Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 114 (since 2009-09-16 11:43:29)


Showing comments 114 - 101

  • Israel's defenders oppose Egyptian democracy (out of concern for Egypt of course)
    • Ah, found it. It's part of the Camp David Accords.

      Egypt seems to have agreed to the change, but I haven't found that agreement yet, if it exists.

      We can see that Egypt and Israel are cooperating on the partial blockade of Gaza, so I assume the two countries are in agreement on Gaza policy, and Egypt does not see Israel in violation, but I'm still checking.

    • I am unable to find the text you quote in the treaty. Here are two links to the treaty of 26 March 1979, one from Egypt, one from Israel. Neither has your text:
      Egyptian text (English).
      Israeli text (English).

      Can you tell us where you got the text you quote?

    • Your description of laws vs treaties is not correct. The UN charter is a treaty. It is called "International law" for the same reason that other treaties and agreements are called that. None of the UN General Assembly resolutions are called "International law" because they have no force. UN Security Council resolutions can have the force of international law under some conditions. The conditions aren't totally clear, but the resolutions must be made under "Chapter VII" of the UN Charter. I don't think many (or any?) UNSC resolutions mention Chapter VII specifically.

      The requirements of resolution 242 don't just fall on Israel. The state of belligerency, for example, still exists, but not with Egypt.

      Israel has kept the peace treaty with Egypt, according to all parties, including Egypt.

    • Nobody outside of Egypt, and few inside, are familiar with all of the other forces. The consensus of analysts I see on many different sites on the web is that the Mubarak regime crushed all the opposition but the Muslim Brotherhood. There was, for example, the Kefaya movement, in opposition to the government, but they have dwindled away. They probably are re-activating right now, and I guess that's the hope of the Obama administration, in asking for an "orderly transition" in Egypt; to give Kefaya time to organize.

      "Organized enough" would mean having the funds, the charismatic leaders, the popularity, and the skills to run for office and be elected, all while fending off the remnants of the Mubarak regime.

    • The letter to the editor of the Times was actually quite moderate, I don't see the problem:

      It would also be tragic if we failed to realize that the Muslim Brotherhood likely won’t deliver the democracy that the Egyptians (and we, on their behalf) crave.

      Also, both the Army and the Muslim Brotherhood are right-wing and autocratic, but in different ways.

    • The MB has long said the peace treaty must be "re-examined", as in this summary. They are also widely quoted as saying they would"join a transitional government in order to cancel the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, as it 'offends the Arabs' dignity and destroys the interests of Egypt and other Arab states.'"

      Ridding Egypt of its dictatorship is not "All about" the peace treaty. But its the survival of the peace treaty that worries Israelis. Netanyahu says he welcomes democracy but hates the turmoil. See here.

      There are 2 forces in Egypt organized enough to form a new government, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Army (the current regime). Neither one is likely to bring about democracy. We all hope for a better result, though.

    • The bottom line is that the Israelis (and friends) want to keep the peace treaty with Egypt, but the Muslim Brotherhood says clearly that the treaty must go.

      So which side are you on: Keep the treaty or end it?

  • This wave will sweep Israel too-- Soros hints in the Washington Post
    • There are two groups in Egypt that are organized and strong enough to possibly provide leadership in the future. Probably in the next elections:
      1. The Army.
      2. The Muslim Brotherhood.

      All other groupings have been suppressed by Mubarak. Neither of these two are great believers in democracy or individual liberty.

      There is, I suppose, the possibility of an Atatürk somewhere in the military, who would emerge as a dynamic leader creating a secular democratic state opposed to the religious fanatics. But that seems unlikely.

      So the prospects for democracy in Egypt do not look good. The choice appears to be between a pro-western government and a pro-Iranian government.

      Note: Popular uprisings and new democracies often bring in tyrants: Nasser in Egypt, the Ayatollahs in Iran, Hamas in Gaza, Hitler in Germany, Peron in Argentina, and on and on.

      If it comes down to street-fighting instead of elections, the Army has a clear advantage. This is so obvious, that I don't think it will go that way.

  • 'Forward': Israeli army doctors warned in '03 that CS gas in high concentrations could kill
    • Abu Rahmi was out of doors and not near the CS ignition point. She could only have gotten a few whiffs of gas. This isn't enough to cause death. But: Apparently she was already ill with something else. I've read that she had been receiving cancer treatments. If there had been an autopsy, we could be certain.

      Given the circumstances, the death appears to be quite accidental. If that low concentration of CS gas normally caused death, then thousands and thousands of people would have died of it at protests and such all over the world. The Israelis don't make their own CS, they buy standard police equipment overseas, so there would be plenty of bodies if the stuff was that dangerous.

  • Settler network promotes racist comics to bring Meir Kahane to a new generation of Israelis
    • Interesting. There's nothing in the article and the comics shown that indicate anything about Kahane was fascist or racist. The cartoonist drew some racial stereotypes, but Kehane wasn't a cartoonist.

      Perhaps the more interesting material is elsewhere. But I've never seen anything to indicate Kehane held the idea that Arabs were inferior in some racial or biological sense. I see the differences as originating in culture and history, with a nod toward geography.

  • How many lies can Alan Dershowitz tell in 60 seconds?
    • The Larsen comment was made in the first weeks after the attack on Jenin, when the casualty counts were still wildly inflated.

      Yes leave aside the question of whether the attack on Jenin was a "massacre," "human rights violations," or "war crimes". Because it was none of those things. But definitely put the words in your article to leave a bad impression.

      Otherwise, the Samel article is just nit-picking, not touching the core of what Dershowitz said. So what if the bomber came from different town or had help on site?

      The attack on Jenin was an attack on arms factories, which are most efficiently hit by air attack. But to spare the lives of Arabs as much as possible, Israel went in with infantry, which can be more precise.

      The Park Hotel bombing was aimed at civilians and only killed civilians, plus the bomber himself. The attack on Jenin was aimed at military facilities and killed combatants. Since the Palestinian combatants don't wear uniforms, it's hard to get an exact count.

  • About that sticker
    • A quick web search turned up this guy. I have no idea what his nationality or religion might be. But he's Gharib in Israel. Ask him.

      Your own situation is different. An equally quick web search turned up lots of anti-Israel agitation, so I guess you'd come under considerable scrutiny, even if your name was Moses Cohen.

  • Gosh, another American writing for a liberal magazine says lowering 'Arab' birthrate inside Israel is hunky-dory
    • Israel was idealistically founded to be a socialist, democratic, and Jewish state. Obviously this was a compromise by a committee made up of committees. Socialism has fallen by the wayside. The Arabs have been working hard to drive a wedge between the democratic and Jewish nature of the state. They are having some success.

      Nobody can have a real democracy with their enemies. So something has to give, sooner or later.

    • "Israel must preserve its majority because Jews in Arab countries have been oppressed. Interesting realist argument, a two-wrongs argument."

      Not a two-wrongs argument. A reason to avoid living under Muslim domination. Any bi-national or Muslim-dominated version of Israel would end up as some sort of "One person, one vote, one time". Or would be wracked by civil war and Syrian oppression like Lebanon. Or both.

      Islam forbids equality between Jews and Muslims. Half of Israeli Jews are of Sephardic or Mizrachi background, who's families have lived under Islam and know exactly what it is like.

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  • Barack Obama: Israel's lawyer
    • The ICJ has no jurisdiction over the questions that it gave an opinion on. That's why the opinion is called "Advisory". You and I also can issue opinions, with just as much authority.

      Various acts of the League of Nations gave national rights over Palestine to the Jewish people, and nothing since then has withdrawn those rights.

    • Tens of thousands of Jews left Iran when the Ayatollahs took over in 1979. I know several who escaped, in violation of Iranian law, more recently.

      Nevertheless it is true that Iran is an Islamic state, and nobody is trying to change that.
      And my point is that Israel has a right to be a Jewish state. Which still stands.

      Due to the violence and hostility of the surrounding Muslim and Arab states, Israel has not been able to sign a peace treaty that settles agreed-on borders. Legally, Israel is the successor to the British Mandate, and has sovereignty over Palestine. But the government of Israel does not appear to want all of that sovereignty, which makes things less clear.

    • Try thispage. Abbas words are more ambiguous and might be more draconian than I thought. He's quoted here as saying:

      "I will never agree that there be Jewish soldiers in NATO, and I will never agree that there will be a single Israeli among us on Palestinian soil."

      Now this means either no Jews or no Israelis in a new West Bank State, which would mean no Arabs could move from Tel Aviv to Ramallah, or it means no Israelis anywhere from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean. Since Palestinian soil is said to stretch at least that far.

      And since there are no NATO forces that can, so far as I know, legally discriminate against Jews, it means no NATO peacekeepers either. I'm really skeptical of NATO peacekeepers myself, but the no-Jew rule seems at least an odd way to say it, and maybe a bit mad.

      BUT: There are several (at least three) different translations over at MEMRI which say really different things. So we can't be sure.

      Anyway: what we were talking about is recognizing Israel as a Jewish State, which still seems reasonable, as all it could end up meaning is that the new PA-led state would not be trying to change it to an Islamic State.

    • " none of the above suck 3 billion a year from our wallets"

      Iran gets around 60 billion dollars a year from the West in unearned oil payments. Saudi Arabia gets about twice that, and the law there is that everybody has to be a Muslim.

      Neither Obama nor Netanyahu would agree that Israel gets "Unconditional support...irregardless of their behavior".

      P.S. Actually the word is "regardless". "Irregardless" is not a word in English.

    • The issue about the Jewish character of the state, is that a peace treaty would include an end of claims and an end of conflict. Including an end to the effort to remove Jewish administration from Israel.

      Otherwise, the conflict continues in some other form.

      Abbas has announced much more draconian rules for the new Palestine he wants to create: No Jews At All. Did you hear the uproar when he said that? I didn't.

      And we know you are all protesting loudly at:
      The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, The Islamic Republic of Iran, The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and The Islamic Republic of Mauritania.

      And all the leftists and terrorist supporters are just on fire about the Church of England and the Church of Norway.

      But the rules for Jews are to be different. There's a name for that...

  • The settlements are illegal regardless of whether Israel is recognized as a 'Jewish state'
    • Only some Security Council resolutions are binding.

      In any case, Israel was given sovereignty over Palestine by the League of Nations, through various legal instruments, and once given, it cannot be taken away.

      One could argue the West Bank is somehow 'less sovereign', or 'ambiguous', or at least 'different', but still there is no other sovereign power recognized there. So the settlements cannot be in violation of international law.

      The International Court of Justice has no jurisdiction over the issue and merely issued an advisory ruling, as you or I could issue an opinion. Likewise, the Security Council resolutions mentioned are not clearly under "Chapter 7", which could make them binding international law.

      Since there is no agreed-on legal authority, or court, to pass a final ruling, anybody can say anything, and Ms. Sagger's article is a fine example of that.

  • Israel-centric Ethan Bronner cites Israeli law on East J'lem and Golan, ignoring crystal clear int'l standards
    • The UN has no authority in these questions. Israel already has sovereignty over these areas.

      There is, by the way, no world government, and the UN isn't it either. This is good because the UN is dominated or heavily influenced (the GA or the SC, respectively) by horrible dictatorships.

      And there is no court that is authorized to decide the issues. My preference is negotiation among the relevant parties, but that has proven difficult.

  • Benny Morris, former historian
    • The Jewish claim to Palestine is not limited to the Bible and the 1947 Partition Plan. The League of Nations created Palestine out of the remnants of the Ottoman Empire specifically as a Jewish Homeland. Jews were assigned national rights and the Arabs of Palestine were to be granted full civil and religious rights.

      The League endorsed the Palestine Mandate and the San Remo Convention of 1920, this is black-letter international law that stands today. They have been ignored by many, including many in the Israeli Government, but they yet stand.

      This means, among other things, that the "Settlements" are quite legal.

      The Holocaust is only one part of recent history that requires a Jewish State. The experience of the Jews under Muslim rule was another great force. Treated dhimmis, about half of present-day Israeli Jews are Sefardic or Mizrachi in origin. That is, their families did not come from Europe but escaped or were evicted from Muslim states.

      It is still true that Arafat made no counter-proposal to Barak, but went back and started the Intifada, instead.

      Since the Arabs had rejected the 1947 Partition Plan, Israel was not bound by it, and in fact, the Arabs began preparations for the 1948 war to eliminate Israel. If Israel had not conquered territory in 1948, it would be the Jews of Israel who would be scattered. This was obvious at the time and the Israeli leaders made the only decision they could. There was no option to live side-by-side in peace with the Arabs in 1948.

      There are about 20 Arab countries on the earth. If they really cared about the descendants of the Arabs who left Palestine in 1948, they would absorb them. In the intervening period, the Arabs have received trillions of dollars in unearned oil money that would enable this.

  • Israeli soldiers don keffiyehs to try to break the back of Palestinian resistance, then stop photographers from filming them
    • The Arabs have about 20 states; they weren't promised one in Israel or Palestine. Certainly not 62 years ago.
      Violence will only get more people killed, mostly Arabs.
      I am against BDS.

      If the Arabs radicals and their supporters keep on banging their heads against the wall, they'll only get a headache. Encouraging them is immoral.
      There is no amount of violence that will get Israelis to give up Israel.

  • Does anyone in Israel have the vision thing?
    • Israel would be intolerable if it was not a copy of the US?

      Israel was created as a Jewish State, partly because the states around it are defined as Arab and Muslim states. The Islamic Republics of Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia and Jordan are also allies of the US. The Islamic Republic of Iran used to be a friend.

      The past 3 thousand years of history have taught Jews not to depend on the kindness of others. Most of the rest of the world agrees. The tolerance shown to Jews in the US is a historical anomaly that is too young to be relied on.

      A one state solution would end up as some form of "One man, one vote, one time". That is, a Muslim majority would vote in a Sharia dictatorship of the Imams and the Jews would be very lucky if they were only oppressed to the point of being second class citizens. Look up the words 'dhimmi', and 'pogrom'.

  • Livni 'expects the Jews to understand' (but what if they aren't Jews?)
    • The people who died in Cast Lead were not murdered, they died as the result of legitimate military action. If the Israeli military had decided to murder Gazans en masse, they could easily have killed all of them.

      Cast Lead lasted 22 days, using roughly 4000 soldiers. That's over 2 million soldier-hours. If the soldiers only worked 12 hours a day, it's still over a million. So for 700 IDF soldiers in Gaza for 1 hour, one Gazan died. That's very careful aiming. If they were trying to kill civilians, many more would have died. Most of those who died were part of the official Hamas hierarchy, by no means innocent civilians.

      There are some exceptions, a prosecution has been started in Israel against illegal killing in Cast Lead. Has Hamas ever put anyone on trial for killing Jewish civilians?

    • So Livni misidentified someone and this "Speaks Volumes"?.

      You've never mis-interpreted a question, or a fact?

      In some cases, you can't tell a man from a woman, so if you guess wrong, you're... what? Would it speak volumes?

  • Al Gore, Donald Graham, and David Ignatius signed letter flogging Marty Peretz fund
    • Actually, Peretz did give us his conclusions on September 13th, over 2 weeks ago:

      "But in yesterday’s The New York Times, he quotes two sentences that I recently wrote—one of them genuinely embarrasses me, and I deeply regret it.

      "...The embarrassing sentence is: "I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment, which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse." I wrote that, but I do not believe that. I do not think that any group or class of persons in the United States should be denied the protections of the First Amendment, not now, not ever. "

    • Peretz: "... So, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse..."

      Peretz was venting. He represents only himself. He didn't say what conclusions he came to on whether Muslims are "Worthy" of First Amendment privileges. But hey, I've got friends and neighbors who aren't "Worthy", and there is no worthiness requirement in the Constitution or the law, so who cares?

      And however rudely, he did raise a real issue; there is a distinct lack of compatibility between Islam and democracy. For example, equality between Muslims and non-Muslims is against Islamic law. Likewise, between men and women.

      Clearly, the distinction between the Park51 mosque guy, Rauf, and Osama bin Laden is important, and Peretz should recognize the difference, but that doesn't make him a "Racist".

  • before the flood, intelligent life dwelled here
    • It's not exactly news that there have always been some anti-Zionist Jews.
      The article quoted is simply a complaint that they lost the argument in 1951.

  • Where is the Gandhi of Israel?
    • "Why Israel, unlike India, is so intolerant of its minority?"

      The Muslims have the entire Temple Mount, the site of the Jewish Temple. Muslims are citizens of Israel, and if there weren't the security situation, would have even more rights.

      Just recently, Abbas repeated his demand that a new Palestinian State be completely free of Jews, like Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

      The question is a lie.

    • "Where is the Gandhi of Israel?"

      This is like asking "Where is the Gandhi of Ohio?", or
      "Where is the Abe Lincoln of Sri Lanka?", or,
      well, make up your own...

  • The NYT is wrong again on settlement legality
    • Of course, what most people consider, or what most countries consider, has nothing to do with what really is. At one time most considered the earth to be flat. If pi was considered, officially, to be 3, would it be true?

      And since there is no agreed on court to decide the issue, it's hard to tell.

      The only sovereignty covering the West Bank is that granted by the League of Nations to the Jewish People. The Arabs got Syria and Iraq, the Jews got Palestine. You may not like it, but it's the only black-letter international law on the subject. Study the "San Remo Conference of 1920" and the "Palestine Mandate" to get a handle on it.

      If the other nations of the world believed that the border between Peru and Bolivia was in the wrong place, should the border be moved to match, or is it none of their business?

  • Rejecting the 'self-hatred' label
    • "Try to imagine what would have happened if the new state of Israel had reached out to embrace their neighbors in a spirit of peace and conciliation"

      In the Arab riots of 1929, the Arabs murdered medical staff who had been giving them cheap or free care, including medicines.

      As soon as Israel was established in 1948, the Arab armies attacked. Even before the state was established, the city of Jerusalem was under siege from Arabs. These conditions made it hard to be peaceful and conciliatory.

      When Israel decided to accept the Partition plan of 1947, it gave up a lot of the land in Palestine that Israel was entitled to under international law. This was met with war from the Arabs. The partition plan came to nothing.

      My own view is that the people referred to as self-hating Jews don't hate themselves, they hate something else.

  • The Search for 1948
    • ...along with 800,000 Palestinian people...

      Every time I read this web site, that number keeps on rising. My rough estimate is that it's increasing here at about 100,000 people a year for the last three years. Before that, I don't know.

  • Internet Killed Israeli PR: An interview with Minor Demographic Threat
    • Oh, and one more thing...

      The MSM widely and loudly reported the event as a PR failure for the Israelis, but rarely made accusations of improper violence or excessive aggressiveness. The 9 deaths were widely portrayed as a failure, not as premeditated murder. The internet wrestled the balance back toward the Israeli side, ending in a near-tie.

    • Anyone perusing the array of internet videos of the events came away completely clear that the men fighting the IDF on the Mavi Marmara were not innocent, were not peaceful, were violent, planned their violence, were not aid workers, and were pretty idiotic to go against the IDF.

      The IDF doesn't come off too well either. But they clearly didn't intend to cause anybody on the ships any physical harm; they intended to redirect the ship.

      The entire physical confrontation, by the way, makes no sense whatever for either side, unless the guys on the ship intended to kidnap Israeli commandos.

  • Mosadegh and the Iranian standoff
    • The Mosadegh overthrow was 57 years ago.
      You'd think that the invasion of the US embassy in 1979 (an act of war) would help the Iranians "Get over it". It seems like a fair balance, more or less.

      Mosadegh was not a "Great" leader. His own political party had abandoned him. No amount of nuclear warheads or ballistic missile will bring Mosadegh back.

  • Ehud Barak threatens Lebanon with 'Dahiya doctrine' in case of new war
    • The Turkish assaults on the Kurds in both Turkey and Iraq have killed tens of thousands of people — far more than the number killed in Gaza and the West Bank.

      The Russian assaults on Chechnya and Dagestan are likewise extremely bloody, with the city of Grozny being hit much harder than Gaza was, and reduced to rubble.

      So, yes, "emphatically not" the same. Israel was much more careful, much more sparing of human life than either Turkey or Russia.

      Or compare the 3-week Cast Lead operation to the 3-week Hama Massacre in Syria. The Syrians killed more than ten times as many people as died in Cast Lead. And got much less criticism for it. Both operations were directed against local versions of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    • I put this on the wrong comment. I was intending Shingo's 5:07.

      To Taxi:
      Your dedication to peace and civility is touching; you are a true student of Gandhi...

    • You're probably right. But if the US puts down Iran's nuclear weapons program, then that doesn't come into effect. This might be another good reason for the US to do the job.

    • "The only place on the web..."
      link to, look for 'Lebanon' and 'Lebanese'.

      link to,
      look for 'Lebanese', and find "In the North, the Lebanese army seized the border crossing of Malkiyah".

      link to, look for 'Lebanon'.

      You can't read. You can't web search, and you can't think straight.

    • If Israel had decided on taking the Litani river, it would have the Litani river. The rest of your allegations cannot be supported, either.

    • "Launching ships at missiles".
      My bad. Laughable typo. Enjoy. Lebanon launched missiles at an Israeli warship. And they got a hit, nearly sunk it.

      "Lebanon attacked Israel in 1948."
      Lebanon was 1 of the 5 Arab countries that attacked Israel:
      See this article. I did not make this up. If I'd said that Atlantis attacked Israel, then you would have been correct.

      Lebanon was granted independence in 1943 (during WWII), in plenty of time to join in the attack on Israel in 1948. They didn't have much of an army, but then, neither did Israel.

      "Israel ... chased them out...".
      They were chased out of the West Bank because they were shooting at Israel. They were chased out of Jordon because they tried to kill the royal family and stage a coup. Lovely fellows.

      Lebanon may be in a shambles, but they have consistently been supporters of, and participants in, military violence against Israel.

      I testify before all, that I have never in my life watched Hancock, before today. I've seen the YouTube you provided. Would you believe that was me throwing the whale? I'm like, really strong...

      Hezbollah gets most of it's military hardware from Iran, and is militarily strong enough to hold off the rest of Lebanon.

    • Lebanon attacked Israel in 1948. Lebanon let the PLO attack Israel in the 1970's and 80's. More recently, Lebanon let Hezbollah attack Israel several times. It's abundantly clear that Lebanon is violently hostile to Israel and shows no restraint other than physical force.

      The name of the game after 1948 has been "It's him, not me". That is, proxy organizations, such as the PLO and Hezbollah, did the shooting. The Lebanese military was not very involved; they limited their activities to launching ships at missiles and such acts. But overlooking the history as a whole, Lebanon itself bears responsibility for the numerous attacks against Israel. The new announcement was simply saying that, the next time Lebanon attacks, Israel will ignore the protestations by the Lebanese government that "It's him, not me", and wage counter-war against Lebanon as a whole.

      As the article quoted "And we will see it as a legitimate to hit any target that belongs to the Lebanese state, not just to the Hezbollah". Barak's threat was against the government.

  • Message to Israelis who oppose BDS - go to Bil'in and see for yourself
    • The article ignores the violence committed by the Palestinian Arabs that led to the imposition of military rule.

      Shaaltiel is complaining that war is hell, especially for the losers, so Israel should decide to lose!

      Some of the reasons for the Israelis not knowing Arabs are a) The language barrier, b) a long stream of baloney coming from the PLO, etc. c) There isn't any advantage to learning more, when there are more useful things to do; like living ones life, d) long spans of time in which the Arab Palestinians refuse even to negotiate (like now), e) long spans of time in which getting to know Arabs can get you killed.

      And if were really so hard for Israelis to know the Arabs, why would we believe that Shaaltiel knows more than any other Israeli?

      I'm not familiar with the performers mentioned.

  • Inside the Cosmetics convention, Ahava boss denies the Occupation
    • The BDS method is illogical. Even bankrupting scores of corporations would not persuade Israelis to give up their country or let be subject another series of vicious military attacks. Any more than the economic crisis in Greece could persuade Greece to give up its land or sovereignty.

      The more you show that there is an array of forces trying to dismantle Israel, the more you show that Israel needs the territory required for a strong defense.

      Compare that to the case of Iran, where the nation does not need nuclear weapons to survive, only to expand. Successful sanctions would still leave Iran in possession of their security and sovereignty.

    • "acquisition of territory by military conquest is inadmissible"

      1. The Arabs states decided that the game is one of "Military Conquest", not Israel. Israel tried to accept partition, hoping to trade land for peace, getting neither.

      2. The document cited is not any sense international law, no matter how many times the mainstream media claim it is.

      3. The status of Jerusalem was fixed by the League of Nations as part of the Jewish homeland. The only thing that changed the status after that was military conquest by Jordon.

      4. If Israel conquered parts of Lebanon, that territory would be occupied. But in Palestine, the Jews have national rights. Neither the BBC nor the General Assembly nor even the Security Council has the right to change that. Just as they don't have the right to declare California part of Mexico. The accommodating nature of Israels governments has led to the general impression of the opposite. Impressions are not international law.

  • Israeli report on shootings of '4 civilians' fails to state that they were three sisters, 3, 5, and 9, and their grandmother
    • The Military Advocate General ("MAG") report was written by prosecutors trying to see if there was evidence enough to indict any specific soldiers. If there isn't, then it's out of their purview. If there was a controversy over whether civilians or combatants had been shot, then their ages would be legally relevant. The MAG report stated that they were civilians; that wasn't in question.

      If there were a legal loophole permitting the shooting of civilians of some age group, the ages would be relevant; but there isn't.

      Facts not pertinent to the legal matter at hand should be left out of briefs. Phillip Weiss is trying to convert that into some grand conspiracy theory. Why?

      Can we compare this investigation to similar investigations conducted by Hamas or the PA into killing of Israelis committed by Palestinian Arabs? This shouldn't be a trick question.

  • 'The world won't say a thing'-- Netanyahu on ongoing Israeli expansion
    • Iran and some other Muslim groups want to destroy America. Netanyahu comforts a frightened woman by saying he can persuade America. So which one is Mondoweiss opposed to?

  • Those backward Muslims
    • Is Philip Weiss really saying that the rules of Jewish morality need to change because they are unsustainable? Or was there a technical error when the post was put online? It kind of reads like a sentence is missing...

  • Returning to the right of return
    • "Why is this important?"

      Many claim that Israel destroyed or evicted a Palestine nation, in violation of some imaginary "International Law" that gave the local Arabs legal control over the government. These claims are not true. What happens when the errors in this approach are pointed out, is that the conversation is shifted from law to justice. This is what you have done.

      The emigration, eviction, and departure of the local Arabs from the new Israeli state happened over time, from before the declaration of statehood, during the War of Independence against the Arab States, and afterward. Truly terrible things happen in war, legally and illegally. After Israel won, it realized that if the departed Arabs were let back in, they would fight violently against the new government. Israel had a job to finish the immigration of European, North African, and Middle Eastern Jews, and had few weapons. Facing military threats from without, a complete lack of recognition by its neighbors, and the Nazified anti-Semitism of the Mufti-influenced Arabs, Israel closed its borders to its enemies.

      In any case, very few of those people who left 1948 are still alive. The Arab position is that their millions of descendants should be allowed to move into Israel, as they are "Refugees". This is a definition of refugee that is followed nowhere else in the world. The normal situation is that if children of refugees are born, in say, Chad, they are citizens of Chad. Chad may not like this, but that's usually how it works out, after a few years.

      Why are different rules proposed by the UN for Israel, than for any other situation? Is it antisemitism or just the influence of Arab oil money? I do not know.

      Justice is not really available to the Arabs who say they are refugees. Their definition of justice requires the destruction of the Jewish state, which does not seem like justice. Justice for only one side is not Justice. A compromise that provides them with sovereignty, prosperity, freedom and security is possible, but not in Israel.

    • My statement was not quite correct. You'll rarely find a notion of Arab Palestinian nationhood before the 1960's, and there is none that I know of before the establishment of the Palestine Mandate.

      The idea of the nation of (Arab) Palestine was created, over some years, as a response to Zionism. The idea grew greatly in the 1960's as the Arab States stopped trying to defeat Israel directly.

    • "...those kicked out of their homes in 1948 certainly identified as Palestinians..."

      This is an interesting question. It seems only reasonable that at least a few of them did. Do you have any documentation the extent or intensity of this identification? The Arabs were largely anti-Zionist, in one way or another, so far as we know. We are sure the Arab leaders were anti-Zionist. But that's not the same as saying the masses identified themselves as part of an existing Arab Palestinian nation. Many called themselves Syrians.

    • The Israeli Declaration of Independence is a political document, not a binding treaty. In that sense, it is like the US Declaration of Independence. The US and the USSR, supported the GA resolution, so it seems to me it was just good politics to butter up the countries that supported it. Israel did not need the GA resolution at that time, it needed recognition from powerful UN member states, which it got soon afterward.

    • The existing non-Jewish communities were given civil and religious rights. The Jews were given national rights. The existing population had the right to remain in their homes and function as per law in the new Jewish administration. Nothing the League of Nations did partitioned the administration of Palestine into Jewish and non-Jewish areas. Later, Jordon was carved out of Mandate Palestine, but there was no authorization for this under international law.

      The documents that MRW is quoting are binding international law.

      Israel and the Jews have been willing to settle for part of Palestine, for "territory within Palestine", provided peace and recognition are granted. Which part, exactly, is a point for negotiation. MRW's last few sentences approximately summarize the Zionist Israeli position on partition.

    • It sounds to me like you've proved that moving millions of Arabs into Israel isn't practical.

    • The League of Nations created binding international law that required the administrator of Palestine, Great Britain, to encourage Jewish Immigration to all of Palestine, which it defined. When the State of Israel was founded, it took over these obligations by passing the "Law of Return", which is Israeli domestic law.

      There is no "Pureness" of the Jewish State, there are many people of other religions living in Israel. The idea of a Palestinian Arab ROR is to destroy either the Jewish State or the Democracy, by overwhelming the population numbers, and is so obvious that it essentially stops negotiations in its tracks.

      There is no Arab impulse to provide land, democracy, or rights to Palestinian Arabs, as you can see by looking at how they are treated by the Arab states. They are merely a tool to destroy Jewish administration of a small piece of territory; an idea that offends Muslims even thousands of miles away, who nevertheless care nothing for the Arabs of Palestine and the region around it.

    • I have got the date wrong here. The idea of a Palestinian Arab nation was widely pushed in the 1960's, as a response to the successes of Israel. But there are a few who had the idea of an Arab Palestine earlier in the 20th century.

      The very idea of an Arab Palestine was hated by the other Arab states in the middle of the 20th century, and was not accepted by Egypt and Syria, for example, until the 1960's, when Egypt founded the PLO.

      My important point stands; the very concept of an Arab Palestinian nation was created as a response to the successes of Zionism, and is not "Organic" in the sense of there being a nation to destroy or push out to found Israel.

      There was plenty of land for the Arabs and Jews to live side by side in peace, but the Arabs refused all notions of compromise, partition, and of a bi-national state under Jewish administration. Under Islamic law, Jews must be Dhimmis, which is a kind of non-citizen, and acknowledge inferiority before Muslims. This was not tolerable, so we have had a conflict ever since.

      If the Arab states had not started a war in 1948, the situation would be very different now, but I don't think we can know what those differences would be.

    • The question under discussion about the census was whether there was something like a Palestinian nation in 1850. There was a population that could have been counted and later be estimated. There was no polity named Palestine or anything like it to organize a census in 1850, as was claimed.

    • These institutions did exist in 1948. As your article states, "The All-Palestine Government is regarded as the first attempt to establish an independent Palestinian state". A few people did have this idea in the 1940's.

      My point still stands, that the idea of an Arab Palestinian national identity was only created as a response to Zionism, and is not something that existed before.

      You have not found a Palestinian nation before 1960, you have found a committee.

      Robin's question, as to why the ROR for "Palestinians" is so hard, is, I think answered.

    • The Arabs of Lebanon were only called Lebanese after it's founding in the 1940's.
      The Arabs of Iraq were only called Iraqis after it's founding in the 1920's.
      Egypt is indeed quite old.
      Syria was founded in 1946, but before that the whole area was called the Levant, and many of the people were referred to as Levantine.

      The whole area was ruled from Turkey for 400 years until the 1920's. The Turks, not being Arab, did not emphasize the Arab nationality as much as the Muslim nature of the area and its rule.

      Do you find that the futile attempts to be insulting actually help you?

    • They identified politically and emotionally with Syria and Beirut. The nation of Lebanon was a new creation, formerly part of Syria. Parts of what we call Palestine/Israel were administered, under the Turks, from Damascus. Other parts from points further south.

    • The British made all sorts of promises in the early 20th century. Many of these were not kept. As for the rest of your claims, I don't think you can document any of them. Let's start with the two companies that had the same name: The "Palestine Electric Company", and, in 1999, the Arabs started a new company with that name, as it was no longer in use.

      The Zionist PEC is also mentioned in this pdf on legal history.

      Also, you misunderstood what I wrote. There was no notion of a Palestinian Arab nationality in the 1920's, when Palestine was carved out of the Ottoman Empire. That's what I meant by "...nor an idea of a Palestinian People at that time". I thought I was pretty clear. You are referring to "pre-1948", a wider expanse of time. I still don't think you can document any Palestinian Arab State, or any expression of that idea, before Zionism became an issue in the 1930's. Probably not before 1948. First, try to find one before 1960, when the PLO was founded, then work back.

      MRW: I cannot find any evidence, on the web anyway, of a Palestine Census in 1850.
      You may be mis-remembering this article "The Demographic Development of Palestine, 1850-1882", which was written in 1985. Until you come up with documentation, I will believe that it is you who are dead wrong.

      And please remember the context, I was answering robin's question 'Why is the Palestinian right of return considered so “complex” and “difficult”?'.

      Those links again:
      link to
      link to
      link to
      link to

    • Palestine was created, carved out of the dead Ottoman Empire, to be a Jewish state. The Arabs were assigned sovereignty over other areas. There was no Palestinian Nation nor an idea of a Palestinian People at that time. The only people in the first third of the 2oth century to call themselves "Palestinians" were the Zionists.

      The Zionists founded the Palestine Electric Company in the 1920's, in Tel Aviv. It is now the Israel Electric Company. There was a Zionist newspaper called the Palestine Post that is now the Jerusalem Post. And so on.

      The concept of the Arabs of Palestine being a nation called Palestine was invented in the 1960's as a response to Zionism. Before that, they were "Arabs" or "Syrians" or "Jerusalemites"... You will not find a notion of an Arab Palestinian Nation before the 1960's.

    • Technical note: Iraq was created by the San Remo Conference alone, not by the Palestine Mandate.

    • Jewish sovereignty, by international treaty, covers Palestine. The Arabs get individual civil and religious rights. The Arabs also got sovereignty over Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and so on.

      The same international treaties (acts?) that created Iraq as an Arab state created Palestine as a homeland for the Jews. The are the "San Remo Conference of 1920" and the "Palestine Mandate". I suggest you read them cover to cover, word by word. Both were adopted by the League of Nations, and thereby absorbed into the UN at it's founding. These are the only binding international law on the topic.

      The Jews would not have established a state if there was another, existing state on the land, it would have been impossible, illegal, et cetera.

      Many honest people (on both sides) have been confused by the General Assembly Partition Plan of November 1947. Since it is from the GA, it is not binding international law. Since it was only a recommendation and a plan, it is not binding international law. Since the Arabs rejected it totally, it is not a deal agreed upon by both sides, so it is legally binding on neither.

      The Arabs and Muslims have about 20 states. The Jews have one small state. Apparently this one state is one too many for some. The only thing about Israel that causes objection is its Jewishness.

      The Arab attacks of 1948 would not have occurred if a Muslim dictatorship had been created in its place. If the Arabs had not attacked, the "Nakba" would not be a catastrophe, but a tiny footnote to history.

    • Moving millions of Arabs into Israel is politically impossible. It is at best a plan to frustrate peace talks, and at worst a plan to erase the Jewish State. The primary military strategies of Hamas and Hezbollah are to lose on television, and to have as many Arabs as possible die as publicly and shockingly as possible.

      What about these simple recitations of fact "Stinks"? Is it a truth you dislike, or do you disagree on the facts?

    • "Amnesty also accused Hamas of endangering Palestinian civilians by firing rockets from residential areas and storing weapons and ammunition there"

      This is not a refutation. The article goes on to mention that there were Israeli charges that AI could not verify. AI wasn't in Gaza during the war.

      The "Hospital itself" is under Hamas control. Hamas is not a democracy, they have no affection for any concept of "Free Speech" and are opposed, in principle, to peace conferences. Most notably, Hamas repeatedly asserts that it is not subject to any international law whatsoever.

      If the hospital administration admitted the accusations they would be severely punished by Hamas.

    • Those who are attacking the Jewish State do so because it is the home of the Jewish Religion. It is the religion that is the real target. Mr. Zakkai's description of a new attack based on some kind of new Left seems pathetic to me. It was phrased as an attack on religious Judaism and on the Jewish State. Both.

      I see you've all read it differently.

    • Thanks for keeping it civil and staying on topic.

    • "Refuted" -- I must have missed this. Can you show me a couple of refutations?
      I think the charges against Hamas on this issue are that they shoot from civilian positions and then run, that they fight out of uniform, and put civilians on the roofs of aerial targets. I don't think they're much accused of hiding in family living rooms; but perhaps they were.

      The hospital charge I remember was that the leaders hid in a hospital basement. And that earlier they had transported weapons in ambulances.

    • "Bigoted" -- maybe I just have a different view of the facts, rather than a prejudice against a people?

    • The late 1940's was a time of global re-alignment; populations all over the world moved, got pushed, and escaped. Nations rose and fell. All the ex-refugees from that time have built new lives in new lands, with the help of the world and their new neighbors. Except the Arabs from Palestine. They have nurtured and expanded their pain until the moaning drowns out the hum of global progress. Arab leaders gleefully imprison these Arabs in poverty and war so their magnified suffering will annoy the entire planet. Worse, these leaders throw these fools as cannon fodder onto the guns of the Israelis, so that their bleeding and crying will arouse sympathy. The more blood -- the more sympathy.

      Currently, the criminals running Hamas and Hezbollah are carefully arranging their weapons and headquarters so that the maximum number of Arab families will be hit by the next Israeli counter-attack. When the Arabs say they love death, they include yours and mine. And especially the children, who make great video when they die.

    • This article is a pastiche (a re-jumbled recipe) of stereotypes and factoids, mixed and spiced differently in the hope of being more balanced. Or maybe in the hope of appearing more balanced.

      This statement manages to be deeply prejudiced against Muslims and Jews at the same time:

      "In my perfect world, a person's religious or ethnic background would be regarded by himself and by others as being of no more importance than his preference for strawberry ice cream over pistachio or vice versa. Tribal thinking pollutes everything."

      Mr. Zakkai obviously belongs to the tribe of intellectualizing one-worlders, and probably follows the "Kashrut" of organic vegetables, at least at dinner parties, and he may even hope to join the upper caste who drives electric cars. Stalin called these people "Useful idiots". I myself think they are not so useful.

      In any case, the reality is more difficult: The one-state plan is a way to erase the Jewish State, and the two-state plan is a way to create a bigger and bloodier war, with the same goal.

      The proposal to move millions of Arab Muslims a into Israel is another plan to erase the Jewish State, and, as a result, has the effect of totally sabotaging negotiations. Given that the Arabs are currently boycotting face-to-face negotiations, this is probably the purpose of the proposal.

      Judaism has existed for thousands of years, and has outlasted the Romans, the Czars, the Nazis, and the Stalinists. Mr. Zakkai wants to reduce it to a historical irrelevancy with a motley collection of intellectuals and poseurs ("a new political alignment, a new Israeli-Palestinian Left") who couldn't find their way out of a paper bag if you gave them a map and a torch.

  • Petraeus emails show general scheming with journalist to get out pro-Israel storyline
    • "The emoticon means, I'm running for President."

      Well, Mondoweiss has hit a new low. You guys have been going downhill so long I'd thought you'd hit bottom. It appears you've been digging. Keep up the bad work.

      Kuwait had a lot more to do with the US invasion of Iraq than Israel. Once Saddam was a permanent enemy, all sorts of trouble was going to be inevitable. 9/11 also had a greater influence.

  • Israel lobby group FLAME says black Ethiopian Jews are 'backward'
    • Philip is so right. Ethiopia is not backward compared to Israel. Ethiopia is just as literate, as industrialized, as advanced in medical practice, as productive in scientific research, and their statistics of infant mortality, lifespan, and overall health match Israel. The percentage of the population with advanced degrees, and the number of start-up companies is also the same or better. Everybody knows that. And anybody who disagrees is a racist whose opinions are based on skin color.

  • Reports - 19 people killed, 30-60 injured in Israeli attack on freedom flotilla
    • The US has both a Coast Guard and a Navy. The Coast Guard is more like the police -- they're trained to ask and inspect. The Navy is generally trained to fight. Israel, 50 times smaller than the US, apparently has only a Navy. Israel would do better to have some sort of Sea Police or Coast Guard rather than have the Navy do this sort of thing. Of course, it wouldn't have much to do for years on end...

    • It's not a crock of shit. I said we don't have full information and need it. You disagree?

      Hardly anybody has seen anything except some ships bobbing around in the water and some people standing around. Everything except the important parts. Hopefully we will find out what really happened, in detail. I suppose you will be offended by this suggestion.

    • @Shingo
      "Blocked by whom?" If I knew I'd tell you. If this thing was "Planned out" in advance then whoever did it would know there would be video cameras rolling. One would think so, anyway.

      What difference would it make if I ate my words? I asked a question. Unlike the Mondoweiss blog, I didn't make an accusation.

      You should learn to be less rude.

    • None of know the important details of what happened. So Mondoweiss jumps in with a murder charge. Let's watch as the information comes out and we'll see if Mondoweiss guessed right (unlikely) or just started blasting out the slander. The facts matter. Hopefully, they will become available.

      This atrocity propaganda method is called "Waving the bloody shirt" and is know to be a good way to stimulate people to violence. We'll see if it works out that way.

      Clearly, there needs to be sunshine let in to see exactly what happened. My personal speculation is that the naval infantry has had little or no experience with handling demonstrators, unlike the regular land forces, and this showed.

      I also speculate that some of the video will be deliberately blocked, we'll be looking over somebody's shoulder, trying to figure out what's going on.

      Hamas is known to use suicide tactics, so the question of whether deliberate suicide tactics was used here will have to be on the agenda.

  • an argument about Passover
    • The State of Israel has indicated willingness to accept far less territory, as long as there is peace and recognition, for the reasons you outline, and others. I agree. I merely wish to point out that Weiss was not offering a complete explanation when he said "half" of the Palestine was offered, and it was the result of the holocaust, and that those who call settlements "illegal" are in error. The settlements over the green line may be unwise, or they may be negotiating tactics, or they may be brilliant, but they are not against international law. Study the texts yourself.

      And I don't mean to imply that international law is the voice of the Deity running history, as history does not slavishly follow such agreements. I'm just clarifying.

      And the primary cause of the dispossession is the insistence of the Arabs on waging war, not the desire of the Israelis to expand their territory.

      I'm out of time for today, gotta go. Good Pesach to all of you who observe it.

    • If you read the documents linked to, you'll see the question of areal extent is deferred but has since been determined. Perhaps when the agreements were made the area could have been as small as 1800 sq km. But it since was enlarged under the terms of the agreements. Anyone who disbelieves me should study the agreements I linked to above.

    • 1. "spineless invertebrate" is redundant.

      2. Chameleons have spines, that is, vertebrae.

    • "... that the world in a fit of guiltridden generosity said you could have half of"

      This is not quite accurate. Weiss is referring to the 1947 partition proposal, which was real. But the interpretation is not complete.

      Palestine was created, as a legal entity explicitly as a homeland for the Jews. At the time of creation, this included the land known as transjordan, and everything in Palestine from the river to the sea.

      See the San Remo Convention of 1920 and the Palestine Mandate. Both legal instruments were accepted by the League of Nations and absorbed into the United Nations under article 80 of the UN charter. They are both binding international law, however upsetting that may be. The partition proposal of 1947 was from the General Assembly, and is therefore not binding international law.

      The San Remo Convention is also the instrument that created Iraq, so it would be hard indeed to repudiate it.

      Palestine was created as a Jewish homeland well before the Holocaust.

  • 'NYT' publishes a very helpful map of East Jerusalem
    • Objectivity helps all of us. Click on this link to a Google map of Jerusalem, with Ramat Shlomo highlighted. Then click on "Satellite" to get a recent overhead photo of the area. No editorializing of any kind. There are both Jewish and Arab areas around Ramat Shlomo. And there is more than enough empty land for 1600 apartments. And if the Arabs want to build 1600 apartments, there's room for them too.

      The sensible thing to do is for the two sides to sit down and discuss it. Maybe even mark up the map? Creating an international incident out of it hasn't helped anybody. Obama has accidentally pushed Abbas away from the tentative "Proximity talks" that were about to begin; Abbas can't be seen as demanding less than Obama. I rather doubt Abbas thanks him for this.

  • Inside the Lawfare Project: Netanyahu's attack on human rights NGO's comes to the US
    • Forcing NGO's and other political activists to simply disclose foreign donors seems only fair. Most countries do that. Many countries forbid foreign donations totally. Truth-in-packaging seems like a good idea all around.

      Here is a British dust-up on foreign donations. And here's a similar issue being argued in India.

      Do you think that Americans have the right to know if a pressure-group is funded by China? How about Israelis right to know if a pressure-group is funded by Saudi Arabia?

      Hiding funding sources permits manipulation by the super-wealthy and foreign governments.

  • 'The New York Times' sanitizes Israeli racism
    • The courts decided the issue based on all sorts of documentation of ownership and the non-payment of rent. This case may set a precedent that is felt by many observers to benefit Israeli Arabs in the long run. The cry of racism is biased nonsense. The neighborhood is also known as Shimon HaTzadik.

  • 'NYT' says Barak called Iran an 'existential threat'. He didn't say that
    • If you read through the quote, it's clear Barak was saying the route was from Iran to terrorists to Israel, possibly through some other country first, due to a Middle East arms race. With all those nukes all over, it's clearly an existential threat to several countries, including Israel. Interpreting it otherwise is simply an error. That's the lives of several dozens of millions of people under threat.

      And, of course, Iran retains, and will retain and improve, it's ballistic missiles, for a long, long time. This makes Iranian nuclear weapons a direct existential threat to several countries, held back only by the policies of the current leadership, according to Barak. Or maybe the nutty Ayatollahs will just launch. Want to bet your life? Want to bet millions of lives?

  • Someone explain this to me
    • People use "contiguous" when they probably mean "connected". The different variations of the 2-state plan usually feature some roadway under control of the proposed new state of Palestine. It might work, it might not. More people, like Condoleeza Rice, use the word "Viable". I think that set a new record for vagueness.

      The West Bank would be connected to several Arab countries which could connect to Egypt, I suppose, and then to Gaza, so cutting the road wouldn't do much. I think the Jordon vs Syria contest might flare up, and Syria would try to invade the West Bank, or penetrate it they way they do Lebanon. Syria believes all of Jordon, Palestine, and Lebanon belong to "Greater Syria". So, would Israel help defend the West Bank Palestine against Syria? Can you imagine it? Media meltdown! Blog blowup!

      Jordon doesn't want the West Bank, but they don't want Syria to have it either. Things could get dicey.

  • I wish journalists would interview Jim Crow whites about how/why they changed
    • In the same time period, there has been more violence in almost any city in the world than the Jew-on-Palestinian incidents in Israel. Do you really want to stack that up against the Arab Terrorism of bus-bombing, killing Olympic athletes, throwing cripples overboard, blowing up pizza parlors, massacring Passover Seders, rocketing and shelling of Israeli towns, and on and on?

    • Small potatoes. There is more inter-ethnic killing in India, Nigeria, the Congo, and many other places. Is Israel required to be free of all criminals and racists? If a man kills his wife is a whole country misogynist?

      In the Jim Crow south it was often the local sheriff who "Disappeared" blacks found in town after sunset. The Israeli government has arrested the teenagers involved. Nobody was killed in the incident described as a "Lynching". Worse things, much worse things, happen in the Bronx or in LA every day. Teens have been ganging up since before Shakespeare; Read Romeo and Juliet.

      The Bible commands Jews to not marry non-Jews, so dating non-Jews has been forbidden to the religious for centuries. Judaism isn't going to change that for you. And in Israel it has security implications.

    • We're all humans. The political and military differences can be striking.

    • The Palestinians as a group exist now. As a nation or ethnic group they didn't exist 1948. The people existed, they were Arabs or Syrians or just local to their city or village. The Arab governments didn't seem to think there was a Palestinian identity in 1948, they took over the West Bank and Gaza without recognizing "Palestinians". You can't even find the word used much back then, except in reference to Zionists. The Palestine Electric Company is now Israel Electric, the Palestine Post is now the Jerusalem Post. The Palestinian identity was created in response to Zionism. They have that right. Claiming it goes back centuries is just baloney.

      The blacks in South Africa wanted to expand and join South Africa, not kick out the whites. They believed in equality. This made peace possible. The Irish wanted to separate, not take over Great Britain. The US civil rights movement was not trying to overthrow the Constitution, it was trying to enforce it. These are essential differences. While Abbas now says the PA recognizes Israel and wants to live along side of it, the PA is weak and the overall history of the Arab movement is eliminationist. In particular Hamas has a good chance of taking over the West Bank or a new Palestine.

      Sorry for the delayed response, I was doing other things.

    • The Arab/Israeli dispute is not about skin color or genetics.

      Sometimes there is hatred, but not all hatred is racism. Anger can result when you don't like what people do. It doesn't have to result from disliking who theyare.

      I don't have specific information on the incidents mentioned in the comments. But I need to point out that even evidence of crime is not evidence of racism. When one Arab kills another for selling land to a Jew, it isn't because of racist attitudes against Arabs.

      Americans sometimes see the Arab/Israeli conflict as being like civil rights, Brits liken it to the Irish "Troubles", and South Africans to Apartheid. All of them are being mentally lazy. I suppose the Russians might see it like their conflict with Chechnya, and the Indians with the Kashmir situation and Pakistan. And some compare it the the Hatfields & McCoys. Still not right. It's a unique situation.

  • 50 years after North Carolina lunchcounter sit-in, Times calls West Bank protests 'theatrical... spectacle'
    • Protests by definition are supposed to be theatrical. The next logical step is the "Street Theater" one often sees at political demonstrations.

      The civil rights demonstrations in the US South were mainly directed at persuading whites, especially northerners, to side with the blacks. This wasn't too hard since the northerners had no direct interest in the outcome; Southern integration cost them nothing.

      By contrast, Israelis feel very strongly that the Wall brought peace and saved the lives of themselves or somebody they know. Israelis also feel that strengthening Hamas or Fatah can only hurt them. So the anti-wall protesters have a very long road to hoe.

      Blacks in the US had a history and reputation of being mostly passive and non-destructive, although they were seen by many as weak in the face of temptation. By contrast, Arabs in the Israeli experience have a history and reputation of aggression, lethality, and terrorism. So the basis for sympathy isn't really there.

  • Dershowitz's latest celebrity client
    • Dershowitz is mainly an appeals lawyer. That's why most of his clients are guilty: They've already been convicted. Dershowitz attended the OJ Trial for the defense in anticipation of appealing OJ's conviction. His presence could have suggested that OJ was, in fact, guilty, but the defense had him show up anyway. There was the possibility that having Dershowitz visible would keep the judge in line, so to speak.

      The Goldstone report was not done to judicial standards, and judge Goldstone agrees with this evaluation.

      I would take the issues raised by Goldstone more seriously if somebody had come up with a way for the IDF to stop the rocketing some other way, and if Hamas had made a serious effort to follow the international rules of war. Hamas says specifically they are exempt from these rules. Terrorists, including Hamas, generally act on the seam between law enforcement and warfare, making it impossible for any consistent rules to apply.

      Law must apply to both sides if it is to be law.

  • Goldstone explains why Israel is being singled out (after South Africa and Serbia)
    • The Arab-Israeli dispute is not about equality or inequality, or about skin color, or about economic exploitation; It isn't even about democracy. The conflict is about the establishment of a Jewish State. Everything else follows from that.

      The conflict is also about religion, land, and history, but the central issue is the establishment of Jewish State.

  • Goldstone documented nightmarish case of a Palestinian 'human shield'
    • There's a lot of detail here, but there is still no way for any court to prove or disprove the story.

      I am curious what a PA intelligence officer was doing in Gaza. Was he gathering info on Israel or on Hamas? And if he was getting info on Israel, how did he prevent Hamas from getting the data? Hamas wouldn't let him learn Hamas secrets, and any Israel data he got would go to Hamas; So he would be working for Hamas. Maybe only for Hamas.

      If he was functionally a Hamas intelligence officer, then he's part of the Hamas administration and military. Of course, that would have little to do with his family.

      Israel explains some civilian casualties by pointing out that Hamas etc. use civilians as human shields. This family was not shot at by Hamas, so we don't know if the situation is symmetrical. The gunmen in the house, presumably Hamas, who shot the dog, didn't shoot at Rabbo. Is this because he was Arab or was he known to them? You can't reliably tell an Arab from an Israeli by looks, although I can imagine his Arabic accent was the same. Maybe that's enough. Would this story make Rabbo a human shield or an involuntary negotiator? If one side uses human shields then maybe the other side will soon start. Sort of like gas warfare in 1915 in World War I.

      Something happened. We'll probably never know what, though, with any reliability. Intelligence agencies have been known to lie now and then.

      I've read parts of the Goldstone Report so far. It seems to be complaining that war is really terrible.

  • Why all Israel lobbyists should be forced to go thru the Qalandia checkpoint
    • Sounds worse than the TSA at US airports. Do you have to take off your shoes at the checkpoints? Can you bring liquids? Have you been across the border checkpoint at Tijuana?

  • Anticipating Israeli response, Dershowitz blames atrocities in Goldstone Report on 'rogue soldiers'
    • "...if they had any doubt at all about whether someone was a civilian, they should shoot

      The alternative is for the soldier to expose himself to risk of death. The result of this or any war is, of course, an atrocity. But the policy of shooting on doubt is not, so far as I can see, against any law or treaty. War is violent, hell, and unfair. But that doesn't make every death illegal. And shooting on doubt is clearly not an attempt to kill civilians.

      If Israel had wanted to kill Gazan civilians, it could surely have killed hundreds of thousands.

      A policy to protect your own soldiers in battle is not at all the same as a policy of targeting civilians. Every officer in almost every war knows that some civilian deaths may occur. This does not mean that any or all of the civilian deaths violate any laws of war.

      Also, it's not at all clear how treaties such as the Geneva or Hague conventions would apply to Gaza, led by Hamas, which not only has not signed any treaty, but has repeatedly declared that it will allow no restrictions on it's combat, from any law or authority at all, except for it's own interpretation of Islam.

      Law cannot apply to just one side. And I'm sure judge Goldstone would agree

  • Haiti Gaza (II)
    • Haiti was not sending rockets into Israel, Hamas was. That's one difference.
      Another is that the number of deaths in Haiti is 10 or 100 times the number from Cast Lead.
      If Haitians were as well fed as Gazans, there wouldn't be such an emergency.
      There is nothing threatening to anybody in preventing further deaths in Haiti, which are ongoing. Haiti isn't going to turn around and attack the helping nations. And they aren't going to construct weapons out of the supplies provided.

  • 'May I interject?' A demonstration in the landgrab that is 'East Jerusalem'
    • 1. The area in the photo doesn't look like Gilo as I've seen it. Gilo is bigger than that, maybe it's a photo of nearby "Har Gilo"? Or maybe it's a partial photo from the south, near al Walaje, where I haven't been? In any case, al Walaje is nearer Har Gilo than to plain Gilo. The ICAHD site doesn't give much information other than the caption. If you were looking at Har Gilo, note that Goldberg was referring to plain Gilo. Although I suppose the same arguments might apply, you'd have to ask him.

      2. The Haaretz article you link to says the Givat Yael idea will not be built, anyway.

      3. Judging by the satellite view of Google maps, there is plenty of open space for both groups to expand and to live. And al Walaja looks pretty small. Expand from this map position.

  • One vision for one state in Israel/Palestine
  • Ma’ale Adumim: Annexation and the Architecture of Apartheid
    • Mr. Ratner ignores the warfare that led to the current situation. He also is making stuff by assuming where the olive trees come from and what the condition of the land was a hundred, or fifty, years ago.

      The Germans, Russians, and Chinese who were dislocated or relocated in the 1940's have built new lives in the their new locations. Only the Arabs insist on deliberately magnifying their troubles by waging hopeless wars and imprisoning each other in so-called "Refugee" camps.

      The difficulties of the Arabs of Gaza and the West Bank, while milder than many others in this world, are caused by their own addiction to mindless violence.

      The land in question is Jewish land. Jews were given complete "national rights" in Palestine by international law, from the river to the sea. The Arabs have "civil" and "religious" rights in Palestine, and national rights in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Jordon.

  • Now wait, who's censored??
    • Oops.
      The reasons progressive blogs ignored the march are:
      1. Hamas is not at all progressive. They are reactionary.
      2. There are at least a billion people on this earth in worse shape than the people of Gaza.

    • The reasons progressive blogs ignored the issue are:

    • If Israel had "Targeted women and children" the death toll would be in the hundreds of thousands. Operation Cast Lead targeted infrastructure and those launching rockets. It was effective in stopping Hamas from launching rockets at Israel.

  • And then they seized Citi Field...
    • One difference, terrorism wise, between Iran and Israel is that Iran is working furiously against US interests and Israel is working in favor of US interests. Therefore, the US government would be totally stupid to be even-handed and to treat them the same.

      If the Iranian government were as pro-American as the Shah, or as Israel, then this sort of thing would not be necessary.

  • Abunimah on 'Israeli Jews and the one-state solution'
    • The tortured comparison to South Africa is a fantasy.

      The Israeli position is not based on racial ideology; Jews in Israel/Palestine are more racially diverse than the Muslims. The Arabs do not believe in, or insist on, democracy or a one-man one-vote system.

      The ANC in South Africa was integrationist, the Arabs, especially Hamas, are expulsionist.

      Israeli governments have supported Land for Peace, and it happened with Egypt, but the Arabs in Palestine had a different plan.

      We all know that the "One State" plan is a thin cover for Arab or Muslim supremacy and dhimmi status for Jews; You aren't fooling anybody with the democracy talk.

  • Dream of two states morphs into-- horrors-- one man, one vote
    • Even if so, one person, one vote, one time.

      Those who pretend the Arabs will treat Jews as equals know very well this is not sustainable. The Jews know it too. There is no path to a one-state "Solution". There might not be a path to a two-state "Solution".

      The problem Abbas has is not smatterings of construction that will, in any case, end in 6 months. The problems Abbas has is that he does not control Gaza, cannot make a deal as the Arab representative, is not the Arab leader of Palestine, and is aging.

      Netanyahu is for starting negotiations now, and Abbas is demanding preconditions. Who is the obstacle?

  • The South Africa lobby
    • The conflicts are quite different. The beliefs and goals of both sides just don't match up. In particular, the South African blacks were by and large integrationist, while the bulk of the Arab Palestinian leadership is supremacist and expulsionary.

      While the South African whites varied their point of view over time, they were basically racist in their outlook. The Israelis overwhelmingly don't see race, or superiority, as an issue.

      The white South Africans had reason to believe that if they turned over the state to the blacks, they'd be alright. The Israelis have no such belief, nor any reason for any such belief.

      People love these sorts of analogies but they are all eventually misleading.

      On the comparison of the Lobby, the facts go the other way. The civil rights struggle then going on in the US was likewise analogized at the time to the situation in South Africa. This meant the civil rights struggle acted as a proxy lobby for the blacks in South Africa. If there were no civil rights issue in the US, would the US pressure have forced the changes on South Africa the same way? Were the US performances of Miriam Makeba just a coincidence? The two movements supported each other; the black movement in the US functioned as an "ANC Lobby" in the US.

  • Look at the path of the wall through East Jerusalem
    • Actually, more Arabs were dying in the intifada than since. Without terrorist attacks, there is no need for big Israeli military operations in the West Bank. The number of Arabs lived saved is probably larger than the number of Israelis saved.

      And why shouldn't Jews save their own lives?

    • I don't know where the hospitals are in Cyprus, but the Arabs have their own universities and hospitals and it's not clear why the Israelis should provide medical care to people who are trying to destroy their country, but they do.

      There was a great deal of forced movement and confiscation in the re-arrangement of Cyprus, but I don't know the details.

      I don't think there is a kill zone at the Cyprus wall because terrorists aren't trying to blow it up, last I heard.

    • I've seen the wall, and it isn't that awesome. It's just a wall. It was put up to save human life, and it seems to be helping. The wall was a major factor in ending the second intifada, and if the wall were human, it would deserve a Noble Peace Prize.

      There's a wall in Cyprus that serves a similar purpose, and nobody is at a loss for words.

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