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Hostage

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  • Video: If you voted for Hamas, Israel has a right to kill you, says president of NY Board of Rabbis
    • When the rabbi says “we gave them freedom nine years ago” he would seem to be claiming “Jewish” as his primary NATIONALITY rather than American.

      Nope he's fantasizing about being Israeli. FYI, a poll carried out by the Israel Democracy Institute in cooperation with the Government Press Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs, the Ministry of Tourism and KKL-JNF revealed that sixty-percent of Israeli Jews believe that the Jewish people in Israel are a nation separate from the Jews abroad. When asked to choose what defines the primary connection between Jews in Israel and Jews in the Diaspora, only 13 percent said nationality. A plurality of respondents selected Jewish culture and tradition (40%). link to ynetnews.com

    • So what you are saying is that citizens do not bear responsibility for the actions of their elected governments ?

      The problem is that you want to have your cake and still eat it too. Israel claims it isn't occupying all of the Palestinian territories, since the 2005 disengagement from Gaza. In that case Article 2 of the 1907 Hague Convention permits the inhabitants, on the approach of the enemy, to spontaneously take up arms. In addition, if you are going to recognize them as civilian combatants, then the laws and customs of war require that they be treated as POWs whenever they are wounded or captured. Israel can't simply label them as illegal combatants and violate its obligations under the Geneva Conventions.

      In any event, the prohibition against collective punishment applies to "civilians" and "civilian combatants" alike. Article 33 of the 4th Geneva Convention prohibits collective punishments and reprisals: No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.
      Pillage is prohibited.
      Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited. link to icrc.org

      That was hardly anything new. Collective punishments were already prohibited by Article 50 of the 1899 Hague Regulations; Article 50 of the 1907 Hague Regulations; and Article 46, fourth paragraph, of the 1929 Geneva POW Convention. It was also prohibited by Article 26, sixth paragraph, of the Third 1949 Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War.

  • How many would be alive today if Obama had not quashed Goldstone Report?
    • Same could alsobe said about Abbas, if he went to the ICC, would he spare any lives?

      Once more: The authors of the Rome Statute provided two methods of "going to the ICC" or becoming a party to the statute. One method is to file an accession and the other is to file an ad hoc declaration. Abbas has "gone to the ICC" twice now using the latter method. On both occasions he filed a complaint before the UN HRC fact finding missions even got their bags packed. So the ICC isn't waiting on Abbas.

    • Goldstone was not alone in being attacked. ... Subsequent to the Report’s publishing, all of them were victims of character assassination.

      Yes, I'm aware of that, but so was the international legal community. Scholars like Bill Schabas were quick to point out that the WaPo Op-Ed didn't actually withdraw any of the published findings and no one paid any serious attention to ad hominem and other fallacious arguments from the regular Zionist commentators, like Dershowitz, Baker, Turkel, et al.

    • From what Hostage has written, I understand that there is little to no hope for justice for the Palestinians at the ICC.

      It nonetheless will work wonders, because the US and Israel will have to either expend political capital they don't possess or adjust their behavior to avoid the backlash and recriminations from the international community of states. The US has committed its own atrocities, but it's getting sick and tired of being isolated over the issue of Israel and its Zionist atrocities.

    • I know you are and I can’t really fault you for not getting into it, it would make you lose respect for the justice system because it is so politicized

      Oh no, I'm aware of the difference between what exists today and what should exist today. I've advocated grassroots political activism to correct for some of the ICC's shortcomings. With regard to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, I haven't kept up with all the plot twists over the years, but have read whatever the UN Journal cites on the subject and whatever Prof. Joshua Landis and his contributors report on his Syria Comment blog. link to joshualandis.com

    • That biased, unreasonable report showed Israel that the family of nations used double standards.

      The only double standard is that Israel and a few other client states escape the normal sanctions that apply to everyone else. See:
      * Larry Derfner, "The world's blatant double standard - in Israel's favor" link to 972mag.com and
      * Adam Keller: Is Israel singled out – and why? link to israeli-occupation.org

    • It beggars belief that when her leader, Abbas, has such a low opinion of the use of the courts, [he said recently.. “I don’t like to go to the courts. I don’t like courts. I want to solve my problems directly between the parties”]

      At this late stage, the resolution 242 criteria for the negotiation of a mutually agreed upon final settlement is black letter international law. So why should he like going to one of the international courts, when that's probably what one or both of them are going to tell him? The ICC has no jurisdiction over states at all, just individuals.

      Worse still, some of the member states and their Judges still consider the PLO or its allies in the unity government to be terrorist organizations. He essentially has to cross his fingers and grant them criminal jurisdiction over all of Palestine. The BDS movement came into existence because the favorable judgment in the ICJ advisory opinion had been largely ignored by the PTB. Immediately after the Wall decision, Roslyn Higgins was made President of the ICJ and she had basically told the Palestinians and Israelis to STFU, eliminate the illegal situations they had created, and solve their problems directly between themselves.

      The international courts can play a useful role, but they aren't going to be a panacea. There will have to be crowds protesting against inaction in the Hague, like the ones in Annie's articles protesting against the IDF campaign in Gaza, before anything will happen on that front.

    • Seems to me that Goldstone put himself in a position where he could never again be taken seriously and that he will never break the silence which maintains all the dignity that he has left.

      No, not at all. In fact, he was subsequently put in charge of vetting the nominees from the list of ICA candidates for selection as Judges of the ICC. See:
      * The Hague struggles to find judges link to ft.com
      * Independent Panel on ICC Judicial Elections: The Honorable Richard Goldstone, Letter to CICC Convener William Pace link to goo.gl

    • If you’re into international criminal court charades, look into the UN’s Special Tribunal for Lebanon for the Hariri assassination.

      I'm a veritable aficionado, and I'd still turn down the offer.

      wall-to-wall irregularities such as not being accountable to any outside body

      Minor correction: The special ad hoc criminal tribunals are subsidiary organs of the UN Security Council which commissioned and approved their statutes and budgets. See the Repertoire of the Security Council on that subject here: link to un.org

      There are so damned many of the things that they simply stopped updating the UN Organizational Chart, which only lists the ones for Yugoslavia and Rwanda: link to un.org

      On the other hand, the General Assembly created the ICC as an independent organization outside of the framework of the UN. There was little or no chance that its Statute could be adopted as an amendment to the UN Charter, like the Statute of the ICJ, due to the requirement for unanimous consent and opposition from "you know who". Likewise, any proposal to establish a permanent court as a subsidiary organ of the Security Council, with general jurisdiction over crimes committed by "you know who", faced a near certain veto from "you know who".

    • I really don’t understand . . . They should think of their people, and demand justice in the ICC.

      You really don't seem to understand. Everybody is demanding justice from the ICC. Palestinians have been doing that for years now. The government of Palestine filed their first complaint with the ICC in January of 2009. The French lawyer, who filed the latest complaint, only has the necessary legal standing to do that, because he is acting on behalf of his client, the government of the State of Palestine.

      FYI, States do not have to sign-up with the ICC in order to refer criminal situations to the Court on an ad hoc basis for investigation and prosecution. The only benefit they loose by taking that route is the ability to vote on things, like amendments to the Rome Statute, in the Court's legislative organ, "The Assembly of State Parties". But they also avoid paying dues for the honor of being ignored, like the illegal situations in members states such as Cyprus and Afghanistan. Even member states that file complaints, like Comoros regarding the IDF raid on the Aid Flotilla spend years waiting for a reply. See "International Criminal Court: 12 Years, $1 Billion, 2 Convictions" link to forbes.com

    • Didn’t Israel asked Goldstone play down several of the atrocities with the promise that they would go after the perps on their own? Gee, how did that play out?

      Not exactly. The ICC is a court of last resort that only exercises "complimentary jurisdiction". Even with a Security Council referral in hand, Article 17 of the Rome Statute still requires a determination by the Court that the State is either unwilling or unable to obtain the accused or the necessary evidence and testimony to carry out its own proceedings. For example the ICC Appeals Chamber recently ruled that "The Prosecutor v. Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi" is still inadmissible, as it was subject to on-going domestic proceedings conducted by the Libyan authorities and that Libya appears to be willing and able genuinely to carry out such investigation.

      So Goldstone and the UN HRC quite correctly requested that the Israelis and Palestinians should conduct their own independent investigations in the first place concerning the UN findings of fact and report back to a UN panel of independent experts who would make a recommendation about an ICC referral. FYI, the experts found that the investigations were inadequate and UN HRC resolution A/HRC/16/L.31 recommended the General Assembly should request the Security Council to refer the situation to the prosecutor of the ICC.

      Phil pointed out in the article, that the Obama administration announced its intentions to quash the report and keep it off the Security Council agenda. The Congress also adopted measures to cutoff UN funding if the report resulted in any sanctions against Israel.

      Nothing prevents the ICC Prosecutor from investigating any information available in the public domain, including UN fact finding reports and ICJ findings of fact, on the basis of Palestine's ad hoc declaration accepting the Court's exercise of jurisdiction and criminal complaints provided to the Court by the victims and the public in accordance with Article 15 of the Rome Statute.

  • Destruction of Gaza's children is something 'every one of us must confront' -- Jon Snow
    • Lets talk about this for a second

      Caption: A visting IDF Zodiac crew had requested a 7 o'clock wakeup call.

      On a more serious note, you're obviously trying to suggest that this is the norm, without actually defending the proposition for even one second. (Your honor, why would my client have thrown stones at the IDF, when he and all his friends use RPGs?)

    • Farm work is not inherently dangerous

      Says the guy who's never worked around a hay baler, seen a grain elevator/storage bin explosion, rolled a tractor, or read the actual data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Every year, hundreds of farm workers suffer amputations and bodily mutilation from being pulled into hay balers. Hundreds of other deaths and injuries result from rolling tractors or being being crushed by hay bales, which can weigh up to 2,000 lbs., the same as a small car. Dust from grain is many times more likely to explode than coal dust produced by miners. See "Hay Baler Accidents" and the info on other "Farming Equipment Accidents" and "Farming Injuries" @ link to farminjuryresource.com

    • @Hostage

      Hamas worked over 160 Gaza children to death building tunnels.

      link to palestine-studies.org

      Child labor in mines didn't come to an end in the Victorian era. See Lewis Wickes Hine Breaker Boys, January 1911 South Pittston, Pa. link to goo.gl

      You are citing an article that discusses Hamas reports about accidental deaths in tunnels used to break Israel's blockade. Hamas didn't actually report that anyone had been "worked to death". FYI, OSHA reports that about 300 children are killed yearly in farm accidents right here in the USA.

      In any event, we are talking about armed forces bombing and shooting children, not industrial accidents that could be prevented by ending the Gaza blockade.

      The responsible UN Treaty monitoring bodies and the ICRC have declared that situation to be an illegal form of collective punishment. It has resulted in malnutrition, stunted growth of children, permanent developmental disabilities, and shortened life expectancy. Those health problems affect up to 30 percent of the population in many communities in the Gaza Strip. That's tens of thousands, not 160.

    • There is nothing Israel does that is related to the Belgians in Congo or the British in India.

      If they are completely unrelated then why was there a need for the "Union of Zionist Revisionists" in the Belgian Congo? link to jabotinsky.org

      For that matter, Great Britain could always abstain from any vote in which it had a conflict of interest and still rely on its India Colony or one of its other commonwealth colonies, who were all League of Nations members, to prevent the League from adopting any sanctions against abusive Zionist and British colonial policies in Palestine. In addition, the greater part of the 100,000 man force that occupied Palestine up until the bitter end and helped put down the Arab Revolt were colonial forces brought in from India. "Related"? Hell, the examples you've cited directly aided and abetted the Zionist colonial program in Palestine.

      Lets use a word that is different from colonialism. It is charged and you know it.

      I know that the United Nations has applied The Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples to Palestine so many times that it's long-since become a matter of black letter international law. You need to grow-up and learn to deal with the facts and the law without resorting to dissimulation and empty semantical exercises.

    • Israel does not practice anything close to colonialism.

      Then why, pray tell, did Israel adopt public laws to retain the subsidiaries of the Jewish Colonial Trust Company as its parastatal organs and its first reserve bank?

      Why did the new State and its parastatal organs acquire the titles to the Jewish colonization association properties owned by the Rothschild and Hirsch organizations? After San Remo, Jabotinsky's "Iron Wall" explicitly stated that colonization was exactly what the Zionists were doing in Palestine. All of you ignorant dilettantes still try to employ San Remo to excuse your colonization of the territory allocated to the Palestinians.

      Even Yehuda Blum recognized that the very thing the Zionists were doing could only be colonization if it resulted in expulsion of Palestinians from their land or places of residence. He chose to lie about that during his testimony to the US Senate:

      Even the official Red Cross interpretation of article 49 clearly states that the purpose of the provision here under discussion, that is article 49, was to insure that such phenomenon of so-called colonization should not occur.
      It is quite clear in my view that these circumstances have no bearing upon the establishment of Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria if only for the simple reason that the establishment of these settlements does not entail the expulsion of the local population from its land and from its places of residence.

      -- See Prof Yehuda Zvi Blum's testimony to the US Senate in The Colonization of the West Bank Territories by Israel link to loc.gov

      Israel has displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs from their lands and places of residence on both sides of the Green Line.

      Water? One item on the list to negotiate along with settlements, boarders, Jerusalem, refugees etc.

      I hate to burst your bubble, but the ICJ rejected the attempts to legalize the forced eviction of the refugees and the establishment of Jewish-only colonies in their place through military attack, occupation, and the Oslo Accords. The Court rejected Dr Alan Baker's shopworn hasbara and pointed out that the settlements were established in violation of international law, including Article 49(6) of the 4th Geneva Convention. Full stop.

    • It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn’t exist.” – Golda Meir, statement to The Sunday Times, 15 June, 1969.

      She was lying:

      “Zionists want to settle in our country and expel us from it”

      -- extract from a nationalist manifesto written by “a Palestinian”, dated 1914, entitled “General Summons to Palestinians – Beware Zionist Danger” cited in Neville J. Mandel, "The Arabs and Zionism Before World War I", University of California Press, 1976.

    • The real face of these children is Hamas…. which cynically sends them to their deaths as a weapon against Israel.

      Careful, your pathetic Zionist propaganda skills are showing. These innocent kids are being killed and wounded in their own homes and neighborhoods inside a fenced-in Gaza enclave. They aren't being "sent" anywhere, by Hamas or anyone else.

  • Joan Rivers slams CNN and BBC coverage of Gaza -- 'you're all insane'
    • Rivers: If New Jersey were firing rockets into New York, we would wipe them out.

      If New York had occupied New Jersey for 60 years, much less tried to "wipe them out", "they'd" be firing bigger things than a few Qassams in Joan Rivers direction.

  • PLO official Hanan Ashrawi: Israel's assault on Gaza is 'state terrorism' and should be referred to the International Criminal Court
    • where from ICC’s budget? and most importantly, who exactly is running the show at the UN, anyways?

      FYI, I have exchanged some emails with Annie over the absurdity of the UN General Assembly vote that dismissed objections from the Arab States and appointed Israel as the Vice Chair of all the main body's standing committees, including the ones on Decolonization and Palestinian Refugees. link to un.org

    • Simple question: If Hamas stopped firing rockets, would that not obviate the need for Israel to retaliate in an effort to stop the rockets, with the unfortunate collateral damage? Any honest person would have to answer “yes” to this question.

      True enough, but the international community of states have convened a permanent Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly to deal with Israel's on-going acts of aggression that it has formally labeled, as such. There have been numerous resolutions, which condemn Israel's illegal annexations and continuing occupation of the Arab territories captured in 1967 in violation of the UN Charter and the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. Any honest person would also have to admit that ending the rocket fire from Gaza wouldn't bring an end to the illegal situation created by Israel.

      Israel began building a fence around Gaza in the 1990s and has pursued a policy of creating a separate, isolated enemy state there, e.g. link to 972mag.com

      Simple question: Weren't the Jewish resistance fighters who used grenades and Molotov cocktails during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising considered unlawful combatants by the occupying power? You are overlooking the fact that the responsible UN treaty monitoring bodies and the ICRC have determined that Israel's blockade/closure of the Gaza Strip, combined with these periodic IDF raids that destroy thousands of homes, civilian infrastructure, and sources of sustenance is a prohibited form of collective punishment that any competent court would reasonably conclude amounts to the aggravated crime of persecution. FYI, the Allied powers used mortars and multiple tube rocket launchers as mobile artillery against the enemy's built-up areas and cities in WWII and the responsible political and military leaders didn't considered it to be a war crime.

    • I wonder what pretext the prosecutor would use to avoid exercizing his discretion under the Rome Statute if the PA joined the ICC.

      So far, the ICC and the Security Council have successfully employed the bogus "gravity" argument. It's a grave situation and a threat to international peace and security when 7 UN peace keepers are killed, but not when a few thousand civilians are massacred by a rogue state.

    • Israels stance on the icc is for every charge initiated at the icc Israel will answer respectively with charges of its own.

      It's irrelevant, since the ICC doesn't do counter-claim lawsuits. In international criminal law, two wrongs only makes two wrongs, never a right. FYI: the overwhelming majority of countries have accepted the principle that “Reprisals” are now prohibited by the customary law reflected in the 1st Additional Protocol and that tu quoque arguments that “the other guy started it” are no longer a valid criminal defense. See:
      *The prohibition of reprisals in Protocol I:Greater protection for war victims
      link to icrc.org
      *Sienho Yee, The Tu Quoque Argument as a Defence to International Crimes, Prosecution or Punishment, 3 Chinese JIL (2004), 87 link to ssrn.com

      China who doesn;t want the door opened for Tibetans and usually-what China doesn’t want- nobody does.

      China cast a negative vote at the end of the Rome Conference, but there were 120 states that voted the other way. Only six joined China. There are 122 state parties today and Chinese officials have stated that the possibility of Chinese accession is by no means a pipe dream.. China has been active as an ICC observer state ever since 2002. It agreed to a referral of the situation in Darfur to the ICC in 2005 and voted in favor of a referral of the situation in Libya in 2011. Unlike the USA, it did not oppose the adoption of the definition of the crime of aggression during the Kampala review conference. So concern over the issue of Tibet doesn't allow anyone to predict the positions it has taken.

    • eople forget: or don’t realize that the Oslo Accords never gave the Palestinian Authority let alone Hamas any legal authority whatsoever. Thus all cases where citizens of the Jewish State (settlers, military personnel, bureaucrats ) are accused of crimes or misdemeanors, and objection to policies, (decrees, judicial rulings, resurrected Ottoman Law or racially biased adjudications) all cases are tried in the Israeli judicial system.

      No, Palestinian statehood is not mentioned in the Oslo Accords. It’s outside their scope of applicability, since it was not listed as an agreed-upon interim or final status issue. The Accords themselves contained an explicit stipulation that they were without prejudice to the existing rights, claims or positions of the parties. The PLO only agreed to the exercise of jurisdiction by Israel on a temporary five year conditional basis: “To this end, the Israeli military government shall retain the necessary legislative, judicial and executive powers and responsibilities, in accordance with international law.

      The brief legal analysis performed by the ICJ indicated that Israel was in material breach of its obligations under international law. It was also in breach of the applicable Chapter 7 UN Security Council resolutions that established the armistice lines, pending a final negotiated settlement.

      The Oslo Accords explicitly stated that the Palestinian Council would have "territorial jurisdiction". Subject matter jurisdiction is not relevant under the terms of Article 12 of the Rome Statute, since the state with territorial jurisdiction is actually accepting the exercise of the Court's own subject matter jurisdiction over the crimes committed on it's territory. FYI, the now-lapsed bilateral agreement with Israel doesn't govern the ICC or require Palestine to accept Israel's interpretation in the event of a dispute.

    • Just, the list is long but simply start with the police force that’s there to look out for Israel first.

      The same General Assembly that adopted resolutions affirming the right of national liberation movements to engage in lawful armed resistance against valid occupation government and military objectives got fed-up with suicide bombing of buses and pizza parlors and Israel's reprisals, including the Wall. The 10th Emergency Special Session convened under the auspices of the Uniting for Peace resolution ordered the Palestinian Authority “to undertake visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks” [in line with the obligations spelled-out in the Quartet Road Map that was endorsed by the Security Council in resolution 1515]. link to unispal.un.org

      There has been a formal request after the statehood bid for the Security Council and the General Assembly to eliminate the requirement for Palestine to coordinate or cooperate with Israeli security forces.

    • Justpassingby, Hostage definitely knows his history and nobody can best him on it here; but he’s got a soft spot for Abbas and feels that the man should be given a break because things keep happening to him.

      No, I don't have a soft spot for Abbas. He was elected President of the interim PNA by a 60 percent majority and Chairman of the PLO Executive (aka the provisional government of the State of Palestine) in 2009 by a majority of the delegates that were present and voting at the regional conference. People criticize him "for not going to the ICC", but he has actually done everything that the statute requires for the Prosecutor to take action. One of the shortcomings of the Rome Statute is that the Judges can only request that the Prosecutor reconsider investigations and prosecutions, but can't overturn a decision by the OTP to close a preliminary examination without taking action. See for example the discussion about "The Proposed Independent Oversight Mechanism for the International Criminal Court" at the ICC Prosecutor's Forum link to iccforum.com

      The Prosecutor has almost boundless discretion to decide to do nothing.

    • Ridiculing the article by referring to its “stovepiping” facts does not negate the 2000 Egyptian automatic rifles and ammunition that the US had stockpiled under the trusteeship of Dahlan for a planned overthrow of Hamas that nipped it in the bud when they received advance notice of it in a leaked article in the “al-Majd ” Jordanian newspaper.

      FYI, the USA and Israel got the Quartet to adopt some articles in the Road Map about establishing an "empowered Prime Minister", when Sharon and Bush got fed-up with President Arafat. They even got some of their subsidized NGOs to parrot their "civil society" demands for reform of the security forces and recommendations regarding transfer of operational control away from President Arafat. Nonetheless, there was nothing in the 2003 Basic Law that gave any official standing to the Hamas militias in Gaza as a result of the elections or gave the new Hamas Prime Minister day to day control of the Security Forces. In other words, the President, and his armed forces under Dahlan, remained the competent legal police and security authorities in Gaza. Once again, Olmert and Bush had both made statements in the press about large arms shipments and the training of security forces under Dahlan and Dayton in the run-up to the so-called preemptive coup launched by Hamas and it was obvious that they both wanted a civil war. It was not obvious that Abbas wanted a coup, and the Vanity Fair article makes it clear he ignored repeated demands from Secretary Rice that he and the PLO Executive should dissolve the cabinet.

    • YOu are spot on Hostage on being an apologist for Abbas, some months back he was proven wrong on ICC.
      link to mondoweiss.net
      He might be good at copy and paste but I dont think he know what he copy and paste.

      You obviously can't read and comprehend the third-party verifiable legal information I supply from reliable published sources. Erekat isn't one of those, since he has no legal training and doesn't advise the President or Justice Minister in his official capacity.

      Erekat subsequently claimed his comments reported in the MW article were edited and taken out of context:

      RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — An audio recording has surfaced in which Mahmoud Abbas' top aide is heard saying the Palestinian leader isn't tough in dealing with Israel and has let himself be humiliated.

      Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Thursday the recording was spliced together from different comments, with words taken out of context, and that he is the target of a smear campaign.

      "My words are taken from 16 to 17 speeches, cut and paste, adding and omitting, a montage," he said, adding that he has asked Palestinian intelligence to analyze the recording.

      Aide criticizes Palestinian leader in recording, By Associated Press link to dailymail.co.uk

      I could care less if you offer legitimate criticism of Abbas. I've commented elsewhere that he should be held accountable for his human rights abuses by the UN treaty bodies, now that Palestine is a state party to all the major IHL and IHRL conventions.

      But people here keep blaming Abbas for not opting to join an organization that has spent one billion dollars of its members dues to convict two Africans in 12 years, while ignoring crimes committed in member states, like Cyprus and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Palestine can remain a non-member and accept the Court's jurisdiction for free under the explicit terms of the Rome Statute - and Abbas has reportedly instructed the Justice Ministers to do that twice now.

      Hell, even the UN Security Council resolutions that refer situations to the ICC stipulate that there will be no UN funding. The association agreement between the two organizations doesn't require any reimbursement in such cases, e.g.

      The French-proposed resolution contained some flaws. As a concession to the United States, diplomats have reported, the text included a provision that would exempt the nationals of non-ICC states parties from the court’s jurisdiction should they participate in operations in Syria mandated by the UN Security Council. The draft resolution also imposed the entire financial burden of a Syria investigation on ICC states parties, barring any UN funding for prosecutions that result from a Security Council referral, and did not make cooperation for non-ICC member countries mandatory.

      link to hrw.org

      So why should Palestine join and pay tribute to the ICC? It can't even get the necessary funds transferred to pay its own Gaza prosecutor, who filed the complaint with the ICC yesterday.

    • Have I got this right?

      Almost. No such determination is required in the case of 1) UN member states; 2) members of the UN specialized agencies; 3) parties to the ICJ Statute; or 4) members of the IAEA. The UN and the parties to the VCLT have agreed to apply the "Vienna formula" to those pre-qualified entities in accordance with articles 81 and 83 of the UN Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) and paragraphs 79-81 of the "Summary Of Practice Of The Secretary-General As Depositary Of Multilateral Treaties, ST/LEG/7/Rev.l, 1998." See:
      * UN Convention on the Law of Treaties
      link to treaties.un.org
      * Summary Of Practice Of The Secretary-General
      link to treaties.un.org

      FYI, Article 5 of the VCLT explains that its rules govern any treaty, like the Rome Statute or UN Charter, which is the constituent instrument of an international organization. So Palestine has been a state for those purposes, since it was admitted as a full member of UNESCO in November of 2011. The Prosecutors have been acting ultra vires, based upon erroneous determinations they subsequently made about the legal significance of Palestine's UN observer status (which isn't governed by law).

      Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute stipulates that it applies to cases where a non-member state must accept the court's jurisdiction in accordance with Article 12(2). FYI a member state can't make one. This is the only method by which an entity can confer jurisdiction retroactive to the date the Rome Statute entered into force and it has to be validly made prior to accession as a contracting state party. Otherwise, the Court's jurisdiction is only effective "as of" the date of the entity's accession. By arguing over the validity of the 2009 declaration, the Prosecutor is trying to give Israel amnesty for the crimes it committed since July of 2002 and prior to the 2012 UN resolution.

    • It’s not often that I feel sure I speak for hundreds, but I do now. Great to hear from you again, Hostage!

      Well thanks, I've been staying busy, e.g. See the article and my comments "Can Israel Cut Off Water and Power to Gaza?" link to opiniojuris.org

    • Or she could send it to the Secretary General at the United Nations, who I believe is the depository for the ICC. If he has a doubt it is practice for him to let the General Assembly make that decision, because of the huge vote in favor of Palestinian membership of UNESCO any vote at the UNGA would be a slam dunk.

      This is exactly wrong. Anyone can read all of the relevant published criteria contained in paragraph 79- 81 of the Summary Of Practice Of The Secretary-General As Depositary Of Multilateral Treaties, ST/LEG/7/Rev.l, 1998, prepared By The Treaty Section Of The Office Of Legal Affairs. link to treaties.un.org

      The former Prosecutor admitted that his office had no statutory authority to make any determinations regarding Palestine's statehood. His office certainly had no legal standing to interpret the practice of the General Assembly for the Secretary General. He (incorrectly) stated that it was up to the Secretary General to decide, based upon the Practice of the General Assembly. He then proceeded to make an ultra vires determination anyway, based upon his personal views about the significance of the legally irrelevant UN observer status of Palestine, without bothering to actually consult either the Secretary General or the General Assembly.

      In fact, the "Vienna formula" contained in the UN Convention on the Law of Treaties governs the actions of the Secretary General and the General Assembly. Article 5 says that it applies to any international agreement, like the Rome Statute, that serves as the constituent document of an international organization. Article 6 provides that “Every State possesses capacity to conclude treaties.” and articles 81 and 83 stipulate that members of UN specialized agencies, like Palestine, are perfect examples of a “category of States” recognized, as such, by all of the contracting state parties and the UN organization. They have an open invitation to file accessions and become State Parties to multilateral conventions, without the need for the Secretary General to consult the practice of the General Assembly. Those articles created a treaty obligation for the Secretary General, the General Assembly, and the ICC to treat Palestine as a state from the moment it was admitted as a full member of UNESCO in November of 2011. That situation rendered the subsequent erroneous opinions of the Prosecutors about the possible relevance of Palestine’s observer status completely immaterial.

    • Harry, all Abbas’ apologist would answer to your question is to call you names . . . It’s so simple and obvious, as Hostage explained it over and over and over; why can’t you get it, or are you deliberately playing at not understanding, as he would ask?

      Article 12(3) ad hoc declarations supplied by non-member states in order to accept the Court's jurisdiction are black letter law contained in the Rome Statute itself. Luis Moreno Ocampo acknowledged that fact in his final update on the situation in Palestine. It really doesn't get any simpler than that. I have explained it here, over and over again, without calling anyone names.

    • Last week, on his first visit to Israel, Moreno-Ocampo was full of praise for the local legal system . . . I think the problem is with the court, not with the Palestinians…

      That went over like a lead balloon in the legal community:

      Luis Moreno-Ocampo: The Gift that Keeps on Giving
      Is it really possible that a senior official of the International Criminal Court would actually discourage States from ratifying the Rome Statute?
      Yet that seems to be the advice that Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who was Prosecutor of the Court from 2003 to 2012, is offering to both Israel and Palestine.
      ...
      I don't believe Moreno-Ocampo is alone in adopting this position. He may have picked it up from the US Department of State, whose views he has often echoed. But the United Kingdom and France, both of the States Parties to the Rome Statute, have also suggested that Palestine should not ratify the Rome Statute.
      This sheds additional light on the Court's African focus, something that is very much the legacy of Luis Moreno-Ocampo. If he thinks Palestine and Israel should look for a 'creative' solution to their differences and that they should avoid the Court, his message seems to be that the institution is good for Africans but not for others.
      It would be helpful to the Court if Moreno-Ocampo would keep his mouth shut.

      link to humanrightsdoctorate.blogspot.com

      “The impression that international justice is a tool of powerful States directed against smaller, weaker, poorer, and more isolated countries and peoples is the greatest challenge to international criminal justice today. Some of these large, powerful nations are themselves guilty of terrible abuses that go unpunished. For example, the United States enthusiastically joins in efforts to prosecute Hissène Habré in Senegal under the Torture Convention, yet its administration has promised impunity to American leaders and military officials responsible for torture at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and elsewhere. Until international justice satisfactorily addresses this double standard, there will be little satisfaction in more trials of the likes of Taylor, Lubanga, and Mladić. For this reason, the most inspiring development of the past year was the decision of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to undertake a preliminary examination of the conduct of British forces in Iraq.”
      — William Schabas, Professor of International Law, University of Middlesex, and author of Unimaginable Atrocities: Justice, Politics, and Rights at the War Crimes Tribunals (2014)
      ...
      “In my view, it is time to begin to question whether the International Criminal Court will ever play a major role in the fight against impunity. This is not an issue of bad management, poor decision-making, or anything else epiphenomenal and potentially fixable. Instead, it’s a question of institutional design: it is simply unclear whether the Court, by aiming to keep watch over both the victors and the vanquished, will ever be able to muster the kind of international support – from states, and most importantly from the Security Council – that it needs to conduct credible investigations and prosecutions. There is reason for scepticism, given the Court’s inability to prosecute both rebels and government officials in even one conflict. Indeed, it’s difficult to avoid wondering: for all its flaws, is victor’s justice the only international criminal justice possible? Is selectivity an inherent part of an international criminal tribunal that works?”
      — Kevin Jon Heller, Professor of Criminal Law, SOAS, University of London, and author of The Hidden Histories of War Crimes Trials (2013)
      link to blog.oup.com

    • Very interesting and spooky Abierno; story picks up where the Vanity Fair one ended.

      The Vanity Fair article did a really piss-poor job of explaining that Abbas spent about a year and half in negotiations with Haniyeh to form a governing coalition, while undergoing a complete cutoff of funding and repeated demands from the US and Israel that he overturn the results of the election. It's pretty obvious that he wasn't behind any plans for a coup.

      The Gaza bombshell article also failed to pass the giggle test, by simply passing along the stovepiped accounts of behind the scenes events supplied by Elliot Abrams, John Bolton, and David Wurmser without any disclaimers. Even then, the Fatah militia members that were interviewed noted that Dahlan was acting independent of other Fatah party factions and that Bush and Rice must have wanted Hamas to takeover Gaza. Wikileaks confirmed that Israel wanted that to happen so it could treat Gaza as an enemy state.

      The US and Israel had both planted stories in the press for months explaining that they were building up the Palestinian forces and arming them. So it's much more likely that the US and Israel simply used Dahlan as bait to start a shooting war that wasn't supported by either Abbas or the PLO.

      The documents that the author was promised by Hamas were never produced. The ones from Abbas that got quoted contained nothing that didn't subsequently appear in the "Ending the Occupation and Establishing the State" program. It had nothing to do with any plan for a coup.

    • What if the Palestinians did join the ICC? Could the ICC still refuse to take up the matter, based on some pretext, like the ex-prosecutor claimed?

      After 12 years, a billion dollars, and two convictions the answer is obviously a resounding yes. The pattern of Prosecutorial misconduct and error was so flagrant in the very first case, that the Judges in the Trial Chamber halted the proceedings and ordered the defendant released. The Appeals Chamber intervened and kept the case alive, but only after the most serious charges were dismissed with prejudice. See the articles in the "Policing International Prosecutors" series link to opiniojuris.org and "The OTP’s Remarkable Slow-Walking of the Afghanistan Examination" link to opiniojuris.org

    • Hostage denied palestinians needed to go to the ICC, he dont know anything about this.

      I said it isn't necessary for Palestine to become a member state of the ICC in accordance with Article 12(1) of the Rome Statute. It's safe to say I've forgotten more about this than you'll ever bother to learn. Please stop shooting off your big mouth until you do read Article 12(2) and 12(3) of the Rome Statute regarding ad hoc declarations made by non-member states to accept the Court's jurisdiction. There isn't the slightest doubt about that:

      Article 12 establishes that a “State” can confer jurisdiction to the Court by becoming a Party to the Rome Statute (article 12(1)) or by making an ad hoc declaration accepting the Court’s jurisdiction (article 12(3)).

      para 4, Letter, The Office of the Prosecutor: "Situation in Palestine", 3 April 2012. link to icc-cpi.int

    • BS! Abbas didnt go to ICC but apparently Fatah support a european lawyer doing it?!’
      Kick, this, man, out!

      What's your point? Gilles Devers is a highly qualified expert who has taught international law at the University of Lyon. He is a member of the International Solidarity Movement and the head of the legal team that filed the first criminal complaint with the ICC for the Palestinian government on 22 January 2009. link to fr.wikipedia.org

      See also "Is there a Court for Gaza?" - Gilles Devers link to archive.org and the Journal of International, Foreign and Comparative Law symposium link to springer.com

      FYI, the government of Comoros filed its criminal complaint over the IDF Flotilla Raid on the Mavi Marmara and the Cambodian and Greek vessels with the Office of the Prosecutor through an international lawyer in Turkey. It might interest you to know that Palestine hired an Australian, Professor James Crawford, the Whewell Professor of International Law, University of Cambridge to present oral arguments on its behalf in the 2004 Wall Case and subsequently used a multinational fact finding team headed-up by South African Professor John Dugard to report on crimes committed during Cast Lead in 2009.

    • I am really confused about this, the story here is Abbas has not acceded to the ICC because of the Israeli threats. The ICC have asked Abbas to sign up for membership of the ICC [and gain standing] which he is refusing to do.

      None of the sources Alex cited actually say that. The Rome Statute hasn't been amended. Article 12(3) grants non-member states the legal right to accept the jurisdiction of the Court through an ad hoc declaration and the Prosecutor is bound by the terms of the Rome Statute (I kid you not):

      Article 12
      Preconditions to the exercise of jurisdiction

      1. A State which becomes a Party to this Statute thereby accepts the jurisdiction of the Court with respect to the crimes referred to in article 5.

      2. In the case of article 13, paragraph (a) or (c), the Court may exercise its jurisdiction if one or more of the following States are Parties to this Statute or have accepted the jurisdiction of the Court in accordance with paragraph 3:

      (a) The State on the territory of which the conduct in question occurred or, if the crime was committed on board a vessel or aircraft, the State of registration of that vessel or aircraft;

      (b) The State of which the person accused of the crime is a national.

      3. If the acceptance of a State which is not a Party to this Statute is required under paragraph 2, that State may, by declaration lodged with the Registrar, accept the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court with respect to the crime in question. The accepting State shall cooperate with the Court without any delay or exception in accordance with Part 9.

      -- link to goo.gl

      The former Prosecutor explained that situation in his last update report to the United Nations:

      4. The jurisdiction of the Court is not based on the principle of universal jurisdiction: it requires that the United Nations Security Council (article 13(b)) or a “State” (article 12) provide jurisdiction. Article 12 establishes that a “State” can confer jurisdiction to the Court by becoming a Party to the Rome Statute (article 12(1)) or by making an ad hoc declaration accepting the Court’s jurisdiction (article 12(3)).

      -- link to icc-cpi.int

      The new Prosecutor cited her predecessor's report, but failed to take the portion regarding ad hoc declarations by non-member states into account when she subsequently stated:

      236. In its decision, the OTP stated that “it is for the relevant bodies at the United Nations or the Assembly of States Parties to make the legal determination whether Palestine qualifies as a State for the purpose of acceding to the Rome Statute and thereby enabling the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court under article 12(1).” The Office added that “the current status granted to Palestine by the United Nations General Assembly is that of ‘observer,’ not as a ‘Nonmember State.’ The Prosecutor has therefore determined that there was no basis on which to pursue the preliminary examination further.” The OTP concluded by stating that “the Office could in the future consider allegations of crimes committed in Palestine, should competent organs of the United Nations or eventually the Assembly of States Parties resolve the legal issue relevant to an assessment of article 12.”19 The Office’s determination, thus, was that the 2009 declaration was not validly lodged.

      link to icc-cpi.int

      That comment isn't particularly relevant, since the former Prosecutor admitted he was not empowered to make a determination and his statements and rationale regarding the Secretary General's Practice as Depositary and Palestine's observer status were erroneous, immaterial, and contradicted by the rules contained in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (aka the Vienna formula) and the published criteria contained in paragraph 81 of the Summary Of Practice Of The Secretary-General As Depositary Of Multilateral Treaties, ST/LEG/7/Rev.l, 1998, prepared By The Treaty Section Of The Office Of Legal Affairs. link to treaties.un.org

      Palestine was admitted as a full member state of UNESCO, a UN specialized agency, months before the Prosecutor erroneously decided it wasn't a state (without bothering to actually consult the Secretary General or the General Assembly on the question).

    • Lets see how serious this is before we cheer, ICC havent got any accusation yet from palestinians.

      You've made that claim here on several occasions and have never provided a reliable published source to back it up. I've provided you with third-party verifiable published sources which reported that the Palestinians had filed a criminal complaint in 2009. The ICC Prosecutor himself reported to the UN that the League of Arab States, including Palestine, had turned-over an international fact finding mission report on Operation Cast Lead that same year.

      Alex cited an Associated Press report above which says the Palestinians filed a complaint alleging war crimes, the crime of apartheid, and the crime of colonization (facilitating population transfers):

      Top Palestinian officials have accused Israel of war crimes in Gaza, filing a complaint Friday to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

      Palestinian Justice Minister Saleem Al-Saqqa and Ismail Jabr, the Gaza court public prosecutor, started legal proceedings via a Paris-based lawyer over the 18 days of fighting between Hamas fighters and Israeli ground forces that's left 800 Palestinians dead — including hundreds of civilians. Thirty seven Israelis have been killed, 35 of them soldiers.

      The officials accuse Israel of war crimes, which, they say, under the ICC statutes includes "crime of apartheid," ''attacks against civilians," ''excessive loss of human life" and "crime of colonization."

      If the legal complaint is accepted it could give the Palestinians the first realistic chance of bringing a war crimes case against Israel.

      -- Gaza officials accuse Israel of war crimes at ICC, Thomas Adamson Associated Press link to montereyherald.com

      Just to repeat, let’s review when exactly the Prosecutor claimed that he had received the first criminal complaint from the government of Palestine for his review:

      In an interview that was published on Sunday, Moreno-Ocampo said he was examining complaints filed by Palestinian Justice Minister Ali Kashan in January, which stated that Israel used incendiary white phosphorus shells in crowded civilian areas in Gaza, in violation of international law.
      The ICC prosecutor said Amnesty International and the Arab League had also presented his office with documentation related to Israel’s alleged illegal activities in the Hamas-ruled territory.
      Moreno-Ocampo initially dismissed the Palestinians’ appeals to the ICC, saying he could not build a case against Israel as it was not a signatory to the Rome Statute. However, he said he was re-examining the possibility of launching an investigation into Israel after the Palestinian Authority submitted documents recognizing the ICC’s authority.
      In accordance with the Rome Statute, which created the ICC, only a state can accept the court’s jurisdiction and allow such an investigation to be launched.
      Last month, Kashan and Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki announced that they had submitted documents to Moreno-Ocampo that proved Palestine was a legal state with the right to request such a probe.
      “Today we came to deliver a set of documents that shows that Palestine as a state … has the ability to present a case to the court and to ask for an investigation into crimes committed by the Israeli army,” Kashan said then. “We will deliver more information about war crimes and crimes against humanity — not only in Gaza during the last Israeli attack, but also from 2002 until this moment.”
      Kashan said the documents included evidence of war crimes.
      Malki said they had provided proof that Palestine was recognized as a state by 67 countries and had bilateral agreements with states in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

      — See Today’s Zaman, “ICC prosecutor considers ‘Gaza war crimes’ probe” , 10 March 2009 link to goo.gl

  • Nobel peace laureates and celebrities call for military embargo on Israel
    • I respect you all, but would you please give the book-length Chomsky discussions a rest. . . . but he’s just not THAT relevant to current events, and we lost Hostage in a big IAMRITE! fight over Chomsky minutiae.

      Please?

      I've dropped in to explain why I'm giving MW a rest. I've never liked to see all these articles about Blankfort, Chomsky, Finklestein, Corsanti, Slater, Atzmon, Berlin, et al. I've even suggested articles on other news and issues that I thought might be of more interest. These mini-seminars on political correctness and ankle biting tend to drown-out that other stuff and never resolve anything. The recent policy of quickly closing comments on articles has made it almost impossible to carry-on a thoughtful or intelligent conversation down here in the peanut gallery in any event.

    • It’s not a misrepresentation. In the interview I linked, he tells Frank Barat that the Harvard BDS petition was called “pure antisemitism. Unfortunately that was with justice”. (4:37 youtube.com/watch?v=H5hY-gffV0M )

      Of course it was, and it still is a deliberate misrepresentation on your part. I already brought that fact to your attention. link to mondoweiss.net

      Unlike you, many of us have to honestly engage real Zionist activists and family members, who are not complete idiots. They are only too happy to point out that terror organizations, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, are fully represented in the organizations that style themselves as the BDS National Committee. They invariably sidetrack debates about BDS into ad hominem arguments about the anti-semites and terror organizations that they claim are officially represented in the Palestinian BDS National Committee - who have called for the destruction of Israel by violent means. That was the subject that Chomsky was actually talking about and the one you studiously ignored. The fact that you are still repeating the baseless charges, simply illustrates your bad faith.

      FYI, for those of you, like Jones here, who still need a clue: a) The Palestinian BDS National Committee is portrayed as a wide coalition of the largest Palestinian organisations, trade unions, networks and NGOs, including the major Palestinian political parties and their paramilitary government council and resistance forces, e.g. the "Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine" - the very first organization listed in the endorsements to the 2005 BDS Call to Action. link to bdsmovement.net

      The Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine claimed they were coordinating their BDS activities with the Palestinian National Authority in a joint declaration made in 2001, which called on civil society organizations to establish and coordinate the BDS movement itself:

      Following is the statement issued by the National and Islamic Forces on February 10, 2001; signatories are: Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fateh); Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP); Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas); Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP); Palestinian People’s Party (PPP); Palestinian Democratic Union (FIDA); Palestinian Popular Struggle Front; Palestinian Liberation Front; Islamic Jihad Movement; Arab Liberation Front; Palestinian Arab Front; Popular Front—General Command; Islamic National Salvation Party; and Popular Liberation War Pioneers (Sa’iqa):
      ...
      The National and Islamic Forces are looking forward to see the reinforcement of the roles of all forces in the Palestinian people in comprehensive confrontation; the forces call on the popular institutions and organizations to activate the activities of the committees of right of return and boycotting Israeli products and against normalization. The forces stress on the need to organize popular conferences in which the national and Islamic forces will join the civil society institutions in activating their role in the Intifada. Coordination of these activities between these forces and the PNA institutions reflects the integration and interaction of the struggle climate that reinforces the escalation, development and sustainability of the blessed Intifada.

      link to goo.gl

      The fact that Fateh, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, et al were listed among the main instigators of the 2005 call for action; were represented as members of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (via the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine); and were designated as terror organizations in many countries, may have escaped Frank Barat's notice, but it did not go unnoticed by Israeli officials or the Lobby. The Zionists invariably note that those organizations engaged in incitement, anti-semitic propaganda, and holocaust denial programs sponsored by the PNA, e.g. See:
      *The ADL's entry on the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces
      link to archive.adl.org
      *The WINEP page on official Hamas positions on the myth of the Holocaust and examples of Palestinian anti-semitism link to washingtoninstitute.org
      * The protocols to the Middle East Quartet's Performance based Road Map that required "All official Palestinian institutions to end incitement against Israel." link to un.org

      The Mondoweiss peanut gallery can dodge those issues, but Chomsky doesn't have that luxury. He has to respond to folks, like Deshowitz at Harvard/MIT, and pundits like Israeli Ambassadors Dore Gold, Michael Oren, and Dr. Alan Baker. Mr. Jones still hasn't acknowledged or responded to the latter's comments about the hypocrisy of calling those organizations forces "non-violent Palestinian civil society organizations". They were literally at the top of the list of Unions, Associations, and Campaigns that endorsed the 2005 BDS Call to Action:

      The list of endorsing organizations includes illegal associations, terror organizations, and their affiliates, such as the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine, which is a coordination forum for all Palestinian terror organizations in their ongoing fight against Israel. This forum includes Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestinian Liberation Front (acknowledged as a terrorist organization by the U.S., EU, and Canada) and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (acknowledged as a terrorist organization by the U.S., EU, UK, Japan, Australia, and Canada).

      link to ambassadoralanbaker.com

      I pointed out in a private email to Phil, that:

      I disagree with Chomsky and Finkelstein on the subject of the applicability and pertinence of international law to the subject of the right of return and minority rights in Israel. But, that is a subject that requires nuanced discussion and education. I decided that, after more than 10,000+ comments on that and related subjects, I really have nothing left to say at MW that is likely to change anyone's attitude on the subject.
      ...
      Chomsky and Finkelstein have attracted a lot of undue attention and criticism for saying exactly the same things about "the right of return, in principle" versus “what is attainable” that Rashid Khalidi and other Palestinians were saying almost 20 years ago in essays like “Truth, Justice and Reconciliation: Elements of a Solution to the Palestinian Refugee Issue” (in the Ghada Karmi & Eugene Cotran eds. The Palestinian Exodus – 1948-1988, Ithaca Press, 1999). Other than labelling things as "hypocrisy" and "fringe thinking," I can't imagine anything that Chomsky or Finkelstein have said on the subjects of: 1) what is likely to come next; 2) the role of a 2SS as a possible incremental step on the road to a 1SS; 3) doubts about the immediate "effectiveness" of BDS as a form of non-violent resistance; 4) the need to educate the public about BDS; 5) the strengths and weaknesses of the Israel Lobby; and 6) the role of American imperialism and the responsibility of the United States government in facilitating, prolonging, and worsening the conflict that can't be found in "Palestinian" sources, like Khalidi's works or public statements, including: "Truth, Justice and Reconciliation: Elements of a Solution to the Palestinian Refugee Issue"; "Sowing Crisis: the Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East"; "Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America's Perilous Path in the Middle East"; his video welcoming address to the PennBDS seminar; and "Brokers of Deceit: How the US Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East". Electronic Intifada has taken Khalidi to task in the review of his latest book for the failure to mention the global BDS movement, but it would be mental masturbation to suggest that those works and statements reflect the author's liberal Zionist views or that Khalidi and other Palestinians who express them are "PEP".

      P.S. Like Chomsky, Khalidi downplays the role of the Israel lobby in American policy-making across the Middle East. link to mondoweiss.net

  • Chomsky supports portions of BDS agenda, but faults others, citing realism and int'l consensus
    • In spite of having provided Chomsky’s quote re S in BDS, you claimed he had not provided it. When he cited it again for the 6th time, you dismissed it and want to argue the merits of whether the S in BDS has meaning.

      Lol! Chomsky's quote? You mean in spite of have cobbled together two or three related ideas snatched from different parts of the article and trying to restate Chomsky's entire proposition. That's not providing a quote.

      Frankly this kind of article has convinced me to pull my subscription here and pick-up my remote.

    • That is true, but that’s not the point you have argued so strenuously. You’ve argued that they haven’t tried.

      The overwhelming majority of organizations that have signed-on to the 2005 call haven't tried anything.

    • That’s Chomsky resorting to the rationale that Israel is irrational and thus cannot be held singularly responsible for it’s actions. So he demands we bundle the US in with Israel accountability and widen the nett so much that it becomes diluted and meaningless.

      No describing a situation as "a joint criminal enterprise" (JCE) is so common that the international criminal tribunals have developed doctrines covering several modes of liability for war crimes and crimes against humanity. I've commented here on many occasions that the illegal settlements are a joint criminal enterprise involving both Israeli and US government officials.

    • W. Jones you are resorting to the same rhetorical device to put words in Chomsky's mouth that he never uttered.

      He was saying that sanctions harm everyone, and you can't impose sanctions on victims, when they aren't on board and already calling for them. He never said a word about obtaining the consent of the perpetrators of the crime of apartheid or persecution in either Israel or South Africa. He was drawing a comparison between the victims in both cases and saying that the majority in Africa supported them and were demanding them, while the majority in Israel were not as of 2004. He never changed the subject or mentioned "Israeli Jews" in the interview as you and others keep trying to suggest. While some subjects of international law require the consent of all the parties concerned, that doesn't apply to international criminal law where individual consent is irrelevant.

    • Just to clarify, the pro-human rights commentors here generally don’t reject the idea of asking politicians for sanctions, but Chomsky did in his interview with Safundi:

      Just to clarify, there is no doubt that Chomsky supported BDS to end the occupation in 2004.

      Palestinian citizens of Israel object to the idea of being included in a Palestinian state. In 2004, when Chomsky gave the interview they were not calling for a boycott of Israel proper, only BDS aimed at ending the occupation. Chomsky did not say that permission was needed from the Israeli perpetrators as you and other have falsely alleged. He said that BDS harms the victims along with everyone else in the targeted country and that it should not be imposed, unless the victims are on board and calling for it, like the earlier example in South Africa. He talked about the need to educate them on the subject. In any event, we've crossed that threshold a long time ago. There are Israeli groups, academics, and individuals who have called for BDS until Israel complies with international law regarding equal rights for Israelis.

    • just because Jeff Blankfort takes apart your view of the US-Israel relationship doesn’t make him intellectually dishonest.

      In the past, I've pointed-out that Blankfort's accusation that Chomsky is determined to keep Israel and Israeli Jews from being punished by sanctions is not consistent with Chomsky's published views on the subject. For example, the Chomsky Reader (1987) criticized the US government for blocking sanctions against Israel, despite the fact the Carter Administration had repeatedly declared the settlements to be illegal.

      I agree with much of what Blankfort has to say on a variety of subjects, but his article on Chomsky is tendentious ankle biting.

    • Even if they were being discussed, mere discussion is not Chomsky’s criterion. Chomsky’s criterion is whether they are “on the horizon”, AKA realistic. He wants BDS to call itself BD “since sanctions are not on the horizon”.

      You don't seem to be able to tell the difference between criticism of the movement and the desirability of sanctions, like those that were imposed on South Africa and ineffective tactics. Chomsky is not saying that sanctions should be abandoned, because they are ineffective, he is sarcastically suggesting that they should be pursued with much more vigor or the letter should be dropped from the name.

    • “It’s a hundred times worse any place else” is not a sacred cow.

      I notice that you continue to misquote what he actually said. Worse still, the only evidence you produce comes from a video interview of him speaking extemporaneously. He and Barat spend 40 minutes talking about the situation and Chomsky points out that there are two different languages and cultures and that the solution is going to be a bi-national state, unless you impose a solution and want to reproduce the bloody history of Europe.

      So lets cut through some of the obfuscation. What he actually said about "the three steps" was a reply made to Frank Barat. "Yes I mean all of these things are the right thing to do. It's a 100 times worse in the United States, or England, or in any other country you [i.e. Frank Barat] talk about."

      Frank Barat is a human rights activist that doesn't talk about "the Scandinavian countries" as you suggested. He talks about the wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, but mostly talks about Israel-Palestine and the Israeli occupations of parts of Lebanon, and Syria. Chomsky was commenting about Barat's "perspective", not the audience's perspective.

      I own a copy of the book Barat co-authored with Chomsky and Pappe and I'm familiar with his other English-language work. You obviously can't dismiss the hundreds of thousands of dead that the US and UK have inflicted in their decade long wars, or the numbers of dead in the wars in Lebanon and Syria. So you misquote Chomsky and employ a shift of the rhetorical device in question from "the perspective of the subjects that Barat talks about", to "any place else" at all. If you can find support for your thesis in Chomsky's published works, then it might be more convincing than misquoting what he said a dozen times.

    • No, you still haven’t quoted Chomsky ~Hostage Here you go:

      Once again you still haven't shown me what government sanctions the movement has called for with respect to Israel proper in recent years, that haven't been completely watered down. You haven't mentioned what effective actions the movement has taken that obtained government sanctions against Israel proper. What does putting an "S" in the acronym and arguing about it do for you, if its this devoid of meaning and content? I couldn't agree more with Chomsky's criticism, but he is not condemning the use of sanctions as you suggest. He's saying the Emperor has no clothes and the name should really be BD based upon its actions.

    • Chomsky is OK with boycotting settlements, but he is not OK with boycotting the Israeli State proper.

      Chomsky's books support an arms embargo, termination of foreign assistance to Israel, and termination of the special relationship. He says that BDS is the right thing to do. He simply adds that it invites the glass house argument and is the height of hypocrisy if you don't also call for BDS against others too. Whether you care to admit it or not, Israel relies on the special relationship and it won't abandon the status quo, so long as we are willingly covering its ass. The US has committed genocides in its own right, more than once, just ask a Native American or a Filipino. Its numerous wars in Asia, have resulted in millions of deaths and millions of refugees. It can't find the decency to release the innocent prisoners from Guantanamo that have long-since been cleared of any charges by our own Combatant Status Review Tribunal. We can't get our own Nobel peace prize winning President to stop using his fleet of CIA drones to murder civilians, including innocent bystanders in countries around the globe.

    • Then tell who is the *consensus* he speaks of?, and see if you can do it with being nasty.

      Surely, on an official level the majority of the world's population lives in countries that recognize the State of Palestine. The numerical majority of countries recognize Palestine. A simple majority of countries recognize both Israel and Palestine.

      Most international intergovernmental organizations have formally endorsed the two state solution. The relevant General Assembly resolutions 181(II), 194(III), 67/19 (2012) and Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1515 (2003), and 1860 (2009) have long since been incorporated in the framework of conventional international agreements like the Camp David and Oslo accords and the Quartet Road Map.
      In the West, a plethora NGOs, churches, and PACS with the largest number of members favor a 2ss.

      At the grassroots level, opinion polls show most people support a two state solution, whether they think it will ever happen or not. Many people who prefer a single state solution think a two state solution could be a precursor to a single state, e.g. link to haaretz.com

    • But it is not South African–style apartheid.~Chomsky))
      By the way, you can’t really go on what Chomsky is saying here about Apartheid. Has contradicted himself in his interview with Safundi and in his lecture at IAW at Harvard about whether there is Apartheid inside or outside the Green Line. In his interview with Safundi he said that there was Apartheid in the Green Line

      I don't have any trouble parsing that at all. Israeli Apartheid isn't like South African-style Apartheid and we'd all waste a lot less time by simply calling it "the crime of persecution" ala the Nuremberg Charter and the Goldstone report. I've said as much myself right here at MW.

    • This by far is Chomsky’s worst misunderstanding/malinterpreting. The way he speaks of Palestinians rights in Israel shows he has no clue as to what their status really is like.

      I seriously doubt that. Chomsky is citing the glass house reaction of others, not himself and saying that they need more education on the subject before the tactics will be effective. If you look at the public reactions to the ASA boycott, it's hard to take issue with him at this point in time.

      When people ask me questions about the state of the law, they often get angry at the answers I provide and jump to the conclusion that I approve of the work done by lawmaking bodies or the courts. That's the sort of thing that happens with Chomsky all of time.

    • I don’t think AIPAC played much of a role in [the first Gulf War]~Chomsky

      I don't think so either. There were already 500,000 US personnel alone in the Gulf before the Congress adopted the "Authorization of the Use of U.S. Armed Forces Pursuant to U.N. Security Council Resolution 678 with Respect to Iraq (P.L. 102-1, 105 Stat. 3, January 14, 1991 [H.J.Res. 77])", on January 14, 1991. They had been there for six months. link to lawfareblog.com

      The text of the statute noted that the previous, 101st Congress had adopted resolutions that condemned Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and declared their support for international action to reverse Iraq’s aggression" (H.J.Res. 658 and S.Con.Res. 147). Most experts agreed that the Commander-in-Chief already had the necessary authorizations on that basis and the strength of the UN resolutions and the new AUMF was just icing on the cake.

      There were about 900,000 personnel in all who thought it was pretty much an after thought. The UN Security Council and a coalition of 30 other countries had already authorized the use of force and had long since issued their ultimatums.

      Chomsky was talking about AIPAC, but your sources are talking about "The Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf". That Committee was non-existent and irrelevant when the first elements of the US Armed Forces deployed to the Gulf on 8 August 1990. AIPAC and the Congress were not even in the picture at that point.

    • Not in his major work on the subject, “Fateful Triangle”.

      That was about the United States, Israel, and Palestine. His article on the specific subject said it and it explained why the Lobby isn't omnipotent. See The Israel Lobby? link to chomsky.info

    • So Chomsky puts the kabbosh on the myth of the SA apartheid slander. Of course he says whats happening in the west bank is :”worse’ but not because of the human rights abuses by Israel.

      You wish, but it's only in your feeble imagination at play.

    • Chomsky’s criticism of calling the movement BD”S” was that sanctions are not on the horizon, not that activists lack effort in asking officials for sanctions.

      Chomsky didn't say that you did. Whatever tactics activists are using to pressure US officials to adopt sanctions, they have certainly been ineffective so far.

    • If all one needs to see is that another country has applied sanctions, then one can point out that Arab countries applied sanctions on the Israeli State in the 1940′s-1970′s too.

      Citizens and businesses in the US were never prohibited from supporting Indian and UN sanctions by anything like the US antiboycott laws under the Export Administration Act or the Ribicoff Amendment to the 1976 Tax Reform Act (TRA). I think Chomsky addressed that issue by pointing out that Congress blocked attempts by the Reagan administration to do the same sort of thing to the South African boycott in the 80s.

    • but did not actually have US agencies supplying arms to them?

      Of course the War Department was disposing of surplus military equipment at the end of World War II when the federal government was reducing a massive inventory of surplus military equipment by selling it to civilians. In those days serving in the armed forces of another country could result in loss of US citizenship, so the War Department's blessing was necessary for individuals like Col. Mickey Marcus to serve in the Israeli military. link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

      The US government looked the other way when Machal volunteers involved in war crimes or crimes against humanity returned to this country after the war of independence. link to mahal-idf-volunteers.org

    • You might try reading his Influences article again, because you are not actually doing a good job of describing or summarizing his views, which he explains are considered to be anti-Zionist nowadays. link to chomsky.info

      Take stock, Hostage, of the fact that intolerance has actually increased in Israeli attitudes since the state was founded.

      Because Deir Yassin, the forced evictions of Ramle and Lyyda, the punishment imposed on Kafr Qasim for violating the curfew, and the imposition of martial law and the Defense Emergency Regulations from 1949 to 1966 were so progressive and liberal by the standards of civilization that applied at the time?

    • Hostage, As for your claim ” you are not even trying to quote what he said in good faith”, just compare:
      Chomsky: ((the abbreviation should be “BD,” since sanctions, or state actions, are not on the horizon))

      The fact is that organizations, like JVP and the Campaign to End the Occupation, can raise money to send representatives to TIAA-CREF shareholder meetings; Methodist and Presbyterian conventions; Occupy AIPAC, & etc. Nobody is inviting us to testify before Congressional hearings on foreign assistance, the arms trade treaty, & etc. If you've seen the reception that Medea Benjamin has received on Capitol Hill, I'd go out on a limb and guess that an arms embargo against Israel isn't in the cards right at the moment. That doesn't mean that I oppose sanctions, as you suggest in the case of Chomsky, just that there is no realistic prospect or effective grassroots action to produce such an outcome.

    • First, I think that you just showed that he called the BDS petition anti-semitic.

      Second of all, the BDS demand for refugees’ return is not “anti-semitic”, because it is not about racism, but about refugees’ rights. And if borders are redrawn, it could occur without removing the Israeli State.

      No, you act as if you've never heard anyone comment about giving the western or European Jewish colonists their comeuppance once the Palestinians become the majority and the refugees return. Opponents, like Dr. Alan Baker, point to the Palestinian civil society organization at the top of the list of Unions, Associations, and Campaigns that endorsed the 2005 BDS Call to Action:

      The list of endorsing organizations includes illegal associations, terror organizations, and their affiliates, such as the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine, which is a coordination forum for all Palestinian terror organizations in their ongoing fight against Israel. This forum includes Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestinian Liberation Front (acknowledged as a terrorist organization by the U.S., EU, and Canada) and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (acknowledged as a terrorist organization by the U.S., EU, UK, Japan, Australia, and Canada).

      -- link to ambassadoralanbaker.com

      It may come as a great surprise to you, but some of those groups call for the destruction of Israel in words that can, and have been, labeled as anti-semitic, with some justification.

      So Chomsky listened patiently to the so-called BDS petition and pointed out that fact - and nonetheless stated "Yes, all of those are the right thing to do." He noted that it wasn't a very effective tactic to discuss the right of return in that context, because serious BDS discussions at Harvard and MIT had been sidetracked by some, not Chomsky, who claimed it was anti-semitic.

      Whether Hamas or Likud are racists is not my top concern. If your aim is to guarantee equal fundamental rights for everyone in a single state, then you need to understand they apply to the little rock throwing kids on either side of the conflict, whether they grow-up to be Likudniks or members of Hamas. Their "human rights are universal and inalienable; indivisible; interdependent and interrelated." Once you are born in a country, you become a legal fact on the ground. You have a right to be there, and to leave and return to your country of origin, even if your ancestors were colonists.

      Read in that light, comments about discarding the international consensus 2ss can, and have been, decried as anti-semtic because they supposedly deny Jews the right to self-determination and Israel's right to exist. Mankind will never get back all of the time wasted answering that canard in courtrooms, on campuses, or Internet forums. The only logical way to end the mental masturbation is to either impose GA 181 and 194 and SC 242, 338, 1515, and 1860 or demand that the UN repeal the 2ss.

    • The commenters here don’t reject lobbying the government for sanctions.

      Well I know that the members of JVP and the Campaign to End The Occupation have mission statements, petitions, and advertisements calling for an end to US foreign aid and arms sales to Israel. Some of the credit for that goes to Chomsky, who has been calling for that as both an activist and advisor longer than some of the commenters here, "who don't reject" the idea, have alive.

    • Hello, again, Hostage.
      Why are you so offended by criticisms of Chomsky’s attacks on BDS?

      Because you are such an arrogant and artless prevaricator. Chomsky has written entire volumes that amount to criminal indictments regarding the Israeli and US partnership in war crimes against Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria and has called for sanctions to address those crimes. He has endorsed calls for termination of foreign assistance to Israel and Egypt and an arms embargo in addition to writing entire volumes about that subject too. See "Fateful Triangle" or "Power and Terror" :

      US foreign aid is the most miserly by far of any of the major industrial countries. And if we take away the component that goes to one rich country and another middle-range country [because of its associations with the rich country], namely Israel and Egypt, there's almost nothing left. However, if you count everything, it's still grotesquely marginal, and it is declining. But there is, nevertheless, some aid, and quite a lot of military aid, in fact. -- Power and Terror by Noam Chomsky, p. 46 , May 25, 2002

    • That is a perfectly valid interpretation of events – however it has nothing to do with Chomsky’s statement which was:

      “sanctions, or state actions, are not on the horizon”

      That statement is patently untrue as sanctions have been discussed at an inter-governmental level

      They aren't getting discussed at a grassroots level among the US BDS movement. There was a 2011 international call for an immediate and comprehensive embargo on military assistance to Israel. link to bdsmovement.net

      I've seen lots of local and national actions on TIAA-CREF, Methodists, and Presbyterians. There were calls for coordinated action on the Visa waiver program and the Prawer Plan, but I can't remember the last time any demonstrations or petitions were organized in support of a US arms embargo. The same thing applies to criminal sanctions.

      Hell the last time I signed a petition that demanded the Attorney General investigate racketeering or corrupt charitable organizations that funnel tax deductible contributions to illegal Israeli settlements was back when J-Street (J-Street!) asked everyone to take action. That was so long ago that the original web page disappeared down the rabbit hole. See “J Street Calls for Treasury Investigation Into Settlement Charities” link to web.archive.org

      I've commented constantly here and elsewhere about the US treaty obligation to deal with Palestine as another state in accordance with the Vienna, Geneva, and Hague Conventions. That would automatically entitle it to pursue claims in US Courts. About ten percent of the illegal settlers are US Citizens. Chomsky has cited international lawyer John Whitbeck's efforts to gain recognition of Palestine.

    • Shingo says:
      “.. and BDS is gaining momentum”.
      No, not really. That is why this article is making you and the other denizens here upset.

      Well, no. The article enrages individual BDSers because it offers a critique of some sacred cows. But the move to impose government-backed sanctions moves on at an increasing pace, despite the lack of grassroots action.

    • Chomsky’s criticism in his article is that sanctions are “unrealistic”. His main point is that the BDS movement needs to recognize its illusions and drop the S off of its name.

      No, you still haven't quoted Chomsky and are clueless about the fact that Chomsky has called attention to Israel's efforts to stop what it "perceives as "delegitimation" -- that is, objections to its crimes and withdrawal of participation in them -- and a parallel campaign of legitimation of Palestine."

      He highlights efforts to end US foreign assistance and military arms sales to Israel, until it complies with international law and recognition of the State of Palestine as methods for breaking the deadlock:

      The "delegitimation," which is progressing rapidly, was carried forward in December by a Human Rights Watch call on the U.S."to suspend financing to Israel in an amount equivalent to the costs of Israel's spending in support of settlements," and to monitor contributions to Israel from tax-exempt U.S. organizations that violate international law, "including prohibitions against discrimination" -- which would cast a wide net. Amnesty International had already called for an arms embargo on Israel. The legitimation process also took a long step forward in December, when Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil recognized the State of Palestine (Gaza and the West Bank), bringing the number of supporting nations to more than 100.

      International lawyer John Whitbeck estimates that 80-90 percent of the world's population live in states that recognize Palestine, while 10-20 percent recognize the Republic of Kosovo. The U.S. recognizes Kosovo but not Palestine. Accordingly, as Whitbeck writes in Counterpunch, media "act as though Kosovo's independence were an accomplished fact while Palestine's independence is only an aspiration which can never be realized without Israeli-American consent," reflecting the normal workings of power in the international arena.

      I've lost count of the number of times that I've pointed out that Israel cannot acquire territory from UN member states by force and that the international boundary treaties, that Israel is obliged to respect, preserved the Syrian, Lebanese, and Palestinian/Transjordanian fishing and navigation rights on Lakes Huleh and Tiberias, and the Jordan river - plus all of the existing grazing rights on both sides of the new mandate era boundaries. I've noted that the UN plan of partition created states that were independent in name only, because it required the acceptance of existing treaties; imposed terms of internal government under a minority protection plan; and established regional government through a plan for economic union and right of transit. The UN explicitly acknowledged that the common use of currency, road, rail, communications, resources, and transit to holy sites and extended family members was necessary to the viability of the new states. Chomsky calls that erosion of boundaries through commerce and culture the "No State Solution", which he describes as his real preference. But he notes that will not happen if the US is allowed to continue to block international consensus and support Israel's continued expansion of an exclusive "Greater Israel". He explains that much work needs to be done to educate the public about this subject.

      Get back to me if you ever finish obfuscating things and want to be serious, otherwise there's no need to keep beating this dead horse.

    • This sums up his approach to the Israel/Palestine question.

      No it doesn't, that sums up your short attention span. He actually said:

      Much the same is true of the invocation of apartheid. Within Israel, discrimination against non-Jews is severe; the land laws are just the most extreme example. But it is not South African–style apartheid. In the occupied territories, the situation is far worse than it was in South Africa, where the white nationalists needed the black population: it was the country’s workforce, and as grotesque as the bantustans were, the nationalist government devoted resources to sustaining and seeking international recognition for them. In sharp contrast, Israel wants to rid itself of the Palestinian burden. The road ahead is not toward South Africa, as commonly alleged, but toward something much worse.

      Likewise he says the crucial question is whether the US will continue to undermine international consensus in order to support Israel's crimes? He has written a plethora of articles on the subject. Chomsky and the JVP mission statement call for an end to foreign assistance and arms sales to Israel until it complies with international law. He has written about efforts to delegitimize Israel's actions and says that similar actions are needed to delegitimize the US role as an arms supplier/honest broker in order to break the deadlock. See Breaking the Israel-Palestine Deadlock, link to chomsky.info

      He has also underlined US refusal to recognize Palestine, like the majority of other countries, and the disadvantages that entails. Arms embargoes, abstaining from the use of its veto on Security Council resolutions about illegal situations created by Israel, and recognizing Palestine inside the armistices lines - pending a final settlement, are all examples of things that we can pressure the US to do That's especially true when international law and simple equity requires the US to do all of those things in the first place.

    • When he speaks of consensus, isn’t he speaking about Governments?? Isnt BDS the answer to those governments? I think that he believes we are all powerless, no power to the people here. Noted, is that he offers no way forward, i cant think of anyone that wants to go back to the time of hand wringing and writing sad notes to our elected officials only to be insulted by a hasbara ridden reply.

      No. So stop asking rhetorical questions and constructing straw men and just stick to what he actually said in the article.

    • They will lose their sovereignty and be exposed to a hostile population.

      No, the concept of sovereignty or the exercise of jurisdiction over other people has been graveyard dead in international law for decades.

      That's why "the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples" is indivisible and there is a legal obligation under the UN Charter for all states to promote it without regard to race, sex, language, or religion. Attempts to circumvent that obligation, like apartheid, have been prohibited and made the subject of international penal sanctions.

    • The UN General Assembly Resolution recognizing the Partition of Palestine and the creation of the State of Israel also was a recommendation without the legal force of a Security Council Resolution. Apparently when it comes to Israel even its founding legal status is rather dubious.

      I think Chomsky has written things that most here haven't even read which say that the whole Zionist project, including the partition, was dubious and artificial:

      “In 1936-9, the Palestinian Arabs attempted a nationalist revolt... David Ben-Gurion, eminently a realist, recognized its nature. In internal discussion, he noted that ‘in our political argument abroad, we minimize Arab opposition to us,’ but he urged, ‘let us not ignore the truth among ourselves.’ The truth was that ‘politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves... The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country, while we are still outside’... The revolt was crushed by the British, with considerable brutality.” Noam Chomsky, “The Fateful Triangle.”

      If Palestine ever does gain independence in something like the terms of the overwhelming international consensus, it is likely that its borders with Israel will erode through normal processes of commercial and cultural interchange, as had begun to happen in the past during periods of relative calm. Anyone familiar with Mandatory Palestine knows well how artificial and disruptive any partition must be. -- Noam Chomsky: American University of Beirut commencement 2013 speech

      The UN Charter itself doesn't mention the word "resolution", much less say that they are non-binding. It only mentions the power of organs to adopt certain types of decisions, to make recommendations, or adopt measures. The entire practice is governed by customary rules and depending upon the content, resolutions can come in several varieties and mixtures. For example, no matter how many recommendations resolution 181 might contain, Articles 10, 18, 73, 80, 81. and 85 of the UN Charter give the General Assembly the requisite authority to say "The City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations."

      Article 81 says: The trusteeship agreement shall in each case include the terms under which the trust territory will be administered and designate the authority which will exercise the administration of the trust territory. Such authority, hereinafter called the administering authority, may be one or more states or the Organization itself.

      Article 85 says :The functions of the United Nations with regard to trusteeship agreements for all areas not designated as strategic, including the approval of the terms of the trusteeship agreements and of their alteration or amendment, shall be exercised by the General Assembly.

      Article 18 says: Decisions of the General Assembly on important questions shall be made by a two- thirds majority of the members present and voting. These questions shall include: . . . questions relating to the operation of the trusteeship system.

      Resolution 194(III) wasn't merely a recommendation either. It reaffirmed many of the things contained in resolution 181(II), including the decision to establish a Corpus Separatum. But the operative paragraph on refugees used qualified language (should) that only amounted to a recommendation. That's not really all that important, since the situation was governed by the customary and conventional law in force at the time, not just UN resolutions. One of the conventional agreements in force, was the minority protection plan contained in resolution 181(II) and the Constitution of the International Refugee Organization, December 15, 1946.

    • “Chomsky and Finkelstein have betrayed the Palestinian people with their petty bullshit.”

      Exactly – total BS – not BD – Chomsky is only trying to slow up the process in order to expand greater Israel.

      You obviously didn't read the article, because he said exactly the opposite. He explained that he supports the no state solution; that the status quo of territorial erosion through expanding settlement is much more likely than either the 1ss or 2ss; and that ineffective BD tactics won't change that situation.

    • You missed the part about a statement he made calling BDS anti semitic.

      I didn’t know he was that stupid.

      The idea that he said the whole BDS movement is anti-semitic is just an urban legend. He noted that he was involved in BDS against Israel before there was even a movement. He said some tactics are a gift to hardliners. i.e. the notion that the descendants of the refugees are going to return to Israel and drive out the illegal Jewish colonists is a common meme. He explained that those words could be, and actually were labeled anti-semitic, with some justification, by his adversaries at Harvard and MIT and derailed any intelligent discussion of the issues there for several months on one occasion.

    • I remember reading all the wonderful stuff he would write on the I/P issue, yet every now and then he would throw a line that was totally unexpected – something straight out of the hasbara manual. I used to not read too much into it until I read his opinion on the Walt/Mearsheimer book in which he practically denied the influence (or even the existence) of the israel lobby and instead came up with some bullshit US imperial interests thesis, as if fighting every arab nation in the ME is to the US imperial interests.

      Chomsky actually said the Lobby was one of the two prime factors that interact to determine US policy in the ME. I take it from your comment that you are one of those unfortunate souls who still can't figure out why AIPAC couldn't get Syria or Iran bombed after it dispatched 300 Lobbyists to the Hill in support of Obama's request for an AUMF? Maybe you should stop reading things "into" what Chomsky says, and reexamine your definition of bullshit and hasbara.

    • He puts forward that we should educate people about the issue only, instead of using BD against the State or calling for “S” – “unrealistic” sanctions.

      No he explained that in the case of the South Africa BDS movement, their tactics were effective because government sanctions were imposed before anything else and that the US Congress overrode Reagan's attempts to block the adoption of sanctions later on. He was criticizing the lack of effort on the part of Palestinian solidarity activists to pressure governments for sanctions by saying the movement should only be called BD and you are too f*cking stupid or biased to read and comprehend or admit what he actually said. I've pointed out your bad faith comments on the subject repeatedly.

    • Nor are they listening to the public today. Polls show that the US public is increasingly on the fence with respect to Israel and it’s belligerence, but even if there was a large public uprising, Congress still wouldn’t change because they know where the campaign donations are coming from.

      You said the same thing here when I pointed out that my Congress critter was listening to the public and rejecting Obama's and AIPACs call for strikes against Syria. I replied to you then that AIPAC can’t get you re-elected if you piss-off your own power base.
      link to mondoweiss.net

      Ask Eric Cantor what good it did him to know where his donations were coming from?

    • What government? The South African BDS movement began in 1959. According to Wikipedia, the boycott attracted widespread support from students, trade unions and the Labour, Liberal and Communist parties .

      Then the South African BDSers were 13 years late in joining the struggle. The government of India applied diplomatic sanctions and filed a formal application for action by the UN with the General Assembly's 1st (International Security) and 6th (Legal) Committees in 1946 during the very first UN session. It complained about the treatment of Indians in the Union of South Africa. It pointed out that the policy of apartheid violated treaties between the two countries and South Africa's obligations under the UN Charter to promote equal rights without distinctions based upon race, sex, language, or religion. The General Assembly adopted resolution 44(1) "Treatment of Indians in South Africa" stating that because of the treatment which was not in conformity with treaties between the countries and the UN Charter, relations between the two countries had been impaired, and would be further impaired, unless the situation was corrected. It ordered the two countries to report back during the next sessions on the measures they had adopted to correct the situation. That started the stepwise application of state and UN sanctions against the intransigent and racist South African apartheid regime. link to un.org

    • So by his own admission, he’s insisting they stuck to a futile strategy and spin their wheels indefinitely

      He admitted no such thing and was explaining how the South African BDS model was different, overcame such problems, or why its tactics were more effective at building international consensus.

    • That’s a load of bull and you know it Hostage. Again, you’re buying into Chomsky’s fantasy that we should abandon one strategy is favor of a futile one.

      Thank you for taking the time to reply in such a specific and intellegent manner to the things Chomsky and I actually said (not!)

      It’s becoming clear that most of the people commenting here are conducting a witch hunt.

      No. The guy is doing what he has always done and pulling his usual contrarian crap.

      You are actually one of the people I had in mind. The criticism here is content free ad hominem, arguments about things he didn't say, and people pretending they read the article and complaining that he "never says" things that he actually did address.
      No. The guy is doing what he has always done and pulling his usual contrarian crap.

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