The sons of Sa’ir

Israel/Palestine
on 97 Comments

Yesterday the village of Sa’ir in the West Bank buried four of its sons. The four young men were all shot to death by Israeli soldiers within an hour or so on Thursday night at two military checkpoints outside the village. The Israelis say that the young men were all trying to stab Israeli soldiers. And yesterday the village honored the young men’s passing with a large funeral in the center. We got there after the burial and during the wake. About 1000 people were in the courtyard of an elementary school as the young men were remembered. Their photographs were on huge weather-proof posters draped from the roof of the school. Their names were Ahmad Kawazba, Alaa Abed Kawazba, Muhannad Kawazba, and Khalil al-Shalalda. They were 21, 20, 17, and 16. In the pictures they looked like boys. Their faces were young and open. The people at the wake also looked completely ordinary. Just members of the community. Teachers and shopowners and farmers.

We were late because the village is under siege, and virtually blockaded. The roads connecting it directly with the city of Hebron just to the southwest were blocked with huge concrete cubes or with bulldozed rubble. The Israeli occupying forces are punishing the village (of 25,000) for the fact that many of its young men have died in the uprising of stabbings that have taken place since October. The four young men on Thursday night were the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th “martyrs,” as people in the village call them. The first martyr was Raed Jaradat. His poster is in the middle of town too, and shows a dapper man in a red tuxedo, evidently from a festive occasion. Next to his picture on the same big poster is a photograph of Dania Ershaid, 17, lying on the ground killed in Hebron—earlier in the same uprising. Jaradat wrote on his Facebook page, “Imagine this girl is your sister. What are you going to do?” After that he tried to stab a soldier. My guides told me that Jaradat didn’t know Ershaid, but he gave his life to protest her killing.

There were a great number of Palestinian reporters in Sa’ir when we were there. But we did not see any western press. Actually there was one, a carrot-topped kid of 25, taking notes furiously. Setting out (I fervently hope) on a great career.

We also did not see western dignitaries. No ambassadors, let alone higher officers. Four young men are killed within an hour or so from the same village– and it does not register in officialdom. Because the young men are classified as terrorists. Even though international law says that people under occupation are allowed to resist the occupier. And the people of Sa’ir have known occupation for almost 50 years and it limits their lives in countless ways. They can’t walk into Hebron any more. They say they are caged.

The cage is even more obvious a few miles away in downtown Hebron. Israel has responded to the wave of attacks by replacing a trailer that was a checkpoint at the top of Shuhada Street with a huge steel-grid cage that goes up three stories and has very modern turnstiles that keep more than one person from getting in at the same time and allow the soldiers to address the civilians through heavy glass. This is checkpoint 56. Several attacks were undertaken by youths who live in the enclosed neighborhood. That’s the logic behind the barrier.

As we stood and observed it, a doctor in a hat and long black coat waited for the light so he could go through the turnstile and turned to us and said, with restrained rage, “This is a ghetto. We live in a ghetto.”

To get into the ghetto, the doctor must give the soldiers a number and they look it up on a registry to see if he is a legitimate resident of the Tel Rumeida section. We managed to get into a shoemaker’s house at the edge of the neighborhood by crawling under the concertina wire that had been lazily tied to his fence. Imad Abu Shamssih told us he is number 247. He gives the soldiers that number and they look it up, and let him in.

The shoemaker’s son was shot recently during clashes. He survived. It seems that the father honors his son, whatever he did. As he hammered at soles on a workbench, this skinny Gepetto told us that his crumbling house across the street from a Jewish settlement that wants to move on to his land is the address the Palestinian nation, and nothing will get him to leave. Palestinians all said that is what the Israelis want: they want these Palestinians to leave so the Zionist settlers throughout Hebron and to the east near Sa’ir can expand their holdings. Lands promised to Jews in the Bible. When I asked Imad Abu Shamssih what it would take to end the occupation, I thought he was going to talk about the Europeans or Americans or U.N. He didn’t. He said, Our steadfastness and resistance will end it. When we left Adam said he was saying that it will happen in his son’s lifetime, not his.

At the wake for the boys, Mustafa Barghouti, the Palestinian legislator, said the same thing. The people of Sa’ir demonstrate the strength of Palestinian resistance. We will never accept occupation and the theft of our lands, he said. Never.

Mustafa Barghouti addresses the wake following the funeral of (Photo: Adam Horowitz)

Mustafa Barghouti addresses the wake following the funeral of (Photo: Adam Horowitz)

It was tragic to me as an American that no State Department official or reporter for the New York Times was in town when the four sons of Sa’ir were buried. Let alone any cable station. The tragedy—for my country, for our foreign policy and ideas about the world — is that Americans don’t understand the depth of Palestinian resistance. Ordinary doctors and teachers and farmers with shiny or scuffed shoes, in old leather jackets or long formal wool ones — they were all calmly gathered at the elementary school to condole the family and also stand to the side and exchange a bit of news. Boys brought round boxes of dates and thimble sized paper cups of coffee. The village has paid a terrible price for its reisstance to occupation, but the people were saying in a calm way that if this is the price we must pay we will pay it, and pay it again, and again. These people are very serious and they would seem to represent the broad mainstream of their society. The doctor who resents the humiliation of young soldiers at the ghetto gate can afford to move out but he refuses to let a biblical settler come in and take his house. I am sure my little town in New York would adopt the same policy toward an occupier, but it would take decades to develop the calm dedicated attitude that Sa’ir has attained. I heard no wailing or outbursts. This must be the attitude that Jodi Rudoren of the New York Times misunderstood when she said that Palestinians are “ho-hum” about their children’s deaths. They’re not ho-hum. They just understand that this is their struggle, unassisted by the sympathy of the western media.

I wish that Americans could see this up close and feel the mood of calm and determination. Myself, I thought that I was seeing the end of Zionism. The ideology that has colonized the land for Jews for 100 years and more, in often idealistic and utopian ways that has attracted Jewish support– it has never been able to deal with the most fundamental problem facing it: that half the people under its governance do not accept it. These people are even willing to see their children killed and still won’t accept it. Governments aren’t divine instruments, they’re bodies that people put together and accept and participate in out of a sense that they bring order; and if the people don’t accept it the government has no legitimacy. The people of Sa’ir don’t accept their government, and people told me this refusal is the same all over Palestine. And again: they don’t look like terrorists, they look like the solid beams of the society, the high school principal and the pharmacist and the cop and the electrician. I don’t see how anyone observing this degree of resistance could say that the Jewish state has legitimacy. It has tried everything in an effort to compel Palestinian acceptance; but never come up with a workable answer to this constitutional problem. And the problem just gets worse and the world slowly wakes up. (Carrot top!) When our leaders say the status quo is unsustainable that is a polite way of saying, It lacks legitimacy. And yes I wished the leaders of American Zionist organizations, who have such complete freedom of movement and whose sons are going to good colleges, could see Sa’ir for a minute or two: row after row of men seated in folded chairs in the primary school courtyard, respectful and quiet and serious, honoring boys of 20 who were willing to sacrifice their lives to try and bring freedom to the community. Then they might see the graveyard of the project they support. It has no answer to this. It has all the power but no confidence, no feeling of security. In Sa’ir you see that the people of Sa’ir are stronger than the Israelis.

Up on the hilltop the young had moved on from the funeral to hurl rocks at the jeeps far below at the blockade. Ambulances were flying through the streets to a shabby little clinic there, bringing the latest victims.

97 Responses

  1. Boomer
    January 10, 2016, 5:27 am

    Thank you for going, thank you for giving us–giving all who wish to read–this eloquent testimony.

    As you say, “It was tragic to me as an American that no State Department official or reporter for the New York Times was in town when the four sons of Sa’ir were buried. Let alone any cable station.”

    Indeed, Americans don’t see this evil reality that our government supports and enables, with American money and weapons and arrogant obduracy at the UN. The “occupied territories” (that meaningless Newspeak phrase) might as well be another planet . . . even another solar system. Pictures from Mars or the far side of the moon get more publicity, or so it seems.

    This is true to such an extent that at first I did not understand what I was reading. I had to look back up at the byline to confirm that yes, this was by Philip Weiss himself: he, an American, had actually somehow gone to this mythical place. It is possible to go to the far side of the moon. It is possible to see humanity there.

    Thank you.

  2. echinococcus
    January 10, 2016, 6:07 am

    We will never accept occupation and the theft of our lands…

    Whoever believes the people mean it with reference to post-48 or post-67 occupation only has a major problem with understanding people.

    • Eva Smagacz
      January 10, 2016, 12:57 pm

      I know that some Palestinians see all of the Zionist project as an occupation. But many understand Jews connection to Palestine. What they don’t understand, and neither do I, why Jews connection to Palestine must be expressed by subjugation of natives.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 10, 2016, 1:39 pm

        I know that some Palestinians see all of the Zionist project as an occupation.

        the Zionist project is an occupation. no amount of “jewish connection” will change that. besides “jewish connection” is a modern excuse for colonialism. pre holocaust, jews were not flocking to palestine because of this “connection”. there are lots of ways to express “connection” to a place your ancestors may have lived thousands of years ago besides packing up an moving there (like a holiday perhaps).

        and to answer your question “why Jews connection to Palestine must be expressed by subjugation of natives” is easy, historically they didn’t go there because of the “connection”. because it was a colonial project, of course this requires not only the “subjugation of the natives” but the theft of their land, narrative, death, whatever it takes to facilitate a palestinian expulsion.

        put it this way, would you ever say “What they don’t understand, and neither do I, why Jewish colonization of Palestine must be expressed by subjugation of natives.” no, you wouldn’t. don’t drink the koolaid. it took massive amounts of propaganda to manufacture a sort of “connection” you’re referencing. and birthright is part of that. generations of brainwashing is part of that.

      • echinococcus
        January 10, 2016, 4:02 pm

        Give Annie her goddam Pulitzer, already! For those who aren’t aware, this knocked it out of the field –I’m not sure she realizes it herself and I don’t know how she does it.

      • Eva Smagacz
        January 10, 2016, 9:45 pm

        “the Zionist project is an occupation. no amount of “jewish connection” will change that. besides “jewish connection” is a modern excuse for colonialism.”

        Annie, I understand, and I did not say “Zionist connection”; but there are Jews in Palestine who are second, third, fourth and fifth generation, and they are connected to Palestine by birth if not by anything else.

        They don’t speak Polish, or Lithuanian, and believe me, they would not be any more welcome to those countries than Syrian refugees are.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 10, 2016, 10:34 pm

        there are Jews in Palestine who are second, third, fourth and fifth generation, and they are connected to Palestine by birth if not by anything else.

        i’m not sure how that changes my point eva. 5th generation jews in israel are still part of the colonization project. of course anyone born there, say an 18 yrs old kids, of course they are going to be attached to the place just like any kid is going to be attached to the only place they’ve ever lived (unless you’re under some illusion jewish kids are more attached to the place they grow up more than any other person, because of some “jewish connection”). that is the predicted outcome of the offspring of colonizers, they forget they are not the native population.

        i was merely responding to your confusion. why Jewish israelis subjugate palestinians. because they want them gone. it’s a colonization project, that’s why. those 18 year old kids have been brainwashed into thinking they have a god given right to the land. they don’t. if the children of thieves learn thieving as a way of life, they will begin to believe they deserve their ill gotten gain. it doesn’t make them innocent of thievery — it makes them complicit. even if they feel a connection to what they’ve stolen. even if they’re taught they feel that connection because they are jewish, which is not true because it’s completely natural to feel a connection to the place you call home. this is not “jewish”. it’s universal. and then by the time kids mature some move away from home (some don’t), that’s normal too. it just so happens that some kids who grow up and feel like spreading their wings take off to israel because their whole life they’ve been taught they have a special connection to the place. but guess what, 100 years ago the number of jewish kids taking off to israel was miniscule.

      • Brewer
        January 11, 2016, 2:06 am

        Yes Annie. As a Kiwi of Scottish/English descent I can attest that there comes a time in one’s personal development when, no matter how many generations of occupation you can boast of, you must embrace the character of the land – become a part of it, listen to it and obey its impetus and direction. This is best achieved through full integration with the indigenous people who possess this knowledge in their very genes.
        5th generation Jews in Israel originating in Europe who have not done this are what? Europeans still. Not (as we say here in Aotearoa) Tangata Whenua – People of the land.
        My children and grandchildren, by the way, have beautiful, sun-resistant skin.

      • yonah fredman
        January 11, 2016, 5:02 am

        annie- It seems to me that occupation is a legal term which can be applied to territory occupied by military forces in the course of a war, so the West bank occupied in the 6 day war would fit into the legal terminology of occupied. the territory of the state of Israel recognized by the United Nations as part of the nation state of Israel (particularly that territory that was allocated to be part of the Jewish state under the partition plan of Nov. 1947) cannot be considered to be legally occupied. If you wish to use the term outside its legal definition I suppose you are allowed, but “colonized” would be a term that would not confuse the reader, whereas “occupied” has legal connotations that you are ignoring.

      • YoniFalic
        January 11, 2016, 7:19 am

        @Eva Smagacz

        People whose ancestors lived in Poland as mine did have only fictional connection to Palestine. We descend from local Germano-Slavic and Turkic populations that converted to Judaism.

        The issue of subjugation comes from Polish history and not from anything Jewish in particular.

        (Religious) Jewish communities in Poland were part of the 2nd Estate (stan in Polish — I think, сословием in Russian). Jews had higher status than the bourgeoisie or the peasantry but lower than the Catholic or Muslim nobility (szlachta).

        A Jewish believer had no title but according to the law of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth he became a nobleman (szlachcic) of lowest rank upon conversion to Catholicism.

        A Jew that became secular became déclassé and could no longer claim such rank.

        Members of the Jewish community had scorn for unhistorical peoples (generally Slavs or Rumanians). Lindemann uses the term historyless peoples in Esau’s Tears. For this reason, members of Jewish communities campaigned to change official Czarist terminology for religious Jew from жид (Polish Żyd), which did not have clear link to ancient Judea, to еврей, which is Hebrew in Russian.

        From this small change comes the moronic and stupid idea that members of modern religious Jewish communities belong to the wholly bogus and nonsensical “Jewish people”, who descend from Greco-Roman Judeans and who have the right to claim Palestine from the natives, who actually descend from Greco-Roman Judeans as anyone that has studied the linguistics of Palestinian colloquial Arabic must admit.

        The invader population has no connection to Palestine. While I was born an Israeli, I feel much more connected to NY City. The invaders like my family are only connected to the evil racist genocidal state of Israel, which must be sent to the garbage dump of history as Khamanei and Ahmadinejad have correctly asserted.

        There are not many 4th or 5th generation Israeli invaders. There may be a plurality of 2nd generation invaders like me, whose grandparents were part of the pre-state invader population and who was born in Palestine like my father (my mother was not).

        I have little doubt that the invader population could be relocated within a year to new homes in N. America, S. America, Europe, Australia, and Siberia. A lottery could be used to choose new homes for the invaders. Leaders like Netanyahu must be sent to the ICC for trials like Milošević before him. There is no reason to mince words on the subject. Invaders are thoroughly indoctrinated and really only respond to unmitigated bluntness.

        Once the invader population has been relocated, the ME would probably calm down and eventually stabilize.

      • echinococcus
        January 11, 2016, 8:31 am

        Eva,

        My questions are:
        – does understanding (as we all no doubt do) that local-born invaders “are connected to Palestine by birth” make the Palestinians, who didn’t invite their fathers, responsible for that and obliged to accommodate their wishes?

        – does the fact (probable, also considering that an overwhelming majority are Zionists) that they would not be welcome in some of their own countries imply a responsibility on the part of the Palestinians, who, again, did not invite them or their fathers? By the way, I read somewhere that the US has already guaranteed to take up all Zionist entity Herrenvolk citizens in the case of an emergency.

      • RoHa
        January 11, 2016, 8:40 am

        “I have little doubt that the invader population could be relocated within a year to new homes in … Australia …”

        No thanks. We have quite enough ill-mannered, morally-deficient, yahoos as it is.

      • Mooser
        January 11, 2016, 12:51 pm

        ” It seems to me that occupation is a legal term which can be applied to territory”

        “Yonah” can you really be this, ah… ‘misinformed’? “Colonization” is worse, much worse, than a mere “occupation” (which may legally be done for military reasons).

        No, “Yonah” saying “it’s not occupation it’s good ol’ colonization is not an excuse. Of course, you could try saying it’s “Jewish colonization” and see if that works.

      • yonah fredman
        January 11, 2016, 11:41 pm

        probably the term used by the Palestinian Arab was ikht’lal, which translates to kibush in hebrew, which means conquest, as in conquering territory. the translation of “occupation” is merely a device of trying to harmonize the words of the locals with the rhetoric of the globals.

      • diasp0ra
        January 12, 2016, 1:55 am

        @Yonah

        “the translation of “occupation” is merely a device of trying to harmonize the words of the locals with the rhetoric of the globals”

        Ihtilal means occupation. In any sense.

        Something could occupy a high spot on a list, or something could occupy a country, it is the same word. That is the sense in which it is used for Israel.

        While it can be used as conquest, it is used rarely so, as there are other alternatives that are used. Especially when talking about Middle Eastern history.

      • echinococcus
        January 12, 2016, 2:34 am

        Priceless: Reb Fredman as teacher of Arabic, never mind the wrong kind of aspiration, and he manages to adorn it with a Modern-Constructed-Hebrew “sheva”, too, and forget that the very dictionary meaning is unclear to him! Oh, it was a “Probably!”

      • Annie Robbins
        January 12, 2016, 4:48 am

        Aotearoa — Tangata Whenua — that’s beautiful brewer. and hats off to your children and grandchildren.

      • Mooser
        January 12, 2016, 11:34 am

        “Priceless: Reb Fredman as teacher of Arabic”

        Yes, priceless. And worth every penny paid for it.

    • italian ex-pat
      January 10, 2016, 1:56 pm

      @ ecinococcus

      Not sure I understand your comment. Are you saying that the Palestinians would not be satisfied with the territory the UN allocated them in 1947 in order to accomodate the State of Israel? Regardless of the injustice of that unilateral partition, that is now water under the bridge, I think the Palestinians understand that Israel is a fait accompli, and would be happy to get that original amount of land allocated for a Palestinian state. To imply that they would not is feeding into the Israeli narrative, that they want to push the Jews into the sea.

      • echinococcus
        January 10, 2016, 3:50 pm

        “Water under the bridge”? No sh*t, that’s some bridge you have there, that makes all past injustice flowing below it OK, no matter if there are still any whose personal memory still carries them! In fact, some kind of acquasanta della verginità to bathe in, the morning after. Unlike 3,000-year-old personal (!) memories that have to be honored because the boss said so!

        That “State of Israel” and the General Assembly partition proposal, which it violated anyway, are still totally illegitimate according to the UN’s own statutes. Look up Self-determination, Plebiscite, etc. No matter what the colonial powers decided.

        If you can bring a valid plebiscite now, including all heirs and assigns, in the absence of occupation, duress or any other blackmail, let’s look into it by all means.

        You worry about pushing Zionists (NOT Jews) out into the sea? Don’t. I think the characterization is wildly inappropriate. All these illegal invaders either have multiple fallback citizenships or have a guaranteed landing pad in the US. Besides, no one said what and whom the Palestinian people, always hospitable not only to a fault but to their own undoing, will accept.

      • Brewer
        January 11, 2016, 2:32 am

        italian ex-pat

        Your comment indicates a common confusion indicated by this phrase: “the territory the UN allocated them in 1947”.
        The U.N. did not contemplate or sanction any transfer of property. Their allocation was exclusively Governorship. The “territory” (as in ownership) was seized by violence. Palestinians seek the rightful return of their property. Of course, were this to occur and Israel were to remain a “democracy”, vast changes would be occasioned – which points straight to the massive lie that Zionism is composed of.

      • echinococcus
        January 12, 2016, 2:06 am

        Brewer,

        I’m not sure I understand what you are saying.”Territory” is usually understood as the area on which political sovereignty is exercised, unlike, say, real estate, i.e. property. Had the partition proposal been followed through and been somehow legal in the first place, it would have been an allocation of territory in that sense –an area over which to exert sovereignty, or “Governorship”.
        No matter that the GA proposal was mooted by a pre-emptive military invasion by Zionist bandits and supporting colonialist powers, it is a blatant violation of the UN founding documents on the self-determination of colonial peoples anyway.
        If “Palestinians seek the rightful return of their” not property, but sovereignty over their country, as suggested by their resistance, and what they may decide about coexisting with the invaders, or not, is something we’ll know if a proper plebiscite is possible, provided the Zionists cannot manage to complete the genocide before then.

    • rugal_b
      January 11, 2016, 7:40 am

      Brewer, what you wrote is undoubtedly true and is something that has been echoed by many in the fight against the global capitalist siege and standardization of culture.

      In every life-nurturing place on Earth, there are objectively correct way of life for anyone who settled there I suppose this is why, from our perspective at least, we see very little lifestyle differences between a white Muslim and a black Christian Palestinian. In comparison, the lifestyle, the mindset and the culture of a white Christian American is so different from his black, Muslim counterpart, even though both has settled in the land for hundreds of years.

      What does this mean, from your own experiences of assimilating with the indigenous way of life in New Zealand? For me, I believe many Americans are still lost in their ways spiritually, and in need of divine guidance, for them to collectively reach the mindset, the enlightenment you have procured for your self and your family.

      And I strongly believe, Bernie is the right person that will usher in the new way of thought, and deliver us the paradigm shift, for Americans to be one again, with this land.

      • echinococcus
        January 11, 2016, 11:13 am

        Oh sure, get Bernie Sanders the hysterical Zionist by all means! The one shaking and yelling with “”Israel” has a right to defend itself!” when talking about the Gaza massacre, no less!
        I suppose you guys deserve that murderous piece of work as President –just don’t include any others.

      • Kris
        January 11, 2016, 12:50 pm

        @echinococcus: “Oh sure, get Bernie Sanders the hysterical Zionist by all means! The one shaking and yelling with “”Israel” has a right to defend itself!” when talking about the Gaza massacre, no less! ”

        If you want to claim that Sanders is an “hysterical Zionist,” you should provide evidence.

        “The Backstory on Bernie Sanders and Israel-Palestine: Why Is He So Quiet About the Mideast Tragedy?” is a good overview of Sanders on I/P: link to alternet.org. From the article:

        There is some evidence that these criticisms have started to make an impact on Sanders’ approach. In the last month, his campaign finally started to roll out foreign policy platforms on his website. The platform repeats much of the same U.S. foreign policy mantras about the need for a two-state solution and Israel’s right to defend itself, but also condemns “disproportionate” violence by Israel and killings of civilians by the Israeli army. Most notably, the platform calls for Israel to end its blockade of Gaza, a topic all but forgotten in U.S. discourse. ((my emphasis))

        (There is no record of Sanders attending events with the primary Israel lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which every presidential contender makes sure to appear at. Sanders also does not speak at pro-Israel rallies, and he hasn’t traveled to the region in decades. While he is Jewish, he does not seem to align with the harsh anti-Palestinian politics of many of the mainstream Jewish organizations in the United States such as the American Jewish Committee or the Anti-Defamation League. His brother Larry supports the Boycotts, Divestment, Sanctions campaign.) ….

        Engagement with the Palestinian issue also presents an opportunity to make an additional contrast with Sanders’ chief rival, Hillary Clinton. Clinton wrote a letter to major Israeli-American donor Haim Saban vowing to help fight the Palestinian movement, and recently parroted an Israeli government talking point when she said there cannot be a resolution to the conflict until the nearby civil war and rise of ISIS in Syria are concluded.

        Conventional wisdom says this topic is a political minefield for any Democratic candidate, something that is likely to push pro-Israel donors away from a campaign. But Sanders is not relying on pro-Israel billionaire donors like Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson. The average donation to his campaign is less than $30. And he’s grappling with a Democratic Party whose rising youth and minority base is averse to the politics of the Israeli government; by two to one, Americans under the age of 29 said Israel’s 2014 war against Gaza was “unjustified”; views were most intense among non-white voters, particularly Hispanics and African Americans.

        Echinococcus, I think your position is that supporters of Palestine should not vote for either the Democratic or the Republican nominee in 2015, and should vote third party or not vote at all.

        What do you think about the Democratic primaries and caucuses? Bernie Sanders is much better for I/P than Clinton, our other choice. Shouldn’t we who want justice for the Palestinians try to help Sanders win the Democratic nomination?

      • echinococcus
        January 11, 2016, 1:07 pm

        Look, Kris, I am not telling you who to vote for, perish the thought; there is no need to try to convert me either. BS is hysterical, as in the link I just gave, just watch him blow his top with a “right to defend” about the Gaza massacre. Of course he doesn’t participate in the same functions as the Empress, duh. She is Likud while he is from the old Laborist guard. Just as genocidal. More, much more dangerous as they look civilized and acceptable to the West and the “liberals”. All this just about Palestine. But he is an imperialist through and through, who hasn’t yet seen one US war or intervention he doesn’t like –but first registering his displeasure and being seen wringing his hands, of course. Anyway, I think repeating this kind of exchange is totally useless.

      • Brewer
        January 11, 2016, 7:23 pm

        rugal_b

        Thank you for this opportunity to express something that has long been “burning in my breast”. It will take me “off-topic” somewhat so I beg indulgence.
        My own journey began with an epiphany in a restaurant on a small Pacific island back in the 70s. I was dining with and listening to a lovely woman tell tales of her upbringing in the Fiji islands. I was struck by two impressions – one was her beautiful “alabaster” skin (she was a descendant of very early settlers) and the other, the fact that she spoke as a native Fijian and only as a Fijian. That experience brought me up face to face with the fact that, despite five generations over 140 yrs in New Zealand, I still thought of myself as some kind of European, as did most of my peers. I remember vividly the sudden realization that I probably had much more in common with Pacific Islanders than with the English.
        I returned to Aotearoa with a much altered perspective towards the indigenous rights movement which was then effecting change (it ultimately brought about the Waitangi Tribunal and other measures ensuring a more cohesive society here in the “Shaky Isles”).

        I don’t think of this as particularly “enlightened”, simply the product of a logical progression from that epiphany, a gradual realization of what it is that creates “belonging” and the part that “belonging” plays in our social well-being.

        Today, things have changed a great deal. The times I grew up in were a period of remoteness – Kiwis lucky enough to do “OE” (overseas experience) went by ship, the NZ population was under 2 million, immigration was at a very gentle, non-disruptive pace. Now I view, with some trepidation, the homogenization of NZ society brought about by a rate of immigration too rapid to allow assimilation and the preservation of that cultural uniqueness. New Zealand cities are now indistinguishable from the commercial, consumerist wastelands of their foreign counterparts. Folk like me tend to settle in rural communities where the communal spirit clings, tenuously – a spirit that, for me, began over dinner with a beautiful woman.
        I can only imagine the horrors of seeing one’s society invaded, as in the 30s and 40s Palestine, by huge numbers of foreigners boasting not only an unwillingness to assimilate but a determination to rule and drastically alter the character of the land and people, bringing traditions and methods alien to the cultural and physical landscape

        The Zionist colonial model is the very antithesis of my credo. When I encounter Zionists deriding the “fellaheen” as “illiterate” prior to their invasion (therefore, I guess, deserving of subjugation) I am appalled at the blindness to the vast store of wisdom that resides in any indigenous community regardless of literacy.
        Oral traditions require prodigious intellectual powers. I have a close friend of Maori/Pakeha lineage who stands astride both cultures like a colossus. He has been to Harvard yet his greatest asset is an encyclopedic knowledge of the flora and fauna, the lore of this land and the genealogy of its people – all product of the oral tradition. He often tops polls for “preferred Prime Minister” because of this, not his Harvard education. Were he Palestinian, he would certainly be marked down for assassination by Shin Bet.

        In recent years I have been privileged to return to that same Island group in an Aid and Development capacity. My approach, informed by the above, has been one of communally and cooperatively seeking local solutions to local problems rather than pushing “best practice” based on Western models. My programmes are based on my long association with that Island group and its people, they incorporate traditional wisdom and have produced measurably better outcomes than the norm. As a result, I now have another “home” where, incidentally, I am a “Chief”, entitled to land for a dwelling and speaking rights in chiefly councils.
        Would I take that offer up? I consider it seriously despite the fact that, were I to do so, my home would no longer be my castle and I would be expected to contribute more to the common interest than most (due to my ability and resources to so do) and I would be surrounded by folk who do not read books. By way of compensation however, my age would be valued and I would remain a functioning part of that village until I shuffle off, rather than increasingly becoming a stranger in the land of my birth as us old folk often seem to be regarded in the Western paradigm.
        In fact I probably will not leave New Zealand for, despite the changes I fear will be the lot of future generations, these trees are my trees, these legends are my legends, these Maori people are my people by virtue of a process begun that night over dinner and continues to gain momentum as the value of “belonging” overcomes more temporal, material desires and possessions.
        There are a few notable Israelis who have reached similar conclusions I think. Matti Peled, Uri Avnery and a substantial number of Mondoweissers. Bless ’em all. I haven’t yet reached any conclusions with regard to Bernie.

    • rugal_b
      January 14, 2016, 8:56 am

      Thank you for that article Kris. People are really quick to label Bernie as a Zionist for simply being a good politician. The line “Israel has the right to defend itself” is for me, a politically neutral statement and does not really convey his support for the Zionist regime. It is simple truism, that every being has the right to protect itself. Protect in this case, can mean many things and not necessarily is a antagonistic stance towards Palestinians or Hamas. For me, protect itself would mean preventing the ultra-right wing racists in the ruling coalition from power, and further damaging the peace process between Israel and Palestine.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 14, 2016, 9:06 am

        For me, protect itself would mean preventing the ultra-right wing racists in the ruling coalition from power, and further damaging the peace process between Israel and Palestine.

        for you? how is that even relevant what it means “for you” in this context? when a politician says “Israel has the right to defend itself” we know they are not using it in the context you’ve used.

        as for it being a “simple truism” — does a criminal actually have a “right” to protect themselves in the course of committing a crime? and if a gov is in the act of committing a war crime do they have a “right” to call that act defense? these are all just hypotheticals. is israel defending itself when it mows the grass? that, in my book, is not a “simple truism” nor is it a “politically neutral statement”.

      • eljay
        January 14, 2016, 9:50 am

        || rugal_b: … The line “Israel has the right to defend itself” is for me, a politically neutral statement and does not really convey his support for the Zionist regime. It is simple truism, that every being has the right to protect itself. Protect in this case, can mean many things and not necessarily is a antagonistic stance towards Palestinians or Hamas. … ||

        So what you’re saying is that if a non-Jewish country were to oppress Jews and steal and colonize their land, you would defend the right of the non-Jewish country to slaughter – sorry, to defend itself against – Jews who fought back against their oppression and dispossession by that country. Is that about right?

        Or, to put it another way, if a man were to keep a woman captive in his basement and use her for his pleasure, you would defend the right of the man to violently beat – sorry, to defend himself against – the woman who fought back against her captivity and sexual abuse. Is that about right?

      • echinococcus
        January 14, 2016, 9:57 am

        “Peace process”? I love that. What does it mean?
        By the way, in addition to what Annie so well said. we have to consider that the Zionist entity does not have a right to even exist, being a bastard in contravention of the very basis of international law (no matter the colonial bandits and their followers) and so entirely on other people’s territory. No right to defend anything, even inside the green or violet or whatever color line.
        Also, “the ultra-right wing racists in the ruling coalition” are definitely better than the “Labor” and “liberal” Zionsits that preceded them, who founded the Zionist entity on other people’s land, expelled the owners of the and were even somewhat more efficient in invasion, occupation genocide: they managed to get a public OK from both colonial powers and the USSR, a feat. They are way more dangerous than the right wing.Let’s pray for Netanyahoo or similar yhoos to remain in power, instead of the Labor “liberal” genocidaires that Sanders is no doubt caucusing with.

      • RoHa
        January 14, 2016, 6:53 pm

        “It is simple truism, that every being has the right to protect itself ”

        It is not simple at all.

        First, you have to decide what counts as a being.
        By “being” do you mean a human, or a living animal, or plants, animals, bacteria,etc? Israel is like not any of those things.
        Will you include non-sentient robots, tables, rocks, teddy bears, and first editions of Napier’s The Peninsular War?
        Israel is not like any of those things.

        You would be better off appealing to “States have a right to defend themselves” as a general principle.

        Of course, then you have to face Annie’s arguments that states involved in criminal activities do not have the right to defend themselves.

        And you still need to decide what counts as an attack, and what counts as legitimate defence.

  3. msmoore
    January 10, 2016, 8:24 am

    Yes, thank you for your representation in honor of the Palestinian people.

  4. Annie Robbins
    January 10, 2016, 9:20 am

    Incredible reporting. tragic. inspiring.

    As he hammered at soles on a workbench, this skinny Gepetto told us that his crumbling house across the street from a Jewish settlement that wants to move on to his land is the address the Palestinian nation

  5. Kathleen
    January 10, 2016, 9:27 am

    More Palestinian boys and young adults fighting and dying for their freedom. One does not need to wonder for long about what conditions push these very young people to try to stab their oppressors (of course one always questions the Israeli reports). Of course we will not be hearing Chris Matthews or Rachel Maddow reporting about these killings.

    Heard stories like this (written and spoken) by human rights activist Art Gish for decades. Who like you Phil put his own life in danger to bring light to the situation starting in the early 80’s . You and your team more recently. A healthy growth of awareness. Although as you point out Phil still no MSM western media reporting from the area. And of course with distorted reporting like Jodi Ruderon’s exposing the apartheid state of Israel is more than difficult

    Art always said the will of the Palestinian people was like steel. Impenetrable in so many ways. These massive human rights crimes in an apartheid state are not going away, In fact if Hillary Clinton is elected I believe the situation will get much worse. She is partially owned by Haim Saban, and as you know has come right out and shared harsh words for the BDS movement. I think Sanders still has a conscience intact and would deal with the situation there much more honestly. Even though their voting records on these issues fall in line. I just think Sanders is more reasonable.

    Phil you project that if Zionist could see the horrific crimes being committed against Palestinians that they would care. I know from directly hearing Zionist saying that “Jews lives are more valuable than Palestinians lives” that that is not the case. Many Zionist and others do not care and that is the real sickness that this horrific situation illustrates

    Not sure why you decide to use myths like “Lands promised to the Jews in the Bible?” Why fuel these myths? Such bullshit. A bunch of Jewish guys writing about talks with their imagined monotheistic god, putting their centuries long efforts to seal the deal on that land being above logical and historical reproach. Why fuel these myths?

    • Annie Robbins
      January 10, 2016, 9:38 am

      Heard stories like this (written and spoken) by human rights activist Art Gish for decades.

      like no one no one else: – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

      Many of us are aware that many do not come even close to living or being examples of those religious or spiritual beliefs. Art and Peggy Gish walk the talk of their deep Christian beliefs like no one no one I have ever met or been in the presence of.

      thanks so much kathleen, for reminding us of Art and Peggy Gish.

      • Kathleen
        January 10, 2016, 9:50 am

        Am always amazed when people of deep spiritual and human rights convictions like Art, .Peggy, Max, Phil, Jeff Halper etc put their own safety on the line for others. Deep respect…

  6. pabelmont
    January 10, 2016, 10:14 am

    As ever, a question of power and legitimacy. Today (and since 1947) Israel has had the power and Palestinians have had the legitimacy. Politicians and billionaires are used to trading in power, not in legitimacy, so they have no tendency to support legitimacy as against power. Stalin once asked “How many divisions has the Pope”, suggesting that military power trumps moral legitimacy. Today America says the same thing: How many divisions have the Palestinians? Brazil is doing a bit better. See: link to mondoweiss.net

  7. Krauss
    January 10, 2016, 10:19 am

    This is why we need independent journalism. Thank you.

  8. Marnie
    January 10, 2016, 11:06 am

    “In Sa’ir you see that the people of Sa’ir are stronger than the Israelis.”

    Which maybe is why the IOF is in such a hurry to kill them. The IOF can only wish they had the strength of these boys/young men. They’re jealous and threatened by this people, who have no army, no WMD. BUT THEY HAVE MORE HEART, SOUL AND LOVE THAN THEIR ENEMY AND THEY WILL PREVAIL!!

  9. Dutch
    January 10, 2016, 12:01 pm

    Fantastic reporting, thanks Phil and Adam.

  10. gamal
    January 10, 2016, 12:47 pm

    this was fantastic thank you.

    Rafat(?) Jaradat from Sa’ir was beaten to death “heart attack” in Israeli prison in 2013.

    they a have maqam tomb thing there for Esau, father of the Amalekites, its a very old town.

    “These people are very serious and they would seem to represent the broad mainstream of their society”

    Arabs rarely live up to their Hollywood/MSM image, i wonder which will be easier to change the image or the Arab.

    Reading this my own arrogance and aggression seem naturally to dissipate and i feel imbued with enormous respect and affection for all at MW, no doubt it will pass, but still a great article.

    ” crawling under the concertina wire that had been lazily tied to his fence”

    Growing old disgracefully, i hope the carrot top boy realizes how high you are setting the bar for those who go to cover Palestine,i hope somebody remonstrated with you, you taking some risks.

    but for some reason i have a mental image not unlike a video of you skiing round a cabin in the company of bears, perhaps you are safer in Palestine or my insomnia is having psychotropic effects.

  11. Eva Smagacz
    January 10, 2016, 1:10 pm

    Always thought of this scene when people cannot comprehend “terrorism” of Palestinians and it’s origins, or origin of “terrorism” of Poles under 2 centuries long occupation of Germans and Russians:

    link to m.youtube.com

  12. italian ex-pat
    January 10, 2016, 2:05 pm

    Phil Weiss:

    Just curious – how did you manage to get through Ben Gurion airport? I would think your name fed into their computers would have raised all kinds of alarm bells! And even more importantly, how did you get out unharmed, after spending time in the West Bank and consorting with ‘terrorists’?

    • Mooser
      January 10, 2016, 2:18 pm

      “Just curious – how did you manage to get through”

      He zeliged his way through!

    • Annie Robbins
      January 10, 2016, 2:27 pm

      And even more importantly, how did you get out unharmed

      shh, they are not out yet.

      • italian ex-pat
        January 10, 2016, 6:02 pm

        How silly of me. No need to pass through Israel to get to the WB.

      • diasp0ra
        January 10, 2016, 6:36 pm

        @Italian

        Actually, you need an Israeli visa to get to the West Bank, as the Israelis control the borders. It’s usually issued at the Allenby bridge if you’re coming from Jordan. This is why so many people are returned and denied entry, especially if they come as activists.

    • rosross
      January 12, 2016, 1:28 am

      I do think it is important to refer to Occupied Palestine as Occupied Palestine and not as the West Bank, which as a term is meaningless, except to Zionist Israelis who wish to erase all references to Palestine. This is why they refer to Gaza as if it were some sort of separate country or State when it is merely a part of Occupied Palestine, as is everything beyond UN mandated borders.

  13. bintbiba
    January 10, 2016, 7:22 pm

    Phil, Adam , annie …
    My deepest thanks and appreciation for your soulful , impeccable work and dedication to what you believe is right !

    • Annie Robbins
      January 10, 2016, 10:04 pm

      no need to thank us bintbiba, were just giving it our best shot. and i can’t take any credit for this article — clearly. and thank you, it’s very sweet of you. have a wonderful year ahead precious.

  14. JLewisDickerson
    January 11, 2016, 12:42 am

    In reading Phil’s moving cri de coeur regarding Sa’ir and Hebron, I could not help but think of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. Obviously there are many differences, but a bit of a common nexus exists in that both significantly resulted from misguided U.S. policies.

  15. Kay24
    January 11, 2016, 3:43 am

    The world will continue to be indifferent, and the US will continue to aid and arm the criminals.

    “Israeli forces detained more than 1,900 Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem in 2015, the majority of whom were minors, a prisoners’ rights group said on Sunday.
    A spokesman for the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies, Riyad al-Ashqar, said in a statement that around two-thirds of those detained from the occupied city were minors, 65 of whom were put under house arrest.”

    link to juancole.com

  16. Boomer
    January 11, 2016, 6:20 am

    Rick Shenkman has an informative and disturbing essay about the eagerness of some American politicians to bomb various places, and the lack of concern many Americans seem to feel about this. The analysis is of broader significance. He cites several psychological studies of empathy that are relevant. They show, among other things, how important reporting like this is. An excerpt:

    “Why did they show so little empathy? Science helps provide us with an answer and it’s a disturbing one: empathy grows harder as distances — whether of status, geography, or both — increase. Think of it as a matter of our Stone Age brains. It’s hard because in many circumstances an empathic response is, in fact, an unnatural act. It is not natural, it turns out, for us to feel empathy for those who look different and speak a different language. It is not natural for us to empathize with those who are invisible to us, as most bombing victims were and are. Nor is it natural for us to feel empathy for people who have what social scientists call “low status” in our eyes,

    * * *

    “This may sound cruel and uncaring, but as far as biology is concerned it makes sense. Our genes, as the biologist Richard Dawkins has taught us, are “selfish”; they are, that is, built to enhance their own replication, which is, in effect, their biological imperative. Caring for people who are low in status, particularly those who belong to another tribe, doesn’t serve this imperative. Indeed, it may interfere with it by diverting the attention of the host — that’s you and me — from activities that will enhance our survival.”

    from: link to juancole.com

    • rosross
      January 12, 2016, 12:42 am

      Dawkins is wrong. We are far, far more than genes. It is what we believe about others which will dictate how inhumanely we can treat them. And if there is fear or a sense of superiority, which is of course unconsciously sourced in fear, then we will need to maintain our belief in their inferiority, or sub-human nature at all costs. The harder we work to convince ourselves that our atrocities are justified the less in touch we are with not only our unconscious selves but with our rational selves. We become prisoners of the shadow without even knowing it and this is the realm of the primal and irrational.

      Jewish Israelis truly hate the Palestinians and non-Jewish Israelis because they put paid to the lie that this land belongs to members of Judaism. The Palestinians exist. They always existed. It requires huge levels of denial to pretend that the did not and do not and that they, as the indigenous people of the land colonised to create the State of Israel, do not have prior and justified rights.

      Hatred is always sourced in fear because, like South Africa, Jewish Israelis know they are and will always be outnumbered. Like white South Africans, Jewish Israelis of European origin, are racist and they really do consider others to be inferior and ‘blacks’ or Palestinians to be even more inferior. In that circle of irrationality, of course they must, because only then can they justify their belief that they must remain in control. It is a vicious cycle of madness, delusion, injustice and cruelty which actually debases those in power and strengthens those they subjugate.

      But, as I have said before, I have compassion for Jewish Israelis because they have been so betrayed at worst and poorly served by their so-called friends and that includes not just nations, particularly the US, but also Jews around the world who have supported and encouraged them in their madness and injustice until now it is too late.

      If Israel had had true friends, they would have told the truth from the beginning and pushed the young Israel to either create two states with full and equal rights over air, land and sea borders, and created contiguous borders with Jerusalem as an international city, owned by no religion, or, to do what every other coloniser has done and what Israel must now do, create a democratic state shared by indigenous and colonisers alike where all are equal.

      But that did not happen and so the world at large and many diaspora Jews created the monstrosity which is Israel today. On that count I feel deep compassion for Jewish Israelis and I say that having spent time there and having worked for and with Israelis and counted some as friends.

      The monster that is Israel is the fault of the world at large, particularly the US, but most nations have played a part.

      • rugal_b
        January 12, 2016, 6:50 am

        Good point(s) Rossros, especially how true allies to Israel would have forced them to make peace with Palestinians and abandon their deeply flawed mindset of Zionism. This is why, I believe the true allies of Israelis are ironically the Palestinians they are trying so hard to exterminate.

        Unlike the similarly corrupt US and the other Western nations who are enabling the degeneration of Israel, Palestinians are forcing the issue and fighting to ensure justice and humanity, for them and for Israel. Justice doesn’t play favorites, and for Israel to abandon Zionism and make peace with the Palestinians is only way they will win from this conflict and be in the good grace of justice.

        Israel is like a person who has been indoctrinated with false ideals from birth, therefore rendering his mere existence to be unjust. Even if some sort of plague descend upon the Palestinians and wipe them clean off the map, leaving only Israel, it won’t change the fact that Israel is intrinsically unjust, out of the fold of natural law, a defective being, due to the false ideals of Zionism present in his soul and mind which manifests through its every thought, speech and actions. There is only two ways for Israel to free themselves of this misery, both has nothing to do with Palestinians.

        The first is to flush out and terminate all of the false indoctrination that plagues the soul and mind of the nation, and embrace the law of nature and plant into their mind the ideals of truth and justice. The second is to simply die and cease to exist.

      • Mooser
        January 12, 2016, 11:48 am

        “The first is to flush out and terminate all of the false indoctrination that plagues the soul and mind of the nation, and embrace the law of nature and plant into their mind the ideals of truth and justice. The second is to simply die and cease to exist. “

        Okay! I’ll pray and hope for the first alternative, which ought to happen any day now.
        I’ll leave you to hope for the second, as I am sure just so sure, you do. After all, “ein briere iz oich a breire” isn’t it?.

      • rosross
        January 12, 2016, 4:53 pm

        rugal_b,

        I don’t think Israel is capable of flushing anything out. And Zionist Israel must and will die as must a theocratic state of Jewish Israel because neither have any place or future in a modern world.

        And of course, the Palestinians are and will always be a majority with some 8million in the diaspora on top of the nearly six million living in Occupied Palestine, and so the one-state democracy is unlikely to be called Israel long-term.

        But nations come and nations go and names change and evolution is inherent in the nature of this world and the saddest truth is that Israel has been responsible for its own destruction because it has refused to countenance justice and freedom for the indigenous Palestinians early enough to ensure two viable states, or early enough to allow the absorption of colonists and indigenous into one state called Israel.

        The colonial venture that is Israel was always doomed because from the beginning it was an anachronism formed in fear, ignorance and denial amidst the wreckage and distractions of World War Two. A nation founded on religious bigotry and a belief that members of a religion had a right to take someone else’s country and call it their own would never be tolerated in this day and age and would also not have been tolerated in the decade following WWII when reason and order had begun to re-establish themselves.

        In truth, neither would it have been tolerated if Zionists had not had the money to buy the support they needed. Which takes me back to Israel’s tragedy and the fact that, even founded in egregious wrongs and injustice as it was, if it had had better friends, it would have been able to survive and evolve into a functional, modern democracy.

      • Mooser
        January 13, 2016, 11:03 am

        “The monster that is Israel is the fault of the world at large, particularly the US, but most nations have played a part.”

        I thank G-d every day that very, very few Jews were involved, certainly not enough to characterize the “monster that is Israel” in any way which might reflect badly on me as a Jew.

        That is a big relief! I blame “the world at large”.

    • rugal_b
      January 13, 2016, 4:31 am

      Well Rossross, it is bit more complex than simply flushing out the hate and idiocy, after all being a racist, bigoted idiot is a permanent life-long ailment with no cure. However, we must not overlook there are also many good people in Israel who had the misfortune to born there and be grouped with other racist idiots as fellow countrymen.

      Not much different from America really, where there are a huge festering population of right-wing white trash like those Trump supporters, and intelligent, empathetic, kind and peaceful supporter of Bernie Sanders on the left.

      This is why we need to work together with the good people in Israel, to help each other from the ills of our own countrymen. Israel and America, we have the same enemy in my opinion. Just as Israel’s greatest enemy is Netanyahu and his intellectually challenged racist supporters, America’s greatest enemy are the racist, white-supremacist right wingers and their Republican political figureheads such as Trump. Our enemy has always been the same, and we should wake up to the fact and start our real fight against all form of oppression based on race, religion and ethnicity, starting from the Republican Party and Trump. To do so, it is imperative we work with the liberal Israeli’s who are also in the same unfortunate situation as us, stuck in a system of oppression that they did not create and support, simply due to the circumstances of their birth.

      • diasp0ra
        January 13, 2016, 7:12 am

        @Rugal

        Are you saying that democrats and self described “liberals” aren’t part of the problem in the US? Do you really think Sanders is going to be your messiah that will reverse hundreds of years of American foreign policy? Just like Obama was the “change” president that did nothing to really change anything about American foreign policy? Except maybe give it a more human face at first.

        The democrats lambasted Bush for his drone program, and now Obama has expanded it to where the Bush one looked like child’s play, and we don’t hear a squeak. Why do you not mention American liberals in your post? Liberal warmongers like Maher and Hitchens? You make it seem like only the American right wingers and “bigots” are responsible for American foreign policy and racism.

        Liberal Israelis, Anti-Zionist Israelis etc. are not stuck in the same system of oppression. The Palestinians are. Liberal Israelis benefit from this system even if they do not support it. Don’t make them out to be a victim when they aren’t.

        Those who consider themselves “liberal” Zionists or “leftist” Zionists in Israel are also part of the problem. “labor” Zionism was the Zionism that carried out the initial ethnic cleansing of Palestine, after all.

        I’ll work with anyone who recognizes the colonial origins of Zionism and works to abolish that system of discrimination, regardless of nationality. But unfortunately, they are a tiny part of Israelis. Much tinier than your post seems to imply.

      • Mooser
        January 13, 2016, 10:59 am

        “Just as Israel’s greatest enemy is Netanyahu and his intellectually challenged racist supporters, America’s greatest enemy are the racist, white-supremacist right wingers and their Republican political figureheads such as Trump.”

        Netanyahoo is the current and former Prime Minister of Israel.
        Trump hasn’t even been nominated, and has never been elected to anything.

        Who the heck are you trying to fool “Rugal b”?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 13, 2016, 4:26 pm

        Well Rossross, it is bit more complex than simply flushing out the hate and idiocy, after all being a racist, bigoted idiot is a permanent life-long ailment with no cure.

        rugal, you say that as if the idea of simply “flushing out the hate and idiocy” originated from ross. it didn’t. he only addressed it because of your (very simple – and some might argue inflammatory) statement:

        There is only two ways for Israel to free themselves of this misery, both has nothing to do with Palestinians.

        The first is to flush out and terminate all of the false indoctrination that plagues the soul and mind of the nation, and embrace the law of nature and plant into their mind the ideals of truth and justice. The second is to simply die and cease to exist.

        to which ross replied “I don’t think Israel is capable of flushing anything out “.

        it was at this juncture you launched into another of your diversions — regarding America’s “huge festering population of right-wing white trash” which culminated (rather quickly — see downthread) into an insulting digression, a suggested accusation one of our commenters (palestinian btw, how ballsy is that) was an “agent of white supremacy” (iow, agree w/me or else you’re a white supremacist).

        what a coinkydink, because an anonymous ex poster here, also similarly obsessed with facilitating otherwise informative interesting comment threads into accusation of white supremacy if one didn’t agree hook line and sinker w/his diverting analysis, was terminated right around the same time you came on board. i just find that fascinating.

      • Mooser
        January 13, 2016, 4:38 pm

        “white supremacy if one didn’t agree hook line and sinker w/his diverting analysis, was terminated right around the same time you came on board. i just find that fascinating.”

        “And here’s another clue for you all, the Walrus was Paul!”
        If “rugal b” is not accumulating an archive, is the is “a4tech” archive accumulating his posts? because they have the same ISP or sump’n?

    • rugal_b
      January 13, 2016, 9:18 am

      @Diaspora,

      Based on your standards, the US is also a colonial state with a even worst domestic and global history of violence and oppression. If you are unwilling to recognize the Israelis who are pro-justice and anti-Zionist, then may I ask if you consider yourself an agent of white supremacy and manifest destiny? Are you prepared to withdraw your allegiance to the colonial, white-supremacist state of USA by renouncing your citizenship?

      • lysias
        January 13, 2016, 11:12 am

        The amends that such former colonial settler states as the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand now give to their indigenous inhabitants go a long way towards renouncing their former status as colonial settler regimes. In all of them, the indigenous inhabitants have equality under the law. In all of them, the former genocidal and racist policies have been renounced, and are now regarded with shame. Only Israel stands apart.

        The bare right to vote that Israel gives those Palestinians who happen to have Israeli citizenship is very far from giving them equality under the law. And Israel has done no more than that by way of renouncing its status as a colonial settler regime. In many ways, it grants only second-class citizen status to the so-called “Israeli Arabs”. And the Palestinians who live in the Occupied Territories are treated far worse.

      • diasp0ra
        January 13, 2016, 12:32 pm

        @Rugal

        I think you missed the part of my comment where I said “I’ll work with anyone who recognizes the colonial origins of Zionism and works to abolish that system of discrimination, regardless of nationality.” But that does not mean liberals specifically, as your comment seems to imply.

        Your comment implied that the republicans and right wingers are holding everyone back, whereas those who consider themselves liberal and progressive have also been warmongers and have contributed to Zionism as well as to American foreign policy.

        I also do view the US, Canada Australia etc. as colonial states. That is how they originated.

        I can’t renounce my American citizenship because I don’t have American citizenship. I’m not asking Israelis to renounce their citizenship either, what would that accomplish? I want to live with them in one state for us all.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 13, 2016, 1:37 pm

        @Rugal

        I think you missed the part of my comment

        diasp0ra, rug just jumped right over every part of your comment (referencing liberals/liberal zionism –your main point) and swung down the gavel insinuating you were “an agent of white supremacy”. what’s the point of dialogue w/someone who makes silly claims about what you just wrote. this happened to me yesterday – paraphasing – i agree with you about bla bla blab — when i never stated anything of the sort. this poster is not here to understand or listen but to divert twist and thwart.

        note how he never acknowledges the neocon right-wing white trash who support hillary. they push and facilitate racism, islamophobia, and the colonization of israel as much as trump or any other gop trash.

      • echinococcus
        January 13, 2016, 2:52 pm

        Rugalb again…
        Now you are approaching the delirious. Give up his USA citizenship? He is a Palestinian, fercryinoutloud!
        You are really too much in the way of a propaganda agent, by the way’
        The guy says:

        Those who consider themselves “liberal” Zionists or “leftist” Zionists in Israel are also part of the problem. “labor” Zionism was the Zionism that carried out the initial ethnic cleansing of Palestine, after all.

        and you distort that right away to:

        you are unwilling to recognize the Israelis who are pro-justice and anti-Zionist

        So the Zionists have been washed and become “anti-Zionist”. Some feat, eh?

        Besides, the US having a Constitution and guaranteeing on paper equality to all and conformity with international law, it still can be made to use its force according to fairness and undo the Zionist abomination. No, it’s not a citizenship to give up.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 13, 2016, 3:31 pm

        So the Zionists have been washed and become “anti-Zionist”. Some feat, eh?

        no, i think he transformed them into “pro-justice”, whatever that means. liberal zionism, or labor, the regimes responsible for massive settlement expansion, is “pro-justice”. phew!

      • MHughes976
        January 13, 2016, 4:55 pm

        Israel holds under its sovereign power a large number of people whom it disfranchises, is has constitutional processes to which some have full access while masses of others, just as much subject to its decisions and decrees, are excluded. That is the heart of the problem and it has no parallel elsewhere. In other states formed in part by colonisation and conquest and in others where there is a long way to go before we are free of racism – I include the UK in both those categories – there is enfranchisement and the opportunities that come with that. United States citizenship is a thing reasonably to be sought if you live in that part of the world and want to do some good, it’s the wrongs of the present that need to be righted.

      • echinococcus
        January 14, 2016, 3:03 pm

        Annie,

        He does write “pro-justice and anti-Zionist”, bless his eyes.
        [Anyway, my comment was redundant but the earlier responses from Diaspora and yourself were not appearing on my screen]

    • rugal_b
      January 14, 2016, 12:34 pm

      @Diaspora,

      Apologies for my previous overenthusiastic response to your perceived support of US imperialism and enabling of the Zionist regime.

      “@Rugal

      Are you saying that democrats and self described “liberals” aren’t part of the problem in the US? Do you really think Sanders is going to be your messiah that will reverse hundreds of years of American foreign policy? ”

      No, I don’t. I wholeheartedly agree with you that the entire political and economic system of the US is designed to promote oppression and discrimination from the grounds up, despite the wishy-washy contents of its pointless constitution which is at this stage, nothing more than a political prop.

      However, my support for Sanders has nothing to do with his potential to fix the nation. That is because no one person can fix the nation at this point unless he is, as you say, the actual, Godsend Messiah. However, he is by far, the most honest, principled, moral and intelligent of the candidates running for President. I have accepted that there is no saving this failed project named America, but I believe there is such a thing as a good failure and a bad failure.

      I have faith in Bernie,to help all of us come to terms to our current predicament and correctly identify why we ended up in the mess. Whether its capitalism, imperialism, white supremacy, neo-liberalism, patriarchy, individualism etc, we need to deal with our bad decisions and their implications and we need a strong, honest leader to guide us in doing so. Our success in recognizing why we are failing is vital, and I don’t see any other candidate even remotely capable of leading us towards the goal.

      • echinococcus
        January 14, 2016, 3:06 pm

        Look Rugal, if you want to turn off even the aficionados and the fanatic supporters of Sanders and make them abstain from voting or go to third parties, all you have to do is continue praising him.

      • Mooser
        January 14, 2016, 4:24 pm

        “Rugal b” you have achieved something amazing. I don’t think you are accumulating an archive.

  17. Ossinev
    January 11, 2016, 6:57 am

    Be careful out there Mondoweissers. Apparently those who even hint at the possibility of the Land of Creation being less than 1000% perfect are guilty of “Israelophobia” which is the new term on the block. This comes from a Richard Mather writing in todays Jerusalem Post.
    link to jpost.com
    Can`t find out much about him other than that he is described in one of his various JP posts as a “writer and journalist” from Manchester in the UK working for the Jewish Media Agency.

    Having looked at his current article and others in the JP and Arutz Sheva he is well up there in the hilarious hasbara league and if he keeps up the good work and aliyahizes himself he might well earn a diplomatic post in one of the two or three countries in the world which are not Israelophobic such as Micronesia.

    BTW according to this comedian all of us are guilty of ” Euro-Islamic anti-Semitism”.

    We should hang our heads in shame !

    • Bumblebye
      January 11, 2016, 8:44 am

      As a tablet user I’ve noticed another active front rabid pro-israelis are working on – getting sites blocked through broadband providers. Murdochs SkyBroadband is the culprit, blocking Tony Greenstein a few months ago, today I find Desertpeace blocked, reason given “weapons, violence, gore and hate”.

      • Boomer
        January 11, 2016, 5:44 pm

        re: “As a tablet user I’ve noticed another active front rabid pro-israelis are working on – getting sites blocked through broadband providers.”

        Disturbing. I wonder how widespread this is. Could be that many people wouldn’t even realize there were sites that they could not access. Easy enough to label something “hate.”

        This could show up in other ways too. Last Friday, on the Diane Rehm show, a caller from Germany said that posts on Facebook being critical of Angela Merkel’s refugee policy were being taken down. Yochi Dreazen assured listeners that this was not the case. He alluded to an agreement between Facebook and Germany regarding hate speech. But I thought he could not possibly know how broadly that policy was being interpreted in practice. One person’s call for justice in Palestine is another person’s hate speech.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 11, 2016, 5:51 pm

        Last Friday, on the Diane Rehm show, a caller from Germany said that posts on Facebook being critical of Angela Merkel’s refugee policy were being taken down.

        maybe this helps explain why allison’s merkel immigration article from JULY has gotten over 13k hits in the last few days. link to mondoweiss.net

      • rosross
        January 11, 2016, 10:18 pm

        During the attacks on Gaza I also experienced hacking attacks after commenting on various sites. I do not think there is any doubt that Israel has a comprehensive ‘blocking’ machine at work across many levels from very ‘small beer’ like myself, to others who are much more substantial.

    • eljay
      January 11, 2016, 8:45 am

      || Ossinev: Be careful out there Mondoweissers. Apparently those who even hint at the possibility of the Land of Creation being less than 1000% perfect are guilty of “Israelophobia” which is the new term on the block. This comes from a Richard Mather writing in todays Jerusalem Post. … ||

      Mr. Mather is just another in a seemingly endless line of hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist hypocrites who:
      – advocate Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine;
      – use acts of injustice and immorality committed against Jews as justification for acts of injustice and immorality committed by Jews;
      – believe that Jews are justified to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them; and
      – believe that loyalty to a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” is an essential part of being Jewish.

      • Mooser
        January 11, 2016, 12:57 pm

        “Israelophobia” which is the new term on the block. This comes from a Richard Mather writing in todays Jerusalem Post. … “

        How the hell did we get so stupid? He is going to be so sorry he coined that expression. I sure plan to take it up
        “Israel” is a place (if a rather indefinite one) and it’s perfectly all right to be “Israelophobic”.

        You would think they would figure out that when a religion becomes a state, the state politics doesn’t acquire the protection of a religion, the religion acquires all the political vulnerabilities of a state.
        But Judaism, as we know, is strong enough not to worry about that!

      • Steve Grover
        January 11, 2016, 1:51 pm

        Mooser why knock Israelphobia? You and eljay are good at it. I recommend a healthy dose of Ziocaine!

      • Mooser
        January 11, 2016, 2:02 pm

        “Mooser why knock Israelphobia? You and eljay are good at it. I recommend a healthy dose of Ziocaine!”

        “Steve” I’m usually very strong in favor of gun control. But for you, I could make an exception. If somebody engages you in a battle of wits, I’d hate to see you unarmed and helpless.

      • eljay
        January 11, 2016, 2:08 pm

        || Steve Grover: Mooser why knock Israelphobia? You and eljay are good at it. I recommend a healthy dose of Ziocaine! ||

        Wow, another “zinger”. Impressive.

    • Boo
      January 11, 2016, 9:19 am

      “Apparently those who even hint at the possibility of the Land of Creation being less than 1000% perfect are guilty of ‘Israelophobia’ which is the new term on the block”

      Well, we must admit they had no choice but to coin a new one — since nowadays if we even choose another brand of hot dogs besides Hebrew National we’re slandered as “anti-Semitic”.

      This one, at least, has the virtue of being accurate in its reference to “Israel” rather than “Semites” (commonly, though wrongly, used as a synonym for “Jewish people”). Yes, Israel is the subject at hand, not “the Jews”!

      But “phobia”? No, we aren’t the least bit a-skeered of this bogeyman. Disdainful, repulsed, disgusted and fed up — yes, indeed. Afraid, never.

      • MHughes976
        January 12, 2016, 5:02 pm

        The Land of Creation, where Adam named the animals, was Iraq, surely. There’s plenty wrong there: and whose fault is that?

    • lysias
      January 13, 2016, 11:20 am

      A google search on “Israelophobia” reveals many instances of use of the word in the past few years. The earliest that I have so far found is in this article by Bat Ye’or in Front Page Magazine from 2004:

      On January 31, 2001, with the recrudescence of Palestinian terrorist jihad, European Foreign Affairs Commissioner Chris Patten declared to the European Parliament that Europe’s foreign policy should give special attention to its southern flank (the Arab countries, in EU jargon), adding that he was delighted by the general agreement to give greater visibility to the Mediterranean Partnership. How should his words be interpreted? Suddenly the diffuse Israelophobia in the media, the universities, and policy declarations reached a paroxysm in harmony with the Arab world. Europe was inflamed with the cult of Palestinity and its frantic hatred of Israel in the press, media, and universities. This Judeophobic prejudice reminiscent of the 1930s, encouraged Palestinian terrorism in Israel and attacks against Jews in Europe, revealing that Antisemitic networks exist which can be activated or repressed by governments. The aim of this paroxysm of Judeophobia was to use terror and intimidation to detach Diaspora Jews from the State of Israel, leaving Israel even more isolated.

      Eurabia and Euro-Arab Antisemitism.

  18. Ossinev
    January 11, 2016, 1:57 pm

    @eljay
    Agree entirely – one of an endless stream of paid/brainwashed production line Zionist Hasbarists. Mr.Mather does not appear to have any flesh on his UK ? bones other than the link to the “Jewish Media Agency”. Failing actual journalistic , academic or political credentials in the country of residence/birth for these creatures the default instruction from Zion Central would appear to be “describe yourself as a journalist and a writer “. I think it works initially – I have indicated to my other half that I now consider myself to be a”journalist and a writer ” and I sense that I have risen considerably in her estimation and that it has added that extra sparkle to our domestics.

    • MHughes976
      January 12, 2016, 5:49 pm

      I’d put it to Mr.M that to react to any objection to anything with some significant Jewish connection,,such as the way Palestinians are treated by the self-proclaimed Jewish state, by claiming that it must be an example of anti-Semitism,, ie historic prejudice against Jews, amounts to a claim to Jewish impeccability – which cannot be right because Jewish people ate (only) human.

      • RoHa
        January 12, 2016, 8:37 pm

        “because Jewish people ate (only) human.”

        I’ll let Mooser deal with the “ate” and simply treat it as a typo for “are”.

        And I suspect that including “only” makes your claim anti-Semitic.

      • Froggy
        January 12, 2016, 9:15 pm

        Is human the new Kosher?

      • Mooser
        January 12, 2016, 9:18 pm

        “ate” and simply treat it as a typo for “are”.

        They will slip through, especially if the error inadvertently forms another word and isn’t highlighted by spel-chek.

        I don’t think anthropophagy is implied.

      • RoHa
        January 12, 2016, 10:06 pm

        Predictive software is responsible for some of my errors, but a lot of them come from the fact that much of my equipment is rather old. Especially the fingers and brain.

      • MHughes976
        January 13, 2016, 4:06 pm

        Not anthropophagi; nor do their heads grow beneath their shoulders.

  19. rosross
    January 11, 2016, 10:02 pm

    It is not so much Palestinians reject utterly the Israeli State but logically they utterly reject the apartheid Israeli State founded in religious bigotry which demands they are forever subjugated and treated as inferiors under the Jewish boot.

    I suspect many Palestinians would accept, as indigenous people have done and have had to do around the world, a one-state solution where they and their colonisers share the land in a democracy, free of religious bigotry, where all have equal rights.

    The delusional insanity of the Zionist colonial project was the belief that a group of Europeans belonging to a particular religion could subjugate and control forever, the indigenous people of the land that they stole. How anyone could believe this would or could be allowed in the modern age beggars belief?

    Jewish Israelis and in fact many Jews who are citizens of other nations, may well believe their religious teachings have credence but no-one of sound mind would or could and certainly not the Palestinians. Why should members of a religion get to claim land just because their religious books say they have a ‘right’ to it in the name of some ridiculous God who doles out land to tribes dependent upon their religious belief?

    They do not have any right. No religion has any rights to any land.

  20. Brewer
    January 11, 2016, 11:45 pm

    Good straight, simple message:
    link to blackpalestiniansolidarity.com

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