Israel’s race to economic (and moral) bankruptcy

Israel/Palestine
on 77 Comments

Two recent reports suggest that Israel could face catastrophic consequences if it fails to end the mistreatment of Palestinians under its rule, whether in the occupied territories or in Israel itself.

The Rand Corporation’s research shows that Israel could lose $250 billion over the next decade if it fails to make peace with the Palestinians and violence escalates. Ending the occupation, on the other hand, could bring a dividend of more than $120 billion to the nation’s coffers.

Meanwhile, the Israeli finance ministry predicts an even more dismal future unless Israel reinvents itself. It is likely to be bankrupt within a few decades, the finance ministry report says, because of the rapid growth of two groups who are not productive.

By 2059, half the population will be either ultra-Orthodox Jews, who prefer prayer to work, or members of Israel’s Palestinian minority, most of whom are failed by their separate education system and then excluded from much of the economy.

Both reports should be generating a tidal wave of concern in Israel but have caused barely a ripple. The status quo – of occupation and endemic racism – still seems preferable to most Israelis.

The explanation requires a much deeper analysis than either the Rand Corporation or Israel’s finance ministry appears capable of.

The finance ministry report points out that with a growing population not properly prepared for a modern, global economy, the tax burden is falling increasingly heavily on a shrinking middle class.

The fear is that this will rapidly create a vicious cycle. Wealthier Israelis tend to have second passports. Overwhelmed by the need to make up the revenue shortfall, they will leave, plunging Israel into irreversible debt.

Despite this doomsday scenario, Israel seems far from ready to undertake the urgent restructuring needed to salvage its economy. Zionism, Israel’s official ideology, is predicated on core principles of ethnic separation, Judaisation of territory and Hebrew labour. It has always depended on the marginalisation at best, exclusion at worst, of non-Jews.

Any effort to dismantle the scaffolding of a Jewish state would create a political crisis. Reforms may happen, but they are likely to take place too slowly and incrementally to make much difference.

The Rand report also raises the alarm. It notes that both peoples would benefit from peace, though the incentive is stronger for Palestinians. Integration into the Middle East would see average wages rise by only 5 per cent for Israelis, compared to 36 per cent for Palestinians.

But, while its economists may have found it easy to quantify the benefits of ending the occupation, it is much harder to assess the costs in shekels and dollars.

Over the past six decades, an economic elite has emerged in Israel whose prestige, power and wealth depends on the occupation. Career military officers earn large salaries and retire in their early forties on generous pensions. Nowadays many of these officers live in the settlements.

The army top brass are the ultimate pressure group and will not release their grip on the occupied territories without a fight, one they are well placed to win.

Backing them will be those in the hi-tech sector who have become the engine of the Israeli economy. Many are former soldiers who realised the occupied territories were the ideal laboratory for developing and testing military hardware and software.

Israel’s excellence in weaponry, surveillance systems, containment strategies, biometric data collection, crowd control, and psychological warfare are all marketable. Israeli know-how has become indispensible to the global appetite for “homeland security”.

That expertise was on show this month at a Tel Aviv armaments expo that attracted thousands of security officials from around the world, drawn by the selling point that the systems on offer were “combat proven”.

To end the occupation would be to sacrifice all this and revert to the status of a tiny anonymous state with no resources or notable exports.

And finally the settlers are among the most ideologically committed and entitled sector of Israel’s population. Were they moved out, they would bring their group cohesion and profound resentments back into Israel.

No Israeli leader wants to unleash a civil war that could rip apart the already-fragile sense of unity among the Jewish population.

The reality is that most Israelis’ perception of their national interests, both as a Jewish state and as military superpower, are intimately tied to a permanent occupation and the exclusion of Israel’s Palestinian minority from true citizenship.

If there is a conclusion to be drawn from these two reports it may be a pessimistic one.

Israel’s internal economy is likely to grow gradually weaker, as the ultra-Orthodox and Palestinian labour forces are under-utilised. As a result, the focus of Israel’s economic interests and activity is likely to shift even more towards the occupied territories.

Far from Israelis rethinking their oppressive policies towards the Palestinians, the ideological blinkers imposed by Zionism could push them to pursue the benefits of the occupation even more aggressively.

If the watching world really wants peace, economic wishful thinking will not suffice. It is past the time simply for carrots. Sticks are needed too.

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

About Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His new website is jonathan-cook.net.

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77 Responses

  1. Eva Smagacz
    June 16, 2015, 11:01 am

    BDS will speed this process, the imported service providers ( who are not allowed to interbreed with locals) will slow this down.
    The middle class is already hollowing out, the rate of geniuses and Nobel price production spluttering to a standstill with Russia and Western educated intellectuals retireing.
    The 30 odd “families” that own most of Israel industries and real estate all have several passports each, I expect.
    One day, Dimona will rust through, and USA will stop spare parts for sophisticated weapons.

    Not sure if it all come to pass before or after massacre of Palestinians.

    • tod77
      June 17, 2015, 7:14 am

      Eva – you state yourself – “Not sure if it all come to pass before or after massacre of Palestinians.”
      See my comment below for my complete view on this – even if BDS could theoretically bring about the financial decline of Israel – how does this help the Palestinian cause?

  2. Kay24
    June 16, 2015, 11:32 am

    Common sense tells us that morally, financially, and for their very own existence, it is far better to end their evil ways, end the occupation, land thefts, and all the crimes the international community condemns them for, and live a more peaceful life. However they seem too dumb to realize this. They prefer to keep the status quo, play victim, make enemies, seeing dangers every where, and waging wars.

    Some human beings learn the hard way.

  3. Mooser
    June 16, 2015, 12:17 pm

    “No Israeli leader wants to unleash a civil war that could rip apart the already-fragile sense of unity among the Jewish population.”

    “Fragile sense of unity among the Jewish population”? “Fragile”? Mr. Cook misunderestimates the quality of this “unity”. It is far from being “fragile”, it is tribal.

  4. HarryLaw
    June 16, 2015, 1:16 pm

    The EU/US are already paying for the occupation in aid and infrastructure projects, if Israel was required to service the occupation as any occupier is normally required to do, they may have a different attitude. Maybe the Israelis think that the US whose Afghan and Iraq wars projected costs amount to 7 trillion dollars [Linda Bilmes, Kennedy Law School] will step in and keep them in the style to which they are accustomed, and it must be said, to which they think they are entitled.

    • Kay24
      June 16, 2015, 2:38 pm

      I have said this often. The US is the rich sugar daddy, and Israeli the spoilt Diva (mistress) who is high maintenance and costing us too much. Time to dump the witch. :))

  5. benedict
    June 16, 2015, 2:46 pm

    It is quite obvious that Cook didn’t read the Israeli study. The study, by economist Asaf Geva, predicts that based on current demographic trends (aging of population, growth of hareidi & arab sectors), by the year 2059 Israel will be running an annual deficit of about 800 million dollars, increasing its public debt to 88% of GDP (compared to the current level of 67%). To counter this Israel will need to adjust its fiscal policy by raising taxes or reducing spending. Considering his extremely long range prediction Geva’s recommendations are quite moderate and definitely do not indicate Israeli bankruptcy in the foreseeable future.
    It is almost amusing to see how Cooks anti Israeli bias gets the better of him. He so desperately wants to be the harbinger of good tides (Israel’s imminent demise) that he replaces cold facts with wishful thinking. Cook naively pegs his hope on Israeli hareidim maintaining their current relatively low employment level, not realizing that already today there is a dynamic of change within hareidi society. There can be no doubt that hareidi society in fifty years will be very different then today, just as current hareidim are different then hareidim of 30-40 years ago. Change is inevitable.
    Cook tries to argue that Israel’s economic prowess is tied to the occupation, yet his argument is weak and unconvincing. Why shouldn’t Israel be able to maintain its high tech edge without the occupation?

    • can of worms
      June 16, 2015, 11:31 pm

      “Why shouldn’t Israel be able to maintain its high tech edge without the occupation?”

      You missed the point which was that economically, socially and politically Israel is unable to get out of the corner it has walked itself into, and it’s going to start leaping at the walls. And they’ve started jumping already.

      However, that said, one’s a little sensitive to statements beginning with “If the watching world really wants peace.” Thanks, the watching world has done enough supplying arms. Now trying to push Israel into a 2ss is too little and, luckily, too late. Now we get at them from all directions and tickle their feet and give them no rest. Now we talk compensation and desegregation. Let them make their cartoon videos.

      As you know, Israel’s economic edge isn’t riding on the occupation, it’s all riding on their deep segregation within.

      • benedict
        June 17, 2015, 9:30 am

        Seriously? How is Israel’s economic edge riding on its “segregation”?

      • can of worms
        June 17, 2015, 9:42 am

        @”Seriously? How is Israel’s economic edge riding on its “segregation”?

        benedict, is there any reason you put Israel’s segregation in scare quotes?

      • benedict
        June 17, 2015, 10:03 am

        Because, as an Israeli living in Israel, I don’t think what’s going on in Israel can be honestly described as segregation.

      • Shingo
        June 17, 2015, 6:27 pm

        Because, as an Israeli living in Israel, I don’t think what’s going on in Israel can be honestly described as segregation.

        And speak to any inmate in a prison and the majority will also will insist they are innocent. Ask any abusive man if he beats his wife and he’ll deny it. Ask any pedophile if they are harming children and they’ll maintain that they are simply demonstrating their love for children.

        So of course you don’t think that what’s going on in Israel can be honestly described as segregation. Back in the days of Jim Crowe or Apartheid South Africa, the minority of whites thought that their societies were perfectly normal too.

        Of course, reality tells a different story

        Segregation of Jews and Arabs in 2010 Israel is almost absolute
        For those of us who live here, it is something we take for granted. But visitors from abroad cannot believe their eyes.

        http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/segregation-of-jews-and-arabs-in-2010-israel-is-almost-absolute-1.321728

      • amigo
        June 17, 2015, 12:07 pm

        “Because, as an Israeli living in Israel, I don’t think what’s going on in Israel can be honestly described as segregation.” benedict

        I agree , segregation is too tame a word.Apartheid is closer to the truth.

        “More than 50 of Israel’s leading rabbis have issued a religious decree forbidding Jews from renting or selling homes or land to non-Jews – namely, Arabs, migrant workers and African refugees. The letter was signed by rabbis across the country (many of whom are employed by the state as municipal religious leaders) and urged Jews to first warn and then “ostracise” fellow Jews who disobey the edict.

        It’s just the latest wave in a rising tide of religious fascism.

        In Safed, less than two months ago, more than a dozen rabbis urged Jewish landlords to refrain from renting to Arab college students. This summer, a group of Tel Aviv rabbis signed a letter instructing Jews not to rent to “infiltrators” – the state’s word for African refugees, most of whom have escaped genocide in Sudan or a brutal dictatorship in Eritrea. Ten estate agents answered the call.

        And, in November, the municipality of Bnei Brak, an ultra-Orthodox suburb of Tel Aviv, launched a campaign to rid the area of migrant workers and African refugees. By the end of the month, officials – government employees – were going door to door telling foreigners they had to leave.”

        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/dec/08/israeli-rabbis-houses-arabs-judaism

        Myopia can be fatal.Get help benedict.

      • amigo
        June 17, 2015, 12:12 pm

        “Because, as an Israeli living in Israel, I don’t think what’s going on in Israel can be honestly described as segregation. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/israels-economic-bankruptcy/comment-page-1#comment-775269” benedict

        Say ,benedict can you help me to understand this Israel you refer to.

        What are it,s borders.Where does it begin and where does it end.A link to said borders would be very useful.

        I will wait.

      • can of worms
        June 17, 2015, 12:41 pm

        @ “as an Israeli living in Israel, I don’t think what’s going on in Israel can be honestly described as segregation.”

        Now seriously benedict.

        Your economic edge isn’t riding on the occupation, it’s all riding on your deep segregation within.

        1.) A brief history of your internal segregation:
        (1a.) Your 100% internal segregation did not happen circumstantially but was created intentionally, by ethnically cleansing Palestinians, handing Palestinian property to Jews, forbidding present absentees to return, and forcing them into ghettos. (1b.) Institutional restraints and racism ensured that Palestinian citizens could not get out of the ghettos to compete in a free market for jobs and housing. (1c.) These ghettos became sources of cheap labor to you. (1d.) Palestinian citizens were under direct military rule until 1966, and subject to emergency laws; the damage has never been economically redressed by you. (1e.) Palestinian citizens are not granted permits to expand in their ghettos, causing overcrowding. (1f) Palestinians go to separate schools where the educational agendas are decided by the Zionist Ministry of Education, so, for example, it is against the law to learn the history of the Nakba, and Hebrew is taught minimally, ensuring that there is minimal integration into your work force. (1g.) In your institutionally segregated state, packages and privileges are given to former IDFers and New Olim. (1h.) Meanwhile, Palestinians have to fight a supreme court every time one of them wants to move into housing that has Zionist selection committees on which you sit. (1i.) Areas with a Palestinian majority are under official programs of Judaization, so that your heavily-invested Jewish towns are strategically located to stifle Palestinian natural growth and create a subservient economy.

        2.) Economic significance of Israel’s internal segregation:
        (2a.) The total segregation of every facet of life inside Israel creates artificial wealth gaps and power gaps between you and Palestinian citizens. Carried to its logical end, Palestinian citizens don’t have power to defend themselves if and when they protest against Zionist policies, because Zionist forces taught Zionist ideology in Zionist schools can crush them brutally. (2b.) As a corollary, segregation leads to the expansion of Israel’s most lucrative export, the military industrial complex. (2c.) Total segregation structures ignorance, fear and racism against the de-humanized Palestinian group. (2d.) Gaps widen over time due to generational transfer via inheritance of stolen property. (2e.) You as a group derive a surplus from the expropriated property, re-investing it in their own ethnically controlled institutions and businesses. (2f.) Over and beyond this, a segregated “Jewish State” with successful Jewish structures attracts donations and contributions from Zionists living abroad. Zionist “philanthropists” like to donate to the so-called “Jewish State,” in order to maintain the separation. (2f.) If the purpose of a “Jewish State” is to reward Jewish Israelis for not mixing, it follows that if there wasn’t a regime of segregation, there wouldn’t be a point of a “Jewish State”.

        3.) Israel’s economic forecast in desegregation:
        (3a.) In the first place, desegregation will come hand in hand with economic redistribution. Desegregation entails compensation, restitution, and affirmative action. (3b.) As Palestinians become integrated into the formerly Jewish-only economy, you will lose your sources of cheap labor (construction workers, sanitation workers, hospital workers.) You will lose your real estate value as Palestinian citizens move into your neighborhood. (3c.) As mentioned above: less foreign investors and donors. (3d.) The prospect of desegregation may or may not put to question the continuation of the current level of US capital flows to Israel, you can decide that for yourself.

        4.) Benedict, your economic edge isn’t riding on your illegal occupation, it’s all riding on your total segregation within.

      • oldgeezer
        June 17, 2015, 2:08 pm

        @can of worms.

        Wonderful reply.

      • lysias
        June 17, 2015, 6:35 pm

        Back in the days of Jim Crowe or Apartheid South Africa, the minority of whites thought that their societies were perfectly normal too.

        In the Jim Crow South, whites were a majority. Increasingly so, as more and more blacks moved north.

        Majorities can also be wrong.

    • Shingo
      June 17, 2015, 6:02 am

      It is almost amusing to see how Cooks anti Israeli bias gets the better of him.

      It’s rather sad how you pretend to be amused while projecting your own condition onto others.

      What evidence do you have that hareidi society in fifty years will be very different then today? They were not part of the workforce 30-40 years ago and they are not today – so what is so very different?

      • benedict
        June 17, 2015, 9:53 am

        shingo-

        Obviously you know very little about hareidi society – past or present.
        Fifty years ago the “learning society” was a small sub-culture within hareidi society.
        The phenomenal growth of the learning society is phenomenon of the eighties and nineties.
        As the relative size of the hareidi sector increases economic and social factors are driving an opposite dynamic of work and self sufficiency. Today there are a half a dozen hareidi colleges, a term that didn’t even exist a decade ago. There are close to ten thousand hareidi students, men and women, In various academic fields. The trend will only grow in the future.

      • Shingo
        June 17, 2015, 6:21 pm

        benedict,

        Obviously you know very little about hareidi society – past or present.

        Obviously you have no point to make. All you have demonstrated is that the hareidi society has gone from a largely uneducated one that refused to participate in the workforce to a better educated one that still refuses to participate in the workforce. Furthermore, it’s not clear that that learning society came about from a conscious strategy from within or simply resulted from the opportunity presented by government funded education.

        As the relative size of the hareidi sector increases economic and social factors are driving an opposite dynamic of work and self sufficiency.

        Care you mention what these increased economic and social factors are or do you need more time to think about it and spend time on Google?

        There are close to ten thousand hareidi students, men and women, In various academic fields. The trend will only grow in the future.

        And how is this trend going to lead to haredi society participating in the workforce, as opposed to haredi simply wasting all their time and state money studying religious texts that contribute nothing to the economy?

      • benedict
        June 17, 2015, 5:42 pm

        Amigo-
        There is an ongoing blood feud going on between Jews and Arabs in Palestine for the last century, so a certain level of animosity is to be expected. It has nothing to do with “segregation” and everything to do with normal human psychology.
        Nevertheless the fact that only a couple dozen out of Israel’s thousands of rabbis signed a letter against renting apartments to arabs is an encouraging sign that moderation and common decency are still prevalent in Israeli society. That very fact that this bunch of rabbis felt a need to publish their letter is itself an indication that renting apartments to arabs is prevalent. Indeed there are thousands of arab families that rent or own apartments in the “jewish” parts of Jlm, and in “jewish” towns such as dimona and beer sheva to name only places I know personally. Finally, the public outcry and condemnation against the rabbis letter is in itself a tribute to Israelis robust sense of democracy.
        As for your claim that in bnei brack public officials where ordering foreigners to leave that’s simply untrue.
        http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel/ultra-orthodox-town-of-bnei-brak-moves-to-evict-migrant-workers-1.327780
        Israel has declared its borders in relation to Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. Its border with Palestine is up to negotiations. Pray tell, amigo, what are Palestine’s borders?

      • Shingo
        June 17, 2015, 6:32 pm

        There is an ongoing blood feud going on between Jews and Arabs in Palestine for the last century, so a certain level of animosity is to be expected. It has nothing to do with “segregation” and everything to do with normal human psychology.

        Describing the IP conflict as part of a n ongoing blood feud going on between Jews and Arabs in Palestine is like describing rape as part of the battle of the sexes.

      • Kris
        June 17, 2015, 8:04 pm

        benedict: “There is an ongoing blood feud going on between Jews and Arabs in Palestine for the last century,”

        Actually, there is an ongoing slow-motion holocaust being carried out against the Palestinians by the Jewish Zionists in order to steal Palestinian land and resources.

        As you know, Israel has been stealing land outside its borders, declared in 1948, ever since. Israel can claim its borders have changed as much it likes, just as Zionists can keep repeating the same old tired lies as long as they want to. But repeating lies doesn’t make them true, whatever Goebbels said, and theft does not change the ownership of the stolen property.

    • Misterioso
      June 17, 2015, 1:25 pm

      benedict

      “Because, as an Israeli living in Israel, I don’t think what’s going on in Israel can be honestly described as segregation.”

      Times of Israel, February 21, 2013:
      “Former Foreign Ministry director-general invokes South Africa comparisons. ‘Joint Israel-West Bank’ reality is an apartheid state”
      EXCERPT: “Similarities between the ‘original apartheid’ as it was practiced in South Africa and the situation in Israel and the West Bank today ‘scream to the heavens,’ added [Alon] Liel, who was Israel’s ambassador in Pretoria from 1992 to 1994. There can be little doubt that the suffering of Palestinians is not less intense than that of blacks during apartheid-era South Africa, he asserted.”

      Ronnie Kasrils, key player in the struggle against the former South African apartheid regime, minister for intelligence in the current government and a devout Jew: “The Palestinian minority in Israel has for decades been denied basic equality in health, education, housing and land possession, solely because it is not Jewish. The fact that this minority is allowed to vote hardly redresses the rampant injustice in all other basic human rights. They are excluded from the very definition of the ‘Jewish state’, and have virtually no influence on the laws, or political, social and economic policies. Hence, their similarity to the black South Africans [under apartheid].” (The Guardian, 25 May 2005)

      Adi Ophir, professor of philosophy, Tel Aviv University: “…the adoption of the political forms of an ethnocentric and racist nation-state in general, are turning Israel into the most dangerous place in the world for the humanity and morality of the Jewish community, for the continuity of Jewish cultures and perhaps for Jewish existence itself.” (1998 issue of “Theory and Criticism,” published in Israel)

      The Independent, Dec. 27/2011:
      “…EU broadside over plight of Israel’s Arabs”
      EXCERPT: “The confidential 27-page draft prepared by European diplomats… [shows] that Israeli Arabs suffer ‘economic disparities… unequal access to land and housing… discriminatory draft legislation and a political climate in which discriminatory rhetoric and practice go unsanctioned.'”

      The U.S. State Department’s report on International Religious Freedom: “Arabs in Israel…are subject to various forms of discrimination [and the government] does not provide Israeli Arabs…with the same quality of education, housing, employment opportunities as Jews.”

      Jewish Voice for Peace, Washington D.C. January 19, 2013:
      “…what is meant by [Israeli] ‘apartheid?’ ”
      “What we are talking about is a system that is similar to the oppression of South Africa, but also unique…. We believe that in law and in spirit, the term ‘Israeli Apartheid’ is fair…’”

      Shlomo Gazit, retired IDF Major General: “[Israel’s] legal system that enforces the law in a discriminatory way on the basis of national identity, is actually maintaining an apartheid regime.” (Haaretz, July 19, 2011)

      Israel’s Jewish citizens of Ethiopian origin/ancestry also suffer from discrimination and human rights violations:
      Haaretz, January 27, 2013 – “Israel admits Ethiopian women were given birth control shots.”
      EXCERPTS: “A government official has for the first time acknowledged the practice of injecting women of Ethiopian origin with the long-acting contraceptive Depo-Provera.”
      “The women’s testimony could help explain the almost 50-percent decline over the past 10 years in the birth rate of Israel’s Ethiopian community.”

      Times of Israel, October 4, 2013:
      “Supreme Court rejects ‘Israeli’ nationality status'”
      EXCERPT: “Allowing citizens to relinquish ethnic or religious identity in the population registry would undermine Israel’s Jewishness, ruling says.
      “Israel’s population registry lists a slew of ‘nationalities’ and ethnicities, among them Jew, Arab, Druse and more. But one word is conspicuously absent from the list: Israeli.
      “Residents cannot identify themselves as Israelis in the national registry because the move could have far-reaching consequences for the country’s Jewish character, the Israeli Supreme Court wrote in documents obtained Thursday.”

      To familiarize yourself with the more than fifty other discriminatory restrictions Palestinian citizens of Israel endure: (http://adalah.org/eng/Israeli-Discriminatory-Law-DatabaseIsrael's)

      Eminent Jewish Israeli journalist Bradley Burston aptly sums up the racist horrors Israel inflicts on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem:
      Ha’aretz, Feb. 26/13
      “Occupation is Slavery”
      EXCERPT:
      “”In the name of occupation, generation after generation of Palestinians have been treated as property. They can be moved at will, shackled at will, tortured at will, have their families separated at will. They can be denied the right to vote, to own property, to meet or speak to family and friends. They can be hounded or even shot dead by their masters, who claim their position by biblical right, and also use them to build and work on the plantations the toilers cannot themselves ever hope to own. The masters dehumanize them, call them by the names of beasts.”

  6. Bornajoo
    June 16, 2015, 6:16 pm

    “Why shouldn’t Israel be able to maintain its high tech edge without the occupation?” (benedict)

    Because as it states in the article:

    “Many are former soldiers who realised the occupied territories were the ideal laboratory for developing and testing military hardware and software.”

    • benedict
      June 17, 2015, 9:28 am

      That doesn’t make too much sense. Most Israeli high-tech innovation is civilian. Even military innovation doesn’t require occupation. Sweden, UK, and Germany enjoy thriving military export without occupation.

      • echinococcus
        June 17, 2015, 1:19 pm

        benedict,

        Sweden, UK, and Germany enjoy thriving military export without occupation

        But you enjoy a huge edge over them in the markets, given that you can test them immediately, in-process, in your own backyard as they are produced. On a vast pool of test objects of every kind: men, women, young, old, kids; offices, factories, homes, schools, hospitals –you’ve got it all.
        As we saw with your weapons fair –Israeli know-how is tops. Demonstrated live at the fair. With bus tours to see the “systems” in action in real life, chopping down crowds.
        If you can’t corner the market with such a huge leg-up, it would be as the barber said to his customer: “you can’t blame me if you don’t get laid after this cut!”

      • Marnie
        June 20, 2015, 4:35 am

        Your statements are hardly surprising but don’t get you off the hook. You are aware there is a 25 foot high wall of separation? Separate roads for Arabs? Different license plates for Arab drivers? Checkpoints? Are you really going to claim you didn’t know?

      • benedict
        June 20, 2015, 7:42 pm

        marnie

        Walls are quite normal. There is a wall separating USA and Mexico. There is a wall between Spain and morocco. The Israel-west bank wall was built in response to the wave of Palestinian suicide bombers coming from the WB during the el aksa intifada. I don’t see any moral problem in that.
        I have driven over most roads in my country and never encountered separate roads “for Arabs”. In the disputed territories there used to be separate roads for Palestinians as a result of the frequent drive-by shooting of Israeli cars. Following the relative calm of the last couple of years almost all of these roads where reopened for general traffic.
        There are no different license plates for Arab drivers.

      • Shingo
        June 20, 2015, 10:35 pm

        Walls are quite normal.

        There is nothing normal about Israel’s apartheid wall. There is a wall separating USA and Mexico does not cut into Mexico or the USA – it runs along the internationally recognized border.

        There wall between Spain and Morocco does not cut into Spain or the Morocco – it runs along the internationally recognized border.

        The Israel-west bank wall was built as a land grabbing exercise. 1500 Palestinians a week manage to get through or around it every week, so any determined suicide bomber could easily get past it.

        A genuine response to the intifada would have been to end the occupation and illegal settlements.

        I have driven over most roads in my country and never encountered separate roads “for Arabs”.

        Says the privileged white guy in the apartheid state who never experiences segregation.

        The territory is not disputed. No one but Israel considered it disputed, which means that it isn’t. It is illegally occupied.

        The separate roads that you originally claimed did not exist, then admit do exist are there to serve illegal settlements. As for drive by shootings, that a far cry from the Israelis who shot Palestinians who tried to return to their homes after the 1948 war.

        The roads where not reopened for general traffic and yes, there are different license plates for Arab drivers.
        http://mondoweiss.net/2012/05/where-the-color-of-your-license-plate-dictates-which-roads-you-can-drive-on
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_registration_plates_of_the_Palestinian_National_Authority
        You are a pathetic liar.

      • talknic
        June 20, 2015, 10:41 pm

        @ benedict “Walls are quite normal. There is a wall separating USA and Mexico”

        Is that wall in territory occupied by the USA or Mexico? Any territory that once belonged to Mexico and is now a part of the USA, was acquired by legal annexation i.e., by a treaty or referendum of the legitimate citizens of the territory to be annexed.

        BTW by adopting that legal custom for acquiring territory, the US was largely instrumental in that legal custom eventually passing into Customary International Law, thereby outlawing the acquisition of territory by conquest. http://pages.citebite.com/y1f0t4q1v4son

        ” There is a wall between Spain and morocco”

        Is that wall in territory occupied by Spain or Morocco? Perhaps it’s central, between the two, under water. Look at a map, one that isn’t as stupid as your statement.

        “The Israel-west bank wall was built in response to the wave of Palestinian suicide bombers coming from the WB during the el aksa intifada. I don’t see any moral problem in that.”

        Maybe it’s the Ziowall in front of your eyes or running thru your Ziobrain… Most countries build their defensive walls in the OWN territory. See the wall between the USA and Mexico for example. Or the amazing underwater wall between Spain and Morocco

        ” In the disputed territories”

        The UNSC uses the word “Occupied Territories”, ‘disputed’ is a weasel word used by stupid Israeli propagandists who come here thinking they can get away with bullsh*t

        ” there used to be separate roads for Palestinians as a result of the frequent drive-by shooting of Israeli cars”

        GC IV is to protect all civilians, including those of “Israel, Occupying Power” from the expected violent consequences of occupying another people and their territory. Only a sick, corrupt and insane Government purposefully encourages its citizens to break a law designed to protect them.

        ” almost all of these roads where reopened for general traffic”

        So there ARE separate roads… glad you eventually made up your mind

        “There are no different license plates for Arab drivers”

        There are for the occupied Arabs pal.

        Go back to the Hasbara team leaders and tell ’em they’ve given you a bunch of crap to work with.

      • RoHa
        June 20, 2015, 11:34 pm

        I think Benedict is referring to the fences around Ceuta and Melilla. These cites are claimed by Spain, and operate as Spanish territory. Morocco disputes the Spanish claims.

      • oldgeezer
        June 21, 2015, 1:09 am

        @talknic and shingo

        If I could add to both your reponses? I may have missed it and I confess to skim reading but even the Israeli High Court of Justice recognizes the land as occupied and not disputed. There isn’t, and hasn’t been a court in the world that differs on that point. Of course the terrorist goi ignored the rulings of the HCJ on the laughable grounds of state security.

        Israelis have willingly elected governments which have led the charge to transform to Israel from a state to a nation of thieves. There is no debate that Israel is a rogue state, ignoring not only international law but it’s own laws in order to steal, disposses and oppress. zionists deserve the distain they get. Lawless, thieving brigands.

        http://www.zionism-israel.com/hdoc/High_Court_Fence.htm

      • benedict
        June 21, 2015, 10:24 am

        shingo

        The separation wall runs mostly along the green line. Final border agreements will anyway entail land sweeps so I don’t think the walls exact route is that important. Walls, you know, can easily be dismantled. It is true that the wall causes hardship to some Palestinians but it serves the greater good of preventing suicide bombing that ultimately hurt both populations.
        Fighting suicide bombers is a statistical process in which every obstacle diminishes the bombers chance to achieve his goal. So will the wall doesn’t give an absolute solution to the problem it definitely makes the life of suicide bombers more difficult. The fact is that since the wall both suicide bombings and property crime (stealing cars in Israel) has dramatically diminished, so obviously the wall is having the desired effect. If and when peace comes the wall will be removed. Inshalla!
        I find it amusing you think me a “white guy”. I can trace my lineage in Palestine back at least 14 generations (the Rivlin and Azoulay families – just like our president). I think that makes me more a “DARK MAN” then a third generation American of Palestinian extraction.
        As of today there are no separate roads for Palestinians. Neither are there separate license plates for Arab drivers. There are separate license plates to non Israeli Palestinians, just as there are separate license plates to any non Israeli car whether Jewish, American or Jordanian.

      • Shingo
        June 21, 2015, 6:30 pm

        The separation wall runs mostly along the green line.

        No, it mainly cuts up to 10 miles into Palestinian territory and runs around illegal settlements.

        Final border agreements will anyway entail land sweeps so I don’t think the walls exact route is that important.

        That’s a bit like saying that the rape victim wasn’t a virgin at the time, so the rape itself was not a big deal. The “land swaps” BS has become such a pathetic talking point that even those opposed to a 2ss reel it off without a second thought. The position of the Israeli government is that there will never be a Palestinian state, so the land swaps BS is a complete canard.

        No land swaps can take place without mutual agreement. The apartheid concrete wall was build to be a permanent fixture so that the land it is used to steal can never be returned to the Palestinians.

        It is true that the wall causes hardship to some Palestinians but it serves the greater good of preventing suicide bombing that ultimately hurt both populations.

        Yes, the blacks need to suffer so that the white folk can enjoy their privileges and continue to exploit them. Got it Jimmy Crowe.

        So will the wall doesn’t give an absolute solution to the problem it definitely makes the life of suicide bombers more difficult.

        The solution that the wall gives is not to prevent suicide attacks but to steal land.

        If and when peace comes the wall will be removed. Inshalla!

        Israel does not want peace, it wants territory and will maintain a permanent state of war in order to steal more and hang on to what it has stolen.

        I find it amusing you think me a “white guy”. I can trace my lineage in Palestine back at least 14 generations (the Rivlin and Azoulay families – just like our president).

        So could Eli Yishai, who is a Spehardic Jew, who is famous for saying that

        “Most of the people coming here are Muslims who think the land doesn’t belong to us, to the white man”.

        And yes there are indeed separate roads for Palestinians as well as separate license plates for Arab drivers. The non Israeli Palestinians are under Israeli control in the apartheid state of Israel.

  7. tod77
    June 17, 2015, 6:59 am

    Jonathan Cook reaches some correct conclusions, but puts together a very weak article to bring his point across. Presents few facts and supplements with his own unproven ideas (such as “Many are former soldiers who realised the occupied territories…” and “…economic elite…whose prestige, power and wealth depends on the occupation”).
    To me, it seems hard to see how any drastic change could come from economic pressure. Iran, North Korea and Cuba are examples of how bringing a country to its knees economically has very little political impact. I’m not sure what “sticks” Mr. Cook refers to, but BDS or military action against Israel would, in my opinion, serve to rally the Israeli public opinion around the already strong nationalistic ideas (such as “the world is against us” and “we can only count on ourselves”, etc.) gradually creating a more extreme Israeli public opinion, and weakening the chance for a peaceful solution in the holy land.
    Ironically, the same notion exists in the Israeli public with regards to the Gaza strip – “we will suffocate them financially and militarily, until they want to “live in peace” with us”.
    Wouldn’t a better long term strategy aim to create a rift between the Israeli people and the current leadership? Wouldn’t it be better to invest money and effort in positive action – such as educating the people of Israel\Palestine on the other side and its narrative, promoting Israeli-Palestinian industrial collaboration or maintaining cultural exchanges between the two peoples.
    Regardless of whether you support the one-state or two-state solution – in the end, Palestinians and Israelis will have to learn to live with each other between the Jordan river and the Sea. I find it hard to see how BDS or military action will help do that.
    (To clarify in case it isn’t obvious – I’m not saying that any of Israel’s actions be ignored or accepted – merely that a different kind of pressure be exerted – from within)

    • Kris
      June 17, 2015, 10:33 am

      @tod77:

      “Wouldn’t a better long term strategy aim to create a rift between the Israeli people and the current leadership? Wouldn’t it be better to invest money and effort in positive action – such as educating the people of Israel\Palestine on the other side and its narrative, promoting Israeli-Palestinian industrial collaboration or maintaining cultural exchanges between the two peoples.

      No.

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2015, 12:48 pm

        “such as educating the people of Israel\Palestine on the other side and its narrative,”

        Yup, it’s tough beiung Israeli. one minute you’re winning Nobel prizes all over the place and keeping everybody’s cellphone running, and the next you’re a dummy who doesn’t know the basic facts about the country’s history. Nah, I don’t buy it. The only narrative you are interested in is the one you will force down the Palestinian’s throat.

      • tod77
        June 22, 2015, 3:54 pm

        Mooser – knowing the facts doesn’t mean understanding them.

        There are so many “facts” that each side determines and the other disputes.
        Look at the comments above to see excellent examples.
        Is Israel an apartheid state because Palestinians in the west bank and gaza are deprived basic human rights or a democratic state because Israeli arabs have the right to vote?
        Who started the last round of violence? – Palestinians or Israelis?
        Is zionism and having a homeland for the jews a good idea or a bad idea?
        Is it practical and a good idea to rollback history 100 years? Is it practical and a good idea to rollback history 2000 years?

        These aren’t questions of knowing the facts – they are questions of perspective.
        Each side sees it’s own perspective/narrative as the truth and is ignorant or lacks understanding of the other side’s perspective..

        Ironically, in many cases both sides base their perspective on true facts.
        All I am saying is that I would prefer to see an exchange of ideas rather than a war of ideas in the middle east…

      • Shingo
        June 22, 2015, 5:13 pm

        All I am saying is that I would prefer to see an exchange of ideas rather than a war of ideas in the middle east…

        Because you know, an exchange of ideas doesn’t make Israel look so bad, but rather an unsuspecting participant in a series of unfortunate events.

        Each side sees it’s own perspective/narrative as the truth and is ignorant or lacks understanding of the other side’s perspective..

        What a load of rubbish. The world has been inundated with Israel’s perspective for 65 years and now the other perspective (the actual facts) are slowly surfacing, and the likes of Tod don’t like it one bit.

        This is as bad as the intelligent design people who get so whiny when it comes time to study evolution. “What do you mean we descended from apes… It’s just a theory… We want equal time for our batshit theories too”

      • Kris
        June 22, 2015, 6:09 pm

        tod77, to Shingo: “I doubt you want the occupation to end – what would you troll about then?”

        This is the kind of nasty comment that calls into question anything reasonable you may have written here, tod77.

      • tod77
        June 22, 2015, 7:04 pm

        kris –
        “tod77, to Shingo: “I doubt you want the occupation to end – what would you troll about then?”

        This is the kind of nasty comment that calls into question anything reasonable you may have written here, tod77.”
        Kris – I was insulted by what Shingo wrote before:
        “Darling Tod is so eager for justice and peace for the Palestinians”…”Does this clown have any idea how bloody obvious he is”.
        “the actual facts are slowly surfacing, and the likes of Tod don’t like it one bit”

        I guess I need thicker skin for mondoweiss… :)
        This happened the last time I was here, a few years ago.
        Mooser started jabbing at me so I simply stopped commenting…

        shingo – I apologize.

      • tod77
        June 22, 2015, 6:29 pm

        shingo –
        “Because you know, an exchange of ideas doesn’t make Israel look so bad, but rather an unsuspecting participant in a series of unfortunate events”

        Are you saying you don’t want Israelis to listen to what Palestinians have to say so they will look bad? or are you saying I want Israelis to listen because it will make them look good? – that sounds a lot like someone saying you are anti Israel because deep down you are antisemitic.
        Read what I wrote, think about what I wrote and if you want to go deeper and discuss my views – let me know.

        “The world has been inundated with Israel’s perspective for 65 years and now the other perspective (the actual facts) are slowly surfacing”

        You might be right that Israelis see less of the Palestinian perspective than Palestinians see of the Israeli perspective – I think that also came across in one of my previous posts, but that doesn’t contradict my suggestions (or make them rubbish – in your words).

        facts are not perspectives – if you disagree with a religious person that his god exists, I argue that you should still try to understand his perspective and seek common ground rather than ignore or ridicule him.

        “The likes of Tod don’t like it one bit.” – the likes of Tod seem to be disgusting beasts with horns and an appetite for smurfs. Wouldn’t want to hear anything they have to say…

    • Citizen
      June 17, 2015, 12:15 pm

      @tod77
      I find no evidence any significant pressure will be exerted “from within.” The history of the peace talks demonstrates exactly the contrary. Israel has never once brought a map of its proposed borders to the I-P talks, and illegal settlements have continued–even in the face of objections by the Honest Broker who has also vetoed at least 41 attempts via the UN SC to make Israel accountable, and who has done nothing but keep increasing funding to Israel, now its largest financial aid benefactor in all US history. That leaves BDS as offering the only viable pressure at this juncture. I don’t get your contrary logic at all. Where’s the evidence for it?

      • tod77
        June 17, 2015, 2:19 pm

        Citizen – I didn’t mean pressure from within as in let the Israelis and Palestinians settle it for themselves! We’ve seen how hopeless that is!
        I meant create an environment that makes the Israeli public put pressure on the government. Work to change the public opinion in Israel – explode the bubble of denial Israelis live in and let them understand the Palestinian (and the rest of the world’s) narrative.
        The are many ways to do this…
        I’ll give a few examples of what I mean – instead of convincing popular rock stars to cancel their visit to Israel – convince them to go to Israel but spend the 1st 10 minutes of their performance talking about Palestine – or better yet – bring a Palestinian on stage to talk about their experiences under occupation.
        An example from social media – searching youtube for videos about Palestine gives hundred of links to videos trying to convince the world to emphasize with Palestine (or to hate Israel) – instead of doing that, create a video aimed at causing the Israeli youth to emphasize with Palestine and to understand the reality of the occupation.
        Instead of boycotting companies that do business or have offices in Israel (such as HP or Siemens) – convince those companies to open offices in Ramallah – and have those offices collaborate.

      • Kris
        June 17, 2015, 3:04 pm

        @tod77:

        I meant create an environment that makes the Israeli public put pressure on the government. Work to change the public opinion in Israel – explode the bubble of denial Israelis live in and let them understand the Palestinian (and the rest of the world’s) narrative.

        How long do you think this kind of strategy would have taken in apartheid South Africa, Algeria, or Nazi Germany? How many more years of ethnic cleansing, murder, and other human rights abuses by Israel should the Palestinians have to endure? It’s been 70+ years so far.

        Your strategy wouldn’t have worked even in the Jim Crow U.S. south, where soldiers had to be sent in to protect the rights of Black Americans to attend unsegregated schools and to vote. Should Black Americans still be waiting for white supremacists to have a change of heart?

        Why should Palestinians be the only people in the world for whom access to universal human rights is conditional on the whims of the people stealing their land and killing their families?

        It is past time to send in armed European-led peace forces to protect the Palestinians and remove the Zionist thieves and squatters from Palestinian lands

      • tod77
        June 22, 2015, 4:24 am

        Kris –
        “How long do you think this kind of strategy would have taken in apartheid South Africa, Algeria, or Nazi Germany?”
        I read a quote by De Klerk of South Africa a while back that claimed that the boycotting of South Africa delayed peace rather than promoted it. He said the only thing that brought peace in South Africa was direct negotiations. I admit to being ignorant on South Africa – but at least that seems to me an indication of a dispute regarding the true effect of boycott.
        As for Nazi Germany – you ask ” how long must the Palestinians…?” – do you honestly see allied forces landing on the shores of Tel Aviv in the D day of Palestine as imminent? To me it seems a very very distant and unlikely future.
        The same seems to me to be true for economical pressure as I wrote above.
        You write “It is past time to send in armed European-led peace forces to protect the Palestinians and remove the Zionist thieves and squatters from Palestinian lands”.
        I understand that you see my post as “wishful thinking”. I will counter and say the alternatives you suggest are no less “wishful”.
        We often focus on the negative, but the reality is that so many positive signs point to the fact that Jews and Muslims, Palestinans and Zionists – can live together peacfully and get along fine personally.
        All I am saying is let’s strengthen that.

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2015, 12:50 pm

        “I meant create an environment that makes the Israeli public put pressure on the government. Work to change the public opinion in Israel – explode the bubble of denial Israelis live in and let them understand the Palestinian (and the rest of the world’s) narrative.”

        That’s what BDS does, Tod. Or do we have to bribe the Israelis to save themselves?

      • tod77
        June 22, 2015, 4:01 pm

        Mooser – I don’t think BDS is about changing public opinion in Israel. To me it seems more aimed at changing world opinion and forcing Israel to fall in line or face economic collapse (and personally I think it will fail or take too long to do either, which is why I don’t support it).

      • Shingo
        June 22, 2015, 5:12 pm

        and personally I think it will fail or take too long to do either, which is why I don’t support it

        Oh isn’t that touching! Darling Tod is so eager for justice and peace for the Palestinians that BDS just isn’t good enough because it won’t deliver results soon enough.

        Does this clown have any idea how bloody obvious he is. He opposes BDS because it is bad for Israel. And I bet if he ever came up with a strategy to bring about peace, it would be the same one that has failed miserably for 65 years. Another J Street Israeli firster.

      • tod77
        June 22, 2015, 5:44 pm

        Shingo –
        Trying to fit people (especially clowns) into templates will make you miss – a lot.
        If you disagree with my ideas – explain what you disagree with and why.
        If you want to know more about my opinions – feel free to ask and I’ll be happy to explain.

        I doubt you want the occupation to end – what would you troll about then?

      • Shingo
        June 22, 2015, 7:32 pm

        Trying to fit people (especially clowns) into templates will make you miss – a lot.

        Don’t kid yourself. You liberal Zionist types are so obvious and leave so little to the imagination that it’s pretty hard to miss.

        If you disagree with my ideas – explain what you disagree with and why.

        Had you been paying attention you’d have noticed this is precisely what I did. But more to the point, you offered the weazle argument that your opposition to BDS is that it would be too slow and ineffective to bring justice to the Palestinians. It’s pretty obvious to everyone here that you didn’t offer an alternative strategy because you don’t have one. Your agenda is to maintain the status quo, while hoping to get away with maintaining the facade that you want peace.

        It’s not peace you want. What you want is to shift the attention away from Israel.

        I doubt you want the occupation to end – what would you troll about then?

        Typical Zionidt projection. It’s not the occupation you want to end – it’s scrutiny to of Israel.

      • tod77
        June 22, 2015, 8:35 pm

        Shingo –
        “You liberal Zionist types are so obvious and leave so little to the imagination that it’s pretty hard to miss.”

        – you’re not listening, are you?

        “But more to the point, you offered the weazle argument that your opposition to BDS is that it would be too slow and ineffective to bring justice to the Palestinians. It’s pretty obvious to everyone here that you didn’t offer an alternative strategy because you don’t have one. Your agenda is to maintain the status quo, while hoping to get away with maintaining the facade that you want peace.”

        -I offered a strategy. You must haved missed my comments below. Rather than focusing on negative action, I think the world should focus on positive action – instead of convincing companies to stop doing business with Israel – demand that they do business with Palestine. Instead of demanding that academics or entertainers cancel their visits to Israel – demand that they visit the west bank and Israel but convey messages of outrage regarding Israeli war crimes/human rights abuse while there.
        I’m not saying BDS or military action against Israel would be wrong or evil, I am not saying Israel doesn’t deserve isolation/world intervention – I’m saying that to me it seems impractical, time consuming and possibly counterproductive. Zionism is extreme nationalism and I don’t see how economic or military pressure could change public opinion in Israel in a way that would cause Israelis to be less extreme. The opposite seems more true.
        Positive action on the other hand, in my opinion – has a stronger impact on public opinion in Israel. Imagine pictures of Robbie Williams taking a tour of Hebron and interviewed stating hoiw horrified he is. Wouldn’t that have more influence than him simply cancelling? Imagine an HP distribution center opened in Ramallah and Israeli businesses forced to purchase hardware there. This isn’t about letting the status quo stick. It’s about strengthening Palestine and the Palestinian perspective rather than weakening Israel.

        If the end goal is 1 truly democratic state (or 2 states living in peace – take your pick), Israelis and Palestinians have to learn to live together.
        BDS or D day TLV won’t do that…
        In my opinion, focusing on the positive will take less time and as a movement will find it easier to gain more worldwide support than BDS.
        p.s. my suggestion doesn’t contradict BDS – so you could actually do both

      • Shingo
        June 22, 2015, 11:05 pm

        Rather than focusing on negative action, I think the world should focus on positive action – instead of convincing companies to stop doing business with Israel – demand that they do business with Palestine.

        Pathetic and vacuous.

        What do you propose those companies do if Israel violate the agreement? After all, you don’t believe in any punitive action whatsoever, so by your own guidelines, those that enter into such an agreement with Israelis companies should not break those contracts or seek damages for violating those terms.

        Instead of demanding that academics or entertainers cancel their visits to Israel – demand that they visit the west bank and Israel but convey messages of outrage regarding Israeli war crimes/human rights abuse while there.

        Again what if they don’t? According to your pathetic and impotent guidelines, if Israel refuse to accept those terms, they should face no consequences anyway.

        After all, it’s all about being positive right? Positive meaning, make empty demands of Israel, but do nothing if Israel fail to abide by them.

        I’m not saying BDS or military action against Israel would be wrong or evil, I am not saying Israel doesn’t deserve isolation/world intervention – I’m saying that to me it seems impractical, time consuming and possibly counterproductive.

        What you have just laid out would be not only time consuming and possibly counterproductive, it would be a complete waste fo time. There are already dozens of UN Resolutions against Israel and Israel has flouted them with impunity because it knows that there are no consequences for the state of Israel.

        Zionism is extreme nationalism and I don’t see how economic or military pressure could change public opinion in Israel in a way that would cause Israelis to be less extreme. The opposite seems more true.

        Israel’s trajectory towards extremism is already underway, so contrary to your claims, it’s not pressure that is causing it to happen.

        Positive action on the other hand, in my opinion – has a stronger impact on public opinion in Israel.

        You’ve just proven my point that you are simply advocating the status quo. That’s been tried for 48 years and it’s been a monumental failure. Israel has been on the receiving end of nothing positive action. Even Martin Indyk has admitted in a moment of candour that the belief in Washington was that giving copious amounts of military aid and diplomatic support to Israel would embolden Israel to take risks for peace. As Indyk was forced to concede, this had the opposite effect. The aid and diplomatic support merely convinced the Israelis that they didn’t have to pursue peace at all.

        Imagine pictures of Robbie Williams taking a tour of Hebron and interviewed stating hoiw horrified he is.

        Hard to imagine seeing as the state of Israel would not only never allow it, but that the promoters would never agree to those terms and because his concert would likely be boycotted by Israelis.

        Imagine an HP distribution center opened in Ramallah and Israeli businesses forced to purchase hardware there.

        All that would lead to is Israeli forced moving into Ramallah and placing it on lock down under the pretext of guaranteeing security to Israeli citizens and settlers who moved there.

        What are you are proposing is all about letting the status quo stick.

        Thanks for exposing yourself as another pathetic pro Israeli shill.

      • Kris
        June 22, 2015, 5:58 pm

        @tod77: “We often focus on the negative, but the reality is that so many positive signs point to the fact that Jews and Muslims, Palestinans and Zionists – can live together peacfully and get along fine personally.”

        What are some of the “many positive signs” that tell you that Palestinians and Zionists can live together peacefully?

      • tod77
        June 22, 2015, 6:38 pm

        Kris – for example, have you ever seen rhr.org.il at work?

      • talknic
        June 22, 2015, 10:40 pm

        @ tod77

        “I offered a strategy. You must haved missed my comments…”

        You must have missed the fact that “Israel, the Occupying Power” would refuse your suggestions as it has done for the last 67 years, preferring instead to stick to the Jewish Agency/Zionist plan to illegally acquire by force of arms, non-Israeli territory that remained of Palestine afterthe Israeli Government “proclaimed” its sovereign extent

        “I’m saying that to me it seems impractical, time consuming and possibly counterproductive.”

        Israel has had 67 years to comply with International Law, the UN Charter, numerous relative conventions. It has failed. It is a rogue state.

        Your suggestion is the same as UNGA res 181, which the Jewish Agency claimed was “binding” and accepted , then after becoming a state according to its conditions (ibid), completely ignored it

        ” Imagine pictures of Robbie Williams taking a tour of Hebron and interviewed stating hoiw horrified he is”

        “imagine” is the operative word. Do you really think Israel, the Occupying Power would allow it.

        “If the end goal is 1 truly democratic state (or 2 states living in peace – take your pick), Israelis and Palestinians have to learn to live together”

        Israel could simply adhere to International Law, except that now after 67 years of occupying non-Israeli territory, populating it with Jewish Israeli citizens, exploiting non-Israeli resources, dispossessing non-Jewish Israeli citizens from Israel and non-Israeli citizens from non-Israeli territory, Israel cannot now, nor has it ever been able to afford to adhere to the laws it first broke at < 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time) by keeping Jewish forces from Plan Dalet, in non-Israeli territory.

        The law requires Israel to withdraw from all non-Israeli territories, take it’s Israeli citizens and p*ss off back to Israel as it was proclaimed and recognized in 1948, allow the return of non-Jewish Israeli citizens to Israel, allow the return of Palestinians to Palestinian territory and pay reparations for all the above, relocation for its own citizens and the class action law suits they might bring for 67 years of Israeli Government deception, compensation for dispossession of non-Jewish Israelis and Palestinians, 67 years of exploited non-Israeli resources.

        It would send the Jewish state bankrupt, the Jewish Israeli citizens not wanting to move from non-Isaeli territory would start an Israeli civil war (in non-Israeli territory). Israel would become a failed state, it has illegally created too many facts on the ground to now follow its legal obligations.

        Israel has dug its own hell hole from which it cannot legally escape without the Palestinians generosity. But even their generosity in being willing to accept only 22% of their rightful territories for peace with Israel was not enough. Israel chose to ignore it and build more illegal settlements.

        You’re talking to the wrong people. Go bark at the Israeli Government and the Zionist Federation

      • oldgeezer
        June 23, 2015, 12:45 am

        @tod77

        “p.s. my suggestion doesn’t contradict BDS – so you could actually do both – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/israels-economic-bankruptcy#comment-148019

        I won’t question your sincerity in your stated desire for peace.

        In that vein I wish you will and encourage you to start or participate in your movement.

        Speaking solely for myself I have seen decades of trying to be inclusive of Israel and it’s majority. Trying to appeal to their supposed better nature. Trying to point out to them the consequences of their actions on innocent civilians.

        In response all that I’ve seen is an Israel which has grown increasingly racist (or emboldened to show it’s true racist nature which was hidden before). I have seen more territory stolen. More women and children, and innocent men murdered. I have seen a state of Israel that has been appeased and which has, in return, doubled down on it’s criminal activities.

        I wish you well with your solution. As you say you can do both so don’t hesitate, go out there and implement your solution.

        For my part it’s time to confront a belligerent rogue state which violates both international law and international humanitarian law. Which blames others for it’s crimes. Which openly discusses criminal final solutions. Which cheers while innocents are butchered by it’s armies. Which sees it’s major flaw as not killing more.

        I will go with BDS. I have run out of carrots. Time for the stick. I don’t think BDS is the answer. I think we need UN/Nato troops in there to protect the Palestinians from an out of control Israeli racist regime. With a ROE to engage and eliminate those who violate the sovereignty of either state.

        Israel has had 67 years. Enough slaughter is enough. Israel is not up to the task. The Palestinians are not the aggressor in the region.

      • tod77
        June 23, 2015, 1:43 am

        Thank you oldgeezer for your support.

        I tend to agree with you that the military solution would be a more viable solution than BDS. It would be hard to do without Israeli cooperation but if it starts out confined to gaza and then spreads to the west bank and Israel it might be harder for Israel to object – after all, the gaza strip is not occupied – it is disputed, right?

        Wishing us all good luck…

      • tod77
        June 23, 2015, 1:18 am

        talknic/shingo – again, you’re misunderstanding what I’m suggesting.
        I’m not talking about letting the status quo remain. I’m not talking about asking Israel to be nice and then hoping for Israeli cooperation.
        I’m talking about international pressure and worldwide campaigning. All I’m saying is direct the pressure at the weak points in Israels barricade.
        International pressure on Israel to allow an entertainer to perform in the west bank is different than international pressure on the entertainer not to perform at all. The performer can even cancel the performance altogether if not allowed to perform in the west bank – again – this is different than just cancelling outright because more people in the international community and the Israeli public will place blame on the Israeli government for the cancellation, not the performer.
        International pressure on Israel to allow companies to create offices in Ramallah is harder to sidestep than those companies refusing to do business with Israel.

        Another example of positive action being active rather than passive is the case of flotillas to gaza. This is the sort of pressure I personally see as effective. Have land caravans into the west bank doing the same.
        Cameras brought into the west bank by B’tselem are another good example. It’s harder for the Israeli public or world supporters to call that an antisemitic anti-Israel act. So Israel has to squirm and make up excuses. I see these as cracks in Israel’s armour.

        You’re both suggesting that there are 2 ways of dealing with Israel – BDS or do nothing. I think what I suggest is a valid alternative (and as I said it doesn’t necessarily contradict BDS)

      • Shingo
        June 23, 2015, 3:22 am

        The more you elaborate Todd, the more pathetic an impotent your ideas sound.

        They all amount to pissing into the wind.

        I’m talking about international pressure and worldwide campaigning. All I’m saying is direct the pressure at the weak points in Israels barricade.

        BDS is precisely aimed at Israel’s weak points. You yourself earlier argued that Israel’s arms industry will be immune to BDS, so BDS is focused at the grass roots level where the the consumer participates by boycotting Israel’s consumer exports as well as applying pressure companies with investments in Israel.

        International pressure on Israel to allow an entertainer to perform in the west bank is different than international pressure on the entertainer not to perform at all.

        You are right, it is different. The former is completely and utterly useless and ineffective. It plays right into Israel’s hands because performers who travel to Israel are not making the trip to do free gigs. They are there to make money. Israel can easily sabotage any performance in the West Bank while maintaining deniability.

        The performer can even cancel the performance altogether if not allowed to perform in the west bank

        But that assumes every performer how travels to Israel is interested in this level of political activism. Again, how do you know every a performer would want to participate in this exercise?

        You’e just clutching at straws and some up with novel ways to throw a wet noodle at Israel. Israel re already being condemned by the international community and don’t give a damn.

        International pressure on Israel to allow companies to create offices in Ramallah is harder to sidestep than those companies refusing to do business with Israel.

        Rubbish. International pressure on Israel to allow companies to create offices in Ramallah would be almost impossible to enforce. Again, why would those companies want to sent up offices in Ramallah? What financial or economic incentive would there be? The PA is broke and who would pay for security of employees? Where would those employees come from given that so few have the skills such companies would require?

        Another example of positive action being active rather than passive is the case of flotillas to gaza. This is the sort of pressure I personally see as effective. Have land caravans into the west bank doing the same.

        Been done. Israel stop those flotillas and are even known to murder the participants. Neither Jordan not Egypt would allow any access either, thanks to Washington’s purse strings.

        It’s harder for the Israeli public or world supporters to call that an antisemitic anti-Israel act.

        Doesn’t matter. Israel’s security forces would simply confiscate all the items and ensure no reporters were able to report on it.

        So Israel has to squirm and make up excuses. I see these as cracks in Israel’s armour.

        That do that already.

        Basically, you have nothing but more of the same that plays entirely into Israel’s hands. All Israel would have to do is argue that no other country has the right to dictate terms of trade with them

      • oldgeezer
        June 23, 2015, 1:50 am

        @tod77

        Again I wish you well. I don’t think anyone misunderstands what you are suggesting.

        You may be right but my best indicator of what would happen with your approach is the vilification which has been heaped upon Roger Waters since his decision to move his concert from Tel Aviv to Neve-shalom.

        Israel is a facist state which attacks anyone who is not pro-Israel. Like the mindless gibbon gw bush you are either with us or against us.

        If your approach works I will guarantee you one month of my investment/retirement income.

      • talknic
        June 23, 2015, 7:50 am

        @ tod77 June 23, 2015, 1:18 am

        The first part of your post is naive and depends on Israel allowing what it simply ain’t going to allow companies set up in Ramallah or entertainers do concerts in Israel and Palestine

        “Another example of positive action being active rather than passive is the case of flotillas to gaza. This is the sort of pressure I personally see as effective. Have land caravans into the west bank doing the same.”

        It’s already been and being done. Israel has not budged and inch instead it slaughters well intentioned people and thus far has gotten away with it. It will simply kill more well intentioned people because …. Israel doesn’t give a damn

        Cameras brought into the west bank by B’tselem are another good example. It’s harder for the Israeli public or world supporters to call that an antisemitic anti-Israel act. So Israel has to squirm and make up excuses. I see these as cracks in Israel’s armour.”

        Agreed, already happening, but even in the face of evidence being documented by video, Israel slaughters people because …. Israel doesn’t give a damn

        “You’re both suggesting that there are 2 ways of dealing with Israel – BDS or do nothing”

        Wrong. Better to consistently provide people with factual information so they can clearly determine Israel is a rogue state. https://talknic.wordpress.com/

        Cameras ditto. BDS via companies who’re not subject to Israeli control are already having effect.

      • tod77
        June 23, 2015, 10:27 am

        Shingo\talknic –
        Arms Industry will be immune to BDS, so BDS is focused at the grass roots level where the the consumer participates by boycotting Israel’s consumer exports as well as applying pressure companies with investments in Israel.”

        Not important, but someone else must have said that about the arm’s industry, not my opinion.
        I generally see BDS as a weak strategy because:
        A) it would take a lot of international coordination and solidarity to make it really hurt Israel (when you get a company like Intel, Ford or Samsung you’re on the right track – and I can’t see that happening in the near future)
        B) Even if you have phenomenal success – I don’t see Israel saying: “oh, this is hurting – let’s withdraw our troops”. More likely in my opinion that Israel would withdraw into a state like North Korea – having less to lose and doing worse things (is that possible?). Alternatively, Israel will find new trade partners such as Russia and China – switching sides in cold war #2.
        I might be wrong about this – but basically when you have people with nothing left to lose and with their back to the wall, they don’t go seeking peace (as in Gaza Strip blockade).
        C) And what I see as most likely – at any moment in time if Israel decides the 1000 paper cuts are adding up, it will simply create and then remove a couple of settlements and start “negotiations” with whatever puppet government is around at the time. After a year or so the negotiations fail, but in the mean time the boycott subsides (a.k.a Iran nuclear boycott strategy)

        You make valid points about the examples I gave (especially the parts about performers and companies more interested in money than in politics – which is fair enough).

        Frustrating as it might seem, I am still positive that they way forward lies in cracking the narrative bubbles.
        Getting Israelis to acknowledge the toll of Zionism and occupation on Palestine and take responsibility for the suffering, while getting Palestinians to realize that disunity and violence play into the hands of the Israeli narrative.

        As I said before, the only thing I see is a war of words, and there are better things to do with words…
        There are pro-Israel sites focused on convincing Americans and Europeans.
        There are pro-Palestine sites focused on convincing Americans and Europeans.
        Where are the Israel-Palestine sites focused on bridging the gap and talking to one another?

      • Shingo
        June 23, 2015, 7:32 pm

        A) it would take a lot of international coordination and solidarity to make it really hurt Israel (when you get a company like Intel, Ford or Samsung you’re on the right track – and I can’t see that happening in the near future)

        Wrong. Israel are already very fearful of being hurt and the Rand Corporation Report shows that BDS could cost Israel tens of billions.

        On the other hand, your strategy would amount to throwing a wet noodle at Israel.

        B) Even if you have phenomenal success – I don’t see Israel saying: “oh, this is hurting – let’s withdraw our troops”.

        The same could be said for your strategy of treating Israel with kid gloves.

        More likely in my opinion that Israel would withdraw into a state like North Korea – having less to lose and doing worse things (is that possible?).

        Fine then let them. The elite will pull their money out of the state. The educated and skilled workers will flee the country. Occupations cost money and Israel will be forces to decide between feed their population or maintaining the occupation.

        Alternatively, Israel will find new trade partners such as Russia and China –switching sides in cold war #2.

        No way will Russia and China give such gratuitous support and aid to Israel. US support for Israel is based on the money from the lobby not US interests. China and Russia on the other hand will not put up with that crap. Any alliance with Israel will have to be based on give and take.

        C) And what I see as most likely – at any moment in time if Israel decides the 1000 paper cuts are adding up, it will simply create and then remove a couple of settlements and start “negotiations” with whatever puppet government is around at the time. After a year or so the negotiations fail, but in the mean time the boycott subsides (a.k.a Iran nuclear boycott strategy)

        No, because BDS is not based only or removal of a couple of settlements but human rights. The sanctions against Iran are not based on any reason, but purely political so they were always bound to collapse eventually. They are also imposed from the top down.

      • talknic
        June 23, 2015, 1:03 pm

        @ tod77

        ” it would take a lot of international coordination and solidarity to make it really hurt Israel “

        It’s not only Israel where boycott can be effective. If people can effectively boycott companies who trade with Israel, they can demand those companies lobby their government to put pressure on Israel to start behaving.

        ” Alternatively, Israel will find new trade partners such as Russia and China – switching sides in cold war #2.”

        Both China and Russia have larger concerns and have favoured those countries closer to them. Iraq, Afghanistan (Russia even tried to take it), Iran. All are better partners for Russia and China, strategically, geographically and in resources than Israel is. Their trade with Israel is miniscule in the larger picture.

        ” I am still positive that they way forward lies in cracking the narrative bubbles.
        Getting Israelis to acknowledge the toll of Zionism and occupation on Palestine and take responsibility for the suffering, while getting Palestinians to realize that disunity and violence play into the hands of the Israeli narrative.”

        A) The Israeli narrative has been cracked from the start, prising those cracks open for ALL to see (not just Israelis) that the Israeli narrative is empty, is only part of the battle https://talknic.wordpress.com/

        However, Israelis have had a lifetime of indoctrination.

        Try to find the Israeli Plea for recognition , one of if not the most important document in the history of modern Israel, on an Israeli Government or school website. As far as Israelis are concerned Israel didn’t proclaim any borders. Fed bullsh*t all their lives, Israelis have no idea what’s going on.

        B) Palestinian dis-unity is fomented by Israel. Divide and conquer.

        “Where are the Israel-Palestine sites focused on bridging the gap and talking to one another? “

        Israel gaols Palestinian Israelis for opening their mouths http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/sentences-palestinian-facebook

        Pro-peace Israeli websites are tolerated while they remain a tiny minority

        The Zionist Federation has been honing their skills, narrative, placement of people and money to the most effect for over a century 24/7/365 non-stop

      • RoHa
        June 23, 2015, 7:13 pm

        “All are better partners for Russia and China, strategically, geographically and in resources than Israel is. Their trade with Israel is miniscule in the larger picture.”

        But I think the trade in American military technology is quite important to China.

  8. Elizabeth Block
    June 17, 2015, 9:20 am

    This article makes me wonder: Suppose there had been no Civil War in the US, and the slaveholding South had fallen more and more behind the North, and indeed the industrialized world. Would it have given up slavery? I doubt it. Slavery was essential to the (white) people’s sense of their identity, just as Zionism is to Israeli (and other Zionist) Jews.
    And the point that economic penury has not brought about change in North Korea is well taken.
    You need a leader with the courage, and the popular support, of a Gorbachev, and people like that don’t grow on trees.

    • Citizen
      June 17, 2015, 12:19 pm

      I note that everything the US promised Gorbachev, especially the promise to quit the creeping US military assets, missiles, etc coming ever closer to Russia’s border, have been reneged on by the US.

    • catalan
      June 17, 2015, 12:42 pm

      “etc coming ever closer to Russia’s border, have been reneged on by the US. – ” citizen
      Poland actually wants these “assets”. They can’t learn, can they? Sure, they had Copernicus and Chopin, but hey, they are still a “buffer”, a pawn in the bigger game. Who cares what they want?

      • RoHa
        June 17, 2015, 7:53 pm

        ‘Poland actually wants these “assets”.’

        So the US should break its promises to give the Poles what they want? It can’t say “you can’t always have what you want”?

        That is going to make international treaties easy to write. Cut out a lot of the legal waffle.
        Simply “We promise not to do that, unless some other country wants us to.”

    • can of worms
      June 17, 2015, 12:54 pm

      “people like that don’t grow on trees.”

      They grow abundantly on the trees, however the branches are chopped off and the budding flowers are cut.

  9. a blah chick
    June 17, 2015, 2:49 pm

    tod77 June 17, 2015, 2:19 pm

    “’ll give a few examples of what I mean – instead of convincing popular rock stars to cancel their visit to Israel – convince them to go to Israel but spend the 1st 10 minutes of their performance talking about Palestine – or better yet – bring a Palestinian on stage to talk about their experiences under occupation.”

    Some years back my parents attended an Al Green concert which my father enjoyed except for the times Green spent not singing but talking about his faith and Jesus Christ. That part left him cold.

    I suspect most Jewish Israelis would react the same way, turning off the message or booing the person off the stage. No, the only thing that will work is to make them pay for their own repression. When they see money for settlements and occupation coming out of their take home pay then they’ll start to react. Their current lifestyle is being subsidized by too many people.

    • tod77
      June 22, 2015, 5:07 am

      a blah chick – my suggestion was just one example of what can be done positively – rather than negatively – what you wrote made me interested in finding out whether examples of what I wrote had actually happened.
      I found a few examples – but this youtube video gave a good example of what I meant.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krz_uxHSG80
      I know that it is Madonna, and she is extremely pro-Israel and pro-Zionism. And I know that she was very delicate and abstract in what she said.
      But still – not one voice in the crowd chanted “death to arabs” or booed.
      It makes me think – if she had taken it a step further and said something more “one sided” about the occupation and its toll –
      wouldn’t that have had a better impact than her cancelling her tour?

  10. can of worms
    June 18, 2015, 5:31 pm

    @benedict

    You have proven my point. Israel’s total segregation within IS what upholds the occupation, and one of the most important ways it does this is by structuring Jewish Israeli ignorance, to the point where Jewish Israelis can easily dehumanize Palestinians. Here you yourself are manufacturing a story that segregation doesn’t even exist (it’s around 100%). And what’s more, you speak of a “blood feud” , the very lingo that enables you, and millions like you, to dehumanize the victim. To go back to my point, Israel’s occupation, and its profit from the occupation, is riding on its total segregation within, and its profit from the total segregation within.

    If the occupation is riding on Israel’s segregation and desegregation, let’s talk about that, for a change.

    ———————————-

    Other than that, I’m calling out “benedict” as a troll. Evidence enough is that he continues to put Israel’s segregation in scare quotes. While ignoring replies he lies. Only one example: “there are thousands of arab families that rent or own apartments in the “jewish” parts of Jlm”. At most there are *dozens*, certainly not thousands, of Palestinian families in Jewish parts of Jlm, and of those dozens the majority are (1) leasers, not owners; and (2) citizens from the north migrating to Jerusalem because jobs are scarcer in the north.

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