Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 32 (since 2009-10-02 13:05:06)

Diane Mason


Showing comments 32 - 1

  • Trump just 'pushed the two-state solution over the cliff'
    • "In exclusive comments to Haaretz, Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian peace negotiator, sharply rebuked U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Wednesday.

      "President Trump has delivered a message to the Palestinian people: the two-state solution is over. Now is the time to transform the struggle for one-state with equal rights for everyone living in historic Palestine, from the river to the sea," Erekat said. "


  • Prince Charles decried White House's failure to take on 'Jewish lobby' over Israel
    • It's been an open secret for decades that Charles is privately very critical of the way the Israelis, and before that the British, have treated the Palestinians; and that Charles is generally unavailable for official functions involving Israel.

      But the wider point about the Royals not making a state visit to Israel is a red herring. There are various areas of unrest in the world where the underlying conflict is one that arose under British Imperial (mis)rule, and was left unresolved when the British left. As a matter of protocol, the Queen doesn't make state visits to any of them while their unrest remains unresolved.

  • US gov't has 'faith in the system' that Israel will prosecute killers of Palestinian child-- why?
    • This has been going on way longer than the price tag campaign.

      Perhaps these killers will get six months of community service, like the settler who beat 12 year old Hilmi Shusha to death.

      B'Tselem protests the Jerusalem District Court's decision today to sentence Nachum Korman, convicted of manslaughter in the death of 12-year old Hilmi Shusha, to the ridiculous sentence of six months community service and compensation of NIS 70,000.

      At a time when violence by Israeli civilians against Palestinians is increasing, the Court's decision sends the message that Palestinian life is cheap, and that Israeli civilians in the Occupied Territories can continue to abuse Palestinians with impunity.

      The Court's decision to accept the plea bargain is a direct continuation of the policy of all Israeli law enforcement agencies - from the police and the IDF, to the State's Attorney's Office and the Courts, and including the Presidency. Throughout the years, all these institutions have turned a blind eye to cases where Israelis injure innocent Palestinians, and have even supported them. This policy stands in blatant contradiction to the authorities' treatment of cases where Palestinians injure Israelis. In the latter cases, the justice system is suddenly highly efficient and employs all means at its disposal, including measures that violate human rights.

      From the testimony of Ibrahim Shusha, cousin of Hilmi and an eye witness to the incident:

      "... the settler went, looked toward the house and saw that no one was there, came back and grabbed Hilmi and immediately kicked him in the head. The settler was wearing army boots. Hilmi, my cousin, stood 3 meters from me... After the kick, Hilmi fell to the ground and lost consciousness. The settler kicked Hilmi in the neck and hit him once on the head with the butt of his pistol."

      This incident is one of dozens in which Israeli civilians killed Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. B'Tselem conducts a comparative study of all these cases, which paints a disturbing picture: many cases are never even investigated by the Police; others that are investigated, the State's Attorney's Office decides not to file indictments; the few cases that do reach the courts end in acquittal or in light sentences. In those isolated incidents where a serious sentence is imposed, the President commuted the sentence.

  • Palestinian toddler killed in settler price-tag attack
    • Not a Jewish act, but a profoundly Zionist one. It goes right ot the heart of Zionism's original sin, that you cannot make or maintain a Jewish state in a place as un-Jewish as Palestine without terrorizing the indigenous population out of their homes.

  • Netanyahu speech could turn Israel lobby into a political football
  • 'Provocative political symbol' -- UEFA fines clubs when fans fly Palestinian flags
    • This will be a can of worms UEFA will regret opening. It just won't be possible to justify banning the Palestinian flag in (Irish, Catholic) communities that identify with the Palestinians while ignoring fans of clubs with historically-Jewish ties (Tottenham Hotspur, Ajax) waving the Israeli flag. And if it's forbidden to fly the Palestinian flag because it's too political, why hasn't UEFA cared all these years about Barca fans with their Catalonia flags or Atletico fans with their Basque flags? I'm pretty sure the Spanish F.A. finds that "inappropriate". This isn't going to stand up in court.

      All of this reminds me of Israel's futile attempts to ban the Palestinian flag in the Occupied Territories before the first intifada. When the flag was banned, people started dressing in clothes that just happened to be black, red, white and green. And then when that was cracked down on, anonymous graffiti started showing up on the walls showing big salad bowls that just happened to be full of green lettuce, white radishes, red tomatoes and black olives….

      Banning the flag doesn't make anything go away.

  • Obama's Mandela eulogy -- moving, and hypocritical
    • Sickening to see David Cameron and Barack Obama eulogizing Nelson Mandela on behalf of their respective countries, without acknowledging the leading role that previous British and U.S. governments played in keeping the apartheid regime in power and Nelson Mandela in jail. One day, the leaders of the countries that propped up Zionism will speak about it in the same way. They'll all become retroactively anti-apartheid, and seamlessly airbrush themselves back onto the right side of history.

  • Israeli soldier discusses killing Palestinian children on Ukrainian game show
    • Doesn't the fact that this is a "gameshow" called "Lie Detectors" suggest that the purpose is to tell a story and have people guess whether it's true or not?

      This sounds like a patchwork of memes - Palestinians not loving their children, toddlers with Molotov cocktails - that have been repeated so often that they could be combined into a narrative that might sound plausible enough to win whatever you win if you pass the "Lie Detectors" test. I mean, I don't know the game show at all, but doesn't it sound as if the purpose might be to make up a story, have people believe it's true, win a prize?

  • Is Benjamin Netanyahu the George Zimmerman of the Middle East?
    • Zionism is the collective George Zimmerman of the Middle East.

      I'll take your land, exile you, kill you, imprison you, demolish your homes, de-develop your economy, torture you in prison, humiliate you at checkpoints etc etc all because you're the wrong "sort" of people to be allowed to live as equal citizens in your own homeland. But if ever you fight back I'll kill you and scream that I'm the victim, because you're the scary Arab Other we've been propagandized to fear.

  • Double standard on killing collaborators
    • I disagree with the opinion of Haim Baram that the Israeli education system has managed to instil a 'Holocaust awareness' in its pupils (Kol Ha'Ir 12.5.89). It's not an awareness of the Holocaust but rather the myth of the Holocaust or even a falsification of the Holocaust (in the sense that 'a half-truth is worse than a lie') which has been instilled here.

      As one who himself lived through the Holocaust, first in Warsaw then in Bergen-Belsen, I will give an immediate example of the total ignorance of daily life during the Holocaust. In the Warsaw ghetto, even during the period of the first massive extermination (June to October 1943), one saw almost no German soldiers. Nearly all the work of administration, and later the work of transporting hundreds of thousands of Jews to their deaths, was carried out by Jewish collaborators. Before the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (the planning of which only started after the extermination of the majority of Jews in Warsaw), the Jewish underground killed, with perfect justification, every Jewish collaborator they could find. If they had not done so the Uprising could never have started. The majority of the population of the Ghetto hated the collaborators far more than the German Nazis. Every Jewish child was taught, and this saved the lives of some them "if you enter a square from which there are three exits, one guarded by a German SS man, one by an Ukrainian and one by a Jewish policeman, then you should first try to pass the German, and then maybe the Ukrainian, but never the Jew".

      One of my own strongest memories is that, when the Jewish underground killed a despicable collaborator close to my home at the end of February 1943, I danced and sang around the still bleeding corpse together with the other children. I still do not regret this, quite the contrary.

      It is clear that such events were not exclusive to the Jews, the entire Nazi success in easy and continued rule over millions of people stemmed from the subtle and diabolical use of collaborators, who did most of the dirty work for them. But does anybody now know about this ? This, and not what is 'instilled' was the reality. Of the Yad Vashem theatre, I do not wish to speak, at all. It, and its vile exploiting, such as honouring South African collaborators with the Nazis are truly beneath contempt.[that was John Vorster with Menachem Begin]

      Therefore, if we knew a little of the truth about the Holocaust, we would at least understand (with or without agreeing) why the Palestinians are now eliminating their collaborators. That is the only means they have if they wish to continue to struggle against our limb-breaking regime.

  • Charting the 'peace process'
  • Palestinians circulate draft resolution at UN as Barak implores US to help Israel delay bid
  • US immigration officials detain and interrogate Imran Khan about drones and who's pushing the State Department
  • Abbas warns repeatedly of 'new Nakba' --Israel ethnically cleansing Palestinians
    • In addition to Colin's point, it also gets Palestine recognized on the 1967 borders, rather than on whatever parts of the Occupied Territories are left over when Israel has kept what it wants - which is what Israel means by "Palestine".

  • AP reported anti-Islam film that sparked protests was made to help Israel, but questions surround producer of the film
    • Yes, that one is a classic.

      When I read those old articles, I am always taken aback by the fact that things you couldn't possibly say in polite company in the U.S. today - e.g. that imposing a Jewish state on a place as un-Jewish as Palestine will be a nightmare that never ends - were understood to be self-evident back then.

    • Certain Zionists writers in the London press have recently been making a most unfair use of the words 'Arab' and 'Bedouin.' In an article published recently it was stated that 'the Bedouin' question will in course of time settle itself, either by equitable purchase or by the Bedouin's desire for the nomadic life which he will find over the border in the Arab state.' If by these words the writer means the 50,000 nomadic Bedouins, no harm would be done and all parties would be pleased; for these Bedouins steal alike from Mohammedan, Christian, and Jew cultivators, and, except as breeders of camels and sheep, are of little use to the country [sic]. But he does not mean this. He hopes to buy out 'equitably' the half-million Mohammedan and sixty thousand Christian Arabs, who own and cultivate the soil -- a stable population living, not in Bedouin tents, but in permanent villages.

      Should these landlords and farmers refuse this 'equitable' bargain, it is to be presumed that our Zionist writer, by forceful arguments to be applied by the protecting power, will arouse in them a desire for the nomadic life across the border. If the Zionists honestly believe that the land is occupied and worked by nomadic Bedouins without right of ownership, they should be informed that the Arab landowners possess title-deeds as good as, and much older than, those by which the American or English millionaire owns his palace in Fifth Avenue or Park Lane.


      The theory that the Jews are to come into Palestine and oust the Moslem cultivators by 'equitable purchase' or other means is in violation of principles of sound policy, and would, if accepted, arouse violent outbreaks against the Jewish minority. It would, moreover, arouse fierce Moslem hostility and fanaticism against the Western powers that permitted it. The effect of this hostility would be felt all through the Middle East, and would cause trouble in Syria, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and India. To this might be ascribed by future historians the outbreak of a great war between the white and the brown races, a war into which America would without doubt be drawn.

      -- Zionist Aspirations in Palestine, by H. Anstruther Mackay; The Atlantic Monthly, July 1920.

  • The world according to Sheldon Adelson
  • Yasser Arafat 'poisoned with Polonium' -- Al Jazeera
  • 'Washington Post' cartoon mocking future Palestinian state signals crumbling of two-state paradigm
  • Another campus walkout, this one at Wayne State speech on Palestinian child suicide bombers
  • Netanyahu gives genocidal bible story to Obama
    • There was no Mordechai and no Esther, and they had no enemy Haman. There was only Marduk and Ishtar and their rival 'Uman, gods in the ancient Babylonian pantheon whose myths were appropriated, Judaized and turn into "historical" legends by Babylonian Jews in the post exilic period, in a process of evolution and borrowing that is normal between different religious traditions. Anyone who thinks these stories are real, and justify launching a war on Iran, is insane and should not be trusted with a butter knife, never mind a nuclear arsenal.

  • Israel's national theater to bring 'Merchant' to World Shakespeare Fest in May
    • I think it's missing something to say Shylock was just your "archetypal Jewish joke figure". Shylock's rant here about his lost treasure ends a few lines later with him saying he wouldn't have sold his turquoise ring (which his daughter and her Christian lover have swapped for a monkey) at any price, because sentimental value makes it priceless. And that suddenly and unexpectedly turns the image of the greedy Jew, who's spent the whole scene so far ranting about his money, upon its head.

  • Israel's myth of invincibility drives a dangerous idea-- attacking Iran
    • There was an article in Ha'aretz a few years back on a similar theme, but this time on the subject of Hizbullah, and why it is dangerous to Israel. It was based on an analysis by Daniel Sobelman of Tel Aviv University's Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, who found that Hizbullah's firing missiles into Israel was neither random nor unprovoked nor unrestrained, but was carried out specifically in response to actions Israel carried out against sovereign Lebanese territory, like assassinations and overflights.

      [A] new study showed that the firing of the antiaircraft missiles was not random, but came as a response to the IAF's violation of Lebanese airspace. "A comparison of IAF flight data with the data on the firing of the antiaircraft missiles shows a direct relationship between the violations and the firing," wrote Daniel Sobelman of Tel Aviv University's Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies.

      Sobelman studied Hezbollah activities over the past four years and concluded that the Shi'ite organization actually wants to preserve the status quo created in the north after the IDF's departure from Lebanon. He found a clear contradiction between Hezbollah's declared ideology, which calls for the destruction of Israel, and the restrained policy that it actually implements, which is based on rules of behavior that have crystalized between it and Israel.

      These rules are the name of the game, according to Sobelman, and Hezbollah follows them. The most important rule is "action-reaction," that is, Hezbollah responds to Israel's "aggressive acts." Among these are overflights of Lebanese territory, border crossings into Lebanon by IDF troops or targeted killings of the organization's members in Beirut...

      Apparently, as difficult as it is, Israel's policy makers must come to terms with the creation of a balance of fear and deterrence with regard to Hezbollah. It is not easy to admit that an organization numbering only a few hundred fighters can deter the country with "the strongest army in the Middle East," but it should always be remembered that Hezbollah is Israel's creation, and the daily occurences (sic) in the north are, among other things, the result of myopia on the part of Israel's senior defense officials. This is especially important these days as we recall that Hamas was also established under Israel's aegis and with its encouragement.

      Hezbollah plays by the rules

      And that was why Hizbullah was so threatening to Israel: it wasn't a military danger to Israel in the sense it was going to invade and overrun it, but in the sense that it took away Israel's ability to do whatever it liked without having to worry about the consequences. For the first time ever, Israel found itself facing an enemy practicing deterrence against it. And a nuclear armed Iran will be able to do the same thing.

  • Revival of Geneva Initiative features divisive figure: Bernard-Henri Levy
    • Israel isn’t jumping through all these hoops to have people accept the “Jewish State” designation because it sounds cute or because it wants to match Iran’s “Islamic” designation in its name...

      If you think that's what I wrote, then you got it completely backwards. Of course Israel doesn't want the kind of recognition the Islamic Republic of Iran has got, that's the whole point - the PLO is offering Israel normal diplomatic recognition, such as the world gives the Islamic Republic of Iran, but Israel wants something different altogether i.e. not only recognition of its statehood, but recognition of its right to operate a sectarian regime that discriminates on the basis of ethnic-religious background.

      As for the PLO "going along" with the designation, what they are "going along" with is international convention on the naming of countries, and that's exactly what they should do. Whether it is diplomatic niceties or international law, the PLO should make sure they do go along with it - it's precisely because they base their positions on international norms and not the vicissitudes of one political trend or another that the Palestinians are still there 60 years plus after Nakba, with a greater degree of international support and near universal acceptance of their narrative, despite the overwhelming imbalance of power that the Zionists thought would sweep them away.

      On the specific issue of why Israel is currently pushing so hard for recognition of "the Jewish state", I don't attach overwhelming importance to that specific issue - I think this is simply the latest in a long line of impossible demands that Israel makes of the Palestinians in order to be sure they will be rejected and the Palestinians can be portrayed as the party that is obstructing peace. As their head of Army Intelligence said way back in 1973: We must define our position and lay down basic principles for a settlement. Our demands should be moderate and balanced, and appear to be reasonable. But in fact they must involve such conditions as to ensure that the enemy rejects them. Then we should manoeuvre and allow him to define his own position, and reject a settlement on the basis of a compromise position. We should then publish his demands as embodying unreasonable extremism. If it wasn't this, there would be some other issue to serve the same purpose.

      I do understand your wider point about Israel's weasel words designed to muddy the debate in its favor, but really, how far has that got Israel in trying to change the underlying parameters of the conflict? All Israel has managed to do is to convince friend after friend that it is a serial liar that is simply not interested in coexistence, till it has only one friend left (and only hangs on to that one thanks to a propagandized citizenry and a political class heavily dependent on pro-Israel donors). I think the main result of Israel constantly trying to change the terms of the debate is simply that fewer and fewer people listen to it.

    • that the Palestinians were willing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state

      That's not quite what he said. He said that Palestine would recognize the state of Israel on its 1967 borders, and - in line with diplomatic convention - call that state whatever it chooses for its name.

      Like in the Palestine Papers where the PLO invites Israel to go ahead and call itself the Republic of Milk and Honey for all we care...

      Rabbo's simply repeating the PLO long-standing position that in a two state solution they will recognize the state of Israel - and use whatever name it chooses for itself, because in international affairs countries get to be known by whatever name they choose for themselves. Just as the world community calls Iran "The Islamic Republic of..." purely in a nominal sense without endorsing any meaning the Iranian regime would like to apply to it. (Or in the way we called East Germany "the German Democratic Republic" without implying it was really a democracy).

      But the PLO won't recognize Israel as a "Jewish state" in the sense that Israel wants -- i.e. as a place where the full rights of citizenship are intended for people with the "right" ethnic religious background - because 1. that undermines the rights of the non-Jewish citizens of Israel 2. it undermines refugee rights 3. there's no precedent in diplo relations for requiring one country to recognize that a preferred demographic balance should exist in another country.

      You seem to be conflating the diplomatic nicety of calling Israel whatever it settles on as a name in the event of a 2 state solution - even if it calls itself "the Jewish state of..." - with acceptance that Israel has a right to be only for Jewish people. And Rabbo's not doing that.

  • South African apartheid didn't have a domestic constituency in the U.S.
    • Fletcher’s statement ‘Palestinians are being made to pay the price for the Holocaust’ is also a common mistake. In fact, Zionists planned their project before the Holocaust.

      There's no contradiction between saying that Zionists planned their project before the Holocaust, but couldn't realize it until they had the weight of the Holocaust to bring doubtful members of the UN into line.

  • Reporters again turn State Dep't briefing into moshpit, scorning US 'impotence' in the conflict
    • I think the law that bans military assistance by the U.S. to any government that refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to allow inspection of its nuclear facilities is called The Proxmire Amendment .

      FWIW, additionally the US Foreign Assistance Act prohibits military and economic aid to any country that engages in a “consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.” Also the US Arms Export Control Act forbids the government from giving military assistance to any country that violates internationally recognized human rights.

      There are probably other examples.

  • UNESCO votes to admit Palestine as a full member
    • I'm not sure why The Netherlands takes the position it does, but I think it's been doing this for a long time. I remember the Dutch govt offering support for Israel in the 1973 war (as a staging post for rushing war materiel to Israel from the US). Then in 1992 when an El Al plane crashed taking off from Amsterdam, the Dutch govt stonewalled the investigation for years even though hundreds of its own citizens in the area were falling ill. It took an expose by 2 investigative journalists to reveal that the plane was actually carried a load of sarin nerve gas precursors from the US to Israel, and was one of a series of regular Friday night flights that had been passing through Amsterdam to Israel without appearing on airport monitors or being required to go through any of the inspection by the Dutch authorities that normal air freight would. And the subsequent govt inquiry found that this had been going on since 1973.

      So The Netherlands has been offering support to Israel for years, well beyond its votes at the UN, up to and including facilitating proliferation of chemical weapons. It's a strange policy for an otherwise generally-progressive country, and I really don't know what the explanation is.

  • Burg, former Knesset speaker, endorses idea of one state from river to sea
    • Edited to add: This is the 2003 article with collapsing wedding hall metaphor - A Failed Israeli Society Collapses While Its Leaders Remain Silent,

    • You and I must be reading different articles.

      I like Burg's writing very much, and this article is no exception, but I don't read it as coming out of the colonialism closet and endorsing one democratic state from the river to the sea if Israel fails to take real steps toward two states, which of course, it will not... etc, etc.

      I think he is simply reiterating the thrust of what he said in his breakthrough article of 2003 - the one about Zionism collapsing like a cheap Jerusalem wedding hall. If I recall correctly, what he said then was that Zionists want three things - Greater Israel, Jewishness, and democracy - but they can have only two, and they need to make a decision. If they can't give up Greater Israel, then they can keep Hebron, but cease to be a Jewish-majority state. If their Jewish majority matters most, then evacuate the settlements. Because Zionism can't have all it wants, due to the fact that other people live there too.

      It seems to me he is reiterating the same points here, with practical ideas about what Palestinians can do to force the issue.

      What he's saying is common sense, and it certainly was groundbreaking in 2003 to hear such sentiments coming from the former speaker of the Knesset. But he's hardly coming out of the closet in making these points now, and I don't see him endorsing one state here. I see him repeating his call for Zionist Israelis to face reality and make up their minds.

      I don't think it does us any good to proclaim hyperbolic breakthroughs. We can have non-existent victory after non-existent victory, time after time, and the Palestinians will still be no better off.

  • Mondoweiss liveblogs the UN General Assembly speeches
    • If East Jerusalem is to be the capital, how do you explain the Palestine Papers revelations that showed "the PA’s willingness to concede areas of occupied East Jerusalem to the Israeli state,"

      Are you serious?

      The PLO seeks recognition of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders (including East Jerusalem) but will agree to minor land swaps, as long as the land Palestine receives in return from Israel is equal in size and quality to what it cedes.

      In the Old City, this means the PLO would be willing to cede the Jewish Quarter and probably the Armenian Quarter. In Greater Jerusalem, it would be willing to consider ceding the settlements ringing East Jerusalem, except those that make meaningful territorial contiguity impossible, specifically Ras al-Amoud and Jabal Abu Ghneim. In return for giving up land to Israel in Greater East Jerusalem, the PLO wants land of comparable value in Greater West Jerusalem. Specifically, the Palestinian villages depopulated by Israel in 1948, but never subsequently redeveloped, which would offer the opportunity of a literal right of return for thousands of refugees.

      As realists, we might both consider it unlikely that Israel will ever agree to such a deal, and as a one-stater you might not like it even if they did. But that doesn't mean you should pretend the logic behind it is fallacious or difficult to understand, when it isn't.

Showing comments 32 - 1