Zionism’s long and rich history of delegitimizing Palestinians

Middle East
on 84 Comments

Demonstrating once again the sniveling and shameless fealty to the wealthy that she and her husband have elevated to a high art over the last 30 years, Hillary Clinton wrote a letter to Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban last July 6th in which she said that:

I know you agree that we need to make countering BDS a priority. I am seeking your advice on how we can work together across party lines and with a diverse array of voices to reverse this trend with information and advocacy, and fight back against further attempts to isolate and delegitimize Israel.

One of the key reasons for the extraordinary success of the Zionist lobby in America over the last six decades or so has been its ability to generate and repeat sound bites whose discursive purpose is not to enrich the breadth and texture of a debate on the Middle East, but rather to impoverish and attenuate it.

Long before GOP operative Frank Luntz began trawling focus groups for emotionally-charged terms capable of crippling the public’s rational faculties during political campaigns, the people at AIPAC and the many pundits in the mainstream media who faithfully carry their water (e.g. ex-AIPAC employee Wolf Blitzer) were already experts at this game. 

Perhaps the most well-known of the tropes employed by Israel’s more fervent advocates is to challenge someone who is criticizing its policies if they support that state’s  “right to exist”.

The beauty of the query, at least from the point of view of those that deploy it, is its seeming innocuousness. We all, especially Americans, have an instinctively positive relationship to the idea of “rights”.  

And who would want to go on record as being against the idea of some one’s or some country’s  “existence”? 

So, when our interlocutor says, “Don’t you support Israel’s right to exist,?”  most of us freeze and then retreat.

And that is exactly the effect desired by those posing the question.  

But of course criticizing someone’s or some thing’s comportment is not the same as seeking their death and destruction. To portray these two activities as being one in the same is nothing short of absurd. 

It is similarly absurd to speak—here again I am referring to the above-mentioned question/rejoinder—of a “right” existing in isolation from other values and concerns.  

Every social or political “right” is necessarily constructed upon a matrix of tradeoffs.  My “right to live” and my “right to pursue happiness” are necessarily and without exception mediated by a need to be cognizant of, and responsive to, the rights and needs of others around me. 

So the real question when it comes to Israel (and every other national polity for that matter) is under what specific legal and moral conditions— both in relation to its geographical neighbors and all those subject to its forms of organized power—can and should be permitted and/or encouraged to perpetuate its present modes of existence? 

And this, of course, is the very conversation that the ridiculously unspecific and often smugly issued challenge regarding Israel’s “right to exist” is specifically designed to head off.  

Those issuing it understand all too well that, should such a detailed discussion ensue, Israel, with its ongoing record of ethnic-cleansing and deeply institutionalized racism, would not fare very well among most fair-minded people.

We are now witnessing the widespread and seemingly concerted re-deployment of yet another trope: one that holds that the central goal of the BDS movement is to cruelly effect the “delegitimization” of the state of Israel.   

According to the Collins on-line dictionary, to delegitimize means “to make invalid, illegal, or unacceptable”.  

On one level, then, the use of the term by Israel’s defenders is fairly accurate. Those in favor of BDS do indeed seek to invalidate and eventually render illegal and unacceptable the racist and expansionist practices of the Israeli government.  

On another level, however, they are clearly exaggerating when, as they often do, they simplistically equate drive to dismantle odious racist practices with the destruction of the state itself (What does it say about a society when the abolishment of blood-determined schemes of citizenship and legalized ethnic supremacy are widely viewed its members as tantamount to annihilation?), something that all BDS statements of purpose explicitly disavow.

For anyone who has followed the Israel lobby’s actions over the years, such exaggerations and cynically purposeful conflations are, of course old—very old—hat.

What is much more interesting to me is the righteous indignation that almost inevitably accompanies Zionists’ mention of the carefully circumscribed  “delegitimizing” efforts of the BDS movement.  

After all, it is not as if delegitmization as a tactic is new to Zionism.

Indeed, a strong case could be made that it has been perhaps the single most ubiquitous and effective tool of the movement in the US and elsewhere over much of the last century. 

And, generally speaking, its use in Zionist circles has not been marked with any of the thoughtful circumscription employed by the BDS movement in its campaign to modify Israeli behavior toward the captive Palestinians under its control.   

Rather, it has usually conformed to the behavior implicit in a second, much more harsh, definition of the term found on Wikipedia which speaks of delegitimization as the process of classifying “groups into extreme social categories which are ultimately excluded from society” and an activity that provides “the moral and the discursive basis to harm the delegitimized group, even in the most inhumane ways”.

What am I talking about?

For example, how, back in the first decade of the 20th century, the influential British Zionist Israel Zangwill famously wrote “Palestine is a country without a people; the Jews are a people without a country”.  

Could there be any more direct and forceful delegitmization of a people than to have them ontologically disappeared by another group covetous of their land?

When, after the fledgling Israeli government engaged (despite all you might have read or been told about spontaneously fleeing Arabs) in a well-orchestrated plan to terrorize Palestinians into leaving their houses and lands in the new state in 1948, a number of the same refugees came back and sought to reclaim their properties, the Ben-Gurion government quickly labeled these people as “infiltrators”.

Could there be any more eloquent case of delegitimization than describing people returning to their lawfully titled homes after being driven out of them at the point of gun and/or the demonstrable threat of summary assassination   as “infiltrators”?

When, after capturing the so-called West Bank thanks to a war in 1967 that—again, despite all you might have read or been told—Israel clearly initiated, some of the occupied Palestinians, seeing absolutely no attempts on the part of the Israeli government to begin the process of territorial devolution, or to abide by international conventions governing the behavior occupying armies, began to pursue their UN-sanctioned right to engage in armed resistance to that occupation, they were quickly and universally tarred by Israel as “terrorists”,  a term designed to morally delegitimize  them and their struggle  in the eyes of the world.

When a non-Jew criticizes Israeli political and military behavior in exactly the same manner and tone that he or she might use to criticize analogous Russian, Spanish, French or American comportments, many Zionists have little or no compunction about quickly labeling such a person an Anti-Semite, which is to say a person possessed by a malign moral sickness, rooted in a wholly irrational hatred, for which there is therefore no cure.

The goal in quickly slapping this toxic label on a person is to effectively remove him or her from the field of “respectable” debate, that is, to delegitimize them and the set of often quite valid and universally-grounded critiques they might trying to bring to the public square.

Similarly, when a Jew decides (judging from the cases I have known, almost always after a period of gruelingly careful consideration), to reject the political ideology of Zionism, many of those still working within the fold of this school of thought will show little hesitancy in delegitimizing this person, and with it, his or her freely-arrived-at moral choice, by labeling them with the implicitly pathological label of “self-hating Jew”.

Even former US Presidents are not immune from organized Zionist campaigns of delegitimization.

In 2006, former President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter published a book in which he described the obvious: that in the Occupied Territories of Palestine, Israel runs a confiscatory colonial enterprise wherein Jews and non-Jews enjoy vastly disparate privileges and legal protections. 

What did Carter get for this simple and irrefutable statement fact?

An organized Zionist campaign of delegitimization that culminated in his being, at least to my knowledge, the first living ex-president to be forcibly barred from speaking to the assembled delegates of his own party’s presidential nominating convention.

In October of 1988 the comic actor and writer John Cleese donated $140,000 to the University of Sussex in England to finance a study on psychological projection and denial, describing those phenomena to be “frightfully important” to understanding many life conflicts, especially those that play out in realm of politics.

Looking at the hysterical and irony-free Zionist reaction to BDS, it seems safe to say that the famous jester’s intuitions about the importance of these phenomena in public life were spot on.

About Thomas S. Harrington

Thomas S. Harrington is a professor of Iberian Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and the author of the recently released Livin’ la Vida Barroca: American Culture in a Time of Imperial Orthodoxies.

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84 Responses

  1. Boomer
    March 17, 2016, 3:23 pm

    I wonder what resulted from Cleese’s grant for the study of projection and denial?

    The effort to restrict discussion of Israel/Palestine continues, as evidenced by the proposal at the University of California to equate criticism of Israel with anti-semitism. The LA Times says that Palestinian professors or Jewish students should be free to say things to the contrary, but the LA Times is careful to emphasize that–while it defends free speech for these categories of people–it believes that the creation of Israel was fair, and that Israel should be a Jewish state. The Times does not say whether this freedom should extend to people who are not Palestinians or Jews. Perhaps it didn’t occur to them that any others (WASPS perhaps, or African Americans) would dare to say such things . . . no doubt because for them it would be proof of antisemitism.

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-uc-intolerance-20160316-story.html

  2. ritzl
    March 17, 2016, 5:39 pm

    If one encounters these deliberately tangential debate starters like:

    “So, when our interlocutor says, “Don’t you support Israel’s right to exist,?” most of us freeze and then retreat. …”

    Don’t retreat.

    Borrow another Cleese-ism and say, in the most dismissive way possible, “That’s just silly.” (ie. direct from the Ministry of Silly Arguments). Keep being dismissive until their arguments become reality-based and worthy of engagement. They are by default on the wrong side of pretty much everything and they know they are being manipulative. Because of that they are compelled to continue to press their “silly” case but eventually they the have to engage on contextual grounds in order to have even a remote chance of a successful manipulation. Context is THEIR retreat.

    Make THEM retreat (but be sure to cover any exposed ankles because they sure like to bite ’em).

    FWIW

    • echinococcus
      March 17, 2016, 11:00 pm

      Why “silly”? Of course a “confiscatory colonial” invader state has no right to exist. That simple. There is no silliness there.
      Additionally, a racial supremacist Apartheid regime also cannot be tolerated. Double reason for negating any right to exist.

      Inventing “legitimizing” excuses, like recognizing the grossly illegal (and anyway violated) partition proposal as some kind of fig leaf for an initial “Israel”, or trying to force down the throat of the Palestinian people Kumbaya projects, with automatic legitimacy for all invaders in the absence of plebiscite, is not helping Palestinian resistance.

      • Mooser
        March 18, 2016, 11:25 am

        “Inventing “legitimizing” excuses, like recognizing the grossly illegal (and anyway violated) partition proposal -“

        “Echinoccus” I beg of you, try and see it this way- that “recognition” is not a ” legitimizing excuse” or even a “proposal”, it’s a threat.

      • ritzl
        March 18, 2016, 1:20 pm

        echinococcus, “silly” was just a riff on John Cleese and his Ministry of Silly Walks sketch. Of course the Occupation and all the malevolence it incorporates on a daily basis is not silly. But the arguments used to mask that root malevolence are laughable and have been refuted ad nauseam. It never sticks. You can’t prevail in these mobius strip, hasbara arguments.

        So ONE easy method to constructively channel the energetic, dead-serious protestations of a zealot-dupe is to point that sillyness out early and often. It really winds them up and they’ll either dissemble completely or (rarely) you’ll come back to a relatively honest discussion of actual root issues.

        I guess another way to say it is that 99.9% of the time pro-Israel arguers are knowingly trying to manipulate you. It’s completely non-serious behavior. My form of not retreating is to simply point that out and let nature take it’s course in the discussion.

        Is that better?

      • echinococcus
        March 18, 2016, 8:26 pm

        Ritzl (and Mooser),

        I know what you are saying. We’ve been at it a couple times, especially with Talknic.
        The problem is that the targets of propaganda, US, corporate, Zionist etc. propaganda, do not do humor as a group. Their belief system is based on soundbites. The only way to counter the overwhelming impression they have that “Israel” is a country like any other is to make it as f*&^ clear as possible that it has absolutely no right to exist.
        The facts are there, and they are refractory to any conciliation: “Israel” is an obvious bastard born of the scandalous violation of the basic rules of self-determination of peoples, sovereignty of any country’s inhabitants.

        Yes, it must be taken apart also just due to the fact of its being a fascist military dictatorship of racial supremacist crazies, but that is not, please pay attention, the main point. The entire Zionist invasion and partition are illegal and must be revisited in the light of a general plebiscite of the entire Palestinian people, including the diaspora, in the absence of military occupation or other duress. The same applies to the status of the people illegally imported into the country under the “Law of return”.

        Anything else gives the Zionist entity some kind of legitimacy acknowledgement, no matter how cleverly you express it.

      • Mooser
        March 19, 2016, 1:30 pm

        “Their belief system is based on soundbites.”

        That’s right, “Echin”. So why don’t we propose that legitimacy will come with the 48 partition and UN conditions to a Zionist, and see what kind of soundbites we get?
        Really, the 48 partition is not Israel’s Briar Patch. It’s something else, (from the same stories) and they don’t want to touch it.

      • echinococcus
        March 20, 2016, 12:03 am

        Mooser,

        No sale before it’s approved by a plebiscite of all legit Palestinians in the absence of duress, to see which, of Palestine or Partition, gets an OK.

      • Mooser
        March 20, 2016, 12:18 pm

        “No sale before it’s approved by a plebiscite…”

        “Echinococcus” even if all those things happened, they still won’t take it. They didn’t want it the day they got it. If the Palestinians begged them to take it on that basis, they still won’t.
        That’s the entire point of bringing it up.

        That might be fun, tho, propose a two-state solution to a Zionist based on the original partition, and see what they think of it.

      • echinococcus
        March 20, 2016, 2:34 pm

        Mooser,
        It looks sometime like we need to go back to looking for a common language:

        even if all those things happened, they still won’t take it. They didn’t want it the day they got it. If the Palestinians begged them to take it on that basis, they still won’t.
        That’s the entire point of bringing it up.

        Did I hear right? That they won’t take it? They won’t take anything except their own Master of the World game anyway. I don’t think anyone would even dream of an agreement by the Zionists to anything. Soon as conditions are right, and these will have to be some stiff conditions, they will have to take it willy-nilly, no please Maam, thank you Maam.

        That might be fun, tho, propose a two-state solution to a Zionist based on the original partition, and see what they think of it.

        1. No one has the right to propose anything to anyone about Palestine, except the Palestinian people through a plebiscite, as per recognized procedure, and 2. we know that the Zionists think it’s a fantastic legitimating document, a birth certificate with the Big Chacham’s Kosher seal saying they have a right to a “Jewish homeland” on Palestinian land (and they know they don’t have to comply with the terms anyway.) That’s why any recognition of that is a point for the Zionist pirates.

      • Mooser
        March 20, 2016, 3:41 pm

        “the Zionist pirates.”

        Oy matey!

      • echinococcus
        March 20, 2016, 9:31 pm

        Oy weh! and a bottle of Manischewitz!

      • ritzl
        March 21, 2016, 9:35 am

        echinococcus,

        This is a in infinitely variable discussion about the relative merits of tactics. It won’t be solved here.

        I agree that the record has to be corrected – as early and often and strenuously as possible. Shmuel and you are right that engagement is preferable and necessary. The problem is that we/you have to reverse decades of outright lies and unchallenged, context-free self-serving-assertions-posed-as-facts to get to meaningful engagement. The question is how to do that. The answer is as varied as the personalities, fora, durations, and audiences involved. I just posted what works for me out here in the sticks.

        A true story: I was talking to a kid that I worked with a while back about racism in the US and the deep South. He was a black kid (probably still is… ), smart, sensible, etc. He was working toward a career in metrology (machining QA).* He turned the conversation to the Holocaust and Elie Wiesel as an example of the importance of durable/generational struggle. I responded that that was true enough, but he should be careful about Wiesel as an example because he isn’t quite what he seems. I told him that Wiesel commonly uses his name and cred to support killing people that are not like him (…look it up…). All true, but even with that mild caution, this kid looked at me like I had just punched Jesus in the face.

        That’s what we’re up against. Nothing is as it seems on this issue. The false and misleading is gospel. The violence clock always starts the day before a Palestinian does something. Etc., etc., etc. If anyone rages against that generally, they’re seen as ignorable heretics. If one tries to correct the latest specific distortion (as on TV news) they may be successful in the moment, but they’re still left with the body of accepted distortions lingering out there which is so big and so amorphous as to be “self-healing” (for lack of a better, brief description).

        IDK man. At this point I’ve just chosen to discount all of the hasbara from the onset of discussion. It’s akin to negotiating on the basis of the ’48 borders instead of the ’67 borders+++++ ( and tomorrow they’ll add a couple more +s). It’s just an alternative, dynamic-changing starting point. Also, I generally do this in an elevator speech so the best I can do is to plant little niggling, viral questions (if they’re new/fair-minded/reachable), and the best way I know to do that is for that lingering question to be a calm-assertive, EXPLICIT, “Everything you’ve been told about this is wrong.” For the zealot conversation it becomes, Everything you just said is wrong.” and that’s it unless they start to engage in some detectable measure of good faith.

        YMMV. Do well.

        Justice.

        —–
        * I add those qualifiers not because he was black, but because he had every quality that enables discernment.

      • echinococcus
        March 21, 2016, 10:15 am

        Ritzl,

        Something in that. Sure, I have always known that I am not the author of How to Make Friends and Influence People, and that while of us can’t do much more than defining boundaries, people don’t change without the intervention of those with more accessible communication skills. Of course. Problem is, before you start conceding the bastards the tip of your pinkie they’ve already eaten up your whole arm and shoulder –so why agree to anything in writing? Suppose I’l never get it.

      • Shmuel
        March 21, 2016, 10:36 am

        Points well taken, ritzl. I jumped into this whole discussion because of a comment the author of the post made about “fair minded people”. No matter how we approach trying to change minds, any assumptions about “fair-mindedness” (as your anecdote shows), fly out the window.

      • ritzl
        March 21, 2016, 12:29 pm

        @Shmuel and echinococcus,

        You all make great points. I jumped in like bull when I saw the word “retreat” then got curious to see if there was some convergence in styles.

        Appreciate you all.

    • CigarGod
      March 18, 2016, 11:02 am

      I always respond: “Sure, but not at the expense of the Palestinians.”
      I have never received anything but the stunned, deer in the headlights look in response.
      As the author states, people want to be fair…and this sets their rusty old fairness wheels spinning.

      • ritzl
        March 18, 2016, 12:42 pm

        Agree Cigar God. I suppose it depends on whether you are talking to an actual fair-minded person or a zealot. The response you describe wakes people up if they’re at all reachable. The zealots are so deep in the delusion that they are unwakeable.

        In that case anything to yank the discussion away from their encultured self-centered delusion and back to reality is good. Ridicule and dismissiveness is really all I know to do that. They don’t respond to and/or embrace simple basic facts – as talknic shows every day.

        “What about the violent Occupation?” “That makes no sense.” “What does that mean?” or if you’ve already gotten an earful, “None of that is true [let’s start again from the beginning].” with a shrug of the shoulders works well.

        IDK, I’ve pretty much adopted the Dog Whisperer approach to this topic. Calm-assertive with small yanks on the leash to the side…

  3. Stephen Shenfield
    March 17, 2016, 7:13 pm

    Regarding Israel’s “right to exist” I would question whether a state can be said to have rights. People have rights. It is clear what that means. But it is not at all clear what it means to say that a state has rights. Does only Israel have a “right to exist” or is this a right possessed by all states? If the latter then it can never be legitimate under any circumstances to make changes that involve the disappearance of any state. But who (in the West anyway) argues, for example, that the Soviet Union had a right to exist and therefore action required to preserve it would have been justified?

    • WH
      March 18, 2016, 6:46 am

      Exactly, I think whenever someone parrots the ‘right to exist’ line, the point should be made that perhaps no state has a moral ‘right to exist’, and that in any case, the state of Israel does exist, whether we like it or not, so it’s pointless and, for the most part, a laughable expression of a bully’s insecurity to bring it up at all.

    • tree
      March 18, 2016, 3:40 pm

      I would respond to the question by asking another one. “Do you agree with the sentiments and beliefs avowed in the US Declaration of Independence?” If so, then you agree that governments are only legitimate when they have the consent of the governed, and Israel does not have the consent of the Palestinians to govern them, and treats them as unequal, not worthy of a right to consent. Therefore, Israel, in its present form, should be abolished and a new government, respecting rights for all, regardless of religion or ethnicity, should be formed. (That should be the shared value!)

      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

      http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

  4. MHughes976
    March 17, 2016, 7:32 pm

    I suppose you may, as a way of stating the rights of (say) those individuals forming British society, say that it would be wrong for conquerors or marauders from outside to descend on us and so in that sense ‘Britain has a right to exist’. But that doesn’t give us the right to exist in a manner that inflicts injustice on others. Those existing in this way should change the form of their existence.

  5. Mary T
    March 17, 2016, 8:17 pm

    Brilliant! I will use these arguments in discussions with others. The comments before me are also brilliant. Thank you.

  6. Dan Walsh
    March 18, 2016, 1:40 am

    @ Boomer

    “I wonder what resulted from Cleese’s grant for the study of projection and denial?”

    Me too. Could be invaluable as could promoting and re-inforcing the idea of enlightened, public celebrities funding empirical studies into important issues of political language, language rights, lexicon and by extension, hasbara. My hope is that someone will find it and share it here at Mondoweiss.

  7. Shmuel
    March 18, 2016, 2:15 am

    Those issuing it understand all too well that, should such a detailed discussion ensue, Israel, with its ongoing record of ethnic-cleansing and deeply institutionalized racism, would not fare very well among most fair-minded people.

    I doubt it. As a matter of fact, one of the biggest flaws in pro-Israel propaganda is the presumption that there can be only two possible reasons for not supporting Israel: ignorance or malevolence. This is embodied in the very term “hasbarah”, which means “explaining”. If you are “fair-minded”, the reasoning goes, once things have been explained to you properly, you will certainly agree with us; and if you still don’t agree with us, you must be ill-intentioned.

    Another expression Israelis often use (which must be conveyed to the “fair-minded”) is “tzidkat darkenu” — the rightness/righteousness of our cause. How is it that two people can be utterly convinced of the “righteous of their (or someone else’s) cause”, when those causes are at odds with one another? It’s too easy to simply assign bad faith to one of the sides.

    The possibility of changing minds is slim enough as it is. Condescension makes it virtually impossible.

    • Mooser
      March 18, 2016, 11:41 am

      “The possibility of changing minds is slim enough as it is. Condescension makes it virtually impossible.”

      Yeah, yeah, it’s always our job to rescue Zionists from themselves. Our job to beg them to be better, like we would be lost without them. Little sheep that have lost their way.

      • Shmuel
        March 18, 2016, 12:03 pm

        Yeah, yeah, it’s always our job to rescue Zionists from themselves. Our job to beg them to be better, like we would be lost without them. Little sheep that have lost their way.

        Alternatives:
        1) Shout and shake our fists at them;
        2) Ignore them and hope they’ll go away.

      • Mooser
        March 18, 2016, 12:23 pm

        “Alternatives:
        1) Shout and shake our fists at them;
        2) Ignore them and hope they’ll go away.”

        And that just about exhausts our alternatives, doesn’t it? After all, in the last estimation, they are no threat to us.

      • Shmuel
        March 18, 2016, 12:48 pm

        And that just about exhausts our alternatives, doesn’t it? After all, in the last estimation, they are no threat to us.

        Exactly. What matters is ending the abuse, and if that means engaging rather than satisfying our own egos and sense of self-righteousness, I’m for engaging.

      • Citizen
        March 18, 2016, 1:40 pm

        No threat? Last I heard Israel had the 4th strongest military in the world and a big nuke stockpile…

      • Mooser
        March 18, 2016, 2:32 pm

        “I’m for engaging.”

        Really? I’m just frightened, dead frightened, of Zionists. I see, nor have I ever seen any reason why they should treat me any better than they do a Palestinian. Why, do you have some assurance of their behavior towards you?
        But of course, I’ve always been antizionist.

        Sorry Citizen! I meant ‘no threat to us, since we’re Jews’. And if people are certain, by the ironclad rules of tribal unity, never to direct any of the violence they espouse towards us is it right to propose using anything other than “engagement” on them?

        Especially when the “engagement” can be manipulated and used by the Zionists? How can we deny them that by standing in outright opposition? Wouldn’t be fair.

      • Shmuel
        March 18, 2016, 3:49 pm

        nor have I ever seen any reason why they should treat me any better than they do a Palestinian.

        Just off the top of my head, they’ll give you automatic citizenship, but have expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. Dead wrong, but a fact.

        Why, do you have some assurance of their behavior towards you?

        None. I’ve been called some names, but sticks and stones….

      • Mooser
        March 18, 2016, 5:32 pm

        “Just off the top of my head, they’ll give you automatic citizenship”

        I can’t wait until Israel feels it must interrogate every ostensible Jew entering the country as intensively as they would a Palestinian.

        They’ll give you automatic citizenship

        Based on what? My cute way of speaking? Why don’t you tell me what it is I would present the Israelis with which would confer upon me the automatic citizenship, “Shmuel”? You have a pretty good grasp of this, I’m sure. Would my mere presence do it?( I’m sorry, it’s OT,the question, but I’ve always wanted to know.)

      • Shmuel
        March 18, 2016, 6:39 pm

        Based on what? My cute way of speaking?

        No, not that.

        Why don’t you tell me what it is I would present the Israelis with which would confer upon me the automatic citizenship

        Generally a letter from a rabbi and/or your mother’s religious marriage certificate (ketubah).

      • Mooser
        March 18, 2016, 7:04 pm

        “Generally a letter from a rabbi and/or your mother’s religious marriage certificate (ketubah).”

        Now, tell me why I am humiliating myself enough to produce, or have ‘produced’ those documents? Why would I be doing that? Slavishly having forged documents produced to satisfy Israel’s racist-and-ridiculous whims?
        Hard for me to see myself doing that. Why would I? Seems degrading. Am I avoiding some other, more odious alternative by applying for citizenship (shudder!) in Israel?

        “None. I’ve been called some names, but sticks and stones….”

        Exactly. So you feel an assurance the assaults will never go beyond verbal. Why is that?

      • Shmuel
        March 19, 2016, 3:45 am

        Now, tell me why I am humiliating myself enough to produce, or have ‘produced’ those documents? Why would I be doing that?

        Obviously, you wouldn’t. You asked why Zionists would treat you any better than a Palestinian. That’s why — with or without documents.

        So you feel an assurance the assaults will never go beyond verbal. Why is that?

        No assurances, just odds; see above.

      • Mooser
        March 19, 2016, 11:21 am

        “Obviously, you wouldn’t. You asked why Zionists would treat you any better than a Palestinian. That’s why — with or without documents.”

        Makes no sense, “That’s why”? What on earth are you referring to? Double-talk.

        “No assurances, just odds; see above.”

        Schmuel, buddy, would you like to tell me why the things which tilt the “odds” in your favor also apply to me?

      • Mooser
        March 19, 2016, 11:27 am

        “or your mother’s religious marriage certificate (ketubah). “

        Got to be aidel gepotchket to get into Israel! That leaves me out. Balebatisheh yiden only need apply. No mamzers!

      • Shmuel
        March 19, 2016, 11:35 am

        Schmuel, buddy, would you like to tell me why the things which tilt the “odds” in your favor also apply to me?

        I thought I’d made that clear. You are a Jew, and Jews don’t get treated like Palestinians.

      • Mooser
        March 19, 2016, 12:03 pm

        “I thought I’d made that clear. You are a Jew, and Jews don’t get treated like Palestinians.”

        Again, I ask you, how would they know? And what motivates me to want “prove” I am a Jew to Israel?

      • Mooser
        March 19, 2016, 12:43 pm

        “I thought I’d made that clear. You are a Jew…”

        You are making it clear that I am a Jew? Well, of course, you can do that here, but when the time comes, please don’t rat me out to the Israelis!

      • gamal
        March 19, 2016, 1:25 pm

        “I see, nor have I ever seen any reason why they should treat me any better than they do a Palestinian.”

        Sana Hassan heard some gossip when she was there

        ” “We lived side by side with [Muslims] with no problems, and believe me the goyim were kinder to us than Israeli Jews are here,” complained one Georgian Jew.”

        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/jul/06/egypt.israelandthepalestinians

      • Shmuel
        March 19, 2016, 6:33 pm

        Again, I ask you, how would they know? And what motivates me to want “prove” I am a Jew to Israel

        Let’s try this again, from the beginning. There are three basic ways in which you can deal with mainstream Zionist Jews (I’m assuming that that is who we were talking about):
        1. Engage them.
        2. Shout at them.
        3. Ignore them.
        If you chose 2 or 3, your own identity is not particularly relevant. If you chose 1, then you need to decide how you want to engage them:
        1. From the inside.
        2. From the outside.
        If you chose 1, they’ll know you’re a Jew, and you can expect preferential treatment. If you chose 2, they’ll think you’re not and treat you accordingly.

        You are making it clear that I am a Jew? Well, of course, you can do that here, but when the time comes, please don’t rat me out to the Israelis!

        Mum’s the word.

      • gamal
        March 19, 2016, 7:24 pm

        defeat them not on the list Shmuel, none of my humanity is up for “negotiation”, i own land between Israel and the Nile, it supports a school in my village,

        Smadar Lavie makes your point and us what do we say to the brothers, but

        in 1947 Hasan al-Bana said ” to the people the preaching of the Muslim Brotherhood remains a closed book, when they understand the meaning of the re-Islamization of society then you will face determined and violent resistance”, someone shot him 48/49.

        Jews think they can oppose Zionism without blood sturm und drang, Zionism will brook nothing that impedes it, you think Jews have a special dispensation?

        its all war man, the Zionists and their Arab “monarchical” and fundamentalist allies have gone crazy

        but your are right and its something that still puzzles me how do you talk to fundies and right wing nutters, I use brutal honesty aggression and arrogance, they love that, but you have to be willing to take your licks, they let you live if you put a good show.

        They must be engaged, you are right, I don’t have the skill, but many do.

      • Mooser
        March 19, 2016, 8:00 pm

        “1. Engage them…/… From the outside”

        Darn, darn, I sorta thought their might be, in all that inside-ing and outing, the option of opposing them? But not for me, huh? As far as I am concerned we have nothing to “engage” about. Lots to oppose, but nothing to “engage”. Any reason why I can’t do that?

      • Mooser
        March 19, 2016, 8:08 pm

        “You are a Jew, and Jews don’t get treated like Palestinians.”

        Which is precisely the reason I would never, ever tell an Israeli immigration that.

      • gamal
        March 19, 2016, 8:16 pm

        “the option of opposing them?

        what channel is that on?

      • Shmuel
        March 19, 2016, 8:26 pm

        defeat them not on the list Shmuel, none of my humanity is up for “negotiation”

        Nor mine, gamal. But how do you defeat “them” — or the terrible things “they” cause and might actually be able to stop? Is it about ceding one’s humanity or about ceding one’s ego? Where there’s no one to get through to, move on. Where there is a chance, take it — even if it means putting anger and righteousness aside in order to try to figure out what the hell is going on and how to effect change. Slim and slow, but doesn’t exclude other courses of action, solidarity and protest. Is defeat really the goal? Zero sum? Only one “winner”? No wonder “they” don’t want to change.

      • Shmuel
        March 19, 2016, 8:31 pm

        Lots to oppose, but nothing to “engage”. Any reason why I can’t do that?

        Oppose and engage are not mutually exclusive, Mooser. Opposing without engaging amounts to just shouting at them in my book. Undoubtedly the most satisfying path, but not necessarily the most effective.

      • gamal
        March 19, 2016, 8:54 pm

        “even if it means putting anger and righteousness aside in order to try to figure out what the hell is going on”

        Come on man you think we are slaves, who is angry? we just defending ourselves!

        “righteousness aside”

        who but a slave needs anyone to acknowledge their righteousness,

        “to try to figure out what the hell is going on” ”

        we all know whats going on, how many times a day do women give birth and struggle and face death and pain,

        as a man you fear what? Jah 9, the preachers daughter wants to invigorate you, life is brief man we all meet in the same place.

        https://youtu.be/AsWukSl-BzA

      • Mooser
        March 19, 2016, 9:13 pm

        “Opposing without engaging amounts to just shouting at them in my book”

        Yup, I agree, “just shouting” is an ineffective opposition, especially when one has access to ‘inside’.

        And “engaging” with Zionists means nothing, they are not honest. “Engagement” indicates a willingness to be used by them. Zionism precludes engagement. Zionism may be fought, and overcome, but it can’t be engaged with. Don’t be silly, “Schmuel” How am I supposed to “engage” with a man who thinks I am a lower order of human being?

      • gamal
        March 19, 2016, 9:24 pm

        “And “engaging” with Zionists means nothing, they are not honest” Mooser

        “they are not honest” !

        do you have any idea how exhausting this shit is for Arabs?

      • Mooser
        March 19, 2016, 10:16 pm

        “do you have any idea how exhausting this shit is for Arabs?”

        “Gamal” would you kindly not interfere whilst me and “Schmuel” is engaging on the “in -side”? When we are done engaging we will inform you of our conclusions.
        And in the meantime, please note how reasonable and engaging the Zionists are with me. Don’t it make them look good?

        (I look forward to the day that Israel is more worried about letting the wrong Jews into the country than letting anybody else in the entire world in.)

      • Mooser
        March 19, 2016, 10:27 pm

        . “Is defeat really the goal? Zero sum? Only one “winner”?”

        So without a Jewish State we are losers? No “Schmuel, I see two winners. And we come out a winner, we get rid of a state that is killing us. Big win, right there.
        But like I said, I’m an antizionist. I don’t think having a state, a “Jewish State”, is anything but a fraud on the Jewish people (whoever or whatever that may be) and intended to destroy us.
        If you think being a Jew entitles us to a state, we have different feelings about it. If you think the relation we have to each other as “Jews” will support a state, yeah, okay. If you think Israel is any kind of honest attempt at one…hoo-boy. All I’ve ever thought is “hell no!”

        No, “Schmuel,” two winners. Zionism is a loser.

        “even if it means putting anger and righteousness aside in order to try to figure out what the hell is going on”

        Yeah, it’s just all so mysterious and inexplicable “what the hell is going on”. Well, excuse me for drawing a conclusion, but I think I know “what’s going on.”

      • echinococcus
        March 20, 2016, 12:11 am

        Shmuel,

        in order to try to figure out what the hell is going on

        You need a few minutes for that. Not 70 years and counting.

      • yonah fredman
        March 20, 2016, 4:32 am

        To engage anyone in logical argument rather than to spout self satisfying comedy or anger is the alternatives presented in this shmuel mooser (and Gamal) dialogue. Shmuel wishes to emulate trotsky and mooser’s role model is Don rickles.
        To engage requires being on the same page vis a vis both a humanitarian basis and an acceptance that Jewish group consciousness is a valid priority or basis for a world view. (see how I avoided writing “nationalism”).
        Most Zionists who seek dialogue accept humanitarianism, but also cite realism and practicality as other (higher) priorities.

      • Shmuel
        March 20, 2016, 5:08 am

        Gamal and Mooser,

        Judging by your responses, I seem to be doing a very bad job of explaining what I mean.

        I am not talking about accepting Zionism or Jewish ethnocracy in any way shape or form. I am not talking about affording legitimacy or “being used” to perpetuate injustice.

        I am talking about trying to end oppression and ongoing violations of human rights . To do so, I believe it is necessary but not sufficient to protest and boycott and inform and expose. Changing Jewish Zionist opinion is crucial (without getting into the Chomsky wars) to the image and practical support Israel enjoys around the world — without which the oppression of the Palestinians would be much harder, if not impossible.

        Thomas Harrington’s post was about Zionist arguments. He is right that they need to be countered, but they need to be countered in such a way as to actually change minds — by no means an easy task. How does one go about such a thing? What does it involve? Given the role that Zionist Jews play in defending and perpetuating their own ideology, which, in turn affects public discourse in general, changing those particular minds is of vital importance. In doing so, whether we like it or not, other Jews have an advantage, a greater chance of being trusted and listened to.

        Harrington is talking about engaging Zionist apologists, but it’s not enough just to have the answers. To be heard, you need to listen — not justify or compromise or negotiate your principles or your “humanity”, but listen and try to understand.

        A while ago, Yonah Fredman chastised me for using a word he found inflammatory. I didn’t agree about the specific word, but his point was an important one for me, because I am tired of speaking to people who agree with me, and making no difference. I belong to an anti-Zionist Jewish group, and the first thing non-Jewish activists inevitably ask us is “What’s up with the Jewish community, and can’t you do anything about it?” So I’m trying — writing primarily for and speaking to Zionist Jews. I tell them I oppose Zionism and why. I talk to them about ethnocracy and occupation and human rights abuses, but I can’t do that if I just call them fascists and walk away. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but I think it is an important part of the struggle.

        I hope I’ve done a better job of explaining myself this time.

      • eljay
        March 20, 2016, 8:06 am

        || yonah fredman: … To engage requires being on the same page vis a vis both a humanitarian basis and an acceptance that Jewish group consciousness is a valid priority or basis for a world view. … ||

        The premise “Jewish group consciousness is a valid priority or basis for a world view” usually translates into ‘people who hold the religion-based identity of “Jewish” are entitled to a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine’.

        There is no validity to this premise and no-one should be expected or required to recognize or accept it. And making it – rather than justice, accountability and equality – a co-requirement with humanitarianism for “engagement” is a bad joke.

      • yonah fredman
        March 20, 2016, 9:06 am

        Eljay- the same page does not require the usual translation and the ambiguity of the phrase that I used: group consciousness as a valid perspective requires the following: Avoidance of the religion versus ethnicity argument. Too often some of you’s all like to get bogged down in the: “Jews are a religion and not an ethnic group” argument, to which I say: save that for the choir. If you really wish to engage, you’ll leave that argument at home or in your pocket or in your brain or in your voicebox. It also requires a semblance of historical humility. True, that which I call the European abyss or churban (translated as destruction) occurred over 70 years ago, but nonetheless even if European history was much more than just that violent climax, if you wish to dismiss it as an anomaly, go back to your choir and preach to them, you have nothing to say to the other side (my side) in this argument.
        Jews like Hannah Arendt and Albert Einstein and Judah magnes and Martin buber did not support Ben Gurion zionism, but most definitely had a conception of the Jewish people that reflected the realities of the first half of the 20th century and simply repeating zio supremacist 50 times a week is avoiding the very real situation that was responsible for the birth of zionism. So a little historical humility, meaning humility in the face of the raw facts of history, is necessary if you wish to engage.

      • Kris
        March 20, 2016, 11:24 am

        @yonahfredman: “Most Zionists who seek dialogue accept humanitarianism, but also cite realism and practicality as other (higher) priorities.

        Thanks, yonah, that pretty much sums up what I think, too, but this is how I would say it: Zionists accept the humanitarian precepts of Judaism (Rabbi Hillel’s famous teaching, the prophets, the Ten Commandments, etc.) except when those precepts get in the way of ethnically cleansing the Palestinians and stealing their land.

        In this way, the Zionist Jews are like most Bible-thumpers anywhere, adhering to their faith except when it inconveniences them. No wonder Jews are so completely assimilated in the U.S.!

        I think you are saying also said that what Jews have in common is ethnicity, or maybe “group consciousness,” but in any case, not religion, and that is what I think, too, since, obviously, the Jews in Israel mock Judaism every single day of every year.

      • eljay
        March 20, 2016, 11:39 am

        || yonah fredman: Eljay- the same page does not require the usual translation … ||

        It requires clarity and precision.

        The rest of your highly-ambiguous and verbose post amounts to nothing more than the typical Zio-supremacist argument for pre-conditions that favour your position – preconditions that you can use to justify your morally indefensible:
        – support for Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine; and
        – aversion to the universal and consistent application of justice, accountability and equality.

        No-one should have to accept rape or pedophilia as “valid priorities or bases for world views” in order to engage in discussions about justice and morality with those who defend rape or pedophilia.

      • Mooser
        March 20, 2016, 12:44 pm

        “Shmuel wishes to emulate trotsky”

        And you wish everybody would quit Stalin, and give him their awl!

      • Mooser
        March 20, 2016, 12:51 pm

        “Gamal and Mooser,”

        “Gamal and Mooser”? AND? Hey, whjatever happened to treating me differently, you know? Now you’ve got the same explanation for the both of us? This is what I get for being a mamzer with no mama-letter?

        “Judging by your responses, I seem to be doing a very bad job of explaining what I mean.”

        Not at all, “Schmuel”! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, there’s nobody I would rather have explaining and bargaining for us. I would screw it up big-time.

      • Mooser
        March 20, 2016, 12:55 pm

        “- the same page does not require the usual translation and the ambiguity of the phrase that I used: group consciousness as a valid perspective requires the following:”

        How about Israel stops murdering Palestinians every day, all day. That would be a great start towards getting on the same page. Then maybe Israel could stop stealing. That would help get people on the same page.

      • Mooser
        March 20, 2016, 1:24 pm

        ,” you have nothing to say to the other side (my side) in this argument.”

        And remember when “Yonah” says “my side”, he contains legions, and speaks for multitudes!

      • Mooser
        March 20, 2016, 2:11 pm

        “Eljay- the same page…/… if you wish to engage.”

        Yeah, yeah, “Yonah” all that, with a cherry on top. But look, “Yonah” there’s a question I’ve been dying to ask you, but I very much dislike putting things in these terms. But, yesus, I gotta ask: “Yonah” do you ever wonder how African-Americans make it through a single day?”

        Sorry, sorry, don’t know what got into me. Don’t know why I even ask.

      • echinococcus
        March 20, 2016, 2:49 pm

        Mister Fredman,

        you have nothing to say to the other side (my side) in this argument.

        But you see, there is no argument. The only thing that “the other side”, that of the owners of Palestinian land and sovereignty have been telling you in all possible forms for the last 120 years has been just the same: “get the f*ck out!” No need for any argument.

      • amigo
        March 20, 2016, 4:21 pm

        ” Too often some of you’s all like to get bogged down in the: “Jews are a religion and not an ethnic group” argument, to which I say: save that for the choir. If you really wish to engage, you’ll leave that argument at home or in your pocket or in your brain or in your voicebox”Y F

        Yonah , if you don,t mind , I will decide what is the truth.I repeat , Being Jewish is not being part of an ethnic group.It is being a member of a religious group.If your idea of engaging is to insist on making the rules of engagement that support your agenda then you and your fellow zio apologists are doomed.There was a time when the zionist criminal leaders sought to choose the members of the Palestinian negotiating team .Yeah they wanted to pick who represented the Palestinians.You suffer from the same insufferable zionist arrogance .It,s time you obstructionists understand that you are losing.It may not be in 10 or twenty years but it is inevitable .Zionism will be eradicated and buried in lime never to be a blight unto the planet again and bloody good riddance.Then you will have to sit down and deal with the other sides truths.

      • eljay
        March 20, 2016, 7:02 pm

        || eljay: … No-one should have to accept rape or pedophilia as “valid priorities or bases for world views” in order to engage in discussions about justice and morality with those who defend rape or pedophilia. ||

        To address more directly the matter of “group consciousness”: No-one should have to accept that…
        – ISIS group conscience; or
        – NAMBLA group conscience; or
        – Boko Haram group conscience,
        …is a “valid priority or basis for a world view” in order to engage on issues of humanitarianism, justice, accountability or equality.

        Having a “group consciousness” does not entitle any group of people – not even Jewish people – to engage in acts of injustice and immorality against others. And it most certainly does not entitled any group of people to a supremacist state of any kind.

  8. Marnie
    March 18, 2016, 6:40 am

    Zionists have had their way for 70 years. They ask stupid questions, i.e., “does israel have the right to exist”, as if it can be answered by only yes or no. There aren’t many questions one can ask that can be answered with one word responses. It is creeping into the educational system of the zionist state thanks to MK Bennett. He sees education in the terms of ask easy questions, focus only on history that is Jewish and specifically of pograms against Jews in various countries, and very little else. And answer with yes or no, as simple as possible. Sound ridiculous? It is!
    By +972 Blog
    |Published March 12, 2016
    “Israel’s education minister wants to reduce Jewish history to pogroms
    A new committee is tasked with exposing Israeli students to Mizrahi and Sephardic Jewish history. The problem? There is more than one narrative.”

    The answer to the question “does israel have the right to exist” is neither yes or no. Does anyone have the right to exist at the expense of another?

    • a blah chick
      March 18, 2016, 4:02 pm

      I read that 972mag article and it was pretty depressing. Basically Bennett wants to unite western and eastern Jewry with memories of shared carnage. That is not the sign of a healthy
      society.

    • Shmuel
      March 18, 2016, 4:56 pm

      He sees education in the terms of ask easy questions, focus only on history that is Jewish and specifically of pograms against Jews in various countries, and very little else

      That’s exactly the history I was taught in Israel, over 30 years ago.

      • Marnie
        March 19, 2016, 1:59 am

        Shmuel, my daughter finished high school over 5 years ago. The rate which students pass their bagrut at that time was at 49%. “Of the overall population who was of high school graduation age in 2014, 52.7% were eligible to receive a Bagrut certificate.” (Wikipedia.) It is an unneccesarily, ridiculously difficult exam if half of the students can’t pass it. Very few decent teachers. Ha’aretz had an article 4 or 5 years back that many high school teacher’s weren’t even qualified to teach; I had already suspected it, but to see it in the newspaper made was a shock. If you don’t have a full bagrut, you don’t go to university. It’s the Jewish state’s guarantee of a permanent underclass. So MK Bennett’s plan is to make it super easy to pass your bagrut, your education will probably be as bad if not worse than a Haredi’s, your chances of making it in the world post army with a job better than stocking grocery shelves, working in a restaurant or sweeping the streets are nil. Of course you’ll realize that before you get in the army because your “teacher” has spent the better part of your high school life telling you and your classmates you’re going nowhere. Now what to do with all that pent up aggression and anger at a system that failed you and is tossing you out into the world knowing you haven’t been given any tools or skills to compete? Welcome to the IOF!

        Article from the Times of Israel, May 2015:
        Israel places 39th in global education ranking
        “OECD report links school achievement and economic growth; despite oil wealth, Arab world trails far behind

        The OECD issued a special warning about the decline of Sweden in the rankings. The Scandinavian country now places at 35th place, four slots ahead of Israel. The US ranks 28th, Britain 20th.”

  9. Kay24
    March 18, 2016, 7:10 am

    It seems the zionists are making sure the Palestinians are ceasing to exist. Apparently the term “right to exist” is only entitled for zionists and their squatters.

    Criticism is mounting internationally over MASSIVE land grabs by Israel, yet apart from the usual outrage and condemnation there is NO ACTION by the world to halt these squatter buildings.
    I guess the US must blamed for sending more aid, which enables the criminals to keep stealing more lands. They have got bolder and bolder since of late.

    http://www.juancole.com/2016/03/intl-criticism-mounts-over-massive-israeli-land-grab-in-palestinian-west-bank.html#comment-375958

  10. Ossinev
    March 18, 2016, 8:28 am

    Can`t be long before Kim Jong-Un picks up on the “questioning right to exist” and “delegitimisation” defences with regards to those nasty sanctions which North Korea is being subjected to and all those nasty comments about his glorious nation and people. He should consider perhaps inviting inviting his fellow traveller the Yahoo for a state visit and learn more about hasbara and cherry tomatoes. Surprised in fact that one of the Yahoo`s closest political cousins Mr Mugabe has not already done so.

    Come to think of it I might well have a shot at it myself. The next time the old trouble and strife has a go at me for putting muddy socks in the wash basket I will face up to her and accuse her of “questioning my right to exist” and attempting to “deligitimise me”.

    Come to think of it even more this could go seriously viral world wide unless the Elders grab the patent. I`m thinking divorce cases , building planning applications , speeding fines – the list is endless.

    • ritzl
      March 18, 2016, 8:20 pm

      I mean that’s the thing, isn’t it Ossinev.

      It’s not so much what Israel says or does about itself – bad as that is. It’s the fact that by timidly letting all this exclusively self-benefitting Israeli redefinition of post-WWII international law to proceed unchecked, the so-called international community is turning the clock back on international law to a 16. or 17.C law of the jungle/free-for-all/giant professional wrestling cage match of nation states.

      Anything goes, for anyone, at any time.

      And ya know, I won’t live to see it but there’s going to be some intense moaning, wailing, whining, and gnashing of teeth in about 30 years about this. “O where did we go wrong?/Who knew?” all done by the people who knowingly and approvingly watched it happen and could have done something about it in real time.

      A while back Annie astutely pointed out that the post-WWII definition of genocide included elements that were decidedly “pre-genocide” or genocid-AL. They did that to identify the warning signs and stop genocide BEFORE it happened. Well, here we are, and as you point out, living through/witnessing the beginnings of the death of international law. Only bad things can come of that.

      I’d say sarcastically, “Thanks Israel.” but it really has been a concerted group effort.

      Great comment. Thanks for bringing it up.

      End of Rant.

  11. Misterioso
    March 18, 2016, 12:25 pm

    More on Israel Zangwill, a classic racist and a typical Zionist:

    As noted in the article, Israel Zangwill first voiced the lie that Palestine was a “land without a people, waiting for a people without a land.”

    However, In 1905, he contradicted himself during a talk in Manchester when he observed that Palestine was “already twice as thickly populated as the United States…. [W]e must be prepared to either drive out by the sword the [Arab] tribes in possession as our forefathers did or to grapple with the problem of a large alien population….”

    In the February 1919 issue of the League of Nations Journal, Zangwill proposed that the Palestinians “should be gradually transplanted” in Arab countries and at a public meeting in the same year he remarked that “many [Palestinians] are semi-nomad, they have given nothing to Palestine and are not entitled to the rules of democracy.”

    In 1920, he proposed in The Voice of Jerusalem, that there should be an “‘Arab exodus’…based on ‘race redistribution’ or a ‘trek like that of the Boers from Cape Colony,’ which he advocated was ‘literally the only way out of the difficulty of creating a Jewish State in Palestine.'” He continued: “We cannot allow the Arabs to block so valuable a piece of historic reconstruction …. To fold their tents and silently steal away is their proverbial habit: let them exemplify it now.”

  12. Annie Robbins
    March 18, 2016, 1:02 pm

    re the “right to exist” claim. as i have mentioned before here in comments, i don’t recognize a state’s right to exist, because there is no such right. http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/transformation-destruction-israelpalestine/#comment-815840 (and scroll up)

    the primary meme, a hasbara weapon used against … activists seeking justice for palestine, is that they (we) seek the destruction of israel. it is a passive aggressive defense mechanism to hide their own support for israel’s actions. these supporters of israel describe zionism as “Zionism is the support for the existence of the State of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people.” ignoring the recognition that the ‘existence’ they speak of requires the elimination of 80% of palestinians and control of the other 20%. so who are the ‘eliminators’ here? who have been the aggressors and continue to be? and the propaganda designed to flip the aggressor into the victim is to accuse those who seek equality as being the ethnic cleansers.

    and they ask this: “Will you explicitly recognize Israel and its right to exist.” how can one recognize something that has no basis in reality? there simply is no ‘right of existence’ for any state much less an apartheid colonialist one. yes i can ‘recognize’ israel, how can one not. i recognize it for what it is, how it looks and acts, by its behaviors the same way i would recognize a thief or an assailant in my living room. all people have rights as individuals but states and people do not have a right to exist as criminals.

    zionism, as it exists and has always existed, necessitates the elimination of palestinians for a jewish majority. i recognize that, but i don’t recognize their right to exist as the criminal state. will the pro-Israel group who wrote the letter recognize israel does not have a right to eliminate palestine? because, words to the contrary, their absolute support for Zionism leaves us to wonder whether they believe palestine should be completely eliminated.

    …….recognizing something exists (“US is existing just fine”) certainly doesn’t qualify it as having a right of existence which, again, is not on the books.

    au contraire there is no recognized “right of existence” legislation or “right to exist” for a state — not even the US. much less a right to exist as an apartheid state, quite the opposite indeed since there is legislation designating apartheid as a crime. the difference in this regard (between the US and israel) is that i’m not aware the 2002 crime of apartheid https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_of_apartheid or the crime of genocide (against native americans), tho both can be recognized at any time, can be prosecuted retroactively. israel is actively — in deed and by their laws — engaged in apartheid.

  13. a blah chick
    March 18, 2016, 4:09 pm

    Demanding that Palestinians accept Israel’s “right to exist” means demanding they accept the right of Zionism to ethnic cleansing. Has Israel ever demanded this of any other country?

  14. MHughes976
    March 18, 2016, 6:23 pm

    Zangwill got the phrase from Christian Zionists – I think it’s pretty clear that the main inventor was the Scottish fundamentalist Alexsnder Keith, who had visited Palestine in 1839 and published a book in 1843. He seems to have drawn an analogy with Greece, where there was a nationalist movement demanding independence from the Ottomans. He found no such movement in Palestine, which had recently been contested between the Ottomans and the semi-independent Egyptian dynast Mohammed Ali.
    That was the time when the Scheswig-Holstein question was bubbling up and Walter Scott’s medieval nationalist romances were popular. European sentiment towards Palestine would have been very different if the trappings of Romantic nationalism – medieval garb, songs sung passionately in cafes,,unreadable epics about Saladin – had been found there. Keith took the view, it seems, that a land sparsely populated and not claimed (as Greece had been) by an indigenous nationalist movement, defining itself as ‘a people’, could legitimately be claimed from outside on theological grounds by another nationalist group. He was not exactly ‘disappearing’ the non-Jewish residents, just saying that they had no nation-related sentiments to offend and that there was plenty of room. The mistake, I’d say, was to think in terms of group, rather than of individual, rights.

  15. rosross
    March 18, 2016, 10:27 pm

    BDS does not challenge Israel’s right to exist in any absolute sense as a State but it does challenge its right to exist as an apartheid State where non-Jews have inferior status.

    That runs counter to the foundation of any Western democracy including the US.

    • Talkback
      March 23, 2016, 5:08 pm

      There is no difference. The Zionist regime can only exist as an Apartheid state where non-Jews have inferior status.

  16. lysias
    March 27, 2016, 5:36 pm

    I’m currently reading Peter Ross Range’s 1924: The Year That Made Hitler. It reminds me that that land without people/people without land dichotomy had a counterpart in the Nazis’ Lebensraum theory, according to which the Germans, as a Volk ohne Raum, had a right to Russia, as a Raum ohne Volk.

    • Boomer
      March 27, 2016, 7:21 pm

      re: “I’m currently reading Peter Ross Range’s 1924: The Year That Made Hitler. It reminds me that that land without people/people without land dichotomy had a counterpart in the Nazis’ Lebensraum theory, according to which the Germans, as a Volk ohne Raum, had a right to Russia, as a Raum ohne Volk.”

      Only after 9/11/01 did I start reading seriously about Israel/Palestine. I was impressed by the extent to which Zionist ideas at the end of the 19th century echoed German philosophers from earlier in that century. There was, and is, a lot more that I didn’t learn, including that.

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