The Palestinian state never had a chance: a review of Toufic Haddad’s ‘Palestine Ltd: Neoliberalism and Nationalism in the Occupied Territory’

Middle East
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Palestine Ltd: Neoliberalism and Nationalism in the Occupied Territory (I.B. Taurus), by Toufic Haddad

The Israeli media barely covers Palestine. Although many local, corporate outlets have “Arab affairs” correspondents, a faintly colonial position that reeks of paternalism, 99.9 percent of Jewish journalists live in Israel proper (or the occupied, Palestinian territories) and barely spend any serious time in Palestine (except when serving in the IDF). The lack of Palestinian perspectives is striking considering the geographic closeness of the two peoples.

With notable exceptions such as Haaretz journalists Amira Hass and Gideon Levy who live in the West Bank or constantly visit it, as well as 972 Magazine, the inevitable outcome is that most Israelis view Palestinians through a security framework. The media reinforces this inherent bias. Palestinians are seen as a foreign threat to be feared or loathed, unless proven otherwise. It’s therefore unsurprising that contact between Israeli Jews and Palestinians is increasingly rare unless occurring at a military checkpoint or Israeli-run, industrial park in the West Bank.

These issues go beyond the Israeli press. I’ve long believed that the more international journalists who live in a city or country the worse the reporting will be. This may be a strange conclusion and counter-factual. Surely the more eyes and ears in one place will improve coverage? In fact, the opposite happens because a herd mentality quickly develops and few journalists, despite convincing themselves otherwise, want to stand out. Think of London, Washington, Canberra and Jerusalem and the lack of distinctive voices emanating from these locations. Too many reporters live and breathe the same air, speak to the same sources, dine in the same places and socialise with the same people. I’m not immune, being a journalist myself, but I’ve spent my professional life rejecting the comforting embrace of stenography reporting.

When I lived in South Sudan in 2015, the lack of critical journalists (or any reporters at all) resulted in a country on the verge of genocide being mostly ignored in the international arena (though of course the state’s strategic importance was tragically far less important than Israel). Embedded journalism, not just the act of working alongside military forces but psychologically aligning oneself with governments and officials while granting them anonymity, is the opposite of adversarial journalism.

It’s shameful that in 2017 the vast bulk of foreign journalists living in Israel and working for corporate media outlets can’t speak proficient Hebrew or Arabic. Barely anybody is permanently based in the West Bank, let alone Gaza.

Isn’t it about time to rely far less on Westerners to explain the Middle East and instead develop and support Arab reporters with more lived and historical understanding? Or utilise Westerners with greater global experience than just working inside insular press galleries? Or how about anti-Zionists, whether Christian, Jewish or Muslim, being allowed more airtime? The effect of bubble journalism in Jerusalem is pervasive.

Palestinian voices have never been more essential, especially as 2017 is the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands, and yet Jewish and Zionist, American journalists still play a key role in explaining the conflict to American audiences. Where are the Arab and Palestinian voices to compliment and challenge what Zionists have been claiming in the press for decades? The New York Times still longs for the two-state solution and foolishly thinks it can be saved.

Cover of Palestine Ltd.

Cover of Palestine Ltd.

This lack of Palestinian agency in the mainstream media could be so easily corrected. Reading Palestine Ltd and learning from it would be a strong start. Toufic Haddad has produced a stunning indictment of the international consensus over Palestine and the failed Oslo “peace process”. Endorsed by Naomi Klein and recently launched to a full house in East Jerusalem – I attended and found Haddad’s talk compelling in its evidence-based denunciation of the US and foreign donors to the Palestinian cause in the last 20 years – Palestine Ltd paints a grim picture of Palestinian hopes for statehood. Haddad shows how it was killed at birth.

In his introduction, Haddad explains the central thesis on promises made to the Palestinians since the 1990s by the donor community. “Implicit to these interventions”, he writes, “was the notion that the market’s invisible hand would guide Israelis and Palestinians to peace, provided the international community financially and politically backed this arrangement and facilitated the creation of an adequate incentives arrangement. The arrival of these political winds to the conflict-ridden shores of the Palestinian setting through Western donor peacebuilding and statebuilding policies thus set the stage for what happened when ‘an army of fighters for freedom’ faced off against a former army of Palestinian nationalist ‘freedom fighters’, embodied in the PLO.”

Palestine has become a business, a very profitable one, for any number of engaged actors from donors to Western states. “Palestine Ltd can be loosely described as the operational endgame of Western donor development/peacebuilding/statebuilding interventions”, Haddad argues, “with this entity functioning as a variant of a limited shareholding company (Ltd.) with international, regional and local investors of one type or the other.”

The strength of the book is the way it methodically shows how any serious Palestinian autonomy was deliberately designed to fail from the beginning. Many Western donors in the 1990s and now claim that they’re acting in good faith, believing that being pro-Palestinian means funnelling more money into the Palestinian Authority (PA), and yet after decades of entrenched cronyism and Israeli occupation, at what point should the money simply stop, the PA be abolished and Israel forced to manage its own occupation and the people within it? This is a reality that Israel fears and explains why, despite the stream of invective against the PA from Israeli ministers, co-ordination between the PA and Israel is constant and unlikely to end.

Haddad investigates World Bank pronouncements in the 1990s, ideas that became the basis for the failed economic experiment still underway in Palestine. “World Bank economists very obviously ignored reference to the exaggerated political determination of the OPT [occupied Palestinian territories] under a protracted settler, colonial arrangement characterised by the massive social and political upheaval and structural deformities of all kinds.”

This wilful blindness is reminiscent of World Bank and other global financial institutions treating Greece like a punching bag while its economy crashed and people suffered. Little care or interest was given to the precarious state of lives being lost or scarred due to extreme austerity after the 2008 financial crisis. Both the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) carried on regardless of public protest in Greece, governmental opposition and soaring social ills. Privatisation was the supposed panacea. Selling off public assets was the answer. In fact, it failed, as it always does, yet nobody was held to account.

Similarly in Palestine, Haddad reveals that private sector-led “growth” was the World Bank’s priority from the 1990s. Its stated dream was against “turning inwards” and instead backing the need for the West Bank and Gaza to “open up opportunities elsewhere, especially in Jordan, Egypt and the Gulf countries while maintaining open trade relations with Israel.”

In 2016, the UN found that the Palestinian economy would be at least twice as large if the Israeli occupation was lifted. The restriction of goods, people and movement has devastated daily life. In Gaza, the situation is even worse. When I visited in late 2016, I was told by the UN and many civilians that the nearly 10 year-old siege, imposed by Israel, had never been tighter. Egypt has been equally responsible for the dire humanitarian situation.

Gaza is largely ignored by the Israeli media but a recent interview in Haaretz, with a Palestinian living in the West Bank who works on a mobile clinic in Gaza with Physicians for Human Rights, detailed the desperate environment. An Haaretz editorial in January called for an end to Israel’s punishment of the Gaza Strip.

The dominant narrative around Israel/Palestine today is the brutal and effective ways by which the settler movement has come to define both Israel’s present and future. From its perspective, building colonies on Palestinian land has been hugely successful and the numbers of settlers in the West Bank has surged under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Palestine Ltd doesn’t ignore the settlements but its focus is mostly elsewhere. Take Israel’s determination to secure water and energy resources and how this affected its behaviour during the early “peace process” of the 1990s. Haddad interviews Dr Nabil Sha’ath, a top figure in the PLO and the Fatah political party. In a revealing quote, Sha’ath recalls a meeting with former Israeli Minister of Energy Moshe Shahal:

“[Shahal] tried his best to create a relationship with me when I first came in. He came with a Rabin proposal: ‘Let’s share the energy trade, the energy industry and energy transportation.’ ‘What do you mean?’ I said. ‘There is going to be peace’, he said. ‘You are not going to be happy if we simply use that peace to get back the pipelines through Haifa from Saudi Arabia and from Iraq [which were built by the British and stopped operating after the establishment of Israel in 1948]. So I’m suggesting that we go together to the Arabs to share fifty-fifty the export of gas through pipelines that come to Gaza and to Ashdod…To Rabin it looked like the Palestinian Authority was a very necessary component for seeking water and energy from the Arabs.”

More than two decades later, the picture couldn’t be more different. Israel routinely withholds water and electricity from the Palestinian territories, exploits a massive natural gas find off the Gaza Strip and is investigating gas pipelines to Turkey and Greece. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are reliant on the benevolence of their rulers, Israel along with the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

The deliberate Israeli plan in the last decades to inflame tensions with the Palestinians, and convince both Israelis and the international community that there are no partners for peace on the other side – a view not shared by the Israeli intelligence services – has played out as expected. Hostilities are deepened because they serve political ends. Haddad writes that, “Israel intended to induce a powerful shock-like effect within Palestinian society and leadership alike. This was critical to creating sudden conditions of crisis whose reverberations would be experienced on all levels of Palestinian life, leveraged in both active and passive ways.”

Palestinians are still deemed unworthy of freedom, independence or full rights. Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, the Rupert Murdoch-approved hater of Palestinians and Arabs and supporter of bombing the Muslim world, wrote in early January that Palestinians didn’t deserve a state of their own. The word “occupation” was unsurprisingly absent from his screed.

Palestinians have never forgotten how they’ve been betrayed by the forces that claimed to liberate them from Israeli control. After the 2006 Palestinian election, won by Hamas in a stunning rebuke to the Western-backed, Palestinian Authority, Western donors capitulated to Israeli and US pressure and boycotted the result, imposing a financial and political blockade on the government. Haddad argues that this sent a “clear message to the Palestinian electorate regarding how genuine Western donors were in their demands for Palestinian reform or a liberal peace agreement.”

The Trump administration has the capacity and interest to radically shift the staid alignment of the Israel/Palestine conflict. Mouthing platitudes about the two-state solution is likely to subside or disappear entirely. Israel will increase its settlement project with little or no pressure from Washington. The Palestinian Authority, despite having opponents in the US Congress, is a necessary fig-leaf for Israel’s colonisation project.

Palestine Ltd is both a necessary history lesson and guide for the future if past mistakes and delusions are to be avoided. The current trajectory in Palestine, however, points to political stalemate unless a younger, less corrupt and more capable Palestinian leadership takes power and stops relying on empty Western aid promises.

About Antony Loewenstein

Antony Loewenstein is an independent journalist currently based in Israel/Palestine and author of many books including Disaster Capitalism: Making A Killing Out Of Catastrophe (Verso, 2015)

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52 Responses

  1. JLewisDickerson
    January 12, 2017, 3:39 am

    RE: The Israeli media barely covers Palestine… 99.9 percent of Jewish journalists live in Israel proper (or the occupied, Palestinian territories) and barely spend any serious time in Palestine (except when serving in the IDF). The lack of Palestinian perspectives is striking… the inevitable outcome is that most Israelis view Palestinians through a security framework. The media reinforces this inherent bias. Palestinians are seen as a foreign threat to be feared or loathed, unless proven otherwise. It’s therefore unsurprising that contact between Israeli Jews and Palestinians is increasingly rare unless occurring at a military checkpoint or Israeli-run, industrial park in the West Bank. ~ Loewenstein

    FOR A HINT OF THE IMPLICATIONS, SEE: “Rich People Just Care Less”, By Daniel Goleman, N.Y. Times, 10/05/13

    [EXCERPT] . . . In politics, readily dismissing inconvenient people can easily extend to dismissing inconvenient truths about them. The insistence by some House Republicans in Congress on cutting financing for food stamps and impeding the implementation of Obamacare, which would allow patients, including those with pre-existing health conditions, to obtain and pay for insurance coverage, may stem in part from the empathy gap. As political scientists have noted, redistricting and gerrymandering have led to the creation of more and more safe districts, in which elected officials don’t even have to encounter many voters from the rival party, much less empathize with them.

    Social distance makes it all the easier to focus on small differences between groups and to put a negative spin on the ways of others and a positive spin on our own.

    Freud called this “the narcissism of minor differences,” a theme repeated by Vamik D. Volkan, an emeritus professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia, who was born in Cyprus to Turkish parents. Dr. Volkan remembers hearing as a small boy awful things about the hated Greek Cypriots — who, he points out, actually share many similarities with Turkish Cypriots. Yet for decades their modest-size island has been politically divided, which exacerbates the problem by letting prejudicial myths flourish.
    In contrast, extensive interpersonal contact counteracts biases by letting people from hostile groups get to know one another as individuals and even friends.
    Thomas F. Pettigrew, a research professor of social psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, analyzed more than 500 studies on intergroup contact. Mr. Pettigrew, who was born in Virginia in 1931 and lived there until going to Harvard for graduate school, told me in an e-mail that it was the “the rampant racism in the Virginia of my childhood” that led him to study prejudice.

    In his research, he found that even in areas where ethnic groups were in conflict and viewed one another through lenses of negative stereotypes, individuals who had close friends within the other group exhibited little or no such prejudice. They seemed to realize the many ways those demonized “others” were “just like me.” . . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/05/rich-people-just-care-less/

    • Annie Robbins
      January 12, 2017, 3:45 am

      thanks dickerson, smart/interesting.

    • JLewisDickerson
      January 12, 2017, 5:09 am

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “Palestinian poet at heart of row on Israeli army radio broadcast” | By Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem | TheGuardian.com | 23 July 2016
      · Rightwing fury after Mahmoud Darwish’s words are aired on army radio

      [EXCERPTS] He is regarded as one of Palestinian literature’s most important figures, a poet whose work has been translated and read around the globe, including in Hebrew.

      Now the work of Mahmoud Darwish, who died in 2008, has been denounced by Israel’s far-right defence minister, Avigdor Lieberman, as equivalent to Hitler’s Mein Kampf in the latest bitter row over freedom of expression in Israel.

      The remarks came as Lieberman waded into the controversy over Israel Army Radio’s inclusion of one of Darwish’s poems, ID Card, in an educational segment, infuriating rightwingers.

      Lieberman summoned the station’s head, Yaron Dekel, to reprimand him over last week’s broadcast of the poem on the station’s University on the Air programme.

      Darwish is internationally renowned for his poetry, whose themes of identity, exile and belonging are expressed often through an evocation of landscape. . .

      . . . ID Card was written in 1964, when Darwish was working as a literary assistant in Haifa on an Israeli communist party publication. Its most famous line – “Write it down! I’m an Arab” – was later borrowed for a documentary of his life. Like many of his poems, it balances complex emotions often within a single stanza: anger, pride in a sense of self, rejection of stereotyping and a warning of the consequences of oppression. It finishes: “Write down on the top of the first page: / I do not hate people / And I do not steal from anyone / But if I starve / I will eat my oppressor’s flesh / Beware, beware of my starving / And my rage.” . . .

      . . . The row was initially ignited by the culture minister, Miri Regev – who has sought to deny government funding to arts groups that refuse to perform in the occupied territories – in a Facebook post.

      Calling on Lieberman to stop funding the station, Regev claimed it was “providing a platform to the Palestinian narrative that opposes the existence of Israel as a Jewish democratic state”.

      While nominally in charge of Army Radio, Lieberman has no power to intervene in its output. For its part, the station defended the broadcast, saying: “On this platform we’ve hosted programmes on various topics, including the literary works of Rabbi Kook, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Theodor Herzl and Naomi Shemer, as well as the text of the declaration of independence. We believe that academic freedom obligates us to offer our listeners a wealth of ideas.”

      Darwish has been widely translated into Hebrew and some poems were considered for inclusion in the Israeli school curriculum in 2000, before the idea was dropped after criticism by rightwingers. . .

      . . . Among those who were unsurprised by Lieberman’s comments was Ghassan Khatib, a professor at Bir Zeit University – a Palestinian university, he said, which teaches texts by key Zionist thinkers including Herzl and Jabotinsky.

      “It is a demonstration that he is not serious about positive relations between the two sides,” he said. “In conflict there are two sides, each with its own narrative. When media outlets in Israel allow Israelis to look at the other side’s narrative, it should be respected. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/23/israel-palestine-poetry-mahmoud-darwish

  2. Citizen
    January 12, 2017, 5:18 am

    US funds this systematic stifling of empathy, so that there is no compassion, hence no effective activity favoring peace on the ground . I’m reminded of the German women married to Jews who staged an impromptu successful protest against Nazi government treatment of their husbands.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      January 14, 2017, 8:25 am

      Citizen: I receive regular e-mail information from Adam Keller and other Israeli peace activists about their work and the plight of young conscientious objectors. Sometimes I pass this information along to Adam Horowitz with the suggestion that Mondoweiss use it, but for some reason the people running this site seem no longer interested in covering these topics. Nevertheless Israeli peace activists still exist and their work must have some effect, though hard to measure. Recently over a hundred of them went to Ramallah to meet with Abbas.

      Regarding the parallel you draw, the Nazis had a very clear policy of trying not to alienate Germans and this was why even a small protest by Germans could have an effect. Until recently the Zionists had a similar policy with regard to Jews but that seems to be changing. So the contrast is not between the existence of decent Germans under the Nazis and the non-existence of decent Jews in Israel today. There were decent Germans and there are decent Israeli Jews. The contrast is rather that the Zionists now have less sense than the Nazis had.

  3. Maghlawatan
    January 12, 2017, 1:28 pm

    Nice article.
    Meanwhile back in the US Graham and Cruz have brought forward legislation to define the UN for dissing the settlements.

  4. Maghlawatan
    January 12, 2017, 1:29 pm

    The Palestinian state never had a chance because of the pathology of Israel.

    • rosross
      January 12, 2017, 7:32 pm

      The Palestinian State never had a chance because of the power of colonial Israel over the subjugated indigenous Palestinians and the fear, inherent, in the fact they exist.

      Quite what Israelis believed they would do with the Palestinians, now numbering close to six million, is the core question given the impossibility of killing them all or even driving them out, particularly since most of them live surrounded by Jewish colonists who would have to be completely removed before the military attacked the Palestinians, unless Israel was prepared to kill thousands of illegal settlers along with millions of Palestinians and I doubt that.

      • Maghlawatan
        January 13, 2017, 2:49 am

        I think the Israelis thought that pauperisation would drive the Palestinians out. They think of Palestinians as barbarian peasants. They don’t think of them as strategic. They have spent over $120 bn on the settlement project and now have apartheid. They have to keep going because they can’t afford the alternatives.
        It is fascinating.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        January 14, 2017, 8:37 am

        Yes, massive military attack is not how Palestinians would be driven out. In fact, they are already being squeezed out, bit by bit, by pauperization, as Maghlawatan says, by ghettoization, intimidation, being deprived of water, etc. And despite sumud they are human and there is a limit to how much oppression they can take. Qalqilya, for instance, a town almost completely enclosed by the Wall, is now semi-depopulated. Many have been forced out of the Jordan Valley. Many of those forced out by these methods remain on the West Bank but are concentrated into the remaining urban ghettoes. But that is only the first stage. It was the first stage under the Nazis too.

      • Maghlawatan
        January 14, 2017, 12:05 pm

        Israel reminds me more and more of Prussia. Warmongering , cruel and disruptive . Always fighting. Prussia had to be destroyed. Königsberg was depopulated in 1945. Israel is unlikely to end well. It might be a war that goes on beyond 3 months where the Americans refuse to resupply.

      • Maghlawatan
        January 14, 2017, 12:13 pm

        The thing about the end of the 2SS is that Israel’s 67 borders are meaningless with 50/50 population.

  5. rosross
    January 12, 2017, 7:27 pm

    The use of the term West Bank, for what is Occupied Palestine, also denies the existence of Palestine and its people. It should be avoided as a propaganda term.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      January 14, 2017, 8:43 am

      The West Bank is a geographical term for part of occupied Palestine. Does use of the term “Mid-West” deny the existence of the United States? If you call the area “Occupied Palestine” does that not deny that pre-1967 Israel and Gaza are also occupied Palestine?

  6. catalan
    January 14, 2017, 12:31 pm

    It might be a war that goes on beyond 3 months where the Americans refuse to resupply. – Mag
    If this war of annihiliation comes up as you suggest, I feel deeply sorry for what will happen to the Palestinians. If history is any guide, it will be unimaginable. Surprised to see you advocating it.

    • Maghlawatan
      January 14, 2017, 4:29 pm

      I am not advocating anything , catalan. I just think Israel will end in a mess. Cos it is neo Sparta or Prussia 2.0. Violence does not solve Israel’s problems. Israel right now is the strongest thug. It gets what it wants violently. That situation might persist for a few more decades but it is the law of the jungle. Eventually a stronger thug will emerge. What will Israel do then? Beg for the Geneva Conventions?

      Gideon Levy said something very interesting in a video I saw last week. Israel is not a country people can be proud of.

  7. Ossinev
    January 14, 2017, 12:46 pm

    Hot of the Haaretz press.ref this weekend`s Paris “peace” conference.

    “Abbas said in the interview that “2017 has to be the year the occupation ends, the year of freedom and justice for the Palestinian people.”

    So if the occupation doesn`t end by 31/12/17 then he , Erekat and all the other Occupation facilitators are going to “hand back the keys” and devote their energies to securing the freedom and justice through the One State Solution ?

    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.764978

    Somehow don`t think so. But then again he did say “has to be” as opposed to “may be ” or “could be” but then again if challenged on this on 1/1/18 when it patently hasn`t happened he or one of his spokespersons will I expect plead misquote or mistranslation.

    As has been pointed out by a number of MW commentators the main stumbling bloc to “freedom and justice” for Palestinians has been the Quisling Fatah cabal co – operating with the Zios to maintain their status and very comfortable globetrotting lifestyle and to feather their own nests. When Abbas goes , hopefully in the very near future through age,infirmity or simply being dumped as a complete failure , the whole Oslo charade will implode and the Zios will be in very expensive GDP threatening single state Apartheid Land and even their reliable puppet state , sorry I mean ally , the good old USA Trump or no Trump will not be bailing them out on that one.

  8. Jane Porter
    January 14, 2017, 2:55 pm

    Yes, Maghlawatan, indeed the founders of Zionism were german,
    Hertzel had a friendly contact with the Prussian Kaizer who was the first interested in his project in Palestine. Uri Avneri once told this story
    and how the Kaiser went to Jerusalem to visit him, he also in an other article told an historical story very similar in details to Israel a state who annexed a neighbour country and expelled the people living there, and asked: guess which state is this? then concluded that of course we would think of Israel but he meant Prussia in the18th century, so that Israel just copied Prussia the way it invaded Poland and brought there german settlers.
    And the national language the zionists imposed is spoken with a german accent,noticed a Algerian linguist specialized in semitic languages, concluding that the yemenite jews are the only ones who speak it properly, So from the beginning the zionist story is german story

    • YoniFalic
      January 14, 2017, 6:02 pm

      The primary leaders of Zionism, Herzl, Nordau, & Jabotinsky, were all E. Europeans (like the Mileikowsky family to which Netanyahu belongs) even if the families of Herzl & Nordau relocated to Austria & Germany.

      Zionism must be understood as the most extreme of E. European blood & soil organic nationalist ideologies combined with openly genocidal white racist European settler colonialism.

      • talknic
        January 14, 2017, 7:49 pm

        Only one of the signatories to the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel was from the region.

        David Ben-Gurion – Płońsk, Poland
        Rabbi Kalman Kahana – Galicia (Ukraine)
        Aharon Zisling – Minsk, Belarus
        Yitzhak Ben-Zvi – Poltava (Ukraine)
        Saadia Kobashi – Yemen
        Daniel Auster – Knihinin (Ukraine)
        Rachel Cohen – Odesa
        David-Zvi Pinkas – Sopron, Austria/Hungary
        Mordechai Bentov = Grodzisk Mazowiecki, Poland
        Moshe Kol – Pinsk, Belarus
        Eliyahu Berlignee – Russia
        Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Levin – Góra Kalwaria, Russia
        Eliezer Kaplan – Minsk, Russia
        Peretz Bernstein – Meiningen, Germany – Netherlands
        Abraham Katznelson – Bobruisk, Belorussia
        Rabbi Wolf Gold – Stettin, Germany (Poland) US
        Meir David Loewenstein – Copenhagen, Denmark
        Pinchas Rosen – Berlin, Germany
        Meir Grabovsky – Rîbniţa, Russia
        David Remez – Kopys, Belorussia
        Yitzhak Gruenbaum – Warsaw, Poland
        Zvi Luria (Lurie) – Lodz, Poland
        Berl Repetur – Ruzhyn, Ukraine
        Dr. Abraham Granovsky – Făleşti, Russia
        Golda Myerson – Kiev, Ukraine
        Mordekhai Shattner – Chernovitz ? ( Czernowitz ?), Ukraine ?
        Nachum Nir – Warsaw, Poland
        Ben-Zion Sternberg – Czernowitz, Austria /Hungary
        Eliyahu Dobkin – Babruysk, Russia
        Zvi Segal – Lithuania
        Bechor-Shalom Sheetrit – Tiberias, Ottoman Empire
        Meir Wilner-Kovner – Vilnius, Lithuania
        Rabbi Yehuda Leib Hacohen Fishman – Mărculești, Russia
        Haim-Moshe Shapira – Grodno, Belarus
        Zerach Warhaftig – Volkovysk, Russia – Lithuania/Japan/Canada

      • YoniFalic
        January 15, 2017, 12:09 am

        A Yemeni Arab, whose pagan ancestors converted to Judaism (around 6th century), has no more legitimate claim to Palestine than an Eastern European Yiddish speaker, whose pagan or Christian Slavic and Turkic ancestors, converted to Judaism (over period from from 8th century through Renaissance and later).

      • YoniFalic
        January 15, 2017, 12:38 am

        Bechor-Shalom Sheetrit came from a family of resident alien Moroccan Jews. The family held French citizenship in Palestine. He was educated in Ashkenazi heder & Yeshiva. I don’t see how he would have any more claim to Palestine than a German Templar born in Palestine — nothing more than right of residence and probably not even that because he was racist Jew/Zio intending to steal the country from the native population and to commit genocide.

  9. Maghlawatan
    January 14, 2017, 6:05 pm

    Catalan

    Here’s Brzezinski from a few years ago
    http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/brzezinski-the-syria-crisis-8636

    “But in the long run, a hostile region like that cannot be policed, even by a nuclear-armed Israel. It will simply do to Israel what some of the wars have done to us on a smaller scale. Attrite it, tire it, fatigue it, demoralize it, cause emigration of the best and the first, and then some sort of cataclysm at the end which cannot be predicted at this stage because we don’t know who will have what by when. And after all, Iran is next door. It might have some nuclear capability. Suppose the Israelis knock it off. What about Pakistan and others? The notion that one can control a region from a very strong and motivated country, but of only six million people, is simply a wild dream.”

    If Israel was a person it would have some sort of psychosis.

    http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/news/israeli-mk-gets-a-taste-of-palestinian-humiliation-at-qalandiyah-checkpoint.premium-1.516933
    “And he is scared,” wrote Kol, who has helped advance bills in the fields of children’s rights, violence against children, health and education. “I am scared. I am scared that we will continue living like this. And that fear scares me.”

  10. talknic
    January 14, 2017, 7:38 pm

    The Palestinians could have had a state next to Israel
    “if only they’d accepted UNGA Resolution 181 …”
    or
    “if only they’d accepted some of the concessions Israel has made …” Offering to return the spare wheel of a stolen car in order to keep the rest, is far from a valid ‘concession’.
    or
    “The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity” A notion usually voiced on the understanding that the Palestinians are to blame for their current situation.

    It’s all Ziodrivel, nonsense, red heifer sh*t!

    It is a pre-requisite for declaring independence that the entity declaring must control all their territories at the time of their declaration

    It’s the reason the Jewish Peoples Council had to wait until the British Mandate ended midnight May 14th 1948 before their declaration came into effect at 00:01 May 15th 1948

    It’s the same reason Indonesia had to leave East Timor in order that ET could be independent

    All or part of Palestine has been under the control of a succession of other entities since at least the Roman era

    Under the Mandate for Palestine it was under British control

    In the months preceding May 14th 1948, Plan Dalet was launched and by the end of the British Mandate midnight May 14th 1948 and Israeli independence at 00:01 15th May 1948 Jewish forces were already in control of much of the territory slated for the new Arab State

    At the end of the ’67 war we saw Israel in control of and illegally claiming even more Palestinian territories

    Israel has never withdrawn from any Palestinian territories it has illegally acquired by war, making sure the Palestinians can not declare independence

    At no time in the past 2,000 years has Palestine had full control of all it’s territories in order to become an independent state. There has never been an opportunity to miss.

    It has been the Zionists who’ve never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. The dunce’s cap is a Kippa http://wp.me/pDB7k-pE

    • RoHa
      January 14, 2017, 9:33 pm

      “At no time in the past 2,000 years has Palestine had full control of all it’s territories in order to become an independent state.”

      The Kingdom of Jerusalem covered pretty much all the territory of Palestine, and it was an independent state.

      Oh.

      Set up by foreign invaders.

      Never mind.

      • gamal
        January 14, 2017, 9:49 pm

        two things

        anyone who actually knows the history knows that while these regions were nominally part of this or that meta-political formation large areas of Palestine and the whole levant and Egypt were in fact self governing for extended periods, read a book,

        2ndly

        are there actually people who comment about Arabs who have never listened to enta omri, i don’t believe it, but i have heard it sometimes happens, it may spiritually circumcise you a little Arab little Jew, also it has a kind of implacable womaness that is too much.

        https://youtu.be/77JkWlSpQk8,

      • talknic
        January 14, 2017, 10:05 pm

        “The Kingdom of Jerusalem covered pretty much all the territory of Palestine, and it was an independent state”

        Prior to the Roman era in the region

      • RoHa
        January 14, 2017, 10:43 pm

        1099 to 1187

    • Jon66
      January 14, 2017, 10:43 pm

      “It is a pre-requisite for declaring independence that the entity declaring must control all their territories at the time of their declaration – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/recent-comments/#sthash.nB24MEmF.dpuf

      Someone should have told Jefferson. The whole US thing might have turned out differently.

    • Sibiriak
      January 15, 2017, 12:03 am

      talknic: It is a pre-requisite for declaring independence that the entity declaring must control all their territories at the time of their declaration.
      —————

      As in the case when Second Continental Congress declared the independence of thirteen American colonies ?

    • Sibiriak
      January 15, 2017, 12:27 am

      The PLO declared Palestine’s independence in 1988 –while under Israeli occupation.

      The Palestinian Declaration of Independence is a statement written by the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish and proclaimed by Yasser Arafat on 15 November 1988. It had previously[1] been adopted by the Palestinian National Council, the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), by a vote of 253 in favour 46 against and 10 abstentions. It was read at the closing session of the 19th Palestinian National Council to a standing ovation.[2] Upon completing the reading of the declaration, Arafat, as Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization assumed the title of “President of Palestine.”[3] In April 1989, the PLO Central Council elected Yasser Arafat the first President of the State of Palestine.[4]

      * * *

      As a result of the declaration, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) convened, inviting Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the PLO to give an address. United Nations General Assembly Resolution 43/177 was adopted “acknowledging the proclamation of the State of Palestine by the Palestine National Council on 15 November 1988,” and it was further decided that “the designation ‘Palestine’ should be used in place of the designation ‘Palestine Liberation Organization’ in the United Nations system.” One hundred and four states voted for this resolution, forty-four abstained, and two – the United States and Israel – voted against.[18] By mid-December, 75 states had recognised Palestine, rising to 93 states by February 1989.[19]

      On 29 November 2012, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 67/19 upgrading Palestine to non-member observer state status in the United Nations.[20]

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_Declaration_of_Independence

      • talknic
        January 15, 2017, 4:09 pm

        “The PLO declared Palestine’s independence in 1988 –while under Israeli occupation.”

        Political independence yes …

        ARTICLE 3

        The political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states. Even before recognition the state has the right to defend its integrity and independence, to provide for its conservation and prosperity, and consequently to organize itself as it sees fit, to legislate upon its interests, administer its services, and to define the jurisdiction and competence of its courts.

        The exercise of these rights has no other limitation than the exercise of the rights of other states according to international law.
        ARTICLE 4

        States are juridically equal, enjoy the same rights, and have equal capacity in their exercise. The rights of each one do not depend upon the power which it possesses to assure its exercise, but upon the simple fact of its existence as a person under international law. http://www.cfr.org/sovereignty/montevideo-convention-rights-duties-states/p15897#art3

        Impossible to be physically independent while under occupation.

        Independent = free from outside control; not subject to another’s authority. https://www.google.com.au/search?q=independent+meaning

    • Sibiriak
      January 15, 2017, 12:39 am

      Talknic: t is a pre-requisite for declaring independence that the entity declaring must control all their territories at the time of their declaration –

      […] It’s the same reason Indonesia had to leave East Timor in order that ET could be independent
      —————

      You are confusing a state becoming de facto independent with an entity declaring independence.

      Wikipedia: East Timor

      Break from Portugal

      While [ East Timorese political party] Fretilin had sought the return of the Portuguese Governor, pointedly flying the Portuguese flag from government offices, the deteriorating situation meant that it had to make an appeal to the world for international support, independently of Portugal.

      On 28 November 1975, Fretilin made a unilateral declaration of independence of the Democratic Republic of East Timor (República Democrática de Timor-Leste in Portuguese). This was not recognised by either Portugal, Indonesia, or Australia […] [emphasis added]

      * * *
      Indonesian invasion and annexation

      The Indonesian invasion of East Timor began on 7 December 1975. Indonesian forces launched a massive air and sea invasion, known as Operasi Seroja, or ‘Operation Komodo’, almost entirely using US-supplied equipment even if Kissinger feared this would be revealed to the public.[10] Moreover, according to declassified documents released by the National Security Archive (NSA) in December 2001, USA gave its agreement to Indonesia for the invasion… [emphasis added]

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_East_Timor#Decolonisation.2C_coup.2C_and_independence

      • talknic
        January 15, 2017, 3:51 pm

        “You are confusing a state becoming de facto independent with an entity declaring independence”

        Uh? Read what I wrote. Then look up the meaning of independent.

    • Sibiriak
      January 15, 2017, 12:46 am

      talknic: It is a pre-requisite for declaring independence that the entity declaring must control all their territories at the time of their declaration
      —————-

      Historical reality suggests otherwise. See this list of unilateral declarations of independence:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unilateral_declaration_of_independence#Examples

      The International Court of Justice, in a 2010 advisory opinion, declared that unilateral declarations of independence were not illegal under international law.

      • talknic
        January 15, 2017, 3:45 pm

        Uh? Your links and dialogue do not disprove my assertion.

        Of course independence is declared unilaterally. Independence is by its very nature unilateral. If someone else controls part of an entity’s territories, they’re not independent.

      • Jon66
        January 15, 2017, 5:04 pm

        Talknic,

        So the Palestinians could have declared independence at any time. Whether or not they could have enforced that independence is a question. There is no “prerequisite”.

      • Talkback
        January 15, 2017, 5:08 pm

        There’s no such thing as a “pre-requisite for declaring independence”. There is a pre-requisite for recognizing or attaining the “independence” (“sovereignty”) of a state which implies control of the territory.

      • talknic
        January 15, 2017, 8:29 pm

        @ Jon66 January 15, 2017, 5:04 pm

        “There is no “prerequisite”.”

        http://www.cfr.org/sovereignty/montevideo-convention-rights-duties-states/p15897#art1

        A) Why did Israel wait until the eve of the expiration of the British administration of Palestine before they declared? B) Why was it only effective at 00:01 May 15th 1948, one minute AFTER British control ended?

        @ Talkback January 15, 2017, 5:08 pm

        “There’s no such thing as a “pre-requisite for declaring independence”

        http://www.cfr.org/sovereignty/montevideo-convention-rights-duties-states/p15897#art1.
        A) Why did Israel wait until the eve of the expiration of the British administration of Palestine before they declared? B) Why was it only effective at 00:01 May 15th 1948, one minute AFTER British control ended?

        “There is a pre-requisite for recognizing or attaining the “independence” (“sovereignty”) of a state which implies control of the territory

        Quite. “effective” control http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf

      • Jon66
        January 15, 2017, 9:30 pm

        Talknic,
        The Palestinians would have had all of the attributes in the convention. In fact, they declared a state decades later when they were completely under Israeli control. If they can declare themselves a state in 1988 and be recognized, what prevented this action in 1948 when they actually controlled significant territory?

      • talknic
        January 16, 2017, 12:02 am

        Watching apologists for the Zionist colonization of non-Israeli territories dodging questions is hilarious. They seem determined to show us how dishonest they can be

        @ Jon66 January 15, 2017, 9:30 pm

        “The Palestinians would have had all of the attributes in the convention. “

        They didn’t have effective control of all their rightful territories before or after the expiration of the British administration under the LoN Mandate for Palestine, and;
        as Jewish forces were already outside of the territories proclaimed by the Israeli Government as “effective” at 00:01 May 15th 1948, the Palestinians didn’t have effective control of all the territories that remained after Israel proclaimed its borders

        “In fact, they declared a state decades later when they were completely under Israeli control.”

        They didn’t have effective and sole control of their territories, therefore, they were not effectively independent.

        ” If they can declare themselves a state in 1988 and be recognized, what prevented this action in 1948 when they actually controlled significant territory?”

        They didn’t have effective and independent control of all their rightfull territories, therefore, they were not effectively independent

        I’ve answered all your questions. Answer me this

        A) Why did Israel wait until the eve of the expiration of the British administration of Palestine before they declared? B) Why was it only effective at 00:01 May 15th 1948, one minute AFTER British control ended?

      • oldgeezer
        January 16, 2017, 12:14 am

        @jon66

        Why didn’t they declare in 48? Who knows. Maybe they were putting too much effort into saving their lives feomthe barbaric murderous zionist terrorists.

        What difference does it make?

        None. They lived there. They were being slaughtered by criminal zionists. They had a right to live there
        They still do. The barbaric throwbacks to bygone eras refuse to recognize basic.han rights and earn themselves the label of scum of the earth. You should be proud of your vile criminal nature.

      • Talkback
        January 16, 2017, 8:28 am

        Talknic: “A) Why did Israel wait until the eve of the expiration of the British administration of Palestine before they declared? B) Why was it only effective at 00:01 May 15th 1948, one minute AFTER British control ended?”

        Because otherwise they would have been technically in war with Great Britain. That’s the reason why the Arab armies waited, too.

        Jon66: “… what prevented this action in 1948 when they actually controlled significant territory?”

        It was not only the Arab’s legal position that Palestine became independent with the termination of the mandate. So there was no need to declare statehood or an “independant state”. The Arab states tried multiple times to bring that up before the UN. Before UNSCOP, during UNSCOP and after UNSCOP. They even tried in the Security Council. But back every request request to let the International Court of Justice decide on this matter was prevented.

        They also didn’t declare statehood within partition borders, because Security Council resolution 46 in April 1948 asked both parties to abstain from declaring statehood “pending further consideration of the future Government of Palestine by the General Assembly”. The Jewish Agency violated this resolution with their declaration of statehood. Read:

        “REPLY TO THE RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL AT ITS THREE HUNDRED AND SECOND MEETING, 22 MAY 1948 SUBMITTED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE OF IRAQ AT THE THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTH MEETING ON BEHALF OF THE ARAB STATES

        On April 17, the Security Council passed a resolution on a truce in Palestine which was accepted by the representative of Syria on the Security Council and later by all the Arab States. Since that date the Zionists did their best to avoid the implications of that resolution by creating a fait accompli which changed radically the situation to the detriment of the Arab population of Palestine. In accordance with that policy, the Zionists attacked the unarmed Arab civilian population by taking advantage of the last days of the mandate. They dominated the Arab towns which they could take by force whether they were totally or partly Arab in population like Jaffa, Haifa, Tiberias, Safad, and Acre. Massacres of unparalleled savagery followed, like the massacre of Deir Yessin, and the massacre of Nasiriddin, near Tiberias. Moreover, one quarter of a million of the Arab civilian population left their homes and took refuge in the neighbouring Arab countries.

        Upon the termination of the mandate, the Zionists attacked Jerusalem ignoring the cease-fire order previously agreed upon by both sides, as well as the truce agreement presented by the Mandatory Power with the concurrence of the Truce Commission and the Arabs themselves on May 12. On May 14, the Zionists proclaimed their State without any attention to the Security Council’s resolution of April 17. The resolution was observed by the Arabs of Palestine and the Arab States by not proclaiming their Palestine State. In that situation, and in view of the continuous terrorist activities, the Arab States had no alterative but to take coordinated action to preserve the Arabs of Palestine including repatriation of the quarter million displaced Arabs as well as to restore peace and order.

        Now, and after the Jews had taken the utmost advantage to change the political and military status before May 15 in utter disregard of the Security Council’s resolution of April 17, the Arab States are now asked to stop their measures to protect themselves and restore peace and order.”
        https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/eb2eba292f62c42685256daa00562ac9?OpenDocument

      • talknic
        January 16, 2017, 10:41 am

        @ Talkback January 16, 2017, 8:28 am

        [[ A) Why did Israel wait until the eve of the expiration of the British administration of Palestine before they declared? B) Why was it only effective at 00:01 May 15th 1948, one minute AFTER British control ended? ]]

        “Because otherwise they would have been technically in war with Great Britain.”

        Not by simply declaring statehood. They would not have been “effectively” independent while the British had control. The British had to end the mandate so either party, if they wished, could declare independence per UNGA res 181

        That’s the reason why the Arab armies waited, too”

        The Arab states, as did everyone else, waited to see what territories Israel proclaimed in order to be recognized.

        As there were Jewish forces already outside of Israel’s proclaimed territories at 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time) the Arab States as Regional Powers submitted the Declaration on the Invasion of Palestine to the UNSC. (As far as I know, it was the last declaration of war ever submitted to the UNSC). There was no condemnation of that action by the UNSC even though Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Iraq were by then UN Members

      • Jon66
        January 16, 2017, 10:47 am

        Talknic,
        You said that complete territorial control was a “prerequisite” for declaring statehood. This is incorrect. The Palestinians eventually declared a state without territorial control.

        Had you said that complete territorial control was a prerequisite for effective control that would be correct. The current Palestinian state does not have effective control. Effective control is not a prerequisite for declaring statehood.

        Israel waited until British forces withdrew so that the would not be fighting British forces. It would make no sense to challenge the British when they were withdrawing anyway.

        Overall, I don’t think these discussions are particularly helpful in an effort to resolve the current morass.

      • Jon66
        January 16, 2017, 11:21 am

        OG,
        I agree that these discussions are not terribly helpful to the discussion of today’s situation. But, the assertion that Palestinians could not have declared statehood in 1948 is incorrect. Other than ad hominem do you have anything relevant to add to the discussion?

      • Mooser
        January 16, 2017, 12:18 pm

        “Jon66” why didn’t the Jews in Germany, and Nazi-occupied Europe “declare a state” and thus, insulate themselves from the Holocaust?

      • RoHa
        January 16, 2017, 5:41 pm

        The state of Palestine already existed in 1948, under British mandate. It did not automatically cease to exist when the mandate ended. Declaring a state in either the Partition “Arab State” or the post-war West Bank + Gaza could have been construed as recognition of Israel.

      • Jon66
        January 16, 2017, 7:59 pm

        Roha,
        That’s certainly one possibility. The issue Talknic brought up was whether it was possible to declare a state. Not whether it was wise or even enforceable.

      • talknic
        January 17, 2017, 7:50 am

        @ Talkback

        [[ A) Why did Israel wait until the eve of the expiration of the British administration of Palestine before they declared? B) Why was it only effective at 00:01 May 15th 1948, one minute AFTER British control ended? ]]

        “Because otherwise they would have been technically in war with Great Britain

        Not for simply declaring. The British had to end their administration under the Mandate so that either party could if they wished, declare independence per UNGA res 181

        ” That’s the reason why the Arab armies waited, too”

        The Arab states waited to see what Israel’s borders were, immediately declaring to the UNSC the invasion of Palestine, not Israel. Although Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Iraq were UN Members at the time, there was no UNSC condemnation for either their declaration or their actions for the simple reason that Jewish forces were already outside of Israel’s proclaimed frontiers and the other Regional Powers had a right and a duty to attempt to expel them from non-Israeli territories

      • Talkback
        January 17, 2017, 9:21 am

        talknic: “Not by simply declaring statehood.”

        That’s why I wrote “technically” not “legally”. The Zionist Junta waited for the Goverment to officially dissolve, so they wouldn’t be in war with them and could portray themselves as a successor goverment. It was all about making it easier to become recognized.

        “The Arab states waited to see what Israel’s borders were, immediately declaring to the UNSC the invasion of Palestine, not Israel … right and duty to attempt to expel them from non-Israeli territories”

        Not at all. They didn’t recognize any part of Palestine to be “Israeli” territory and why they entered Palestine. Read their whole statement to the UN. For example:
        “The Arab States recognize that the independence and sovereignty of Palestine which was so far subject to the British Mandate has now, with the termination of the Mandate, become established in fact, and maintain that the lawful inhabitants of Palestine are alone competent and entitled to set up an administration in Palestine for the discharge of all governmental functions without any external interference.”
        https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/a717e30bd2f6e5ec8525761e0072e9b3?OpenDocument

        And that’s also the reason why Palestinians didn’t declare statehood. It allready existed. And they didn’t declare the “independence” of this state, because in their view it automatically became independent with the termination of the mandate. This is the reason why other UN members didn’t want the International Court of Justice to get involved.

      • Talkback
        January 17, 2017, 9:30 am

        Talknic: ” the Arab States as Regional Powers submitted the Declaration on the Invasion of Palestine to the UNSC. (As far as I know, it was the last declaration of war ever submitted to the UNSC).”

        They didn’t submit a “Declaration on the Invasion of Palestine”. That is a Zionist title invention one can find for example in the “Jewish virtual library” which wants to frame the Arab intervention as an “invasion”. And the Arab states certainly didn’t declare “war”. See the link I allready provided.

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