Palestine and the anxiety of existence

Israel/Palestine
on 63 Comments

I delivered the following comments at Israeli Apartheid Week events at the School of Oriental and African Studies and Oxford University during the week of February 22, 2016.  

This evening I’m going to talk about the challenges of talking about Zionism.  I begin with a question I often hear in some variation when people discuss Jews and Palestinians: how do we communicate with folks who have deeply emotional responses to criticism of Israel?  

The question is difficult because to even attempt an answer is to validate lethargic impulses.  (Note: neither the questioner nor the question is necessarily lethargic; rather, lethargy necessarily exists in any impulse for simple answers to ambiguous questions.)  

Here’s how it works: in conversations about Palestine, somebody weaned on the mythologies of Israel as a site of cultural redemption struggles to accept or assimilate the rendition of Israel as a mere nation-state engaged in the violations of international law that attend any colonial or imperial power.  This reluctance assumes multiple forms:  

“But Israel…”

“What about the…?”

“My entire life I was taught…”

“How can we…?”  

These preambles lead to the same predicates: the struggle with an existential crisis of both form and content.  The questioner is yet unable to match the idea of Jewish salvation with the reality of Israel.  The reality of Israel disrupts the succor of modernity, putting the vileness of colonization into deep conflict with the comfort of redemption.  

The discomfort thus produced is valuable.  Myth and matter need to conflict if perplexed inheritors of Zionism are to be redeemed of its violence.  

The questioner intervenes not to make sense of the world but to be assured that the world can still make sense.  Israel’s inherent goodness and indispensability are critical to his political cosmology.  To question these narratives is to unsettle a range of commonplaces.  The questioner’s intensity pivots on a vital subtext: can I exist in this world?  

This kind of conversation occurs in personal and public settings. I’ve spent lots of time assuring mortified interlocutors that I have no interest in expunging them from the earth, that in fact I’m rather partial to the idea of sharing a nation with them.  They don’t generally find it convincing.  The reticence is perfectly sensible. They can take a political enemy at his word or fall back on years of indoctrination assuring them that, given half the chance, Arabs will toss Jews into the sea and ululate while they drown.  

Sometimes the inquiries are tenderly rendered, at other times hostile. They exhibit different gradations of empathy and comprehension, but they ultimately demand the same outcome: an assurance that the Jewish people will survive. Survival in this instance is indivisible from Israel’s billion-dollar war machinery.  

But it’s not the native’s duty to assure the settler’s comfort. It’s a rather ambitious demand, anyway. I vigorously support Jewish survival and success, but I don’t have the power to implement my political desires. Like anybody else, I can only attempt to enact conditions that might make the world more hospitable for all its inhabitants. It requires huge groups of people working together to effect that desire across or within societies. Shocking Zionists out of their ethnonationalist stupor is one way to help.  

Doing so isn’t simply a matter of readjusting the colonizer’s attitude. There’s also the pressing need to assure the survival of the Palestinians, who, as we’re so often compelled to forget, suffer the pain of colonization, sustain genocidal threats by mainstream Israeli politicians, remain starved and entrapped in the Gaza Strip, and exist as hobgoblins in Israel’s peculiar insecurities. To make Palestinians human, composed of brain, epidermis, muscle, and bone, and given to silliness, compassion, beauty, contradiction, brilliance, ambivalence, strength, and insecurity, is to simultaneously undermine the most basic aspiration of the Zionist project, the creation of a state defined by its monopoly of an ethno-religious identity accessible through accidents of biology.  

It is critical to remember amid the hand-wringing about Arabs destroying Israel and displacing its inhabitants that Israel has already destroyed Palestine and displaced the Arabs. Israel’s existential fears project its actual history. The antidote is not yet another displacement, but neither can we move past the sorrow of the dispossessed. Such propositions are always more pragmatic from the point of view of the settler.  

The settler’s pragmatism has a nagging ability to make the native disappear. And though I can be patient with sincere inquests about the preservation of Jewish peoplehood, even if the point is actually to preserve Zionism, I am less sanguine about many of the tactics that focalize Jews and Israelis to the detriment of others invested in Palestine—especially those who have right to call themselves Indigenous. Various discourses in defense of Israel—almost uniformly defending the idea of Israel—purport to complicate convention but produce a severely conventional outcome: the reduction of Israel-Palestine to a fundamental question of Jewishness.

Consider the primary forms of remonstration anybody speaking in support of Palestine encounters: accusations of anti-Semitism; demands to aver Israel’s right to exist or to disavow Israel’s destruction; the association of Palestinians with Hitler; prognostications of a second Holocaust; fear of binationalism (that is, actual democracy); disgust at an atavistic Arab and Muslim desire to harm Jews.

While these approaches seem concerned with Israel’s survival, they actually serve to expedite Palestine’s disappearance. The very notion of an Israel that survives the pressure of decolonization reinforces the disintegration of Palestine, both as a geography and a site of emotional or intellectual engagement. While Zionists fret about Israel’s right to exist, Palestinians endure the violence of nonexistence.  

It isn’t just a lack of land that circumscribes the Palestinian’s existence. Identifying with Palestine can produce a constant state of concealment, a clandestine passage into the deterritorialized presence of a dangerous identity.  

Where, then, do Palestinians exist? In worldly geographies. In disreputable alliance with other wretched denizens of premodernity. In visions of return and restitution. In the sustenance of olives and legumes. In village ruins dotting the Holy Land. In spaces the colonizer can never enter.  

In the end, though, and against great odds, we merely exist. As a result, we haunt the imagination of our oppressor. We have made good use of our existence, for we can be found wherever racism, colonization, and plutocracy are challenged. We must, anyway, always attempt to find these places.  

In turn, we win no major awards unless we facilitate our own dispossession. We are absent from the ranks of regular commenters for corporate publications. Our politics must die for our livelihoods to survive. We constantly regroup after experiences of persnickety exclusion. Returning home is a painful adventure. Many of us aren’t allowed to try, disapproved of even having the opportunity to be harassed by teenage occupation soldiers.  

Yet a simple fact remains. Israel occupies a limited geography, but Palestine exists everywhere. Palestine’s existence as a universal aspiration to freedom inspires a great deal of Zionist disquiet.  

Colonial projects simultaneously generate overconfidence and insecurity. The perturbed Zionist needs reassurance that he will survive because the Palestinian has retained claim to Palestine, the Zionist’s salvation. The greatest mistake of Zionism was its belief that it could produce a society unaffected by the one it endeavored to replace.  

Israel has the advantage of international recognition, a military, trade agreements, nuclear weapons, diplomatic relations, and UN membership, which provide geopolitical legitimacy. But it will always be burdened by its failure to expunge Palestinians from history.  That burden will ultimately overwhelm it. I suspect that Zionists afflicted by existential anxiety know this and in turn project onto Palestinians the failure of Zionism to fulfill its grandiose promises.  

A hard truth exists, however, and we needn’t be shy to speak it: the existential frailty of those weaned on Zionism isn’t a valid reason to stop condemning Israel. It’s a nation-state, not an abstraction.  

Consider: since the start of the second intifada in 2000, Israel has killed 1,977 children. Nearly 500 of those children were eight or younger. Over 200 children currently suffer Israeli military detention. At certain points in the past ten years, the number has exceeded 300. From April 2004 to February 2013, twenty Palestinian children were forced into service as human shields. Various human rights groups documented the practice during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s 51-day assault on the Gaza Strip. Since the end of Protective Edge, though the assault can’t in any meaningful way be said to have ended, Israel has killed over 600 Palestinians, 110 of them children.  

I don’t share these numbers for shock value. They illustrate that while we’re often forced to consider Zionism in the abstract, its victims experience it as a physical reality. That Israel directs so much of its violence at children illuminates the longstanding impulse to halt Palestinian life at its inception.  

Israel recently announced the seizure of 370 acres in the Jordan Valley. When the Israeli government seizes land, it justifies the theft on ideological grounds, but treats the land as a commodity. New land means more water, more construction contracts, more weapons purchases, and more electoral posturing. It enhances the colonizer’s agriculture and industry. Palestinian land is the basis of Israel’s occupation economy.  

Their land pilfered by rapacious settlers, their farms sealed by steel and concrete, their villages constricted by colonial jurisprudence, their humanity reduced to color-coded identities, I again ask: where do Palestinians exist?  

Perhaps it’s better to ask, “Where can Palestinians exist?” We have survived all climates and topographies, but no people is whole deprived of its ancestral land. The Zionist’s existential anxieties linger precisely because he occupies a land whose history has been retrofitted to inform a self-validating impulse that can never actually validate his tenuous colonial existence, and that certainly can never convince the native to offer such validation, on which the colonizer’s self-esteem relies. The Palestinian has no such problem. The Palestinians’ problem is simple: their land has been stolen. Resolving this problem doesn’t require the colonizer’s validation.  

All of this can be understood through quick analysis of stones.  Yes, stones—chunks of demolished hillside, construction detritus, pieces of granite smoothed over by millennia of wind and water. That analysis can be metaphorical, but even their geological qualities tell us all we need to know about the colonizer’s psychology.  

In September 2015, at the behest of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel increased the severity of penalties for Palestinian stone-throwers. (Israeli settlers, on the other hand, can throw firebombs into children’s bedrooms without much hassle.) As is common in Israeli jurisprudence, stone-throwing is a crime that inspires collective punishment. This zealousness leads to all kinds of human rights violations, many committed against children—and many affecting people who weren’t tossing stones in the first place.  

Israel’s supporters say that stone-throwing can lead to death and is therefore worthy of serious punishment. But are stones dangerous? In the most technical and unimaginative sense, probably. However, if we’re going to reduce a project of ethnic cleansing, illegal settlement, and military occupation to the minuscule chance that a soldier or a settler will be harmed by an act of resistance by the native, then we forfeit all right to be taken seriously.  

I don’t want to bog down in the stupidity of comparing the actions of the colonizer and the colonized. That a category of colonizer even exists should end that discussion the moment it begins. Israel’s mere presence is a continuous act of violence.  

It’s better to look at the symbolic conditions informing the Zionist’s anxiety about stones. Do Palestinians throw stones as a weapon of warfare? Maybe. Sometimes. They’re more often a weapon of imagination, emblems of a dogged refusal to submit or disappear. No matter the intent when a Palestinian throws a stone, the Israeli perceives it as an act of rejection. It is an accurate perception. This act of rejection, not any perceived danger, provokes the Zionist’s disdain.  

Think about the moment in 2000 when Edward Said tossed a stone from southern Lebanon into northern Israel. The stone didn’t come close to hitting anything—the nearest object was an Israeli military watchtower—and the episode would have passed without interest had a photographer not furtively captured it. The photographer was smart. His picture became a sensation, launching a hysterical news cycle about Said’s genocidal tendencies and renewing demands for his termination as a professor at Columbia University.  

But what about the military watchtower? It’s the normative object in the scene. It wasn’t threatened by Said’s stone, but it threatens thousands of people. It’s the apotheosis of colonization and militarism. It houses soldiers whose bullets travel at a much greater speed than Said’s manual projectile. Said was well aware of the ridiculousness of the outrage, its sanctimony and disingenuousness. He noted that he had joined in “the spirit of the place that infected everyone with the same impulse, to make a symbolic gesture of joy that the occupation [of southern Lebanon] had ended.”  

The only inalienable possession of the native is the moral burden of violence. The colonizer owns everything else. Thus the military watchtower is an afterthought—or not even a thought at all beyond its existence as a backdrop to Said’s unconscionable action.  

Or consider the mural hanging in the student center at York University in Toronto. It depicts a bulldozer about to plow an olive tree, while a Palestinian watches with stones cupped behind his back. Paul Bronfman, of the famous Canadian bootlegging family, threatened to withdraw his support of the university unless the mural was taken down. York refused to remove it. Bronfman made good on his threat. It’s worth noting that Bronfman’s support went beyond monetary donations; he runs a film production company—there’s a large movie industry in Toronto—and declared that he would no longer allow York students use of his studios or equipment, nor would he continue an internship program with the university.  

Bronfman is aware that nobody suffers from this controversy more than students. He was unmoved, though, blaming his choice to pull funding on York’s faculty and president. They all, he declared, share guilt for the promotion of anti-Semitism.  

Zionist reaction to the painting is notable not because of politics—of course Zionists dislike the message of the piece—but because it shows that ethnonationalism negatively affects acumen. The colonial gaze is incapable of identifying power anywhere but in the stone, the object that threatens Israel’s covetousness, as represented by the bulldozer. The entire painting is reducible to a miniscule earthly extraction that supersedes all other scenery.  

It’s the stone. It has to be the stone. There’s no other way to understand the image if the viewer is beholden to a colonial fetish. The bulldozer is a mere accoutrement to a serene landscape interrupted by the Palestinian’s irrational violence. The Zionist must ignore it. His ignorance is active and vigorous.  

It is always this way in geographies of settler colonization. The monuments of settlement, even those erected for the purpose of inflicting harm, disappear into a backdrop of structural normativity. The native’s movements, in contrast, assume a super-political immediacy.  

Thus the overemphasis on stones in the Zionist’s paranoid cosmology. The stones assume a primordial importance, but never the bombs and bulldozers that transform structures into rubble. The stones symbolize conflict, but never the land from which stones are excavated.  The act of stone-throwing, no matter its intent, always signifies an unearthing of history that the colonizer is deeply invested in suppressing.  

In fact, there is little by way of Zionist activism, a corporate affair more accurately described as astroturfing, that isn’t fundamentally an articulation of existential anxiety. Zionists have spent decades shutting down anything to do with Palestine. It’s not just overtly political events, speeches and activism and rallies and the like. It’s anything that endeavors to show Palestinians as a discrete people with history, culture, emotions, and aspirations, anything, in other words, that merely renders the Palestinians human—art exhibitions, children’s debke, film and literary festivals, music performances.  

The preferred vocabulary of suppression has long been “balance.” The idea is that a so-called “pro-Palestinian” speaker or exhibit must be countered—or, more accurately, moderated—by a so-called “pro-Israel” speaker or exhibit. (These categories, by the way, are misleading.  “Pro-justice” and “pro-ethnocracy” would be more accurate even though they make little sense without an understanding of their context.) But there’s nothing balanced about this structure. The Zionist supposedly devoted to fairness doesn’t seek balance; he seeks oversight.  

Balance is a silly overture that precludes intellectual honesty. No serious thinker ever proposes balance, and no thinking person seriously entertains the proposition. Let’s therefore explore what it means in relation to Zionism’s tenuous disposition. Palestinian celebration of life inspires the dissolution of Israel’s ethnocratic aspirations. Balance is vital because suppression provides Israel its sustenance. Balance, in other words, forestalls the realization of an afterlife to Zionism.  

Suppressing anything Palestine can be seen as an attempt to preserve a political identity. If we understand BDS, for instance, as an articulation of Palestinian aspirations to dignity and freedom, then its delimitation through the force of state power—courts, coercion, criminalization, and so forth—makes sense as an impulse to ensure Zionism’s continued survival. The survival of the ideology, in turn, enables the perpetuation of its proponents.  

Yes, Zionists try to shut down BDS because it threatens change and exposes Israel’s dismal human rights record. But they also detest BDS because it endangers their predominance as cultural and political consumers in a marketplace they have long dominated. Palestinians have so long been limited to peripheries of hostility or exoticism in Zionist symbology that their emergence as agents in the public forum has enacted a type of self-reflection incompatible with the demands of ethnonationalism.  

So let us return to the original question: what to do when somebody expresses a visceral attachment to the idea of Israel. There is no universal response, but we can deploy a basic strategy: allow the Zionist’s internal conflict to exist. In fact, exacerbate it. That internal conflict isn’t an imperfection to be ameliorated, but a failure of imagination to be overcome. It’s not a matter of assigning blame to a person raised on an ethnonational narrative. Anybody committed to justice has to unlearn reactionary narratives, whether instilled by parents, teachers, peers, clergy, executives, politicians, directors, writers, or broadcasters, or all of them in tandem.  

When somebody expresses anxiety about Zionism’s probity, especially in a public setting, it is an indication that the person is thinking about something, considering new ways of approaching an issue, willing to risk acrimony in order to come to an answer. We ought to facilitate that process by rendering the attendant discomfort even more acute.  

In the end, there is a truth of which anybody interested in the travails of the Holy Land ought to be aware: Palestine will continue to push inward from the colonial peripheries whose architecture weakens with each new war crime, act of repression, genocidal proclamation, uprooted olive tree, land grab, settlement bloc, home demolition, and mass imprisonment. It is better to restructure the destruction of Palestine together, but its liberation ultimately doesn’t require anybody’s consent but that of the people seeking freedom.  

About Steven Salaita

Steven Salaita's most recent book is Inter/Nationalism: Decolonizing Native America and Palestine.

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63 Responses

  1. MHughes976
    February 25, 2016, 2:45 pm

    This was the talk I attended the other night. I really enjoyed it – couldn’t stay long into the question period. If anyone else on Mondoweiss was there it would be interesting to know how the Q and A went.
    I have some problems. The core point seems to be that the recognised humanity of the Palestinians, when it is finally recognised as it must be, undermines the aspiration to create an ethnoreligious state.
    But does it? The imagined Zionist might say ‘On the contrary, it emphasises how necessary this aspiration is: it’s because the Palestians are human that they stand in our way; it’s because they’re not of our ethnoreligious kind, the kind whose distinctness from the rest of humanity is essential (God could not bless the others unless he first blessed us; if only they understood this!), that there is no place for them’.
    Salaita ends by arguing that the ineluctable humanity of the Palestinians means that the law of the return of the repressed applies to them – indeed is already at work, partly in the momentum of BDS. I would like to think that this was true.

    • Annie Robbins
      February 25, 2016, 5:32 pm

      MHughes, of course if Palestinian existence (mere humanity) is recognized it undermines the aspiration to create an ethnoreligious state.

      this is such a brilliant lecture and i took a lot of notes. from the colonizers’s realignment to a comfortable foundation — from which to question or argue, “The questioner intervenes not to make sense of the world but to be assured that the world can still make sense. .. the “readjusting the colonizer’s attitude.” to the “reduction of Israel-Palestine to a fundamental question of Jewishness.”..

      the symbolization of rocks…which i have given a lot of thought to, i will be back (skip below). thank you so much Steven Salaita.

      • Mooser
        February 26, 2016, 10:58 am

        “the symbolization of rocks…”

        Might want to take a look at: Mircea Eliade “A History of Religious Ideas” (University of Chicago Press, 1978) . It’s got all kinds of stuff about that.

        Me, I skipped that stuff and got down to brass tacks with “Dionysus, or Bliss Recovered”.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 26, 2016, 1:33 pm

        the symbolism of stones cannot be over stated, and the competition for what that symbolism stands for is something israel is fighting to the core. bassam tamimi explains “We see our stones as our message” (see Ben Ehrenreich’s nyt article) and everyone knows this. against overwhelming military power the visualization of palestinians throwing rocks challenges power viscerally to a global audience. so how does israel and israel supporters challenge that? by claiming it is a genocidal intent to kill.

        israel wants stones to act as a tool in their favor. once the act becomes defined as attempted murder not just (in salaita’s words) “the native is the moral burden of violence.” but (in zionist’s hopeful framing) the ‘moral burden of attempted murder or genocide’. the validation to the settler they are the prey (the victim). this is the greatest burden for the zionist, to be denied his so called rightful place as victim.

        make no mistake, this is what one critic of the mural at York University wrote (i can find source) that the palestinian was waiting for a settler to drive by so he could kill him — that it symbolized killing all the jews (whereas i see restraint/sumud/patience or possible frustration in holding the stones behind the man’s back).

        right after the traffic accident that landed the hares boys in prison sans any evidence against them the settler leader demanded/cajoled stone throwing be defined as terrorism. (see here: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/02/despite-total-lack-of-evidence-israeli-court-sentences-hares-boys-to-15-years-in-prison-for-stone-throwing/ )and this was the precursor to legislating rock throwing as having murderous intent.

        embedded in zionism (and perhaps judaism re passover prayer ““How is it, that in each generation, they rise upon us to destroy us” ) is the imperative israel is the victim even against (in the instance of palestine) overwhelming odds to the contrary.

        in everyway, the ownership of narrative over what the stone symbolizes — that palestinians refuse to submit their message — and the lengths israel will take to impose their interpretation (intent to kill) to the extent of 20 year prison sentences.

        so when salaita says

        No matter the intent when a Palestinian throws a stone, the Israeli perceives it as an act of rejection. It is an accurate perception. This act of rejection, not any perceived danger, provokes the Zionist’s disdain.

        i recognize zionism demands submission. palestinians are rejecting submission and have perpetually rejected submission. the refusal to submit, imho, is what most provokes zionist distain. so in their(zionists) response they imprison, kill, demand and impose physical submission.

        and it will never work because palestinians will not submit (relinquish) their (message of) resistance. you cannot legislate that message away.

        even today i am reminded of this demand for submission in the ridiculous “palestinians love death” http://mondoweiss.net/2016/02/palestinians-love-death-according-to-israeli-leaders-who-love-life/ in this quote:

        “We’re in a struggle to convince the world that there are huge differences between us and our enemies”.

        their struggle is convincing the world they are the (righteous!) victim, a struggle they can never win as long as palestinians do not submit (their message/resistance) to zionist colonization.

        edit and p.s. i am not aware of an inherent demand of colonizers to be perceived as victims. albeit this is not a subject i have studied. it could be common. i don’t know if it’s unique to jewish colonial nationalism. while other colonizers have felt like victims and/or portrayed themselves as such, i don’t know if it’s a primary propaganda theme the way it is wrt zionism. unlike jews, there’s nothing in my upbringing pressing upon me, influencing me thru messaging, to perceive myself as a victim. so in this way perhaps this idea (of zionist colonization over palestine) segues naturally with a previously developed predisposed victimhood psychosis within the culture. just a thought.

      • jd65
        February 27, 2016, 1:48 pm

        Ahoy Annie: “the symbolization of rocks…which i have given a lot of thought to…” As have we all. In my mind, Amira Hass nailed it a while back:

        Throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule. Throwing stones is an action as well as a metaphor of resistance. Persecution of stone-throwers, including 8-year-old children, is an inseparable part − though it’s not always spelled out − of the job requirements of the foreign ruler, no less than shooting, torture, land theft, restrictions on movement, and the unequal distribution of water sources…

        Steadfastness ‏(Sumud‏) and resistance against the physical, and even more so the systemic, institutionalized violence, is the core sentence in the inner syntax of Palestinians in this land. This is reflected every day, every hour, every moment, without pause…

        Often hurling stones is borne of boredom, excessive hormones, mimicry, boastfulness and competition. But in the inner syntax of the relationship between the occupier and the occupied, stone-throwing is the adjective attached to the subject of “We’ve had enough of you, occupiers.

  2. rugal_b
    February 25, 2016, 3:12 pm

    Yeah, what basically this article says is this : Many born-Zionists exists purely due to the evil deeds of their immediate ancestors. Their existence is unblessed, illegitimate, they are a living example of human depravity and inferiority. A fertile land can be made into a nurturing garden of trees and flowers, or it can be left to be overgrown with worthless weed and all form of nasty parasites. In anthropological terms, Zionists can be considered as analogical to the weed, absolutely worthless and exist only to destroy the beauty of the garden and its bounty. No wonder they are anxious of their existence, just like the white people of America. Deep down they know, if the garden was well-cared for and tended to with the utmost love and respect, they wouldn’t even exist today.

    • Mooser
      February 26, 2016, 12:29 pm

      “rugal b” you are so phony.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 26, 2016, 1:43 pm

        yeah, i just ignored it. not content to have his say he prefaces it w/”basically this article says”. yawn.

      • rugal_b
        February 27, 2016, 12:49 am

        Why are white Americans so psychologically messed up then? Why are white guys going on shooting rampages almost everyday? This level of mental breakdown among a privileged, non-oppressed group must have a root cause, going back to the foundation of the nation. White people, like Zionist Israelis, are genetically damaged due to the social engineering done by the historical white leaders to establish a white supremacist nation. In order to do so, they needed to breed out the compassionate and intelligent, and promote the cowards, the stupid and the narcissists whose genetic descendants make up the vast majority of white americans today.

        @Annie , I don’t think what I said before id stupid at all…a healthy positive society must be actively strived for, systematically and rationally. White supremacy assumes this is not the case for white people, who happen to be intrinsically superior and doesn’t need to play by the rules to be part of a mature productive society. Naturally, this led to the white American society we have now characterized with sexism, misogyny, racism, greed, hedonism, anti-intellect and many more mess qualities.

      • Mooser
        February 27, 2016, 12:16 pm

        “Why are white Americans…/… of white americans today.”

        Yup that all made a lot of sense. Anyway, Swiss or Bavarian, Black Forest, Lego, you choose.

      • gamal
        February 27, 2016, 2:56 pm

        “White people, like Zionist Israelis, are genetically damaged due to the social engineering”

        Social engineering has genetic effects or you engineer at the genetic level?
        Are you an experiment?

        “done by the historical white leaders”
        Clever bastards, they are a Genus?

        “to establish a white supremacist nation.”

        where? the nation is a racist? its spreading from white leader via gentetic damage to nations, is furniture affected? in the barn there is a sofa under a throw its always seemed sinister to me, how would i tell if its a sumpremacist furnishing?

        “In order to do so, they needed to breed out the compassionate and intelligent”

        but then all the babies would die, have you ever nurtured one what do you think it involves? even the most savage beast shows love and compassion to its young, maybe they (Historical White Leaders) pick up all the issue, is this the plot of the “Human Centipede”?

        ” and promote the cowards, the stupid and the narcissists whose genetic descendants make up the vast majority of white americans today.”

        Have you ever thought of standing for office with the prevalence of self-hatred in White Culture you could gain extensive support, you may want to brush up on the science and every other aspect of your pitch before offering yourself to the ravening White Beast, but I believe their damaged and thus inferior Genes make them vulnerable very to us, they’ll do anything for a curry.

  3. peanuts
    February 25, 2016, 3:41 pm

    Thank you for this eloquent articulation, Steven Salaita. I have followed your story and am saddened by it. I was recently castigated and made the pariah within a group for sharing the same belief in the plight of the Palestinian populace. Called a traitor, fascist, terrorist, anti-Semite, and received death threats. Luckily I do not know these people in person. How rabid the unthinking zealot can be when reciting the company line. I look forward to more of your work, you have given me more courage not to be intimidated into silence.

  4. Stephen Shenfield
    February 25, 2016, 5:13 pm

    This is brilliant.

    The “tossed into the sea to drown” motif became part of Israeli Jews’ fears through exploitation of Shukhairy’s demagogic threats, which may have had their origin in the real experience of Palestinians being pushed into the sea to drown during the Nakba. In Haifa, for instance, they were stampeded by Haganah gunfire into the harbor, where many were unable to board vessels and get away. The only people in this conflict who have been drowned in the sea so far are Palestinians. More recently the Israeli navy has done it to Gaza fishermen.

    Jewish survival anxiety is a real phenomenon, but it should always be stressed that by now it is mainly an artificial product of the Holocaust cult. The Zionists (I mean the puppet masters not their Jewish victims) deliberately harp on the Holocaust in order to sustain the survival anxiety on which the continuation of their project depends. The anxiety has no basis in the post-1945 reality, which has now prevailed for seventy years.

  5. Les
    February 25, 2016, 5:13 pm

    Good news from Illinois.

    U.S. Court Overturns Palestinian’s Guilty Sentence for Failing to Disclose Israel Terror Convictions

    Rasmieh Odeh was convicted in November 2014 for failing to disclose that an Israel military court convicted her for two 1969 bombings in Jerusalem, one of which killed two men.
    Mary Wisniewski Feb 25, 2016 9:58 PM

    REUTERS – A U.S. appellate court on Thursday vacated the conviction of a Palestinian activist charged with immigration fraud for failing to tell U.S. authorities she had been imprisoned in Israel for a 1969 supermarket bombing that killed two people.

    Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, 68, has said her confession to the bombing was the result of severe torture by the Israeli military, including rape and electric shocks.

    The 6th Circuit U.S. Appellate Court opinion said a lower court should have allowed expert testimony that Odeh was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to torture in prison, and did not know her statements to immigration officials were false.

    The appellate court said the lower court erred by excluding the testimony.

    The expert would have testified that Odeh’s PTSD caused her to interpret questions in a way to avoid any thought of her trauma, the court opinion said.

    The three-judge panel also vacated the 18-month prison sentence against Odeh imposed last March, and sent the case back to the district court. Odeh has been out on bond during her appeal, said defense attorney Michael Deutsch.

    “It goes to the heart of the case,” said Deutsch of the opinion. “We’re happy, because we’re still going to be fighting for her rights in court.”

    Another judge on the panel wrote that the conviction should be vacated on other grounds.

    If the lower court decides the PTSD testimony is admissible, it will require a new trial. If the court finds another reason to exclude the testimony, the case will go back on appeal, Deutsch said.

    Gina Balaya, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Detroit, said the office respects the court’s opinion and will argue its position at the evidentiary hearing.

    http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/1.705556

    • Annie Robbins
      February 25, 2016, 5:39 pm

      OMG!

      • just
        February 25, 2016, 6:07 pm

        YAY!

        Justice will prevail………….

      • Annie Robbins
        February 25, 2016, 6:16 pm

        i know, it’s incredible!. it’s not over but it’s so much closer to being over.

    • YoniFalic
      February 26, 2016, 2:26 am

      A straightforward reading of 8 U.S. Code § 1325 – Improper entry by alien ¶ (a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection; misrepresentation and concealment of facts makes it hard to justify excluding psychiatric testimony.

      Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.

    • ritzl
      February 28, 2016, 10:45 am

      Wow! Yay! Double Yay!!

      Anyone know the process by which this finding becomes or can become citable precedent?

  6. just
    February 25, 2016, 5:44 pm

    Thanks, Prof Salaita.

    I am both humbled and enriched. Take good care of yourself, sir.

  7. diasp0ra
    February 25, 2016, 5:49 pm

    Great piece, well worth the read. Feeling blessed to have Mr. Salaita as one of our most eloquent defenders.

    • bintbiba
      February 27, 2016, 12:56 pm

      “Great piece, well worth the read. Feeling blessed to have Mr. Salaita as one of our most eloquent defenders. ”

      Thank you, diasp0ra.
      I couldn’t have said it any better !

  8. gamal
    February 25, 2016, 8:11 pm

    That was like Hemingway in his Ernest X phase,

    “The Palestinians’ problem is simple: their land has been stolen. Resolving this problem doesn’t require the colonizer’s validation.”

    “The colonial gaze is incapable of identifying power anywhere but in the stone, the object that threatens Israel’s covetousness”

    “It is better to restructure the destruction of Palestine together, but its liberation ultimately doesn’t require anybody’s consent but that of the people seeking freedom. ”

    The essence of ghettology is to never collude with your oppression or accept your place to never smooth out the rough edges, it creates generations of heroic youth always ready like Mr. Salaita, to strike up the sparks and light the fire, its burning anyway.

    “Life itself was my teacher”

    https://youtu.be/AvrvumcLruQ

  9. Tchoupitoulas
    February 25, 2016, 11:13 pm

    Thanks Prof Salaita – it is good to read your writing. I have supported you (politically) but have not read your books yet. I can see from this O/P how sensitive and insightful you are, and look forward to re-reading this essay, and contemplating it further.

    I was a bit struck by this sentence, “Israel’s existential fears project its actual history.”

    Have you read Freddie deBoer on this topic? I thought his essay for Andrew Sullivan was so concise, so elegant, so cogent — “Palestinians Live What Israelis Fear:”

    http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/08/20/palestinians-live-what-israelis-fear/

    Take care and good luck to you.

  10. yourstruly
    February 26, 2016, 12:37 am

    the stone as an act of rejection

    and since stones are most everywhere

    no wonder zionists forever drive themselves mad

  11. Marnie
    February 26, 2016, 6:15 am

    Professor Salaita –
    I wish I had studied a lot more when I was in school (and was younger) so that maybe I could have the honor and privilege to study under you. I am awestruck and humbled at the strength of your convictions and the power of your words. How I envy your students!

  12. Elliot
    February 26, 2016, 12:40 pm

    1) This is a masterful analysis full of great insights – which I intend to borrow from liberally!
    But I wasn’t convinced by the prescription for changing people’s minds. Does Prof. Salaita have successes he can point to how “exacerbating the conflict” has brought about a change of heart?

    2) The picture resonates with me as an Israeli. This is exactly how the Israeli parks service marks its hiking trails.

    https://www.google.com/search?site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1274&bih=663&q=israel+walking+trails&oq=israel+walking+trails&gs_l=img.3…3707.6281.0.6468.21.7.0.7.7.0.885.1568.2-3j6-1.4.0….0…1ac.1.64.img..11.9.1337.t7wYtIywdNI#imgrc=HTONPoFUpO60tM%3A

    Hiking across the country was an early expression of Zionist lordship over the land and an enduring one. I wonder of this marking is a Palestinian response, claiming the land back from the Zionists.

    • Mooser
      February 26, 2016, 4:42 pm

      “Does Prof. Salaita have successes he can point to how “exacerbating the conflict” has brought about a change of heart?”

      Almost every Jewish Israeli has someplace else to go. That can bring about a change of heart when the conflict exacerbates.

      • Elliot
        February 26, 2016, 8:04 pm

        An Israeli Jew who needs such a change of heart would never talk about these questions to an Arab such as Prof. Salaita. Anyway, as he wrote he doesn’t want the Israelis to leave.

        So how many American Zionists have responded well to this treatment, Prof. Salaita?

    • Susan A
      February 28, 2016, 3:27 pm

      Elliot, when professor Salaita talks about “exacerbating the conflict”, isn’t he talking about people’s internal conflict, whereby they cannot reconcile certain things? “So let us return to the original question: what to do when somebody expresses a visceral attachment to the idea of Israel. There is no universal response, but we can deploy a basic strategy: allow the Zionist’s internal conflict to exist. In fact, exacerbate it. That internal conflict isn’t an imperfection to be ameliorated, but a failure of imagination to be overcome. It’s not a matter of assigning blame to a person raised on an ethnonational narrative. Anybody committed to justice has to unlearn reactionary narratives, whether instilled by parents, teachers, peers, clergy, executives, politicians, directors, writers, or broadcasters, or all of them in tandem.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/02/palestine-and-the-anxiety-of-existence/#sthash.2D50yVtG.dpuf
      Regarding Israeli Jews never talking to Arabs, such as Steven, I’m not so sure that’s true; certainly, that’s how Miko Peled learned how to reconcile his inner conflict. For others, it’s because they have been there and seen, and whilst that may be upsetting for people, it’s ultimately a way of healing.

      • MHughes976
        February 28, 2016, 5:40 pm

        He certainly meant inner conflict. He was addressing a mainly Western audience: I think that by ‘we’ he meant all who are on the Palestinian side in the debate and by ‘someone’ he meant anyone who has a visceral pro-Israel sentiment, not only Jewish people with that sentiment. I think (I’m saying ‘I think’ rather a lot; mind you, I was there) that in his view those who draw attention to their feelings in this style are already slightly conflicted: there’s a streak of guilt or a sense that their thoughts are not quite straight. The best response is not to offer comfort – ‘I understand your feelings’ – but to remind them that they are not the only ones with viscera, that the average Palestinian has them too, the fact to which they have trained their imagination to be unresponsive. As they sense the return of repressed human sympathy they will unlearn the reactionary narrative and then mutual understanding and mutual comfort will start to be possible.
        There’s a poem or hymn about redemption’s coming ‘soul by soul and silently’. I am sure that the process to which Salaita refers has often taken place in that manner but I share what I take to be Elliot’s doubts about its effects on the larger scale.

      • Elliot
        February 29, 2016, 1:18 pm

        Susan –
        As an Israeli Jew, I can assure you that if Israeli Jews talk to Palestinians it ain’t about the heart of the matter.
        Salaita is interested in justice not in folks’ internal lives not for the fun of it but as a pathway to resolution.
        Miko Peled and the handful of other names we can mention are notable because they are so rare. They are the exceptions that prove the rule.
        Salaita’s piece is important as analysis and, yes, of course, we should not be trying to make supporters of the occupation feel good about it.
        I’m not investing my time in trying to have these kinds of conversations as nobody can point to worthwhile returns on this kind of effort.

  13. yonah fredman
    February 26, 2016, 3:40 pm

    I do not doubt Salaita’s basic openness of heart, wishing for a shared future between those who live in Israel today and those who will live in Palestine tomorrow. But is his good heart indicative of what that future will look like? I doubt it. There are others on the ground who will be closer to the action and to the power and to the chaos and disorder than his kind words. It is important to hear kind words and to think in the direction of common action from all those who wish for a future in Palestine/ the land/ Israel. And thus in toto Salaita’s words are welcome.

    • Mooser
      February 26, 2016, 4:45 pm

      “There are others on the ground…”

      Lions and tigers and bears and Hamas, oh my! There’s nothing scarier than the thought of those “others on the ground” (whose name we must never say, lest we permit them to exist!)

      “Yonah” try standing on a chair, clutching your skirts, and screaming “others on the ground!” and maybe somebody will rescue you.

      ” It is important to hear kind words…”

      Gee, wouldn’t a nice fruit basket, and a handwritten card from the Palestinians (whoops, I meant “the others on the ground”) thanking the Zionists for all they have done for them meet the case? Maybe a contribution to your favorite settlement?

    • rosross
      February 26, 2016, 11:38 pm

      The stark reality for Israeli colonists in Palestine is the same as white South Africans, you are outnumbered. Apartheid arose in both countries out of bigotry, religious for Israel and racial for South Africa, but bigotry it remains and apartheid will not be tolerated in the civilized world.

      If Israelis had been smart, and the stupidity of actions over the past 70 years bears little testament to the much-touted intellect of the religion’s followers, they would have either created two fully independent states, with exactly the same rights and contiguous borders with Jerusalem as an international city, as it was meant to be under the UN mandate, or one state shared by indigenous and coloniser alike, as everyone else has done.

      But Israel has made two states impossible and that means the one-state will be forced onto Israel as it was onto South Africa. Israelis made their bed on the basis of bigotry and now must lie in it.

      No doubt many will stay, since many, perhaps most are secular/atheist and hardly Jewish anyway and they have more in common with Palestinians than the peoples of the countries their parents or grandparents left behind.

      But, when the end comes, Israelis will have to accept ‘it was all their own work.’

    • Tchoupitoulas
      March 1, 2016, 12:43 am

      Thanks, Yonah, for your kind (and wise) words.

  14. rosross
    February 26, 2016, 9:09 pm

    I know I have said this before, but Israel has been poorly served by its so-called friends who have allowed it to debase itself as occupier, coloniser and apartheid State, all of which cannot but contribute to the decline and corruption of the society as a whole.

    The US funds the Israeli State and could have stopped all of this long ago. It did not. The international community has also allowed Israel to commit war crimes and human rights atrocities across all of the decades of its existence and during its foundation, without calling it to account.

    While I don’t do conspiracy theories, finding human beings flawed, corrupt, greedy, incompetent, stupid, arrogant and warped enough to create any sort of chaos and disaster without the slightest amount of planning, there is also an element to the inevitable destruction of Israel where one cannot help but think that many of those so-called friends, were in fact enemies all along – frenemies as I coined it long ago.

    But, having said that, Israelis and their supporters must take responsibility for what they have done, what they do, what they are and pointing the finger, as others have been told, is not allowed as a defence or an excuse.

  15. Michael Lesher
    February 28, 2016, 8:06 am

    This is both deeply insightful and beautifully expressed. My thanks and congratulations.

    It’s interesting to notice the special frisson of horror that always surrounds the weapon used by Palestinians at any particular moment (or the object most noted in popular media). Obviously it’s not the object that inspires such terror — how dangerous is a stone or a pair of scissors next to automatic rifles and helicopter gunships — but its use by one of the colonized against the oppressor. This also helps to explain why the occupiers’ horror at resistance seems only to increase as the imbalance of power in their favor grows. (Dozens of Israeli columnists have recently been wailing about Israel’s terrible fear of “lone wolf” attacks with knives.) The terrifying fact is that, even against overwhelming power, resistance in some form continues. Like a ghost that won’t die, it haunts the oppressor everywhere, poisoning his comfort in a way he can’t prevent and can’t tolerate.

    • ritzl
      February 28, 2016, 11:09 am

      Great point.

      As the imbalance grows the safer the oppressors want to feel, the safer they think they should and have a right to feel, but the less they actually feel. What a psychological pickle.

      Describes the US perfectly too. The more we collectively come to believe that we are a beacon of freedom and self-determination, the more we resent people who don’t subscribe to that conceit. And we don’t mind killing a few million people to prove we are RIGHT.

      Sadly this spiral of death is self-reinforcing.

      I also wonder how much media promotes this spiral to US citizens by constantly and uncritically reporting Israeli concerns thereby legitimating them to us, or if our long history of doing this successfully showed Israel that it works as a mass manipulation tool. That’s probably a strong feedback loop in itself.

      • Boomer
        February 28, 2016, 12:20 pm

        re: ritzl: “I also wonder how much media promotes this spiral to US citizens . . .[there’s] . . . probably a strong feedback loop . . . ” Indeed, there is. The money cycles too.

    • Boomer
      February 28, 2016, 12:15 pm

      re Michael Lesher: “It’s interesting to notice the special frisson of horror that always surrounds the weapon used by Palestinians at any particular moment . . . ”

      I recall how, many years ago, when I still routinely read Thomas Friedman for enlightenment (i.e., before I was enlightened) he repeatedly expressed that special horror at the terrible audacity, the unique terror, the despicable crime of the suicide bomber. How dare someone be so motivated by rage and despair as to be willing to kill himself or herself in order to kill Israelis. Clearly, there could be nothing worse for Friedman. Civilized people use F-16s against a helpless populace to kill with impunity.

      • Susan A
        February 28, 2016, 3:18 pm

        Quite. One would think a car bomb or a bomb left somewhere would be far more dangerous. After all, a suicide bomber can only do it once, whilst others, like those manning F-16s can do it again and again.

      • talknic
        February 28, 2016, 3:57 pm

        Can anyone answer these two questions honestly? :

        1) What actual defenses do the Palestinians have against Israeli fighter bombers or helicopter gunships or artillery fired from Israeli warships, ground artillery or weaponized drones?

        2) How many Israeli fighter bombers, helicopter gunships, Israeli warships, ground artillery or weaponized drones have the Palestinians (not the armies of the Arab States) been able to destroy in the last 68 years?

        Iin place long before Israel was declared and a well established part of International Law that Israel obliged itself to uphold, the Laws of War, Art. 25., tells us and Israel’s military leaders of the past 68 years that: The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited

        Seems there have been 68 years of war crimes by every Israeli military leader as of 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time), when Israel’s border took effect.

  16. Kay24
    February 28, 2016, 9:47 am

    The zionist hasbara is taking the BS even further, by lying about the oppressed Palestinians, making it out that they suffer because of their OWN government.

    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

    “There are plenty of wacky rightist organizations. But the youngster who persuaded his friend not to boycott Israel said something else. “Most Palestinians aren’t oppressed. Those who are – are oppressed by their own government. Israel provides them with work, free electricity, health care and loads of humanitarian aid. I was there and saw it.”
    read more: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.705799

    According to Sarkozy, their miserable leader is a liar too.

  17. Boomer
    February 28, 2016, 12:06 pm

    Thank you Prof. Salaita for such an eloquent statement. As I read it, I focused on one sentence to cite, to hold up, to remember, but then the next was equally eloquent, equally memorable. I found it impossible to be selective. The entire statement is one to treasure.

  18. hophmi
    February 28, 2016, 2:22 pm

    Because a Jew’s existential discomfort never has a basis. It’s not like Jews have been persecuted or anything.

    What a callous human being Steven Salaita is.

    • Susan A
      February 28, 2016, 3:22 pm

      No. Not at all Hophmi and he’s certainly right on projection!

    • talknic
      February 28, 2016, 4:08 pm

      @ hophmi February 28, 2016, 2:22 pm

      “Because a Jew’s existential discomfort never has a basis. It’s not like Jews have been persecuted or anything.”

      If YOU say so hophmi. No one else has.

      Fragile strawmen without legs never get very far BTW, why do you use them so often?

    • Mooser
      February 28, 2016, 4:28 pm

      “Because a Jew’s existential discomfort never has a basis. It’s not like Jews have been persecuted or anything.”

      When “Hophmi” launches into his fine bass-baritone rendition (and I’m sure “Hophmi’s” all in favor of that) of “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen and Besides Us, Who Else Counts?” there’s not a dry eye left in the house.

      So, let me see, Jewish “existential discomfort” excuses us from the responsibility for, or requires us, to go dispossess and kill the Palestinians? I want to make sure I have it right. Or is it both, so I shouldn’t worry?

      Oh, BTW, “Hophmi” how’s your personal “existential discomfort” index? I guess you are seeing, and have been subjected to, so much “persecution” that about now you figure you’ve got an excuse for, heck, a good reason for, anything!
      Oh, I get it, that’s not the system, is it. Sorry, Now I see how it works, other Jews get persecuted, but you get the “existential discomfort” get-out-of-jail-free card for it!
      Aren’t they lucky you are here to collect their reparations for them!

      • talknic
        February 28, 2016, 7:55 pm

        Damn you Mooser

        “When “Hophmi” launches into his fine bass-baritone rendition (and I’m sure “Hophmi’s” all in favor of that) of “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen and Besides Us, Who Else Counts?” there’s not a dry eye left in the house”

        Too hastily reaching for that olde violin I spilled my ubiquitously tepid tea on the cat on the rug … on the mat … no damn it, it’s a rug now with tea stains! The cat has always looked tea stained, so I won’t have to explain that away. The rug however …

    • Mooser
      February 28, 2016, 4:42 pm

      “What a callous human being Steven Salaita is.”

      Right there with you, “Hophmi”! This Salaita guy is a real roughneck, already. The Zionist argument was already wounded and down, and he just keeps pumping bullets into it!

    • eljay
      February 28, 2016, 6:02 pm

      || hophmi: Because a Jew’s existential discomfort never has a basis. It’s not like Jews have been persecuted or anything.

      What a callous human being Steven Salaita is. ||

      Jews have been persecuted. Homosexuals have also been persecuted.

      Members of only one of those two groups have spent the past ~70 years advocating, committing, justifying and/or defending the (war) crimes required to establish and maintain as large as possible a supremacist state for themselves and their co-collectivists.

      What a hateful and immoral human being you are.

    • chocopie
      February 29, 2016, 9:03 pm

      “What a callous human being Steven Salaita is.”

      Hahahahahaha. If your existential discomfort bothers you that much, go cut down an olive tree. Apparently that helps.

  19. yonah fredman
    March 1, 2016, 12:41 am

    There is an interesting dynamic in Salaita’s essay: pretense. As if when one proposes a solution that solution is the only thing that exists and all other possible outcomes disappear because the speaker doesn’t recognize their existence. Due to the oppression of the Palestinians Salaita does not feel burdened by the reality of what might occur, he is satisfied with his proposal of what he feels should occur. Those who can imagine some other outcome than the one Salaita harbors in his heart are paranoid and subject to peculiar insecurities. While supporters of the Palestinians may rejoice in his words, there really is not an inch ceded to either Jewish history, Middle Eastern history or the reality on the ground, where Hamas is a major power player and Salaita’s name has zero name recognition.

    Yes, he is right to speak for the Palestinians, but when he claims as if he is speaking to the Jews (Zionists), it is a lie. He is scoffing. And he knows it. And his words get us no nearer to the truth or to a better future. They merely warm the hearts of his listeners. One more preacher to the choir. maybe that’s what his audience needs: words of encouragement. But when he casts his words as “here is how to make Zionists uncomfortable” and then goes on with his paranoia and peculiar insecurities he tips his hand. He is a propagandist.

    • talknic
      March 1, 2016, 5:46 am

      “There is an interesting dynamic in Salaita’s essay: pretense.”

      Nonsense

      ” As if when one proposes a solution that solution is the only thing that exists and all other possible outcomes disappear because the speaker doesn’t recognize their existence”

      A rational person would surely know it’s impossible to discuss every possibility. No mention in the bible about the InterNet, Nuclear power, Drones, billions in US military aid for Israel’s hi-tech human slaughtering equipment, etc etc

      ” Due to the oppression of the Palestinians Salaita does not feel burdened by the reality of what might occur, he is satisfied with his proposal of what he feels should occur”

      You must be so disappointed that the discussion of every possibility is impossible.

      “Those who can imagine some other outcome than the one Salaita harbors in his heart are paranoid and subject to peculiar insecurities”

      See you couldn’t do it either. No mention of the Zionist Federation’s decision in 1897 to Colonize Palestine thru an outrageous profit making pyramid scheme that depends on more and more land and more and more gullible Jews. No mention of the Jewish Agencies blatant lies to every body ever formed attempting to bring peace to the region. No mention of the numerous UNSC resolutions Israel has ignored

      ” While supporters of the Palestinians may rejoice in his words, there really is not an inch ceded to either Jewish history, Middle Eastern history or the reality on the ground”

      Why should there be? The moment Israel proclaimed its borders effective at 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time) in order to gain International recognition, Jewish history became irrelevant to the actual territory of the Jewish state and its illegal activities outside if its officially proclaimed and Internationally recognized boundaries

      “Yes, he is right to speak for the Palestinians, but when he claims as if he is speaking to the Jews (Zionists), it is a lie. He is scoffing. And he knows it.

      Whatever accusations you need to make in order to keep your bile flowing, head in the sand delusions alive

      ” his words get us no nearer to the truth or to a better future”

      The Zionist Federation, Jewish Agency and Israeli Hasbara words have never been truthful and Israel’s illegal actions in the continued illegal colonization of Palestine have never brought anyone nearer peace

      The time has long passed for you realize your pathetic responses and the Israeli narrative are either straw or have no basis in truth and Israel’s demands for other folks territory for Israeli defense and recognition by Palestine have absolutely no basis in law.

      Like there’s no such thing as a little bit pregnant, a wrong is a wrong and trying to excuse the inexcusable even a little bit by ridiculous accusations, is inexcusable.

    • Mooser
      March 1, 2016, 10:47 am

      Shorter “Yonah”: ‘Zionism is omnipotent! Nothing, but nothing, will happen to Israel or Zionism, unless we want it that way!’

      Sure “Yonah”! Given the ‘natural increase’ in our forces, we should be able to take over the entire world. Or nobody phones home!

  20. Ossinev
    March 1, 2016, 8:03 am

    ” While supporters of the Palestinians may rejoice in his words, there really is not an inch ceded to either Jewish history, Middle Eastern history or the reality on the ground”

    Speaking of reality on the ground I have just finished reading “Between the River and Sea ” by Dervla Murphy the renowned Irish Travel writer , about her travel and encounters in Israel and Palestine between 2008 and 2010.

    It is a hard read not least because like her I found it difficult throughout to understand how a group of supposedly ” moral and religious” people ie Jewish Zionist/Zionist Jews/Israeli Jews (call them what you like ) can be so grotesquely self deluding and so violently hypocritical. A constant theme of her experience of meeting otherwise on the face of it intelligent , articulate and in all other respects humane Israeli Jews is that when challenged about the blatant historical and ongoing crimes against Palestinians (or as they insist on calling them “Arabs” ) a violent ugly shutter comes down and the friendly smiling person she is speaking to becomes an overt and ugly racist.

    She is describing a very very dark place. The only light is provided by those truly intelligent and truly humane Israeli Jews who are speaking out against and trying desperately to mitigate the impact of their government`s apartheid and not least the quiet stoicism and determination of the occupied Palestinians as they cling on to their national identity and what is left of their property and lands in the face of Nazi standard brutalities.

    This is a worm`s eye view of the ” reality on the ground ” for the Palestinians which no doubt the hasbarists in these columns and elsewhere will automatically condemn as being “anti – semitic” and a ” litany of falsehoods”. They will do that having read perhaps the first chapter and then as I said the inevitable shutters will come down. Like the naive touchy feely Zionists in Dervla`s book the thought of facing up to and owning up to the reality of what Zion has become scares them shitless.

    The overall impression I was left with having read the book is that Israel is being eaten alive from the inside by maggots = the crazed fundamentalists within Israel itself and the settler community. The Yahoo and co have bred , fed and protected these maggots in order to retain power and they are progressively consuming the remaining flesh of Israel`s so called “democracy”. They have permeated the Knesset,the Government,the Judiciary and the Military and the previously ” sane ” real politick Likudniks who facilitated their germination will soon realize , if they haven`t already , that they are taking over and that the process is irreversible.

  21. yourstruly
    March 2, 2016, 1:25 am

    So far the Zionists have been committing what’s been referred to as slow genocide. Lately, though, they seem to have become somewhat bolder and are accelerating the pace. Could there been a secret “Final Solution” conference, such as the Nazis had at Wannsee on January 20,1942? If so, weighing international opinion, as they always do, perhaps Israel’s criminal leaders figure that, given the rampant Islamophobia now enveloping the West, they could get away with full throttle genocide. If they opt for a final solution, will history show them to have been right?

    • talknic
      March 2, 2016, 4:16 am

      @ YT

      No.

      The Zionists want another war against all their neighbours. It will be preemptive based on some fabricated threat or black op and fought as usual in non-Israeli territories, what remains of Palestine and in the surrounding states.

      It’s normal and not illegal when countries are at war to intern or expel possible allies of their enemies. They will intern (few) and expel as many alleged allies of their enemies as possible from Israel (and I dare say from the non-Israeli territories they covet and have illegally settled)

      They will then simply ignore UN resolutions calling for their right to return, even if they are non-Jewish Israeli citizens

  22. eljay
    March 2, 2016, 7:53 am

    || talknic: Oooops forgot this bit

    In fact, Netanyahu the war criminal can’t wait

    link to haaretz.com ||

    So…Israel is going to “deport” non-Israelis from one part of not-Israel to a different part of not-Israel. Huh.

    Reducing non-Israelis – and non-Jewish Israelis – to non-people makes it easier for Zio-supremacists to commit acts of injustice and immorality against them.

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