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Hostage

Retired

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  • Palestinians can have an embassy in Jerusalem, but God forbid not a capital -- Israeli mayor
    • “Let me take you back 3,000 years. Jerusalem is the capital of the world"

      There is quite a bit of evidence that the Beverly Hillbillies of Jerusalem could barely keep their alleged cousins in Samaria under control 3,000 years ago.

    • @ Hostage claro .. shall adjust

      No you were perfectly correct that Israel ended-up claiming it had been established by its own act of secession. That happened during a conference in 1949 on public debts, enemy bank accounts, & etc that I've cited elsewhere. I was just pointing out that the General Assembly and UN Trusteeship Council had subsequently adopted a statute on the City of Jerusalem anyway and that you'd need a ruling from the ICJ at this point to settle all of the conflicting claims. In the post-Oslo era, the EU member states took the position that, in their view, the whole city was still a Corpus Separatum. The acknowledgement in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State Israel that the General Assembly required the People of Eretz Israel to take steps to implement the resolution can't be reconciled with secession.

    • corpus separatum was never instituted. Jerusalem has never been legally separated from what remained of Palestine after Israel was declared independent of Palestine.

      The UN resolution was named "The Plan for the Future Government of Palestine". It partitioned "Palestine" into two states and a Corpus Separatum. All three remain part of Palestine under the terms of the plan and were part of an Economic Union, with a common currency, transportation system, & etc. The UN did adopt a statute for the City of Jerusalem and reserved its right to appointed a Governor of Jerusalem. link to jta.org

      The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel acknowledged that the General Assembly required the people of Eretz Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution. It was only later that Israel claimed that it had been formed by an act of secession.

      Even Israeli historians, like David Tal, have noted the schizophrenic arguments employed by Zionist officials, like Moshe Shertok. The Arab States accepted the map attached to resolution 181(II) as the basis of negations at the Lausanne Conference on the very same day the UN accepted Israel's application for membership in the United Nations. Israel had repeatedly acknowledged an obligation to help implement the terms of the resolution. Shertok would take turns arguing with the UN Mediator that Israel accepted the plan of partition as the only binding adjudication when that supported his territorial claims, but dismissed it altogether as being in need of major revisions, in light of facts created on the ground, when the Arabs claimed territory on the basis of the same binding adjudication.

    • The cause and effect implied by the word “thus” is false. Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem in 67 was considered illegal because it was not part of Israel according to the armistice agreement of 1949.

      The Security Council could impose a final settlement, but it never has done that yet. The armistice agreements were merely provisional measures adopted under the auspices of Article 40 of the UN Charter, which are without prejudice to the rights of the parties concerned. link to yale.edu

      Article 28 of the LoN Mandate required the establishment of a perpetual regime of international safeguards for the rights of the various religious communities, their holy sites, and their right of transit to access them. link to avalon.law.yale.edu The General Assembly included a protection plan for religious and minority groups and a plan for a Corpus Separatum - all under direct UN guarantee or administration.

      Two thirds of the concerned states that were present and voting adopted a legally binding decision on that international question of sacred trust or special trusteeship regime (Article 18) regarding the direct administration of the entire City of Jerusalem by the UN organization itself in accordance with the explicit terms regarding the functions and powers of the General Assembly contained in Articles 81 and 85 of the UN Charter. So, the General Assembly is one of the concerned parties. link to yale.edu

      The US State Department's Legal Advisor, Ernest Gross, wrote several memos explaining that situation, e.g.:

      (4) The Security Council is not empowered to alter the November 29, 1947 resolution of the General Assembly. While that resolution stands, groups in Palestine are authorized, and the Palestine Commission is required, unless the Security Council has taken action pursuant to Chapter VI or Chapter VII of the Charter recommending a political settlement other than that recommended by the General Assembly, to take the steps contemplated in the resolution for implementing the partition plan, Great Britain having stated its acceptance of the plan and acquiescing in its implementation.

      (5) If, for any reason, in particular because of developments not anticipated when the General Assembly made its recommendation - such as violent opposition in Palestine, frustration by the Mandatory, inaction of the Security Council - the recommended plan appears unworkable, the General Assembly may repeal or alter its recommendation.

      link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

      The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel was a signed legal instrument which acknowledged not only the undertaking regarding the protection of religious and minority rights, but also acknowledged that "the General Assembly required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution." - which included the provisions regarding the Corpus Seprartum.

      In 1999, the EU reaffirmed that it still considered all of Jerusalem a Corpus Separatum:

      But the EU reply stated that all of Jerusalem, including the Jewish sector, is a "corpus separatum" or separate body. This term is a direct reference to the 1947 UN resolution 181, designating Jerusalem an international zone.

      Observers say this is the first time the EU has referred so explicitly to the 1947 resolution and does set a precedent.

      -- link to news.bbc.co.uk

      The General Assembly has never repealed or altered the resolution. It even reaffirmed it and cited it in the 2003 request for an ICJ advisory opinion:

      Recalling relevant General Assembly resolutions, including resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, which partitioned mandated Palestine into two States, one Arab and one Jewish, . . . What are the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, as described in the report of the Secretary-General, considering the rules and principles of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions?

      -- link to unispal.un.org

    • The arabs rejected the U.N. plan and then attacked the Jews in 1967 which resulted in the annexation of Jerusalem. (In case you forgot…)

      Correction: You are forgetting quite a few details. Israel signed the armistice agreements in 1949 and those permanent armistice lines of demarcation were implemented under the auspices of a series of chapter 7 UN Security Council resolutions, including 62 and 73.

      The declassified Minutes of the People's Council and Israeli historians have long since revealed that Jewish officials never accepted the internationalization of Jerusalem, the plan for Economic Union, or the boundaries of the Jewish state as stipulated in the UN plan. See for example David Tal, War in Palestine, 1948: strategy and diplomacy, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 071465275X, page 471.

      The relevant Zionist representatives testified on the record that they rejected both the UNSCOP majority and minority plans. The spokesmen said that they would only recommend adoption of either (by Vaad Leumi), subject to reservations that have never been withdrawn. They conditioned acceptance on being granted immediate control over immigration and on further discussions involving the constitutional and territorial details of the UN plan. In particular, the spokesmen said that no plan that failed to incorporate Western Jerusalem into the Jewish State would be acceptable. So the Jews rejected the terms of the resolution regarding the internationalization of Jerusalem too. See:
      *Yearbook of the United Nations for 1947-48
      * The FRUS link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

    • Hostage, I’m always very happy for your correction

      @ FreddyV and bintbiba thank you both.

      I was just answering the two rhetorical questions and passing along some arcane details in the process. It wasn't intended to be a correction.

    • Jerusalem was annexed in 1967?

      Yes, the State of Israel took immediate steps to alter the legal status of East Jerusalem. That was the subject of the 5th Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly (17 June - 18 September 1967) and resolutions 2253 & 2254 (ES-V) "Measures taken by Israel to change the status of the City of Jerusalem" link to un.org

      Annexation took place in 1980 didn’t it?

      No that really only changed the operation of the applicable law from a Knesset ordinance to a fundamental or "Basic Law" with constitutional implications. But it had long since been included by the application of the Area of Jurisdiction and Powers Ordinance, 5708-1948. link to israellawresourcecenter.org

      FYI, applying all Israeli state laws by proclamation to selected territories occupied by the IDF violates the Hague and the Geneva Conventions and amounts to an act of annexation.

  • Alterman says BDS is helping Netanyahu
    • But West Bank?! No way!

      The ancient Hebrews, like many others, described lands by references to the rivers that flowed through them using appropriate terms for the left and right hand for north and south banks and the sunrise and sunset for the east and west banks. The Torah indicates that Moses used the latter method to distinguish between the two banks of the Jordan when he gave the instructions for establishing the cities of refuge, long before Judea and Samaria ever existed. References to the terms east and west bank in rabbinical literature have nothing to do with the claims of the Hashemite Kingdom:

      The Talmud teaches that the three cities of refuge on the east bank of the Jordan River [i.e. literally the side of the Jordan river toward the sunrise] only became functional after the three on the west bank were established. Although Moshe knew that the latter three would only be established fourteen years after his passing, he insisted on establishing the three on the east bank. The Talmud uses this as an example of Moshe's alacrity in the performance of mitzvos.
      ...
      Hashem commanded Moshe to designate six cities of refuge. Three of the cities were located on the east bank of the Jordan River, and three were on the west bank. The Talmud questions this designation, for only two-and-a-half tribes were located on the east bank, while the remaining nine-and-a-half tribes were located on the west bank. Our Sages explain that the disproportionate allocation was due to the high incidence of murder which took place on the east bank of the Jordan. The Baalei HaTosfos question this explanation. . . .

      link to torah.org

      I do not believe the Jews are usurpers.

      In many circles, the patriarch Jacob's name is synonymous with the term usurper. Our entire religious/historical myth is one long account of our unsuccessful attempts to usurp the Land of Canaan from the seven nations who inhabited it before the Israelites ever arrived. The Maccabees and Herodian kings added the lands of Edom and Moab to the list, despite an explicit Torah prohibition against claiming so much as a footstep, much less annexing them permanently to "The Promised Land". For that matter, the Land of the Philistines on the coastal plain was never part of the land of promise. Twenty cities in the malaria-ridden marshy region of the Galilee were ceded-away to King Hiram of Tyre. Nonetheless, modern Zionists have claimed all of those lands as part of their own "national home". If you don't consider them usupers after all of that, you must be quite a tool.

      Palestinian identity can be traced back to around 1900.

      Nope, even the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledges that Palestine and Palestinian identity can be traced back at least as far as the Arab Golden Age. “Ramla – Arab Capital of the Province of Palestine” says:

      According to historical sources, Ramla was founded at the beginning of the 8th century by the Umayyad Calif Suleiman ibn Abd el-Malik. It served as the Umayyad and Abbasid capital of the Province of Palestine (Jund Filistin), and the seat of Arab governors of the province in the 8th and 9th centuries.

      link to mfa.gov.il
      Jerusalem eventually became the capital of Jund Filistin, after the Fatimids conquered the district from the Abbasids. Its principal towns spanned the two banks of Jordan and were: Ashkelon, Ramla, Gaza, Arsuf, Caesarea, Jaffa, Jericho, Nablus, Bayt Jibrin, and Amman.

      In Baruch Kimmerling and Joel Migdal, The Palestinian People: A History, Harvard University Press, 2003 the authors wrote that Palestinian nationality was definitely evident during the Egyptian-Ottoman war (1831-1833). Israeli Historian Butros Abu Manneh noted that in 1830, on the eve of Muhammad Ali's invasion the Sanjaks of Jerusalem and Nablus were transferred to the control of Abdullah Pasha the Governor of Acre and that the move had united the whole of Palestine in one administrative unit. See The Israel/Palestine Question: A Reader (Rewriting Histories), Ilan Pappé (Editor) Routledge (April 2, 1999), page 38.

      Open up any map before 1948, and it will say Judea and Samaria.

      I've already given you a link to a map of the 8th-9th century military districts that doesn't use either of those terms. Neville J. Mandel said that throughout the 19th century the Ottoman Government employed the term “Arz-i Filistin” (the “Land of Palestine” ) in official correspondence, and that it meant, for all intents and purposes, the area to the west of the River Jordan which became “Palestine” under the British in 1922. Likewise the Zionist Congress employed the term Palaestina in the Basel Program. Johann Büssow, "Hamidian Palestine" notes that after more than half a century of regular usage, the Ottoman's added Palestine (Filistin) to legends of the maps in their official 1907 Atlas. See pages 57 & 58. link to books.google.com

      FYI, it's just as likely that "Palestine" and the Hebrew Plistim were mis-transliterations of "Philistine" and "Filastin", which have been preserved in regular usage by the inhabitants.

    • Is there anything else which is more point on regarding taxes and international law? I read that cash, etc. can be confiscated for military reasons. Can the occupying power argue, that it needs money to uphold security and occupation?

      We weren't talking about currency, only tax collection. An occupying power can introduce a new currency control regulations and issue new currency at par, but it cannot inflate the supply or deliberately allow its value to depreciate so badly that it isn't an adequate substitute for payment of public or private debts due under contracts and wills in the former currency. It generally falls under the obligation in Article 43 of the Hague IV regulations for the occupying power to maintain the public life of the occupied territory. There is a brief discussion of the subject starting at paragraph 215 on page 93 of Yoram Dinstein, The International Law of Belligerent Occupation link to books.google.com

      There are a few landmark cases on the subject in Hersh Lauterpact's Oppenhiem's Digest and International Law Reports, e.g. link to books.google.com and a brief discussion of the subject under the heading of the international legality test in Eyal Benvenisti, The International Law of Occupation, link to books.google.com

    • The Gaza withdrawal only involved about 8,000 Jews, and the country of Israel nearly had a mental collapse over it.

      Why? They were paid $1.1 billion in compensation for land that was stolen in the first place. If they'd really been homeless for 2,000 years, they'd have still been able to wrap their head around living out of a suitcase and cardboard boxes in exchange for half that much gelt.

    • apart from being a collaborator now threatened with execution as soon as he gets replaced

      Then again, maybe not:

      To get past this deadlock, a quid pro quo was suggested: 104 Palestinians imprisoned since before the Oslo Accords — and whose release had already been agreed to in the 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum — would be released in return for the Palestinian leadership suspending following up on Palestine's recognition at the United Nations as a non-member observer state and ascending to various international bodies and treaties.

      Instead, Israeli pundits argued, almost in unison, that the Palestinian president’s decision was the result of Abbas being afraid to make decisions for peace, his waning popularity, his fear of Mohammed Dahlan taking his position and Palestinians being drunk with power.
      ...
      As to the claim that Abbas’ decision stems from his “waning popularity,” two independent polls showed Abbas polling quite well less than a month before the April 1 letter signings. An AWRAD Poll conducted March 10–11 put Abbas’ approval rating at 58%. Another poll, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey, indicated that if national elections were held that day, Abbas would win 53% of the vote.

      -- Abbas catches Israel off guard link to al-monitor.com

    • Hostage, could you provide a link to or a legal explanation, if withholding Pal. Taxes is a violation of international/humanitarian law?

      Israel doesn't have any agreements with the state of Palestine. The 1994 Paris Protocol was part of the now-lapsed Oslo 1 Interim Agreements. It only established a joint external border for the five year interim period. The authority for Israel collect the import taxes on the goods intended for the Occupied Territories has long since expired. There was never any authority for Israel to withhold transfers under that agreement. The two parties signed another agreement in July of 2012 on taxation and transfer of goods between Israel and the PA. The terms were not disclosed, but it's unlikely that the Palestinians signed an agreement that allowed Israel to unilaterally resolve disputes. link to mfa.gov.il

      Israel has claimed that the money will be applied to the Palestinian's debts for utilities, & etc. But that overlooks Palestinian claims that would more than offset any of Israel's claims. As an occupying power, Israel is "regarded only as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied territory. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct". Briefly that means they can't be expropriated or simply pillaged for the use of others. The UN and the ICJ have both cited the illegality of the use of Palestine's land and resources and affirmed the right of Palestinians to compensation. Israel is fond of claiming that its settlements on illegally expropriated state lands will be part of its territory under any final settlement, but it hasn't explained how the Palestinians would be compensated for the land in question or all of the stolen natural resources.
      * link to icrc.org
      * link to qceablog.wordpress.com

    • actually the protests had very little to do with ending the War

      Derner didn't say that the factors ended the war, i.e. "It’s like how the Vietnam War protests began with radicals in Berkeley, but later was taken up by liberals, and finally by the mainstream."

      I think that public protests and lack of mainstream support for the war caused Johnson to bow out of the Presidential race and forced Nixon to run on a platform in 1968 that disingenuously promised to bring peace and end the war. See Republican Party Platform of August 5, 1968: link to presidency.ucsb.edu

      The US couldn't have kept a force of half a million people in Vietnam without the draft. So draft resisters and the establishment call for an all volunteer force helped to narrow Nixon's options in his second term.

    • The “West Bank” refers only to the brief period: 1948-67 when Jordan held the area, calling it the West Bank of Jordan’s sovereignty.

      Nope, during the Arab Golden Age, Tiberias was the administrative capital of the military district of Jordan, Jund of Al-Urdunn. Its jurisdiction covered the territory on both sides of the river, e.g. link to ajewishvoice.files.wordpress.com

      The terms Cisjordan and Transjordan also reflect the notion of Jordan "on this side" and Jordan "on the other side" of the river, i.e. Jordan on both sides.

    • It is how all movements of social change start — on the fringes, among the “radicals.” It is radical because it is not (yet) conventional thought.

      This case is a bit different. All of the ex-officio political and judicial intergovernmental organs of the UN have condemned Israel's actions in the occupied territories. But they could not agree to take joint or individual action on the issues outlined in the ICJ advisory opinion. The grass roots movement began as a "name and shame" effort to alter that status quo. The greatest threat to Israel that has materialized recently came from the mainstream, establishment institutions of government, banking, and businesses.

    • I would be highly interested in such a mission.

      There was an initial fact-finding mission to investigate the human rights implications of the Israeli settlements (A/HRC/22/63). It referred the matter to a special Working Group on human rights and transnational corporations that hasn't issued its report yet. They are scheduled to meet again in Geneva, on 5-9 May 2014.
      * A/HRC/22/63 link to un.org
      * link to ohchr.org

      The original fact finding mission reported on the possible culpability of transnational corporations and other businesses in human rights violations regarding the settlements. The UNHRC accepted those findings and asked all UN mandate holders to address the issue in their own reports.

      Prof Falk reported twice on examples of possible criminal liability in his mandated area, as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.
      link to un.org

      In his final report he described the situation in about the same way we are today, i.e. grass roots efforts along side a growing list of official ones from the EU and others that are starting to have effects. In addition, two of his final recommendations dealt with the issue:

      (d) The international community comprehensively investigate the business activities of companies and financial institutions registered in their own respective countries, which profit from the settlements of Israel and other unlawful Israeli activities, and take appropriate action to end such practices and ensure appropriate reparation for affected Palestinians. Member States should consider imposing a ban on imports of settlement produce;
      (e) Future investigations consider whether other foreign corporate connections with unlawful occupation policies additional to settlements (e.g. separation wall, Gaza blockade, house demolitions, excessive use of force) should not be also deemed “problematic” under international law, and treated in a manner analogous to the recommendations pertaining to settlements;

      link to un.org

    • The Israeli government decided nothing. . . . From the year of 1968 when they rented a hotel for a short stay in Hebron; and then decided not to leave.

      Well that's not strictly the case. Under customary international law, and even US law, it is considered treason to carry-on any form of communications with an enemy or give them aid and comfort during a war.

      The laws of Jordan and the successor State of Palestine have always established that providing aid and comfort to the enemy, including land or home sales to enemy civilians, is an act of treason subject to capital punishment.

      Under the explicit terms of the 1949 Armistice Agreements and the Geneva Conventions, enemy civilians aren't even supposed to be in Hebron in the first place. It has been the government of Israel and its Courts that have overruled Palestinian and international law in order to declare the land sales were legally consummated somehow, despite all of those legal prohibitions, and to grant titles and the right of residency to all of the illegal settlers. See:
      * PA affirms death penalty for land sales to Israelis link to jpost.com
      * Settlers win lengthy Hebron house dispute: Supreme Court rules that Palestinian’s claim of sale document forgery is unfounded.
      link to timesofisrael.com

    • It’s like how the Vietnam War protests began with radicals in Berkeley, but later was taken up by liberals, and finally by the mainstream. Alterman is plain wrong.

      I agree. Legal risks from the possibility of asset freezes and forfeitures had more to do with triggering the recent divestments by banks and the large state-run pension funds, than grass roots activism. I think the risk of Palestine joining the ICC, where the majority of cases involve some form of pillaging charges, and the findings of the UNHRC fact finding mission about the role of transnational corporations and businesses in the illegal settlement enterprise, combined with de facto recognition from the 14 EU governments that voted in favor of Palestine's statehood bids in the General Assembly and UNESCO was the "writing on the wall" for anyone exercising fiduciary responsibilities or contractual due diligence.

    • (This is undoubtedly why Mahmoud Abbas opposes BDS as well.)

      Correction: Abbas has an official policy in place to boycott the illegal settlements in Palestine, and a Palestinian law carrying the death penalty for selling land to the enemy, pending a final peace treaty. Palestine is a member of the Arab League and can't endorse a boycott of Israel proper without triggering the provisions of the US anti-boycott statutes. So it would be smart for the civil society movement to avoid his official endorsement.

      He can't effectively boycott Israel proper in any event, since Israel is an occupying power that controls the captive Palestinian economy. In the past, Israel has adopted curfews, closures, and other forms of reprisal, like those that have been in place against Gaza since the 1990s.

  • Alleged K.C. killer: 'If Jews can have a state of their own, why can't we have a White Christian state?'
    • You’re talking as if he’s said that his goal was to kill Jews

      No kidding, its not as if the news reports haven't been saying that from the get go, i.e. "Frazier Glenn Cross, 73", is "someone who has repeatedly expressed hatred for Jewish people. None of the people he is accused of killing were Jewish." So, I'm pretty confident that this is a failed attempt to murder Jews and a botched hate crime. link to reuters.com
      See also "Suspect in killings at Jewish facilities in Kansas to face hate charges, officials say", 1 day ago
      link to washingtonpost.com

      The U.S. Attorney for Kansas, Barry Grissom, and the local authorities have been saying this as an anti-semitic hate crime and that it is the bias and belief of the suspect, not the identities of the victims, that determines whether or not federal or state hate-crime laws apply. White Methodists, as opposed to the AME, are not targets of Klan hatred.

    • he cites Passover as one of the spring holidays along with Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron and Independence Day and citing the “in each generation they rise up against us to wipe us out” as if that is the sole essence of Passover, considers Passover as part of the indoctrination of militarism (and them against us) implied by the other commemorations. This is highly offensive.

      Please Google: "They Tried To Kill Us, We Survived, Let's Eat" and get over it. That synopsis or commentary didn't originate with the Gentiles.

      but still, I’ve never heard of these tweeters and I do not see them and their argument with Max as newsworthy

      Hmmn, I find it sort unusual that you've never heard of news and opinion makers like Josh Block (head of the Israel Project/former AIPAC flack), John Podhoretz (Editor Commentary Magazine), Ron Kampeas (D.C. bureau chief of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency), Rabbi Steven Burg (Simon Wiesenthal Center/former OU NCSY administrator) or Pamela Geller (Atlas Shrugs blog/anti-Muslim activist).

    • I haven’t managed one single time to reach a specific comment via the recent comment bar on the right. It immediately shifts to somewhere else.

      I prefer Firefox, but Mondoweiss is forcing me to resort to Google Chrome in order to get things like that to work.

    • Get it?

      Oh yeah, certainly. I wasn't disagreeing with your assumptions, just pointing out that that particular line of thinking on the perpetrator's part would have been irrational and would have made Hitler himself a perfectly valid target.

    • But yes, I guess not only what Max wrote above but also the SPLC profile he links to suggest a possible obsession with “race-mixing” too

      Two of the victims were only there for a talent competition. If that's "race mixing", then so was Hitler's Summer Olympics.

    • How was he completely unsuccessful?

      Well for starters, he just murdered three victims that were members of his own so-called "White Christian" constituency. Speaking objectively, in terms of the actual objects of his attack, and subjectively, in terms of his ideology, I'd have to score this outcome as a completely botched or unsuccessful hate crime.

    • However-based on what and how he writes he will never ever understand what the majority of American and Israeli Jews do. That incidents like these would be ten times as frequent without the existence of Israel.

      Israel was established by a bunch of armed raving lunatics no different than this fellow. Thousands of them died fighting wars of aggression against their non-Jewish neighbors in order to establish a homogeneous Jewish territory and population. The sad part is that we recognize this person as an evil, racist, murderer, but allow bigots like you to treat the founders of Israel like heroes.

    • max seems pretty willing to except that this inciden proves Israel makes Jews less safe rather then more.

      That ought to be obvious, but the headline struck me in an entirely different way. We recognize that this guy is completely unhinged because he is willing to kill others to establish a White Christian State. But none of these Zionist buttheads in the Twitterverse have commented on the sanity or morality of the thousands of Jews who have acted out in the very same way over the years in Palestine. Thousands of unhinged Jewish racists there have killed thousands of their neighbors in an effort to create a homogeneous Jewish state. But they don't question the morality or sanity of that situation for even one moment.

      The ADL audit hadn't registered any harassment, vandalism or acts of violence against Jews or persons who were thought to be Jews in Kansas for years. See for example the zero totals for 2012 and 2013 in the 2013 audit. link to adl.org You will find similar totals 2011.

      In those very same years, some of these very same Twitter accounts reported that Jews in Israel were the objects of numerous rocket attacks, bus bombings, shootings, and vehicular assaults.

      There weren't any assaults in the United States in 2013 that required hospitalization, that certainly isn't the case for any year in Israel. link to adl.org How on Earth can you argue that Israel makes anyone safer?

    • Two of those killed were Methodists- the doctor and his grandson. The woman was Catholic.

      Yes, the comments, like the one made by Nancy Kobrin are completely asinine. The homicide rate for the Kansas City metro area is ranked around 5th in the nation, yet attacks targeting Jews were unheard of. This one was unexpected, and completely unsuccessful:

      I worked in Kansas with #BAE for the army. The antisemitic attack is not surprising. My heartfelt condolences. This is why we have Israel.

      If she would apply that logic to the West Bank of Palestine, she might actually have a point and save some Jewish lives, e.g. See "Assailant in West Bank kills one Israeli, wounds two" link to haaretz.com

  • Why are two Republican congressmen doing a walkabout on the Temple Mount?
    • The Temple Institute promotes Jewish prophecies of “the reestablishment of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.”

      They contained the instructions about the first partition of Palestine, "And the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death. (Numbers 1:51)" The inscriptions contained in the "stones of warning" in the partition wall of the Temple enclosure were described by Josephus in §5 of Antiquities Of The Jews, Book XV, Chapter XI: "this was encompassed by a stone wall for a partition, with an inscription, which forbade any foreigner to go in under pain of death.". The actual examples discovered by archaeologists so far do not contain any exceptions for US Congressional sightseers.

  • Two desperate anti-Semitism charges, from Foxman and Boteach
    • The term “anti-Semitism” has been so overused that it no longer has any real meaning.

      Sure it does. It used to mean someone who disliked the Jews. Now it means someone the Jews or Zionists do not like.

    • Oddly enough, the online newspapers in Israel have quite of few articles which are indicating or predicting that the prisoner release deal is still on and will be concluded shortly in order to prolong the talks. Naturally they say Pollard will end up in Israel as a result, e.g. 'Pollard won’t be in Israel for Seder, but US taboo on his release has been removed' link to jpost.com

      Quite a few are suggesting that Labor will replace Bennetts faction in the coalition, while labor's chief says it would be pointless to join it just to obtain Pollard's release. Bennett has written an idiotic letter to the "Israel Arabs" explaining why releasing prisoners will set back (his?) efforts to give them equal rights. See Bennett: Prisoner release undermines Israeli-Arab demand for equality in Israel link to jpost.com

      So the various opponents are taking last minute steps to ward-off any possibility of that happening. e.g.:

      Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon has given the state the green light to retroactively legalize the Netiv Ha’avot outpost in Gush Etzion, declaring 984 dunams around the outpost state land in what is the largest appropriation of territory in the West Bank in many years.
      ...
      “Declarations of state land became rare after the army declared close to a million dunams state land in the 1980s and 1990s, enough to expand the settlements for the coming century,” said Dror Etkes, who monitors settlement policy. “The present declaration is a faithful reflection of the Netanyahu government’s policy and meant to extinguish the last embers of the negotiations with the Palestinians.”

      -- Israel set to legalize West Bank outpost, taking over private Palestinian land link to haaretz.com

  • To reach the 'moveable middle' in Jewish life, you must be inside the tent
    • Hostage blames the Supreme Court for the Bush presidency.

      No I blamed the antiquated electoral system that can reward a candidate, like Bush, with the Presidency, despite the fact that he lost popular election by a half million votes and the fact that the Supreme Court intervened to reverse some, but not all of the lower court decisions in a way that favored Bush.

    • A complete failure to understand how the American system works.

      Well you were doing okay until you made the nonsensical comments about the Florida Supreme Court and the impossibility of constructing a basis for a Gore win. The Court was actually ruling on the interpretation of an existing Florida statute. Gore won the national election by 500,000 votes. A Florida judge ordered a statewide recount of discarded absentee ballots in response to a petition from the Bush campaign. So it wouldn't have been inappropriate to conduct a statewide recount. A group of major U.S. news organizations sponsored a statewide recount by The National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. Gore won under every methodology employed.

      So, in order for Bush to win under any circumstances, you have to employ some technicality, limitation, or intervention.

    • As for Hostage’s comment about the antiquated electoral system, I can explain it this way. The US uses an “electoral college” to elect the President rather than a simple majority vote of all US voters.

      My point was that Gore received a total of 50,988,442 votes, and Bush 50,449,494. If the US wasn't using an electoral college, there would been no question at all about the fact that Gore won the national election.

      The National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago study that everyone is citing here actually showed that Gore would have won, if there had been a statewide recount:

      In the review of the state's disputed ballots, Gore edged ahead under all the scenarios for counting all undervotes and overvotes statewide:

      • Prevailing standard: County election officials told Florida journalists how they would define votes if required to do a recount, and in this scenario the majority standard was imposed statewide. A notable element of this standard was that, in punch-card counties, ballots with at least one corner of a chad detached counted as votes. Result: Gore ahead by 60 votes.

      • Two-corner standard: At least two corners of a chad had to be detached for a punch-card ballot to count. Bush supporters sometimes argued for this. Result: Gore ahead by 105 votes.

      Gore also went out front by 107 votes when counting by the least restrictive standard, something his supporters advocated, and by 115 votes under the most restrictive.

      He took a 171-vote lead when the consortium tried to recreate how each county said it would handle the court-ordered statewide recount, and a 42-vote lead under what is called the Palm Beach standard. That scenario features counting dimpled chads as valid votes if a pattern of dimpled chads exists elsewhere on the same ballot.

      link to cjonline.com

      In addition, there were 1,700 irregular absentee ballots that were discarded because they were not postmarked, signed, or submitted by registered voters. The Bush campaign challenged the practice in 5 counties and got a statewide court order to have such ballots counted anyway, from a judge who held that there was a fundamental right to vote. link to wnd.com

      But in Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court was unconcerned by the fact that many citizens had been prevented from voting (more below). They actually ruled that there is no Constitutional right to vote for the President of the United States. Nonetheless, they did NOT overturn the lower court ruling that gave Bush the additional 1,700 absentee votes he needed to win.

      Several reports highlighted the way that many ballots were discarded and never counted

      Florida's Gadsden County has the highest percentage of black voters in the state -- and the highest spoilage rate. One in 8 votes cast there in 2000 was never counted. Many voters wrote in "Al Gore." Optical reading machines rejected these because "Al" is a "stray mark."

      By contrast, in neighboring Tallahassee, the capital, vote spoilage was nearly zip; every vote counted. The difference? In Tallahassee's white- majority county, voters placed their ballots directly into optical scanners. If they added a stray mark, they received another ballot with instructions to correct it.

      In other words, in the white county, make a mistake and get another ballot; in the black county, make a mistake, your ballot is tossed.

      1 million black votes didn't count in the 2000 presidential election / It's not too hard to get your vote lost -- if some politicians want it to be lost link to sfgate.com

    • To what extend would a change in the “antiquated electoral system” have changed matters?

      I'm suggesting that we should simply total-up the votes cast for each candidate from all of the 50 states and skip the B.S. about the race for delegates from each state in the electoral college. There have been cases where the candidate with the most votes in the general election lost, because of the winner-take-all nature of the race for a state's votes in the electoral college.

    • Well, they helped to usher George W Bush and the neocon zealots into the White House. I blame the Naderites for the Iraq War as much as I blame Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. They did MUCH more harm than good by fleeing from the tent.

      Nope, the blame ultimately goes to the 5 Justices who were essentially allowed to vote twice: once at the polls; and once again in Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000). There's no reason to cast blame for the outcome of any US Presidential race, except the antiquated electoral system that precludes direct selection of the President by the citizens in the first place.

  • Amid 'climate of fear' at Vassar, president comes out against 'action and protest' re Israel
    • Clearly, you don’t seem to get that Lori Lowenthal Marcus is not on campus

      You said that no one has accused Vassar’s Hillel of anything, but the Jewish Press obviously did. Why do you presume that none of their Kahanist readers are active on campus?

    • no one has accused Vassar’s Hillel of anything.

      I take it you don't read the Jewish Press or Lori Lowenthal Marcus much. See: Open Hillel at Vassar Because ‘Israel Haters Are People Too’ link to jewishpress.com

      If you aren't complaining about these Kahanists creating a climate of fear, or spreading hate and discontent, then I can't imagine who you are talking about.

  • Dershowitz plays McCarthy, and John Dingell is labeled 'anti-Israel'
    • I know…I was being snarky.

      I figured as much;-) I just wanted to point out that there are no popular elections, as such. As this membership process illustrates, these are oriental tribal fiefdoms that are awarded to the thralls from time to time by a group of feudal overlords. The lucky winners benefit from network effects, shared staff functions, and adjacent office space. I think that, unlike J Street, most new members are created or spun-off at the behest of the existing members and have an RSVP invitation to join.

    • So what is J-Street going to do about it?

      They will continue to back the Obama administration party line. What that means is that they talk about a hypothetical solution of 2 states for two people living side by side (Fa la la la la, la la la la) and illegal settlements, but when the rubber meets the road, and tens of thousands of illegal units are built in the occupied territory, they still oppose Palestinian recognition @ the UN and claim that Palestinians have to ask for Israel's consent for their state and statehood.

      Obviously, if Palestine has to ask for the government of Israel's permission, then the Palestinians should have a right to vote on who gets to serve in it and officiate.

    • J Street is fairly crap anyway so who cares ?

      J Street is crap precisely because it is Pro-Israel. The Conference of [self-important] Presidents of Major Jewish Israel Lobby Organizations was organized in 1955 out of a growing awareness that unified action by major American Jewish Pro-Israel organizations was essential to help strengthen American support for the state of Israel. link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

    • ” the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations" Er…..who elects all these Presidents of the Jews?

      Jews, Smews this is the "Israel" Lobby we are talking about. J-Street met all of the tribal requirements:

      The Manhattan meeting, held by the conference’s membership committee in preparation for J Street’s application being brought before the full conference on April 30, found that J Street fulfills the administrative and governance requirements in the conference’s bylaws. But most of the discussion focused on J Street’s views on Israel.

  • 'Not a single person in this room would accept living as Palestinians do, generation after generation'
    • The Israeli Law of Return was enacted so that never again will Jews be faced without a safe haven as they were in WWII when country after country closed their doors to desperate Jewish refugees seeking to escape extermination. (Why not read up on the USS. St.Louis, for some entertainment !!?)

      You need to remember to read about the SS Patria and the SS Struma too. The British evacuated some of the Struma passengers who held expired visas to Palestine. They used an overland route after the ship docked in Turkey. But they refused to admit the others, unless the Jewish agency reduced the number of its 25,000 unused entry permits accordingly. The Jewish Agency murdered hundreds of Jewish refugees when it deliberately blew-up the Patria for propaganda purposes.

      The rank and file membership of the Zionist Organization and the WJC were concerned about the plight of Jewish refugees in Europe, but the members of the Zionist Executive were not. The documentary record shows that, long before Israel became worried about being flooded with millions of Palestinian refugees, it was worried about being flooded with millions of undesirable Jewish refugees.

      The Jewish Agency Executive were not concerned with bringing all of the Jewish people, as such, to Palestine or concerned about their fate:

      A representative of the Jewish Agency has stated that in the event of partition the 400,000 Jews in the Arab states outside Palestine may have to be sacrificed in the interest of the Jewish community as a whole.

      link to foia.cia.gov

      Weizmann never considered many Jews to be fit material for the Jewish community he was building in Palestine:

      Dr. Weizmann, President of the World Zionist Organization and ex-officio President of the Jewish Agency, stated that he had come to this country, with Palestine as always uppermost in his mind, to raise $4,000,000 outside the United Palestine Appeal for strengthening the Jewish community in Palestine.
      It was to be anticipated, Dr. Weizmann said, that at the end of the war there would be at least 2,500,000 Jews seeking refuge. Of these perhaps 1,000,000 would represent Jews with a future and the others Jews whose lives were behind them-”who were but little more than dust”. He believed that it would be possible to settle in Palestine 1,000,000 of these refugees, so far as possible those with a future, one-fourth on the land, the remainder as an addition to the urban population.

      link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

      Here are a number of cites from Boaz Evron, “Jewish State or Israeli Nation?”, Indiana University Press, 1995, page 260-261 regarding the deliberations and correspondence of the Zionist Executive on the subject of the Evian Conference on Refugees:
      *The Jewish Agency’s Executive met on June 26, 1938 to discuss the Evian Conference goal of raising Allied attention to the need for efforts and funding in order to resettle endangered Jews in other countries. Evron wrote that: “It was summed up in the meeting that the Zionist thing to do ‘is belittle the Conference as far as possible and to cause it to decide nothing’.
      “We are particularly worried that it would move Jewish organizations to collect large sums of money for aid to Jewish refugees, and these collections could interfere with our collection effort.” Ben Gurion said “No rationalization can turn the conference from a harmful to a useful one. What can and should be done is to limit the damage as far as possible.”

      *Evron quotes from a letter written by Georg Landauer, the managing director of the Jewish Agency Central Bureau for the Settlement of German Jews, to Rabbi Stephen Wise, the Co-Chair of the American Zionist Emergency Council, dated February 13, 1938: I am writing this letter at the request of Dr. Weizmann because we are extremely concerned lest the problem be presented in a way which would prejudice the activity for Eretz Israel. Even if the conference does not propose immediately after its opening other countries but Eretz Israel as venues for Jewish emigration, it will certainly arouse a public response that could put the importance of Eretz Israel in the shade. . . . We are particularly worried that it would move Jewish organizations to collect large sums of money for the aid of Jewish refugees, and these collection efforts would interfere with our collection efforts.

      *There was also the statement made by Menachem Ussishkin head of the Jewish National Fund in the meeting of the Zionist Executive on June 26, 1938 regarding the report of Mr. Greenbaum: “He is also concerned at the Evian Conference. . . . Mr. Greenbaum is right in stating that there is a danger that the Jewish people also will take Eretz Israel off its agenda, and this should be viewed by us as a terrible danger. He hoped to hear in Evian that Eretz Israel remains the main venue for Jewish emigration. All other emigration countries do not interest him. . . . The greatest danger remains that attempts will be made to find other territories for Jewish emigration.”

      The statement by Ben Gurion and the letter to Rabbi Wise were also cited in S. Beit Zvi, Hatzionut Ha-Post-Ugandit Bemashber Ha’shoah (Post-Uganda Zionism and the Holocaust), Tel Aviv: Bronfmann, 1977, page 178, 181, 182

    • I just love fatuous declarations !

      If you check the comment archives here, you'll find that the state parties to the human rights Treaties, like the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, elect the panels of legal experts who serve in the monitoring bodies and review each country's compliance, not the UNHRC.

      You'll also find that the elected representative bodies of experts that Israel and the US helped to appoint, found that Arabs, Druze and Bedouin do not enjoy equal rights and protection under the law in Israel and are subjected to forms of systematic discrimination that are a serious on-going concern under the terms of Article 3 of the convention regarding the prohibition of racial segregation and apartheid.

      FYI, the Freedom House report on Political Rights and Civil Liberties is unofficial and little more than a catalog of systematic discrimination against non-Jews.

    • Apparently The Guardian is just another Zionist stooge and maybe also French President Francois Hollande, who now says the “Vel d’Hiv roundup of Jews to Nazi camps was a ‘Crime committed in France by France’ (not Germany and not due to the German occupation, but the willing collaboration of Vichy officials).

      You are mixing apples and oranges. The Guardian and Obama administration are negotiating a settlement with the French government, not the French railway company. That's a different legal entity. The state legislatures of Maryland and New York have bills pending aimed at a French railway carrier that are jeopardizing US negotiations with the French government and threatening to trigger the involvement of the ICJ.

      In 1972, historian Robert Paxton’s book, Vichy France: Old Guard and New Order, . . .

      It certainly does mention the culpability of the French government, but does not comment directly about the culpability of any French railway companies or workers in any wrongdoing.

      It's important to remember that the French government was one of the parties to the Final Act of the Paris Conference on Reparation with annex (Paris 21st December 1945), which had already paid millions in reparations and/or waived its claims to assets that were turned over to Jewish victims of the war. Under the terms of that agreement, disputes regarding reparations are supposed to be settled by the International Court of Justice. link to cvce.eu

      Here's some background information on the reparations paid so far, which included 90 percent of the plundered non-monetary gold recovered from Germany:

      The Government of Israel, in support of its request for reparation from Germany, alleges that it is the only state which can speak on behalf of the Jewish people and that the claims of the Jewish people were disregarded in the allocation of reparations from Germany. In connection with those allegations, the Government of the United States calls attention to the following considerations:
      (a) Throughout the period of Nazi domination of Germany, the United States and other Countries offered sanctuary to many thousands of persons of Jewish origin fleeing from their Nazi persecutors. At the end of the war it enacted special laws to open its doors to the flood of unfortunate people made homeless, destitute and infirm by the ravages of war and oppression. Furthermore, the Governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France have made the major contribution to the International Refugee Organization, which has facilitated the resettlement of Jews in Israel. These voluntary acts of assistance demonstrate the concern for and the large measure of responsibility which the Government of the United States has assumed for the welfare of the Jewish victims of Nazi oppression.
      (b) Although they were not represented at the Paris Reparation Conference, the claims of the persecutees were given special consideration. The Paris Reparation Agreement allotted all non-monetary gold found in Germany, a fund of $25,000,000 from German external assets to be liquidated in the countries which remained neutral during the war, and all assets in neutral countries of victims of Nazi action who died without heirs for the relief and rehabilitation of non-repatriable victims of German action. It was recognized at the time that the overwhelming majority of these victims were Jewish, and immediately thereafter the Five Power Agreement of 1946 provided that ninety percent of the $25,000,000 fund and non-monetary gold and ninety-five percent of the heirless properties should be used for such victims. Furthermore, the Government of the United States notes that pursuant to the agreement between the Government of Israel and the Government of the United Kingdom of March 30, 1950, the latter turned over to the Government of Israel the proportion of reparation in respect of the mandate for Palestine which was received by the British Government under the Paris Reparation Agreement.

      In bringing to the attention of the Government of Israel the reparations and indemnities thus far received by the Jewish refugees, the Government of the United States does not imply that it regards them as full compensation for their sufferings. It concurs in the view of the Israeli Government that no material compensation can be sufficient. It would point out, however, that many nations and peoples experienced tremendous losses and sufferings at the hands of the Nazis and that none can expect its reparation receipts to reflect compensation in any substantial measure.

      The Government of the United States must also point out the bearing of certain agreements, to which it is a party, on further reparation demands on Germany. Immediately following the termination of hostilities, the Occupying Powers established the form of reparations to be exacted from Germany; in so doing they agreed that reparations must be of a character which would not impose a financial burden on the Allies, and that policy is unchanged. They then convoked a conference of those nations which made the greatest contribution to winning the war, for the purpose of distributing the share in German reparation allocated to the three Western Powers under the Potsdam Protocol. From that conference emerged the Paris Reparation Agreement, which not only determined the percentage share in reparation of the signatories but also provided that the reparation receipts shall be regarded as covering all their claims against Germany arising out of the war but without prejudice to the final settlement of German reparations. The effect of these decisions is to preclude the assertion by the Government of the United States, on its own behalf or on behalf of other states, of further reparation demands on Germany pending a definitive settlement in the nature of a peace treaty. It is impossible to predict when such a settlement will be possible.

      The Government of the United States therefore regrets that it cannot impose on the Government of the German Federal Republic an obligation to pay reparation to Israel as a condition to implementation of the decision reached by the Foreign Ministers at their conference in Brussels to place Allied-German relations on a new basis.

      The Government of the United States wishes to emphasize, however, that the new relationship will not effect a definitive settlement of all problems arising out of the war and that it will not prejudice the consideration of further claims for reparation in the negotiation of a final settlement with Germany in the nature of a peace treaty.

      – Foreign relations of the United States, 1951. The Near East and Africa, Page 749 link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

    • What’s your estimate of the 800,000 Jews persecuted and butchered in Arab countries between 1940 and 1967 ?

      It was pretty clear to the officials of the Jewish Agency that their plan for the conquest of Palestine would cause a backlash:

      A representative of the Jewish Agency has stated that in the event of partition the 400,000 Jews in the Arab states outside Palestine may have to be sacrificed in the interest of the Jewish community as a whole.

      link to foia.cia.gov

      There are former Jewish refugees who have opted for citizenship and resettlement in Israel. They are entitled to restitution or compensation. The number 800,000 is a gross exaggeration. Most of the emigres were Zionists making aliya. Declassified documentary evidence establishes that Israel shares responsibility for the refugee problems, because it deliberately triggered the mass exoduses. Here is one example:

      Ingathering of Exiles
      At the close of the interview I asked Kollek to tell me frankly whether Israel planned to start the ingathering of 70,000 Jews from Iran along the lines of the ingathering from Iraq. I said that so far as I knew, the level of anti-semitism in Iran was not abnormally high and I thought the friends of Israel, including the United States, would not favor a deliberately generated exodus there.
      Kollek replied that there was a school of thought in Israel which believes that when a nationalistic government of the Mossadegh type comes into power sooner or later they turn against their minorities and this has caused consideration to be given to the Iranian Jews. He did not believe, however, that efforts would be made to bring them to Israel unless the situation generally deteriorates. There could be no doubt that the need of the Roumanian Jews to come to Israel is far greater than the need of the Iranian Jews.
      I opined that the Iraqi operation had been bad for Iraq. I said that I hoped the Iraqi Government would not disenfranchise the Jews who had elected to remain Iraqi citizens. Kollek argued that short range, Iraq may have lost some skills, but he thought that long range it is “better for a country to be homogeneous” as would be the case if all of the Jews left Iraq. I asserted that homogeneity of population is not always a good thing and pointed with pride to the fact that the United States is in no sense homogeneous. Kollek’s only answer was “The United States is different.”

      – Memorandum of Conversation, by the Director of the Office of Near Eastern Affairs (Jones), Secret [WASHINGTON,] August 2,1951.
      Subject: Israel’s Concern Re Peace With the Arabs and Other Matters.
      Participants: Mr. Theodore Kollek, Embassy of Israel and Mr. G. Lewis Jones, NE, Foreign relations of the United States, 1951. The Near East and Africa, page 815 link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

      For years the government of Israel shamelessly tried to claim that there were 800,000 refugees from Arab lands whose claims offset those of Palestinian refugees, despite the fact that those Jews had no claims against Palestinians at all.

      Now it turns out that Israel never collected more than 14,000 claims from refugees in the first place:

      In 2010, a law was passed stating that compensation for the lost property would be included in any future Arab-Israeli peace agreement. But the report shows that even if peace were to break out tomorrow morning, Israel would be hard-pressed to present a solid claim because the state does not know what property is at issue. The possible reasons for this are many and absurd: Over the years, immigrants from Iran and Arab states were instructed to fill in and submit forms aimed at enabling the coordination of both individual and communal claims. Between 1969-2009, the Justice Ministry collected around 14,000 of these, but they were never processed or entered into a computer database. Some of the records are still in the ministry’s archive, waiting to be scanned digitally, but some have deteriorated so badly as to be worthless. The retirement of a single clerk who was in charge of the material at one point but did not train her successor is thought to have led to the disappearance of still more documents connected to the issue.
      – Comptroller blasts state for neglecting restitution of Jewish property in Arab states link to haaretz.com
      ====
      PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi reportedly claimed that “if Israel is their [Arab Jews’] homeland, then they are not ‘refugees’; they are emigrants who return either voluntarily or due to a political decision.”
      Ironically, Ashrawi’s sentiment succinctly captures what was once the prevailing view within the Israeli government and among major Zionist advocacy organizations. “I do not regard the departure of Jews from Arab lands as that of refugees,” asserted Iraqi-Israeli former Knesset Speaker Shlomo Hillel. “They came here because they wanted to, as Zionists.” His position was and still is shared by many others. Noteworthy, too, is the Law of Return, which ensures that Jews never arrive in Israel as refugees, but as “olim hadashim” − new immigrants.

      – A dubious campaign on behalf of Arab Jewish refugees link to haaretz.com

    • There was never a bid to forge an Arab “Palestinian” identity or country prior to Israel’s establishment.

      You are repeating shopworn Zionist propaganda, so let's refute it with some more. In light of constant Zionist attempts at the negation of Palestine and Palestinians, it's supremely ironic that the Director of Propaganda for Keren Hayesod and the Founding Father of Revisionist Zionism, Ze'ev Jabotinsky wrote:

      If it were possible (and I doubt this) to discuss Palestine with the Arabs of Baghdad and Mecca as if it were some kind of small, immaterial borderland, then Palestine would still remain for the Palestinians not a borderland, but their birthplace, the center and basis of their own national existence. Therefore it would be necessary to carry on colonization against the will of the Palestinian Arabs, which is the same condition that exists now. . . . because they are not a rabble but a nation, perhaps somewhat tattered, but still living." "

      . See The Iron Wall (We and the Arabs), First published in Russian: "O Zheleznoi Stene," Rassvyet, November 4, 1923 from Daniel Pipes website. link to danielpipes.org

      In 1914, long before there was a Balfour Declaration, a circular entitled “General Summons to Palestinians – Beware Zionist Danger” was distributed and published in the press. It warned that “Zionists want to settle in our country and expel us from it” and it was signed anonymously by “a Palestinian”. The author attributed the crisis to "history going full circle", resulting in the disintegration of "the Palestinian nation" that had once been blessed by God. See the full description of the article and verbatim extracts at the embedded link above on pages 220-222 of Neville J. Mandel, "The Arabs and Zionism Before World War I"

      For additional sources which debunk this Zionist myth, see the comment here: link to mondoweiss.net

    • and “just about everything else in society

      You are not married to them, or even buried with them. There has never been an Arab party included in a governing coalition, so there's no danger that a Palestinian Judge or Police Officer will ever enforce a law favoring non-Jews or create a Judge-made law or administrative regulation that won't be overturned by the Jewish Knesset, Land Administration, & etc.

      So the truth is, just about nothing you've mentioned is an accurate description of Zionist society or "democracy".

    • If a miracle occurs and the 2ss becomes a reality, Palestinian citizens of the Jewish State will continue to be relegated to a second-class status and citizenship.

      LOL! I had the same thought about two-tiered citizenship, only in response to Beinart's comment:

      You cannot permanently hold people without a passport, without the right to vote for the government that controls their lives, and the right to live under the same legal system as their neighbors who are of a different religion or ethnic group.

      After all, the Goldstone report explained that Palestine is really only as screwed-up (as it truly is), because the two-tiered system of Israeli municipal law has been exported to Palestine and it treats the indigenous Palestinians as aliens in their own country. Of course its authors in the Knesset intended for it to have that same effect on Palestinians living in Israel too - and no one in the audience would accept living as the "Israeli Arabs" do.

  • Simon Schama's Israel whitewash
    • most countries throughout the course of history have been mono-ethnic, and have lasted not merely centuries but millennia (see China; or India with its endemic deadly Hindu-Islamic clashes)

      Here's your wake-up call Chinese and Indian are not mutually exclusive ethnic groups: The government of China officially recognizes 56 different ethnic subdivisions in its population, including about 100 million people who aren't members of the majority Han Chinese ethnic group. FYI, unlike Zionists, they are not exaggerating when they point to successive Chinese governments and representatives of Han Chinese culture who have maintained a "continual presence" in Tibet for over 2,000 years. link to en.wikipedia.org

      The Indian people include more than two thousand ethnic groups, including the Chinese. link to en.wikipedia.org

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