Trending Topics:

How to win the battle for freedom, justice, and equality

Activism
on 144 Comments

On January 27, 2018 Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network’s Executive Director Nadia Hijab gave the following presentation to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s annual general meeting at the London Irish Centre, in London. 

It’s an honor to be speaking to the group that’s made it on to Israel’s top 20!

In my talk today I want to focus on three things:

1st) How to get our framing right in terms of what we’re fighting against;

2nd) How to put forward a compelling vision of what we’re fighting for; and

3rd) How to stay strategic in growing all our sources of power so we can achieve our goals.

This may all sound pretty basic but there’s a lot of confusion both among Palestinians and among Palestine solidarity activists. And the reason for confusion is that we don’t have a fully representative leadership that is providing clear direction – and that’s putting it mildly.

So first, the question of what we’re fighting against. There’s a lot of debate, particularly in academic circles about the framework of analysis we should apply to the Palestinians. Is it settler colonialism? Or ethnic cleansing? Or racial discrimination? Or apartheid? In fact you could make a case for any one of those and more.

But what we need is a common framing to make it crystal clear not only what we are fighting against – but also what we are fighting  for. And we need that framing so we can be clear about the strategies we need to succeed. My Al-Shabaka colleague Ingrid Jaradat and I reviewed all these frameworks in a recent policy paper. We identified apartheid as the most strategic framework – in other words, as the one most useful in our struggle.

Nadia Hijab. (Photo: IMEU)

For example, although the settler colonial framework is strategic in many ways it was not expressly prohibited by international law at the time Israel was established. That means it would only be applicable to Israel’s settler colonial enterprise in the occupied Palestinian territories. Thus, it could not be used to address the rights of the refugees or equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel. In addition, although it was prohibited, it was not criminalized.

By contrast, apartheid has been treated as a serious violation under customary law at least since the end of the Second World War. It was prohibited and criminalized in the Anti-Apartheid Convention of 1973 and was incorporated into the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (2002) as one of the most serious crime against humanity after genocide.

In the case of Palestine, apartheid began when the Zionist settler colonial society transformed into the state of Israel. That’s when the ideology of Jewish superiority and policy of ethnic cleansing were incorporated into the laws and institutions of the state. So Israel bears legal responsibility for acts of apartheid against all Palestinians, including the refugees, the citizens of Israel, and those under occupation.

It should be noted that individual criminal responsibility also applies to those who carry out, aid, or abet the crime of apartheid. All states and the UN are responsible for ensuring that those who are guilty are brought to justice. And they have a legal obligation to cooperate and adopt measures, including sanctions, to bring apartheid to an end and ensure reparations. There is much more on this in the UN report by Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley that was withdrawn under pressure. There’s also more discussion in our Al-Shabaka paper.

Based on the above, if we can establish the apartheid framing as our common framing that would be a major source of power for our movement.

Now if that’s what we are fighting against, what are we fighting for? This is where the discussion often slips into an argument of one-state vs two-states. But let’s think about that for a moment. In terms of achieving Palestinian rights, what would a 1-state political outcome achieve that two-states would not?

The vision of a secular democratic state in all of Palestine as set out by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1968, has always been more compelling for Palestinians than that of two states. Through a single state Palestinians would exercise their right to self-determination by returning to and living in the entirety of the land that had been Palestine, alongside the Jews living there, with equal rights for all.

As for the vision of two states, it’s important to distinguish between the one set out in 1988, when the Palestinian National Council adopted it, and the disaster that was the Oslo accords. When it was adopted in 1988, the two-state solution was seen as a pragmatic, doable recognition of reality. Palestinians would exercise the right to self-determination through a sovereign state that would secure the equal rights of its citizens.

Such a state would enable Palestine to join the community of nations. Further, the 1988 PNC resolution upheld the UN resolutions regarding the rights of the Palestinian refugees. And the struggle for two states does not mean foresaking the vital struggle for equality of the Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Oslo doomed a rights-based state project from the start. The Palestinian leadership was willing to sacrifice refugee rights. As for the Israelis, even the so-called great peace-maker Yitzhak Rabin made it clear that Palestinians would have an entity that was “less than a state” with Israel’s security border located in the Jordan Valley.

Yet, had we built up enough power to ensure that the two-state solution stayed faithful to its original framing, then it could have fulfilled Palestinian rights to self-determination and return, just as the 1-state would have done. In fact an end to apartheid does not necessarily mean a “one-state solution” in the entire territory that is controlled by an apartheid system. It can be a two-state solution. In Namibia, the people achieved self-determination through independence with their struggle against the South African apartheid regime.

I would argue that either state outcome could be made to achieve Palestinian rights – if we have the power to do so. Plus – and this is very important – fulfilling Palestinian rights needs some of the sources of power that are associated with the state system.

For example, the fact that Israeli sovereignty is not recognized in either occupied East Jerusalem – or indeed in West Jerusalem – under international law is a source of power we should not give up easily. The fact that the settlements are considered illegal under the law and by the vast majority of states is a source of power we should not give up until we achieve our goals.

Imagine the different situation today if the PLO had – back in 2004 – “activated” the International Court of Justice ruling on Israel’s illegal wall. Although it was an advisory opinion, it made a clear call on all states not to “recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall” and not to provide any aid that could maintain that situation. The PLO could have used this to ensure that rules-conscious European countries acted much more decisively to make sure that their relations with Israel did not support the illegal Israeli settlements. The PLO did not do so.

These and others are important sources of power if we use them – if we really push for them through our movement and if we push the Palestinian leadership to push for them.

The reality is that today the Palestinian people have very little power to achieve either one state or two in the foreseeable future or to impose Palestinians right on Israel or on the international community. No one is going to give us anything so why let go of any of our sources of power? If we are determined to end apartheid we must not let go of any of our sources of power.

One can work for one-state or two-state outcomes so long as each fulfills Palestinian rights. This was the smart, strategic approach by the founders of the BDS movement. Given the disarray of the national movement and the lack of consensus around political goals, they focused instead on rights. The BDS call is for the realization of self-determination through freedom from occupation, equality for the Palestinian citizens of Israel, and justice for the Palestinian refugees in fulfilling their right of return. Freedom, justice and equality. This is how they reached the broadest spectrum of Palestinian society and international solidarity activists – and built a considerable source of power. And these rights can be achieved in one-state or two.

Now there is one source of power we have not yet tapped: That of the narrative. Israel continues to dominate the narrative in the West despite the inroads we have made. And we must tap this source of power soon – we are facing a time of great danger and of fiercer attacks both within Palestine and against all efforts at real solidarity.

We badly need a positive, forward-looking narrative of what we are for, a narrative that unifies us and communicates the power of our vision. A narrative that provides a direction for the movement until the time comes for a political outcome. A narrative that overcomes the barriers that Israel’s physical fragmentation of the Palestinian people has created. A narrative that challenges Israel and prevents it from being able to paint us as anti-everything.

That unifying Palestinian narrative already exists: It’s Freedom. It’s Justice. It’s Equality. These are the goals identified by the BDS movement. They are also goals all human beings can aspire to and they speak to the reality of each segment of the Palestinian people, under occupation, in Israel and in refugee camps and exile.

We have that narrative, but we don’t use it. We say that we are anti-apartheid and that we support BDS against Israel. What we must make very clear is that we support BDS because we want to achieve freedom, justice, and equality. We are against apartheid because we want to achieve freedom, justice, and equality.

These goals need to be placed front and center of our movement as soon as possible: They are an uplifting and positive vision that can quickly occupy the high ground. And they can be achieved in one-state or two.

About Nadia Hijab

Nadia Hijab is Director of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

144 Responses

  1. eljay
    January 31, 2018, 9:57 am

    … That unifying Palestinian narrative already exists: It’s Freedom. It’s Justice. It’s Equality. … These goals need to be placed front and center of our movement as soon as possible: They are an uplifting and positive vision that can quickly occupy the high ground. And they can be achieved in one-state or two.

    I agree.

    But it won’t prevent Zionists from screaming “Anti-Semitism!” and “Jew hatred!” because they despise anything that contradicts their belief that the religion-based identity of Jewish grants to those who choose to embrace it the right:
    – to a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine; and
    – to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

    • pabelmont
      February 1, 2018, 9:02 am

      The demand for rights is not a demand made primarily toward Israel (or Israelis). It is made toward the international community. It is a completely lost cause if made toward Israel. Israel must be compelled to allow freedom, justice, and equality.

      Palestinians will demand freedom, justice, and equality and Israel will scream anti-semitism and I guess we will see, over time, which claim will be heard and by whom outside Israel.

  2. Ossinev
    January 31, 2018, 3:13 pm

    An interesting and thoughtful article and identifying, highlighting and re -enforcing at every opportunity the message that BDS and with it the Palestinian struggle is a struggle for “freedom,justice and equality” is the right and proper way forward for the future.However two things must be recognised.
    1) Israel will never repeat never tolerate any form of independent Palestinian state and it never had any intention of doing so. The Oslo accords were a blatant Zionist scam designed to perpetuate the myth of the 2SS. There is IMHO no way forward period other than that of pursuing the 1SS with “freedom,justice and equality” for all.
    2) Abbas and his cabal will never admit to the above fact. The grotesque ongoing pointless ” peace negotiations” to achieve a Palestinian state may have started off in a sense of hope that this could actually be achieved. But it has to be abundantly clear to the current Palestinian “leadership” that any form of negotiations with Israel are a scam to enable them to establish settlement facts on the ground whilst pretending to seek a solution.. Abbas and Co are quite simply partners in crime and the occasional”hand back the keys” threat particularly from Erekat are meaningless threats because they have no intention whatsoever of giving up their 5 star power and privileges. And so the charade continues to the delight of the Israelis.

    What is needed is for those in the International Community who support the Palestinian cause to get the message across to the Palestinians that the only way forward for the future is the 1SS and to continue to pressure Israel and call out its Apartheid regime via BDS and all other means available. I think it is a question of the credibility of 2SS now having been stretched to snapping point particularly amongst the younger generation of Palestinians and it will snap soon leaving the Israelis themselves with no other way forward than a single state – initially a transparent South Africa Apartheid state Mark 2 and in due course following full international BDS including travel restrictions a truly democratic state. Wishful thinking? No. I don`t think it will be easy and yes there will be bloodshed along the way but it is inevitable.

  3. jeffhalper
    January 31, 2018, 3:41 pm

    As difficult as it may be, we (Palestinians and Israelis) cannot begin to achieve a just and workable political settlement without just that: a POLITICAL program. We can make the best case in the world around oppression, occupation, apartheid, violations of IHL and human rights, settler colonialism and the violence Israeli actions and policies have done to Judaism itself, we can offer rights-based guidelines (like the 3 principles of BDS: end the occupation, right of return and equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel, but without an actual political plan we really have nothing concrete to advocate FOR. Human rights and IHL (international humanitarian law) are important, but (1) they have no enforcement power except for moral authority in the court of public opinion, which is important but insufficient, and (2) they do constitute a political program.

    Unless and until we formulate TOGETHER, Palestinians and progressive Israelis, a clear and detailed vision of how indeed we plan construct a society that addresses our fundamental and joint needs, we will remain in the realm of protest, resistance, advocacy, but not the political resolution of the “conflict.” You cannot be in a political struggle without an end-game (what are we BDS-ing for?). I wish we would stop talking about a two-state “solution.” Keeping that illusion alive just muddies the waters and prevents us from moving on. One democratic state that protects the collective rights of each people is a positive win-win resolution that both conforms to human rights/IHR and addresses the needs of equal rights and self-determination within the framework of a single state WHICH ALREADY EXISTS, albeit in an apartheid form.

    Unless we move soon to becoming a genuinely political movement we and the entire Palestinian issue will become ever more sidelined and marginal. We must decide jointly if we are going to become political actors fighting FOR a just political settlement or continue as advocates for human rights that are due us, to be sure, but which have little traction in the real world of politics. The problem, of course, is that is no “we,” not effective movement of Palestinians and Israelis mobilizes behind a common vision, plan and strategy. That, not less than the plan itself, is another essential element in our winning the struggle.

    We have a lot of work to do, and time is not on our side.

    • Mooser
      January 31, 2018, 4:05 pm

      “We have a lot of work to do, and time is not on our side.”

      Especially not if it’s wasted chasing phantoms and chimeras.

    • Nathan
      January 31, 2018, 7:43 pm

      jeffhalper – It’s nice that someone writes a comment that outlines an end of conflict. However, it would be a bit encouraging to hear an idea that the two sides might be willing to accept, and it would be a breath of fresh air to hear an idea that actually solves the conflict.

      If the conflict came into this world a century ago because there was a demand for a single democratic state, then obviously you have hit the nail on the head: Founding this single democratic state would, indeed, solve the grievance which gave birth to the conflict. However, this is not the grievance that has ignited the conflict. From the Palestinian point of view, the conflict was born with the rise of the new Hebrew community. In simpler terms, the Palestinians objected (and object) to the Jewish immigration. Founding the single democratic state doesn’t solve that grievance in the least, and the conflict would continue in the framework of the single state. A person like you – an immigrant from the USA who became a citizen of Israel through the Law of Return – would be regarded as an illegitimate resident of the new proposed state, and the demand for your removal from the country would be one of the sources of continuing violence.

      There are a lot of grievances against Israel, but you should note that sometimes the grievances contradict each other. If you support the BDS (i.e. you insist on the end of occupation), then you support the two-state solution. If you insist that there will be a single state, then there is no occupation obviously. Similarly, you mention occupation and apartheid in a single breath. If you have a grievance of occupation, then obviously its remedy is withdrawal – and lo and behold we are talking about two separate political entities. If you have a grievance of apartheid, then obviously its remedy is in the realm of civil rights in a single political entity – and lo and behold that single entity is not under occupation.

      It should be mentioned that the Jewish side also has its demands that your plan of a single state doesn’t address. Since your plan calls for the end of the Jewish state, it would be a nice idea if you could give a convincing reason why it would be worthwhile for the Jews to give it up. I understand that the anti-Zionist position never takes into account the demands and interests of the Jewish side to the conflict; however, it should be obvious to an intelligent person who wishes to propose a solution to the conflict that one must be listening to the perspective of both sides.

      • RoHa
        February 1, 2018, 12:36 am

        ” In simpler terms, the Palestinians objected (and object) to the Jewish immigration. Founding the single democratic state doesn’t solve that grievance in the least, and the conflict would continue in the framework of the single state.”

        You keep saying that. And yet

        ” The vision of a secular democratic state in all of Palestine as set out by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1968, has always been more compelling for Palestinians than that of two states. Through a single state Palestinians would exercise their right to self-determination by returning to and living in the entirety of the land that had been Palestine, alongside the Jews living there, with equal rights for all.

        (My italics.)

        The Palestinians have made it clear that, although they consider (rightly)that the Jewish immigration was wrong, they will accept the Jews as legitimate residents in the context of equal rights for all in a secular democratic state. (Actually, they said this in 1947, 21 years before 1968.)

        “Since your plan calls for the end of the Jewish state, it would be a nice idea if you could give a convincing reason why it would be worthwhile for the Jews to give it up.”

        This is much more to the point. How can the Israeli Jews be persuaded to act with decency, humanity,and morality, when they clearly have no understanding of such concepts?

      • ritzl
        February 1, 2018, 1:27 am

        @Nathan Clearly you’re not serious with this comment.

        So much verbiage, so little thought.

        Are there “two sides” really?

      • Talkback
        February 1, 2018, 8:44 am

        RoHa: “The Palestinians have made it clear that, although they consider (rightly) that the Jewish immigration was wrong, …”

        Not Jewish immigration as such, but the immigration that was enforced upon them without their consent. What Britain did was – from the point of view of the victim – basically the same crime that Israel commits in occupied territories. Colonialization under occupation.

      • Nathan
        February 1, 2018, 7:57 pm

        RoHa – Do you read Arabic? If so, I recommend to you to read the official website of the Palestinian Authority. After your reading of the website, I’d be curious to hear if you still believe that they will accept the Jews as legitimate residents in the secular democratic state.

        Why should the Jews give up their state? Interestingly, your answer was in the realm of philosophy. In other words, you don’t have a proposal for the Jews that takes into account their interests and their aspirations. Maybe you could try and explain to me why a community that has established a successful state should end that state’s existence (and place their fate in the hands of those with whom they have been in bitter conflict for a century). Sure, it would be nice to hear from RoHa that the Israeli Jews will thus earn his approval that they are now really decent people; but I would imagine that they already regard themselves to be just fine (surprisingly, Israeli Jews don’t share with you that anti-Israel slant). What else do you propose? Why would it be in the interest of the Jews to end their state and to face the unknown? I admit my lack of imagination, but maybe Jeff Halper (or you, Roha) could point me in the right direction. There’s got to be a reason that a community that has fought so hard for its statehood would prefer collective political suicide, but (silly me) I can’t figure it out.

      • Mooser
        February 1, 2018, 9:32 pm

        “Why should the Jews give up their state?”

        Because it did not deliver any of the promised results,( which grew more fantastic with each failure!) because it is a very expensive failure, and Jews all over the world don’t like being hostage to it.

        At some point the support will dwindle and the trouble increase and it’ll be given up.

      • Mooser
        February 1, 2018, 10:31 pm

        “There’s got to be a reason that a community that has fought so hard for its statehood would prefer collective political suicide, but (silly me) I can’t figure it out.”

        It’s easy. A failure, catastrophe, aMasadadammerung, collective political suicide avoids any accounting by chaos, and allows those who can to get assets(and their asses) out of Israel with a chance to escape responsibility.

      • RoHa
        February 2, 2018, 3:01 am

        Nathan, perhaps you could direct me to those parts of the PA website that lead you to believe that the Palestinians would never accept Israeli Jews as legitimate residents and citizens a secular democratic state.

        In the current context of Israeli Jewish oppression of the Palestinians, I have no doubt that there are many passages on the website that express hostility towards the Jews, but if that oppression were to be replaced by apology and an effort towards reconciliation, I think it highly likely that a great deal of the hostility would fade.

        And, yes, I agree with you that the Israeli Jews probably think of themselves as fine fellows, and want to keep their state going. I freely admit that I have no idea of how to persuade them to recognise the requirements of justice.

        But that does not mean that we should give up looking for a way, and BDS seems to be one of the stronger options around just now.

      • Nathan
        February 2, 2018, 5:11 am

        RoHa – Search the PA website and find the updated National Charter. As you might know, the Palestinian claim is that the charter has been changed. So, find the revised edition and read it carefully. Also, while you are there, you might want to read Mr Abbas’ speech from last week. It’s not to be found in an English translation anywhere, but the original Arabic appears in the PA official website. See if you can read it.

      • Nathan
        February 2, 2018, 5:44 am

        Oh, Mooser, come on. You should be able to find a reason why the Jews should give up their state in more convincing terms. There are lots of anti-Israel people that simply can’t imagine that others sees the world very differently. It’s called “cognitive self-centrism”. You think that the Israeli Jews see things as you do, and hence they would want to “escape responsibility” and “protect their assets”. However, the truth is that the Israeli Jews think that it’s a wonderful country and life is good. The economy is an incredible success, and the population is increasing by the tens of thousands every year. And the weather is super.

        So, after learning to accept that others might not have your anti-Israel agenda, and that they are quite satisfied with life in Israel – maybe you could bring to their attention the advantages of giving this all up. Since no one has any convincing argument that would win the agreement of the Jews to give up their state, the ploy is to give them a lesson in philosophy: “For the sake of justice…” I understand that you can’t imagine that the Jews have legitimate interests and aspirations – but give it a try. Give a convincing reason why Israel should agree to be shut down.

      • eljay
        February 2, 2018, 9:14 am

        || Nathan: Oh, Mooser, come on. You should be able to find a reason why the Jews should give up their state in more convincing terms. … Since no one has any convincing argument … ||

        Plenty of valid arguments have been presented as to why not “the Jews” but Zionists should:
        – abandon their oppressive, colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist project (and reform Israel into a secular and democratic state of and for all of its citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally);
        – stop undermining international laws and human rights and the protections they are meant to afford all people; and,
        – advocate the universal and consistent application of justice, accountability and equality.

        You’re not convinced by any of these arguments because you – like all Zionists – want to be wooed by proposals of a Zionist-friendly “peace” that:
        – allows Israel to remain a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”;
        – allows Israel to keep most of what it has stolen;
        – absolves Israel of its obligations under international law (incl. RoR); and
        – absolves Israel of accountability for past and on-going (war) crimes committed.

        || … I understand that you can’t imagine that the Jews have legitimate interests and aspirations … ||

        The desire not of “the Jews” but of Zionists to steal, occupy and colonize as much as possible of Palestine in order to establish as large as possible a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” was not and is not a legitimate interest or aspiration.

      • Talkback
        February 2, 2018, 9:51 am

        Nathan: “RoHa – Do you read Arabic? If so, I recommend to you to read the official website of the Palestinian Authority. After your reading of the website, I’d be curious to hear if you still believe that they will accept the Jews as legitimate residents in the secular democratic state.”

        Why don’t you provide the exact Arabic quote and present your translation if you are not lying?
        I believe that you are lying.

      • Keith
        February 2, 2018, 10:23 am

        TALKBACK- “Why don’t you provide the exact Arabic quote….”

        Also provide a link. Notice how these guys make claims with no substantiation hoping that we will be naive enough to think that they wouldn’t simply lie.

      • Mooser
        February 2, 2018, 12:26 pm

        ” You should be able to find a reason why the Jews should give up their state in more convincing terms”

        “The Jews” have a state? Who knew?

        And this brings us, by circumambulation to the question you can’t answer in the first place “Who are these “the Jews” you are talking about?

        I don’t think “The Jews are a group of individuals banded together for the purposes of Zionism” will work.

      • Talkback
        February 2, 2018, 12:35 pm

        Nathan: “You should be able to find a reason why the Jews should give up their state in more convincing terms.”

        For a moment I thought that Israel was the state of the Israelis. But then your comment reminded me that it is a Jewish Apartheid state and that it is democratic for Jews an Jewish for Nonjews. And I don’t think that you can convince supremacists and settler colonials to give up Apartheid or occupation.

      • Talkback
        February 2, 2018, 12:56 pm

        Keith: “Also provide a link. Notice how these guys make claims with no substantiation hoping that we will be naive enough to think that they wouldn’t simply lie.”

        I’m not really expecting him to deliver. His whole shtick is just infantile so far.

      • Mooser
        February 2, 2018, 1:36 pm

        ” I understand that you can’t imagine that the Jews have legitimate interests and aspirations “

        So these “the Jews” have “legitimate interests and aspirations”, but you can’t tell anybody exactly who they are?

        Doesn’t sound very “legitimate” to me. Or, again, do we define “the Jews” as “Those individuals who have banded together (or end up compelled) to engage in Zionism”?

      • Mooser
        February 2, 2018, 1:49 pm

        “Give a convincing reason why Israel should agree to be shut down.”

        Never, not even during “white nights” do I imagine Israel would “agree to be shut down”. As failure and collapse becomes imminent, the elites (IDF officers, GOI administrators, settlement leaders, economic oligarchs) will “bust out”, and try to salvage and launder from the exploit what they can. They’ll never “agree to be shut down”.

      • Maghlawatan
        February 2, 2018, 2:33 pm

        Collapse is never agreed. It just happens .
        Israel is facing a number of systemic crises with its fingers in its ears going “na na na cant catch me because I am Jewish and God is with me”.

        God is spilling her coffee

      • RoHa
        February 2, 2018, 8:48 pm

        Nathan, you are being repetitive, so I shall have to be repetitive in reply. (Given my age, everyone will expect that of me.)

        1. “cognitive self-centrism”.
        I am well aware that Zionists do not see the world the way I do. They would not be Zionists if they did.

        2. Palestinian attitudes to Jews.
        Zionist Jews declared themselves the enemies of the Palestinians from the beginning of Zionism. They have discriminated against, attacked, murdered,robbed, oppressed, and persecuted Palestinians from the start. Palestinian hostility towards Zionist Jews is fully justified.
        And yet, if the oppression and persecution stopped and was replaced by reconciliation, the hostility would diminish. Try it.

        3. Ending the conflict.
        What you want is the Palestinians to put forward a proposal that would lead to them ceasing resistance and yet leave Israel essentially unchanged.
        And you want to blame the Palestinians for not advancing such a proposal, even though it cannot be done.

        (You do not seem to expect anything of the sort from Israel, and attach no blame to Israel.)

        4. Reasons for change.
        You acknowledge that the Israeli Jews are not moved by appeals to morality, but you seem to think that their selfish attitudes are not reprehensible. Just a “different perspective”. And you ask for reasons why the comfortable Israeli Jews should find it in their self-interest to change.

        The aim of the BDS movement, and the efforts to put international pressure on Israel, is to make the Israeli Jews so uncomfortable that they will change.

    • Mooser
      February 4, 2018, 4:13 pm

      “Unless and until we formulate TOGETHER, Palestinians and progressive Israelis, a clear and detailed vision of how indeed we plan construct a society…” “jeff halper”

      “jeff” , talk to “Nathan” about it.

  4. JWalters
    January 31, 2018, 6:56 pm

    This is an absolutely excellent article. It lays out strategy choices clearly, provides a thorough analysis, and makes a compelling case for its selections. The leaders of every organization interested in justice for Palestinians should discuss the plan in this article with their members.

  5. Tom Suarez
    January 31, 2018, 7:30 pm

    Thank you, Nadia !

  6. Nathan
    January 31, 2018, 8:30 pm

    “One can work for one-state or two-state outcomes so long as each fulfills Palestinian rights. This was the smart, strategic approach by the founders of the BDS movement”.

    Well, actually, it’s not true at all. The presentation of Palestinian grievances in the realm of civil rights is merely propaganda. It’s sounds convincing, and some people might believe that the issue at hand is civil rights. But the world of diplomacy knows that the issue at hand is politics. There are two sides to this conflict, and each side has its political aspirations. Every single proposal for ending the conflict has been based on the logic of politics – i.e. a negotiated compromise.

    By defining the conflict as a type of human rights crisis, the BDS wishes to create a situation in which Israel must fulfill certain conditions, while the Palestinians have no obligations: There are no politics, no negotiations, no commitments. This is the reason for the opposition to the Oslo Agreement that is being attacked in the article. In Oslo, there has to be a negotiated end of conflict. An agreement on borders, refugees, Jerusalem, statehood and settlements means that the conflict has been resolved. In BDS, there is no demand that the Palestinians declare an end of conflict. It’s a nice propaganda ploy, but it’s not going to work. Perhaps it all makes sense in the world called Mondoweiss, but out there in planet earth there is an expectation that the conflict be resolved through negotiations.

    • Talkback
      February 1, 2018, 8:40 am

      Nathan: “… while the Palestinians have no obligations: There are no politics, no negotiations, no commitments.”

      Well Nathan, just another comment from you that demonstrates that you continue to fail to comprehend universal values. Otherwise you would understand that what BDS demands from Zionists it inherently demands from anybody else, including the Palestinians.

      Nathan: “In BDS, there is no demand that the Palestinians declare an end of conflict.”

      That’s just Zionist projection. If BDS wants Palestinian’s internationally recognized rights to be restored it does this with the intent of ending the conflict. It demands reflect what they consider to be the root cause of this conflict.

      • Nathan
        February 1, 2018, 7:12 pm

        Talkback – My overall impression of your many comments is that Israel is an illegitimate entity. You are welcome to deny this impression – but if it’s true, then your above comment is manipulative. The intention of “ending the conflict” would mean that you are referring to the end of Israel – not ending the conflict with Israel – and that’s tricky. I think that honest people should state their agenda openly.

        Your understanding of “universal values” is not universal at all (“universal” means that all of mankind agrees). Your understanding of what is right and wrong is in your eyes “universal”, but in reality it is political. Your anti-Israel agenda is not universally shared.

        Anyway, Talkback, the BDS movement does not claim that fulfilling its demands would mean that the conflict with Israel is over. Israel has no rights, no interests – and no one in the BDS is promising her anything. Moreover, I think you know this to be true.

        In the world of diplomacy, it is self-evident that this is a conflict between two rival communities in a very small country. The solution is to be found through negotiations, and that’s the agenda of the world community. For the anti-Israel world, a negotiated settlement of the conflict is unthinkable. It would mean that Israel is here to stay, and it’s final. BDS has no vision of peace with Israel, and so it’s agenda will not succeed in captivating the general world community.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 1, 2018, 7:46 pm

        My..impression of you….is that Israel is an illegitimate entity…if it’s true, then your above comment is manipulative. The intention of “ending the conflict” would mean that you are referring to the end of Israel – not ending the conflict with Israel – and that’s tricky.

        iow, if your impression is true vs what talkback said it means he’s manipulative, which is “tricky”. yeah, you really don’t have to have a conversation in this case, you can just rely on your own hasbara instead. but then it would be you manipulating his words, not the other way around. why all the words, just say ‘i don’t believe you’. you’re making the case against him instead of his argument (classic strawman)

      • Annie Robbins
        February 1, 2018, 8:20 pm

        “In BDS, there is no demand that the Palestinians declare an end of conflict.”

        if tomorrow, every palestinian stood up and declared an end to the conflict, they would still be living without freedom, justice or equality.

        that’s not how bds works, it demands for palestinians, not from them.

      • Nathan
        February 1, 2018, 8:28 pm

        Annie Robbins – Are you saying that the BDS is proposing peace with Israel? I don’t think so, and I’m confident that Talkback knows that no one is talking about peace with Israel. So, “ending the conflict” means without Israel. Of course, I’d be happy to hear a denial from Talkback, saying that “ending the conflict” means with Israel. I would be curious to know if you have a vision of peace with Israel. I’ve asked you in the past, but you don’t answer questions. (You won’t even say that you know that there was a Kingdom of Israel in antiquity).

      • Talkback
        February 1, 2018, 9:15 pm

        Nathan: “My overall impression of your many comments is that Israel is an illegitimate entity. ”

        I always made that clear. What’s your point? We were talking about BDS.

        Nathan: “The intention of “ending the conflict” would mean that you are referring to the end of Israel – not ending the conflict with Israel – and that’s tricky.”

        We were talking about BDS’ intentions and not about what I want to end.

        Nathan: ” Your understanding of what is right and wrong is in your eyes “universal”, but in reality it is political.”

        That’s your own political view because you think that equality and fundamental rights for every people are wrong and shouldn’t be universal. Otherwise you would support BDS’s demands.

        Nathan: “Your anti-Israel agenda is not universally shared.”

        Neither is your pro-Israel agenda. You are twisting the issue.

        Nathan: “Anyway, Talkback, the BDS movement does not claim that fulfilling its demands would mean that the conflict with Israel is over. Moreover, I think you know this to be true.”

        I think that you are lying and need to avoid discussing my argument:
        If BDS wants Palestinian’s internationally recognized rights to be restored it does this with the intent of ending the conflict. It demands reflect what they consider to be the root cause of this conflict.

        Nathan: “For the anti-Israel world, a negotiated settlement of the conflict is unthinkable. ”

        That’s understandable. Israel is not interested in abiding by international law and human rights. It continues to illegally settle while negotiating, ignores every UN resolution and has even illegally annexed territories. What it basically demands from the Palestinians is that they should give up their rights and accept Israel’s crime forever.

      • RoHa
        February 2, 2018, 2:46 am

        Nathan, you are playing fast and loose here. On the one hand, you say

        ” it is self-evident that this is a conflict between two rival communities in a very small country. ”

        Now what most of us on my side of the fence want is an end to that conflict. Do you?

        But you then when you say

        “The intention of “ending the conflict” would mean that you are referring to the end of Israel – not ending the conflict with Israel”

        you are talking about ending the conflict with the state of Israel, (which is a conflict between a community and a state) without, it seems, that state being changed in any way.

        And I will frankly admit that I do not believe such a thing is possible.

        “For the anti-Israel world, a negotiated settlement of the conflict is unthinkable. It would mean that Israel is here to stay, and it’s final.”

        No, the negotiated settlement could be a negotiated end to Israel as it is, and its replacement by a better state.

    • Annie Robbins
      February 1, 2018, 8:05 pm

      Well, actually, it’s not true at all. The presentation of Palestinian grievances in the realm of civil rights is merely propaganda. It’s sounds convincing, and some people might believe that the issue at hand is civil rights. But the world of diplomacy knows that the issue at hand is politics

      i don’t buy it. i think you’re a coward nathan. first nadia then talkback. ‘i don’t believe you’ is not a counter argument, it’s a cop out. i think you can’t argue against this and therefore you’re just discounting it as a lie.

      i call bs. who are you to claim an esteemed palestinian of nadia’s stature, the director of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network, that Palestinian grievances (and aspirations) are not in the realm of civil rights? who are you to tell any palestinian that, as a supporter of the very people who deny those civil rights to the people your regime rules over.

      seriously, grow some cajones. nadia is right, you have nothing to counter with. if “issue at hand is politics”, you’re essential claiming civil rights are not political, and they are. they very much are.

      try this out in the real world:

      grievances in the realm of civil rights is merely propaganda.

      how very disingenuous of you.

      • Nathan
        February 1, 2018, 8:40 pm

        A coward? Annie, anyone who writes comments on the Mondoweiss website that don’t present an anti-Israel slant is a virtual hero. There are lots of people here who don’t know how to handle non-agreement, and it can be quite unpleasant.

        On the other hand, I’ve asked you a few questions in the past – and you don’t answer. I asked you to deny that the MW website is dedicated to presenting the illegitimacy of Israel. I asked you if you have a vision of peace with Israel. I asked you if you know that there was a Kingdom of Israel. I always felt that your silence is out of cowardice.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 1, 2018, 9:28 pm

        sure, i have a vision of peace, in fact i wrote about it a long time ago. http://mondoweiss.net/2010/05/the-trap/ israel deligitimizes itself routinely, so yes, from my personal perspective this site exposes that deligitimization every day, with dedication. what i think about biblical history 3k years ago is neither here nor there and another of your diversions about this conversation. if you think that’s cowardly of me try googling my name. been there, done that. besides, i tried engaging you on the topic the other day and you answered me sans even watching the video. so that was worthless.

        ok, either say you don’t believe someone or ask a series of questions, both evasions. this seems to be the extent of your engagement, along w/the strawman ad hominem approach.

        i’ll site the author:

        Through a single state Palestinians would exercise their right to self-determination by returning to and living in the entirety of the land that had been Palestine, alongside the Jews living there, with equal rights for all.

        so here’s your grand opportunity to lecture us about how nobody but you&co is interested in ending the conflict — just ending israel. good bye.

      • Mooser
        February 1, 2018, 9:27 pm

        .” I asked you to deny that the MW website is…”

        Please, please read the “About” page, “Nathan”.

        The “About” page answers all of those questions. I was better informed about this website after I read the “About” page. You will be, too.

      • Mooser
        February 1, 2018, 9:56 pm

        A coward? “Annie, anyone who writes comments on the Mondoweiss website that don’t present an anti-Israel slant is a virtual hero.” “Nathan”

        My, the courage required to write a Mondo comment has sure increased since yesterday, and all that risk for nothing:

        “It’s really quite similar to all our comments here at Mondoweiss. We can write the most amazing comments, and yet nothing changes” “Nathan”

      • Talkback
        February 1, 2018, 10:02 pm

        Nathan: “In other words, you don’t have a proposal for the Jews that takes into account their interests and their aspirations. ”

        I don’t believe you. The presentation of Jewish interests and their aspirations are merely propaganda. It’s sounds convincing, and some people might believe that the issue at hand is national self determination and democracy. But the world of diplomacy knows that the issue at hand is Apartheid. From the Zionst point of view, the conflict was born with the rise of Palestinian resistance against Jewish rejection of Nonjewish majority ruling.

        See, what I did there? That’s how you ‘argue’, Nathan. Now I feel like a virtual hero, too. ROFL.

      • Mooser
        February 1, 2018, 10:36 pm

        “In other words, you don’t have a proposal for the Jews that takes into account their interests and their aspirations.”

        “Nathan”, I personally guarantee that any proposal “Talkback” has for “the Jews” takes into account their highest interests and aspirations, and includes freedom of worship and association, freedom of religious study and the freedom to instruct Jewish children in their religion.
        I would expect no less.

      • Nathan
        February 2, 2018, 4:59 am

        Mooser – You refer me to the “About” page, but I refer you to the comment of Annie Robbins above: “… yes, from my personal perspective this site exposes that delegitimization [of Israel] every day, with dedication”. When I first brought up the claim that the Mondoweiss site is dedicated to proving the illegitimacy of Israel, she asked for proof. It turns out that it really is her perspective. Of course, it’s perfectly legitimate to promote an anti-Israel agenda; however, it would be ridiculous to claim that the articles provide balanced reporting.

      • Talkback
        February 2, 2018, 8:24 am

        Mooser: ““Nathan”, I personally guarantee that any proposal “Talkback” has for “the Jews” takes into account their highest interests and aspirations, and includes freedom of worship and association, freedom of religious study and the freedom to instruct Jewish children in their religion.
        I would expect no less.”

        And also the freedom of their children to decide whether they want to be Jewish and circumcised or not. I universally reject forced conversion and genital mutilation without consent.

        And I TOTALLY reject Mohels orally suctioning blood. That’s barbaric.
        https://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/doctors-end-blood-sucking-in-brit-1.5280952

      • Mooser
        February 2, 2018, 12:13 pm

        “Mooser – You refer me to the “About” page, but I…/…provide balanced reporting.”

        So nue, so sue!

        “refer you to the comment of Annie Robbins above:”

        Nathan”, the “About” page applies to the articles. The comments are covered by the “Comments Policy” which I have linked for your convenience. Read it. It’ll do you good.

      • Mooser
        February 2, 2018, 12:36 pm

        , “anyone who writes comments on the Mondoweiss website that don’t present an anti-Israel slant is a virtual hero”

        Gee “Nathan”, if that’s your idea of Zionist heroism, I guess those who speak out in their own person must be Zionist martyrs.

      • Mooser
        February 4, 2018, 4:28 pm

        “anyone who writes comments on the Mondoweiss website that don’t present an anti-Israel slant is a virtual hero”

        You bet “Nathan”. That must be what you got the little medal for. And I think Israel wants you to earn the big medal, too.

  7. peter
    January 31, 2018, 9:00 pm

    With respect, the BDS framework, excellent tho it is, is incomplete as it does not lay out (nor try to) a vision of a post Zionist society with some clarity around what rights the Jewish minority will enjoy.

    Until that is done by a credible Palestinian political party, which seems to have broad support, i think the west will continue to support Israel, and ignore its violations of human rights.

    This is what the ANC did even while living under apartheid. That undermined western support for the regime.

    • Talkback
      February 1, 2018, 8:31 am

      So according to you a call for equality and justice does not include minority rights … Well, ok.

      • Yitzchak Goodman
        February 4, 2018, 12:06 am

        So according to you a call for equality and justice does not include minority rights … Well, ok.

        Supposing we frame it this way: Mere Zionist surrender in the I-P conflict is not identical to instituting an egalitarian country. The Mondo-plan is what? The Supreme Leader (don’t you love the sound of that?) of Iran has proposed a referendum in which everyone considered to be a Palestinian worldwide (including most of the population of Jordan?) would have a vote besides the current inhabitants of Israel/Palestine. Jews or Zios or whatever you want to call them would be greatly outnumbered. Do you think the outcome of that would be a country with freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, etc.? If not, what do you propose? Or does it matter what the outcome would be?

      • Talkback
        February 4, 2018, 6:55 am

        Goodman: “Jews or Zios or whatever you want to call them would be greatly outnumbered.”

        As they were back then, too.

        Goodman: “Do you think the outcome of that would be a country with freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, etc.? If not, what do you propose? Or does it matter what the outcome would be?”

        Contrary to Israel the right to equalty and the freedoms, etc. must be constitutionally enshrined. And contrary to Israel the state should be a real democracy which means a state of all of its citizens where nobody has to be expelled to create a racist fake majority ruling. And contrary to Israel (and Nazi Germany) the citizens of this country should be the nation(als) of this country.

      • Yitzchak Goodman
        February 4, 2018, 11:16 am

        Contrary to Israel the right to equalty and the freedoms, etc. must be constitutionally enshrined.

        I aaked what the practical results would be of Iran’s proposed grand referendum. Advocating democracy in theory isn’t necessarily the same thing as advocating policies which will actually lead to freedom of the press. You don’t seem to feel the need to even make a case where frredom of the press is concerned. Go back and see what I wrote and what your response was.

      • Mooser
        February 4, 2018, 2:19 pm

        “If not, what do you propose? Or does it matter what the outcome would be?”

        He, “Yitachak”, take it easy. Der mensch trakht un Gott lahkht.

        It’s really something. Now, now that maybe things aren’t going so well, now the Zionists want all kinds of guarantees not to be harmed by the situation they created. I’m not sure that can be done.

      • Talkback
        February 4, 2018, 3:56 pm

        Goodman: “I aaked what the practical results would be of Iran’s proposed grand referendum. ”

        No Yitzchak Goodman you didn’t. You wrote: “The Supreme Leader (don’t you love the sound of that?) of Iran has proposed a referendum in which everyone considered to be a Palestinian worldwide (including most of the population of Jordan?) would have a vote besides the current inhabitants of Israel/Palestine. Jews or Zios or whatever you want to call them would be greatly outnumbered.”

        And I answered: “As they were back then, too.”

        But allow me to ask you a question. Why do you connect a referendum to Iran? Do you need to demonize a referendum if it turns out that Jews are a minority? Do you have a problem with majority ruling (aka democracy) if Jews are a minority? Do you Palestinians to continue to be expelled?

        Goodman: “You don’t seem to feel the need to even make a case where frredom of the press is concerned.”

        I did when I wrote that “the freedoms, etc. ” (refering to the freedoms, etc. you mentioned.) must be constitutionally enshrined.

        Goodman: “Go back and see what I wrote and what your response was.”

        I just did. And I noticed that you have don’t seem to feel the need to adress that Israel has no right to equality constitutionally enshrined. Or that it is not the state of all of its citizens. Or that hs has to expell Nonjews to achieve an maintain a Jewish majority to fake democracy. Or that ontrary to Israel (and Nazi Germany) the citizens of this country should be the nation(als) of this country.

        And there is also no freedom of press in Israrel. I’m not only talking about the military censor, but about emergency regulations that enables Israel to shut down any press. And I highly doubt that it has a true freedom of assembly.

        Do you expect more from the Palestinians?

      • Yitzchak Goodman
        February 4, 2018, 7:17 pm


        No Yitzchak Goodman you didn’t. You wrote: “The Supreme Leader (don’t you love the sound of that?) of Iran has proposed a referendum in which everyone considered to be a Palestinian worldwide (including most of the population of Jordan?) would have a vote besides the current inhabitants of Israel/Palestine. Jews or Zios or whatever you want to call them would be greatly outnumbered.”

        I did ask what the practical results of the referendum would be. That was my next sentence.

        But allow me to ask you a question. Why do you connect a referendum to Iran? Do you need to demonize a referendum if it turns out that Jews are a minority? Do you have a problem with majority ruling (aka democracy) if Jews are a minority?

        I saw the referendum proposal on the English PressTV site and I started noticing that Khamanei repeated it every so often. I don’t have a problem with countries having referendums of all the people who live in them. I don’t think people who were born in Jordan should get to vote on the fate of people living in Israel/Palestine. Majority rule with Jews in the minority takes place in the US. That’s what I live under and I support it. I don’t support schemes to bring countries back under the domination of the people with the most authentic grandparents against the will of the current inhabitants.

        did when I wrote that “the freedoms, etc. ” (refering to the freedoms, etc. you mentioned.) must be constitutionally enshrined.

        I asked what the practical outcome would be of that referendum. Forgive my way of putting it, but I didn’t ask what you would ask your fairy godmother for if you could have three wishes for the Middle East.

        A number of your questions were of the “I see you didn’t comment on such and such” variety.
        I pass for the time being. I’m trying to stay focused on something limited.

      • Talkback
        February 5, 2018, 9:32 am

        Yitzchak Goodman: “I did ask what the practical results of the referendum would be. That was my next sentence.”

        Of course what ever the majority decides upon. Here is a constitution draft:
        https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Palestine_(2003)

        Yitchak Goodman: “I don’t think people who were born in Jordan should get to vote on the fate of people living in Israel/Palestine.”

        Of course you don’t. First expell Nonjews and then prevent them and their descendants from returning, right? Is that a democracy Jewish style or “Jewish democracy”?

        And what about Jews who were born out of Palestine and their descendants? Shouldn’t they get to vote on the fate of people living in hist. Palestine either?

        Goodman: “I don’t support schemes to bring countries back under the domination of the people with the most authentic grandparents against the will of the current inhabitants.”

        You must be an antizionist and against Jewish settler colonialism. But what if the people belonged to the current inhabitants and were expelled against their will and that is the only reason why they are not the current inhabitants?

        Goodman: I asked what the practical outcome would be of that referendum. Forgive my way of putting it, but I didn’t ask what you would ask your fairy godmother for if you could have three wishes for the Middle East.

        A number of your questions were of the “I see you didn’t comment on such and such” variety.
        I pass for the time being. I’m trying to stay focused on something limited.”

        ROFL. Of course you do. So what is your fair godmother telling you about the outcome? Is it going to be worse than what you don’t want to comment on, because you are “trying to stay focused on something limited”?

      • Mooser
        February 7, 2018, 12:10 pm

        “trying to stay focused on something limited”?

        Like how “Goodman” came to use an image of Thelonius Monk as an avatar.

      • Yitzchak Goodman
        February 7, 2018, 11:09 pm

        Like how “Goodman” came to use an image of Thelonius Monk as an avatar.

        He is sitting at a keyboard in a beard and a yarmulke. And I admire his aesthetic.

      • Mooser
        February 8, 2018, 3:48 pm

        “He is sitting at a keyboard in a beard and a yarmulke…”

        What more do you need to know?

  8. James Michie
    February 1, 2018, 9:37 am

    Unless and until all people around the world who truly practice Judaism—not Zionism—break their silence and join together in educating and leading the world to condemn, instead of defending indefensible Zionist Israel, nothing, absolutely nothing, will change for the Palestinians. And, yes, there would be much bloodshed in Palestine at the hands of the Zionists.
    So, do talk of a “struggle” for Palestinians to win their freedom, justice and equality. But, justly, and in reality, it should be a “struggle” between Judaism and Zionism—and with bloodshed if need be!
    So let’s get on with bringing freedom, justice and equality to what little remains of Palestine and its people by strongly advocating a “struggle” between righteous Judaism and fascist Zionism!

    • Mooser
      February 1, 2018, 7:24 pm

      Judaism itself does not have the resources to defeat Zionism.

  9. MHughes976
    February 1, 2018, 11:03 am

    If there is any validity in the idea of a right in anything like the normal understanding of the term then those who are being denied their rights do not have obligations towards those who are denying them. That would imply that wrongdoers have some sort of right to continue to do wrong, which I think makes no sense.
    The idea that this is a battle all but entirely for Jewish opinion, being fought between authentic Judaism and Zionism and the inauthentic form of Judaism following in its train, is very discouraging. To accept that Palestine as a whole is already and ineluctably in the hands of those who are Jewish, with its future dependent entirely on their will, theirs to keep completely or to relinquish partially as they shall decide, is to suggest very strongly that partial relinquishment is a pointless and unrealistic effort to put the clock back, that the aims of Z have been accomplished in full bar the shouting and that the shouting might as well be cut short.

    • Yitzchak Goodman
      February 4, 2018, 12:41 am

      If there is any validity in the idea of a right in anything like the normal understanding of the term then those who are being denied their rights do not have obligations towards those who are denying them. That would imply that wrongdoers have some sort of right to continue to do wrong, which I think makes no sense.

      Do they have the obligation to uphold the values that are involved in saying that their rights are being denied? Is the practical likelihood of their doing so (upholding those values) none of Israel’s darn Zio business or something that should be taken into account when proposing a solution?

      • Mooser
        February 4, 2018, 2:14 pm

        “Yiyzchak”, nobody owes the Zionists anything. They rolled the dice, thought they were up to a colonial project, and now you want guarantees of getting out of it whole?

        Hey, but don’t worry, no matter what happens, Israel always has its atom bombs.

      • MHughes976
        February 4, 2018, 2:30 pm

        I’m grateful for Yitzchak’s question. I should make it clear that even oppressors have the rights belonging unconditionally to all human beings, but that they do not of course acquire any special rights from being oppressors. I don’t think that ideological deficiencies, such as limited or mistaken ideas about rights, among the oppressed, unless they amount to descent into irrationality and merely animal status, remove their rights. I don’t think that things have descended that far in Palestine. I don’t think that even the Israelis are irrational.

      • gamal
        February 4, 2018, 3:23 pm

        ” I should make it clear that even oppressors have the rights belonging unconditionally to all human beings”

        “belonging unconditionally to all human beings”

        “I don’t think that ideological deficiencies, such as limited or mistaken ideas about rights, among the oppressed”… “unless they amount to descent into irrationality and merely animal status”

        ” the oppressed”….”merely animal status”…”remove their rights”

        but ” oppressors have the rights belonging unconditionally to all human beings” but not those with “animal status”, “all human beings” shit

        “I don’t think that even the Israelis are irrational” but the Palestinians might be animals? so “remove their rights”

        and you think that is a great answer to a good question….your malice is obvious.

        “rights belonging unconditionally to all human beings” Israelis

        “unless they amount to descent into irrationality and merely animal status” Palestinians

        can you give examples of people with “merely animal status”? you may select from among the oppressing classes if you so wish.

      • MHughes976
        February 4, 2018, 5:40 pm

        There was no hint in what I said that the Palestinians or indeed anyone are irrational or subhuman, perhaps like Swiftian Yahoos, which I hoped that not even YG would suggest. I was responding to and rejecting the suggestion that the rights of the oppressed depend on their passing an ideological test set by the oppressors or that their failing to do so would create for the oppressors a right to continue to do wrong, which I argued was paradoxical.
        We do have rules against personal attacks.

      • Mooser
        February 4, 2018, 8:35 pm

        “We do have rules against personal attacks.”

        But you’re “grateful for Yitzchak’s question.”

      • gamal
        February 4, 2018, 10:22 pm

        “We do have rules against personal attacks”

        sure but they don’t apply to animals like me

      • MHughes976
        February 5, 2018, 1:06 pm

        We are all human beings here, just as in Palestine, and the rules apply to all of us. It’s rather important that we keep to them if we want Mondoweiss to be an effective political force. I was grateful for the question because the problem of the rights of wrongdoers is important amd quite difficult. The question let me explain that I don’t think you can do wrong to the point of losing all rights. I was saying before that the idea that those who deny the rights of others acquire in the course of their behaviour the right to have a quid pro quo before they cease to do wrong makes no sense.

      • Mooser
        February 5, 2018, 3:23 pm

        ” It’s rather important that we keep to them if we want Mondoweiss to be an effective political force”

        Me, I’m gonna go read the “About” page. It gets so lonely while everybody is out politicking.

      • Mooser
        February 5, 2018, 3:37 pm

        ” I was grateful for the question because the problem of the rights of wrongdoers is important amd quite difficult”

        Oh, I’m sure the ones, it won’t be that many, who end up being prosecuted will get fair trials.

  10. Annie Robbins
    February 1, 2018, 6:38 pm

    i just read this again for the 4th time. i should read it every day and memorize it, we all should. thank you Nadia Hijab

  11. Yitzchak Goodman
    February 5, 2018, 12:30 pm

    Of course what ever the majority decides upon. Here is a constitution draft:
    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Palestine_(2003)

    I didn’t read the whole constitution. I noticed some things that do sound democratic and also this from Article 4:

    1. Islam is the official religion in Palestine. Respect and sanctity of all other heavenly religions shall be maintained.
    2. The principles of Islamic Shari’a shall be the main source of legislation.

    The phrase “heavenly religions” excludes some religions, doesn’t it?

    You:

    But what if the people belonged to the current inhabitants and were expelled against their will and that is the only reason why they are not the current inhabitants?

    I won’t go into how you are oversimplifying things. Maybe that applies to some people of Palestinian extraction living in Jordan and and maybe that is the sort of thing the title of the post means by “justice.” Hard to see how a giant transfer of population from Jordan to Israel would be a great blow for freedom and equality.

    You:

    Of course you don’t. First expell Nonjews and then prevent them and their descendants from returning, right? Is that a democracy Jewish style or “Jewish democracy”?

    The rest of your points have the same tone. This doesn’t seem worth replying to. Thanks for posting the link to the draft constitution.

    • Mooser
      February 5, 2018, 1:40 pm

      “The rest of your points have the same tone. This doesn’t seem worth replying to”

      Israel can prolong the current situation indefinitely, and time is on Israel’s side. There’s no need to answer. Stand on your dignity, “Goodman”

    • Talkback
      February 5, 2018, 4:34 pm

      Goodman: “I didn’t read the whole constitution.”

      Bear in mind that this is the draft for Palestine as a two state solution, not a one state solution.

      Goodman: “The phrase “heavenly religions” excludes some religions, doesn’t it?”

      “Heavenly religions” refers to the three Abrahamistic religions.

      Goodman: “I won’t go into how you are oversimplifying things. Maybe that applies to some people of Palestinian extraction living in Jordan …”

      Of course you won’t, because I’m not “oversimplyfing things”. All Palestininans with refugee status belonged to the inhabitants, before they were expelled. And their descendants would have belonged to them, too.

      Goodman: “Hard to see how a giant transfer of population from Jordan to Israel would be a great blow for freedom and equality.”

      The great blow to freedom and equality was the expulsion of Nonjews. Not their return. That would be a restoration of equality, human and civic rights.

      Goodman: “The rest of your points have the same tone. This doesn’t seem worth replying to. ”

      Yeah, right. I have allready noticed that you don’t like your support for Jewish supremacism, Apartheid and the expulsion of Nonjews to be questioned. Nor your double standards.

      • RoHa
        February 5, 2018, 6:07 pm

        ““Heavenly religions” refers to the three Abrahamistic religions.”

        As Yitzhak points out, there are more than three. Baha’i, Druze, and Mormonism all count as Abrahamic, I think. If there are any Babis left, they count as well. And I’d be inclined to include Yazidi, too.

      • gamal
        February 5, 2018, 6:47 pm

        “And I’d be inclined to include Yazidi, too.”

        Everytime you ignore the Mandeans John the Baptist cries.

        “Heavenly religion” can mean any organized religion, the Indic religions ( there is a Arab tradition that idolatry originated in India and was linked to the Ka’aba cult) while in Islam there are always various views you could look to Mirza Mazhar Jan-i-Janan, of course Al Biruni wrote : Tahiq ma li l-hind maqula maqbula fi al aql aw mardhula” specifically so Muslims could discuss religion with the Religions of India and not look uninformed.

        Biruni in one famous line says “there is little substantial difference between what people call monotheism and the religions of the Indians rather the difference is between the common people and the Elites”

        both al-gardizi and al dhjayhani write of the “al muhwahida min al barahima” “the monotheist Brahmins”. and stuff…

      • RoHa
        February 5, 2018, 7:31 pm

        I apologise to John the Baptist, the Mandeans, and all other members of Abrahamic religions for any and all offence caused by my failure to mention them.

      • Yitzchak Goodman
        February 5, 2018, 7:33 pm

        The great blow to freedom and equality was the expulsion of Nonjews. Not their return. That would be a restoration of equality, human and civic rights.

        Unless it wasn’t. If you think return is a right, it would be an exercise of that right. Whether it was a restoration of civic rights would be a question of whether those civic rights actually prevailed or not afterwards. That’s why I’m in this conversation. I don’t think it requires deflecting the potshots that Mondos usually take at the idea that Israel is a democracy.

        Yeah, right. I have allready noticed that you don’t like your support for Jewish supremacism, Apartheid and the expulsion of Nonjews to be questioned. Nor your double standards.

        I’m just not going to waste my time responding to points that are akin to the fallacy of the complex question. No, I don’t beat my wife. No, I don’t support something called “Jewish supremacism.” No, I don’t think expulsion is democracy. I don’t think the 1948 war was a giant act of ethnic cleansing. A number of historians have made the case better than I could. If you are going to have a conversation with someone you disagree with widely, you have to be intelligent about what he is likely to accept as the premise for a point or a question. I like Right to Exist: A Moral Defense of Israel’s Wars by Yaacov Lozowick. You would probably hate it.

      • Talkback
        February 6, 2018, 8:43 am

        Goodman: “If you think return is a right, …”

        That’s not what I “think”. It’s a human right according to the Universal Declarations of Human rights.

        Goodman: “No, I don’t support something called “Jewish supremacism.””

        Oh yes you do, with every right you deny Nonjews like the right to return.

        Goodman: “No, I don’t think expulsion is democracy. ”

        Do you want to claim that Israel is a democracy allthough it keeps millions of Nonjews expelled and doesn’t allow them to vote in Israel?

        Goodman: “I don’t think the 1948 war was a giant act of ethnic cleansing.”

        Do you want to deny the ethnic cleansing of Nonjews since 1948/1949?

        Goodman: “I like Right to Exist: A Moral Defense of Israel’s Wars by Yaacov Lozowick.”

        Of course you do, especially when it comes to his views about “population transfers”, don’t you?

        So what rights do foreign settlers have after 1945 to create a state within a state without holding a referendum and against the consent of the majority of its population? What right do they have after 1945 to create a state through war and expulsion? And what rights do they have to expell the majority of its population to become themselves a majority? Maybe you shouldn’t answer these questions if you want to continue to claim that you don’t support Jewish supremacism.

      • Talkback
        February 6, 2018, 8:56 am

        RoHa: “As Yitzhak points out, there are more than three. Baha’i, Druze, and Mormonism all count as Abrahamic, I think.”

        Fair enough.

      • Talkback
        February 6, 2018, 8:59 am

        gamal: ““Heavenly religion” can mean any organized religion, …”

        Even if they are not monotheistic?

      • gamal
        February 6, 2018, 10:35 am

        “Even if they are not monotheistic?”

        that’s interesting, forgive me have been indolent thus a bit busy so off the top of my head which may also be the underside of my fundament, (thats a hint),

        I will start here:

        It was the opinion of many Scholars that the Arabian polytheists were monotheists, it’ll get clearer, however and this is a key point, their ideological and moral crime was shirk, associationism, which these alim defined thus: the idols were conceived by them as the actual person of a propitiatory force, these idols were not representations of anything but were themselves
        the body of the “god” able to bring safety or curse one’s enemies.

        So many took the view that “idols” actually encountered by te Muslims were mere representations of conceptualized divine attributes, “Hinduism” monotheistic, the supreme Godhead being Brahma and the other deities repesent its active aspects etc.

        so yes even polytheists, because the scholars defined “polythiesm” so as to exclude anything that one might actually meet, it makes a lot of sense in their terms and was supportive of the social harmony they aspired to bring about. so yes, just because you define something as non-monotheism doesn’t mean it is shirk to a Muslim. sorry that’s a bit trashy you can see where its headed?

        Hey Talkback: talking of not monotheist do you know Margaret Barker “Mother of the Lord” messy link makes some pages available you can read “In Search of other voices” and “The Other communities” history but interesting, i have no public library here so i use stupid questions to get previews.

        https://books.google.ie/books?id=n_MyzX2QNr8C&pg=PA16&lpg=PA16&dq=arabia+old+religions+still+practised&source=bl&ots=Gqv5PFEGhV&sig=_B7TJLFxXSltA4UDzLugUP6KbkY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjo9Mi-jpDZAhVSSsAKHSD_AXgQ6AEIVDAH#v=onepage&q=arabia%20old%20religions%20still%20practised&f=false

        and Steve Fink “Fear Under Construction” is this monotheism? whole article here:

        https://books.google.ie/books?id=9-V0CgAAQBAJ&pg=PR5&lpg=PR5&dq=steven+fink+fear+under+construction&source=bl&ots=xX16tao_zb&sig=yevPxSv7ZBj7Ni2jnlCgtCxdxvI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi557GcspDZAhXHPFAKHb45B-AQ6AEITTAL#v=onepage&q=steven%20fink%20fear%20under%20construction&f=false

      • RoHa
        February 6, 2018, 9:57 pm

        It seems to me that the idea of a bunch of gods with differing, and sometimes conflicting, interests is a better fit to reality than the idea of a single, smug, overseer.

      • gamal
        February 7, 2018, 11:01 am

        “It seems to me that the idea of a bunch of gods with differing, and sometimes conflicting, interests is a better fit to reality”

        Oh fie with your Graeco-Roman flummery

        ” than the idea of a single, smug, overseer.”

        He has 99 names and answers to none of them

      • Mooser
        February 7, 2018, 3:15 pm

        “It seems to me that the idea of a bunch of gods with differing, and sometimes conflicting, interests….”

        And in addition there are, I’m pretty sure, (I’m not the most religious person, but I’m pretty sure) Gods that invest the earthly places or process or product they are associated with. Depending upon their nature, they can be appealed to, or placated. But in the end, their whim be done.

      • RoHa
        February 7, 2018, 6:28 pm

        Those Gods should, indeed, be respected.

        https://genius.com/Stevie-smith-the-river-god-annotated

        In Ancient China, girls who found themselves in an embarrassing situation would frequently attribute their condition to the attentions of the local river God. The resulting child looked remarkably like the young blacksmith in the next village, but the Gods work in mysterious ways.

      • gamal
        February 7, 2018, 7:08 pm

        “girls who found themselves in an embarrassing situation would frequently attribute their condition to the attentions of the local river God”

        very plausible, young women are very good at getting pregnant, they are in fact the acknowledged leaders in the field, I beat back the water nymphs with a Blackthorn stick, if I am not in the mood for them.

        “The resulting child looked remarkably like the young blacksmith in the next village” something to think about for sure, on those long nights when the cocoa has congealed,

        ” but the Gods work in mysterious ways” you have self ordained, like Buddha and Napoleon, now all you need is a bunch of ultimately disappointing followers, I am not up to Judas but I am confident I could do a Thomas.

        Hope you feeling well.

      • Mooser
        February 7, 2018, 8:07 pm

        “The Gods work in mysterious ways.”

        They do indeed. So know your augurs, or you’ll get augered .

  12. MHughes976
    February 5, 2018, 2:00 pm

    I would not have thought on first reading that the heavenly origin of Judaism is disallowed by those words. Whatever the truth of that, I think that there is a human right to be an enfranchised citizen of a sovereign state even if one has very hostile views of some others and of their ideology or thinks that their religion is hellish. Otherwise the State, by disfranchising those of suspect ideology, adopts the very same ‘us v, them’ attitude of some of its factions and so cannot be an impartial source of justice, which is asking for both injustice and trouble. Do you disagree about that?
    If you are saying that in some circumstances there has to be partition along ideological or religious lines then it is surely clear that partition must not be a form of dominance and subjugation, adding economic or pragmatic insult and injury to whatever discords there were in the first place.

    • Yitzchak Goodman
      February 5, 2018, 3:15 pm

      I would not have thought on first reading that the heavenly origin of Judaism is disallowed by those words.

      I think it is included, actually, and so is Christianity. I was wondering about the Baha’is.

    • Mooser
      February 5, 2018, 3:29 pm

      “If you are saying that in some circumstances there has to be partition along ideological or religious lines then it is surely clear that partition must not be a form of dominance and subjugation”

      And doing that should be fairly easy and simple. All we have to do is double the area and resources and geography of Palestine, and then apportion it fairly.

      Like splitting up a gold mine.

      • MHughes976
        February 5, 2018, 4:41 pm

        It had better not be the kind of partition envisaged by the 2ss as normally canvassed.

    • Yitzchak Goodman
      February 5, 2018, 7:48 pm

      Otherwise the State, by disfranchising those of suspect ideology, adopts the very same ‘us v, them’ attitude of some of its factions and so cannot be an impartial source of justice, which is asking for both injustice and trouble. Do you disagree about that?

      I think I agree with the values underlying what you are saying. The two-state solution envisions Palestinians as enfranchised citizens of a sovereign state. The need to avoid civil war or some other disaster might be more pressing at some given point.

      If you are saying that in some circumstances there has to be partition along ideological or religious lines then it is surely clear that partition must not be a form of dominance and subjugation, adding economic or pragmatic insult and injury to whatever discords there were in the first place.

      If partition is unavoidable, then a peaceful one is preferable, obviously. That doesn’t mean it is easy to achieve.

      • Maghlawatan
        February 5, 2018, 8:15 pm

        Taking over the west bank and Gaza in 1967 was insane. Israel miscalculated . Now it has to deal with the consequences. It’s not about whether you like it or not. Its not about what you want. This is a systemic crisis and a dead groupthink.

        Zionism is colonialism. There are people and you have to find a solution. You can’t hide in Hebrew and pretend nothing is wrong.

        I have ordered in the popcorn. You have no idea how to proceed.

        The kind of weight you couldn’t lift
        Even if your cheap Jewish Disney land depended on it.

        https://youtu.be/urbcmEF3TGM

      • MHughes976
        February 6, 2018, 12:45 pm

        Perhaps some forms of partition in some places have been fair but the 2ss in the form where the Palestinians have no armed forces, no freedom to make treaties and no right to ask for revisions over time, is a partition scheme which is in its every element a mechanism not for sovereignty but for subjection – at best for what is kindly called a protectorate.
        The ‘Swiss cheese’ aspect of most versions suggests that far from being protected the Palestinian enclaves are structured, in these versions at least, so as to be cleared and settled with Jewish immigrants as time and pretext may serve.
        I would think that if partition cannot be done fairly it should not be done at all.
        I think that your main argument, Yitzchak, is that the Palestinians may not derserve the full range of human rights until they are clearly ready to concede those rights to others and you doubt that this readiness can be clear while theocratic ideas – about religious sources of law etc. – have strong support among them. But human rights are for those with human status and ideas that are theocratic to that extent are not unnatural or even very rare among human beings. Moreover, the idea of creating a secure distant future for human rights by denying them, even when they are clearly demanded, in the here and now and in the short term verges on paradox.

  13. Yitzchak Goodman
    February 6, 2018, 12:03 pm

    Me: “I like Right to Exist: A Moral Defense of Israel’s Wars by Yaacov Lozowick.”

    Talkback: “Of course you do, especially when it comes to his views about ‘population transfers’, don’t you?”

    If you have a specific passage in mind, why don’t you quote it and tell me what your objections are?

    • Mooser
      February 6, 2018, 1:23 pm

      “If you have a specific passage in mind, why don’t you quote it and tell me what your objections are?”

      Well, you needn’t. Bye-ya.

      • Yitzchak Goodman
        February 6, 2018, 1:59 pm

        There is a John Scofield tune based on the chord changes to “There will never be another you.” It’s called “Not you again.”

      • Mooser
        February 7, 2018, 2:17 pm

        “There is a John Scofield tune based on the chord changes to “There will never be another you.” It’s called “Not you again.”

        That’s what they call a “double standard”.

      • Yitzchak Goodman
        February 7, 2018, 11:30 pm

        That’s what they call a “double standard”

        The word is “contrafact” although I don’t know if Jazz musicians use the word much. Duke Ellington’s “Cotton Tail” is a new melody for the chords to “I Got Rhythm.” So is the Flintstones Theme.

    • MHughes976
      February 6, 2018, 4:50 pm

      Well, I might try to get my teeth into it were it available ekectronicslly, but it seems not to be.

    • Talkback
      February 7, 2018, 9:04 am

      Goodman: “If you have a specific passage in mind, why don’t you quote it and tell me what your objections are?

      Why don’t you tell us what YOUR view about “population transfer” is? You claim that you don’t support Jewish supremacism but fail to answer questions which could prove that you don’t.

      Here they are so far.

      Do you want to claim that Israel is a democracy allthough it keeps millions of Nonjews expelled and doesn’t allow them to vote in Israel?
      Do you want to deny the ethnic cleansing of Nonjews since 1948/1949?
      What rights do foreign settlers have after 1945 to create a state within a state without holding a referendum and against the consent of the majority of its population?
      What right do they have after 1945 to create a state through war and expulsion?
      What rights do they have to expell the majority of its population to become themselves a majority?

      • Nathan
        February 7, 2018, 8:12 pm

        “What rights do foreign settlers have after 1945 to create a state within a state without holding a referendum and against the consent of the majority of its population?”

        Talkback – Your question was debated in length in the UN already in 1947. The representatives of the Arab states made the exact same argument that you have made (and they added quite a few hints that there will be war if the Partition Plan will be passed). However, as you probably know, the UN gave an answer to your question. The passing of the resolution should be a clear indication for you that there was a right to found the state – even after 1945. The acceptance of Israel as a member of the UN after the war should be yet another indication to you that the international community defined the founding of Israel as legitimate.

        Regarding the topic of refugees, the debate is also over. UNGA 194 and UNSC 242 both indicate that the solution is an end-of-conflict issue. More importantly, the Palestinians themselves agreed in the Oslo Accords that the solution will be worked out in the framework of the final status (the end of conflict). The Palestinians claim that they accept the Arab League Peace Initiative. This initiative also makes it clear that the refugee issue will be solved through an agreement that ends the conflict.

        I understand that it’s difficult (or even impossible) for an anti-Israel activist to accept the existence of Israel. However, the issues that you raise have been dealt with. The question of why Israel came into being seventy years ago is really irrelevant. She came into being, period. Moreover, the refugees are not going to be returned or compensated unless the conflict is resolved once and for all. And, yes, this means finalizing peace with Israel.

      • RoHa
        February 8, 2018, 12:03 am

        “The passing of the resolution should be a clear indication for you that there was a right to found the state – even after 1945. The acceptance of Israel as a member of the UN after the war should be yet another indication to you that the international community defined the founding of Israel as legitimate.”

        It was a clear indication that the US was able to bully enough states to get them to pretend that it was legitimate.

        It does not show that there was a moral right.

        “Moreover, the refugees are not going to be returned or compensated unless the conflict is resolved once and for all.”

        And it is Israel which refuses to end the conflict.

      • eljay
        February 8, 2018, 7:51 am

        || Nathan: … I understand that it’s difficult (or even impossible) for an anti-Israel activist to accept the existence of Israel. … ||

        Not necessarily: I accept that Israel exists.

        What’s truly impossible is for any Zionist to accept the existence of an Israel:
        – that is not a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”; and
        – that respects its / Partition borders (the borders it accepted and within which it was recognized as a state); and
        – that honours its obligations under international law.

        || … The question of why Israel came into being seventy years ago is really irrelevant. She came into being, period. … ||

        Interesting: Superman’s alter ego is Clark Kent; Captain Israel’s alter ego is…Lady Israel. Well, I suppose that’s one way to soften the reality of a deliberately oppressive, colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist state.

      • Talkback
        February 8, 2018, 8:46 am

        Nathan: “Talback”.

        Oh, hi Nathan. We are still waiting for you to provide an Arabic quote and its translation for your claim: “Do you read Arabic? If so, I recommend to you to read the official website of the Palestinian AuthoriDty. After your reading of the website, I’d be curious to hear if you still believe that they will accept the Jews as legitimate residents in the secular democratic state.””
        http://mondoweiss.net/2018/01/freedom-justice-equality/#comment-906515

        I still believe that you are lying.

        Nathan: ” Your question …”

        Ah yes, it was: “What RIGHTS do foreign settlers have after 1945 to create a state within a state without holding a referendum and against the consent of the majority of its population?”

        Please formulate a universal principle. Something that the Nonjews in Israel would also have a right to do. Or the Palestinians before 1948. So nothing that resemble power politics or countries bullying others into accepting a resolution, etc.

        Nathan: “Regarding the topic of refugees, …”

        Ah yes, my questions were:
        What RIGHTS do settlers have to expell the majority of a country’s population to become themselves a majority?

        Can you formulate some universal principles or anything based on the universal declaration of human rights? Like: All people have a right to do this or that if this and that happens, etc.? For example that people have a RIGHT to leave and return to their country? I have never read that people have a right to expell others. Not even the Nazis.

      • Mooser
        February 9, 2018, 1:12 am

        ?” I have never read that people have a right to expell others.”

        When a Zionist talk about “rights”, he is talking about only one kind; the rights conferred by power. And the Zionist pretends that Zionist power is eternally at its apex. And sufficient to do the job.

        As Zionism’s power declines, it will have fewer and fewer ‘rights’.

      • Nathan
        February 13, 2018, 7:24 pm

        Talkback – Are you saying that you can’t read an Arabic website? How surprising.

        Any group of people has the right to found a state. It’s called the right of self-determination. It could be that a group of people doesn’t succeed in founding its state – but when a group succeeds, it succeeds (and its state is absolutely legitimate). There are no illegitimate states.

        The Arabs had the right to oppose the founding of the Jewish state (although, admittedly, it was an unusual situation, because it was a war effort against a UN resolution). Many peoples in the world find themselves in a situation that justifies (in their view) having to go to war. However, the right to go to war does not mean that they will not fail in their war. One has to face the consequences of one’s decisions.

      • RoHa
        February 13, 2018, 9:38 pm

        “Any group of people has the right to found a state. It’s called the right of self-determination. ”

        Nonsense.

        1. There cannot be a right to do wrong.
        2. A conventional state can only be founded on a territory.
        3. If the group founding the state is only part of the full, legitimate, population of the territory, that group will be doing wrong to the rest of the population.

        Therefore, insofar as the right of self determination makes any sense at all, it is the right of all the people in the territory. It cannot be the right of “any group”.

        (It cannot be an absolute right, but must be limited by other moral considerations.)

        I have argued, at length, for this position on moral grounds. My original versions were lost, but try this.

        http://mondoweiss.net/2017/08/finkelstein-international-solidarity/#comment-887842

        Hostage has argued for the same position on legal grounds. At lest some of these links still work.

        Hostage has argued pretty convincingly that the term cannot refer to anything else and still be consistent with the rest of the law.

        http://mondoweiss.net/2014/05/abunimah-blumenthals-freedom/#comment-664926

        http://mondoweiss.net/2015/04/understanding-jewish-national/#comment-766672

        http://mondoweiss.net/2014/05/zionism-crucial-precedent/#comment-670009
        http://mondoweiss.net/2015/03/save-israel-now/#comment-756319

        http://mondoweiss.net/2014/05/solution-zionists-ethnocracy/#comment-665193

        The devastating counter-arguments to either of us have not yet appeared.

      • eljay
        February 14, 2018, 7:23 am

        || Nathan: … Any group of people has the right to found a state. It’s called the right of self-determination. … ||

        That right belongs to the people living in and up to n-generations removed from a geographic region. Zionism and its “Jewish State” project was not and is not about self-determination – it was and is all about carving out of as much as possible of geographic Palestine a religion-supremacist state primarily of and for people all over the world – citizens of homelands all over the world – who cho(o)se to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish.

      • Mooser
        February 14, 2018, 12:21 pm

        ” citizens of homelands all over the world – who cho(o)se to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish.”

        Or, conversely, do not choose to embrace Zionism as part of Judaism, or may, if things turn out badly enough with Zionism, may choose not to call themselves Jewish at all.
        That’s pretty thin stuff to base a “nation” on.

      • eljay
        February 14, 2018, 12:43 pm

        || Mooser: … That’s pretty thin stuff to base a “nation” on. ||

        Zionists seem pretty confident that they can get a Thousand Years worth of mileage out of it.

      • Mooser
        February 14, 2018, 1:31 pm

        “a Thousand Years worth of mileage out of it.”

        Without their partner of the last thousand years? That’s uncharted demographic territory, you could fall right off the edge of the chart.

      • Nathan
        February 14, 2018, 8:01 pm

        RoHa – Thanks for all those links. They provided a very convincing argument that the Jews had no right to self-determination. How did it happen that the General Assembly proposed the founding of a Jewish state in 1947?
        How did it happen that the State of Israel was nevertheless accepted to the United Nations? How did it happen that so many states sent an ambassador to serve in Israel? Well, I guess the diplomatic world out there doesn’t understand the abc’s of statehood and self-determination, and it’s a pity. Not too long ago, there were numerous articles on this site that proved very effectively that the Balfour Declaration from 100 years ago was ill-conceived. Based on the success of that effort, it’s clear that anything can be undone.

      • RoHa
        February 14, 2018, 8:39 pm

        “Zionists seem pretty confident that they can get a Thousand Years worth of mileage out of it.”

        Haven’t I heard this “thousand years” idea in another context?

      • RoHa
        February 14, 2018, 11:05 pm

        I’m glad you agree that the Zionists were wrong to found Israel.

        “How did it happen that the General Assembly proposed the founding of a Jewish state in 1947?”

        Bullying and bribery, threats and jobbery. The usual way these things are done.

        And I have never had a particularly high opinion of the intellectual powers of most diplomats, even when they are sober. I am told that they sometimes are.

      • MHughes976
        February 17, 2018, 11:19 pm

        One has only to reflect briefly on the scope of ‘any’ in ‘any group of people has the right to found a state’ to see that this proposition cannot conceivably be true.

  14. Mooser
    February 6, 2018, 3:37 pm

    “Not you again.”

    Yup. Straight, no chaser.

  15. Yitzchak Goodman
    February 7, 2018, 12:35 am

    I would think that if partition cannot be done fairly it should not be done at all.

    I don’t have any objection to what you are saying. I did not get into this thread to advocate any particular version of the two-state solution.

    I think that your main argument, Yitzchak, is that the Palestinians may not derserve the full range of human rights until they are clearly ready to concede those rights to others and you doubt that this readiness can be clear while theocratic ideas – about religious sources of law etc. – have strong support among them.

    I don’t know if I am being so theoretical. I think Hamas and Islamic Jihad and the PFLP and the rest of the alphabet soup of militant groups simply have to be contained right now. The laws of war are the relevant part of humanitarian law where Gaza is concerned. I sometimes ask people if they would support the merger of Israel with the PA and the elimination of all legal distinctions between Jewish Israelis and Palestinians accompanied by any immigration policy the new entity wants, even with no right of return, and with Gaza continuing on the separate path it has embarked upon already. That sounds to me like what “a country for its inhabitants” is supposed to mean and it is something one could at least imagine being done by the parties to any likely future peace negotiations. I don’t know if I am convinced that is the right solution–it is hard to know what the right solution is–but the responses are usually interesting.

  16. Ossinev
    February 8, 2018, 6:48 am

    @Nathan
    “The passing of the resolution should be a clear indication for you that there was a right to found the state – even after 1945. The acceptance of Israel as a member of the UN after the war should be yet another indication to you that the international community defined the founding of Israel as legitimate”

    Don`t tell let me guess oh yes that would be the same UN to whom the Israelis consistently say go f… yourselves whenever a resolution is passed NOT in their favour.

    • Yitzchak Goodman
      February 8, 2018, 7:29 pm

      Don`t tell let me guess oh yes that would be the same UN to whom the Israelis consistently say go f… yourselves whenever a resolution is passed NOT in their favour.

      So? You don’t think the moral authority of an institution can go into decline?

      • RoHa
        February 8, 2018, 8:24 pm

        And it goes into a decline every time it criticizes Israel, right?

      • Mooser
        February 8, 2018, 9:20 pm

        “So? You don’t think the moral authority of an institution can go into decline?”

        And the best part is, Zionism doesn’t need any stinklin’ moral authority.
        Zionism has divine authority!

      • Talkback
        February 9, 2018, 3:26 am

        Goodman: “So? You don’t think the moral authority of an institution can go into decline?”

        It can. See Resolution 181 and accepting Israel as a UN member state despite its non adherence to 181 and 194. Let’s be honest. That wasn’t based on justice at all. That’s why several proposals to refer the case to the International Court of Justice were rejected by the rejectionists of justice. You know, those who never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity when it comes to justice, equality, international law and human rights.

      • MHughes976
        February 9, 2018, 8:56 am

        I think Mooser makes the essential point. The arguments for Zionism are always open expression of or thin covers for the claim to a divine mandate setting aside the normal moral rule that marching in and taking possession is screamingly wrong. There was a Likud statement, as I recall, only the other day about ‘full Biblical right’ (or some such phrase) to the whole of Palestine.
        I wouldn’t lay so much emphasis on 1945 – seizing land and excluding the former residents didn’t become unjust and cruel because a committee met and passed a resolution or because public opinion took a certain turn. (There was an element of hypocrisy about the victorious powers of 45, the founders of the U.N., because they had just seized a huge chunk of German territory and made it Polish, with another chunk of Polish territory made Soviet.) If we grant very strong powers to international committees to create rules about right and wrong we do open the way to the suggestion, at least the suggestion, that the same authority can create exceptions to the rules, as with partitioning Palestine. I have seen the argument that Israel has its famous legitimacy via U.N. resolutions and recognitions, whereas I think of the moral weakness inherent in those resolutions.

      • Yitzchak Goodman
        February 9, 2018, 11:48 am

        And the best part is, Zionism doesn’t need any stinklin’ moral authority.
        Zionism has divine authority!

        Many Zionists don’t believe they have “divine authority.” I know that from having civil conversations with them. Did you think you were making a point that applies to Zionists but not their enemies? What’s that group called? Hezbollah or something….

      • Yitzchak Goodman
        February 9, 2018, 5:35 pm

        See Resolution 181 and accepting Israel as a UN member state despite its non adherence to 181 and 194.

        Does anyone advocate strict adherence to either one? They both call for an international Jerusalem.

      • Talkback
        February 10, 2018, 4:25 am

        Goodman: “Does anyone advocate strict adherence to either one? They both call for an international Jerusalem.”

        How about holding a referendum on this question? Refugees included?

      • Mooser
        February 10, 2018, 1:08 pm

        “Many Zionists don’t believe they have “divine authority.”

        And Thelonious Monk wears a yamulke.

        I’m pretty sure I know what “many Zionists don’t believe”, I grew up with it.

      • Yitzchak Goodman
        February 10, 2018, 10:25 pm

        Goodman: “Does anyone advocate strict adherence to either one? They both call for an international Jerusalem.”

        Talkback: “How about holding a referendum on this question? Refugees included?”

        Does that mean you’re conceding my point?

      • Yitzchak Goodman
        February 10, 2018, 10:30 pm

        And Thelonious Monk wears a yamulke.

        He was known for wearing different hats. Maybe the skullcap went with being the High Priest of Bop. Sometimes you see him in pictures with the sort of beret that Dizzy Gillespie is known for. Do you know all those Monk tunes you mentioned?

      • Sibiriak
        February 11, 2018, 12:44 am

        Yitzchak Goodman: Does anyone advocate strict adherence to either one [res 181, res194]? They both call for an international Jerusalem
        ———————————————

        In terms of Jerusalem, no, not really. If Wikipedia is correct, although the EU has not formally renounced the res 181 position on Jerusalem, it no longer views it as a an outline for the future.

        The European Union currently views the status of Jerusalem as that of a corpus separatum including both East and West Jerusalem as outlined in United Nations Resolution 181.[47][54][55]

        In the interest of achieving a peaceful solution to the Arab–Israeli conflict, it believes a fair solution should be found regarding the issue of Jerusalem in the context of the two-state solution set out in the Road Map. Taking into account the political and religious concerns of all parties involved, it envisions the city serving as the shared capital of Israel and Palestine.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Status_of_Jerusalem#European_Union

        EU vows push to make Jerusalem capital for Palestinians too

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-israel-eu/eu-vows-push-to-make-jerusalem-capital-for-palestinians-too-idUSKBN1E11GY

        The EU’s top diplomat pledged on Thursday to reinvigorate diplomacy with Russia, the United States, Jordan and others to ensure Palestinians have a capital in Jerusalem after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized the city as Israel’s capital.

        […]“The European Union has a clear and united position. We believe the only realistic solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine is based on two states and with Jerusalem as the capital of both,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told a news conference.

        The Palestinian leadership, of course, has long claimed East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, and has been willing to recognize West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

        Israel has insisted on an undivided Jerusalem as its capital alone.

      • Mooser
        February 14, 2018, 1:13 pm

        “Maybe the skullcap went with being the High Priest of Bop” “Goodman”

        The King of Swing meets the High Priest of Bop.

  17. MHughes976
    February 9, 2018, 3:37 pm

    The role of the Bible in Israeli pronouncements of all kinds is pointless unless it is an appeal to a divine authority. Without that kind of authority the Bible is just another ancient text, to be viewed with the same scepticism of the others and has no particular role in the definition of right and wrong

    • Yitzchak Goodman
      February 9, 2018, 5:11 pm

      The role of the Bible in Israeli pronouncements of all kinds is pointless unless it is an appeal to a divine authority. Without that kind of authority the Bible is just another ancient text, to be viewed with the same scepticism of the others and has no particular role in the definition of right and wrong

      It can be seen, and frequently is, I think, as documenting a historical and cultural link between Jews and Israel. (I don’t like reducing it to history and culture myself–I’m an Orthodox Jew–but I’m not what they call a “religious Zionist” either.) One can also refer to the religious link without invoking religion. “Allah commanded the faithful to pray towards Mecca” is a religious statement. “Mecca is central to Muslim religiosity” is a secular statement and maybe an argument against a UN-controlled Mecca.

      • MHughes976
        February 10, 2018, 8:21 am

        The Bible doesn’t document anything about the times after it was written or about the Jews of those times and their cultural links. We can document the attachment of later Jews to the Bible but their sentiments do not prove either the factual truth of the Biblical account – and it is an account, not necessarily a record – of more ancient events or the validity of any moral claim that ‘this land is ours’. Indeed on the atheist hypothesis that you and I don’t share but are considering the sentiments of many later generations of Jews, being religious, were based on an illusion and an illusion is not a valid basis for anything.
        The Bible is used to give one phase of history, that which the Bible describes, an importance not shared with any other in determining ‘whose land this is’. This might mean something if the Bible has divine authority but if it hasn’t then no phase of history has any special importance or special ability to found political claims just because the Bible refers to it.
        I don’t know how far most Palestinians would claim rights in Palestine on religious grounds which I might not regard as authoritative. My impression is that they claim these rights on valid moral grounds which I would consider part of God’s gift of reason and conscience to us all.

      • Nathan
        February 13, 2018, 7:46 pm

        MHughes – The Palestinian claim to the country is religious. Palestine is part of the Islamic “waqf”, and hence it must be under Islamic rule.

      • MHughes976
        February 13, 2018, 11:30 pm

        If the Palestinians say that Palestine must be Islamic I don’t agree. If they say that they have the right to a say in what Palestine should be, including how Islamic it should be, they have my full agreement. On what ground could anyone think otherwise?

  18. Yitzchak Goodman
    February 14, 2018, 5:51 pm

    Mooser: “The King of Swing meets the High Priest of Bop.”

    https://youtu.be/oNdCgtg0xEY

Leave a Reply