child to Palestinian injustice in general? No one told me about such horrible things when I was very young, and there is a part of me that is very afraid of introducing my child to too many “real world problems” before my child has a chance to have a terrific childhood.

    But last night’s debate settled the issue for me.

    Long past “bed time” last night, I turned on the livestream and showed my child what was happening in the old Michigan Union. I explained in simple words that there are still places in the world where some people are treated unfairly, just like Rosa Parks was mistreated in the American South, and I told my child that there also are brave people in the world who are working hard to bring justice to these mistreated people, just like Martin Luther King did. I named those people who are being oppressed, “Palestinians and others”, and I named those people who are treating Palestinians so unjustly, “many Israelis.” My child understood.

    I wish I didn’t have to interrupt my child’s halcyon love affair with dinosaurs to talk about murder, hunger and fear, but when I consider the alternative — namely, the possibility of my child arriving to college in a few years just as unprepared to help build a better world as so many of those Jewish (and non-Jewish) college kids last night, I realize that I don’t have any other choice.

    Parents everywhere: we must raise a generation of children all over the world who thirst for justice for Palestine, and we must do so now.

    • Real Jew
      March 26, 2014, 7:21 pm

      Justice forPalestine, that is incredibly brave parenting and i commend you for it. Alot of people tend to neglect their duties as parents to inform their children of the real world. And to do it honestly and objectively is crucial regardless if you are from the same “tribe”. Some people ask me how an individuals can be so supportive of israel in light of all the horrendous things it does and i can only assume its thru nurture.

    • lonely rico
      March 26, 2014, 10:54 pm

      JusticeForPalestine,
      I am moved by your words,
      as I was by Max Blumenthals speech.
      Free Palestine !

  8. seafoid
    March 26, 2014, 2:51 pm

    “She said it was a complex conflict, and that the student government shouldn’t have to pick sides because it was a conflict of “right vs. right.” ”

    Bullshit
    The systematic injustice is simple. Jews have rights , Palestinians are Untermenschen.

    Jewish GDP per head 30K, Palestinian 3K
    It’s not very complicated

  9. adele
    March 26, 2014, 3:08 pm

    international relations professor, Yael Aronoff, spoke on behalf of Hillel and made a point of saying she supports human rights and opposes West Bank settlements. She said it was a complex conflict, and that the student government shouldn’t have to pick sides because it was a conflict of “right vs. right.”

    By UM investing in corporations that are instrumental in providing Israel with the hardware it uses to oppress Palestinians, isn’t that picking sides? I would think that NOT picking sides (i.e., neutrality) would then logically be divestment?

    • jon s
      March 28, 2014, 5:31 am

      Prof. Aronoff spoke very well and made good points. She was both emotional and rational and I would give her an excellent grade.

  10. Hostage
    March 26, 2014, 4:25 pm

    Here’s another bit of breaking news: “King’s College London students union endorses boycott of Israel: KCL’s Israel Society protests move, saying the decision to join the BDS movement is discriminatory against Israeli students and faculty.” — http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4503789,00.html

    • Walid
      March 26, 2014, 5:01 pm

      That academic boycott of Israel by KCL is a serious one and much more serious than the one in Michigan that proposed to divest from GE and Caterpillar because of the settlements. GE ( that has 200,000 employees and doesn’t rely on Israel to stay in business) sells its engines to Boeing that in turn sells its Apaches to Israel, so why isn’t it Boeing that’s being being picketed or boycotted? Apaches are sold to about 15 countries including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Kuwait and Egypt. One meaningful academic boycott like KCL’s is of more value than dozens of products boycotts aimed at settlements only that allows Israel to continue getting away with murder.

  11. seafoid
    March 26, 2014, 4:56 pm

    Kerry’s attempt fails.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/26/john-kerry-mahmoud-abbas-middle-east-peace-talks

    “Kerry arrived in the Jordanian capital hours after an Arab League summit in Kuwait released a statement emphatically declaring that Arab leaders would never recognise Israel as a “Jewish state”, a key demand Netanyahu has made of Palestinians….
    After months of deadlock Kerry has given up hopes of brokering a deal and is instead concentrating his efforts on convincing the sides to agree to extend talks.”

    Jesus H. Christ. Do the bots not understand that the time for stringing the world along has passed ? Kerry, Ashton and Obama all warned them about trying to fly another dose of procrastination.

    Israel is simply not interested in peace and more and more goys are figuring it out.

    • Walid
      March 26, 2014, 5:08 pm

      seafoid, it seems that Israel is asking for an extension to the April 28th end of negotiations scheduled closing by the next 3 or 4 days or they will not release the last batch of prisoners. Is that extortion or blackmail?

      • seafoid
        March 26, 2014, 5:15 pm

        It’s both wrapped in bad faith.

      • Mayhem
        March 26, 2014, 6:01 pm

        @seafoid, more of your upside down logic. Israel has released prisoners, who were murderous terrorists, and what will they get in return? Probably more murderous terrorists.

      • seafoid
        March 27, 2014, 3:14 am

        Mayhem

        The prisoners are pawns. Israel uses them to scare the bejaysus out of Yossi Israeli, to convince him that the Palestinians are inherently anti-Semitic- and it also uses them to trade off against settlement construction.

        Each prisoner is worth at least 20 apartments in YESHA.
        Murderous terrorism is IDF training 1.0

        Here is what your boys did in Lebanon

        Still killing people today -did anyone do time for it? Don’t make me laugh.

      • Kay24
        March 27, 2014, 6:16 am

        How about those 700 Palestinian children, who languishes in Israeli jails, and according to Amnesty International, are abused, tortured, and have neither legal recourse, nor access to their families. They apparently are dragged out of the beds, at night, terrified, and hauled into jail. How about justice for these kids?
        Would you be okay with Palestinians dragging little settler thugs (we have seen the videos) out of their beds, and incarcerated just like these Palestinian kids. I am sure you would.

      • tree
        March 27, 2014, 5:54 pm

        Israel has released prisoners, who were murderous terrorists, and what will they get in return?

        Mayhem, Israel has no death penalty so all the citizens of Israel who are convicted of murder are given at most a life sentence, which is most often commuted to 30 years, with eligibility for parole in 20 or so years. Thus it releases murderers as part of its judicial system rules on a regular basis. It gets nothing in return for those releases, except perhaps the gratitude of the convicted murderers and their families.

        Every time I have seen a release by Israel of Palestinian prisoners who have been convicted of murder, they have already served at least 20 to 30 years in Israeli prisons, thus making the release of these Palestinian convicted murderers no more lenient than that accorded to Israeli convicted murderers. So why expect to “get something in return”? Do you expect to get something in return every time a convicted Israeli murderer is released?

      • eljay
        March 27, 2014, 6:17 pm

        >> Israel has released prisoners, who were murderous terrorists, and what will they get in return?

        Massive amounts of positive PR and Western goodwill that will permit them to continue stealing, occupying, colonizing, destroying, torturing and killing.

    • Justpassingby
      March 26, 2014, 5:29 pm

      seafoid

      Yes blame Israel but also blame Abbas for accepting this.

      • seafoid
        March 27, 2014, 2:38 am

        What was ‘Abbas supposed to do? The Yanks threatened him with sanctions if he didn’t comply. He and his people know it’s a dog and pony show .

        Very bad news for the Hillel Basij back in the US. They can fool people once but not forever.

    • Mayhem
      March 26, 2014, 5:57 pm

      @seafoid, the typical man in the street aware of the enormous suffering that Jews have experienced throughout history will hear that the Arabs are unwilling to recognise Israel as a Jewish state and say to himself that those Arabs aren’t serious about reconciliation. They will conclude that the Arabs don’t want peace. According to your perverse, upside down logic unless Israel doesn’t give in to the PA’s nonnegotiable, unreasonable demands then the Israeli’s don’t want peace. LMAO.

      • talknic
        March 26, 2014, 11:43 pm

        @Mayhem You’re spouting drivel

        There is nothing ‘unreasonable’ about demanding ones legal rights or that agreements be carried out

        The Palestinians demand their legal rights under the laws, UN Charter, conventions and AGREEMENTS with Israel.

        Meanwhile, NONE of the Israeli demands have any legal basis what so ever. In fact they are quite revealing, comical and contrary to Israel’s own steps to independence and recognition

        1) The Israeli demand for settlement blocks to become a part of Israel is an admission that they are in territory that is NOT YET Israeli. Yet the Israeli Government has been selling this YET TO BE ISRAELI LAND to Israeli citizens. Go figure… what sort of cretinous thieving minds are at Israel’s helm

        2) The Israeli demand for recognition as a Jewish state when the OFFICIAL name of the state is “THE STATE OF ISRAEL” http://pages.citebite.com/t2p1c9k7r0nde No country in the world has ever recognized Israel as the Jewish State. Why should the Arab states or Palestine be any different?
        Israel gained its independence and was recognized BEFORE it recognized any other state and while it was at war in territories that were according to the Israeli Government at the time “outside the State of Israel” ..”in Palestine” http://pages.citebite.com/x1r0b4d1y6mkv
        Recognition of the Occupying Power is not mandatory or necessary to end occupation.
        It is a fact that occupation must end BEFORE independence can be declared. An occupied entity simply isn’t independent. The British terminated the LoN Mandate for Palestine in order that independent Jewish or Arab statehood could be declared.
        There are numerous UN Member states who do not recognize each other. They are never the less Independent States.

        3) The demand that Israel’s security concerns deem it necessary to expand its borders and for Palestine be dis-armed, is more nonsense. Israel has no more right to more secure borders than its neighbours and all states have equal right to defend themselves

      • Sumud
        March 27, 2014, 1:48 am

        Mayhem – since you believe that Palestinians have unreasonable demands can you please name one genuine concession Israel has ever made in any negotiation since Oslo?

        I’ve been asking for several years now and no zionist has ever been able to name one. Conversely Palestinians give one concession after another and Israel keeps raising the bar and asking for more.

        So can you name one Israeli concession, are you THE ONE???

      • seafoid
        March 27, 2014, 2:33 am

        Sumud

        Israel recognized that Palestinians actually exist as far back as 1991. That was a serious concession in their ideology.

      • seafoid
        March 27, 2014, 3:16 am

        @ mayhem

        LYFAO on the floor that is shifting beneath you

  12. Daniel Rich
    March 26, 2014, 5:38 pm

    No matter how positive thinking I am [or might or hope to be], I would only call something a victory when my opponent is clearly KO-ed and slumped over the shoulder of his coach on his side of the ring.

    The temptation to refer to this as ‘Pyrrhic’ was strong and mighty, but in the end, drama is no substitution for the daunting [and very much realistic] cycle of life Palestinians have to struggle through every single day.

    My only worry is to be prepared for the upcoming ‘rainy season…’

    • pabelmont
      March 26, 2014, 6:46 pm

      Palestinians may not have invented SUMUD, but their practice of it is exemplary. Living for one more day without giving up or giving in is the victory of that day.

      Triumph is the style of victory for imperialists. This is unavailable for most people.

      As, day by day, more formerly dyed-in-the-wool Zionists become something less, a bit critical, as they see the implacable demands and continually lawless behavior of Israel more and more clearly, there is a shift in American (and other) public opinion. One cannot say when it will have become enough. One can only hang in and continue the good fight.

      SUMUD.

      • Kay24
        March 26, 2014, 9:21 pm

        I sense there is a shift in public opinion regarding Israel in the US, and also feel the polls that continuously show, the support for Israel is high in our nation, skewed. We know that controlling think tanks in America, is one of the main objectives by zionists. It would be interesting to know just much Americans keep supporting Israel, if the polling was done by a uncorrupted source.

      • Daniel Rich
        March 27, 2014, 3:45 am

        @ pabelmont,

        Q: One cannot say when it will have become enough. One can only hang in and continue the good fight.

        R: I wholeheartedly concur. The days of “See this napkin? I can get you 70 signatures…, blah, blah, yadda, yaddah yah…” are over and that’s a good sign. Nothing secured yet, but in he context of the accepted stranglehold AIPAC had/has over congress, every setback is a step in the right direction, the direction forward, in a steady pace toward some sort of normalcy, followed by a long overdue, but nevertheless, a very true justice.

  13. Citizen
    March 26, 2014, 8:03 pm

    Max was amazing. I have no clue how student listeners rejected all the facts he expressed.

  14. Pixel
    March 26, 2014, 9:06 pm

    Watching this was exciting – like being transported back to the 60’s. These issues represent an awesome challenge and amazing opportunity for kids in this country, right now, to rally in support of a “real” cause, something they’ve been yearning for for decades.

    Michael Ratner, in his interview on RealNews, mentions that his university-aged son felt envious that he had lived through such amazing times. This aching, this yearning, this musing that his son was alluding to, is something I’ve heard from students coming of age in every decade since the 60’s. They have desperately wanted something meaningful to stand behind, to fight for, to have passion about, to test their mettle, to force them to grow up. Well, here it is.

    College kids today are caught up in a whirlwind that they don’t recognize, yet. At U. MIch, I’m sure it seems like this is simply a weird, temporary, inconvenient, and somewhat painful anomaly. Yet, on some level, I think they do know – or they sense it., they fear it. One young woman, on the verge of tears and clearly overwhelmed, said in some angst “A week ago, I hadn’t even heard of BDS!” Another said she had been terrified of public speaking. In one week, 7 days, their whole worlds had changed. They’re getting swept up in this maelstrom, in ever greater numbers at exponential speed. No matter how much they may want to go back to the good old days ( i.e., a week ago) and talk about football tickets (ha! Loved that one), it ain’t gonna happen. What is going to happen is they’re going to get to tell THEIR kids about the good old days, “the time we fought for human rights in Israel/Palestine/the world” – and won. ( the last bit is mine).

    While they may prefer to “play” student government and bemoan their educations, THIS is their education – and it’s priceless. They don’t know, yet, just how lucky they are to be coming of age in these times, to have to face the truth, face the lies, and face themselves. One young man, sounding less indignant than he did genuinely shocked said, “When did I go from identifying as a proud jew to be labeled an oppressive zionist?” The Answer: One week.

    Life turns on a dime.

    The real question, though, isn’t “when” it happened it’s “why”. Answering that question is going to challenge key relationships of all kinds in these students lives. Many said they feel alienated from their school, many from their classmates, and some even said this had torn apart close friendships. And that’s not the half of it; the worst is still to come. There’s still the question of what’s going to happen within their families. It’s going to be very hard for students who come to feel that their families have lied to them all their lives, to understand that it happened because their parents had also been lied to. Heck, everyone’s been lied to; we’ve all been duped – and that’s where the rising anger in this country around this issue is rooted. No one likes to play the fool and no one likes to be made a fool of, especially not at the cost of other people’s lives. (And, of course, this issue is merely the tip of the iceberg for American’s who are waking up to all the tragic realities this country stands for.)

    The floor has simply dropped out from beneath these students lives – from their very identities, and it’s terrifying. It’s falling into a bottomless cold black pit, grasping in sheer panic for something to hold onto – anything to hold onto – and, finding, in the end, that there’s nothing to hold onto. No one can help us and no one can save us. Only we can help save ourselves. While firmer ground is below, it’s a long, long way down there and, before we can find it, before we can learn who we are, first we have to learn who we’re not.

    So, U Mich was the last school to have recognized South African apartheid/divested, eh? Well, well, If true, that’s a sad legacy – although I guess someone has to be last.

    “You have to recognize that every out-front maneuver is going to be lonely. But if you feel entirely comfortable then you’re not far enough ahead to do any good. That warm sense of everything going well is usually the body temperature at the center of the herd. Only if you’re far enough ahead to be at risk do you have a chance for large rewards.” – unknown

    • ritzl
      March 27, 2014, 11:31 am

      Great comment, Pixel. I would just note that “proud Jew” and “oppressive Zionist” are not opposite ends of the same continuum – unless Israel is your principal identity.

  15. anonymouscomments
    March 26, 2014, 11:49 pm

    it is sad to see this fail, but we know the wind is at our backs.

    also, we should note that even before BDS, there were divestment conferences at UMich.

    i personally attended the second one in 2002, which was great (complete with buses of zionists brought in to rally out front and yell at us). i noted what we all know…. a win for divestment is having the DISCUSSION in itself, as we have the facts, justice, and morality on our side.

    actually achieving divestment is a distant second, and is just a sign that we have *won* the debate in a given place. and i will say that the student government is not usually the true reflection of the student body.

    i would be interested in polls of the student body at UMich. that is the true target, not dumping some stocks of some vile corporations, to be bought again by others at effectively the same price.

    [from the Forward in 2002; i speak at the end, noting the reality of achieving ‘actual’ divestment in the near term. but i will correct myself and note that in time, divestment itself will be a serious issue impacting corporations and west bank/israeli economics- and it is starting to pinch in certain places already. also i was misquoted on ‘equal voices’…. there was one loud zionist voice, and the voices for palestinian rights were just rising]

    By DANIEL TREIMAN
    FORWARD STAFF
    18 October 2002

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Pro-Palestinian students from some 70 campuses converged on the University of Michigan campus last weekend for a conference to advance their campaign to force colleges and universities to divest themselves of holdings in companies that do business with Israel. But the conference ended in bitter disagreements between key factions of the divestment movement.

    Jewish protesters charged the organizers of the Second National Student Conference on the Palestine Solidarity Movement with promoting terrorism and antisemitism, while speakers at the two-day parley variously accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and racism.

    “Israel is the prime example of human rights violators in the world,” said Eric Reichenberger, spokesman for Students Allied for Freedom and Equality, or SAFE, the pro-Palestinian University of Michigan organization that hosted the conference.

    Organizers said the conference drew some 400 participants on its first day and had to turn away over 100 people for lack of space. Most of the conference attendees appeared to be Middle Eastern or Muslim, although there were sizable numbers of others, including large numbers of left-wing activists. According to one Jewish organizer, approximately 15 Jewish students participated.

    The national divestment campaign is modeled after campus campaigns against apartheid South Africa during the 1980s. According to Fadi Kiblawi, co-founder of SAFE, divestment campaigns have been launched against Israel on some 40 campuses across the country. Thus far, however, no university has agreed to divest from Israel, and student- organized anti-divestment Web petitions have often succeeded in garnering more signatures than their campuses’ respective pro- divestment petitions.

    In September, Harvard University President Lawrence Summers suggested that calls for divestment from Israel are “anti-Semitic in their effect if not in their intent.” Late last month, University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman stated her opposition to calls for divestment.

    Nevertheless, conference organizers insist they remain committed to the goal of achieving divestment, noting that it took the campus anti- apartheid movement years to achieve its goals.

    On Sunday, the conference’s second day, deep divisions became apparent within the student divestment movement between pragmatists concerned with the movement’s public image and more radical ideologues.

    The fissures — one participant called them “basically a debate between Michigan and Berkeley,” two key centers of pro-Palestinian campus activism — came to the fore in the conference sessions devoted to revising the divestment movement’s guiding principles, which had been adopted in February at the movement’s first conference at the University of California at Berkeley.

    Citing public-relations concerns, the largely Arab-American leadership of SAFE fought vigorously to excise from the movement’s guiding principles language condemning “the racism and discrimination inherent in Zionism.” Members of SAFE also fought to drop from the guiding principles the statement: “As a solidarity movement, it is not our place to dictate the strategies or tactics adopted by the Palestinian people in their struggle for liberation.” The latter statement has been labeled by critics as a pointed refusal to condemn Palestinian suicide bombings.

    But more radical conference-goers — some of the most vocal of whom were non-Arab activists from Berkeley — successfully resisted the efforts to excise the language.

    A visibly frustrated Kiblawi told those assembled, “These guiding principles are not representative of our campus’s views,” adding that the language that was finally adopted was “not something that I feel comfortable with.”

    There was, however, one resolution on which near-unanimity prevailed. As the conference was drawing to a close, an older, Jewish conference participant offered a resolution that would have explicitly stated that the divestment movement’s vision of a “true peace” included “coexistence” with a “transformed and democratized” Israel and a renunciation of Palestinian claims on Israeli cities such as Haifa and Jaffa. It failed to find a single supporter.

    David Post, a University of Michigan senior and spokesman for the American Movement for Israel campus group who attended many of the conference sessions as an observer, said he didn’t hear any speakers make overtly anti-Jewish remarks, but nevertheless called the conference “destructive.”

    “The common message in every speaker that you hear is ‘Israel is an apartheid state. Israel is wrong.’ There’s no blame put on anything the Palestinians do,” he said. “There’s not even an acknowledgement of the fact that this is a two-sided conflict and it needs to be worked out through negotiations for the two sides, who are both doing things wrong. I think it really undermines the peace process, it undermines ideas of peace.”

    While the pro-Palestinian student movement has declared its support for a “right of return” for Palestinian refugees, it has no official position on whether it accepts Israel’s right to exist or supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Organizers say there is a diversity of views within the movement on this issue.

    At the conference a few attendees wore T-shirts featuring both the Israeli and Palestinian flags with the words “Free Palestine” and “Secure Israel,” while some others were clad in T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan “Palestine Will Be Free From the River to the Sea.” The latter of these two slogans was taken up as a chant by a large number of attendees at one point. When a speaker called for “one single Palestinian state over the whole of historical Palestine,” he received a tremendous ovation.

    Conference critics assailed the organizers’ choice of speakers, particularly Sami Al-Arian, a controversial University of South Florida computer science professor who the school is trying to fire in the face of allegations that he is tied to the terrorist group Islamic Jihad. Al-Arian has denied these allegations, and he has never been charged.

    In his speech, Al-Arian called Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians “much worse than what the black South Africans had to endure under apartheid.”

    Jewish groups responded to the conference with a pair of pro-Israel rallies, both of which drew several hundred participants. The larger one of the two was sponsored by the University of Michigan’s Hillel and took place two days before the conference began. The second rally, which took place Sunday, was organized by a campus group, the Michigan Student Zionists, and many of its participants were bused in from New York by AMCHA-The Coalition for Jewish Concerns.

    Two members of Michigan Student Zionists filed a lawsuit against the University of Michigan alleging that some of the invited conference speakers might incite violence on campus. A judge denied the plaintiffs a hearing.

    Rabbi Avi Weiss, AMCHA’s national president, who picketed with a small group outside the conference entrance Saturday, clad in a prayer shawl for the Sabbath, said some of the attendees had said in Arabic, “murder the Jews.”

    Conference organizers have rejected charges of antisemitism and said they oppose terrorism. “We absolutely condemn suicide bombings,” Reichenberger said in response to a question at SAFE’s press conference. “As far as attacks on civilian populations, we condemn all forms of attack on civilian populations both by the Palestinians, by the Israelis, or whoever may be involved.”

    A conference attendee from Boston University, Mike Figa, said he doubted the movement would be able to convince many colleges to divest from Israel. He noted that unlike the anti-apartheid movement, in the debate over divesting with Israel, “there’s two voices almost equally represented.”

    “The reason why I support the movement is it’s going to raise awareness and essentially foster dialogue and that’s about it,” Figa said. “I think you’re living in an illusion if you think that there’s going to be massive divestment.”

  16. Nurit Baytch
    March 27, 2014, 4:57 am

    I’ve written a rebuttal of Max Blumenthal’s speech here:
    https://sites.google.com/site/

    I notice that Mondoweiss repeats Blumenthal’s assertion that “750,000 Palestinians were expelled [in 1948].” This is a matter of considerable controversy among historians, and apparently Mondoweiss takes the Palestinian/Ilan Pappe narrative at face value. In contrast, according to Benny Morris, most of the ~700,000 Palestinian refugees “fled their homes because of the flail of war (and in the expectation that they would shortly return to their homes on the backs of victorious Arab invaders). But it is also true that there were several dozen sites, including Lydda and Ramla, from which Arab communities were expelled by Jewish troops.”

    One can also see from a 1948 news report in Time magazine that the Palestinian exodus was due in part to orders to leave given by Arab leaders (the original Israeli narrative):
    http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,798519,00.html
    “The mass evacuation, prompted partly by fear, partly by orders of Arab leaders, left the Arab quarter of Haifa a ghost city…By withdrawing Arab workers, their leaders hoped to paralyze Haifa.”

    • gamal
      March 27, 2014, 9:33 am

      “One can also see from a 1948 news report in Time magazine that the Palestinian exodus was due in part to orders to leave given by Arab leaders (the original Israeli narrative):”

      ah yes there is the spectator correspondence between Childers and Kimche and others, see how you think the ‘original narrative’ fares,

      http://www.google.com.jm/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCsQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.palestine-studies.org%2Fenakba%2Fexodus%2FErskine%2520Childers%2C%2520Walid%2520Khalidi%2C%2520Jon%2520Kimche%2C%2520et%2520al.pdf&ei=ACU0U7_tOMHmsAS7goBA&usg=AFQjCNGoUcxBenCSeiZVA9vRHp4bcElhEw&bvm=bv.63738703,d.cWc

      • Nurit Baytch
        March 27, 2014, 2:21 pm

        Of course I know that the original Israeli narrative is incorrect, but I don’t see how that correspondence disputes the Time magazine report, though admittedly I only skimmed it.

    • James North
      March 27, 2014, 9:46 am

      Nurit Baytch: Others better qualified may want to address your historical arguments. But surely you are joking to suggest that TIME magazine in the Henry Luce era can be used as a legitimate historical source? I defy you to find a single scholarly work that cites TIME as at all definitive about anything.

    • puppies
      March 27, 2014, 10:23 am

      @Baytch – Modest and effacing, aren’t we, writing a “rebuttal of Max Blumenthal’s speech” with your supreme command of sources of historical research and total ignorance of the basics of international law. Looks like typical of the dregs left to the hasbara directorate, now that any Zionist with two brain cells have jumped ship and they have to pay them.
      Look it up: if by actual massacres or exhortations or creating a very justified fear or unjustified fears, it doesn’t make any difference. All these populations are expelled, their right of return is inviolable and opposing it is a major war crime. Defending it makes you an accessory after the fact.

      • Nurit Baytch
        March 27, 2014, 2:08 pm

        I don’t believe I discussed anything related to international law, so I’m puzzled by your reply. In any case, if I included any misleading or false statements in my rebuttal of Max’s speech, feel free to let me know.

      • puppies
        March 27, 2014, 9:38 pm

        Baytch – But that’s exactly what I did with respect to one single affirmation of yours (disregarding the rest of the Propagandaministerium material): expulsion does not necessarily mean the nonsense it may mean to Zionists. Any civilian exodus fleeing a war of aggression is an expulsion and it definitely becomes that in case of denial of return and/or “exchange of populations”. You guys should learn common language.

      • Nurit Baytch
        March 28, 2014, 9:04 pm

        puppies – you claim that “any civilian exodus fleeing a war of aggression is an expulsion.” The refugees from the Syrian Civil War are not described as having been expelled. That Israel barred the Palestinian refugees from returning is a separate issue. If it were the case that the term “expel” somehow encompasses barring refugees who fled a war from returning, then why did Max Blumenthal say: “750,000 Palestinians were forciby expelled from their homes and never allowed to return”? Max’s claim was misleading at best.

        In any case, I’m not interested in arguing the definition of the word “expel.” Needless to say, I disagree with your interpretation.

      • Hostage
        March 29, 2014, 5:27 pm

        puppies – you claim that “any civilian exodus fleeing a war of aggression is an expulsion.”

        Oh please! The fact that the Jewish authorities had formal written plans that called for unprovoked attacks against Arab villages and expulsion of the inhabitants beyond the borders of the Hebrew state is a matter of public record.

        It is also matter of public record that Ben Gurion ordered Joseph Weiss of the JNF, and Ezra Danin of the Arab section to level hundreds of Arab villages or to use them to resettle European Jews. Published diaries say that Ben Gurion stated that Jews no longer had to purchase land, they could simply acquire it through conquest. In many cases the militias even planted land mines in the rubble left after a demolition to discourage the inhabitants from trying to retrieve their meager possessions.

      • Hostage
        March 27, 2014, 10:02 pm

        I don’t believe I discussed anything related to international law

        You surely did, since international law guarantees the right of refugees to be repatriated on a timely basis without any regard for the motive involved in fleeing a war or persecution in their country of origin.

      • Nurit Baytch
        March 27, 2014, 10:04 pm

        I didn’t say a thing about right of return.

      • Hostage
        March 28, 2014, 4:59 pm

        I didn’t say a thing about right of return.

        You also didn’t say anything about Irgun radio broadcasts, Haganah loud speaker vans, and hundreds of attacks against non-military civilian objectives, like harmless villages, that were used to spread threats of massacre and terror that encouraged the Arabs to flee and drove the Arab leaders in neighboring states to intervene after they were overwhelmed by hundreds of thousands of refugees. Where did Morris say that the handful of communications he found advising that women, children, and the elderly should be evacuated from areas where local fighting was going on contributed in any way to the 750,000 refugees registered by the UN? I don’t see how you’ve refuted anything Max had to say by employing the tidbits from Morris. I’ve cited one of the Israeli Generals who was responsible, and he claims that the act of razing Arab villages drove a million Arabs out of the territory captured by the Jewish state.

      • Nurit Baytch
        March 28, 2014, 9:21 pm

        Hostage, you are correct that I did not discuss the atrocities committed by the Irgun or the Haganah. Nor did I discuss the atrocities committed by Arab militants. I simply provided a brief historical overview in which I subsumed the atrocities committed by both sides under the description “war,” a word that I believe Max omitted from the historical “context” he claimed he had provided.

        Now if I had included the info/quotes below and omitted the other half of the story you supplied above, then you’d have a more reasonable objection to my presentation:
        Here’s a NYT article dated November 30, 1947:
        http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive/pdf?res=F00E1EFC355E17738DDDA80894DA415B8788F1D3
        “In a violent Arab retort to the United Nations decision on Palestine [the UN Partition Plan], seven Jews were killed by Arab ambushes in Palestine today. Five were slain in an attack on one bus and one in an assault on another bus…
        The Arabs will wage a holy war if an attempt is made to enforce the partition plan, Dr. Hussein Khalidi, acting chairman of the Palestine Arab Higher Committee, declared in an interview tonight…
        Partition, Dr. Khalidi said, ‘is going to lead to a crusade against the Jews.’”

        “If the Jewish state becomes a fact, and this is realized by the Arab peoples, they will drive the Jews who live in their midst into the sea… Even if we are beaten now in Palestine, we will never submit. We will never accept the Jewish state… But for politics, the Egyptian army alone, or volunteers of the Muslim Brotherhood, could have destroyed the Jews.” – Hassan al-Banna, Muslim Brotherhood founder New York Times, August 2, 1948

      • Annie Robbins
        March 29, 2014, 1:40 pm

        Hassan al-Banna, Muslim Brotherhood founder New York Times, August 2, 1948

        nurit, your source article was written by times correspondent Dana Adams Schmidt. his article “The Two Worlds of Palestine” http://partners.nytimes.com/library/world/051848israel-palestine.html written 5/18/48 reads like a love letter to zionism.

        Jerusalem — Palestine, which is now beginning a new and fateful chapter, is a land of extremes. In less than a day’s drive, war permitting, one can drive from the opulent Jewish citrus groves on the Mediterranean coast through the harsh hills of Samaria and Judea, where Arab peasants till the narrow valleys and terraces, past the white and yellow-tinted limestone of the Holy City of Jerusalem down to the tropical verdure of Arab Jericho and the humid heat of the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea 1,300 feet below sea level.

        In the course of that brief journey one sees not only the geographical range of this tiny strife-torn land, but the range of all the economic, political and cultural factors that enter into the present struggle between Jews and Arabs.. It is a journey from an urban to a nomad way of life, from Zionist dynamism to Arab fatalism, from modernity to antiquity.

        The Jews of Palestine are a microcosm of the civilizations of the world. Seventy-five per cent of them have concentrated in the plains, of which the greatest stretches from 118 miles down the coast from Lebanon to Gaza. Here they bought sand dunes and swamps from the Arabs (who thought them fools) and transformed them into productive farms. Here they built Tel Aviv, a modern brick and cement city of more then 200,000 and the greatest all-Jewish city in the world. It became the center of Jewish manufacturing, commerce and finance and of an ebullient cultural renaissance in the graphic arts, music and the theatre.

        what does that tell you about his truthieness? doesn’t it sound more like a travel guide history from the hasbara department of the foreign ministry?

        That Israel barred the Palestinian refugees from returning is a separate issue.

        when forces surround a town threatening the residents and they flee for their lives and are not allowed to return it’s an expulsion. it’s not a separate issue except to those wishing to erase culpability.

        why are you engaging in this denial? why not open your own comment section on your blog and hold court there instead of pushing your denial at this site?

      • Annie Robbins
        March 29, 2014, 2:26 pm

        Here’s a NYT article dated November 30, 1947…..Five were slain in an attack on one bus

        archived from the center for online judaic studies:

        http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:OwP0PYxG7J8J:cojs.org/cojswiki/Terrorist_Jews_Execute_4_in_Arab_Family%253B_Arabs_Attack_Jews_in_Bus,_NY_Herald_Tribune,_Nov._21,_1947.+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

        Terrorist Jews Execute 4 in Arab Family; Arabs Attack Jews in Bus, NY Herald Tribune, Nov. 21, 1947.
        By Fitzhugh Turner By Wireless to the Herald Tribune Copyright, 1947, New York Herald Tribune Inc.

        RAANANA, Palestine, Nov. 20.-A group of Jewish terrorists entered an Arab farmhouse in an orange grove near here before dawn today, aroused a dozen sleeping occupants and selected five men, whom they marched outside to a wire fence by a roadside. There the Jews opened fire with sub-machine guns, killing four of the Arabs and critically wounding the fifth.

        The Arabs were members of a farming family-the Shubaki, who have lived for years in peace with Jewish neighbors of the American-founded orange growing colony of Raanana, not far north of Tel Aviv. The attackers were believed by Raanana citizens to be terrorists from “outside,” members of the Stern group, who presumably blamed one of the family for informing to the British.

        This belief was based on the fact that Shubaki farm, one of the few Arab properties in the neighborhood, is within sight of the farmhouse used until last week by the Stern group as an arms training center. British soldiers surrounded the building eight days and killed five young Sternists. In retaliation against the British in the following few days the Stern group killed ten British -four civilians three soldiers and three police. The death toll in the series of incidents thus stood at nineteen.

        Seven or eight Jews took part in the Shubaki killings. According to one survivor they were led by a man wearing a stolen police uniform, his followers being in khaki with berets. Several transient Bedouin Arab families are camped in the neighborhood, and the terrorists went first to a Bedouin tent to ask the way to the house.

        Inside the building they asked for the five farmers by name-Ahmed Salami Shubaki, fifty; his two sons and two nephews, aged twenty to thirty. They ordered the women and children of the family to remain inside, took the men out and shot them down. The terrorists departed on foot, and Bedouin men, hearing the gunfire, investigated in the dark and found the bodies.

        The shootings were the first since August involving Arabs and although there were no signs of it tonight people on both sides feared they might bring an attack by Arabs on Jews somewhere in the country to avenge the Arab deaths.

        this event was also referenced here: http://iamthewitness.com/doc/Bunche.Report.on.Zionist.Terrorism.in.the.Near.East.htm

        November 22, 1947, Haifa. Another Arab was murdered in Haifa by the Stern gang following their execution of four Arabs near Raanana November 20 in retaliation for the British shooting of five Stern gang members on November 12. Arabs retaliated against this killing at Raanana by wounding five Jews on a bus near Tel Aviv on November 20.

        interesting how this massacre was completely skipped over at wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_killings_and_massacres_in_Mandatory_Palestine

        nothing on this timeline either
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_insurgency_in_Palestine

        hmm

      • Nurit Baytch
        March 29, 2014, 4:33 pm

        Annie, are you insinuating that because the NYT reporter displayed an Orientalist bias in reporting on the fact that Tel Aviv was more developed than Arab communities in Palestine, he must have fabricated the quote from the Muslim Brotherhood founder about driving the Jews into the sea? A reporter’s bias is relevant if you want to question how he chooses to present a story (e.g. what facts he chooses to emphasize, include, or omit); to suggest that he would fabricate a quote because he displayed a bias that was unfortunately common for a Westerner circa 1948 is an entirely unfounded accusation. It is especially ironic given that you previously showed no concern over the fact that David Sheen, a Mondoweiss contributor, blatantly mistranslated a Hebrew document in our previous interaction. Are you also aware that Ilan Pappe, one of Mondoweiss’ favorite historians, has [arguably] fabricated a Ben-Gurion quote? If you consider displaying a bias as sufficient grounds to disregard a journalist’s reporting of a quote, then surely Mondoweiss must disregard everything Ilan Pappe has ever said.

        Annie wrote: when forces surround a town threatening the residents and they flee for their lives and are not allowed to return it’s an expulsion. it’s not a separate issue except to those wishing to erase culpability.
        It is a separate issue. The refugees from the Syrian Civil War are rarely described as having been expelled from Syria. They fled a war, just as most Palestinian refugees fled a war (of course, some Palestinian refugees were forcibly expelled). If Syria were to bar some/all of the refugees from returning, that would not change the fact that they fled a war. In any case, I already said that I’m not interested in engaging in an argument over semantics.

        why are you engaging in this denial?
        I’m not sure precisely which statement of mine you regard as Nakba denial, but all of my comments on this subject have been directed at people who viewed Max’s speech, which included the statement, “750,000 Palestinians were forciby expelled from their homes and never allowed to return.”
        Thus, I am assuming my audience is familiar with the fact that Israel barred Palestinian refugees from returning.

        why not open your own comment section on your blog and hold court there
        because my site is not a blog, and there was no option to add a comment section.

        I fail to see the relevance of the omission of a Jewish terorrist attack that killed 4 Arabs on that random wiki page I never cited; that wiki page also fails to mention the 7 Jews killed by Arabs on 11/30/47 following Arab leaders’ rejection of the UN Partition Plan. More to the point, the wiki page also omits any mention of the 1938 Tiberias pogrom, in which 19 Jews were killed.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 29, 2014, 5:58 pm

        to suggest that he would fabricate a quote because he displayed a bias that was unfortunately common for a Westerner circa 1948 is an entirely unfounded accusation.

        i didn’t suggest he would fabricate a quote because he displayed a bias. i suggested he fabricated a quote because he’s a professional hasbrat. and there’s been years of lying and subterfuge around this issue. and then we have orgs like memri who are very well known for their fabrications.

        and this had nothing to do w/tel aviv, it had to do with one can drive from the opulent Jewish citrus groves on the Mediterranean coast

        was he suggesting citrus in palestine, or on the mediterranean, is “jewish”? who drove whom into the sea nurit?

        is a land of extremes…

        opulent Jewish citrus groves ….harsh hills of Samaria and Judea, where Arab peasants till

        not only the geographical range….

        cultural factors that enter into the present struggle between Jews and Arabs.. It is a journey from an urban to a nomad way of life, from Zionist dynamism to Arab fatalism, from modernity to antiquity.

        ‘to suggest that he would to suggest that he would to suggest that he would fabricate …because he displayed a bias’!!!!

        plllease. professional iof spokespeople fabricate as a way of life. and you have the nerve to ask me this?

      • Hostage
        March 29, 2014, 6:04 pm

        Now if I had included the info/quotes below and omitted the other half of the story you supplied above, then you’d have a more reasonable objection to my presentation: . . . “In a violent Arab retort to the United Nations decision on Palestine [the UN Partition Plan], seven Jews were killed by Arab ambushes in Palestine today

        Once again, nothing you offer as evidence serves to rebut the claim that 750,000 Arabs were expelled during the war.

        FYI, if 1.2 million Palestinians had really declared a holy war, then there would have been a hell of a lot more than five dead after a day of fighting. I had a great uncle who worked in the Arab section obtaining agreements on non-aggression from Palestinian villages. All the while, he and his comrades were gathering the intelligence needed to efficiently capture or destroy them.

        The fact is that you are repeating old war propaganda as if it were the gospel truth long after the myths the published material was based upon have been debunked through the publication of declassified archive materials and the testimony of the perpetrators themselves. Many, like General Yitzhak Pundak, have come forward and confessed to their roles in the massive and well organized ethnic cleansing operations. He said We razed Arab villages, so what? If we hadn’t done it, there would be a million more Arabs and there would be no Israel.” That’s not just eyewitness testimony, that’s expert military eyewitness testimony. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/168912#.Uzc-l6ZKauI

        Similarly, declassified public records revealed that the US government dismissed claims that the Arab leadership was to blame for the refugee crisis, and attributed it to the failure of Jewish authorities to fulfill their promise to protect Arabs within their jurisdiction and their refusal to allow Arab non-combatants to return to their homes. In particular, they noted that many Arabs had “fled” as a direct result of Jewish armed “attacks”.

        Arab refugee problem is one which, as you quote PGI [Provisional Government of Israel] as saying, did develop from recent war in Palestine but which also began before outbreak of Arab-Israeli hostilities. A significant portion of Arab refugees fled from their homes owing to Jewish occupation of Haifa on April 21-22 and to Jewish armed attack against Jaffa April 25. You will recall statements made by Jewish authorities in Palestine promising safeguards for Arab minority in areas under Jewish control.

        link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        So the “fled” versus “expelled” line of argumentation you are employing is just mental masturbation.

      • Nurit Baytch
        March 31, 2014, 2:33 am

        Annie asks whether the NYT reporter was “suggesting citrus in palestine, or on the mediterranean, is ‘jewish’?” And the answer is clearly no. He was contrasting the “opulent Jewish citrus groves on the Mediterranean coast” with the “harsh hills of Samaria and Judea” where Arab “peasants” till the land. I emphasized the word opulent b/c you seem to be missing the point he was making, which was that Jewish society was more “developed,” and indeed Jewish farmers utilized more modern agricultural methods than Arab farmers (in general). Here is a quote from a British report that recommended limiting Jewish immigration to Palestine, so hopefully this is sufficiently non-Zionist for you not to regard it as “hasbara”:
        “The cultivation of the orange, introduced by the ‘Arabs before the commencement of Jewish settlement, has developed to a very great extent in consequence of that settlement. There is no doubt that the pitch of perfection to which the technique of plantation and cultivation of the orange and grapefruit have been brought in Palestine is due to the scientific methods of the Jewish agriculturist.”

        I find it odd that you would think that the reporter was implying that citrus in Palestine is “Jewish.” And I find it astonishing that you would think that a NY Times reporter with no apparent history of journalistic misconduct would fabricate a quote. If the Muslim Brotherhood founder had been misquoted in the NYT, I imagine he would’ve tried to set the record straight. If there is evidence this actually happened, I will accept that the quote is disputed, so if you have any actual evidence, please share it.

        I have to wonder why you undertook such an effort to try to dispute a quote reported in the NYT. It’s especially ironic not just b/c you seemed to display no concern over David Sheen’s blatant mistranslation of a Hebrew document (which is akin to fabricating a quote) in our previous interaction, but also b/c the original topic of my comment here was the credibility of Max Blumenthal, who Karen Greenberg has accused of misreporting a statement she made. Despite that she denies making a statement that Max attributed to her, I see that you were quick to defend Max:
        http://mondoweiss.net/2011/12/karen-greenbergs-evasion.html/comment-page-1#comment-400020
        wow.

        Furthermore, as I noted in my rebuttal to Max’s speech, Max cited 2 disputed quotes, one of which is explicitly denied by the individual to whom Max attributed the quote.

    • talknic
      March 27, 2014, 11:16 am

      Nurit Baytch “I notice that Mondoweiss repeats Blumenthal’s assertion that “750,000 Palestinians were expelled [in 1948].” This is a matter of considerable controversy among historians and apparently Mondoweiss takes the Palestinian/Ilan Pappe narrative at face value. “

      There is documented evidence. no need to consult the opinions of historians

      refugees from Israel- controlled territory amount to approximately 711,000 http://pages.citebite.com/q1d2i2f0f4upy

      “One can also see from a 1948 news report in Time magazine that the Palestinian exodus was due in part to orders to leave given by Arab leaders (the original Israeli narrative):” …..“Said Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion” That would be this David Ben-Gurion http://wp.me/pDB7k-l5

      • Nurit Baytch
        March 27, 2014, 2:16 pm

        You have misunderstood my comment. I was not disputing the number of refugees but rather the statement that “750,000 Palestinians were expelled.” I think it is more accurate to say, “~700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled.”

        The part in the Time article about Arab orders to evacuate was not a quote from David Ben-Gurion.

      • talknic
        March 27, 2014, 5:30 pm

        @ Nurit Baytch ” I think it is more accurate to say, “~700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled.”

        If they weren’t allowed to return, they were effectively expelled.

        “The part in the Time article about Arab orders to evacuate was not a quote from David Ben-Gurion”

        Fair enough….. Who was it by?

      • MHughes976
        March 29, 2014, 7:13 pm

        It’s perfectly rational to want to leave one’s home if that home is in a war zone. And the whole idea about a home is that you are free to leave and return without the permission of anyone else. That’s the difference between a home and a prison. Excluding people who wish to return to their home is, for that reason, a moral outrage. If you say ‘it’s not the same as expelling people who were clinging in vain to the lintels of their doors’ you’re right in a way, since the two actions are not identical in all respects. But there’s no great moral difference, none at all worth speaking of. One way of seeing this is that expulsion or removal, if short-lived, is, if taken by itself, nothing like as destructive to the victims as long-term exclusion. It’s the long-term exclusion which is the most horrible thing.
        I share the view that justification and trivialisation of the Nakba is proceeding here quite a lot and I wish we had to endure less of it, good at ignoring most of it as I have become.

    • Woody Tanaka
      March 27, 2014, 11:28 am

      “One can also see from a 1948 news report in Time magazine that the Palestinian exodus was due in part to orders to leave given by Arab leaders (the original Israeli narrative):”

      This is Nakba denial at its ugliest: claiming that the people fleeing for their lives were somehow performing an offensive act against the people who were terrorizing them is probably one of the twisted things one can say about another.

      • seafoid
        March 27, 2014, 12:38 pm

        Even if they fled for their lives they had the right to return home.
        The Bots HAD TO get them out to make Israel fly.
        There was no valid Jewish claim to the land. The Bride was already married.

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 27, 2014, 1:18 pm

        You are correct. I was merely commenting on the nasty habit of pointing to the supposed “instruction from Arab leaders” and the claim that the Palestinians flight was somehow excused or, even worse, was somehow an offensive act, as well as the claim that it negates the Right of Return.

      • Nurit Baytch
        March 27, 2014, 4:53 pm

        Woody Tanaka, I never claimed Palestinian flight was an offensive act, and I made no statements regarding the right of return.

      • Nurit Baytch
        March 27, 2014, 2:02 pm

        I neither stated nor implied that Palestinian flight during the Nakba was an offensive act. I mentioned that the Palestinian exodus was due in part to orders to leave given by Arab leaders after quoting Benny Morris saying that most fled due to the “flail of war,” while some were expelled by Jewish troops. Is quoting Benny Morris considered Nakba denial?

        Here’s what Morris says in the intro of “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited”:
        “For what the new documents reveal is that there were both far more expulsions and atrocities by Israeli troops than tabulated in this book’s first edition and, at the same time, far more orders and advice to various communities by Arab officials and officers to quit their villages or to at least send away their women, old folk and children, substantially fuelling the exodus.”

      • Hostage
        March 27, 2014, 10:17 pm

        “For what the new documents reveal is that there were both far more expulsions and atrocities by Israeli troops than tabulated in this book’s first edition and, at the same time, far more orders and advice to various communities by Arab officials and officers to quit their villages or to at least send away their women, old folk and children, substantially fuelling the exodus.”

        Cite please. In the endnotes for the introduction, Morris still rebuts the theories advanced by Efraim Karsh and others as absurdities and distortions. The handful of examples he cites don’t mention any tubulation and could not support the claim that a substantial number of the 750,000 refugees left because they were following orders from the Arab leadership – and the Israeli refusal to permit any of them to return to their homes amounts to a forceable exclusion and a war crime in any event, i.e. “unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians” http://www.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/Article.xsp?action=openDocument&documentId=73D05A98B6CEB566C12563CD0051E1A0

      • RoHa
        March 28, 2014, 6:14 am

        ” far more orders and advice to various communities by Arab officials and officers to quit their villages or to at least send away their women, old folk and children”

        I would expect responsible officers to make some effort to get non-combatants out of the firing line, so I would not be surprised if some evacuation orders were given, but (as you point out) that in no way excuses the refusal to allow them to return after the fighting was over.

        And it in no way justifies the deliberate ethnic cleansing that the Zionists carried out.

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 28, 2014, 12:16 pm

        “I neither stated nor implied that Palestinian flight during the Nakba was an offensive act. ”

        Yet that is the standard use for this argument: that they were moving out of the way in order to permit the Arabs to drive the Jews into the sea or some such nonsense. If you were not stating or implying this part, then that is to your credit, although the slander is so regularly asserted that it would behoove you to explicitly state that you are not asserting it as such.

        “Is quoting Benny Morris considered Nakba denial?”

        It can be, sure. If it is done with knowledge that there is no actual substantive support for the claim, and if made without an explicit statement that, regardless of the reason for the departure, the past and continuing failure of the Israeli state to permit the Palestinians to return constituted an ethnic cleansing, a crime against humanity and a key act in the Nakba. In those cases than, yes, it can be Nakba denial.

      • Nurit Baytch
        March 29, 2014, 4:41 pm

        Woody Tanaka wrote, “Yet that is the standard use for this argument: that they were moving out of the way in order to permit the Arabs to drive the Jews into the sea or some such nonsense. If you were not stating or implying this part, then that is to your credit…

        You can view my rebuttal of Max’s speech in which I gave the historical context and decide if I was implying that (that was not my intention). However, after another Mondoweiss commenter gave a one-sided account of the 1947-1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine and the ensuing Arab-Israeli War, I did post a reply that included a quote from the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood about driving the Jews into the sea.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 29, 2014, 6:11 pm

        I did post a reply that included a quote from the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood

        an alleged quote from a professional hasbrat. http://mondoweiss.net/2014/03/student-government-divestment.html/comment-page-1#comment-653319

        who drove whom into the sea nurit? can you say it, who drove palestinians into the sea?

    • Annie Robbins
      March 27, 2014, 11:46 am

      most of the ~700,000 Palestinian refugees “fled their homes because of the flail of war

      nurit, generally, we don’t debate the nakba here. you might want to review our comment policy, specifically #2: http://mondoweiss.net/policy

      nakba and holocaust denial are both banning offenses. that’s a warning. if you want to debate the nakba go to another site.

      • Nurit Baytch
        March 27, 2014, 1:43 pm

        Annie, I cited Benny Morris and a Time magazine report from 1948. How is that denying the Nakba?

        If one wants to accurately describe the 1948 Palestinian exodus in one sentence, I would say, “~700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled.” That was my only point.

      • Hostage
        March 27, 2014, 10:28 pm

        Annie, I cited Benny Morris and a Time magazine report from 1948. How is that denying the Nakba?

        Holocaust denial and Nakba denial are very similar. Under the EU Framework on Racism and Xenophobia, it is considered a hate crime to publicly condone trivialize, or deny a war crime or crime against humanity, like forced population transfers and refusal to repatriate civilians, mentioned in either the Rome Statute of the ICC or the Charter of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal when it is directed towards members of an identifiable ethnic group. Your rebuttal tries to justify a war crime involving undue delays in repatriating civilians and trivializes the forced expulsion of hundreds of thousands of refugees.

      • Nurit Baytch
        March 27, 2014, 10:46 pm

        I quoted Benny Morris and a Time magazine article from 1948 that reported that Palestinians fled Haifa partly due to orders of Arab leaders, and now you’re claiming that I’m justifying a war crime and committing a hate crime under EU law?

        fyi, the UPenn Journal of International Law published an article that concluded that “the claimed Palestinian “right of return” for refugees from the 1947–49 conflict has no substantial legal basis.”
        https://www.law.upenn.edu/live/files/1949-kent34upajintll1492012pdf

        Perhaps you can look into having the UPenn Journal of International Law and the law professor who wrote that article indicted for a hate crime.

      • American
        March 28, 2014, 9:56 am

        Nurit Baytch says:

        March 27, 2014 at 1:43 pm

        Annie, I cited Benny Morris and a Time magazine report from 1948. How is that denying the Nakba?

        If one wants to accurately describe the 1948 Palestinian exodus in one sentence, I would say, “~700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled.” That was my only point>>>>>>

        No it wasn’t, you’re trying to deflect the blame away from the Zionist.
        Shall we blame the Zionist for the Jews that ‘fled’ Germany?—they encouraged the Jews there to flee to Palestine–was the same thing.
        Doesn’t lessen Nazi guilt.

      • Daniel Rich
        March 27, 2014, 3:52 pm

        @ Annie Robbins,

        Q: nakba and holocaust denial are both banning offenses.

        R: Freedom of speech allows anyone to deny anything they want. Facts do not need censorship or laws to be true.

      • Hostage
        March 28, 2014, 4:29 pm

        I quoted Benny Morris and a Time magazine article from 1948 that reported that Palestinians fled Haifa partly due to orders of Arab leaders, and now you’re claiming that I’m justifying a war crime and committing a hate crime under EU law?

        Yes, you are deploying shopworn information that was Zionist propaganda when it was published in the first place. The Arab leaders who advised that non-combatants should be evacuated were not living in a vacuum. The Zionist had made radio broadcasts and used loud speaker trucks to spread propaganda which claimed the Jewish militias would massacre those who didn’t flee just like they had at Dier Yassin. The British High Commissioner, General Sir Alan Cunningham, noted that the Arabs of the large towns, had borne the brunt of the Jewish offensives, which were recently acknowledged by a 100 year old Israeli General who participated in the ethnic cleansing campaign. By late April Cunningham reported that Jewish attacks

        “had led to a crisis with ominous and intolerable implications for the British: Recent Jewish military successes (if indeed operations based on the mortaring of terrified women and children can be classed as such) have aroused extravagant reactions in the Jewish press. . . .Jewish broadcasts, both in content and in manner of delivery, are remarkably like those of Nazi Germany. . . . on the roads Hagana armoured trucks are increasingly impudent and intrusive.”

        See Theory and practice in the history of European expansion overseas, By Robinson, et.al, Routledge, 1988, ISBN 0714633461, page 142 link to books.google.com

        The neighboring Arab States and Count Bernadotte used the occasion of the the XVIIth ICRC Diplomatic Conference in August and September of 1948 to appeal for emergency international assistance to help feed and shelter the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees that had overwhelmed the Arab relief agencies in the neighboring states and to codify the requirement that displaced civilians had to be repatriated. The representative of Israel was trying to sell the idea, even back then, that people who fled or were driven off should not be allowed to return.

        The Israeli government was already refusing to permit the unarmed persons, including the elderly, women, and children to return to their homes and the US government documented the fact that Israel’s security concerns were completely bogus:

        A very large percentage of these refugees consists of children, women and aged who under no stretch of the imagination could be regarded as a security threat, against Israel. As set forth in the memo to the President, the condition of the Arab refugees is appalling. They exist in terms of utmost destitution and if adequate relief is not forthcoming or they are not returned to their homes a large proportion will die before the end of-winter.

        — Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa, page 1332 http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?type=turn&id=FRUS.FRUS1948v05p2&entity=FRUS.FRUS1948v05p2.p0824&isize=M&q1=Arab%20refugees&q2=return&q3=Palestine

        The ICRC Conference was deliberating the draft Geneva Conventions of 1949. Much to the chagrin of the Zionists, the situation helped cement support for the requirement for an occupying power to provide formal protections under the Conventions long after the armed conflicted ended, until the prisoners and refugees were repatriated and resettled.
        The Observer from Israel, Dr. Katznelson, said:

        I wish only to make a few remarks. It is estimated by the United Nations’ experts that some 300,000 Arabs left their places of residence in Palestine but it must be absolutely clear that none of them has been deported or has been requested to leave his place of residence. As a matter of fact, all those who remained, for example, in Nazareth, which I visited before I left and which is now occupied by the forces of my Government, 40,000 Arabs remained in their places of residence and continue to live peacefully and normally. It is a great disaster that many thousands left without any reason and without being in any danger, even before the British left Palestine. (pdf file page 61).

        link to loc.gov
        The Arab ambassadors stressed the fact that the refugees had been displaced by the armed conflict. The Representative of Syria Dr. Kadry replied:

        I feel in duty bound to concur in the resolution which has been formulated, but I should like to point out that the representative of the Jewish Red Cross has taken advantage of the opportunity which has been offered him to bring into the discussion political questions which are outside the province of our Conference. I could reply to everything he said with regard to the refugees. I will not do so, for everyone knows that these refugees were forced to leave their homes and that those who refused to do so were killed. However, I will bow to the request of the Conference and will not prolong the discussion. (pdf file page 62)

        The fact is that Morris doesn’t cite any communications which asked Palestinians to evacuate persons to neighboring states. He is citing communications from Arab leaders advising that the elderly, women, and children should be evacuated to spare them from being killed in local skirmishes. There is a copy of Plan Dalet at the Jewish Virtual Library which does call for unprovoked attacks against Arab villages, and for the deportation “beyond the borders of the Hebrew State” of any Arab inhabitants who attempt to defended themselves. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Plan_Dalet.html

        You are trying to deny or trivialize the enormity of those war crimes and pretend that Israel didn’t use propaganda, martial law, and emergency regulations to persecute the displaced persons and prevent them from returning to their homes in violation of customary international law. That form of illegal persecution affected many more people than the 750,000 who were initially registered as refugees by the UN.

      • Nurit Baytch
        March 28, 2014, 9:52 pm

        Hostage, you now acknowledge that Arab leaders “advised that non-combatants should be evacuated,” but you add that “they were not living in a vacuum. The Zionist had made radio broadcasts and used loud speaker trucks to spread propaganda which claimed the Jewish militias would massacre those who didn’t flee just like they had at Dier Yassin.” Fair enough, I can’t argue with that. As I remarked in my comment above, I provided the general context by describing these orders as having been given in the context of a war.

        You then move the goalposts and claim that “Morris doesn’t cite any communications which asked Palestinians to evacuate persons to neighboring states.” I never contended that Arab leaders issued orders to evacuate to neighboring states; obviously, large numbers of refugees fled to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. I’ve only read excerpts of Morris’ book, but I may have found an example of orders to evacuate to Jordan (in addition to numerous orders to evacuate to the West Bank):
        “On 24 April, the ALA ordered the inhabitants of Fureidis, south of Haifa, to evacuate their women and children, ‘and make ready to evacuate [the village] completely’.63 A few kilometres to the north, the women and children of Tira were evacuated with the help of the Arab Legion to Neuherrdorf, near Haifa, and later to Jordan.”

        I also find it odd that you cited the Syrian ambassador’s claim that the “refugees were forced to leave their homes and that those who refused to do so were killed.” How is this not propaganda? I’m not citing the public statements of Israeli government officials to buttress my argument.

        Regarding your claim that Israel is in violation of international law…according to an article published in the UPenn Journal of International Law, “international law did not provide a right of return”:
        https://www.law.upenn.edu/live/files/1949-kent34upajintll1492012pdf

      • Hostage
        March 29, 2014, 7:34 pm

        You then move the goalposts and claim . . .

        I’m not moving the goal posts dummy. I’m pointing out that nothing you are citing in the Morris book actually contradicts or rebuts what Max said regarding the expulsion of 750,000 refugees. I’ve even pointed out the fact that contemporary State Department sources mentioned the fact that a significant number of refugees “fled” as a direct result of Jewish armed “attacks”. So there is no categorical dichotomy based upon a published source’s use of the terms “expel” versus “fled” as you are trying to suggest.

        The fact that Morris found some communications from Arab leaders saying it would be a good idea to get the hell out of Dodge, doesn’t alter the fact that they were warning others about the imminent danger posed by the Jewish militias and were not suggesting that anyone emigrate from Palestine. You haven’t presented a shred of evidence that those people are part of the number that Max is discussing in any event.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 29, 2014, 9:35 pm

        you add that “they were not living in a vacuum. The Zionist had made radio broadcasts and used loud speaker trucks to spread propaganda which claimed the Jewish militias would massacre those who didn’t flee just like they had at Dier Yassin.” ………I provided the general context by describing these orders as having been given in the context of a war.

        you mean the orders Jewish militias would massacre those who didn’t flee just like they had at Dier Yassin? is that the general context by describing these orders as having been given in the context of a war.

        because it sounds more like a war crime to me.

        Daniel Rich Freedom of speech allows anyone to deny anything they want. Facts do not need censorship or laws to be true.

        then go hang out on a blog with freedom of speech. we have rules here. although obviously different mods have different views about what’s worthy of discussion. frankly, i don’t like entertaining the nakba excusing discourse someone is clearing on this thread.

        albeit there is the entertainment value of reading hostage tear her arguments onto shreads. i don’t really need to provide a platform for the lying propaganda that flooded the mainstream for decades.

    • talknic
      March 27, 2014, 12:53 pm

      Nurit Baytch “I notice that Mondoweiss repeats Blumenthal’s assertion that “750,000 Palestinians were expelled [in 1948].” This is a matter of considerable controversy among historians.. etc etc”

      Entirely irrelevant to the right of return because:
      A) Civilians have the right to flee the violence of war, no matter who tells them or why, because they are civilians. They also have a right of return, because they are civilians and;
      B) They didn’t fight the war. They fled the war.

    • Hostage
      March 27, 2014, 5:06 pm

      I notice that Mondoweiss repeats Blumenthal’s assertion that “750,000 Palestinians were expelled [in 1948].” This is a matter of considerable controversy among historians, and apparently Mondoweiss takes the Palestinian/Ilan Pappe narrative at face value.

      No, you seem to be ignorant of the fact that the Israeli criminals who were responsible for planning and executing the ethnic cleansing of Palestine have openly bragged about it and have even been rewarded by the right wing government:
      * 100-Year-Old General: We Razed Arab Villages, So What?
      Brig. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Pundak: If we hadn’t done it, there would be a million more Arabs and there would be no Israel.
      http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/168912
      * 100-Year-Old Becomes Israeli Major-General
      100-year-old finally gets rank of “Major General” that he earned 60 years ago.
      Nearly 60 years later, Pundak sat flanked by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and finally received the long-awaited rank. He was the first person in Israeli history to be raised to the rank of Major-General after retirement. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/171126
      * Yerachmiel Kahanovich, Palmach soldier http://zochrot.org/en/testimony/yerachmiel-kahanovich-palmach-soldier
      * Towards a Common Archive
      https://www.youtube.com/user/towardcommonarchive?feature=watch

      FYI, a person is considered to be a “refugee” when, for any reason, they are outside their country of origin or nationality and have a well grounded fear of persecution in the event of their return (refoulment) or are denied repatriation by the entity or government that exercises effective control of the territory. Vaad Leumi and the government of Israel did both. They denied the Arabs permission to return and persecuted all of the Arab citizens of Palestine under an inhuman regime of martial law and the emergency regulations for more than two decades in order to keep them exiled in neighboring states or internally displaced so that they could expropriate their land and property and convert it for the exclusive use of persons of Jewish descent. That persecution affected all of them, i.e. 1.2 million, not just the 750,000 that were eventually registered with the UNRWA and its predecessor.

      You aren’t honestly dealing with the question, since Israel’s position, policies, and practices have always violated the norms of customary international law reflected in the Nuremberg principles, the Geneva Conventions, and the applicable UN resolutions:

      ‘One of the most important problems which must be cleared up before a lasting peace can be established in Palestine is the question of the disposition of the more than 700,000 Arab refugees who during the Palestine conflict fled from their homes in what is now Israeli occupied territory and are at present living as refugees in Arab Palestine and the neighboring Arab states. The December 11, 1948, resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on Palestine resolved that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date. The Israelis have consistently maintained that the solution of the Arab refugee problem lies not in repatriation but in resettlement in the Arab states. Representatives of the Arab states, on the other hand, have insisted that ‘a prerequisite to a final peace in Palestine is the acceptance by Israel of the principle of the repatriation of those Arab refugees who desire to return to their homes.

      — Memorandum by the Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs (Satterthwzaite) to the Secretary of State, May 4, 1949, Foreign relations of the United States, 1949. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa, page 973: http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?type=goto&id=FRUS.FRUS1949v06&isize=M&submit=Go+to+page&page=973

      • Nurit Baytch
        March 27, 2014, 5:15 pm

        As I said above: If one wants to accurately describe the 1948 Palestinian exodus in one sentence, I would say, “~700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled.” That was my only point, and I never mentioned anything about right of return.

        Also, I quoted Benny Morris regarding expulsions and atrocities perpetrated by Israeli troops, so I am not trying to whitewash the Nakba.

      • puppies
        March 27, 2014, 9:42 pm

        @Byatch – We heard you the first time around. Go peddle it to Abe Foxman.

      • Hostage
        March 27, 2014, 11:36 pm

        Also, I quoted Benny Morris regarding expulsions and atrocities perpetrated by Israeli troops, so I am not trying to whitewash the Nakba.

        I hope you are kidding. Benny Morris has publicly condoned and trivialized the Nakba, in what amounts to hate speech in many jurisdictions. He has expressed remorse that any Palestinians at all were allowed to remain in their own country. Those sort of remarks incite hatred against members of the group and encourage others to condone or trivialize war crimes and crimes against humanity on the bases of his racist “Realpolitik” views.

  17. Citizen
    March 27, 2014, 8:41 am

    MJ Rosenberg came out this morning with an article about U Mich; he says while BDS is really nothing to be scared about because it will never get enough followers because BDS’s agenda is to extinguish the state of Israel, and he points to the fact BDS statement of agenda never mentions the 1967 occupation when it declares said agenda
    He’s careful not to use the adjective “Jewish” when describing the state at issue. http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=855aabd7ccd7a77e987004677&id=c6ea945d23&e=4c25168940.

    • American
      March 27, 2014, 9:15 am

      @ Citizen

      The more BDS picks up steam the more mj keeps revealing his true colors…..paranoid Jewish supremist.
      All rights of return for Jews to their mythical kingdom——no rights of return for others.
      Jews deserve the worlds most special and unique rights—other people, not so much. If you don’t agree with the most exceptional rights status you’re trying to destroy the Jews and Israel.
      What a mind!
      He deserves all the disrespect he gets.

      • CloakAndDagger
        March 27, 2014, 12:22 pm

        @American

        I lost all respect for MJ when on the occasions he commented here, he started to cast aspersions about how some posters were antisemites. When challenged to produce links to antisemitic posts, he quietly slunk away without a response.

        He is an opportunist.

      • ritzl
        March 27, 2014, 1:03 pm

        @C&D- Courageous in some ways, opportunist in others, but whenever I read his stuff I keep getting this mental image of a Picasso painting.

      • seafoid
        March 27, 2014, 1:47 pm

        “He deserves all the disrespect he gets.”

        It would appear so

        “If the BDS goals were achieved, there would be no State of Israel at all.”

        The bots built their settlements as faits accomplis. Ie once they went up they were forever.
        The only way to go back to 67 is to destroy Israel.
        Maybe then they’ll cop on.

    • seafoid
      March 27, 2014, 12:32 pm

      It’s a pretty poor article

      MJ and Beinart are in the same boat. They know that YESHA is wrong but they want to retain Jewish privilege

      ” Israel is not going to dismantle itself and Jews will not be the first people in the world to relinquish the right to self-determination.
      The South African apartheid analogy, repeatedly cited in the BDS document, does not apply. It was the South African apartheid regime that was abolished, not the country known as the Republic of South Africa. If the BDS goals were achieved, there would be no State of Israel at all. That is why so many proponents of BDS have such a hard time even referring to Israel as a country. It’s often the “Zionist entity” or the “occupying regime.”
      But, in fact, it’s Israel, an actual country, connected by history to the place where it was established, speaking the ancient language but having created a new culture that is as legitimate as that of the Palestinians or any other people.”

      Israeli culture may be legitimate (whatever that means) but what the Israeli machines of State do is not .

      And Israelis have no right to determine the Palestinian future. Jewish self determination is at risk. They f#cked it up anyway.

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 27, 2014, 1:17 pm

        “The South African apartheid analogy, repeatedly cited in the BDS document, does not apply. It was the South African apartheid regime that was abolished, not the country known as the Republic of South Africa. If the BDS goals were achieved, there would be no State of Israel at all. That is why so many proponents of BDS have such a hard time even referring to Israel as a country.”

        This is such a stupid argument. First, the Afrikaners who implimented Apartheid did so in an already existing Republic. In Palestine/Israel, the Zionists had no pre-existing state for their Apartheid, so they created one. That is a distinction without a different.

        Second, the “country” is South Africa. The State is the Republic of South Africa. The end of Apartheid involved so many legal changes to the State of the Republic of South Africa, but it did not abolish the country of South Africa.

        If BDS achieves its goals, the country (whether called Israel, Palestine or both) will not change (as the country of South Africa did not change). What would change is the legal underpinnings of Apartheid, as was the case with the law in teh State of the Republic of South Africa. So will the State of Israel need to change? Yes. That is where the bigotry and Aparthied lies.

      • Hostage
        March 27, 2014, 10:43 pm

        The South African apartheid analogy, repeatedly cited in the BDS document, does not apply. It was the South African apartheid regime that was abolished, not the country known as the Republic of South Africa.

        LOL! That’s an argument based upon semantics. The term “reconstituted” can have diametrically opposed interpretations: 1) to return an entity to a former state; or 2) to form an entity again in a different way.

        The replacement of the Articles of Confederation by the US Constitution was merely regime change too. Nonetheless, George Washington is considered the “first” President of the United States by most reliable sources, despite the fact that eight other men were appointed to serve one year terms as President under the Articles of Confederation before he ever took office. In November 1781, John Hanson became “the first President of the United States in Congress Assembled, under the Articles of Confederation.” https://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-articles-of-confederation/john-hanson-story/

        Likewise, the Republic of South Africa was completely reconstituted.

    • Daniel Rich
      March 27, 2014, 4:09 pm

      @ Citizen,

      My mom taught me to respect nature. So, when a skunk sprays its horrendous stink in my face, I should appreciate its ability to scare the living daylights out of grizzlies…, and me.

      MJ Rosenberg’s failure to come to the rescue of the surviving USS Liberty sailors is fully self-explanatory and doesn’t need a halo of glorifying words to understand the shallowness of his ‘Anti-AIPAC’ rhetoric.

      But, in the spirit of everything that is just, his voice should never be muffled or silenced.

    • Sibiriak
      March 28, 2014, 1:52 am

      Citizen

      [MJ Rosenberg] points to the fact BDS statement of agenda never mentions the 1967 occupation when it declares said agenda.

      But see BDS goals: http://www.bdsmovement.net/bdsintro

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

      2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

      3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

      http://www.bdsmovement.net/bdsintro

      • puppies
        March 30, 2014, 9:25 am

        That “in 1967” is said to have been added later by management, without consultation. Protesters have been vilified, “excommunicated”. Look it up. Sounds very plausible.
        Essentially, a movement to organize a boycott does not need a central management or stated final goals. Different actions can be performed by different ad hoc coalitions. All that counts is the fact of fighting some aspect of Zionism. This is just a tool for the moment. Stating long-term aims that are so divisive is not going to help.

  18. eljay
    March 27, 2014, 9:03 am

    >> MJ Rosenberg came out this morning with an article about U Mich …

    In typical Zio-supremacist fashion, Mr. Rosenberg conflates the end of Israel as an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” with the end of Israel as a state. To him, Jewish supremacism remains more important than justice, accountability and equality.

  19. eljay
    March 27, 2014, 12:11 pm

    >> To him, Jewish supremacism remains more important than justice, accountability and equality.

    Correction: He makes it seem as though Jewish supremacism remains more important to him than justice, accountability and equality.

  20. ckg
    March 28, 2014, 12:03 am

    A powerful and well-written editorial in the student Michigan Daily: http://www.michigandaily.com/opinion/03daily-divestment27

  21. david sp
    March 28, 2014, 7:54 am

    I think the moslem israeli conflict has already gone on way too long. Its true that no land occupied by moslems can ever be given up. And as you know, that is why people have kept the keys to their old houses in spain, the ones the invaders lived in before being kicked out in 1492. But people have to somehow rise above these things. The same goes for the judea and samaria issue. As they say, posesssion is 90% of the law. Look at the crimea. Nobody does a thing. Not even the sainted UN human rights comission. Tibet, cyprus, georgia – other places come to mind. The jew haters here are mostly communists, for some reason this has been an issue since the beginning, Karl Marx was a notorious anti semite. Stalin before he died was preparing the doctors trial. Look, we will always have evil and it will always have to be challenged.

    • Hostage
      March 29, 2014, 7:59 pm

      As they say, posesssion is 90% of the law. Look at the crimea. Nobody does a thing.

      In fact, the international community rapidly adopted sanctions against Russia and the leaders of its Parliament and its military. We are still waiting on something like that in the case of Israel’s annexations of Jerusalem and the Golan. I doubt that you can cite a single example in the current Crimean crisis where the proposed change in sovereignty has been used to expropriate a single dunam of private property belonging to one of the non-Russian ethnic groups. In short, so far, the two situations are hardly comparable at all.

  22. yonah fredman
    March 29, 2014, 5:17 am

    Max is a powerful speaker and he cites a law which is one of the worst on the books in Israel, that which prohibits the marriage of Israeli Arabs to Palestinian (w. bank) Arabs, insofar as the W Bank Arabs are not allowed to move to Israel after that marriage. It is a very bad law and was designed (as Max indicated) for purposes of controlling the demography.

    “I haven’t been this nervous since my bar mitzvah.” (Aside from the aspect of comedy, which this is not, who laughed at that?) I wonder if Max ever cited his Jewishness under any circumstances, until he discovered the Palestine issue. I suspect he did not. As such, Jewishness that is removed from a hidden place to be flashed merely as license to criticize Israel, is actually kind of disgusting. (Certainly infuriating, but maybe also disgusting.) Maybe Max is in reality a serious student of Judaism and he only covers up this fact with his shtick. But he gives the impression of someone who has no use for his Jewishness, but now that he has found this issue, he has some use for his Jewishness to toss into the face of the Zionists.

    Israel is not on a good path. It is not heading in the direction of a two state solution and it is getting worse given the political trends in the Jewish public in Israel. This is the real problem rather than Max. But Max’s shtick: flashing his Jew badge that he never (probably) has use for except to goad Zionism, marks him as a scumbag.

    • RoHa
      March 29, 2014, 7:03 am

      I don’t know what other circumstances Max should cite his Jewishness in, or why it is bad that he only uses it for criticism of Zionism, but leave that aside.

      You are condemning him on an impression alone. If you have nothing more substantial than that, perhaps you should stick to “innocent until proved guilty”.

    • talknic
      March 29, 2014, 7:33 am

      @ yonah fredman

      “I wonder if Max ever cited his Jewishness under any circumstances, until he discovered the Palestine issue. I suspect he did not.”

      = you suspect, but don’t actually know. I.e., you’re speculating

      ” As such, Jewishness that is removed from a hidden place to be flashed merely as license to criticize Israel, is actually kind of disgusting.”

      Uh huh. “As such” is only speculation. As such, it’s not supported by any evidence on which to base any accusations

      “.. he gives the impression of someone who has no use for his Jewishness, but now that he has found this issue, he has some use for his Jewishness to toss into the face of the Zionists”

      Building a case based on your own speculative suspicions is cute

      “Israel is not on a good path. It is not heading in the direction of a two state solution and it is getting worse given the political trends in the Jewish public in Israel. This is the real problem rather than Max. “

      Indeed.

      ” But Max’s shtick: flashing his Jew badge that he never (probably) has use for except to goad Zionism, marks him as a scumbag”

      He’s a “scumbag”. WOW! You really nailed the case shut there! Problem is, the case contains only self admitted speculation, which probably marks you as the scumbag pal

    • Woody Tanaka
      March 29, 2014, 8:01 am

      Wow, how completely narcissistic, yonah. “I’m a Jew and Max is a Jew,” you’re saying, “but he disagrees with me, therefore there must be something worong with him.

    • Bumblebye
      March 29, 2014, 8:44 am

      ” flashing his Jew badge”

      Says the man who flashes his Jewish credentials to cast accusations of anti-semitism at numerous MW commenters!

    • Donald
      March 29, 2014, 9:00 am

      “But Max’s shtick: flashing his Jew badge that he never (probably) has use for except to goad Zionism, marks him as a scumbag.”

      Even if you were right about Max’s relationship with his Jewishness, I think “scumbag” is totally out of line here. People reference their own ethnic or religious identities like this all the time when the subject has something to do with their identity. I’ve flashed my own background as a white Southerner when using the Jim Crow analogy. When criticizing Christian Zionism I often mention that when young I was one myself. It’s meant to signal that I know something about the subject from the inside. On the subject of Israel, if someone is Jewish, they usually bring it up themselves, no matter which side of the issue they’re on, or at least that’s my impression. The Jewish critics of Israel bring it up in part as a shield against the inevitable anti-semitism charge (though in that case they’re usually accused of self-hatred or in this case of being a scumbag).

    • eljay
      March 29, 2014, 9:08 am

      >> Maybe Max is in reality a serious student of Judaism and he only covers up this fact with his shtick. But he gives the impression of someone who has no use for his Jewishness, but now that he has found this issue, he has some use for his Jewishness to toss into the face of the Zionists.

      What about Zio-supremacists? Are they “serious students of Judaism”? Did / does Judaism teach them that it’s acceptable:
      – to covet territory;
      – to engage in terrorism, ethnic cleansing, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder;
      – to avoid accountability for ones actions and to shirk one’s obligations; and
      – to denounce as anti-Semites those who disagree with Zio-supremacists and their policies?

      Or do Zio-supremacists just use their Jewishness as schtick, to toss into the face of the people whose lives they have been destroying for over 60 years?

    • American
      March 29, 2014, 9:15 am

      ”This is the real problem rather than Max. But Max’s shtick: flashing his Jew badge that he never (probably) has use for except to goad Zionism, marks him as a scumbag.” …yonah

      We took a vote on Ideal Jewishness, Max’s Jewishness won, your brand of Jewishness lost.
      Don’t be a sore loser.

    • seanmcbride
      March 29, 2014, 1:02 pm

      yonah fredman wrote:

      But he [Max Blumenthal] gives the impression of someone who has no use for his Jewishness, but now that he has found this issue, he has some use for his Jewishness to toss into the face of the Zionists.

      What in your mind are the most important defining features of “Jewishness”?

      What about intellectual seriousness and honesty and speaking truth to power? Are they on the list?

      Was Albert Einstein’s “Jewishness” inferior or inadequate compared to your own?

    • seanmcbride
      March 29, 2014, 1:41 pm

      yonah fredman,

      Re: “scumbag” — why do so many pro-Israel activists rely on verbal abuse to try to make their arguments? The comments on Israeli and pro-Israel publications are overflowing with this kind of language.

    • yonah fredman
      March 30, 2014, 3:46 am

      When Max flashes his ethnic credentials is it merely infuriating or is it in fact disgusting? I’m not sure. I was trying to be honest to the fullness of my personality. I think the reaction that Max evokes is interesting and since he has a solid future as a primary anti Zionist Jewish spokesman (partially due to the timidity of Finkelstein and Chomsky on the BDS issue), people who are fans of max and his philosophy should be aware that Max as the American Jewish antiZionist poster child does not have a “can’t we all just get along” effect on those who disagree with you and him.

      • LeaNder
        March 30, 2014, 8:57 am

        yonah, you basically rely on a standard meme here: power needs compliance/consent/agreement. Don’t you? And maybe some more hidden theme.

        Now if I may take a step back: How does this compliance to, I guess in this case: Jewish interest, relate to three Jews, five opinions?

        Your irritation, since you seem to occasionally accuse someone of antisemitism, just as you use rather strong terms. Yes, it is claimed and there is some evidence for it, that some Jews turned into the most ardent antisemites. The term self-hating Jews may fit some of these, but there seems to be also ample evidence that it was (and again is) used much too widely. I could list some in both categories. Thus some “Jews” may well be targeted as such simply for not consenting to whatever is considered mainstream “Jewish interest”. And strictly if I enter Mondoweiss in Google I am offered immediately “Mondoweiss antisemite”.

        What about Phil and Max and a host of others here defining what it means to be accidentally born or brought up Jewish to look at the world purely via the lens of “Jewish interests” only. Much less, if this Jewish interest is based purely on the dispossession of others?

Leave a Reply