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Total number of comments: 10337 (since 2010-02-28 20:54:05)



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  • Maybe next time it's Arab Americans who will be interned by U.S. gov't -- Rand Paul launches filibuster
    • Regarding: American citizens accepted Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War. Just saying.

      Forgot to mention that Lincoln had explained that prisoners like Merryman, were being detained for levying war on the Union Army, or giving aid and comfort to persons who were doing so, during a rebellion that began while the Congress was still in recess. link to

      When those exigent situations occurred in the past, they had always been governed by the Laws and Customs of War; the Articles of War adopted by the Continental Congress and subsequent revisions; and General Field Orders, like the Lieber Code of 1863. link to link to

      The reference to "the Privilege of the writ" in Article 1 of the Constitution regards a limitation on the power of Congress respecting the suspension of a common law procedure that never applied to persons waging war on the government in the first place. When an invasion or rebellion occurred the armed forces customarily detained and treated those responsible as "prisoners of war" without charges for the duration of the conflict and avoided returning them to the battlefield or belligerent community. That was not considered a form of punishment.

      It was a doctrine of English common law that the writ of habeas corpus was NOT applicable to cases involving persons detained for acts of treason during invasions or rebellions. When the Parliament finally got around to codifying the writ as black letter law in 1679, it included a stipulation that the writ applied to all cases, except for treason and felonies. See the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679 link to The Federalist Paper #84 cited Blackstone's Commentary on the subject of the writ. It also explained in great detail that the writ does NOT apply to cases of treason. See the discussion at the bottom of page 106 and top of page 107 link to

      Here is the relevant portion of the summary from the Ex Parte Merryman case:

      The petitioner, a citizen of Baltimore, was arrested by a military officer acting on the authority of his commanding officer. The petitioner was accused of treason against the United States. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, while on Circuit Court duty, issued a writ of habeas corpus directing the commanding officer to deliver the prisoner, and this was refused on the grounds that the officer was authorized by the President to suspend the writ.

      link to

      FYI, when a federal judge served General Jackson with a writ like that during the occupation of New Orleans, he had the Judge arrested and exiled. When he was finally allowed to return, the Judge fined him $1,000 dollars and the General paid it. The grateful citizens of the city raised the money to reimburse him, but Jackson made them donate it to the widows and orphans of the war. In the end, the US Congress insisted on reimbursing him, with interest. link to

    • American citizens accepted Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War. Just saying.

      The Constitution merely called it the "privilege of the writ", because the framers opted to ignore the decision in Somerset v Stewart (1772) 98 ER 499. The English High Court ruled that the writ applied to black slaves under English common law, and essentially ended the practice.

      On the other hand, Chief Justice Taney's tendentious Supreme Court opinion regarding the writ of habeas corpus in Dred Scott v Sanford essentially started the United States on the path to civil war. He declared that legislation prohibiting slavery from western territories was unconstitutional and that natural born blacks, whether free or slave, had no standing as citizens under the Constitution.

      That decision made any further political compromises nearly impossible. In Ex Parte Merryman he was at it once again in the aftermath of the Pratt Street Massacre in Baltimore. He was presiding over a kangaroo session of the Circuit Court that had been convened in a Masonic Lodge when an armed mob of 2000 persons proved to large for the Court House. The press reported that 150 of the men had lined the walls and were "armed to the teeth" and had sworn to free Merryman from his military guards as soon as they arrived. If that situation didn't satisfy the Constitutional conditions for a suspension of the writ in the interest of public safety, then the phrase has no meaning at all. Moreover, Merryman was charged with various offenses of treason that were not amenable to a writ of habeas corpus in the first place.

      Merryman was subsequently released and indicted by a grand jury on the basis of testimony supplied by at least 10 other persons. He was charged with treason twice in Circuit Court, but the Chief Justice never scheduled a trial date. When he finally died in 1864, his successor did the same, since Lincoln had already offered the first round of pardons and a conditional, but general amnesty. By the end of the war, "Lt. Merryman" had changed his story several times and admitted that he personally led the Maryland County Horse Guard when it burned the railroad bridges and cut the telegraph lines to prevent the US Army from relieving its units in Baltimore after the initial massacre of some soldiers during the riots on Pratt Street. Incredibly enough, he claimed that he was doing that to prevent further, inevitable bloodshed. But he still continued to file civil lawsuits against General Cadwalader for not responding to the writ and sending a military guard to escort him to the courthouse (and almost certain death).

      The full Supreme Court dealt with similar writ issues in the Ex parte Quirin case in 1942 and the Hamdi v Rumsfeld case in 2004. Neither of those settled all of the issues, but they conspicuously avoided the opportunity to affirm the Ex Parte Merryman opinion.

  • The U.S. is at last facing the neocon captivity
    • So your conspiracy theory has to involve more or less the entire national elected American government. Moreover it can’t be associated with the Bush administration since they weren’t in power yet. -

      LoL! Let me help you get some clue: It's no "conspiracy theory" when we know for a fact that our government ran an illicit war propaganda campaign in violation of its own international obligations under Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. A bogus "Iraqi National Congress (INC)" was created at the behest of the U.S. government for the purpose of fomenting the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. That work was done by a PR firm, Rendon Group, working under an exclusive contract with our government worth millions of dollars.

      After the first Gulf War, President Bush Sr. and his Defense Secretary Dick Cheney had publicly urged Iraqis to "take matters into their own hands." By the time the joint resolution that you are citing got adopted years later in the Clinton era, a hardcore Neocon Republican movement had taken control of both houses of Congress for the first time in 50 years and they were tired of waiting. They pushed for adoption of the "sense of the Congress" resolution on the question.

      Bush Jr's campaign was being organized and advised by a bunch of the same Neocons who developed and published a plan that said "The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein." link to Many of the very same Neocons had authored or endorsed a similar plan for Netanyahu, "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm". In any event we know for a fact from members of his own camp and cabinet that Bush Jr was looking for an excuse to invade Iraq months before 9-11 ever happened. See "Bush Sought 'Way' To Invade Iraq? O'Neill Tells '60 Minutes'Iraq Was 'Topic A' 8 Months Before 9-11" link to

      I'll leave it up to you to make the child-like argument that the majority of our members of Congress were not influenced decisively by the Neocons in the military industrial sector or the Israel Lobby.

  • Congress and state legislatures are on the warpath against BDS
    • Secondly, while the Jordanian Army did not invade Israeli territory, it did much more than take up “defensive positions” in the Old City of Jerusalem. It conquered, and razed, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City and took up positions in Latrun, Lydda, and Ramle, blocking the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road and laying siege to the holy city.

      No, Plan Dalet called for unprovoked attacks on Arab communities inside the Hebrew state and expulsion of all the inhabitants beyond its borders in any case where they attempted to defend themselves. link to

      The need to conqueror neighboring Jaffa isn’t portrayed as “instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation”. It was an example of carefully planned aggression.
      link to
      I already mentioned that Ben Gurion had launched the offensive against Jerusalem and ordered the commander of the Haganah to give Irgun and Lehi a free hand to conduct operations there, months before the UNSCOP hearings even began. After the State of Israel declared its independence, the Arab Legion was responding to pleas for assistance from Palestinians in relieving the siege against their neighborhoods in Jerusalem. The British High Commissioner had reported to the Security Council that the Jewish militias were over reacting by carrying out armed reprisals against unarmed Arab demonstrators who were engaged in riots.

      Here is Avi Shlaim’s summary of the historical events:

      In Jerusalem the initiative was seized by the Jewish side. As soon as the British evacuated the city, a vigorous offensive was launched to capture the Arab and mixed quarters of the city and form a solid area going all the way to the Old City walls. Glubb Pasha, the British commander of the Arab Legion, adopted a defensive strategy which was intended to avert a head-on collision with the Jewish forces. According to his account, the Arab Legion crossed the Jordan on 15 May to help the Arabs defend the area of Judea and Samaria allocated to them. They were strictly forbidden to enter Jerusalem or to enter any area allotted to the Jewish state in the partition plan. But on 16 May the Jewish forces tried to break into the Old City, prompting urgent calls for help from the Arab defenders. On 17 May, King ‘Abdullah ordered Glubb Pasha to send a force to defend the Old City. Fierce fighting ensued. The legionnaires inflicted very heavy damage and civilian casualties by shelling the New City, the Jewish quarters of Jerusalem. On 28 May, the Jewish Quarter inside the Old City finally surrendered to the Arab Legion.
      After the Jewish offensive in Jerusalem had been halted, the focal point of the battle moved to Latrun, a hill spur with fortifications, that dominated the main route from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Like Gush Etzion, Latrun lay in the area allotted by the UN to the Arab state. But Latrun’s strategic importance was such that Ben-Gurion was determined to capture it. Against the advice of his generals, he ordered three frontal attacks on Latrun, on 25 and 30 May and on 9 June. The Arab Legion beat off all these attacks and inflicted very heavy losses on the hastily improvized and ill-equipped Jewish forces.
      Any lingering hope that Transjordan would act differently to the rest of the Arab countries went up in smoke as a result of the costly clashes in and around Jerusalem. Yigael Yadin, the IDF chief of operations, roundly rejected the claim that there had ever been any collusion between the Jewish Agency and the ruler of Transjordan, let alone collusion during the 1948 War:
      Contrary to the view of many historians, I do not believe that there was an agreement or even an understanding between Ben-Gurion and ‘Abdullah. He may have had wishful thoughts … but until 15 May 1948, he did not build on it and did not assume that an agreement with ‘Abdullah would neutralize the Arab Legion. On the contrary, his estimate was that the clash with the Legion was inevitable. Even if Ben-Gurion had an understanding or hopes, they evaporated the moment ‘Abdullah marched on Jerusalem. First there was the assault on Kfar Etzion then the capture of positions in Latrun in order to dominate the road to Jerusalem, and then there was the entry into Jerusalem. From these moves it was clear that ‘Abdullah intended to capture Jerusalem.
      Yadin’s testimony cannot be dismissed lightly for it reflected the unanimous view of the IDF General Staff that the link with Transjordan had no influence on Israel’s military conduct during the War of Independence.

      link to

    • The war did not start when the Arab States declared war in May.

      The war started the first week after the passage of the U.N. partition plan, when local Arabs began near simultaneous attacks on Jewish cities, murdering 62 Jews.

      No, the first week in November of 1947, the British government passed a note to the UN General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee that was grappling with the recent rejection of both the UNSCOP majority and minority reports by the representatives of Jewish Agency who had demanded constitutional and territorial revisions. Note: You guys always say the Arabs lost all of their rights when they did things like that, without bothering to mention all of the British and UN partition plans the Jews rejected.

      Anyway, the RAF survey of the Beersheba district revealed 125,000 more Bedouins were settled on the 2 million dunams of land there than the UNSOP committee had been led to believe by the so-called "Survey of Palestine". The revised figures indicated that there would be an Arab majority in the Jewish state from the outset. The Chairman of the committee working on the partition plan held a press conference an noted the news, but explained the committee was eager to finish its work and would not make any last minute changes. That's when a war of ethnic cleansing to achieve a Jewish majority became an absolute necessity.

      BTW, Arab casualties always outnumbered Jewish ones by a margin of at least 2 to 1.

    • However, even if the Arab states had wanted to declare independence on the termination of the Mandate, Jewish/Israeli forces prevented it by already being in control of territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine” slated for an Arab state on May 15th 1948.

      No, the Cubans declared a state despite the fact that the United States continued to occupy the country after the war with Spain under the terms of the Platt Amendment and the 1903 Treaty. The same sort of thing applied to the US occupations of Haiti, Dominican Republic, Panama, El Salvador, and most of the other Pan American state parties to the Montevideo Convention. When the mandate was terminated the Palestinian Jericho Congress and the Parliament of Transjordan formed a constitutional union/joint kingdom. Half the lawmakers and cabinet members of the new state of "Jordan" were Palestinians. So they were definitely NOT a non-self-governing territory.

    • @Hostage

      The ALA was mostly composed of foreign, not local, fighers, but the Husayni family had a ‘private army’, that did garner popular support

      Oh bullshit. In a country with a population of more than 1.2 million Arabs he attracted less than 10,000 fighters, while the smaller Jewish population of 600,000 managed to field an army of 80,000.

      No one working for the US Joint staff or CIA, including the author you cited, ever thought that those 50,000 local, defensive fighters had anything more than theoretical lethality. They suffered from an utter lack of leadership, firepower, dispersion, and mobility.

    • Yes. A war that claimed 6,600 Jewish lives. BTW. What did the UN do to stop the Arab States from invading?
      Sanctions? Boycotts? A UN military action or peacekeeping mission?

      Nada! They left the Zionists out to dry.

      I hate to rain on your pity parade, but the UN Plan for the Future Government of Palestine (resolution 181(II) tasked both States to organize the militias needed to look after internal security and defend the borders of their respective States as one of the mandatory intermediate steps prior to independence. It also required them to respect the customary prohibition against the use of threats or force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any other State, including one another. 60 percent of those Jewish casualties happened in fighting conducted outside the UN borders.

      The UN had agreed to help fund and facilitate the establishment of the respective armed forces, including the provision of weapons. That part of the plan went out the window when the Zionists started openly conducting offensive operations and massacres outside their own borders in the Arab state and in the Corpus Separatum.

      For example, on 18 February 1948, Moshe Sharett wrote “We will have only enough troops to defend ourselves, not to take over the country.” Ben Gurion replied:

      If we will receive in time the arms we have already purchased, and maybe even receive some of that promised to us by the UN, we will be able not only to defend, but also to inflict death blows on the Syrians in their own country – and take over Palestine as a whole. I am in no doubt of this. We can face all the Arab forces. This is not a mystical belief but a cold and rational calculation based on practical examination.

      ” Ben Gurion Archives, Correspondence Section 23.02-1.03.48 Document 59, 26 February 1948. –See page 46 of Ilan Pappé, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Oneworld, reprint 2007

      You are also quite mistaken about the fact that the UN Security Council did nothing about it. The British Mandatory administration was ordered to implement an immediate arms embargo after the combined Zionist forces conducted a massacre inside the UN Corpus Separatum at Dier Yassin See S/Res/46 adopted on 17 April 1948 link to

      Ben Gurion himself had instructed Moshe Sneh not to interfere with the Irgun or Lehi when the Jerusalem revolt originally started. The Haganah was up to their eyeballs in acts of terror, like the bombing of the Semiramis Hotel in which the Spanish Ambassador had been murdered.

      During a debate on the subject in 1949, Ben Gurion was berating Begin and claiming credit for averting the danger to the State of Israel presented by the Altalena Affair and for putting an end to the armed insurrection in Jerusalem. The former Haganah Commander, Moshe Sneh, interrupted Ben Gurion and reminded him he was complicit in the insurrection in Jerusalem: “You sent me the cable not to harm the IZL!”. MK G. Meyer responded by threatening him (ala Anat Kam/Uri Blau) : “Moshe Sneh, don’t threaten us with publication!” — See the Minutes of the 8th Sitting of the First Knesset, 8 March 1949, in Netanel Lorach, “Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981″ Volume 2, JCPA/University Press, 1993, page 445 link to

      Here’s another fact that isn’t widely known:

      Today, it is worth turning our attention to a previously overlooked aspect of the incident: the source of the weapons that were onboard the ship. The Altalena carried thousands of rifles, several hundred machine guns and millions of rounds of ammunition, as well as explosives, mortars, shells and body armor. The arms shipment, worth millions of dollars, was donated to the Irgun by the French government.

      link to
      France was violating the Security Council arms embargo on behalf of a Jewish terrorist organization.

      Even the tiny Irgun had branch offices with weapons and fund raising departments in 23 foreign countries. They even had US First Lady Elenore Roosevelt doing public fund raisers. The Arabs had nothing at all like that.

      The US Secretary of State complained:

      The British Government is under heavy pressure from its Ministry of Defense and members of Parliament to make some pro-Arab gesture which would help to restore faith of Arab countries in UK. This has been jeopardized by scrupulous observation of the provisions of the arms embargo by UK throughout period when, according to all the evidence, USSR through Czechoslovakia has been arming Israel. This latter, combined with other Soviet activities, should at least establish presumption in regard to her intentions and hopes to foster confusion if not more than confusion in ME. Recent fighting showed clearly military might Israel has acquired behind back SC [Security Council].

      link to

    • Do you think, objectively — no pro or anti BDS bias — that legislation like this can have any meaningful impact on the BDS movement?

      Surely. If nothing else, it might instill a degree of fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the minds of corporate decision makers on the subject of BDS. No legislation of any kind will ever sway true believers on either side of this political issue. There's very little chance that this law will play any decisive role the state's pension fund management. It's an unfunded liability train wreck that's reputed to be "the worst in the country" and other unrelated legislative reforms are facing legal challenges from pensioners in the Courts over constitutional issues.

    • Very interesting. How do you know all this?

      I've made it my business to know about this subject. I've spent a small fortune on books and have taken advantage of every opportunity to read the official documentary records and discuss various aspects of the literature with experts in the fields of political science, public international law, criminal law, history, geography, culture, religion, and journalism - either through forums provided by peer-reviewed journals or in the comment sections of their university, trade, or personal blogs.

      As a result, I've ended up exchanging emails with quite of few experts and scholars on a regular basis - including some Fellows of the London School of Economics and Political Science SOAS, the Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the American Society of International Law, the Moritz College of Law, and Al Haq . Most of those contacts came through the PhD studies in human rights, the European Journal of International Law, the International Criminal Court Forum, the Syria Comment, or the Opinio Juris blogs. I've even provided some legwork and research assistance on a few of their projects that have been published.

      Do you write a blog or column?

      I've written or contributed to a few here at Mondo and have been invited to write some more. But I'm leaning toward setting up a blog of my own. I think that Phil and Adam would (understandably) prefer not to publish a lot of anonymous works representing standard Anti-Zionist Jewish points of view. There are plenty of other authors who are willing to identify themselves, but I'm not in a position where that's an option. I tend to write things based upon third-party verifiable archive materials that are readily available or in the public domain. Those could be published using the "Mondoweiss Editors" moniker for all that I care.

      most of what gets published in mainstream places is recycled drivel and talking points

      I agree. But I'm used to that. I've commented in the past about the fact that some of the mainstays of official Zionist propaganda were actually manufactured back when one of my relatives was working for the Jewish Agency as part of its efforts to conceal the major setbacks suffered by the movement, and the fact that he provided me with blow-by-blow commentaries about those little-known subterfuges and exploits when I was a kid growing-up. That experience has come in handy when presenting opposing views in response to articles or comments of spokespersons or lawyers from NGO Monitor, CAMERA, and even a few clueless PhDs who engage in a bit of tendentious Zionist stenography.

    • Now that’s interesting. American war criminals in Palestine

      Of course. I've mentioned them before. One of the first things that attracted my attention @ Mondoweiss was an article here about a J-Street petition on that very subject. J-Street asked the Treasury Department to do its job under the existing laws and stop persons on its list of known terrorists from operating tax exempt charities in this country that are used to funnel money to the illegal settlements. See “J Street Calls for Treasury Investigation Into Settlement Charities” link to I was so impressed that I signed-up and became a member of the organization. They quickly disappointed me by reinventing themselves along the lines of a Pro-Zionist, "AIPAC-lite"-like bunch of tools.

      I belong to JVP, which I'm happy to report has actually adopted a stronger policy in support of all the goals of the BDS movement during the same time frame. I also belong to which has collected 1,792,715 signatures on a petition to the CEOs of ABP, HP, Veolia, Barclays, Caterpillar, and G4S asking them to comply with the EU government guidelines against funding the illegal Israeli settlements. link to

      More importantly, Avaaz has another petition that's going nowhere fast (only 25,685 have signed) that asks the IRS to stop giving tax breaks to illegal Israeli settlements. link to

      *Strong Hint: If Phil, Adam, or Alex ever get around to reading something besides the piss-poor news coverage provided by the NY Times, there is a note from yours truly about that Avaaz petition dated 03/03/2015 sitting in their inbox at [email protected] ;-)

    • Hostage — are you an attorney by any chance?

      No, I've explained in the past that I've spent a lifetime "reading law," either because I happened to grow-up in a household that included an argumentative retired "country lawyer" who had once been employed in the Political Department of the Jewish Agency for Palestine or because my government duties in the military required me to assist in the chore of reading and interpreting statutes and writing the necessary field directives used by subordinate units to implement both the content and intent of many Congressional mandates. In addition, I served in combat and special tactics units, where the laws and customs of warfare were considered required career knowledge and were the subject of continuing professional military education.

    • You post a lot of judicial opinions and treaties and such, but legislation against the Arab League Boycott stood up.

      True enough, but I've always explicitly pointed that situation out to Mondo readers who complain about the lack of official PA or Palestinian State endorsement of the grass roots civil society BDS Movement, i.e. Palestine is a full member of the League of Arab Sates and solidarity activists should just accept the fact that its official endorsement would be the kiss of death for the US companies that we are trying to influence. You don't see AIPAC demanding that the government of Israel formally recognize it as one of its official foreign agents operating in this country for much the same reasons. Here's a link to one of my earlier comments about the subject of the State of Palestine and the possible consequences for the BDS movement of the US legislation against the Arab League Boycott: link to

      In the case of the Arab League Boycott, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.” The Logan Act and The Foreign Agents Registration Act either prohibit US citizens from entering into correspondence with foreign governments in their private capacities or requires them to officially register as agents, whenever they are working under the direction of a foreign government. FYI, the fact is that US businesses operating in boycotting Arab League states are legally permitted to obey local laws that forbid the importation of items sourced from Israel. See 15 CFR 760.3 - Exceptions to prohibitions. link to So those US laws really don't "stand up" so much.

      In any event, the Constitution doesn't empower the Congress or the several States to require citizens, associations, or corporations to engage in foreign commerce with Israel or preempt their 1st and 14th Amendment right to choose NOT to do so on their own behalf, until that country voluntarily accedes to our list of demands regarding respect for human rights and compliance with jus cogens norms of customary international law. Article I, Section 10, Clause 3, sets out the "Compact Clause" that keeps State lawmakers from meddling in foreign affairs or concluding their own agreements with a foreign state on the subject.

    • You start with non-Israeli Jews and end talking about settlers. So a lot of settlers aren’t even Israeli? AMAZING!

      There is no requirement for Zionists to acquire Israeli citizenship before taking a Busman's Holiday (extended excursion) in their pseudo-"homeland". They can always act out their fantasies and lord it over the local Gentiles on a free trial basis. They are part of the exceptional people present in the occupied territories who enjoy freedom of movement. The ICJ took notice of them in its findings of fact in the Wall case:

      133. That construction, the establishment of a closed area between the Green Line and the wall itself and the creation of enclaves have moreover imposed substantial restrictions on the freedom of movement of the inhabitants of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (with the exception of Israeli citizens and those assimilated thereto).

      link to

    • Salt, fat, and sugar are, of course, the main constituents of my centenarian parent’s traditional English vitamin-free diet.

      Do you still get along with them? I mean that, given those details, they could just be members of the undead who are still walking among us seeking revenge, not unlike some of our Jewish parents;-)

    • And you will be able to eat cheeseburgers and BLTs.

      But that would kill you, and Jews only obey commandments in order to live, not to avoid excommunication.

      I personally follow the China Study commandment to "Consume plant-based foods in forms as close to their natural state as possible (“ whole” foods). Eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, and whole grains. Avoid heavily processed foods and animal products. Stay away from added salt, oil, and sugar. Aim to get 80 percent of your calories from carbohydrates, 10 percent from fat, and 10 percent from protein." You will still die anyway, but it will take forever and come as a great relief;-)

    • And it doesn’t prevent anyone from boycotting Israel. It just says that Illinois is free to cash in their investment if someone does boycott.

      I think I've already addressed the fact that the law violates a customary common law fiduciary responsibility for pension fund managers to avoid investments in companies involved in unlawful activities, like the war crime of pillage. See for example "Israeli Map Says West Bank Posts Sit on Arab Land":

      An Israeli advocacy group, using maps and figures leaked from inside the government, says that 39 percent of the land held by Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank is privately owned by Palestinians.

      -- link to

      The new law would penalize blameless companies and impose an unconstitutional financial burden on them for responding to legal warnings issued by the governments of more than 17 EU member States and the UN which say that private companies doing business, transferring funds, investing money, signing contracts, buying land or receiving tourist services from companies in the settlements are taking legal and financial risks and possibly violating international law. See for example: 17 EU members take action against corporate complicity with Israeli crimes - link to and "Spain, Italy warn citizens against doing business with settlements: Nations join France, U.K. and Germany in advising against legal and financial risks." link to and the Statement [of the UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises] on the implications of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in the context of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory -- link to

      Those countries have ICC enabling legislation on forfeitures and victims compensation that require them to trace and recover unlawful proceeds from crimes which are subject to the Court's jurisdiction. See the NYT editorial regarding pillage in other countries in that same connection "Punish Companies That Pillage" -- link to and the news of first ever ICC court-ordered reparations from the Victims Compensation Trust Fund in a case involving the crime of pillage: link to

      The new law also violates an Article 25 UN Charter treaty obligation regarding a series of Chapter 7 Security Council resolutions on the subject of agreed upon international lines of demarcation; and another series of Security Council resolutions on the responsibility of all UN member States not to recognize or render aid and assistance to Israel in connection with the illegal situations it has deliberately created in the Occupied Palestinian territory in violation of the UN Charter and the 4th Geneva Convention. The World Court specifically called attention to those legally binding State treaty obligations in its 2004 Advisory Opinion.

      And you can’t really complain about this tactic. If it was done in the name of stopping fossil fuels you’d be all for it. Sorry.

      Nope, we can surely complain about it, since there have been no shortage of US federal court cases regarding war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by companies in the fossil fuel business. Treaties are part of "the Supreme Law of the Land". The US Constitution claims that the ones I mentioned above are enforceable in the State Courts, including the ones located in the State of Illinois. Pillage is prohibited in accordance with Article 28 of the Hague IV (1907) rules and it is a federal Class A felony in accordance with the 1998 War Crimes Act (the current US enabling legislation for The Hague IV and Geneva Conventions of 1949). See 18 U.S. Code § 2441 - War crimes link to

      Companies, organizations, and individuals that are engaged in foreign commerce and the laundering of proceeds from unlawful activity, e.g. the creation or underwriting of fraudulent deeds, fraudulent solicitations for the sale or lease of stolen properties, & etc. can be prosecuted under 18 U.S. Code § 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments link to

      In this case, there is a common plan or conspiracy, i.e. a joint criminal enterprise. So, the organizations and their proceeds are subject to civil and criminal sanctions under The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. 18 U.S. Code Chapter 96. It provides for a right of private action for individual victims in the federal courts against entities that violate 18 U.S. Code § 1956. There are even statutory provisions for punitive treble damages in cases involving fraud. link to I've already noted elsewhere that pensioners could also sue state officials under the terms of 42 U.S. Code § 1983 – Civil action for deprivation of rights: link to

    • ICC co-founder Cherif Bassiouni under fire for violating Israel boycott

      He's only under fire from Ali Abunimah & Co. FYI, Bassiouni is the only expert on international law that I've ever heard of who has reported on Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity in an ex-officio UN capacity who can still manage to enter the State of Israel. If I were him, I'd check and see if that qualifies as a Guinness record.

      I notice that Electronic Intifada is still hosting Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid? despite the fact that it was written in consultation with the Director of the Minerva Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, Hebrew University (Jerusalem) and several other prominent Israeli scholars. EI and PACBI conveniently forgot about the academic boycott in that particular case. link to

      In any event, Bassiouni was Vice-Chairman of the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee for the Establishment of an International Criminal Court and spearheaded efforts in the late 70s and early 80s to write a draft statute and UN reports on the subject, e.g. See his and Derby's "Final Report on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court for the Implementation of the Apartheid Convention and Other Relevant International Instruments" (1981). link to

      During the fist intifada, Prof. Bassiouni, and L. Cainkar , eds., compiled "The Palestinian Intifada – December 9, 1987 - December 8, 1988: A Record of Israeli Repression, Database Project on Palestinian Human Rights", published in Chicago (1989). It contained tabulated data including names locations, dates, and type of fatal wounds inflicted on the victims. During the ICC Office of the Prosecutor's debate on Palestinian Statehood back in 2009, he co-signed a letter which explained that the issue was irrelevant and that the Prosecutor was properly seized pursuant to Article 15, and should quit stalling and act proprio motu (on his own initiative) in accordance with the terms of the Rome statute. link to

      I can't imagine that any Zionists in Israel are going to find any comfort in a damned thing that Bassiouni will have to say to them in his lectures or that they will ever portray his visit as a propaganda win.

    • This surprise decision found that the two Serbian secret police leaders had trained, paid and supervised Serb paramilitary combat units that for years carried out widely-publicized war crimes across Bosnia and Croatia. Yet the judges said a conviction required evidence that the leaders “specifically directed” their aid be used to commit war crimes, something critics say virtually no commander is foolish enough to do.

      The whole argument was nonsense in any event. I've pointed out elsewhere that in US jurisprudence mere knowledge that a group engages in criminal activity is all that is necessary under our own Patriot Act to secure a conviction, not specific direction. Israeli law is the same. The ICTY Judges were all relying on a decision in Tadic about an element of a common plan in a joint criminal enterprise that has no application to a simple aiding and abetting charge and it was never based upon any prior examples of customary international law. See for example: link to

    • Boycott is a form of political action not speech

      Frankly that's a distinction that makes no difference, since the Congress can't adopt any laws that infringe on either a citizen's right to take political action or engage in forms of free speech that are not prohibited by our Constitution. FYI, the Supreme Court held that the NAACP boycott against the white merchants of Alabama was protected by the provisions of both the 1st and 14th Amendments in the Claiborne Hardware case and that the state could not impose any form of liability on members of a group or association, unless it could establish that its goals were unlawful.

      Frankly, the BDS movement is advocating the adoption of the very same principle of the law of nations that was recognized by the US Supreme Court in United States v Perchman (1832) with regard to the continuing rights of the inhabitants to citizenship, inheritances, residency, and private property ownership:

      The modern usage of nations, which has become law, would be violated; that sense of justice and of right which is acknowledged and felt by the whole civilized world would be outraged if private property should be generally confiscated and private rights annulled on a change in the sovereignty of the country. The people change their allegiance, their relation to their ancient sovereign is dissolved, but their relations to each other and their rights of property remain undisturbed.

      Hint: among other things, many of these "corporations" the lawmakers are trying to penalize under the new law can be considered registered publicly-owned "associations" with an inherent right to take political actions and participate in our political processes without fear of official reprisals.

    • It was March 1968. Yaakov Herzog, director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office, received a memo marked “Top Secret” from the Foreign Ministry’s legal adviser, Theodor Meron. As the government’s authority on international law, Meron was responding to questions put to him about the legality of demolishing the homes of terror suspects in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and of deporting residents on security grounds.

      As usual, we are missing half the story. The 1937 UK Defense Act, which empowered the High Commissioner of Palestine to promulgate the 1945 Defense Emergency Regulations, was explicitly repealed by "The Palestine (Revocations) Order-in-Council, of 1948", published in the UK Government Gazette in London and dated effective 14 May 1948

      Later that same year the Israeli government was challenged on the validity of using the twice-revoked Emergency Regulations. The regulations were challenged because they were a) no longer part of the laws in force under the mandate that were retained under the 1948 Transition Act and b) were part of the laws that had been declared repugnant to the Jewish people. Their legal consequences, concerning expropriation of Jewish property, the deportation of Jews, & etc. had all been declared null and void.

      The Knesset and the Ben Gurion government responded to those challenges by adopting an amendment which stipulated that the laws promulgated in the official UK National Gazette, which had revoked the Emergency Regulations, were to be considered "unpublished laws that had no effect and never had any effect". link to

      King Abdullah issued a proclamation the day prior to the end of the Mandate declaring that the Emergency Regulations of Transjordan (1937), not the Palestine Emergency Regulations, would apply to any territory that came under the jurisdiction or control of the Arab Legion in the future. Article 9 of the Jordanian Constitution (drafted by the Palestinian people themselves) explicitly prohibited acts authorized by the Palestine Emergency Regulations, like deportation or exile from the realm. The same article of the Constitution said that any law or regulation to the contrary was declared null and void. The laws and customs of land warfare reflected in the rules annexed to the Hague IV Convention of 1907 require Israel to respect those Jordanian laws that were in effect in the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. The 4th Geneva Convention contains explicit prohibitions of deportations and collective punishments, like home demolitions. But the governments of Israel have always rejected its de jure applicability.

      Theodor Meron made a reputation for himself arguing in law journal articles that Israel has a treaty obligation to implement the humanitarian laws of occupation contained in the Hague and Geneva Conventions. At one and the same time Palestinian legal advisors, like Aziz Shehedah, were required to file unsuccessful rebuttals to Dr. Meron's affidavits filed on behalf of the State in cases dating back to the 1980s, wherein Meron advised the High Court of Justice that the conventions had not been implemented in necessary enabling legislation and that neither the UK act of revocation nor the Jordanian Constitution satisfied the necessary legal criteria contained in the Law and Administration Ordinance or the Military Interpretation Orders to prohibit them from being used to authorize deportations or home demolitions.

      So it appears that Dr. Meron aided and abetted (and specifically directed his efforts) to assisting the government of Israel in carrying out the illegal deportation of Palestinians from the occupied territories in violation of Article 49(6) of the 4th Geneva Convention. In any event, I wouldn't rush to clothe him in any undeserved glory. If he felt that it was illegal to do those things, he certainly kept it a "top secret" from the High Court of Justice for many, many years - and would probably do the same thing again today. See "Text of Affidavit Submitted to the Israeli Supreme Court by Advocate Aziz Shehadeh" (1980), page 69 (pdf page 71) of "Perpetual Emergency" link to

    • so…bds bigots, Israel-haters and many anti-semites among them are fuming that boycotts are being implemented against boycotters

      And rightly so, since our US Constitution and our Courts limit the right of our state lawmakers to foster an excessive government entanglement with any foreign country or use the power of the purse to engage in viewpoint discrimination against individuals or members of private associations seeking compliance with international law and equal rights, such as the BDS Movement or the NAACP. This is hardly the first time that lawmakers have engaged in an exercise of discrimination in state-operated public forums or the operation of a state entity in an attempt to prohibit individuals or private association members from conducting a civil rights boycott under the color of state or federal law. FYI, the Courts have always ruled that any boycott, with the exception of a human rights or civil rights boycott, is illegal per se in accordance with our federal antitrust laws. There is no Israeli human right or civil right to pillage and plunder Palestine and deny the indigenous ethnic Arab population equal rights.

      Our Constitution assigns responsibility for observance and enforcement of "The Law Of Nations" and the conduct of our foreign relations to the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of our Federal government. The US Supreme Court has long-since held that: "International law is part of our law, and must be ascertained and administered by the courts of justice of appropriate jurisdiction, as often as questions of right depending upon it are duly presented for their determination. -- See "The Paquete Habana, 175 U.S. 677, 700 (1900) link to

      In this case it ought to be pretty obvious that there is no "compelling state interest" in supporting Israel's flagrant violation of the law of nations and the prohibition of pillage through investment of state pension funds. That's especially true in light of the fact that lawmakers are penalizing companies that: (a) may have responded to constructive notices issued by the UN or EU officials about corporate criminal liability arising from their continued activities or operations in Palestine; (b) companies that have responded to marketplace demands from investors and consumers; and (c) companies that have adopted their own code of conduct in line with the applicable international law. It's doubtful that the lawmakers actually have the authority to waive the conflicting statutory, common law, fiduciary responsibilities of the fund managers to state pensioners in order to accomplish their goal. The funds that they are placing at risk of civil or criminal forfeiture or loss certainly aren't their own.

      In fact, citizens can sue state officials in federal court whenever they deny us a statutory or customary right, like abrogating the state's normal fiduciary obligation to avoid risky investments in unlawful undertakings. See 42 U.S. Code § 1983 – Civil action for deprivation of rights: "Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress". -- link to

      In this case the lawmakers are trying to engage in viewpoint discrimination that violates the equal protection clause as well: "It is beyond debate that freedom to engage in association for the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an inseparable aspect of the 'liberty' assured by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which embraces freedom of speech. . . Effective advocacy of both public and private points of view, particularly controversial ones, is undeniably enhanced by group association, as this Court has more than once recognized by remarking upon the close nexus between the freedoms of speech and assembly. . . Of course, it is immaterial whether the beliefs sought to be advanced by association pertain to political, economic, religious or cultural matters, and state action which may have the effect of curtailing the freedom to associate is subject to the closest scrutiny." - NAACP v. Alabama ex rel. Patterson, 357 U.S. 449, 460 -61 (1958)

      They are also trying to use the the power of the State to penalize or regulate a lawful human rights boycott: "In 1966, a boycott of white merchants in Claiborne County, Miss., was launched at a meeting of a local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) attended by several hundred black persons. The purpose of the boycott was to secure compliance by both civic and business leaders with a lengthy list of demands for equality and racial justice. The boycott was largely supported by speeches encouraging nonparticipants to join the common cause and by nonviolent picketing, but some acts and threats of violence did occur. In 1969, respondent white merchants filed suit in Mississippi Chancery Court for injunctive relief and damages against petitioners (the NAACP, the Mississippi Action for Progress, and a number of individuals who had participated in the boycott, including Charles Evers, the field secretary of the NAACP in Mississippi and a principal organizer of the boycott). Holding petitioners jointly and severally liable for all of respondents' lost earnings during a 7-year period from 1966 to the end of 1972 on three separate conspiracy theories, including the tort of malicious interference with respondents' businesses, the Chancery Court imposed damages liability and issued a permanent injunction.

      Held: 1. The nonviolent elements of petitioners' activities are entitled to the protection of the First Amendment.
      (a) Through exercise of their First Amendment rights of speech, assembly, association, and petition, rather than through riot or revolution, petitioners sought to bring about political, social, and economic change.
      (b) While States have broad power to regulate economic activities, there is no comparable right to prohibit peaceful political activity such as that found in the boycott in this case. -- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Claiborne Hardware Co. (No. 81-202) 458 U.S. 886

      In cases, like Widmar v. Vincent 454 U.S. 263 (1981) and Rosenberger v. University of Virginia 515 U.S. 819 (1995) the Supreme Court has ruled that the States may not discriminate or impose any financial burden on speech on the basis of its viewpoint or content.

    • Establishing the duties of the occupier, as done by 181, is of course valid.

      The resolution didn't do any such thing. It prescribed the terms of internal governance for two new democratic states with legal safeguards, including a UN minority protection plan, that insured equal rights for one and all under the law and no discrimination of any kind was supposed to be permitted. Modern day one-staters spend a lot of time writing bullshit that has nothing to do with the UN partition plan and wishing out loud that the international community would impose something exactly like it.

      It never called for the appointment of either an all-Arab or an all-Jewish government in either state or for the establishment of Jewish minority rule. The use of those labels for propaganda purposes by both sides has always clouded the true nature of the UN plan. Most people simply blame what happened instead on the UN resolution itself and never bother to read "The Plan for the Future Government of Palestine".

      It established a regional government through the integral Plan for Economic Union and Right of Transit between the two new states. From the outset, it attempted to place heavily populated Arab areas off-limits to any future Jewish immigration. The UN explicitly acknowledged that the continued use of a common currency, and joint use and governance of a common network of roads, rail, communications, ports, and joint development of irrigation projects and other natural resources was essential to the viability of both states. It guaranteed the right of everyone to travel freely throughout the region. So everyone could continue to use their holy sites or visit extended family members located in the other new state. The Board of Governors for the Union would have been comprised of representatives from both states and international delegates appointed by the UN to represent the UN-administered Corpus Separatum. The plan also called for revenue sharing between the states and the Corpus Separatum, to balance out tax receipts and revenues derived from tourism and trade within the union. Like the 1939 White Paper, it called for an end to any further foreign Jewish immigration in roughly half of the territory of the former mandate lying west of the river and required the consent of a proportionally representative lawmaking body in the remainder of the territory for any foreign immigration there. By early November of 1947, the British government had advised that, from the outset, it estimated that there would be an Arab majority in the so-called Jewish State. Under the terms of the UN plan, the Arabs would have constituted the majority of the new state's lawmakers. So the Jewish Agency went on the warpath instead.

    • Between 80 – 85 percent of non-Israeli Jews are Americans. Ergo, any group of Jews – criminals, geniuses, or settlers – would have a lot of Americans. Nothing surprising that a lot of settlers are American born.

      Oh bullshit! It's bad enough that we have to listen to Zionist agit-prop talking points about the need for a Jewish national home in Palestine after the Holocaust. But we surely don't need to debunk the idea that there has ever been the slightest excuse for any American Jew to become an illegal settler in Palestine.

    • As for “rights”, forget for a moment all the UN gobbledygook in 181 that is trying to camouflage the fact that this partition proposal was totally null, being a rejected proposal by a GA, a body without executive powers whose decisions have been ignored by the hundreds by the Zionists.

      Nothing could be further from the truth. The relevant UN legal experts have reported to the Security Council that Israel is under a continuing legal obligation to allow all of the refugees from the conflicts in 1948, 1967, & etc. to return to Israel because of its unconditional acceptance of the minority protection plan contained in resolution 181(II) during the hearings on Israel's UN membership application.

      FYI, the UN Charter is a multilateral treaty that gives the General Assembly the power to adopt decisions and conduct international arbitration or adjudication of any question falling within its functional area of competence. It could legally terminate a mandate; conclude a trusteeship agreement to serve as the new fundamental law or constitution of the successor state(s) to a mandatory regime; and it had the power to place a trusteeship under direct UN administration. See for example the text of A/RES/2145 (XXI) link to and the ICJ findings of fact in the 1970 Namibia case. link to

      On 20 June, 1962 the UN General Assembly adopted a decision to accept a UN commission's proposal regarding the partition of Ruanda-Urundi into two independent states, Rwanda and Burundi, and to establish an Economic Union between the two. See UN resolution 1746 (XVI) and compare that situation to the UNSCOP proposal and resolution 181(II):
      link to
      link to

    • Hostage: one in ten illegal settlers are American citizens. [Rusty:] I would have thought the percentage was much higher.

      It's still outrageous, considering that there are nearly two hundred other countries, and that there were no pogroms in the USA that drove them all to join in a flagrantly illegal enterprise.

    • And the Illinois State House passed SB 1761! Woo Hoo!

      How bright are the lawmakers who adopted this nonsense:

      Provides that actions taken in compliance with the amendatory Act are exempt from any conflicting statutory or common law obligations, including fiduciary duties.

      link to

      In other words, the pension fund's managers are legally obliged to roll the dice and ignore the very real risk that all of a corporation's profits or proceeds from activities in the occupied territories may be subject to forfeiture. These lawmakers are obviously not concerned about protecting the interests of their own constituents.

    • That resolution did not take into account the war. You can’t reject the resolution, start a war to prevent its implementation, and then afterward complain that the rights it promised you were violated.

      No, minority treaties had become a customary part of the creation of new states in international law, precisely because there always was a need to prevent the new governing regimes from persecuting indigenous ethnic groups or driving them into exile and waging fratricidal wars at the moment of independence over boundary disputes.

      In any event, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 273 (III) AFTER THE WAR. It acknowledged the formal post-war declarations and undertakings supplied by the representative of Israel stating that the government would implement resolution 181(II) and 194(III). Abba Eban was specifically required to explain for the record whether or not the government of Israel had provided the necessary Declaration on the constitutional protection of the rights of non-Jews as required by Part I- The Future Government of Palestine, Sections B and C of resolution 181(II)? Eban cited a cable from Foreign Minister Shertok to the Secretary General which described the contents of the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel (which in-turn had been signed by the members of the Provisional Council of the State of Israel). Eban declared that it had been published in Israel’s national gazette and promulgated as fundamental law in accordance with the terms of the UN resolution.

      Contrary to your claims, he also declared that the requirement to adopt that fundamental law protecting all of the rights in question was still capable of fulfillment by Israel acting alone, and did not rely upon the acceptance of the Arab state or states. See pages 2-3 of the .pdf containing the transcript of the 48th session A/AC.24/SR.48 and the verbatim UN record of the 51st session starting on pdf page 6, A/AC.24/SR.51

      FYI, no one has ever established that the hundreds of thousands of unarmed Palestinian refugees had ever declared war on a single soul. In fact, many of the contemporary documents in Israel's state archives indicate that they didn't:

      *Ezra Danin worked in various capacities in the Jewish Agency and the Arab department, "Sherut Yediot", the "Information Service" of the Haganah. In January of 1948, Danin wrote: "I believe the majority of the Palestinian masses accept the partition as a fiat accompli and do not believe it possible to overcome or reject it." See Document 90, page 128 "Political and Diplomatic Documents Central Zionist Archives/Israel State Archives, December 1947- May 1948, published Jerusalem, 1979.

      *The Mufti did not enjoy much popular support and all his efforts to organize a popular resistance to the Partition Resolution were unsuccessful. According to Ian Bickerton, Carla Klausner, "A Concise History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict", 4th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2004, few Palestinians joined the Arab Liberation Army and many Palestinians favored partition and indicated a willingness to live alongside a Jewish state (page 88).
      *Ben-Gurion rebuffed the various efforts of more pragmatic Palestinian Arabs to reach a modus vivendi since it was his "belief ... that Zionist expansionism would be better served by leaving the leadership of the Palestinians in the hands of the extremist Mufti than in the hands of a 'moderate' opposition. 'Rely on the Mufti' became his motto." Blocked by Zionist policy from officially expressing their opposition to war, the Palestinian Arabs arranged "non-aggression" pacts with their Jewish neighbors. The relatively few who did take up arms did so primarily to defend themselves against feared attacks by the Jews. See the review of Simha Flapan's The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities

      *David Ben-Gurion advised Moshe Sharett about the public sentiment of the Palestinians: "They, the decisive majority of them, do not want to fight us." See Ben Gurion to Sharett, March 14, 1948, Document 274, on page 460 of "Political and Diplomatic Documents Central Zionist Archives/Israel State Archives, December 1947- May 1948, published Jerusalem, 1979.

    • You guys try to invoke the settlements when you need to pander to a more moderate audience, but within the cult, are on the same page about what BDS really means: no Jewish state.

      That's not our problem, it's yours. You Zionist lamebrains keep calling yourselves "the Jewish State", while ignoring the legal definition of that term in accordance with UN resolution 181(II). That resolution always did place the rights of the Palestinian Arab inhabitants of the proposed Jewish state under UN guarantee and required that they be constitutionally protected by the new government against any form of discrimination, persecution, or expropriation of their lands or property.

    • From your link, it seems that BDS is also absolutely necessary since corporations and governments have not ceased and desisted on their own from doing business with and in the illegal settlements and with the military Occupiers.

      The "S" in BDS does include the piecemeal adoption of official government civil and criminal sanctions:

      We appeal to you to pressure your respective states to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel.

      -- Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS link to

      FYI, nothing prevents the US Attorney General from indicting US citizens who are involved in the illegal settlement enterprise under our war crimes, money laundering, and RICO statutes. In fact, 1 in 10 illegal settlers are US citizens who are living on pillaged or plundered Palestinian property. See: The American settler you don't know link to

      So by definition, the US government has proven itself to be "either unwilling or unable" to conduct investigations and prosecutions of its own citizens who have commited crimes on the territory of Palestine. That tends to trigger the jurisdiction of other governments and courts, including the ICC.

    • The Palestinian “right of return” spells the end of the Jewish people’s recognized right to a national homeland.

      In fact, there never has been any such recognized right. The nebulous term "Jewish national home" in the British mandate didn't even permit "close settlement of Jews" on any Palestinian state land or waste land that was "required for public use". No one has to ask the government for permission to "immigrate" to their legal "homeland". Jewish immigration and settlement were only permitted under "suitable conditions", while ensuring that the rights and position of other non-Jewish sections of the population were not prejudiced:

      The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.

      -- link to

      That last part ought to inform any intelligent reader whose state exactly, that it was. How on Earth can you maintain that it was a Jewish national homeland, if Jewish settlement wasn't even considered a valid "public use" of state lands?

    • It’s good of you to share these facts, Hostage.

      You can read more about the UN organization warnings to businesses operating in the settlements here: Statement on the implications of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in the context of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, 6 June 2014 link to

    • In Congress, Democrats and Republicans are trying to attach an anti-boycott bill to a mega-trade deal involving Europe and the U.S.

      It’s a self-defeating measure that would render any resulting trade agreement null, void, and unenforceable. It would violate both the content and intent of Article 53 of the UN’s Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties: “Treaties conflicting with a peremptory norm of general international law “jus cogens” A treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law.”
      link to

      The Law of Treaties reflects the fact that certain overriding principles of international law, like the prohibition of pillage, plunder and many other war crimes and crimes against humanity, exist from which it is accepted that no State may deviate by way of a treaty. Senator Cardin is never going to convince our EU allies that colonizing an occupied territory isn’t a war crime. After all, it was our own President Truman that asked the UN and the Geneva Diplomatic Conference to codify the legal principles found in the Nuremberg Charter as international law. link to

      Count 3 of the Nuremberg Indictment, i.e. “(J) GERMANIZATION OF OCCUPIED TERRITORIES” charged the Nazis as follows:

      In certain occupied territories purportedly annexed to Germany the defendants methodically and pursuant to plan endeavored to assimilate those territories politically, culturally, socially, and economically into the German Reich. The defendants endeavored to obliterate the former national character of these territories. In pursuance of these plans and endeavors, the defendants forcibly deported inhabitants who were predominantly non-German and introduced thousands of German colonists.

      — See pdf page 73 (printed page 63) of The International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, Trial of the Major War Criminals, Vol. 1 at the Library of Congress link to or see the Indictment, Count 3 “War Crimes” at the Avalon Project link to

      .. in Illinois, state legislators look set to approve an anti-BDS law requiring state pensions to divest funds from companies that boycott or divest from Israel.

      The EU and the UN have already started putting corporations, banks, and pension funds on constructive notice that doing business in the illegal settlements can subject them to criminal and civil liability, including forfeitures. So, there is definitely a fiduciary responsibility for corporations to avoid all such activities and investments, without regard to the Illinois statute.

  • Netanyahu: Jerusalem was always the capital 'of the Jewish people alone'
    • Netanyahu: Jerusalem was always the capital ‘of the Jewish people alone’ - ... What evidence do you have that any population continuously inhabited Palestine for 2500 years? What ties do you have between today’s Palestinians and the Canaanites?

      Let's turn that question around and ask what evidence Netanyahu has of any ties to the Crusader Kingdom and the Jewish people? The Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies at Bar-Ilan University claims that when the Crusaders selected Godrey de Bouillon as the city's ruler, he received the title 'Advocate of the Holy Sepulchre' and established Jerusalem as the capital of the country - 'The Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem' and also that:

      This was the first time in over one thousand years that Jerusalem functioned as the country's capital.

      -- link to

      Is Mileikowsky/Netanyahu/Nitai a member of the Teutonic Knights, the Knights Templar, et al?

  • It’s time to boycott Ben & Jerry’s
    • “But perhaps the move here does make some sense – can help with people`s waistlines…”

      Fair enough, their products were never on my menu anyway. I even consider their "healthy" items, like the sorbets, to be nothing but junk food.

      Americans are awful at math, chemistry, history and pretty much every other subject. They do have the largest waistlines though and are best at whining. It should be a consolation for Giles.

      Perhaps, but obesity rates in Israel are high and comparable to those in the United States. link to If you skip non-essentials, like Ben and Jerry's products, you'll probably be better off in the long run. I'm working on my 7th decade of life and my fourth on a whole plant food based diet. I'm still the same size as the day I graduated from High School, i.e. 6 ft. 1 in., 165 pounds, and 32 in. waist. I'd be willing to wager that I've forgotten more about math, chemistry, and history in that time than you'll ever learn in any Israeli Education Ministry-approved textbook on those subjects. In fact, I'd wager that I've read and commented on more journal articles and books authored by Israelis concerned about the content of that country's standard textbooks than most Israelis.

      FYI, since you brought the subject up, Americans still have much higher average test scores than our Israeli counterparts, link to and in fairness, none of our Presidents in living memory had an unhealthy girth as embarrassingly huge as Ariel Sharon's over-bloated waistline.

      Our Presidents also weren't nearly as whiney as he was about the existential threat that sizable ethnic minority population groups allegedly posed to national security - and some of ours are much larger than the entire population of Israel.

  • Palestine’s moment of truth for the International Criminal Court
    • Here's a link to an article by Eugene Kontorovich which compares the Saudi blockade of Yeman to Iranian relief ships to Israel's blockade of Gaza. The subject of the legality of blockades in non-international conflicts versus international armed conflicts (i.e. some victims are more equal than others under the law) actually stirred quite a debate. link to

      Here's a comment I made about the "sovereign equality of states" jargon in the UN Charter that you might find interesting:

      Re… Adrian: in the 19th Cent. it was well known that all of the customary laws of war applied to a “belligerency” (like the US Civil War between the United States and the belligerent CAS) and that they applied to wars with “nations,” etc. The US was at war with certain Indian nations and tribes.

      FYI, the change to the undefined term “State” in the portion of the UN Charter regarding “sovereign equality” altered the entire nature of the organization and prevented it from actually becoming the “United Nations”. To anyone familiar with the actual documentary history and the rules of international organization, it’s simply ludicrous to suggest that the absence of some aspect of “sovereign equality” could somehow serve as a jurisdictional bar to criminal prosecution in an international court – because there never has been any such thing.

      I discussed in my post above, that entities like the Latin American and Caribbean states or the India Colony were admitted as full members of the League of Nations, decades before they attained any real measure of independence or sovereignty of their own. They weren’t looking for statehood in the end, they already had that, they were seeking independence. The US State Department Digest of International Law explains that:

      “A state in the international sense is generally described as a recognized member of the family of nations, an international person. Authorities differ in respect to the qualifications for such statehood, but there is general agreement on certain basic requirements. Independence is not essential. The requisite personality, in the international sense, is seen when the entity claiming to be a State has in fact its own distinctive association with the members of the international society, as by treaties, which, howsoever concluded in its behalf, mark the existence of definite relationships between itself and other contracting parties” — Marjorie M. Whiteman, Digest of International Law, vol. 1 (Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1963) page 223

      So if the PLO Executive Committee concluded treaties on behalf of the PA, acting in its capacity as the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine, that would not prevent the PA from being a state in the customary sense.

      The first time the phrase “sovereign equality” was used in the foreign relations of the United States was when the Secretary of State advised the US Delegation to the Kingdom of Hawaii that it was okay to arrange with the commanding officer for the continued presence on shore of a US marine force, so long as he did NOT establish “a protectorate over the Government of the Hawaiian Islands, which the United States have recognized as sovereign and with which they treat on terms of sovereign equality.” The very next day he cabled again and said “A treaty of annexation has been signed and will be sent to the Senate without delay.” — link to

      In 1943, the first draft of the declaration of the Moscow Conference said: “That they recognize the necessity of establishing at the earliest practicable date a general international organization, based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all nations, and open to membership by all nations, large and small, for the maintenance of international peace and security.” — link to

      That formula would never do for the Big Five, since those particular Allies wanted to keep their war time enemies out of the organization and they also wanted to prevent smaller powers from entertaining any pretensions that some nations might not play a larger role than others. So the British proposed: “That they recognise the necessity of establishing at the earliest practicable date a general international organization based on the principle of sovereign equality of all nations for the maintenance of international peace and security in which all peace-loving nations, great and small, may play their parts.” — link to

      Uncle Joe Stalin would have been understandably apoplectic over all of this talk about the sovereign equality of all the nations in his Soviet fold, their right of self-determination, and their right to play a part. While he agreed in principle with the British proposal, proper top-down control under Marxist-Leninist theory would have demanded that it be reworded through a simpler amendment: “namely, to insert the word “States” for “nations” and drop all the talk about small ones playing a part. That’s exactly what the USSR recommended. – link to

      In the end they determined that the idea of sovereign equality among peace loving states wasn’t even flexible enough to accommodate the principle of official state neutrality, since peace loving members might have to accept a decision of the Big Five that would require them to go-off to war on a moment’s notice. Article 25 also seemed at odds with the concept of equality, since all of the members had to agree to accept any decision of the Security Council, including a veto that only five members would ever possess. The term lost almost all residual meaning when the USSR, a single constitutional union or entity, demanded and received 3 votes (Russia, Ukraine, and Byelorussia) in the General Assembly – and the veto in the Security Council – compared to the single measly vote permitted to all of the smaller States.

      Honest scholars of political science have never harbored any illusions about the inequality of these historical arrangements which focused all the attention on so-called sovereign states and away from “nations” and “communities”.

    • I attribute many of his similarities to GW and the travesty that is Gitmo to Congress.

      Not at all. Obama could earn his Nobel prize by simply calling President Castro and advising him that there are some civilians at Gitmo who will require the assistance of the Cuban authorities after our withdrawal - and then order all of the US military personnel off the island.

      The military base at Gitmo has always been an exercise of Presidential power ever since the day that Teddy Roosevelt and Secretary of War Elihu Root turned the Teller Amendment into a legal nullity and dictated the terms of the new Platt amendment that subjugated Cuba and imposed a perpetual international servitude on the island regarding the lease of that naval base. link to link to

      The Platt Amendment, and other legal subterfuges like it, allowed the US to intervene militarily in the affairs of all the Latin American and Caribbean States to collect debts owed to foreign investors or to put down revolts against the abusive practices of corrupt American or other foreign-owned companies. Essentially we invaded and wouldn't leave until the "uncivilized" inhabitants adopted treaties and constitutions recognizing our free right of action against them at any time in the future, the appointment of our customs collectors to repay the debts our Military Governors and foreign investors had incurred on their behalf during the occupation for things, like projects that benefited foreign owned cane, fruit, and banana companies. The Platt Amendment was still in effect, even after Cuba became a full member of the League of Nations and the first Pan American State to exercise its "plenipotentiary powers" by signing the Montevideo Convention. It's very ironic that anyone today would claim that Palestine doesn't fulfill the same Montevideo criteria for statehood, when the US was doing precisely the same things to many of its signatories back then that Israel is doing to Palestine today. In fact, Root got a Nobel prize for his efforts. Perhaps Netanyahu's request for a permanent presence in the Jordan Valley is an attempt to pad his resume too in hopes of getting one. link to

      The Montevideo Convention is one of the reasons the customary Definition of Aggression authored by the General Assembly has an explanatory note that says the term "State" is used in that codification of international law without any regard to recognition by others or to UN membership, i.e. when a victim "State" claims its "independence" and complains that another "State" is violating its "territorial integrity" or right of "self determination" through "invasions", "occupations", "blockades", & etc., that is by definition the Crime of Aggression - and neither non-recognition nor a veto of its UN membership application by the other "State" or a "group of States" can be used as the basis for their legal defense or to prevent a criminal prosecution on the grounds of the victims juridical status. It would also be an absurd result if the only International Court with criminal jurisdiction over the crime of apartheid could not accept and act upon a complaint from a victim, "Bantustan" state over the objections of a perpetrator state regarding non-recognition. After all, denial of nationality and self determination + creation of reserved areas for certain ethnic groups are the constituent acts of the offense that serve as prima facie evidence that apartheid exists in the first place. If non-recognition were to be allowed as a defense, then the Court would be required to permit every defendant to profit by his or her own wrong doing and the crime of apartheid would always go unpunished.

      In Reid v Covert the Supreme Court held that the Congress and the President are creatures of the Constitution and that they can't do anything outside of our US territorial jurisdictions that is prohibited by that document. Nonetheless, President Bush's legal advisors suggested he establish a prison in Cuba, outside the jurisdiction of our Article III Federal Courts, where persons who had been deported or transferred from Afghanistan in violation of Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention could be imprisoned forever without any charges. The UK Supreme Court has long since ruled that British citizens, like Mr. Rahmatullah, are being detained by the U.S. in Gitmo illegally. See UK Supreme Court Rejects Jack Goldsmith’s Interpretation of GC IV link to

      Now the UK and Afghanistan are both members of the ICC, so the Court automatically has jurisdiction in case either of them is unwilling or unable to conduct credible investigations and prosecutions of the responsible US officials. Sitting members of Congress aren't even immune from criminal indictments under our own laws, so they don't enjoy anything like diplomatic immunity under international law or the Rome Statute. We all know that there is ample evidence that the US has tortured innocent people there and is holding them there illegally, while Congress and the Commander in Chief refuse to close Gitmo. The right of the USA to even have the Cuban base is doubtful at best under international law. But its establishment and use as a prison operated beyond the jurisdiction of any regularly constituted courts is a flagrant violation of the Geneva Conventions and a crime against humanity. So what gives? The Office of the Prosecutor has turned a blind eye to the situation and the UK Supreme Court decision. It continues on with a "preliminary examination" that it has been conducting ever since 2007 to determine if any crimes within the Court's jurisdiction may have been committed. See for example "The OTP’s Remarkable Slow-Walking of the Afghanistan Examination" link to

      Send Phil and Adam an email if you'd like to see these comments on the relevant history and law turned into some articles. I'm no writer, but Phil, Adam, and James North could take the information in this thread and run with it. You're not ever going to see it spelled-out this way in the mainstream media.

    • Page: 103
    • Abbas gets heaps of blame for lots of stuff. I tend to stay silent about it, because I cannot fathom the situation that Palestinians are in.

      I think Palestinians backed the moves in the UN and ICC, but his time has come and gone too.

    • The abomination and wholesale injustice wrt the Holy Land charities people is a stain that cannot ever be removed (nor should it be), though a Presidential pardon would be most welcome.

      I was being facetious about the Obama administration in my earlier remarks. To me he pretty much does represent the fourth G.W. Bush term in office. But I wouldn't get my hopes up about any pardons for the "guilty", when we all know that he's deliberately kept innocent people locked-up in Gitmo.

    • It’s somewhat surprising that you get some of the same lame arguments @ that site that one can find just about anywhere.

      The legal position of Israel is simply untenable, so even their allies in the legal profession have to divert attention away from the subject. Even the most distinguished ones employ the same shopworn hasbara and try to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Here's a load of crap by Eugene Kontorovich to the effect that the Court won't be able to determine whether or not the settlements are in Palestine, the General Assembly resolutions mean nothing, & etc. and my reply: link to

      After Palestine unexpectedly joined the ICC, on 31 Dec. 2014, he managed to get four canned articles just like that one published in as many major newspapers within 24 hours. The series of six or so Lawfare articles and Letters to the Editor at Just Security by the former Israeli UN Legal advisor and his circle of friends attracted a few comments, but there were no articles there containing the sort of material we're discussing here, or anywhere else for that matter.

    • “So Palestine can simply bypass the Prosecutor and advise the Court that a genuine dispute has arisen with the Prosecutors concerning the judicial functions of the Court under Article 12(3) and ask that it be resolved in accordance with “Article 119 Settlement of disputes”.

      That's not going to happen by accident. The poor Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank will probably have to start demonstrating and throwing shoes at pictures of officials again, like they did when the UN HRC vote on the Goldstone Mission report was first delayed. The government of Palestine explicitly reserved its right of retroactivity with respect to other crimes in its latest Article 12(3) Declaration and the "powers that be" in Israel and at the ICC should know that the issue of retroactivity all the way back to July of 2002 remains unsettled. See for example my comments to Dr. Daphné Richemond-Barak (Head of the International Law Desk at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, IDC Herzliya) @ the European Journal of International Law on that subject: "Double Duty at the ICC" link to

      People have to be made aware of the fact that it has been the Prosecutors who have been sandbagging all along, ever since the 2009 Article 12(3) Declaration was initially filed and that they are the ones who have been delaying investigations into Cast Lead, Pillar Of Defense, Protective Edge and every other crime committed on the territory of Palestine since 2002 - not Abbas. But it does appear as if he is going to have to force the personnel of the Office of the Prosecutor to do their jobs.

      The General Assembly did NOT create the State of Palestine via its November 2012 resolution. It has always said that Palestinian statehood is a matter of self-determination and that it is not subject to the peace process or to any veto. link to

      The Assembly was simply responding to the recommendation of the Security Council's Committee on the Admission of New Members concerning the application of Palestine for admission to membership in the United Nations in order to implement that right:

      It was further stated that the question of the recognition of Palestinian statehood could not and should not be subject to the outcome of negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis, and that, otherwise, Palestinian statehood would be made dependent on the approval of Israel, which would grant the occupying Power a right of veto over the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people, which has been recognized by the General Assembly as an inalienable right since 1974. Concerns were raised in relation to Israel’s continued settlement activities. The view was expressed that those activities were considered illegal under international law and were an obstacle to a comprehensive peace. ... The view was expressed that the Committee should recommend to the Council that Palestine be admitted to membership in the United Nations. A different view was expressed that the membership application could not be supported at this time and an abstention was envisaged in the event of a vote. Yet another view expressed was that there were serious questions about the application, that the applicant did not meet the requirements for membership and that a favourable recommendation to the General Assembly would not be supported.

      Further, it was suggested that, as an intermediate step, the General Assembly should adopt a resolution by which Palestine would be made an Observer State.

      -- S/2011/705, 11 November 2011 link to

      People will have to protest against the Prosecutor's intransigence too and call for their removal if need be. There was never any requirement for Palestine to join the Court in the first place. If you read the Security Council resolution 9 and Article 36 of the ICJ Statue in the links above, you'll see that non-member states can either become permanent parties to the Statute of that Court; file optional declarations accepting that Court's jurisdiction regarding a specific dispute; or file a revocable optional declaration with prospective application going forward. All of those can have retroactive effects too. I only used the case of the Genocide Convention and Article 119 to illustrate that these two Courts can't employ a different birthday for the same State party and call that any kind of "resolution" to this dispute.

    • I was afraid that you might come to that conclusion.

      That's unavoidable given the more than ample evidence. But it should be trivially easy for the Government of Palestine to get the Prosecutor's bogus determination about the invalidity of the 2009 Article 12(3) Declaration overturned and have the Court itself request that the Office of the Prosecutor investigate all crimes committed in Palestine since July of 2002, including Operations Cast Lead, Pillar of Defense, and Protective Edge.

      Article 98 of the Rome Statute imposes a duty on the organs of the Court, including the Office of the Prosecutor, to respect agreements between member states and third party, non-member states. In 2009, the League of Arab States advised the Prosecutor that Palestine was a State with multilateral agreements on diplomatic immunity and extradition with several other States that happen to be ICC members, those now include Jordan, Comoros, Djibouti, and Tunisia. Some of those relevant League of Arab States conventions entered into force in 1998, long before the Rome Statute itself ever came into force in 2002. FYI, the General Assembly adopted a resolution on Palestine's observer status in 1998 which noted that it was a full member of several international organizations that are only open to membership by States, e.g. the Group of Asian States, the Group of 77, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, and the League of Arab States. link to

      The Government of Palestine simply needs to file a declaration accepting the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ for the purposes of the Genocide Convention under the auspices of UN SC resolution 9 (1946) and the optional protocol in Article 36 of the ICJ Statute. See link to and link to

      FYI, if you are going to pretend to "consult the practice of the UN General Assembly", like Ocampo or Bensouda did, then you should have already discovered that General Assembly Resolution 368 (1950) gives the Secretary General standing instructions to dispatch letters of invitation to all members of UN specialized agencies, like UNESCO, asking them to become State parties to the UN Genocide Convention. The General Assembly also convened a Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Vienna, much like the one that wrote and adopted the Rome Statute of the ICC. The Vienna Conference codified the UN Convention on the Law of Treaties. Articles 81-83 obligate the Secretary General to accept treaty ratifications, signatures, or accessions to that multilateral UN convention from any member of a UN specialized agency, because they all belong to a formally recognized "category of states". Article 6 says that "Every State possesses the capacity to conclude treaties." Article 5 says that the Law Of Treaties Convention applies to any treaty (like the Rome Statute) which is the constituent instrument of an internal organization. That's particularly relevant, since the ICC Trial and Appeals Chambers have repeatedly cited that Convention and have reminded the Prosecutors that its rules govern any interpretation of the Rome Statute. For example, in its judgment of 13 July 2006 in the case of the Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, the Appeals Chamber held the following: "The interpretation of treaties, and the Rome Statute is no exception, is governed by the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (23 May 1969)". In his April 2012 letter, Ocampo acknowledged that:

      "The Office has been informed that Palestine has been recognised as a State in bilateral relations by more than 130 governments and by certain international organisations, including United Nation bodies."

      -- All without noticing that several of them were subsidiary organs of the General Assembly itself, like the UN HRC, and one of them was a specialized agency mentioned in Articles 81 and 83 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. He then proceeded to cite a completely inapposite paragraph from an informational pamphlet on the Practice of the Secretary General Acting as Depositary for Multilateral Treaties, while overlooking the two preceding sections in which it explained that the Secretary General does not need to consult the General Assembly at all in cases involving members of the UN specialized agencies.

      In addition, I've explained in the past that, decades ago, the General Assembly acknowledged the receipt of unilateral treaty declarations made by Palestine and Israel in line with the Minority Protection Plan contained in UN GA resolution 181(II) "C Declaration" accepting the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ in advance in accordance with a compromissory clause in Chapter 4: Miscellaneous Provisions" of that same subsection of the resolution. The rights in question are under UN guarantee and cannot be altered without the consent of the General Assembly.

      The ICC only has jurisdiction over the crime of genocide with respect to natural persons in accordance with Article 5 and 25 of the Rome Statute, while the UN Genocide Convention assigns responsibility for determinations of State responsibility to the ICJ. See for example Palestine Should Sue Israel for Genocide before the International Court of Justice, by Prof. Francis A. Boyle link to

      General Assembly resolution 67/19 stated that it was upgrading Palestine's observer status on the bases of several new factors. Among other things, one of them was this: "Taking into consideration that the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in accordance with a decision by the Palestine National Council, is entrusted with the powers and responsibilities of the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine,4 ... 4 See A/43/928, annex" Note that numbered UN document was a PNC Declaration dated November 1988, NOT November 2012. So it is still a big mystery why the Prosecutor claimed the resolution had no retroactive effect. See the resolution link to and the declaration link to

      Even the Secretary General's after action report on the resolution indicated that the State of Palestine was already in existence in September of 2011 when it applied for UN membership: It [General Assembly resolution 67/19] also reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and expressed hope that the Security Council would consider favourably the application submitted on 23 September 2011 by the State of Palestine for admission to full membership in the United Nations." -- A/67/738
      8 March 2013 link to

      Unlike Bensouda, the UN did not claim the application had been "invalidly filed" or that a new application was required.

      Under the rules of customary international law, when the government of a country is recognized like that by another party, that recognition is retroactive in effect and validates all the actions and conduct of the government in question from the commencement of its existence. See for example:
      *Tinoco Claims Arbitration (Great Britain v. Costa Rica) (1923) 1 R.I.A.A. 369; link to
      *Oetjen v. Central Leather Co. , 246 U.S. Supreme Court 297 (1918);
      link to
      *Ti-chiang Chen, “The international law of recognition, with special reference to practice in Great Britain and the United States”, Praeger, 1951, “Introduction” page 4 and “the doctrine of the retroactive effect of recognition” starting on page 34 “Recognition of States” and the Chapter on the Doctrine of Retroactivity here: link to

      Ti-chiang Chen cites landmark cases from all of the major global systems of public international law.

      In fact, declarations made under the optional protocols of both the Statutes of the PCIJ and ICJ are customarily considered to be retroactive in effect. That practice dates back to a landmark decision in the Mavrommatis Concession cases involving - wait for it - the Mandated State of Palestine:

      The Court has established that declarations under the Optional Clause have retroactive force. In the Mavrommatis case the Court expressed the opinion that “ in cases of doubt, jurisdiction based on an international agreement embraces all disputes referred to it after its establishment” . The Court carried further the analogy between an international agreement and mutual obligations created by declarations under the Optional Clause by stating that “ the correctness of the rule enunciated above is obvious since reservations made in many arbitration treaties regarding disputes arising out of events previous to the conclusion of the treaty seem to prove the necessity for an explicit limitation of jurisdiction”. Therefore, States that want to exclude disputes already existing at the time they make their declarations, need to formulate explicit reservations.

      -- See Stanimir A. Alexandrov, "Reservations in Unilateral Declarations Accepting the Compulsory Jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice", Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1995, page 40 link to

      Some people mistakenly believe that the application of those customary rules mentioned in Article 21 of the Rome Statute only comes into play once an investigation is initiated, because of the subsection of the Statute in which the Article happens to appear, and that no one but the Prosecutor can make a decision to investigate. But there really is no such chicken and egg conundrum. The International Law Commission commentary on the Draft Statute for an International Criminal Court paragraph on "Applicable Law" noted that, in the draft statute adopted in 1993, the Commission had placed this article in the part dealing with jurisdiction. However, there is a distinction between jurisdiction and applicable law, and it seemed appropriate to place the article in the part dealing with the primary function of the court, the exercise of jurisdiction through a trial chamber. "But the article applies in relation to all actions taken by the court at any stage." See page 27 link to

      So Palestine can simply bypass the Prosecutor and advise the Court that a genuine dispute has arisen with the Prosecutors concerning the judicial functions of the Court under Article 12(3) and ask that it be resolved in accordance with "Article 119 Settlement of disputes". That article also provides that disputes between Palestine and any other State can be referred to the ICJ.
      link to

      It is also possible, but probably more difficult, to file a complaint with the Presidency of the Court to have a Prosecutor removed from office under the terms of Article 46 of the Statute and Article 24 of the Court's Rules of Evidence and Procedure for repeatedly causing unwarranted delay in the initiation, prosecution or trial of cases. link to

      I could cite a long list of examples beside Palestine, but that subject deserves its own article.

    • I am hoping that Hostage will weigh in… Does anyone here think that the report by Breaking the Silence will fortify the Palestinian case with the ICC?

      In my opinion, the moment of truth for the ICC on the subject of Palestine, from both a legal and moral standpoint, already came (in 2003) and went (in 2009). I've discussed writing a series of articles about that situation with Phil, but he and Adam are naturally reluctant to publish stuff from anonymous authors - and I prefer to stay that way. It's supremely ironic, but I happen to live in the one country on Earth that has taken over the Middle East Peace Process, lock, stock, and barrel, where the Supreme Court has also ruled that it's a criminal offense under the Patriot Act to advise a terrorist organization about the non-violent methods it can use to pursue a peaceful solution for its grievances through the United Nations or the international courts:

      They claim that §2339B is invalid to the extent it prohibits them from engaging in certain specified activities, including training PKK members to use international law to resolve disputes peacefully; teaching PKK members to petition the United Nations and other representative bodies for relief; and engaging in political advocacy on behalf of Kurds living in Turkey and Tamils living in Sri Lanka.
      The material-support statute, §2339B, is constitutional as applied to the particular forms of support that plaintiffs seek to provide to foreign terrorist organizations. The Court cannot avoid the constitutional issues in this litigation by accepting plaintiffs’ argument that the material-support statute, when applied to speech, should be interpreted to require proof that a defendant intended to further a foreign terrorist organization’s illegal activities. [i.e. “specific direction” is not a relevant legal consideration] That reading is inconsistent with §2339B’s text, which prohibits “knowingly” providing material support and demonstrates that Congress chose knowledge about the organization’s connection to terrorism, not specific intent to further its terrorist activities, as the necessary mental state for a violation.

      – Holder, Attorney General, et al. v. Humanitarian Law Project, et al.
      link to

      The only reason it isn't illegal to support the efforts of the PLO is because Obama issued a certification and waiver of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1987, Public Law 100-204. I've noted that the PLO Delegation to the USA includes Mondoweiss stories in its Daily News Analysis. But now that they are coalition partners with Hamas, who knows? This is the same administration that prosecuted the Holy Land Charities folks and jailed them for life after it admitted during their first trial in 2007, that no foundation money had gone to any terrorist organizations; rather, some money went to the same zakat (charity) committees in Palestine that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.N., the Red Crescent and many NGOs used to distribute aid to the Palestinian community during the same period. They are also the same administration that warned federal employees that, unless they had both the proper security clearance and the need to know, it was a criminal offense for them to read classified material on Wikileaks (like everyone else on the Planet).

      A former Deputy Legal Advisor to the Israeli UN delegation, Nimrod Karin, actually complained a while back about the fact that the Palestinians had filed another retroactive Article 12(3) declaration:

      "To avoid forfeiting this option, the Palestinians (who are apparently avid readers of the international legal blogosphere) followed an advice tendered in the comments section to Kevin Jon Heller’s post over at Opinio Juris, and lodged the declaration a day before they submitted the instrument of accession.

      -- link to

      Fortunately, all of the (not) guilty parties who offered advice reside outside of the USA. If you are interested in seeing my rebuttals to Nimrod Karin's articles, and the sort of thing I'd like to expand upon here @MW, there's plenty of information in my comments regarding the Opinio Juris article on the subject here: No, Going to the ICC Is Not “Lawfare” by Palestine, by Kevin Jon Heller link to

      As for Breaking the Silence, there's an article about their report that I've been commenting on here: link to

      Long story short, I don't think it'll make a bit of difference to the Prosecutor. If she can ignore the findings of fact written by 14 ICJ Judges for more than a decade and still say that she is trying to determine if any crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC have been committed, why should she weigh the eyewitness statements of some ordinary soldiers?

    • Isn’t it interesting that the Israeli government want the world to recognize them as the Jewish state but they themselves do not. Funny that

      I wish that were true, but I've commented many times here in the past that there are already several other Basic Laws which constitutionally entrench the precept that Israel is a Jewish and democratic state and that the Knesset can adopt any law befitting Jewish values, even if it contradicts the certain clauses of the Basic Laws regarding Human Dignity and Liberty, Freedom of Occupation, & the so-called "aspirations" mentioned in the Declaration of Independence (i.e. equal rights under the law). In some cases, the liberal values of the Basic Laws in question only have prospective application going forward, since they contain explicit clauses that prevented any retroactive application to overturn existing (read discriminatory) laws, such as the ones on nationality and right of return. The latest draft Basic Law was included in the coalition agreements of the last Netanyahu government. It was mainly political grandstanding and racial incitement, but it would have removed any remaining illusions or pretensions.

  • Understanding the Jewish National Home
    • I would certainly prefer to ask, “how the hell does the fact that Jews might be a “nation” with “imagined” roots in ancient Palestine give them any moral or legal right to take over modern Palestine and cleanse that land of its non-Jewish residents, or subject them to an evil apartheid regime?”

      And I suppose I might as well. The question would be ignored.

      Nope. The COE paper explained it: The term “nation” is deeply rooted in peoples’ culture and history and incorporates fundamental elements of their identity. It is also closely linked to political ideologies, which have exploited it and adulterated its original meaning.

    • You see, it’s really important to read something other than the headline of an article. First of all, it’s more like a $13 or 14 billion apparatus, not a $26 billion apparatus

      I did read the article and everything I said appeared in the text verbatim. You're just trying to minimize the scale of what amounts to a joint criminal enterprise in any event. I'm not. It's really not important, because it still illustrates why the USA should not be allowed to mediate, while it gives its own citizens a free hand to contribute and even take part in an illegal situation. If those settlers were Muslims going to Syria, Iraq, or Pakistan to take part in criminal activities they would be arrested when they tried to come home. That doesn't happen to illegal Jewish settlers yet, but it damn sure should.

    • I’ve acknowledged several times that the Palestinians are a nation. So are the Jews. That is why we need a two state solution.

      No, you want to exclude Palestinian Arab refugees from 1948 and 1967 from returning to Israel and keep those in the Palestinian State from enjoying freedom of transit and their share of the natural resources in violation of solemn UN guarantees and GOI treaty declarations .

      That's the apartheid solution. It violates Israel's obligations under the Geneva Conventions, the UN Charter, and the minority protection plan in resolution 181(II) At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how many states you try to setup in the territory of the former Palestine mandate, they will all still be required to provide equal protection under the law for all of their inhabitants, not just the majority.

    • Again, I must disagree. The definition is older but it is not “non-standard.” I’ve read quite a few books on European history by contemporary writers who have used the term “nation” with that standard older meaning.

      Because that older meaning was employed under the regime of the Capitulations where everyone carried their own ethnic or national (am personam) rights and immunities around with them wherever they happened to take-up residency. The Jewish Diaspora still didn't enjoy the right to self-determination in Palestine under the Capitulations. They were explicitly revoked by the Palestine Mandate Article 8:

      The privileges and immunities of foreigners, including the benefits of consular jurisdiction and protection as formerly enjoyed by Capitulation or usage in the Ottoman Empire, shall not be applicable in Palestine. - link to

      FYI, the 1930 Hague Convention Diplomatic Conference was working on several codification projects and one of them on the Rights and Duties of States would have prevented States from granting foreigners any rights or privileges superior to those of a country's own citizens. The LoN observers to the Montevideo Conference working on the same subject recommended that it be considered in the laws of the Inter-American system.

      The preamble of the Mandate also preserved the civil and political rights of all sorts of Diaspora Jews in other countries that were under the protection of LoN mandates or minority treaties. The Anglo-American Palestine Mandate Convention (1924), 44 Stat.2184; Treaty Series 728 even applied that clause to Anti-Zionist and Zionist Jews in the USA during the era when the Reform Pittsburgh Platform was de rigueur. It said "We consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religious community."

    • I disagree. For centuries Jews have been considered a “nation” under an older standard understanding of the term.


      link to

      But the only meaning relevant to the right of self determination is the one that's a territorial entity or polity. It is a rank violation of international law and Article 1 of the the UN Charter to draw boundaries around communities of more than one national ethnic group, like Israel has done, and then try to exclude any of them from equal participation in the economic, political or social life of the country on the basis of nationality or any other charateristic. Here's an example from your COE paper: Poland recognises thirteen national and ethnic minorities : Armenians, Belarusians, Czechs, Germans, Gypsies, Jews, Karaites, Lemks, Lithuanians, Russians, Slovaks, Tatars, Ukrainians;

      Those are all legally protected groups under European public law. Poland, and all of the COE countries provide each of their citizens equal constitutional rights, Israel does not. None of the Polish national or ethnic minority groups have the automatic right to demand their own state in part of Poland, as Hophmi suggests, just because they consider themselves to be a nation. There are three modes of exercising the right of self-determination outlined in the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation Among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. Only one of them entails establishing an independent state.

      Here is the UN position on the subject:

      All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status, and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

      Taking into account the particular situation of peoples under colonial or other forms of alien domination or foreign occupation, the World Conference on Human Rights recognizes the right of peoples to take any legitimate action, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, to realize their inalienable right of self-determination. The World Conference on Human Rights considers the denial of the right of self-determination as a violation of human rights and underlines the importance of the effective realization of this right.

      In accordance with the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation Among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, this shall not be construed as authorizing or encouraging any action which would dismember or impair, totally or in part, the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent States conducting themselves in compliance with the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples and thus possessed of a Government representing the whole people belonging to the territory without distinction of any kind. link to

      Polish Jews and the other groups were protected by a minority treaty that was an integral part of the treaty which created the country in the first place. Those minority treaties have been a requirement under customary law ever since the mid-19th century.

      None of them had an unqualified right to emigrate to Palestine under the terms of the Mandate without obtaining the normal permission from the country's government. It was only required to permit immigration under suitable conditions.

    • Israel imposed the negotiations regime? I believe that was the international community, Hostage. Madrid, Oslo, Quartet – that’s not Israel. Israel’s position has always been that the best thing is for the parties to negotiate bilaterally, not internationally.

      Let's keep the record straight. The international community drafted Security Council resolutions and was adopting Chapter VII sanctions against Israel for its illegal annexations of the Golan, East Jerusalem and the Jewish settlements. In each and every case, the United States used its veto to prevent that from happening. It claimed that declaring the annexations and settlements illegal and adopting sanctions was counterproductive to its own private Camp David framework peace initiatives and that the legal status of the annexed territories, and settlements was not permanent because their final status was still somehow magically open for negotiation. That always triggered Emergency Special Sessions of the General Assembly which condemned the United States and either called for an arms embargo and an international peace conference, ala Versailles, to impose a political solution or an ICJ Advisory Opinion. In each and every case, the US and Israel opposed those efforts and derailed or mooted those international actions by initiating private back-channel negotiations. Finally after Sadaam Hussein tried to tie withdrawal of his armed forces from Kuwait to IDF withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories, the US backed the Madrid process. But it was preempted by Israel's back channel Oslo deal. The Middle East Quartet Performance based Road map was eye candy adopted midway through the ICJ deliberations in the Wall case. The GA 10th Emergency Special Session stepped-in and requested the Opinion when the US prevented the Security Council from stopping the construction of the illegal wall. The Road Map contained a black letter requirement for the the USA and the other Quartet Members to promote recognition of the Palestinian State and UN membership starting in June of 2003 in exchange for adoption of the constitution, creation of the Prime Minister's post, and improved security cooperation. The responsible World Bank and IMF monitors and the Secretary General's personal Representative, Robert Serry reported that Abbas had more than fulfilled his end of the bargain and that his institutions exceeded those required for statehood.

      Even after the ICJ advised that all UN members states have a duty to remove any impediments to the exercise of Palestinian self-determination and the international community of states, represented by UNESCO and the General Assembly, acknowledged Palestine's status, the USA refused to honor its commitment under UN SC resolution 1515 and the Road Map, e.g. "Kerry: US doesn’t recognize Palestinian gov’t because there is no Palestinian state" link to

      In any event Palestine is finally a state party to the Geneva Conventions and the Law of Treaties. So it can no longer conclude a special agreement, during an occupation or otherwise, that would renounce the right of the refugees and prisoners to be repatriated to Israel and compensated. See Articles 6, 7, and 8 of the 4th Geneva Convention and Articles 52 and 53 of the Law of Treaties. So there's nothing left to negotiate if Abbas wants the IDF gone right now. The provisional boundaries established under Article 40 of the UN Charter are legally enforceable without prejudice to any final settlement and UN SC resolution 62 and 73 have never been repealed. The ICJ cited 62 in it analysis of the status of the Palestinian territory in the Wall case and its determination that the settlements and the portions of the wall beyond the green line are illegal.

    • And if they had stayed where they were, they would probably be two dead Jews, one almost certainly a victim of the Nazi genocide, the other perhaps a victim of Stalin.

      LoL! Your concern for those two war criminals is touching. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then those two Zionists couldn't have done a better job of sucking up to their Nazi business partners. I've already described the twin lamentations about others denying their right of self determination under Versailles or the White Paper; how they both created fantastic maps and legends about their historical connection to other peoples lands that they called Greater Germany and Greater Israel; and how they both planned illegal wars of aggression to rid themselves of those others though pograms of Germanization or Judaization, i.e. eviction by armed attack, occupation, colonization, apartheid, and genocides.

      The Head of the Jewish Agency Political Department traveled in safely to and from Germany and concluded a formal corporate business partnership with the Nazi Reich's Finance Ministry. I imagine Ben Gurion or Weizmann could have done the same. In the end the WZO took over the business of selling Nazi manufactured goods, after it was learned the Jewish Agency was selling stuff on the side to third parties that had nothing to do with any refugees. We all know that Hannah Arendt was persona non-grata after she wrote about all of the Zionist leaders, like Ratzner, who she considered to be infamous Nazi collaborators. I think your concern about Stalin is probably misplaced too. He was the first to recognize Israel and Golda Meir managed to survive her mission as ambassador to the USSR under Uncle Joe.

    • My dog’s bloodlines go back much further than mine.

      Well Ben Gurion and Weizmann were just a Pole and a Russian whose historical roots in Palestine were never any deeper than the legs of their chairs.

    • What are the chances of seeing any good faith applied?

      With Hophmi. none. The ICJ has ruled in a number of cases that the General Assembly can adopt legally binding resolutions within its own functional areas of competence, e.g. the word "decision" in Articles 4 and 18 have exactly the same treaty meaning as the word decision in Article 25, 27, and 41. The words "resolution" and "non-binding" do not even appear in the UN Charter.

      Nothing in the UN Charter prevents a decision from being announced in a Security Council President's press release rather than a resolution. Nothing limits the scope of a resolution to just one article or chapter at a time. The treaty obligation to obey a General Assembly resolution comes from Article 103, 104, the "every assistance" clause of article 2, articles 4, 17, 18, or any other particular Article that assigns a treaty power or function to the Assembly. When its resolutions mention rights that are compelling law, jus cogens, they are not merely suggestions. They create treaty obligations that are erga omnes, i.e. owed "towards all" or "towards everyone".

      In several cases the ICJ has dispelled the myth that Security Council resolutions are not legally binding unless the are adopted under the auspices of Chapter 7. In fact, that suggestion was rejected during the San Francisco Conference and it was pointed out then, that members treaty obligations to the Security Council flow from Articles 24 and 25 of Chapter V and the same general ones mentioned above, 103, 104, and the "every assistance" clause of Article 2, together with any other particular clause assigning the Council a treaty power or function. The Transitional Arrangements in Article 106 have become permanent, since no countries have concluded treaties with the UN Security Council to turnover their armed forces lock, stock, and barrel. In effect, it works through coalitions of willing members when it takes enforcement actions by delegation. Nothing prevents the General Assembly from doing the same thing under a "Uniting for Peace" enforcement action like the original one in Korea. Its powers to authorize military missions and deployments and make assessments to pay for them were affirmed in the "Certain Expenses" case involving the UNEF mission. It should also be obvious that nothing prevents the General Assembly from calling for the establishment of a Special Criminal Tribunal for Palestine, in exactly the same way it wrote the draft statute and called for the establishment of the ICC. So even a "suggestion" in a UN General Assembly resolution can have legal consequences.

    • And in yours, 20 years of talks where the Palestinians continued to incite against the Israelis and committed dozens of acts of terrorism against them, many at the very height of the negotiations, indicates that it’s only the Israelis that deserve blame.

      Well duh, yeah. You can't even dignify what the USA and Israel are doing with the word "negotiate". 1 in 10 illegal settlers is a US citizen and a 28 billion dollar a year Jewish Public Charity Industry is sending most of its money to Israel. See 26 Billion Bucks: The Jewish Charity Industry Uncovered link to The American settler you don't know link to

      You started the lizard-brained wars of aggression by invading Palestine in the first place and then imposed this onerous "negotiations" regime. You just can't go on dictating the terms of its internal governance, collecting its customs, demanding that it be demilitarized, and allow you permanent bases in the Jordan Valley, put its ports under quarantine forever and call that "negotiations" you dumbass. Let me give you some clue, that shit went out with the Platt Amedment, Elihu Root, Teddy Roosevelt, General Leonard Wood, General Smedley Butler, and all of those High Contracting Pan American Banana Republic States that signed the Montevideo Convention in 1933. If Gitmo and Cuba under the Platt Amendment in 1933 or Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Panama, El Salvador, Spanish Honduras, et al were "independent" "sovereign states", then Palestine has already got statehood in spades and damned sure should have been admitted along side those others when they joined the League of Nations and the UN.

      For example: the US Government commentary on the Draft Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States begins on page 66 and repeatedly dismisses the idea that it is any sort of codification of international law for use in the real world. It doesn't mind the references to juridical equality, so long as the authors don't go too far and suggest how that would ever be implemented. References to an international organization or tribunal to settle disputes were just as unacceptable then as they are now. link to

      Despite his Good Neighbor policy announcement in the inaugural address on 4 March 1933, F.D. Roosevelt never for one moment considered renouncing claims to Gitmo. Reservations to Montevideo reflect that the 1903 treaty would not be completely abandoned - and our claims to Gitmo under the new treaty required mutual consent for any changes. link to

      But even the Nobel folks know that Root and Roosevelt only gave that treatment to the uncivilized people. They setup the Permanent Court of Arbitration for the civilized folks and its treaty allows any party to end the negotiations and ask for a ruling from the Court. . You don't negotiate borders for 20 years, you go to international arbitration after two or three at the most. This Israel conflict is the only border conflict I've ever heard of where one side has the right to eternal negotiation:

      From Secretary of War to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

      Elihu Root was the brilliant lawyer who became US Secretary of War and Secretary of State between 1901 and 1909. He subsequently became a Senator and the first president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Root was awarded the Peace Prize for having pursued the aim that conflicts between states must be resolved by arbitration. After World War I he participated in the development of the Permanent Court of International Justice at the Hague.

      As President Theodore Roosevelt's Secretary of War, Root helped to bring Pacific and Latin American territories under US control. The Philippines, Cuba and Panama were occupied. Both Roosevelt and Root believed that the US was entitled to lead and govern people whom they believed to be uncivilized.

      As Secretary of State, Root sought to alleviate Latin American fears of an imperialistic USA by arranging peace conferences. This led to good relations with the international peace movement, and several former Laureates nominated Elihu Root for the Peace Prize. link to

      Milestones: 1899–1913
      The United States, Cuba, and the Platt Amendment, 1901

      The Platt Amendment, an amendment to a U.S. army appropriations bill, established the terms under which the United States would end its military occupation of Cuba (which had begun in 1898 during the Spanish-American War) and “leave the government and control of the island of Cuba to its people.” While the amendment was named after Senator Orville Platt of Connecticut, it was drafted largely by Secretary of War Elihu Root. The Platt Amendment laid down eight conditions to which the Cuban Government had to agree before the withdrawal of U.S. forces and the transfer of sovereignty would begin.

      The Platt Amendment’s conditions prohibited the Cuban Government from entering into any international treaty that would compromise Cuban independence or allow foreign powers to use the island for military purposes. The United States also reserved the right to intervene in Cuban affairs in order to defend Cuban independence and to maintain “a government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty.” Other conditions of the Amendment demanded that the Cuban Government implement plans to improve sanitary conditions on the island, relinquish claims on the Isle of Pines (now known as the Isla de la Juventud), and agree to sell or lease territory for coaling and naval stations to the United States. (This clause ultimately led to the perpetual lease by the United States of Guantánamo Bay.) Finally, the amendment required the Cuban Government to conclude a treaty with the United States that would make the Platt amendment legally binding, and the United States pressured the Cubans to incorporate the terms of the Platt Amendment in the Cuban constitution. link to

      Currently pending Cases at the ICJ are mostly boundaries:
      1. Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project (Hungary/Slovakia)

      2. Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Uganda)

      3. Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
      4. Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica)

      5. Obligation to Negotiate Access to the Pacific Ocean (Bolivia v. Chile)
      6. Question of the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf between Nicaragua and Colombia beyond 200 nautical miles from the Nicaraguan Coast (Nicaragua v. Colombia)

      7. Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia)

      8. Questions relating to the Seizure and Detention of Certain Documents and Data (Timor-­Leste v. Australia)

      9. Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)

      10. Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament (Marshall Islands v. Pakistan)

      11. Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament (Marshall Islands v. United Kingdom)

      12. Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament (Marshall Islands v. India)

      13. Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia v. Kenya)

      See “Land, Island and Maritime Frontier Dispute (El Salvador/Honduras: Nicaragua intervening)” link to

      See also “Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica)” 2011; “Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)” 2010; “Dispute regarding Navigational and Related Rights (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)” 2005; and “Border and Transborder Armed Actions (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica)” 1986.

      Contrary to popular belief among Zionists, most international boundaries are established, after national plebiscites, and through binding international arbitration or adjudication, not through negotiations conducted at gunpoint during a belligerent occupation.

      Here are a few of the other boundary cases that have been submitted to the Courts since Palestine declared its independence in 1988:
      *Eritrea/Yemen boundary dispute at the Permanent Court of Arbitration. link to
      *Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary
      link to
      *Guyana v. Suriname boundary link to
      *Barbados/Trinidad and Tobago economic zone/continental shelf link to
      *The Frontier Dispute (Burkina Faso/Niger) link to
      *Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
      link to
      *Sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge (Malaysia/Singapore) link to
      *Frontier Dispute (Benin/Niger) link to
      *Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia) link to
      *Territorial and Maritime Dispute between Nicaragua and Honduras in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Honduras) link to
      *Sovereignty over Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan (Indonesia/Malaysia) link to
      *Land and Maritime Boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria (Cameroon v. Nigeria) link to
      *Maritime Delimitation and Territorial Questions between Qatar and Bahrain (Qatar v. Bahrain) link to
      *Maritime Delimitation between Guinea-Bissau and Senegal (Guinea-Bissau v. Senegal) link to
      *Territorial Dispute (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya/Chad) link to
      *Maritime Delimitation in the Area between Greenland and Jan Mayen (Denmark v. Norway) link to

    • Moreover, whatever customary laws non-binding resolutions GA resolutions might suggest, they are surely overridden by Chapter 7 SC resolutions like 242, which calls for the right of each state in the region to live within “secure and recognized boundaries” and calls simply for a “just settlement” of the refugee issue, not an unlimited right of return.

      Nope. You need to bone up one your Law of Treaties. In the Bosnian Genocide case, Judge Lauterpacht advised that, while Article 103 applies to conflicting conventional laws, the Security Council remains unconditionally bound by the terms of customary norms and customary international law. So a Security Council resolution adopted under the terms of a treaty, like the UN Charter, cannot trump a norm or create a legal loophole that would allow a state to acquire territory by war, engage in genocide, piracy, slavery, traffic in drugs, or commit war crimes or crimes against humanity.

      Alexander Orakhelashvili explained:

      Resolution 242 called for ‘a just settlement of the refugee problem’ in Palestine. ‘Just settlement’ can only refer to a settlement guaranteeing the return of displaced Palestinians, and other interpretations of this notion may be hazardous. The Council must be presumed not to have adopted decisions validating mass deportation or displacement. More so, as such expulsion or deportation is a crime against humanity or an exceptionally serious war crime (Articles 7.1(d) and 8.2(e) ICC Statute)

      -- EJIL (2005), Vol. 16 No. 1, 59–88 link to

      Article 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties provides that a treaty or instrument conflicting with a peremptory norm of general international law (jus cogens) is void if, at the time of its conclusion or adoption, it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law. link to

    • The resolution clearly includes a requirement that refugees returning home must be willing to live in peace with their neighbors.

      The resolution clearly includes a number of unfulfilled requirements. If any of them conflicts with a non-derogable, peremptory norm of international law, then the principle of preemption applies. We are talking about an inalienable right and a serious breach or a war crime. See 100-Year-Old General: We Razed Arab Villages, So What?
      Brig. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Pundak: If we hadn't done it, there would be a million more Arabs and there would be no Israel. link to

      Nothing in the resolution granted the belligerent parties the final say in the determinations regarding return.

    • You mean the Palestinian Citizenship Order of 1925 which declared those residing in Palestine as of August 1924 to be Turkish subjects that was passed because the Mandate required it? Seems like your assertion is somewhat contradicted by Hostage’s citation of a summons promising punishment to any Muslim who sold land to a Jew.

      Not at all, the British Government always had full powers to implement the Jewish national home. Once the Zionist Congress asked to partition the state, they had no room to complain when the British used their authority to establish the administrative boundaries. The Jewish Agency had used the Conquest of Labor to render Arab cultivators landless, and the British had the authority to end that practice as well, by prohibiting land sales outside the area of the national home.

      The Citizenship Order in Council of 1925 remained in effect in Israel until 1952 under the terms of the Law and Administration Ordinance No. 1 of 5708-1948. That retained laws in effect under the Mandate, but repealed the 1939 White Paper and the 1940 Land Transfer Ordinance. link to

      Israel had long since adopted its decades-long regime of martial law and had started shooting Palestinian Arab citizens as "infiltrators" by the time it adopted the 1952 Nationality Act.

    • I don’t understand what a decision by the Ottomans to create an administrative district called Palestine has to do with the nationality of the Palestinians. The Palestinians did not gain a nationality by virtue of having been included in an Ottoman administrative district in the 19th century. The two simply are unrelated.

      I guess that's why Baruch Kimmerling got the PhD in Sociology and you didn't.

    • Even Hitler didn’t result in the Germans losing their statehood. But people here suggest that Jews should lose the right of self-determination all the time.

      The Germans did loose their state and had to establish a successor on the bases of equal protection under the law, respect for minority rights, and payment of reparations. It'd be great if the same thing happened to Israel. They were also occupied and kept out of the UN until they were considered rehabilitated.

    • That’s great. These would presumably be the same Jews who lived as inferior Ottoman subjects until 1865. You’re making my point for me.

      You hardly have a point so far. FYI, I've commented many times that it was a matter of public record in the Ottoman era that the courts had to handle cases involving the estates of rich and middle class Jewish dhimmis, including those in Palestine, who were slave owners who had children with their concubines. They frequently owned Christian and even Muslim slaves. In fact, many earned their living as slave traders. So it's ironic that you are shreying about their lack of rights and describing them as being especially mistreated or subjugated by Ottoman rule. You never mention Jewish "slave masters" in your lacrimonious narratives about these poor souls, so I'll have to keep reminding you, it wasn't all drudgery. See for example Yaron Ben-Naeh, "Blond, tall, with honey-colored eyes: Jewish ownership of slaves in the Ottoman Empire." Jewish History 20.3-4 (2006): 315-332 link to

      Nobody in Israel believes in eugenics today. This is a red herring.

      Unless you are one of the millions that Ben Gurion and Weizmann wrote off as human dust, You are a smoked herring. link to

    • So there is nothing in this excerpt to support the idea that a national group existed in Palestine before the Zionists came

      No that's just your tendentious reading. The three main parties figuring in his book weren't separate entities, because there were Jews and Palestinian Arabs in the Ottoman Government all along. Plus the whole country had already been combined into one administrative unit in the past. 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. The account in the Foreign Relations of the United States confirms Manneh's account in its discussion regarding the Convention of July 1840. It offered a grant to Muhammed Ali, during his natural life, of the government of the region described alternately as "Southern Syria", "Palestine", or "the Pashalik of Acre". See Index to the executive documents of the House of Representatives for the second session of the forty-fifth Congress, 1879-'80 -page 1019

      Likewise there were 10 western governments with their own consular courts, clerks, and marshals exercising jurisdiction in the country during the 19th Century and calling the whole territory west of the Jordan river "Palestine". The US Consuls were aligned under the US State Department and submitted annual and daily country reports to the Department and the US Bureau of Foreign Commerce. See for example the annual report for 1884 starting at mid-page here. See also Gabriel Bie Ravndal, “The Origin of the Capitulations and of the Consular Institution”, US Govt. Print. Off., 1921; and Ruth Kark, American consuls in the Holy Land, 1832-1914, Wayne State University Press, 1994

      All of those people and government officials were obviously living together in the Land of Palestine. The Palestinians and Jews of the Empire had enjoyed full representation in the Ottoman Parliament and in the Porte, which among other things, had established suitable legal conditions for Jewish immigration to the country. Here is a link to a debate on the subject that took place in 1911 between Palestinian and Jewish lawmakers. I suppose they were all familiar with the subject of Zionism by then and their debate about immigration to Palestine. All of that pre-dates the Mandate. See Yuval Ben-Bassat and Eyal Ginio, Late Ottoman Palestine: The Period of Young Turk Rule (Library of Ottoman Studies), 2011, page 111 et seq link to

    • and it is worse than immoral for people in actual settler societies like the United States and Australia to lecture a refugee society like Israel about the proper way to start and maintain a country.

      Okay, you can't possibly have passed a bar exam of you really believe that. Have you experienced a recent blow to the head? It was, and still is, perfectly acceptable for all of the international community of states to listen to the grievances of colonial and minority peoples and to finally take steps to codify legal prohibitions to outlaw the abusive and immoral practices that Zionism still insists on perpetrating against the people and territory of Palestine.

    • P.S. Hophmi everything in this comments section, from the Jewish Agency spokesman telling the US Ambassador in Cairo in 1942 that it was useless to talk about negotiations with the Arabs, because the Jews will just take what they want by force, to Ben Gurion's plans for a war of aggression against the neighboring states in order to colonize their territories by force was already illegal under customary international law. Those are the very same offenses the International Military Tribunals dealt with.

    • Oh please. It is not Nakba denial to suggest that the Nakba was planned during the 1948 War period, rather than before the Holocaust. ... Sorry Ian, but an oft-repeated quote from a controversial letter Ben-Gurion wrote in 1937 is not proof that the Zionists collectively planned to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians before the Holocaust; this quote is not even proof Ben-Gurion favored such an outcome, and certainly is not proof that the Zionists “conceived a plan” to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians in 1938.

      No, its just completely dishonest. If we leave off the crossed out parts of the controversial letter the rest of it clearly says that he planned to use military force to colonize any territory given to the future Arab State and to colonize Transjordan either with, or without, the Arabs consent. He published that while he was still living. so it's incontestable.

      Yossi Katz is a full professor in the Department of Geography and Environment at Bar-Ilan University. He is incumbent of the Chair for the Study of the History and Activities of the Jewish National Fund. His research focuses on the history of the Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel and Zionism. He's the author of 24 books and 140 articles, he also chairs Bar-Ilan University Press.

      Katz devoted an entire chapter (pages 85-109) in "Partner to Partition" to the documentary evidence about the Jewish Agency's efforts to formulate their own plan for transferring the Arab population out of the Jewish state or depriving its members of access to their lands. That was an integral part of the Agency's partition proposal, which was continuously developed and refined by a staff of over three hundred people for more than a decade. It was finally presented as the Jewish Agency's plan for the future government of Palestine. It was submitted to the UNSCOP and General Assembly Ad Hoc Committees as Israel's maximal position by the same people who began working on it in the era of the Peel Commission.

      Ben Gurion wasn't just the Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine. He was also its Defense Portfolio Minister. He had instituted compulsory military service and controlled the Haganah. Its official published history claims that in the summer of 1937, ten years before the UN Partition plan, David Ben Gurion directed the Haganah Commander of Tel Aviv, Elimelech Slikowitz (“Avnir”), to draw up a plan to take over the entire country after the British withdrawal.

      The Introduction of Plan Dalet itself indicates that: "This plan is based on three previous plans:

      1. Plan B, September 1945.

      2. The May 1946 Plan.1

      3. Yehoshua Plan, 1948.2
      link to

      That means that Plan B above was based upon the "Avnir Plan" that had been drawn-up in 1937.

      The “settlement growth” you all like to go on about is mostly about population growth in settlement blocs; there have been very few new settlements in the last 20 years.

      When you say settlement blocks, you are talking about the vast areas in between settlements that amounted to excess expropriation in the first place. Growth of the population in the settlement blocks doesn't mean the wide open spaces in between are getting larger, it means that they are getting smaller due to urban sprawl.

    • the Israelis never lived up to the terms of the documents and decrees that “justify” its “legal” creation.” ... The terms of the documents? You’re being silly.

      No, you are doing what you accused Annie of doing, that's silly. You know me, I don't pick and choose my resolutions. You yourself are pretending that the right of every Palestinian to return to their homeland under customary international law, is somehow made null and void through your private interpretation of a clause in resolution 194 (III) of the UN General Assembly. But the Assembly's own legal experts assigned to look into that situation reported to the Security Council that Israel was under a continuing legal obligation under the terms of resolution 181(II) to let the refugees of 1948 and 1967 come home, without exception, because of Israel's own unqualified acceptance of the customary terms of the clauses that placed the rights of all Palestinian Arabs living in Israel under UN guarantee. Here is another General Assembly resolution that reaffirms the Palestinian refugees inalienable right to return link to The only possible good faith interpretation I can figure out is that all three resolutions have always meant exactly the same thing. link to

      A simple review of the travail préparatoire for General Assembly resolution 194 (III) reveals that the initial draft supplied by the British government explicitly stated that the property of Arab refugees had been pillaged:

      11. ENDORSES the principle stated in Part I, Section V, Paragraph 7 of the Mediator’s Report and RESOLVES that the Arab refugees should be permitted to return to their homes at the earliest possible date and that adequate compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for property which has been lost as a result of pillage, confiscation or of destruction; and INSTRUCTS the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement, and economic and social rehabilitation of the Arab refugees and the payment of compensation;

      link to

      Its axiomatic that Israel cannot benefit from its own wrongdoing.

    • The terminology is simply inaccurate here, and it is morally offensive to suggest that the Israelis, who were the victims of the Europeans in every way, should pay some price for colonialism when the Europeans have paid no price for it. That is disgusting.

      Your lack of self awareness is duly noted. Zionists that complain about the White Paper of 1939 sound just like the Weimar era Nazi propagandists who utterly rejected the territorial settlement contained in the Treaty of Versailles. They claimed that it had denied the German people self-determination, despite the international recognition of the principle at the end of the War. Despite the fact that there had never been any clear consensus about the territorial extent of so-called German self-determination or any factual evidence to support it. They invented superior "historical claims" to lands that were actually populated by others; drew-up maps of their imaginary "Greater Germany"; and adopted a national anthem solemnizing "Germany above all things" from the Meuse to the Memel, from the Adige to the Belt, & etc. Believe me they were punished for their madness. Count 3 of the Nuremberg Indictment, i.e. “(J) GERMANIZATION OF OCCUPIED TERRITORIES” charged the Nazis as follows:

      In certain occupied territories purportedly annexed to Germany the defendants methodically and pursuant to plan endeavored to assimilate those territories politically, culturally, socially, and economically into the German Reich. The defendants endeavored to obliterate the former national character of these territories. In pursuance of these plans and endeavors, the defendants forcibly deported inhabitants who were predominantly non-German and introduced thousands of German colonists.

      — See pdf page 73 (printed page 63) of The International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, Trial of the Major War Criminals, Vol. 1 at the Library of Congress link to or see the Indictment, Count 3 “War Crimes” at the Avalon Project link to
      “In their verdict, the four Allied judges found that the main aim of the Nazis, i.e., the conquest of living space, had been amply proven by the prosecution. Therefore, they viewed the atrocities committed during the war as consequences rather than ends— but did not refer to these policies as a program of genocide:

      The evidence shows that at any rate in the East, the mass murders and cruelties were not committed solely for the purpose of stamping out opposition or resistance to the German occupying forces. In Poland and the Soviet Union these crimes were part of a plan to get rid of whole native populations by expulsion and annihilation, in order that their territory could be used for colonization by Germans.

      — See Reassessing the Nuremberg Military Tribunals: Transitional Justice, Trial Narratives, and Historiography page 109-110 link to

      Today, Germany pays its Jewish Holocaust survivors better benefits than the State of Israel. Germany paid enormous reparations to Israel and the World Jewish Congress for many years. Israel participated in the 1951 UN Diplomatic Conference on Refugees and spearheaded efforts to continue to hold German civilians collectively responsible as either Nazis, Nazi collaborators, or accessories to war crimes. It argued that such persons should be explicitly excluded from the legal definition of the term "refugee" and that they should be subject to payment of reparations and territorial compensation under the terms of the post war multilateral agreements:

      F. The provisions of this Convention shall not apply to any person with respect to whom there are serious reasons for considering that:
      (a) he has committed a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity, as defined in the international instruments drawn up to make provision in respect of such crimes;

      -- See Article 1 of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention link to link to

      In addition, Israel was an immediate beneficiary of the initial reparations imposed on the German people by the Allied Powers:

      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.

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

    • To call the 1948 Israelis colonists greatly simplifies the history, and it’s simply inaccurate here. This is not some European behemoth marauding around the world plundering resources. This is a collection of refugees who were the victims of European colonists.

      The center of Jewish civilization for many centuries was elsewhere in Ottoman Asia, i.e. Syria and Babylon. Why did these persecuted Europeans refuse to settle in the areas the Sultan offered to give them outside of Palestine? It's a little known fact that the Sultan adopted a statute which provided for the immediate and free settlement on the best lands available, for groups of Jews between 200 and 250 families, everywhere in Ottoman Asia, except for Palestine. In 1882 the American Consul advised a group of Romanian Jews who had requested settlement in the “Pashlik of Palestine” about the ordinance and summed-up by saying “In conclusion, there is nothing to prevent all the Israelites on the earth from settling in Asiatic Turkey. They shall not settle in Palestine-that is the only prohibition." The truth is the Zionists would rather have died than settle anywhere else, so spare us the mental gymnastics.

      The history is pretty simple. You have to talk about a bunch of secular European Jews, to distract attention away from the dozens of small indigenous communities of Jews in and around the four sacred cities of Palestine. They viewed themselves as completely different ethnic nationalities from one another. They had their own officials, courts, and schools and enjoyed their own local autonomy. Even if all of them had wanted a State of their own and banded together, they still wouldn't have amounted to anything more than a San Marino, Monaco, Andorra, Liechtenstein, or Malta.

      None of them were sitting around like Marx, Herzl, or Borochov curning out political manifestos about some sort of state-ism. Pinsker, Herzl, Ruppin, and Jabotinsky wrote racist tracts and pamphlets. They held the same bigoted European views regarding the immiscibility of the races, the mystical connection between blood and soil, hereditary anti-semitism, and the need of us racially inferior Diaspora Jews for genetic improvement through Eugenics programs they intended to carry-out in Palestine to create "the New Jew", i.e. link to If Herzl didn't have a European behemoth marauding around the world plundering resources it wasn't because he and his colonial companies didn't envision one. Herzl was really a despot who wanted to found a global empire and assume the role of the head of new royal family:

      “It is precisely the duty of the leader to set the people on the path which, by apparent detours, leads to the goal. You refuse the life which is offered you out of fear, cowardice. Miserable eunuchs that you are, you sacrifice the sources of your power. Look at Britain! It pours its excess popula­tion into the vast empire that it was able to acquire. Are we then so craven as to be frightened of the offer made to us? Starting from their national base, nations have built colonial empires that have made their fortunes. Let us accept the chance offered us to become a miniature England. Let us start by acquiring our colonies! From them, we shall launch the conquest of our Homeland. Let the lands between Kilimanjaro and Kenya become those of the first colony of Israel! They, rather than Edmond de Rothschild’s philanthropic supported refugees, will constitute the real Rishon le-Zion, the first- fruits of Zionism, of the New Israel. If we accept Chamberlain’s offer with gratitude, we strengthen our position, we oblige him to do something wise for us should our commission of enquiry reject the land proposed. In our transactions with this mighty nation we shall acquire the status of a national power. We will not stop there! Other States will follow Britain’s example, new “reserves of power” will be created in Mozambique with the Portuguese, in the Congo with the Belgians, in Tripolitania with the Italians.”

      link to

      Arthur Ruppin’s “The Picture in 1907″ graphically illustrates that he disparaged the indigenous Jews and claimed they were practically indistinguishable from their Arab brethren. Another good example is provided by Elkan Nathan Adler, who authored Jews in many lands (1905). It was printed by the Jewish Publication Society of America. He didn’t grasp the tradition of inalienable religious endowments (e.g. waqfs) and considered property owned by the Relief fund as a sort of colonial estate. He explained in the foreword that his

      first visit to the East was a professional one, undertaken by instruction of the Council of the Holy Land Relief Fund. Its object was to clear up certain legal difficulties which had arisen on their estates at Jerusalem and Jaffa in consequence of the death of Sir Moses Montefiore in 1888. At that time their only buildings in Jerusalem were the Judah Touro Almshouse and a windmill. The vacant land adjoining had been “jumped” by about three hundred poor and desperate Jews who claimed that it had been originally intended for the poor, and they were poor. The journey was successful; the squatters were removed, and their place taken by industrious settlers who, through the agency of two building societies financed by the Sir Moses Montefiore Testimonial Committee, have erected some hundred and thirty decent little dwellings in place of the rude uninhabitable shanties standing there in 1888. The experience was exciting and stimulating, and encouraged the author not only to return to Palestine, but to make quite a number of other voyages to Jewish centres in the Old World as well as the New.

      So the Zionists targeted the local Jews with evictions and home demolitions too.

    • I think that’s very inaccurate. There was no other nation on that land. There was certainly a group with an ethnic identity, but not a national group.

      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

      Mandel also pointed out that one of the pre-war newspapers, the Filastin, frequently carried articles that spoke about Palestine as a distinct national entity. He also noted that in 1914, 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”. He quotes extracts and provides analysis of its contents, which leaves no doubt that it reflects well established Palestinian nationalist views.

      So it should come as no surprise that the delegation of leaders that went to London in 1922 said that they represented "the Palestinian Arab people". See The Correspondence from The Palestine Arab Delegation to the Secretary of State for the Colonies demanding a stop to all alien immigration and the grant to the People of Palestine - who by Right and Experience are the best judges of what is good and bad to their country - Executive and Legislative powers: link to

      Vladimir Jabotinsky was a founder of Keren Heysod in 1920 and its original Director of Propaganda according to the Encyclopedia Judaica article here link to or here link to The disciples of his Revisionist movement are governing Israel today. He was an eye witness and you can hardly deny the fact that he called the Palestinians a living nation in 1923 in his best known article on the subject:

      As long as there is a spark of hope that they can get rid of us, they will not sell these hopes, not for any kind of sweet words or tasty morsels, because they are not a rabble but a nation, perhaps somewhat tattered, but still living. A living people makes such enormous concessions on such fateful questions only when there is no hope left. Only when not a single breach is visible in the iron wall, only then do extreme groups lose their sway, and influence transfers to moderate groups. Only then would these moderate groups come to us with proposals for mutual concessions. And only then will moderates offer suggestions for compromise on practical questions like a guarantee against expulsion, or equality and national autonomy.
      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.

      — Vladimir Jabotinsky, The Iron Wall (We and the Arabs), (1923) link to

    • Yes, one of the main reasons Britain published the Balfour Declaration was a desire to appeal to Jews in the U.S., as well as in Russia, so that they would support the Entente side in the First World War.

      The War Cabinet Papers covering the 227th meeting to the 308th (Sept. 3rd to Dec. 31st, 1917) establish that the members were interested in obtaining the assistance of staunch American Zionists in getting Wilson to enter the war (227th) when the correspondence between Balfour and Rothschild first came up.

      That was quite a while before it was first noted that the majority of Russian Jews supported the proposal (245th). It was finally pitched as a source of useful propaganda to influence both the Russian and American Jews (261st).

      The first mention of Russian Jews was also in the 227th meeting. But it was a discussion about a separate agenda item regarding “the Jewish regiment”. The cabinet had received a lot of irate correspondence from British Jews serving in regular Army units who did NOT want the Russians in the Zionist Mule corps calling themselves “the Jews” or representing them in any way. Here’s a link to the 125mb pdf from the UK National Archives link to

    • Gosh, I didn’t remember that in addition to being incredibly, almost unbelievably informative on the history of Zionism, (and other things besides, I would hardly stop there.) Hostage’s comments can be, well, lively, too.

      Well I'm no Einstein, but I can usually hold-up my own end of a detailed conversation about the legal meaning and origins of the equality clause in Israel's declaration of independence, personality disorders, insults, applied physics, methods of lie detection, and Zionist history. See for example this lively and informative exchange with Richard Witty. link to

    • There is an important point in Ben-Gurion’s testimony that you have omitted, his definition of a Jewish State. ... Not exactly a description of the state his government produced.

      I still intended to comment here, at length, about the subject matter of the article. I'm just busy with other things today. I'm responding to some questions in another thread about the Hillels. I promised someone there that I'd provide some answers. I noticed your link to your first article, and I've got some useful information that I can supply there too. It concerns the customary rules that govern the creation of states by international bodies and how they apply to the case of the Mandated States and to both Israel and Palestine. Most people are not even aware of the subject matter or its implications and wouldn't know where to begin to look for information on the topic.

    • Hostage, neither of your links goes to the Malcolm memo

      Agreed. I only meant to point out that the details of the account were authentic, since the story had been cited and discussed, in a favorable way, in an article that appeared in a reputable Jewish historical journal. I didn't mean to imply that the JSTOR link contains a full copy of the memo, free or otherwise. It simply offers an independent confirmation of Malcolm's role. I'm sorry for any confusion.

    • I was going to leave a rude comment on the Slater article, only because of the “claiming all of Palestine for the Arabs” absurdity

      I'm sorry to hear that you left that undone.

      but am now too drunk and stoned to find it,

      That's a better reason than I had for ending up here. I'm glad that you thought of it and were brave enough to go first. I'm going to go pour myself a tall one right now and join-in the search for Slater's reply button.

      respect Sir.

      Back at ya!

    • A fascinating memo from a key British player, James A. Malcolm, can be found at, link to The site seems a bit dubious but the document copy from the British Museum appears authentic.

      Well the story certainly is. I came across it in "Lucien Wolf and Theodor Herzl", by Josef Fraenkel, in Transactions (Jewish Historical Society of England) Vol. 20, (1959-61), pp. 161-188 and have cited it and linked to it here several times, e.g. link to its available online through JSTOR, which is legit enough for me;-) link to

    • There is a significant wealth of information in the book by Doreen Ingrams called “Palestine Papers 1917-1922: Seeds of Conflict”

      I have a well worn copy and you're absolutely correct. I've cited it here on many occasions. She wasn't present at the Creation, but she was at Churchill's Cairo Conference and had an insiders knowledge of most of the earlier and subsequent classified documentary evidence from the Foreign Office and War Cabinet meetings on Palestine. She provides brief comments and then let's the original government officials and their written records speak for themselves. If you can only afford one book, this is probably one of the best buys you can make.

    • @ Hostage We know what a devotee of Jewish-Christian syncretism you are.

      None required. Unlike my religious brethren, I'm a not a believer in any of the underlying theological claims. So I don't try to pretend that the so-called "Christian gospels" portray anything other than the redacted tales of yet another competing 1st century Jewish sectarian cult.

    • Careful Hophmi, your feigned outrage and lack of common sense are showing again. Try to slow down and read something by Alfred Lilienthal for comprehension. It might help break through the mental fog and clear-up all those delusions of adequacy you're experiencing.

      The letter to Rabbi Wise from the Zionist Executive helps explain exactly why the US and other countries were reluctant to open their doors to Jewish refugees as a result of the Evian Conference. Morris Ernst, one of the founders of the ACLU, wrote that FDR had told him that the Zionists lobbied against efforts to raise the immigration quotas here in the US to allow in more Jewish refugees. Ernst was tapped by FDR to help lay the ground work for the Evian Conference. See M. Ernst, "So Far so Good", Harper, 1948, pages 176-77 We all know from many other published accounts that the Zionist and Israeli leadership have made similar demands for other countries to close their doors to Jewish refugees who were desperately trying to flee places like the former Soviet Union.

      Weizmann's comments were made after the war started, while he was the President of the WZO. I don't see how you can complain about anyone else's attitude, if you can ignore his total disregard for the fate of a million or more Jewish refugees that he indicated were worth little more than dust in his estimation.

      Your explanation about the immigration certificates is nonsensical. The JTS reported on many occasions that there were thousands of illegal refugees who were admitted after the White Paper went into effect or interned safely in camps elsewhere, like Cyprus. I've commented here in the past about published reports concerning the actions taken by the British to evacuate all of the Struma passengers who held expired visas to Palestine. They used an overland route after the ship docked in Turkey. When they asked the Jewish Agency to agree to reduce the number of its thousands of unused entry permits so that the remainder could be evacuated too, the Zionists stubbornly refused and chose instead to abandon them to their fate. link to

      If you are going to vehemently denounce others for merely "appeasing the Nazis", then the hypocrisy of the Zionist Organization must literally rise up to the heavens over their subsidiary's formal business partnership selling the Nazi regime's manufactured goods for a tidy profit to the neighboring countries. Even when a transaction actually had some plausible connection to an unfortunate refugee's German deposit account, the Zionist and German banking partners took a hefty thirty percent cut as a currency exchange fee. Then there was the matter of the Irgun offering of a Jewish and Nazi alliance. If these people can all be excused for trying to save other people's hides from the Germans, then why can't the Mufti be excused for trying to save his own beleaguered brethren who were being summarily executed or imprisoned in British concentration camps?

    • And you repeat this abomination about Jews being unable to fulfill their quotas under the White Paper, which they were unable to do because Jews were unable to emigrate, not because they didn’t want to.

      No you repeated the lame canard that their "escape route" was cutoff by the White Paper policy (as if it had been the British or the lack of quotas that prevented them from seeking refuge somewhere else, and not the Nazi regime). Even if there had been a logistical miracle, whereby six million people could have been transported to Palestine, common human decency would have dictated that a few million of them be selected from the other, non-Jewish victims, who had their escape route closed through no fault of the White paper.

      The fact is that it's you who is committing a blood libel against others, while ignoring the actual role played by the Jewish Agency Executive in making sure that there were no other safe havens available and concentrating their money and efforts on non-European Jews during the Holocaust.

    • And Captian Yale, the military man, on hearing of the cablegram, instantly cabled Westermann to discount its alarming feature.

      Great job Hostage!

      As I pointed out in my comment above, Wilson was a staffer, not a commissioner - and he was not the only military officer assigned. I certainly wouldn't be bragging about his prescience or lack of alarm if I were a Zionist talkback troll.

      Wisdom is a common theme in the post-biblical Jewish literature. There's an old Christian proverb of Jewish origin that says "Wisdom is vindicated by all of her children". Those who optimistically suggested that a large military force wouldn't be necessary to impose the mandates were in the extreme minority and their rosy predictions were proven to be totally unwarranted in very short order.

      In March 1920, only a few months after the King-Crane cable was sent, Trumpeldor and his fighters were cut-off from outside assistance and laid low. Back home, the British and French governments were contending with public demands for a rapid post-war demobilization. The remaining British contingent in Palestine was unable to handle the Nebi Musa riots in early April. When the Mandates were finally assigned and announced later that same month by the San Remo Conference, there were protests and uprisings in all of the Arab countries concerned, and scores of British soldiers were slaughtered in Iraq. I've already provided a link to Dr. Eder's racist comments during his testimony about the riots the following year, in 1921.

      I've commented elsewhere that the LoN Yearbook recorded the fact that the British and French devoted most of their time and effort at San Remo to planning the route of a corridor for the construction of a railway, telegraph, and oil pipelines between Haifa and Mosul. After the imprudent overthrow of the Hashemite regime in Damascus, both Britain and France suddenly realized they could afford neither the money nor the manpower needed to establish and maintain all of the additional military garrisons that would be required to defend those very same rail, communications, and oil facilities in the vast interior of Arabia from the guerrilla warfare tactics the Hashemites had perfected during their operations against the Turks. So, Churchill quickly convened the Cairo Conference and had to come to terms with them. The British Military Intelligence circulated a report afterward on the May 1921 Arab uprising. It was authored by an officer who had served in Palestine ever since 1917. It openly condemned Churchill's policies and noted the causes of "the Moslem and Christian opposition to and hatred of the British Zionist policy". Some of the main headings were:
      *The special privileges accorded to Jews.
      *The influence of the Zionist Commission and the openly declared political aims of the Zionists
      *The behaviour and immorality of the immigrants
      *The fall in price of land, trade depression, and the prohibition of export of cereals affecting the peasantry
      *Arrogance of Jews towards Moslems and Christians.
      *No representation in the Government of the country or control of expenditure being accorded to the Arabs, who realise that the money taken from them in taxes is spent on employing foreign Jewish labour instead of native, keeping up Jewish immigration offices and such-like matters.
      *The realisation of the injustice of self-government being given to nomadic savages in Trans-Jordania and refused to Palestine;

      He concluded:

      It is impossible not to admit the truth of the conclusion that if the present British policy in Palestine is to continue unmodified a much larger garrison than the present one will be required to enforce it. The Arab population is so incensed against the Zionists and the British because of their support of the former that we must inevitably give concessions to them. These concessions should be prohibition of Jewish immigration until it can be properly controlled and the present intensive system be definitely abolished, and representative Government for all the people in Palestine.
      We are not faced by a simple outbreak of mob violence, in spite of pillage and other signs of participation of criminals and evil elements of the population. The troubles in Jaffa and other parts of the country are only the expressions of a deepseated and widely spread popular resentment at the present British policy. If that policy is not modified the outbreaks of to-day may become a revolution to-morrow.
      (Signed) C. D. BRUNTON, Captain G.S.
      General Staff Intelligence.

      link to

      It's ironic that Jabotinsky's interpretation of the meaning of the Balfour Declaration/Mandate and his written assessment of the military situation in 1923 were in total agreement with the initial impressions reported by the King-Crane mission after only one day in Palestine and those of Capt. Brunton:

      Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population. This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would only be hypocrisy.

      Not only must this be so, it is so whether we admit it or not. What does the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate mean for us? It is the fact that a disinterested power committed itself to create such security conditions that the local population would be deterred from interfering with our efforts.

      All of us, without exception, are constantly demanding that this power strictly fulfill its obligations. In this sense, there are no meaningful differences between our “militarists” and our “vegetarians.” One prefers an iron wall of Jewish bayonets, the other proposes an iron wall of British bayonets, the third proposes an agreement with Baghdad, and appears to be satisfied with Baghdad’s bayonets – a strange and somewhat risky taste’ but we all applaud, day and night, the iron wall.

      -- link to

      By the time the British government finally decided to abandon the Mandate, their 100,000 man force in Palestine was unable to maintain law and order. The government representative's report to the UN Palestine Commission described weeks of disturbances, with over 2,000 Arab, Jewish, and British dead . It also remarked that, "were it not for the efforts of the security forces over the past month, the two communities would by now have been fully engaged in internecine slaughter." -- link to

      The only thing more pathetic than the attempts to portray Crane as an anti-Semite, are the equally absurd reports that he was a Jew-loving communist, fellow-traveler, and friend of Trotsky, who was hell-bent upon waging war against capitalism. e.g. link to link to link to

      If you and Hophmi are almost finished trying to teach Grandma how to suck eggs, the rest of us would like to discuss the article now.

    • “But, oddly, nowhere in the report does any Zionist say anything remotely like that.

      The relevant portion of the report is discussing information supplied in Zionist literature and conferences:

      (2) The commission was abundantly supplied with literature on the Zionist program by the Zionist Commission to Palestine; heard in conferences much concerning the Zionist colonies and their claims; and personally saw something of what had been accomplished. ...
      The fact came out repeatedly in the Commission's conference with Jewish representatives, that the Zionists looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine, by various forms of purchase.

      I've already cited one example of a published manifesto mentioned by Ben Gurion's biographer: "Ben Gurion’s 1919 Ahdut Ha’avodah party platform contained a manifesto which demanded the establishment of “a Jewish Socialist Republic in all of Palestine, and the transfer of Palestine’s land, water, and natural resources to the people of Israel as their eternal possession.” See Ben Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs, Shabtai Teveth, page 99

    • Why should the Palestinians have felt sorry for the plight of the Jews, when they had their own problems? The Mufti had been deported from his own country in violation of fundamental human rights and his own people had been killed and imprisoned. The British used concentration camps, false confessions obtained by torture, and summary executions to accomplish their aims. See:
      * Matthew Hughes, The Banality of Brutality: British Armed Forces and the Repression of the Arab Revolt in Palestine, 1936 – 39, English Historical Review Vol. CXXIV No. 507, Oxford University Press, 2009, link to
      *Prof. Susan Pedersen, The Meaning of the Mandates System: An Argument link to
      *Segev, Shlaim, and other historians document the fact that when Major General Bernard Montgomery was given command in Palestine to put down the Arab revolt, the British forces were given standing orders on how to handle rebels: kill them.

    • Ben-Gurion also complained about the racist Land Transfer Regulations on 1940, which effectively prohibited Jews from purchasing land in 95% of the Mandate.

      LOL! Shabtai Teveth wrote that economic, social, and geographical partition (i.e. de facto apartheid and Bantustanization) were inherent in Ben Gurion's conception of Zionism. See pages 10-12, 43-44, 66, 99, and 179-184 of Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs, Oxford University Press, 1985

      You are correct in that Ben Gurion personally testified to the UN Special Committee on Palestine that Jews, were prohibited from purchasing land in 2/3rds of the country, and only owned about 6 percent of the privately-owned land in the remainder:

      Mr. BEN GURION: . . . There are some 600,000 Jews in Palestine and some 1,100,000 Arabs. There are no reliable figures in this respect. There is an even greater disparity than that. The Arabs own 94% of the land, the Jews only 6%. — link to

      Mr. BEN GURION: “To partition,” according to the Oxford dictionary, means to divide a thing into two parts. Palestine is divided into three parts, and only in a small part are the Jews allowed to live. We are against to

      But the Churchill White Paper stipulated that the mandatory never contemplated that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home. When the Jews demanded a state in a portion of Palestine, their efforts were rewarded by the 1939 White Paper. It partitioned the country into three administrative zones and allocated 2/3rds of it to the Arab majority and the remainder of the country to the mixed existing population of Jews and an Arab minority. Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Negev, and the Galilee were legally allocated to the Arabs. See the zones in the map here: link to

      FYI, if you don't accept the competence of the UN to partition Palestine, then those were the legal borders of the Jewish state at the moment of independence.

      Ben Gurion claimed it was racist and illegal, but the Palestine High Court of Justice disagreed. See the case of Bernard A. Rosenblatt (petitioner) vs. the Registar of Lands, Haifa ; Director of Land Registration, Jerusalem; Edmond N. Levy (respondents) (High court case no. 19/47): in the Supreme court sitting as a High Court of Justice ; before the chief justice Sir William Fitzgerald and Mr. Justice de Comarmond; hearings on 9th May, 1947 and 12th May, 1947.

      If Ben Gurion actually thought that it violated the terms of the Mandate, then he only needed to get one LoN member to agree. But he couldn't find even one. Article 26 of the Mandate stipulated:

      The Mandatory agrees that, if any dispute whatever should arise between the Mandatory and another member of the League of Nations relating to the interpretation or the application of the provisions of the mandate, such dispute, if it cannot be settled by negotiation, shall be submitted to the Permanent Court of International Justice ...

      link to

      Ben Gurion revealed in his memoirs that the members of the Permanent Mandates Commission had privately advised the Jewish Agency Executive in 1937 that the Mandate could not be implemented according to the Zionist Organization's wishes. See David Ben-Gurion, "Letters to Paula and the Children", translated by Aubry Hodes, University of Pittsburg Press Edition, 1971, pages 134-135

      He immediately setup a working group to devise his own racist partition proposal that would keep the majority of the Arab inhabitants of Palestine from buying any property in the Jewish half of the country. Prof Yossi Katz devoted an entire chapter (pages 85-109 in Partner to Partition) to the presentation of the rather ample archival evidence which illustrates the Jewish Agency's decade long effort to formulate their own plan for transferring the Arab population out of the Jewish state. That was an integral part of the Agency's Mandate era partition proposal. Katz said it was developed by a staff of over three hundred people and eventually presented to the UN for adoption.

      Just to refresh your memory, in the Boundary Dispute Case (Burkina-Faso v Mali), the ICJ ruled that:

      In this connection it should be noted that the principle of uti possidetis seems to have been first invoked and applied in Spanish America, inasmuch as this was the continent which first witnessed the phenomenon of decolonization involving the formation of a number of sovereign States on territory formerly belonging to a single metropolitan State. Nevertheless the principle is not a special rule which pertains solely to one specific system of international law. It is a general principle, which is logically connected with the phenomenon of the obtaining of independence, wherever it occurs. Its obvious purpose is to prevent the independence and stability of new States being endangered by fratricidal struggles provoked by the challenging of frontiers following the withdrawal of the administering power.
      The essence of the principle lies in its primary aim of securing respect for the territorial boundaries at the moment when independence is achieved. Such territorial boundaries might be no more than delimitations between different administrative divisions or colonies all subject to the same sovereign. In that case, the application of the principle of uti possidetis resulted in administrative boundaries being transformed into international frontiers in the full sense of the term. This is true both of the States which took shape in the regions of South America which were dependent on the Spanish Crown, and of the States Parties to the present case, which took shape within the vast territories of French West Africa. Uti possidetis, as a principle which upgraded former administrative delimitations, established during the colonial period, to international frontiers, is therefore a principle of a general kind which is logically connected with this form of decolonization wherever it occurs.

      It's hard to see how the customary rule applies in "all cases", if it doesn't apply to Palestine. It has been part of customary international law, since 1810, and was an integral part of the Monroe Doctrine cited in Article 21 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. So I doubt the ICJ could rule-out its application to Palestine, if it were ever asked to decide.

      All the British government did was draw administrative boundaries to establish the full extent of the Jewish national home in accordance with their own Balfour Declaration and the mandate conferred upon them by the San Remo Conference. FYI, the Chairman of the League of Nations Permanent Mandates Commission advised the representative of Great Britain in 1932 that the Jewish national home had long-since been established. See the verbatim minutes of the 22nd Session, 6 December 1932 link to

      So it's hard for me to get all worked up over Ben Gurion's deceitful testimony or your worries that I might be taking it out of context.

    • I can find nowhere in Ben-Gurion’s testimony a call for a Jewish state to created in Palestine by force and to be administered as a trusteeship.

      I can't blame you, it's buried in Orwellian double talk:

      CHAIRMAN: If I sum up correctly what you have said, you mean that it would be an administration of the country under supervision by the United Nations?

      Mr. BEN GURION: Yes, The Jewish Agency

      CHAIRMAN: But is that not a continuation of the Mandate in another form?

      Mr. BEN GURION: No, it is not. Because the Mandate means-and you will see the first Article of the Mandate begins: "That the Mandatory shall have full power of legislation and of administration . . . save as they may be limited by the terms of this Mandate. This had to be done because at the beginning there was only a very small Jewish community of some 60,000 and they could not foresee how long it would take to reach the consummation of the purpose of the Mandate. We are now in a different phase. There is only a very short interval between the decision to have a Jewish State and the material and legal consummation of a State.

      CHAIRMAN: Of course, when I asked whether it is not a continuation of the Mandate, that was a contradiction, as there will be no Mandatory. It will be a direct administration by the United Nations. But do you think there is an advantage in such a situation?

      Mr. BEN GURION: There is, because, first of all, there will be a clear-cut, unequivocal decision that Palestine is becoming a Jewish State.

      Sir ABDUR RAHMAN (India): Do I understand correctly that you want a Jewish State to be established, to be forced on the country by the arms of the United Nations? ...

      Mr. BEN GURION: Yes. I say that the fact is, first, that force is being used against people exercising their rights. Our right is to come back. To prevent this, force is being used.

      If the United Nations will give a decision in justice and equity that the Jews have a right to come back to their country, then I believe it will be their duty, if necessary, to enforce it.

      I do not know how much force will be necessary, but you have the same problem everywhere in the world. The main question is not whether to use force or not; the main question is whether a thing is right or wrong. That is what the United Nations have to decide: Is it right or is it wrong? If it is wrong, then it is for the United Nations to stop every Jew from coming into the country, and perhaps, as some people here want, to send away those who are here. Such a thing has happened to us. So, this is the question: if the United Nations will say this is right, then they will do everything to enforce that right, the same as they are doing to enforce right everywhere else in the world. It is not a special question applied to us.
      link to

    • As he always does, Hostage selectively quotes from Ben-Gurion’s op-ed, which argues that after World War I, Arabs in the Middle East achieved independence in a land mass larger than Western Europe, and that Jews had no other place that they could call home.

      Hophmi, I'll let you polish that turd. Ben Gurion lived in New York for nearly three years during WWI. It's where he met and married his wife. As far as I can tell, nothing, except mean spiritedness and spitefulness, kept him in Palestine after his brief stint in the Mule Corps. If you don't call the USA home, what's keeping you here? The notion that the Arabs who had been placed under mandate in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Transjordan, and Iraq had achieved independence is simply risible.

      Just to keep the record straight: The 1950 "Entente" agreement between AJC President Jacob Blaustein and Prime Minister Ben-Gurion still reflects the thinking of most American Jews. Most of them would also agree with the restatement in the report issued by the World Jewish Congress’ 33-member international Economic and Social Commission chaired by Baron Guy de Rothschild in 1988. It endorsed the right of diaspora Jews to criticize policies of any Israeli government; rejected the Zionist tenet that diaspora Jews live in exile; expressed the view that aliya from Western countries would not increase substantially in the future; and asserted that Jews who choose not to settle in Israel should not feel guilty or be made to feel guilty. See "WZO Executive Criticizes WJC Report and Accuses Its Authors of Flippancy Toward Zionism link to

    • Other sources Hostage cites are notable for how wrong they were about Europe. Sylvain Levy complained about Jews seeking a state in Palestine when they were asking for equal rights in Europe. We all know what equal rights in Europe became between 1933 and 1945.

      I block quoted Mr. Levy. He didn't mention a word about a Jewish state. FYI, Weizmann's remarks during the same meeting indicated that a Jewish national home didn't even require the establishment of a Jewish government. You're artlessly misstating Levy's position. He wasn't complaining about the Jews asking for a state in Palestine, he was shocked that they were asking for superior rights there, while the rest of the world was about to recognize their entitlement to equal rights, i.e.: "Under the circumstances, it seemed to him shocking that the Jews, as soon as their rights of equality were about to be recognised in all countries of the world, should already seek to obtain exceptional privileges for themselves in Palestine. Privileges so obtained as a rule did not profit either the giver or the receiver."

    • Commission Technical Assistant WIlliam Yale’s ‘minority report’, and advocacy for a Jewish State.

      William Yale wasn't one of the commissioners, he was one of their staff military officers.

      ‘After a single day in the Holy Land, King and Crane dispatched
      to Paris a telegram which said that it would be impossible to carry
      out the Zionist program without the presence of a large army.’

      The two commissioners were accompanied by a full staff, including military officers who already had service experience in the Near East, such as Captain William Yale. -- link to

    • The Guardian, the paper you all know and love, denounced it as a death sentence for tens of thousands of Jews. Seems to me that the Guardian was exactly right.

      Hophmi, I see that you are living in your usual state of delusion and denial. The Jewish Agency always had unused immigration certificates at its disposal, even after the 1939 White Paper policy went into effect. In any event, the country was usually hosting thousands of illegal refugees. Here is an example from the JTA we all know and love:

      5,000 Unused Palestine Certificates Extended; Total War Entry Reaches 20,000
      December 22, 1940

      JERUSALEM (Dec. 20)

      The Palestine Government has extended for three months the validity of more than 5,000 unused immigration certificates under the former schedule, it was learned today. The action followed appeals from the Jewish Agency. The Jews to whom the certificates were issued have not yet been able to use them because of wartime travel difficulties.

      The Jewish Agency, it was learned, is making efforts to obtain transit for 1,500 immigrants with certificates who are still in the Baltics. The first group, from Sweden and Denmark, is expected to arrive soon.

      A total of 20,000 Jews entered Palestine in the 16 months since the beginning of the war, Elishu Dobkin of the Jewish Agency reported to a conference of the World Union of Poale Zion-Hitachduth at Ayanoth. They included 8,700 in various quota categories and more than 10,000 refugee illegal immigrants.

      Dobkin added that the Palestine Government had turned over to the care of the Agency more than 7,500 illegals after they had served six months internment and that 2,400, including some 1,600 survivors of the sinking of the S.S. Patria on Nov. 25, were still in the Athlit camp.

      The Patria death toll reached 72 today when four more bodies, including Max Zwillinger, 49, of Vienna and three unidentified women, were recovered from the submerged ship.

      The Ayanoth conference adopted resolutions calling for continuation of the organization’s work in occupied European countries, demanding that American Jews increase their assistance to suffering European Jews and asking strengthening of the World Jewish Congress to make it an authoritative representative body.
      link to

      So there were plenty of certificates for the passengers of the Patria, but they were left on the ship to suffer and many of them were massacred by the Jewish Agency terrorists for propaganda purposes.

      Even after it learned of the Holocaust, the Jewish Agency was employing its unused immigration certificates in Yemen, not Europe:

      During the early 1940s, the imam’s attitude towards Jewish emigration took a new direction: neither prohibition nor official permission, but rather unspoken consent to the departure of Jews from San a and other central Yemeni settlements. This development was initially noted in 1943, when the Jewish Agency began its active involvement in Yemen. Toward the end of 1942, the fate of European Jews and the horrors of the Holocaust became well known. The Jewish Agency suggested that in order to increase the Jewish demographic presence in Palestine, unused immigration certificates be transferred to Jews from Muslim countries. Accordingly, Yosef Ben David, the Yemeni born Jewish Agency education emissary in Aden, was dispatched to Yemen in 1943, in order to explore the possibilities of Jewish immigration to Palestine. -- Traditional Society in Transition: The Yemeni Jewish Experience, By Bat-Zion Eraqi Klorman, page 97 link to

      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
      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
      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

    • Could you not write your own series of articles? I am only doing four. Perhaps you could fill in the gaps?

      Certainly. If Phil and Adam would publish them, I'd write them.

      It's nice to see you're still here. IIRC, the last time we were exchanging views and information, the Mondoweiss admins were methodically disabling comments after only a few days and we got cut-off in mid-conversation.

      I can see that you're swamped responding to the comments made here by others. After the dust settles down a little, I'll post some comments and documentary references that you and the others might find useful.

    • Or simply, the Carlsbad resolution suggests that Zionists have always vied for peace, and it is their Arab neighbors who have been unwilling to make peace with them.

      I think the record speaks for itself on that particular score. The King-Crane Commission reported that:

      —it can hardly be doubted that the extreme Zionist Program must be greatly modified. For a “national home for the Jewish people” is not equivalent to making Palestine into a Jewish State; nor can the erection of such a Jewish State be accomplished without the gravest trespass upon the “civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” The fact came out repeatedly in the Commission’s conference with Jewish representatives, that the Zionists looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine”

      link to

      About the same time as the Calsbad resolution Dr. M. D. Eder, the acting Chairman of the Zionist Commission in Palestine, testified to the British Haycroft Inquiry that:

      “In his opinion there can only be one National Home in Palestine, and that a Jewish one, and no equality in the partnership between Jews and Arabs, but a Jewish predominance as soon as the numbers of that race are sufficiently increased.”

      — — Palestine. Disturbances in May, 1921. Reports of the Commission of Inquiry with correspondence relating thereto .. (1921) page 57 link to
      Over very strenuous British government objections, Eder went on to serve two terms on the Zionist Organization Executive that served as the principal organ of "The Jewish Agency for Palestine". Fellow Executive Committee member Ze’ev Jabotinsky was even more bellicose in his demands to arm the Jews against the Arabs and employ an “Iron Wall” of bayonets to keep them at bay until all hope of resistance could be extinguished.
      Ben Gurion’s 1919 Ahdut Ha’avodah party platform contained a manifesto which demanded the establishment of “a Jewish Socialist Republic in all of Palestine, and the transfer of Palestine’s land, water, and natural resources to the people of Israel as their eternal possession.” See Ben Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs, Shabtai Teveth, page 99.

      One of the members of the original Zionist Commission to Palestine, Sylvain Levy, warned that the whole undertaking would probably be a disaster:

      The first difficulty lay in the great disproportion which existed between the area of Palestine and the millions of people who might want to go there from Eastern Europe. In the second place, the actual condition of the country, which was at present able to maintain only a small population owing to the climatic and other causes brought about by the action of men and the misgovernment of the authorities. At the present moment, some 600,000 or 700,000 Arabs only dwelt in that country, but it would be impossible for an equal number of Jews to adapt themselves to the same conditions of life, since they had in Europe, and especially in Western Europe, acquired certain methods of life which would not be satisfied by the conditions which were sufficient for the Arabs. In the third place, the masses of people who might wish to return to Palestine, would largely be drawn from those countries where they had been persecuted and ill-treated, and the mentality which such a regime was likely to engender could be easily realised. Those people would carry with them into Palestine highly explosive passions, conducive to very serious trouble in a country which might be likened to a concentration camp of Jewish refugees. . . . Under the circumstances, it seemed to him shocking that the Jews, as soon as their rights of equality were about to be recognised in all countries of the world, should already seek to obtain exceptional privileges for themselves in Palestine. Privileges so obtained as a rule did not profit either the giver or the receiver.

      Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, page 167-8 link to

      A Royal Inquiry Commission recommended partition and a forced exchange of populations in 1937.
      Ben Gurion responded with an editorial which explained that the only thing that would keep the Jews from taking over all of Palestine was British military force:

      The Jewish people have always regarded, and will continue to regard Palestine as a whole, as a single country which is theirs in a national sense and will become theirs once again. No Jew will accept partition as a just and rightful solution.
      The proposal of the Royal Commission to set up a Jewish State in a restricted area is to put a drastic limit to the possibilities of a Jewish return, and to condemn the rest of the country to stagnation and desolation.
      Anything may be imposed on a defenceless Jewish people by the superior forces of the British Empire, just as the Jewish people had in the past to submit to the destruction of their country by the Roman legions, and in our own times to their persecution by Nazi Germany and other countries.
      But they can never regard the proposal as something which is right and just in itself.

      -- See "The Jews", David Ben Gurion, The Palestine Post, Thursday, July 15, 1937, Page:5 link to
      The Zionists advised the US government as early as 1943 that they intended to impose a solution on their Arab neighbors by force and were no longer interested in a negotiated settlememt:

      “I have noted in discussions with Zionist spokesmen visiting Cairo recently a marked hardening in their attitude (possibly owing in part to increased confidence resulting from alleged large-scale clandestine arming by Jews in Palestine) which in several cases has taken the form of frankly admitting that it is idle to continue to talk of “negotiations” with Arabs, in balance obvious that any solution satisfactory to Zionists would have to be “imposed” on Arabs by threat or use of force and this latter the only realistic line of action to adopt. — Kirk link to

      Ben Gurion's initial testimony to UNSCOP called for a Jewish state in all of Palestine established by force and administered as a UN trusteeship by the Jewish Agency. He suggested that Palestinians would have to seek their self-determination in one of the many Arab states.
      link to

      Nothing changed after 1948:

      In 1956, Ben-Gurion proposed the division of Jordan: “Jordan has no right to exist and should be partitioned. Eastern Transjordan should be ceded to Iraq (then under a pro-Western monarchy), which would offer to accept and re­settle the Arab refugees. The territory to the West of the Jordan should be made an autonomous region of Israel.” As for the Gaza and Sinai, Sharett’s diaries reveal that Dayan and Ben-Gurion began planning a war of territorial conquest against Egypt in 1953, even before Nasser came to power and turned to the Soviet Union for arms.

      -- Critical Essays on Israeli Social Issues and Scholarship: Books on Israel, Volume III, SUNY Press, 1994, page 185 link to

      So, there should have never been any doubt among the members of the international community of states that the Zionists intended to seize Palestine and drive off as many Arab inhabitants as the international community would permit.

  • My personal journey of transformation
    • P.S. Recently Jeb Bush wrote:

      The Obama administration treats announcements of new apartment buildings in Jerusalem like acts of aggression.

      -- link to

      The Obama administration was reacting to Netanyahu's election campaign stop in "Har Homa" which was built on West Bank land that was illegally annexed to the Jerusalem municipality by Israel long after the 1967 Six-Day War. It's important to remember that, after Israel annexed East Jerusalem, it was Nixon’s Ambassador to the UN, Charles Yost who advised the other members of the Security Council that our government nonetheless considers East Jerusalem occupied territory:

      97. . . . The expropriation or confiscation of land, the construction of housing on such land, the demolition or confiscation of buildings, including those having historic or religious significance, and the application of Israeli law to occupied portions of the city are detrimental to our common interests in the city. The United States considers that the part of Jerusalem that came under the control of Israel in the June 1967 war, like other areas occupied by Israel, is occupied territory and hence subject to the provisions of international law governing the rights and obligations of an occupying Power. Among the provisions of international law which bind Israel, as they would bind any occupier, are the provisions that the occupier has no right to make changes in laws or in administration other than those which are temporarily necessitated by his security interests, and that an occupier may not confiscate or destroy private property. The pattern of behaviour authorized under the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 and international law is clear: the occupier must maintain the occupied area as intact and unaltered as possible, without interfering with the customary life of the area, and any changes must be necessitated by the immediate needs of the occupation. I regret to say that the actions of Israel in the occupied portion of Jerusalem present a different picture, one which gives rise to understandable concern that the eventual disposition of East Jerusalem may be prejudiced, and that the private rights and activities of the population are already being affected and altered.
      98. My Government regrets and deplores this pattern of activity, and it has so informed the Government of Israel on numerous occasions since June 1967. We have consistently refused to recognize those measures as having anything but a provisional character and do not accept them as affecting the ultimate status of Jerusalem.

      link to

      For over 50 years the international community of states worked on a definition of the crime of aggression. During that time, both Republican and Democratic administrations ratified the Kellogg-Briand Pact, the Montevideo Convention, The Organization of American States Charter, The Geneva Conventions, and the United Nations Charter. Each of those conventions prohibit the acquisition of territory by war or through annexation by an occupying power:

      The invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State, or any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack, or any annexation by the use of force of the territory of another State or part thereof,

      -- Definition of Aggression, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3314 (XXIX) and "Article 8 bis Crime of aggression," in the amended Rome Statute.

    • Wonder what Ms Thier thinks of the Goldhagen thesis re his book “Hitler’s Willing Executioners”? Would she think it relevant to her own experience, the average German’s experience growing up in Germany back in the day?

      I would thinks so, since her use of the term Judaize has an exact historical parallel to the Nazi program of "Germanization" - which was one of the major war crimes tried by the post-WWII Tribunal. She said:

      There is a tremendous effort to Judaize east Jerusalem and house demolitions is one of them. Demolishing Palestinian houses that had been built without permit, is the pretext, as permits are not given… We met Palestinians and listened to their frustrating, sad stories. Their status as residents can be revoked easily, which indeed has been done. Since Oslo accords 140,000 Palestinians lost their residency, because they dared to go abroad, they lost their right to return home.

      Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention covered all of the crimes involved in population transfers. The process of acquiring a territory by evicting its population, either through military attacks or occupation, and implementing a policy of apartheid or genocide are the primary examples of war crimes and crimes against humanity listed in the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity.

      Count 3 of the Nuremberg Indictment, i.e. "(J) GERMANIZATION OF OCCUPIED TERRITORIES" charged the Nazis as follows:

      In certain occupied territories purportedly annexed to Germany the defendants methodically and pursuant to plan endeavored to assimilate those territories politically, culturally, socially, and economically into the German Reich. The defendants endeavored to obliterate the former national character of these territories. In pursuance of these plans and endeavors, the defendants forcibly deported inhabitants who were predominantly non-German and introduced thousands of German colonists.

      -- See pdf page 73 (printed page 63) of The International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, Trial of the Major War Criminals, Vol. 1 at the Library of Congress link to or see the Indictment, Count 3 "War Crimes" at the Avalon Project link to

      "In their verdict, the four Allied judges found that the main aim of the Nazis, i.e., the conquest of living space, had been amply proven by the prosecution. Therefore, they viewed the atrocities committed during the war as consequences rather than ends— but did not refer to these policies as a program of genocide:

      The evidence shows that at any rate in the East, the mass murders and cruelties were not committed solely for the purpose of stamping out opposition or resistance to the German occupying forces. In Poland and the Soviet Union these crimes were part of a plan to get rid of whole native populations by expulsion and annihilation, in order that their territory could be used for colonization by Germans.

      -- See Reassessing the Nuremberg Military Tribunals: Transitional Justice, Trial Narratives, and Historiography page 109-110 link to

  • Stanford Hillel defied Hillel guidelines by hosting Gottlieb -- 'and no one burst into flames'
    • This is a complicated issue. Why people crave approval of their communities

      No the important question is: How did the Jewish Community get so fucked-up that it forgot the original facts about Hillel? The Talmud says that the House of Hillel and its students were famous for three things:

      1. They had to be put to the sword, before their adversaries in the Palestine Sanhedrin could obtain a majority in favor of adopting legislation to sever all communications or commerce with their Gentile neighbors. (You don't have to guess about that Hillel House's position on the construction of the Wall);

      2. That they taught the heathens of Palestine that there is just one Golden rule that comprises the whole meaning of the Torah and that that one law was applicable to the native-born Jews and Gentiles and any strangers living in Palestine;

      3. That a Divine Voice from Heaven said that the law follows the House of Hillel, because they always were polite, courteous, and made sure that their adversaries views were presented first, before presenting their own.

      Hillel doesn't stand for any of those things today.

    • Only it hits me as the exact equivalent of White people insisting to hear about the Civil Rights movement from Whites exclusively, Negroes needn’t apply. That was their right too, wasn’t it?

      No, it really isn't equivalent. It's more like a despotic oriental fiefdom or a mandarin ruling class sitting on a mountain of cash solicited from the general public under false pretenses. Fingerhut is the head of a national Jewish fraternal organization that is also a tax exempt public charity. It doesn't actually own or fund these independent local Hillels.

      Hillel International claims in its solicitations for donations, legacies, and endowments that it provides campus services for the benefit of all members of the Jewish religion. The USPTO Hillel trademark registration says the same thing - and that the service association promotes Jewish cultural education and discussion of human rights. But Fingerhut has forbidden local Hillels, as such, from sponsoring, partnering, or providing facilities for pro-BDS groups, like Jewish Voice For Peace or Students For Justice in Palestine. So even if your chapter bought and paid for its own facility, he's threatening to sue you if it is used for one of its stated purposes.

    • I can’t quite get what she means by that by “criminalization”.

      The Lanham Act makes willful trademark violation or unfair competition a federal crime. Likewise the Sherman Antitrust Act makes planning and organizing a boycott a federal crime. The courts have carved-out narrow exceptions for 1st and 14th amendment political and religious activities that Congress isn't allowed to regulate under the "Commerce Clause" of the Constitution, but Fingerhut led the charge in Congress to outlaw the BDS movement anyway. He and his ilk employ the hasbara argument that Israel is a vibrant democracy. They falsely claim that the Palestinian civil society's BDS movement isn't a human rights boycott similar to the landmark NAACP v. Patterson (No. 91) 357 U.S. 449 - 1958 and NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., 458 US 886 - 1982 cases.

  • Netanyahu to stage hunger strike against world peace
  • The Jewish establishment has banned these four valiant Jews. Why?
    • Anyone who is not turned off by phil’s use of gangster in this context is already converted to the cause.

      What's fair for the goose is fair for the gander. I just responded to a comment by JeffB, who claimed that Hillel chapters which support the Open Hillel campaign are somehow guilty of trademark infringement and fraud. link to

      The article above mentions a letter from Fingerhut's lawyer which also suggests that the Swarthmore Hillel was violating the law. Do you object to that language?

      I explained the fact that the Hillel brand was established by a Reform Rabbi in 1923, when the anti-Zionist Pittsburgh Platform was in effect and that in 1948 Hillel International specifically invited the anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism to setup chapters on campus under the Hillel umbrella. The Word mark registration for the term "Hillel" at the USPTO specifically stipulates that one of the services or activities offered by the association is the promotion of discussions about human rights. If the directors at Hillel International suddenly want to exclude anti-Zionist Jews and say that the brand name prohibits the very thing it was registered to promote, then it's their fiduciary responsibility to establish a new service mark for that, and to avoid bringing the existing mark and name into disrepute and destroying the goodwill it enjoys based upon its history of plurality.

      Otherwise, Hillel International is probably guilty of pulling the wool over the eyes of a lot of us and engaging in misapplication of the property rights others have assigned and entrusted to their care - plus fraudulent solicitation of charitable donations from members of the Jewish religion or community that it happens to disagree with.

  • Open Hillel's big month: Swarthmore 'Kehilah' is born and a student resigns over Hillel restrictions
    • Again your problem is that the defendant here isn’t using Hillel in reference to the ancient Jewish rabbi but rather the the modern Jewish social club. I’m not disagreeing Hillel is a semi-common word in Jewish literature. “Open Hillel” is a critique of the closed nature of Hillel the social club not Hillel the Rabbi. So the existence of some ancient Jewish meaning isn’t going to matter.

      Your studied ignorance is duly noted once again. There's nothing on the trademark applications about any social club. From the outset, I cited an Encyclodedia Judaica article which explained that Rabbi Frankel chose the name Hillel because of the things it already "symbolized" to Jews, i.e. it had an acquired a secondary meaning in our culture before he appropriated it for use in commerce. It symbolizes the life-long pursuit of a Jewish education, including the study and teaching of the rules that regulate nearly every aspect of Jewish religious life and culture in accordance with the Law, the Prophets, the Writings, and the related Talmudic literature. The same article explains that it was a classic example of a Jewish campus ministry. So it's no accident at all that synagogues and their integral auxiliaries (schools, academies, yeshivas, and seminaries) do exactly the same things in the same way. Even in the Temple era, synagogues were a network of Jewish community centers with spaces devoted to Torah study, communal worship, and prayer. There is evidence that many of them also served ritual, communal Sabbath meals, established or operated communal mikvahs, etc. The primary role of a Rabbi was that of a teacher or educator, although some served in related judicial roles or incidental priestly roles.

      The disciples or students (talmidim) of Hillel were described in the ancient Jewish literature as the "House of Hillel" or "School of Hillel" - long before there was any such thing as the Academy established on a campus (Latin cognate for the word "field") in either the Roman Emperor's private estate at Yavneh or in Urbana Illinois. There is nothing comparable or analogous to that any of your inapposite Nike, Visa, or Apple illustrations.

      The ancient Jewish would have mattered if there were in the throughout time a variety of brands of Jewish social clubs called Hillels. But there weren’t.

      No, I've explained that an applicant for the mark has to establish exclusive use of the word in commerce for the prior five years in order to claim the mark has acquired a proprietary secondary meaning and that there were always other businesses or organizations employing the same Hillel name during the 20th Century that would have prevented B'nai Brith International (BBI) from ever doing that. I've mentioned that there are many older Hillel synagogues, an older College Hillel Club in Texas, and an older Hillel House at Cambridge University in England. Those examples are probably sufficient enough to establish the fact that the ancient concept was still a fixture of 20th century global Jewish thinking: link to But even if none of those existed at all, there were still dozens of contemporary "Hillel" Jewish schools and synagogues that were openly using the name in commerce by the time of the 1963 BBI registration. Many of those are located near campuses and some are even affiliates of the same Jewish federations as a local campus Hillel. So it's something of a mystery that such a crowded Jewish religious-cultural education market place has never produced a single claim of trademark infringement or consumer confusion until now.

      B’nai B’rith is likely going to have to be stricter with many unassociated branches to defend against BDS infiltration. But what that means is that B’nai B’rith might have to demand the 550 independent Hillels either affiliate or stop using the term it does not mean that BDS organizations get to use the Hillel brand to create social clubs whose purpose is antithetical to the main brand.

      Huh? Other than the possibility that it's still collecting a hefty trademark licensing fee from Hillel International, BBI is out of the Hillel licensing business altogether these days. The last authoritative word from BBI on the subject was a 1948 policy letter which advised local foundations that Anti-Zionist groups, like the JRC, were perfectly welcome to participate in programs operated under its proprietary Hillel Foundation umbrella.

      Like Hillel International, BBI is a registered public charity. About 40 states have adopted model legislation governing Internet, email, telephone, or in-person solicitation of charitable contributions. Many of them require organizations to forward copies of their IRS form 990 so that they can exercise oversight and prevent fraudulent solicitations. BBI reports that it receives a substantial part of its income from the government or from donations made by the general public. It also reports that "B'nai B'rith International, The Jewish Global Voice of the Jewish Community, is a Jewish Humanitarian, Human Rights, and Advocacy Organization. Since 1843 BBI worked for Jewish Unity, Security, Continuity, and Tolerance. BBI's Reach extends to 50 countries around the World."

      In many of those countries and states discrimination on the basis of religious creed is not legal. BBI is also one of the oldest insurance companies in America; one of the largest providers of federally-subsidized senior housing, and a provider of services under many other state and federal community block grant programs. It's highly unlikely that it would be caught dead getting involved in a communal squabble over access to government-subsidized public accommodations or government-subsidized interfaith bridge-building programs on the basis of discrimination against a Jewish group over its creed. If it ever does that, it would destroy its own raison d'etre and I'd buy a ticket to watch the spectacle and write about it.

      The Chicago example is a good one in that it appears pretty clearly that Foundation owned Hillel at UChicago.

      It looks like the trademark owner and a party in privity with it were misleading the public about the actual source of the services (an example of reverse passing-off). It wasn't obvious to anyone that the Metro Chicago Jewish Federation had purchased all of the campus Hillels in the State of Illinois, including the original BBI Hillel in Urbana. I doubt that Hillel International even has the necessary standing to threaten them with a trademark infringement lawsuit under the terms of the BBI break-up agreement. But even if they do, I'd still bet the odds would be even that they'd lose a counterclaim lawsuit over misappropriation of Urbana Hillel's intellectual property.

      We have discussed fair use. Fair use is when you can use someone else’s trademark for issues like critique, or comparison.

      No, I've cited and provided you with links to the relevant controlling authorities on the subject, including Supreme Court cases, which explicitly said the classic doctrine permitted the use of registered word marks in commerce by others and that, in the case of value added products, the defendants don't even have a burden to prove the absence of confusion. The only test allowed in nominative fair use cases is whether or not the defendant falsely suggested he or she was sponsored or endorsed by the trademark holder. In several of those cases, the defendants were even using the Volkswagen or Lexus word marks to provide independent sales or services that violated the terms of the owner's contractual guarantees to authorized affiliates regarding their rights to regional market exclusivity. The Courts ruled in those cases that lost profits were not unfair competition or infringement, so long as there was no suggestion of the trademark owner's endorsement.

      But you've never explained how you could keep all these existing Hillel synagogues from operating their own student associations on college campuses as their own integral auxiliaries. After all, many of them do have Hillel schools. The Hillel Book Club in College Station Texas was established by a Dallas Rabbi. The Urbana Hillel acquired by BBI was established by Rabbi Frankel after he had been assigned the task of working with campus students by the Hebrew Union College in another state. When BBI setup the second Hillel chapter in Wisconsin in 1924, another Jewish community was setting up a Hillel synagogue in Kenosha. There has been a Hillel synagogue in the Chicago suburb of Wilmette, ever since the 1950s. If you declare Anti-Zionist students to be heretics, what keeps one of them from having their own "Open Hillel: an independent service organization of Beth Hillel Congregation" seeing as Open Hillel isn't a trademark in the first place?

    • @Hostage I forgot to respond to your Apple example. Your history is a little off there: link to The courts agreed that the word Apple could be trademarked. There was a settlement in line with trademark law

      As usual you're suffering from reading comprehension problems and missed the point entirely. I never said that people in the apple orchard business couldn't register trademarks. I literally said they would have to disclaim exclusive rights to the use of the word “Apple” in their trademark registrations. I've repeatedly pointed out that the original B'nai B'rith Hillel registration contained exactly that sort of disclaimer explaining that there was no implied claim of exclusivity with regard to depictions of a Torah scroll on a competitor's logo. I also pointed out that the documentary record of B'nai Brith's prosecution of the application are not available online in the TESS-TSDR databases, so we can't see what, if any, objections were raised in connection with the use of the word Hillel by others.

      I also pointed out in other comments that it really doesn't matter if the registrations are in a different international category code, if the description of the goods or services is similar. The original Apple lawsuit had no legal legs and was settled out of court. Years later, they actually had become competitors, due to digital convergence of the computing and music industry markets. But the unofficial details of the confidential out of court settlement that have been disclosed so far, don't support the proposition that the law would have conferred exclusive rights on either party or that either of them have ever agreed to stop doing business under the Apple name in order to avoid the potential for consumer confusion about the true source of one another's products. There is certainly nothing illegal about the fact that both Apple companies are still doing business, as such, and selling products in the same market sector without any of the alleged confusion. So, it's hard to see how the outcome helps support your rationale about the rights to use the name Hillel.

    • P.S. the link above was an example of one type of third party fair use in commerce that I intended to cite. The Pepsi Co. brand history timeline link should have been: link to

      An example of the same type of statutory third party fair use of the Coca Cola mark would be the Collectors Club link to

    • The claim is that Hillel is a brand like Pepsi

      That's preposterous. You keep citing Coca Cola and Pepsi, but there is simply no parallel to the Hillel word-type service mark in those product names. Neither of those words was a generic term or the name of an ancient Jewish religious school that had fallen into the public domain and become popular in that same connection with synagogues and scores of other Jewish educational institutions engaged in commerce, before one of "the many" using the word finally registered it with the USPTO. The name Hillel appeared in English texts like Rodkison's Talmud, The JPS Tanakh Book of Judges, and the Jewish Encyclopedia "Hillel", "School of Hillel", & etc. entries. By then, it had even been mentioned and discussed at length in older English Christian works authored by scholars, like Alfred Edersheim.

      In terms of the local groups being run by colleges that makes things far better for Hillel not worse. If college X is funding an independent Open Hillel then when B’nai B’rith sends them a cease and desist letter it is going to be directed at the college misleading students by fraudulently claiming to be providing Hillel brand Jewish social clubs while in reality college X is running the club themselves - See more at: link to

      For reasons of standing and joinder, B'nai B'rith would inevitably get dragged into court as a result of any lawsuit filed by its licensees against a third party. So I would be amazed if it didn't retain the right to waive Hillel International's claims in exactly the same fashion that Novell finally stepped-in and waived SCO's claims against IBM in the decade-long UNIX open source code case I mentioned above. FYI, Neither B'nai B'rith nor Hillel International provided services to Swarthmore College, but that didn't stop Hillel International from soliciting charitable donations from the public as if it did. The College chartered the student group, funded it, and provided it with facilities. That means the College was the normal everyday "source" or "origin" of the campus Hillel brand "service". The Supreme Court ruled in the Daystar case that the Lanham trademark Act cannot be used to prevent unattributed use by others of any material that has fallen into the public domain and that the trademark act cannot be used to sustain a "passing-off" claim against other independent sources or points of origin in such cases. link to

      Hillel was just another campus ministry back in 1923 and there were already other Jewish community centers with study halls or dedicated integral auxiliaries, e.g. Beth Hillel synagogues with integral Beth Midrash and/or: seminaries; elementary schools; high schools; academies; yeshivas; and university book clubs - all doing business as "Hillel's" and promoting the same forms of Jewish religious or cultural education. That situation rules out the only conclusive statutory ground used to establish that a word mark has acquired a secondary meaning, i.e. five years of exclusive or nearly exclusive use in commerce. I've already provided a link to 15 USC 1052 here is a link to the USPTO Examiner's manual discussion of its criteria for acquired secondary meaning: link to

      I've already discussed the fact that either a more "senior" mark or long-term, unchallenged common law use of junior marks by others (through "waiver", "laches", and "estoppel") are explicitly mentioned as statutory defenses against a claim of infringement involving a so-called "incontestable mark". In fact, the Daystar decision notes with irony that infringement of an unregistered trademark can even provide the basis of a claim that would result in a federal case against the USPTO-registered owner.

      Anyone can use a generic word for an exclusive trademark, but not if it's merely descriptive of the service or product subject matter. For example, people in the apple orchard business have to disclaim exclusive rights to the word "Apple" in their trademarks. Entities in non-related fields, like the computer or record industries, have been permitted to use the same generic, word "Apple" in their "exclusive" non-orchard related trademarks - precisely because it is unintuitive and non-descriptive. By 1963, any use of the term Hillel in the field of Jewish religious or cultural education was no longer exclusive, original, unintuitive, or non-descriptive of the subject matter.

      In regard to your example, the "Coca Cola" and "Pepsi" web sites explain that those are trademarks owned by their companies. There are pages providing legal notices about that fact: link to link to and timelines or histories of the companies trademarked brands link to link to

      Neither B'nai B'rith nor Hillel International have legal notices on their web sites to inform the public that "Hillel" is a registered trademark. In fact, the web page for "Small Campus Hillels" advises students how to become "Hillel Student Organizations (HSO’s): Affiliated Hillel’s without professional staff that exist as student groups and are overseen by an advisor." The page description repeatedly uses the term "Hillel" and the step-by-step instructions amount to an implied license for any group of students to use that same name when applying with their Dean of Students to become a registered student group on their campus, as a necessary preliminary step, before they can even approach Hillel to apply for an affiliation or trademark license agreement (much less agree in writing to accept its Israel guidelines):

      If your school does not belong to our network of Hillels with smaller Jewish populations, and your Jewish student group would like to join the Hillel network, follow these simple steps:

      *Become a registered student organization on your campus
      *Recruit students interested in helping to build a Jewish community on campus
      *Find an advisor on campus who can provide counsel and guidance
      *Complete the application
      A Hillel Campus Services representative will contact you when we receive your application."

      -- link to

      There's obviously nothing remotely like that on any Pepsico or Coca Cola company web page.

      6) A servicemark is a type of trademark. While there are some specifics that change mostly the same rules apply.

      A service mark is supposed to identify the "source" or "origin" of a service. It actually used to do that when B'nai B'rith Foundation was the national sponsor, proprietor, and trademark owner. The Remaking of Hillel Case Study I cited elsewhere explained that the Foundation bylaws even prohibited local chapters from doing their own fund raising back in those days.

      When B'nai B'rith spun-off Hillel, it retained the trademark and merely licensed it to Hillel International and signed over the other property rights to the local foundations. In some cases it actually sold them-off to third parties. Hillel International reports that the 550 local Hillels are actually "independently funded" and the Forward reported that individual universities even provide the staff Rabbis in many cases. There is obviously no mention of the Israel guidelines in the accreditation manual and that program itself doesn't seem to be urgent or mandatory. All of that has led to situations where the actual service provider is neither B'nai B'rith nor Hillel International, i.e. one of the statutory "defenses" or "defects" that can be raised against an "incontestable trademark" is: "That the registered mark is being used by or with the permission of the registrant or a person in privity with the registrant, so as to misrepresent the source of the goods or services on or in connection with which the mark is used" link to

      For example, there was another unusual case in the headlines a few years ago regarding the Chicago Metro Jewish Federation's surprise mass firing of the entire University of Chicago Hillel Board and its announcement that it had purchased all the Hillel's in the State of Illinois when B'nai B'rith spun-off the organizations. That funding/ownership/management situation even came as something of a surprise to people and groups who thought they were familiar with the Chicago Federation and the Chicago Campus Hillel. See "Looking Beneath the Surface in Chicago" link to

      I think we are going in circles. You are presenting interesting arguments but you are not dealing with the central question of how your arguments if they were accepted wouldn’t completely undermine trademarks in almost all situations.

      No, you are arguing in circles and trying to redefine statutory terms and employ the normal consumer confusion standard to statutory and nominative fair use situations, where the Courts have explicitly ruled that test simply doesn't apply.

    • Organizations affiliated with churches can expel heretics or apostates, that is established law.

      No, you can't use the commerce clause when it suits you and escape its clutches when it doesn't. I've already explained that these are not Churches or integral auxiliary organizations and that their primary source of income is federal and state grants and donations from the general public. So for instance, the Department of Homeland Security FAQ says that when "Only part of my organization receives DHS assistance. How broad is the reach of Title VI?":

      Since 1987, the Title VI definition of "program or activity" has included all the operations of any entity, any part of which is extended financial assistance. Therefore, Title VI and its prohibition against discrimination are not limited to the aspect of the recipient's operations that specifically received the federal financial assistance, but rather apply to all operations of the recipient.

      -- Title VI Overview for Recipients of DHS Financial Assistance link to

      You can only apply for DHS assistance under programs, like the Urban Areas Security Initiative Nonprofit Security Grant Program through a State government Homeland Administering Authority. link to

      Those state governments in-turn require applicants to comply with both state and federal human rights or civil rights statutes. In many, if not the majority of cases, those state codes add religion and creed to the list of legally protected characteristics.

      In several instances, when we talk about violations of the Hillel guidelines, we may actually be discussing federally funded seminars on interfaith social issues held in federally-subsidized Hillel facilities, where it would be improper or illegal for government agencies, such as the University Regents, Department of Homeland Security, and the Homeland Security State Administering Authorities to provide Hillel with grants to supply a public forum and secure public accommodations and then permit it to censor substantive content of speech on the basis of its own private religious creed. You're ignoring the fact that so-called Anti-Zionism is a perfectly acceptable and honorable Jewish religious creed that's reflected in the Talmudic literature regarding the "Three Oaths" and in historical doctrinal statements, like the Pittsburgh Platform. In addition the Balfour Declaration/Palestine Mandate safeguarding clause regarding the rights and political status of Non-Zionist and Anti-Zionist Jews in this country was an integral part of the quid pro quo agreement by which you Zionist sycophants obtained government acquiescence for the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine. See the Anglo-American Palestine Mandate Convention (1924), 44 Stat.2184; Treaty Series 728.

      FYI, it was only after B'nai B'rith, the Jewish Federations, and the local Hillel's, including the Philly area and Boston area Hillels, started applying for millions of dollars in Community Block Grants and Department of Homeland Security Grants to upgrade the security of their so-called non-denominational "community centers" and other "public accommodations" at taxpayer expense under the Urban NGO Security Program, or DHS programs to conduct multi-year, multi-campus Hillel-sponsored seminars to "Build Interfaith Bridges" that the Jewish Taliban in the community started shreying about the Anti-Zionist views of some of the participants involved. See for example: Grant Helps Campuses Build Interfaith Bridges, Hillel News |Mar 11, 2008 link to and pages of Lori Lowenthal Marcus' "Hillel Explains When ‘Open Hillel’ Will Result in Disaffiliation" link to

      They demanded the immediate adoption of post hoc Israel guidelines that could be used to magically exclude non-Zionist or Anti-Zionist Jews and Palestinian Muslims or Christians who support BDS from participating in these stage-managed Pro-Israel taxpayer funded events on the basis of their creeds. But that is a violation of the Department of Homeland Security and the individual State Administering Authority's legal guidelines.

      There have always been Arab Christian and Muslim groups that have Anti-Zionist (and even Supersessioinist) religious creeds too. Let me clue you in, there were a pair of Supreme Court rulings which allowed both Jews and Arabs to file civil rights complaints as racial groups that also happen to have some religious characteristics:
      * St. Francis College v. Al-Khazraji, link to
      * Shaare-Tefila Congregation v. Cobb, link to

      The whole Campus Anti-Zionism=Anti-Semitism crusade falls apart once you understand that the same law prohibits you guys from harassing Jewish and Arab Anti-Zionists and explicitly excludes their religious creeds from the DOE's legal definition of Anti-Semitism:

      In late 2004, OCR [the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights] finally determined that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits anti-Semitic harassment at federally funded public and private universities, except to the extent that the harassment is exclusively based on tenets of the student's religious faith. In other words, OCR policy now treats anti-Semitic harassment as prohibited racial or ethnic harassment except when it is clearly limited to religious belief rather than ancestral heritage. -- page 3 -- In 2004, OCR issued a series of policy statements announcing that it would assert, for the first time, jurisdiction to pursue claims alleging harassment of Jewish students. These statements were issued as part of broader guidance concerning "complaints of race or national origin harassment commingled with aspects of religious discrimination against Arab Muslim, Sikh, and Jewish students."' They were issued, interestingly, in the course of determining an appropriate disposition for a case alleging harassment against a Sikh student. At the same time, they were issued in the belief that a uniform policy should apply to members of all groups exhibiting both religious and ethnic or racial characteristics -- page 23

      -- Kenneth L. Marcus, Anti-Zionism as Racism: Campus Anti-Semitism and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 15 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 837 (2007), link to

      FYI, there are many state universities that only allow private organizations to operate on campus if they agree in advance that they will not discriminate against others on the basis of legally protected characteristics such as race, religion, creed, or national origin. For example, Fingerhut is one of the Ohio University Regents. The Ohio Constitution explicitly prohibits the government from granting a preference to any "religious society". The Ohio University Community Standards Code makes it a Class A offense to discriminate against anyone on the grounds of their religion, creed, or nationality. link to After mentioning that the original Hillel was founded at the State University of Illinois, author Deborah D. Moore points out that:

      By the time of Frankel's sudden death at the age of thirty in 1927, three new Hillel units had been added at the Universities of Ohio State, Michigan, and California. These schools were all publicly supported institutions, prohibited by law from teaching religion.

      -- B'nai B'rith and the Challenge of Ethnic Leadership, pages 142-143 link to

      She goes on to say that within a few years those same state universities, together with, Alabama, Iowa, Connecticut, Northwestern, and Oklahoma were offering Jewish and Christian students Hillel courses for academic credit. Situations like that would make it almost impossible for college administrators to exclude Non-Zionist or Anti-Zionist students and groups from subsidized Hillel activities and facilities without violating explicit Supreme Court holdings on the subject, including Gary E. Widmar et al., Petitioners v. Clark Vincent et al. No. 80-689 and Ronald W. Rosenberger, et al., Petitioners v. Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, et al. 515 U.S. 819 (1995) Fingerhut must also be aware of the fact that he can't use bogus trademark claims against state university administrators. They enjoy sovereign immunity from intellectual property lawsuits in the federal courts. e.g. See "State Sovereign Immunity and Protection of Intellectual Property", link to

    • So I’m going to get a little more specific with a scenario. Assume that Open Hillel of Swarthmore didn’t change their name. George from Open Hillel invites Phil (Ali Abunimah or …) to speak. Phil agrees. George ... We have 4 possible claims.

      No, the fact is that Hillel International isn't the source of anything at Swarthmore. It looks like the Philly Area Hillel may have provided a Reconstructionist Faculty Advisor who had finished her seminary work. She has announced her departure. Other than that, the College provided all of the grants and setup individual accounts with the Student Budget Committee for each Jewish Group on Campus, e.g. Chabad Chaverim, Hillel, Swat Students for Israel, etc.
      link to link to
      and provided them with an Interfaith facility, Bond Hall. link to

      The answer to your hypothetical is that George is not an agent of Open Hillel. If he is a member of Swat Hillel, then he's not passing off. His group really was an official affiliate of the Greater Philly Area Hillel Foundation, named Hillel - even after the resolution saying it was also an Open Hillel.

      Andrea claims she thought the contract was with Hillel and wouldn’t have signed a contract with payment after the event with some small student club. Betsy claims she thought it was a Hillel event and wouldn’t have bought the ticket had she known.

      Hillel International and the Local Philly Hillel Foundation didn't fund Swat Hillel, the College did. The Hillel didn't change its name, so Andrea was dealing with the same small non-profit student group in any case and should have known that. Here's what Title 15 of the Pennsylvania State Code says about Liabilities of an unincorporated association: § 9117. Liability.

      (a) Scope.--

      (1) A debt, obligation or other liability of a nonprofit association, whether arising in contract, tort or otherwise, is solely the debt, obligation or other liability of the nonprofit association.

      (2) A member or manager is not personally liable, directly or indirectly, by way of contribution or otherwise, for a debt, obligation or other liability of the nonprofit association solely by reason of being or acting as a member or manager.

      (3) This subsection applies regardless of the dissolution of the nonprofit association.

      (b) Liability for conduct.--A person's status as a member or manager does not prevent or restrict law other than this chapter from imposing liability on the person or the nonprofit association because of the person's conduct.

      (c) Agents.--A person that makes a contract or incurs an obligation on behalf of a nonprofit association after September 9, 2013, is not liable for performance or breach of the contract or other obligation if the fact that the person was acting for the nonprofit association was disclosed to, was known by or reasonably should have been known by the other party to the contract or to the party owed performance.

      (d) Observation of formalities.--The failure of a nonprofit association to observe formalities relating to the exercise of its powers or the management of its activities and affairs is not a ground for imposing liability on a member or manager of the nonprofit association for a debt, obligation or other liability of the nonprofit association.

      (July 9, 2013, P.L.476, No.67, eff. 60 days)

      2013 Amendment. Act 67 added section 9117.

    • Pick me, Pick me!!! Listen i own a book on Tekyu, which makes me almost a Prophet.

      Your application has been approved! But it made me realize that "The Jewish People" just wasn't inclusive enough. You can be the Grand Mufti of our "B'nai B'rith Mosque & Maddrassah" .

    • P.S. It appears that the Jewish Federation and Hillel of Greater Philadelphia Area have accepted Homeland Security grants to upgrade their facilities. The grants were obtained from the US Department of Homeland Security through the State Homeland Security Administering Authority. The grant applications say that the recipients and their contractors have to comply with state and federal civil rights statutes. So it's a lively question whether they can legally discriminate against anyone on the basis of their creed or religion. The Federations and Hillels just about everywhere else are in the same boat. FYI, there are similar civil, criminal, and administrative prohibitions against those forms of discrimination in CA, NY, MA, OH, IL, and many other states I've checked.

    • Do you mean the trademark or the affiliation license? Assuming you mean trademark, I think that’s the core of it. But there is nothing unusual there. Coca-Cola’s only leverage over me preventing me from selling a soda called Coca-Cola is their trademark.

      I think you need to adjust your medication and stop talking nonsense about Coca Cola products. I meant that Hillel can't ask the College to discriminate against Jewish students on the basis of their Anti-Zionist creed if he doesn't have a license agreement with each of them.

      Hillel is a service mark, not a trade mark. You might want to read my comments above about the fact that a service is only an activity that you do for others, not for your own members or affiliates. Read the USPTO Examiner's manual entries from 1301 to 1301(a)(ii): link to

      It appears now that Fingerhut's only leverage at Swarthmore was the affiliation agreement. If he doesn't have one with the new campus Kehillah umbrella organization, nothing would prevent it and the College from having a subordinate Hillel Club. If that Club only provides activities for its own members and obtains all of its funding from the College through Kehillah, then the name wouldn't be used as a service or trademark anyway, i.e. it's neither a source of a product nor a service. It's just a private unincorporated association meeting in the College-owned Interfaith facility.

      FYI, Swarthmore does accept federal funding and it's non-discrimination policy complies with both federal and state laws. The latter prohibits the College from discriminating against students on the basis of religion or their Anti-Zionist creed, i.e. the Dean of Students could file a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission and have Hillel banned from campuses statewide, until it changes its Israel Guidelines

    • even the Open Hillel people don’t buy your argument about the trademark being iffy. They say, “Yes, Hillel would be within its legal rights to be a political organization where only certain views are acceptable — but that’s not what we want to see in our community.

      I notice you still have reading comprehension problems. There's no mention of the B'nai B'rith trademark or Hillel International The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life on that page.

      You keep forgetting that these people include, dissatisfied customers, stakeholders, and what the Israel Guideline page called "the Local Hillel". Those affiliate members are independently funded and are the actual service providers to other Jewish groups on their campus. They quite correctly think of themselves as "Hillel" and can't be accused of falsely passing themselves off, as such, in any Court until Fingerhut gets off his ass and formally disaffiliates them. You might think it's cute to conflate a chartered student group name with the name of a service mark, but the Judge would stop you right in your tracks. About a third of the "Local Hillel" affiliates have entity or trade names like "The Vassar Jewish Union". Adopting a resolution that says they are an "Open Hillel" doesn't have any relevant legal effects on their charter or affiliation agreement.

      So, you could just as easily interpret that as: “Yes, (our) Hillel would be within its legal rights to be a political organization where only certain views are acceptable — but that’s not what we want to see in our (local) community.

      The "Remaking Hillel" study that I mentioned to Mooser noted that the first CEO of the new Hillel International wanted to borrow a new idea from academia, "accreditation" so that he could use it to fire directors. He assigned the project to a staffer, who reported back that the directors would not accept it, and that it would could only be implemented from the bottom-up. Some Philanthropists donated the money for a consultant and the directors eventually sat down an wrote a watered-down standard themselves. Within a year’s time, the accreditation process was formalized into the "Everett Pilot Program for Excellence", and eventually a manual was even published.

      Here is the latest Hillel International web page I can find on the bottom-up "accreditation" program that's dated Jul 25, 2005. link to It said that after 14 years, only 71 Hillel Foundations in the United States and Canada had received accreditation. So it's obvious that the 2010 Israel guidelines are not even incorporated in the manual and that its possible that many, if not most, of the 550 Hillels have been unaccredited since the mid-1990s. Here is a relevant statement from another Hillel Official:

      Another point of clarification: Almost all the Hillels are independent organizations with our own tax identification numbers, our own board of directors, our own bylaws and our own tax accountants. Some Hillels are more closely linked with their nearby federations, but the majority are stand-alone, non-for-profit religious organizations. As a result, we are all hired and fired by our local board of directors. While we each have an affiliation agreement with Hillel International, there is nothing in that affiliation agreement to indicate that anybody is going to get fired by the CEO of the organization.

      link to

    • Hostage, that still doesn’t relieve JVP of the liability associated with improperly using the “Jewish” word and logo. ... Sorry, I meant Cadillac or Mercedes-Benz. My apologies.

      I always say to go with your first impressions, they can't always be wrong. So, according to the Kansas Secretary of State's Business Identity System @ link to

      Kansas Business Center
      Name Availability Status

      "The Jewish People" Is Available

      You can reserve this name now for a $30.00 fee. A name reservation is not required to form a new business. It is ONLY for those who intend to form a corporation or other entity, but require additional time to complete the necessary paperwork.

      The right to a reserved name may be transferred by filing a written consent signed by the original applicant. A Name Reservation is valid for 120 days, after which it expires and the name is released for public use.

      Name reservations may not be renewed if a reservation is submitted prior to the expiration date of a current name reservation. If this occurs, the new reservation will be rejected. ... Reserve this Name?

      FYI, you can never be too safe so I checked and: Name Availability Status "The Palestinian People" Is Available too, but only if we act now.

      If you've ever read "The Remaking of Hillel: A Case Study on Leadership and Organizational Transformation, Mark I. Rosen, Case Analysis, by Amy L. Sales", then you know that Hillel International is funded in part through a corporate combination, the US Council of Jewish Federations, and that their facilities in Kansas and elsewhere around the country have been upgraded especially for use by "The Jewish People" at the taxpayers expense, courtesy of the Department of Homeland Security (and a plethora of other federal community block grant programs). So I don't believe they are allowed to discriminate against "The Jewish People" patrons and our "Hillel Symposium (and "Trefa Banquet") by denying us accommodations on the basis of our non-violent Anti-Zionist religious creed, deviant tastes in Klezmer music, or fondness for German cars. See "Charity Helps Jewish Groups Feel Safe" (link to

    • , if hillel can be trademarked exclusively, why not washington or jesus?

      @Annie, the correct answer is that you can string together preexisting generic words or sprinkle them with a few new ones you've coined yourself ("Adventist"), place them on logos, and trademark them together, e.g. "The Standard Oil Company". You can even sue anyone else who brings that new combination of terms or shapes that you created into disrepute, e.g. "The Seventh Day Adventist Church". What you cannot do is trademark a single preexisting generic term like "Hillel", "Jesus", "Washington", "Standard", "Oil", "Company", "Seventh", "Day", "Church" and try to prevent others from using them in their own unique combinations, e.g. "Open Hillel" or "Independent Hillel Service". I've already explained there is no requirement to obtain the owner's consent before you use the same unique name in commerce and little or no burden on a defendant to prove the element of confusion is absent in those cases. Here we are taking about a single preexisting generic word or words. For heavens sake, if you could do something like that, why waste your time with Hillel? Just register "The Jewish People" and serve constructive notice to the Zionists that the game is over and its use by others is prohibited.

      Back to reality, From the outset I noted that there aren't any of the usual supporting documents for the original Hillel Torah Scroll logo application available online in the USPTO TESS database. The applicant would have been required to submit a written list of all known exceptions to its claims of exclusivity - and there were plenty of them. I pointed out that the Hebrew Union Seminary had given one of their rabbinical candidates an assignment to work with the students of the University of Illinois campus at Urbana and how that classic campus ministry evolved into the very first Hillel. It's no accident that a "Synagogue" is just synonym for a Jewish community center that does all of the things listed as "association services" on the Hillel trademark registrations.

      JeffB incorrectly stated that B'nai B'rith and Hillel International are "churches", but never explains how they would be able to keep the many other church entities, e.g. a "Temple Beth Hillel", from coming onto a campus and competing in the marketplace by setting up their own brand named "integral auxiliaries", just like the Hebrew Union Seminary did in the first place. Ever since the Clinton era, the barriers that kept some of them off of campuses in the past have disappeared under the auspices of "charitable choice" legislation and "faith-based initiative" programs. JeffB seems blissfully unaware of the fact that any attempt to block them by Hillel International could be construed as per se violation of the antitrust statutes.

      So it's just silly for JeffB to suggest that anyone can use a trademark to prevent that same type of private religious unincorporated association from meeting to eat pizza, and raise money for things, like new jerseys for the Jewish student sporting association, if they also happen to be named something like "The Minyan Beth Hillel" and want to discuss Palestinian human rights. The trademark statues only govern activities that Congress is permitted to regulate under the Commerce clause of the Constitution. The Courts have always ruled that doesn't include the 14th Amendment right of private association or the 1st Amendment right to practice your religion and exercise free speech on any political issue.

      No matter when the applicant first used the mark in commerce, "constructive use" only starts when it gets filed with the USPTO. Anyone with more "senior" common law rights before that date can have it declared invalid, even after it has been granted "incontestable" status. The statute itself mentions some examples of prior unregistered use that can be employed as an affirmative defense in such cases. Usually common law rights are limited to a particular state or region, but in several cases, a prior user has been able to have the registered mark declared invalid in the entire country. One of the authorities that has been noted by the Supreme Court and cited in a dozen other cases in that connection is Cuban Cigar N.V. v. Upmann International, Inc. link to

      So for example, if Hillel was a "church" as JeffB suggested, then all of the hundreds of other Temple Beth Hillel's, or integral parts of a church, like a Hillel seminary, elementary, or high school would have to be listed on B'nai B'rith's USPTO application as exceptions. The fact that the real trademark owner has never sued another one of those other entities can be explained by the part of the Statute I cited above which explicitly states that waiver, laches, and estoppel are also statutory defenses and grounds for dismissal in the case of alleged infringement of a so-called "incontestable" mark.

      If B'nai B'rith Hillel was a fraternal organization, prior users, like the Texas A&M Hillel Book Club, dozens of academic sporting associations, & etc. should have been listed on the application for registration too. The purpose of the trademark system is to register marks, not words. So all of those others could be employing their own unique registered logos too if USPTO decides there's no confusion issue. That's why every town in America can have its own "Baptist", "Methodist", "Presbyterian", or "Mt. Zion" hospital engaged in commerce without a shit storm of trademark lawsuits.

      Contrary to JeffB's narrative, a simple check of the IRS form 990s indicates that Hillel International, B'nai B'rith, and the Jewish Federations are not "churches" (Jewish, Christian, or Muslim places of worship) or "integrated auxiliaries" (church "schools" or "seminaries") or "School" organizations for the purposes of the tax code. They are actually part of the $28 billion dollar tax-exempt Jewish Public Charity Industry who report that they earn most of their money from federal community block grant programs and donations from the general public. Like all fraternal organizations or businesses, they can discriminate against applicants for membership in their organizations on the basis of religious creed, but they are prohibited from doing that in connection with any services they provide to the public if those are funded either wholly or in part by a government subsidy or grant. As I noted above, during the Clinton and Bush administrations there was a push for so-called "Charitable Choice" legislation that allows "pervasively sectarian institutions" named Hillel (churches, synagogues, mosques) to begin competing to provide community services on State-owned university campuses for the first time against these more loosely "religious-affiliated" or "nonreligious" (Jewish people) charities. So they are potential competitors in the same service sector. Full stop

      That's enough for one comment. But it should begin to illustrate why Fingerhut isn't breaking down any Courthouse doors to enforce his exclusive B'nai B'rith license and why the real owner is still keeping its mouth shut about the whole affair.

    • Open Source didn’t start with operating systems ... I don’t know of anyone prior to Stallman who thought let’s unify these pieces of open source software together entire an entire full featured operating system.

      Just to keep the record straight. The "Educational License" for Research UNIX was free until the late 70s. You were really only paying for the cost of materials , duplication, and shipping of the complete source code tape. It was only licensed for non-commercial, non-competitive educational use, and those licenses required the derivative works to be relicensed for free and redistributed at cost. That's why you had hundreds of colleges and universities adopting it so quickly and why the original Berkeley license terms were so damned generous. If it had been up to the UC Regents, you'd have never heard of a free license. Stallman only got infuriated because that culture suddenly went away, when the decree was lifted and the cost of a source code license went sky-high. A commercial license was a quarter of a million dollars and hundreds of small businesses just folded-up.

    • @JeffB

      Your trademark analogies and arguments are really not relevant, I only mentioned the UNIX example because of the license or contract agreements. Those can be used to impose terms and conditions that have nothing at all to do with the content or intent of the federal statutes. Licenses also happen to be the only real leverage that Fingerhut might posses. To borrow the hammer analogy, if all you have is a license, everything starts looking like a licensee. But that's an inherent weakness too. We are talking about a service mark. In order to satisfy the statute criteria that has to be an activity you perform for third parties, not your own organization or member associations. So on Swarthmore we have Chabad, Chaverim, Hillel, Swat Students for Israel, and a host of other student groups that may have Jewish participants who could request services from the local Hillel chapter. Fingerhut doesn't have a license agreement with any of those other groups, so nothing at all prevents them from employing the word "Hillel" or participating in the Open Hillel protest movement as disgruntled customers, so long as they satisfy the criteria I've mentioned above for statutory or nominative fair use.

      We aren’t disagreeing on the seminar type issue. I’ve said that multiple times, “you have to engage in trade to violate a trademark”. There is no question that Open Hillel can as long as money doesn’t change hands be fine.

      You still failed to grasp that "money changed hands" in both of the Supreme Court cases (and all of the others that I mentioned above) AND that the defendants don't need the trademark owner's consent to use the words in commerce under either the statutory fair use exception or in the case of nominative fair use. There is no consumer confusion burden of proof for the defendant in a statutory fair use case. The only confusion test the Courts allow in the case of nominative fair use is whether or not the defendant falsely claimed or implied the owner's endorsement or approval.

      Your history is a bit off. The Open Group was an industry alliance against Sun and AT&T it had nothing to do with open source but rather open standards.

      There was no need for any such alliance, while AT&T was legally prohibited from competing in the market. And The Open Group formed for exactly the reasons I stated. You're just having some reading comprehension difficulties. I never said the Open Group had anything to do with open source. I said that once AT&T became a competitor, it adopted new licensing policies for its source code that "were so onerous that the research community quickly formed various “Open Group”, “Open Source”, BSD, or Free Software foundations and/or protest movements." I indicated that those were are all separate things.

      Many commercial enterprises were members of the research community who held UNIX source code licenses on code encumbered with patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret (NDA ) licensing terms. Everyone in the commercial UNIX business had a research and development business and an AT&T source code license. So even their non-derivative works were suddenly susceptible to AT&T claims of theft of trade secret methods and procedures. Scientists or programmers who had accessed the source code suddenly had to be quarantined or firewalled-off from participating in other important development projects - just in case. None of the members of the Open Group could even sell their UNIX derivatives without an AT&T license, so there was really no question of competing against AT&T and Sun on a level field without a large strategic patent pool.

    • @ JeffB one of the biggest problems with your analysis so far is your failure to comprehend statutory fair use or the related nominative fair use doctrine and the fact that fair
      use is, by definition, not infringement.

      In the example I outlined above, any University Jewish or Hebrew Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, or Interfaith Religion Department could convene a permanent or recurring "Hillel Seminar", "Hillel Project", or "Hillel Symposium" and invite guest speakers, scholars, and students to make presentations or submit papers which discuss the ethics and philosophy of Hillel the Elder, the School of Hillel, and what they might say to inform Jewish or Gentile opinion today about the subject of Palestinian human rights in the Biblical Holy Land. They could do that to their heart's content, so long as the term is used descriptively with regard to the seminar, symposium, or project's subject matter, and not used in the sense of a commercial trade mark, or service mark. That would be a classic example of statutory fair use against any claim of infringement by a registered trademark owner. "15 U.S. Code § 1115 (b) Incontestability; defenses (4)" stipulates one of the available statutory defenses is: "That the use of the name, term, or device charged to be an infringement is a use, otherwise than as a mark" and T.M.E.P. § 1202 "Use of Subject Matter as Trademark" says:

      Not everything that a party adopts and uses with the intent that it function as a trademark necessarily achieves this goal or is legally capable of doing so, and not everything that is recognized or associated with a party is necessarily a registrable trademark. As the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals observed in In re Standard Oil Co., 275 F.2d 945, 947, 125 USPQ 227, 229 (C.C.P.A. 1960):

      The Trademark Act is not an act to register words but to register trademarks.

      link to

      FYI, in KP Permanent Make-Up, Inc. v. Lasting Impression I, Inc., the Supreme Court said that the possibility of consumer confusion in connection with the descriptive use of some generic registered word marks by a competitor in commerce was completely irrelevant in the case of their statutory fair use:

      The question here is whether a party raising the statutory affirmative defense of fair use to a claim of trademark infringement, 15 U. S. C. §1115(b)(4), has a burden to negate any likelihood that the practice complained of will confuse consumers about the origin of the goods or services affected. We hold it does not

      . link to

      Similarly, the doctrine of nominative fair use allows the minimum necessary portion of a registered trademark needed to positively identify the genuine product or service to be employed - even in commerce - without the owners permission, whenever it is necessary for purposes of criticism, news reporting or comparison, or as a point of reference. In cases where a nominative fair use defense is raised, the Courts only ask whether (1) the product was “readily identifiable" without use of the mark; (2) defendant used more of the mark than necessary; or (3) defendant falsely suggested he was sponsored or endorsed by the trademark holder." The Courts have also held that this test is the only one required to evaluate the likelihood of confusion in nominative fair use cases. See for example:
      * Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. v. Tabari link to
      *New Kids on the Block v. News Am. Pub., Inc., 971 F.2d 302 (9th Cir. 1992) link to
      *Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft, Plaintiff, Appellee, v. Kenneth G. Wheeler, et al., Defendants, Appellants, 814 F.2d 812 (1st Cir. 1987) link to
      * Prestonettes, Inc. v. Coty, 264 U.S. 359 (1924) link to

      Disclaimers, such as: "Hillel is a registered trademark of B'nai B'rith International" and "The following views may not represent those of the trademark owners" are optional, but not legally required. In each of the cases listed above, the Courts ruled that the defendants were allowed to use the trademarked words or names without any logo or emblems in their advertising, website names, or business names. Some of those names included "New Kids on the Block", "Lexus", "Volkswagen", "VW", and "Coty". The use was required to positively identify the genuine trademarked items that the defendants either discussed in their newspaper articles and contests or sold, serviced, modified, & etc. The Courts even ruled that it was irrelevant in the case of nominative fair use whether or not the practice lowered the trademark owner or licensees' profit margins or undermined their territorial exclusivity due to fair competition from the defendants for sales and services in the same marketplace.

      No one can positively identify and criticize Hillel International's Israel guidelines without, as a minimum, using the trademarked word "Hillel". The Open Hillel movement does not employ the Hillel emblem or logo on their website, and it should be painfully obvious to any reader that the movement has never falsely suggested or implied for one moment that Hillel International supports or endorses the movement's views.

      With those preliminary rules explained and out of the way, I can make separate comments on some of the examples you have provided.

    • @ JeffB, let me explain something to you. I've commented elsewhere that my day job in the Air Force for many years required me to arrange for the contract work performed by members of the DoD research community on computer operating systems employed for telecommunications. I also participated in UNIX/IEEE standard setting bodies. Nearly everyone involved was an AT&T source code licensee. Despite the fact that Bell Labs was part of one of the largest government-franchised monopolies of all time, all of us were working within the strict parameters of a DOJ antitrust consent decree, until the local Bells were finally spun-off in the 1980s. After that, AT&T entered the communications computer data market and became a normal competitor. From that point on, everyone was constantly threatened and reminded that the UNIX source code was protected by trademark, copyright, patent, and license non-disclosure agreements regarding proprietary trade secrets. The new policies were so onerous that the research community quickly formed various "Open Group", "Open Source", BSD, or Free Software foundations and/or protest movements. Several of them were located in the same Harvard-MIT community that spawned the Open Hillel movement. For decades there were infringement lawsuits between AT&T and its successors in interest and licensees including UNIX Systems Labs vs The University of California Regents, SCO vs IBM, & manufacturers who employed the Linux/Android kernel source code. Unlike the smart lawyers at the DOJ, I managed to retire without getting sued by anyone for infringement, theft, or weird entanglements with the Israeli Mossad. See the Inslaw scandal entry @ link to

      So I wasn't born yesterday. You're going off the deep end quite a bit and engaging in fanciful discussions that really have nothing to do with reality. Each case has to be decided individually by the Courts, based upon the material facts and the applicable laws. In these cases, the necessary facts simply aren't available to the public yet. There are reliable reports from former Hillel officials in the Jewish Daily Forward and the Jewish Press which claim: that there is nothing in their affiliation agreements that would permit the CEO of Hillel International to fire anyone; that all of the affiliation agreements they are familiar with contain non-exclusive trademark license agreements; that Fingerhut hasn't revoked or disaffiliated a single foundation or campus student group yet, despite the fact that many of them have ignored the new Israel guidelines; that the Greater Philadelphia Area Hillel Foundation still considers Swarthmore Kehilah to be one of its campus organizations. So, Fingerhut has presumably been threatening the school administrators instead, on what appears to be a rather flimsy theory of their unlicensed use of the Hillel name and mark or for unfair competition.

      FYI, under both the Federal Rules of Procedure and the Trademark Statute itself, anyone holding one of those affiliate license agreements is entitled to request relief from the Court against a claim of infringement on the grounds of a statutory affirmative defense. See Rule 8(c) License link to and 15 U.S. Code § 1115 link to

      It appears that, since the spin-off, B'nai B'rith and Hillel International may have been deceiving the public through the use of the service mark about the true source of the services, funding, and ownership of the individual Hillels. That is one of the statutory defenses against a claim of infringement. I'll comment on your hypothetical examples and your church or religious-affiliated group arguments in separate comments.

    • . i recall learning from you about that showdown between hillel and the Shammaites before. “to permit every one to enter, but no one to leave.” ... it’s a crazy decision to make, the separation between jews and gentiles.

      I hope that you've also learned from me that the United Nations conditioned the establishment of Jewish and Arab states on complete legal equality for everyone and that there never was any intention of severing either communications or commerce between the Jews and Gentiles. I've commented almost endlessly here about the fact that the minority protection plan, and the plan for economic union and right of transit, were integral, indivisible parts of the "Plan for the Future Government of Palestine" a.k.a. UN resolution 181(II).

      I've also discussed "The Three Oaths" here in the past. Some Orthodox Jews claim that the criteria have already been fulfilled, while others contend that it's still just a prophecy of future events. This is the first time I've explicitly pointed out the connection between the Oaths and the criteria regarding legal equality for all in both the Torah and the stipulations contained in resolution 181(II). To say that Zionists have rebelled against the Nations in that regard would be a guarded understatement.

      it does seem strange to use the name hillel and then not ascribe to his beliefs.

      I agree, but the primary problem is the use of an utterly false name association with the beliefs of an authoritative Jewish religious institution, the House or School of Hillel, in order to deliberately disparage, bring into disrepute, and even prohibit the adoption of its core beliefs - all "in the name of Hillel" - and under the auspices of "the commerce clause" of the US Constitution. It's supremely ironic to me, that Jewish religious tradition teaches everyone that the real students of Hillel were so strongly opposed to the adoption of man-made ordinances forbidding any commerce or communications between Jews and their Palestinian neighbors that the measure could only be adopted after they had been put to death with the sword.

      I pointed out in an earlier comment that the trademark statute, itself, attempts to prevent situations, just like this one, from ever coming up in the first place. Any trademark can generally be registered, unless it consists of matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute. link to

      Everything I've outlined above can be easily confirmed by simply reading the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia entries for "Gentiles", "Hillel", "Bet Hillel and Bet Shammai", and "Academies in Palestine", taken together with passages from Rodkinson's 1918 translation of the Babylonian Talmud or the Soncino versions. The documentary evidence establishes, beyond any doubt, that prior to either its registration by USPTO or its first use "in commerce", "Hillel" was in common English usage. It was: (a) the name of a famous deceased person; (b) a name that already had a secondary generic meaning. It was used with the definite article ("The House of Hillel", "The School of Hillel", "The Academy of Hillel") to identify "a college", "a sort of university or academy", or a specific, authoritative (halakhical) Jewish religious institution with a very well-defined set of beliefs and practices. There were already institutions on university campuses here and abroad, like the Hillel Book Club at Texas A&M. For example, the "Hillel House" of the Perse School in Cambridge, England was established in 1904. It was originally a Jewish day school for the children of Cambridge dons. It evolved into a co-educational boarding school, a student athletic society, and a religious center/home away from home for Jewish students of all ages. Its members are known as "Hillelians". They in-turn have been active in founding other university organizations there that promote Jewish, Christian, and Muslim interfaith relations and study offerings under the Cambridge University system umbrella and imprimatur, i.e. The Woolf Institute, The Centre for the Study of Jewish Christian Relations, The Centre for the Study of Muslim Jewish Relations, and The Centre for Policy and Public Education. I wonder if JeffB is worried about consumer confusion in those cases?

      All the available evidence suggests that the original Hillel Foundations deliberately chose the name Hillel for the same reasons as everyone else - precisely because it symbolized those beliefs and practices that I've described above. That was certainly the case when the trademark was first used in commerce in 1923; when it was first published for public objections by USPTO; and during the five year waiting period before the papers were filed requesting that the mark be granted uncontestable status.

    • I’ve been struck nearly speechless through 2 readings of your post, Hostage

      I apologize for the length of the post. But I wanted to make sure that everyone here thoroughly understood the fact that Hillel International's 2010 Policy Guidelines on the State of Israel are an absolute perversion of every vital principle of the Torah and the Halakhah that the real House of Hillel stands for in mainstream, historical Judaism and traditional Jewish culture.

    • I have to tell you I’m starting to lose track on what points of law we are disagreeing about vs. what points of fact we are disagreeing about vs. what points of likely outcome we are disagreeing about.

      Starting this here to avoid narrowed-down block quotes. We are disagreeing on: (a) the meaning of just about every important point of Jewish religion, history, and culture; and (b) the extent to which contracts, common law, or federal and state laws can be used to regulate individuals or their religious or political associations.

      I've discussed the details of all those individual subjects here in the past, including the disastrous results of the dispute between the House of Shammai and the House of Hillel over relations with the Gentile inhabitants of the Land of Israel and denial of their basic humanity. I've never tried to condense all of those thousands of comments into one reply before. But I really do think that there is a unified "Jewish Theory of Everything" which explains all of the hatred and attempts at censorship within the Jewish community that invariably get triggered by the Zionists among us, whenever anyone else talks about "The Three Oaths", "the State of Israel's right to exist", or the State of Israel's formal adoption of a dual system of laws and regulations that deny the most basic human rights to the non-Jewish inhabitants of the country and any occupied territories unlucky enough to come under its jurisdiction. If readers will stick with me, I'll try to tie-up some of the loose ends.

      Our Gentile friends can be excused for their ignorance about the sage Hillel. But I'm really amazed that the task of having to explain exactly why Hillel International's position is so ridiculous and outlandish on religious grounds, has fallen through the cracks into the hands of a secular Jew, like myself. There have been scores of articles, both here and in the Jewish press, about this heated debate inside the local Hillel chapters and none of them have explained it either. Maybe some of those authors will read this and spread the word.

      I'll have to address the religious and cultural aspects here and the legal aspects in separate comments, just to keep this post down to a manageable size.

      It's only fitting for Hillel chapters to object about the attempt by Hillel International to impose a policy, "in the name of Hillel", of silencing or disaffiliating groups of religious Jews who insist on politely hearing and discussing opposing points of view regarding violations of the law and fundamental human rights. Like the Christian Professor who helped establish the first campus Hillel chapter, I'm shocked that so many Jews aren't more familiar with their own biblical literature and traditions on the subject. The "law" and "the way to go" (a.k.a. the Torah and the Halakhah) are supposed to govern nearly every aspect of Jewish life - even on campus. The Talmud tells us that the law followed the House of Hillel when it came to these differences over basic human rights and listening to, or debating, opposing points of view:

      Rabbi Abba said in the name of Samuel: For three years the Schools of Hillel and Shammai were in conflict, each saying, “the law is according to our view.” A heavenly voice announced: “Both are the words of the living God – but the law is according to the School of Hillel.” But if both are the words of the living God, why did the School of Hillel “win?” Because they were calm and humble and always taught both their own view and that of the school of Shammai. Moreover, they would always state the view of the School of Shammai before their own.

      – Babylonian Talmud, Eruvin, 13b link to (.pdf file)

      So, the Talmud encourages all of the Jewish faithful to be disciples or students of the teachings of the "House" or "School" of Hillel and to follow their example, rather than the example of the House of Shammai in the case of these particular debates over Jewish relations with others.

      The Jewish Encyclopedia article on "Gentiles" explains that some Jewish sages held that the Torah itself was Israel's exclusive, Divine inheritance. They felt that anyone who revealed it to a Gentile was worthy of death. The story about Hillel and the Golden Rule implicitly deals with that subject and what the law said about relations with the Gentiles

      On another occasion it happened that a certain heathen came before Shammai and said to him, 'Make me a proselyte, on condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.' Thereupon he repulsed him with the builder's cubit which was in his hand. When he went before Hillel, he said to him, 'What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbour: that is the whole Torah, while the rest is the commentary thereof; go and learn it.'

      Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shabbath, Folio 31a link to (.html file)

      Many Jews today think that the Torah deals only with the subject of Israel's relationship to God. But this story about Hillel says that the Torah, and all of the 613 commandments, can be boiled-down to just one simple rule that governs a person's neighborly relations with everyone else (including God).

      Xenophobia, paranoia, and dislike of Gentiles is likened to idolatry in the Jewish religious literature on these debates. The scriptures indicate that there were always unassimilated, native-born Gentiles living in the Land of Israel. They included the remaining Canaanites that King Solomon conscripted to build the first Temple. They also included the Rechabites, righteous Bedouin descendants of Jethro. the priest of Midian, who lived on the southern border of Judah and in their own communities by the Sea of Galilee in the Northern Kingdom. Various other groups of native born or visiting Gentiles are mentioned in the books of the Torah, the Prophets, and the Scriptures.

      According to the Torah, there is only supposed to be one law for these native-born Jews and Gentiles and for any strangers who happen to be sojourning in the land. Some claim that the term "strangers" only applies to proselytes or converts to Judaism, but that interpretation is simply untenable. The same scriptures remind us to love the strangers, because our own Patriarchs were once strangers in Egypt. The only ritual formula that the Torah requires each Jew to recite is the one which reminds us that our Patriarch and his family went down to Egypt and became a great and mighty nation there. The scriptural story of their sojourn in Egypt does not say that they were proselytes or converted to another national religion.

      According to the Talmudic legends in Yoma and Gittin, empty acts of piety, charity, and hatred without a cause had become endemic in the Jewish religious community. Those conditions eventually led to the destruction of the 2nd Temple and the exile, e.g. Yoma 9b says:

      But why was the second Sanctuary destroyed, seeing that in its time they were occupying themselves with Torah, [observance of] precepts, and the practice of charity? Because therein prevailed hatred without cause. That teaches you that groundless hatred is considered as of even gravity with the three sins of idolatry, immorality, and bloodshed together.

      link to (.pdf file)
      Shulchan Aruch Orech Chayim sec. 580 lists dates on the Jewish Calendar on which tragic events occurred. It’s traditional for a religious person to fast on those days. The last date on the list is the 9th of Adar, when the dispute between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel over "the 18 ordinances" took place. The disciples of Shammai, subsequently managed to murder enough of the followers of Hillel to secure a majority of votes in the Sanhedrin in favor of implementing the ordinances:

      “The disciples of the school of Shammai stood below, slaughtering the disciples of the school of Hillel. Six of them ascended, while the rest threatened them with swords and spears.”

      -- See the extract from the Jerusalem Talmud at link to

      Our sages tell us that

      “Five misfortunes befell our forefathers on the 17th of Tammuz,” … …”The second is also from the Talmud, tractate Shabbat 13b and 17a”: A count was conducted, and it was found that the sages of Shammai were more numerous than the sages of Hillel. Eighteen ordinances were enacted on that day… and that day was as difficult for the people of Israel as the day on which the Golden Calf was made.

      -- See link to and link to

      Then as now, some bigoted Jews created a controversy that almost destroyed the Jewish people by insisting that they accept a legal system which viewed Gentiles as enemies. The new ordinances made it illegal to have anything at all to do with native born or foreign Gentiles. Then as now, the Zionist zealots insisted that Jews cannot live normal lives and co-exist in peace with Gentiles. The Jewish Encyclopedia notes that it eventually became impossible for the two differing Houses to even form a minyan and worship together in public under the same roof:

      Bitter feelings were consequently engendered between the schools; and it appears that even in public worship they would no longer unite under one roof (Jost, "Gesch. des Judenthums und Seiner Sekten," i. 261; Tosef., R. H., end). These feelings grew apace, until toward the last days of Jerusalem's struggle they broke out with great fury.

      As all the nations around Judea made common cause with the Romans, the Zealots were naturally inflamed against every one of them; and therefore the Shammaites proposed to prevent all communication between Jew and Gentile, by prohibiting the Jews from buying any article of food or drink from their heathen neighbors. The Hillelites, still moderate in their religious and political views, would not agree to such sharply defined exclusiveness; but when the Sanhedrin was called together to consider the propriety of such measures, the Shammaites, with the aid of the Zealots, gained the day. Eleazar ben Ananias invited the disciples of both schools to meet at his house. Armed men were stationed at the door, and instructed to permit every one to enter, but no one to leave. During the discussions that were carried on under these circumstances, many Hillelites are said to have been killed; and there and then the remainder adopted the restrictive propositions of the Shammaites, known in the Talmud as “The Eighteen Articles.” On account of the violence which attended those enactments, and because of the radicalism of the enactments themselves, the day on which the Shammaites thus triumphed over the Hillelites was thereafter regarded as a day of misfortune (Tosef., Shab. i. 16 et seq.; Shab. 13a, 17a; Yer. Shab. i. 3c).

      link to jewishencyclopedia.comThe Jewish Encyclopedia also explains that before his death Hillel is said to have prophetically designated Johanan Ben Zakkai, his youngest pupil, as “the father of wisdom” and “the father of coming generations” (Yer. Ned. v., end, 39b). Zakkai, was the primary source of the core text of Rabbinical Judaism, the Mishnah. According to the theory formulated in the Mishnah (Ab. ii. 8), that traditions were handed down through an unbroken chain of scholars, Johanan, in receiving the teachings of Hillel, formed the last link in that chain.
      Johanan argued in favor of peace with the Roman’s during the Jewish Revolt. He was trapped in Jerusalem during Vespasian’s siege against the city. (Giṭ. 56b; Lam. R. i. 5; Ab. R. N. iv.). When the strife between the Zealots and the other parties in the besieged city became unbearable he had his students carry him to the Roman camp in a coffin to negotiate with Vespasian. He even obtained permission to teach and practice his religion on a portion of the Roman Emperor's personal Estate in Yavneh (aka Yabneh/Jamnia). He established an academy and an authoritative rabbinic college there and turned it into the new center of Jewish religious life after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. link to jewishencyclopedia.comFor almost two millennia, religious Jews were taught that their return to the Land of Israel would be governed by the conditions of "The Three Oaths":

      'What was the purpose of those three adjurations? — One, that Israel shall not go up [all together as if surrounded] by a wall; the second, that whereby the Holy One, blessed be He, adjured Israel that they shall not rebel against the nations of the world; and the third is that whereby the Holy One, blessed be He, adjured the idolaters that they shall not oppress Israel too much'.

      Kethuboth 111a link to

      FYI, the Gentile "nations" have never been completely synonymous with the idolators or persecutors of the Jewish people. The friendly nations didn't overly burden the Zionists about their return to Palestine. Article 6 of the League of Nations Mandate simply imposed "suitable conditions" to allow gradual, rather than mass Jewish immigration, in the interest of preserving the rights and position of the existing Gentile communities. link to In response, the Zionists rebelled and formed underground terror units which ignored the imposition of official immigration quotas. Next the United Nations agreed to the establishment of a Jewish state. But only on condition that a declaration regarding equality of rights would be supplied to the United Nations by the new Provisional Government and that it would swear the stipulations contained in it were:

      "recognized as fundamental laws of the State and no law, regulation or official action shall conflict or interfere with these stipulations, nor shall any law, regulation or official action prevail over them: "No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants on the ground of race, religion, language or sex.

      All persons within the jurisdiction of the State shall be entitled to equal protection of the laws."

      The Nations said those rights:

      "shall be under the guarantee of the United Nations, and no modifications shall be made in them without the assent of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Any Member of the United Nations shall have the right to bring to the attention of the General Assembly any infraction or danger of infraction of any of these stipulations, and the General Assembly may thereupon make such recommendations as it may deem proper in the circumstances.

      Any dispute relating to the application or interpretation of this declaration shall be referred, at the request of either party, to the International Court of Justice, unless the parties agree to another mode of settlement.

      UN Resolution 181(II) link to

      I've commented dozens of times here about the fact that the Zionist Organization, the Jewish Agency, and the Government of Israel had claimed at the time that they had accepted that resolution and swore during the subsequent hearings on UN membership that they had provided for all of those stipulations in Israel's Declaration of Independence. Their representatives claimed that they had published the declaration as the law the land in their new official State Gazette. But in actual practice they haven't lived up to either their UN or Torah obligations to love the stranger and to adopt one law for the native born Jews and Gentiles - even after the General Assembly belatedly took them to the World Court in 2003. The Zionists and the State of Israel continue to rebel against the nations over the findings in that case. Now history is just repeating itself. Instead of having one or two states, with justice and liberty for all, the disciples of the House of Shammai have "doubled down" and continue to build walls of separation, even among the Jews. Then as now, they have become ill-tempered and refuse to even allow us to meet together under one roof in the name of Hillel to discuss the mess they've made of things and to give opposing views a fair hearing. They blame anyone who even remotely resembles a modern disciple of Hillel for violating their heretical policy guidelines.

    • My condolences, Hostage.

      Well thank you, and everyone else here. The deceased was a lifelong best friend of mine and one of my brother-in-law's siblings. He passed away after a long illness. He was probably considered the favorite uncle among my sister's children and grandchildren. They all came in from out-of-town to attend the funeral. She and I were both busy hosting everyone and putting-up all of those who stayed-over to visit.

    • @JeffB There was a death in the family yesterday and I haven't had time to respond. I promise I'll post a reply to this shortly when things settle down.

    • As for Open Hillel not wanting to conduct business. If they don’t conduct business they can’t violate a trademark and the rest doesn’t matter.

      I'd have agreed with you, if you had stopped right there. The government hasn't given B'nai Brith a monopoly on campus political activities and services under any name, for the simple reason that those activities fall completely outside of the scope of the categories and types of services listed on the registrations of the limited monopoly rights that have been published for objection by USPTO. You are comparing apples to oranges again. The Swarthmore Hillel could have adopted a resolution proclaiming itself a Rainbow LGBT Hillel, and Open Hillel or any other number of things without violating any trademark statutes or student association bylaws, or altering a word in its papers of incorporation.

    • There were “Menorah Clubs” which were early Hillels though obviously under a different name including the one you mentioned, in 1916 they were the “The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (TAMC) Menorah Club” not a Hillel till 1923

      No, I just quoted an extract from the Texas A&M "About Us" page and provided you with a link which explains that their Menorah Club changed its name to the "Hillel Club" in 1920. It did not immediately go into business, partnership, or affiliation with the "Hillel" that was subsequently established in 1923, neither did B'nai B'rith for that matter. Your willful ignorance of the historical, chronological details is duly noted.

      It really doesn't matter whether B'nai Brith subsequently acquired rights to its brand through mergers or otherwise, there should still be some documentation about that merger or acquisition of mark ownership on file with the trademark application. That's particularly true if it is going to claim "exclusive rights" to it - and if Hillel International (itself) still needed a license after the merger. In any event, the first use of the term on the registrations is incorrect. It wasn't an entity doing business as B'nai B'rith or even Rabbi Frankel's Hillel in Illinois. In the example above, the Texas A&M group wouldn't necessarily have lost its existing rights established in 1920 under state or common law usage, simply by becoming a member or affiliate of another association with a similar Hillel trade name in its registered design mark. Nothing would prevent it from reviving or continuing to use the words "Hillel Club" once B'nai Brith let the 1966 trademark for its old logo expire in 1989. The new logos are not registered, but would be covered by copyright protections and licensing anyway as works of art . My point is that: if the Texas A&M Hillel declared itself to be an Open Hillel, and Fingerhut decided to sue, they might very well prevail in Court and have his trademark on the word declared invalid or severely reduced in its scope of applicability through the incorporation of disclaimer statements. As I noted earlier there is no mention of college campuses in the 1992 registration that would exclude its application against hundreds of thousands of other entities that provide similar services in "Hillel" schools, academies, yeshivas, & etc. It's pretty obvious that Fingerhut is not complaining about those entities unlicensed use of his word mark.

      The rest of your post is drivel. The Open Hillel website explains that it is "a student-run campaign to encourage inclusivity and open discourse at campus Hillels". It's not a business partnership or a merger to provide goods or services. That's fair use of the term for the purposes of public discussion and debate. link to They advocate that Fingerhut's existing affiliate Hillel partners do exactly what the trademark registration says that they do in connection with the promotion of discussions about human rights. Fingerhut doesn't have any grounds to go after them when one of his affiliates adopts an Open Hillel resolution and declares itself to be an Open Hillel. He has to take that matter up with the Hillel concerned. It appears that in the Swathmore case, Fingerhut no longer has any presence on campus.

      Fingerhut seems to think that "members of the Jewish religion" doesn't include anti-Zionists and that he can conduct a campus harassment campaign against them using his trademark claims. He needs to be careful about that if he wants to avoid a Title VI complaint on that account. Even Ken Marcus had to admit in his William and Mary journal article that anti-Zionism cannot be construed as anti-Semitism, when it is based upon a student's religious beliefs. Anti-Zionist Jews can certainly file formal complaints about other groups that have the school's permission to offer public accommodations on campus, but refuse to provide them service on the grounds of either their particular Jewish creed or ethnicity. School administrators have the same responsibility to them as they have to other Jews when it comes to preventing a threatening campus environment.

    • Re: I’ll assume you aren’t Jewish. Among American Jewish students Hillel is very well known.

      That's one of the reasons the trademark should have been denied. The law generally allows any trademark subject matter to be registered unless it falsely suggests a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or brings them into contempt, or disrepute. See 15 U.S. Code § 1052 - Trademarks registrable on principal register; concurrent registration link to

      I've given you a link to an Encyclopedia article which explained that Hillel (a dead person's name) was deliberately chosen because he was a national and religious "symbol" who was considered a champion of social justice and plurality. Now the Zionists have misappropriated his good name and adapted it, like everything else, for the exclusive use of their abominable Jewish state and brought it into disrepute, by making it synonymous with intolerance and denial of human rights.

      That a vendor isn’t well known for people who aren’t potential customers doesn’t mean much. The public is the public of customers. If “Open Hillel” were selling flowers to Mormons they would have a better claim but they are going after the same customer base using B’nai Brith’s property.

      The only live registered trademark currently held by B'nai B'rith says the customers are members of the Jewish religion. By itself, it's pretty useless, unless you are keeping others from designing, engineering, or developing something, in international class 42, like computer hardware or software used to promote human rights. The specimens of its use in commerce were computer screen shots of a web site. How any reasonable person could confuse that with the power to prohibit affiliates in good standing from meeting in their own Hillel building on campus to hold an in-person discussion about human rights beats the hell out of me.

    • Re: The guys at Swathmore having an Open Hillel are pretending to be Hillel brand college clubs when they aren’t.

      No Open Hillel is a student protest movement that doesn't provide any goods and services. The only trademark involved is B'nai B'rith's. FYI, the Courts have held that trademarks, like all intellectual property rights, are subject to fair use by others for the purpose of parodies, criticism, protests, & etc.

      Re:The moment any money changes hands that’s trademark infringement and quite possibly fraud.

      The New York Times quoted a B'nai B'rith spokesman who admitted that each of its 550 affiliated campus Hillels are independently funded. FYI, the first Hillel was established and branded by an independent group who hired a Reform Rabbi back in the days when the anti-Zionist Pittsburgh Platform was still in effect. At the time that "Hillel" entity asked the Hebrew Union and the B'nai B'rith to become its national sponsors, neither of those organizations had publicly endorsed Zionism. Collective trademarks were prohibited by law at that time. So it's pertinent to ask if, and exactly how, B'nai B'rith acquired the rights owned by the Illinois entity which was established by the Rabbi and some area businessmen?

      A recent editorial noted the fact that anti-Zionist organizations were still being invited to form their own local campus chapters under the Hillel umbrella after the State of Israel was established:

      In 1948, upon the establishment of the State of Israel, Hillel directors across the country sought guidance from the national office asking if the then-anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism should be allowed to form chapters within the Hillel umbrella. The answer from Hillel International was clear: “Hillel represents the total Jewish community on each campus which it serves, it excludes no student activity which legitimately represents the interests of a group of students, so long as they accept the principle of community responsibility. Just as there are Orthodox, Conservative and Reform outlooks represented in the Hillel program, so there can be both Zionist and anti-Zionist outlooks.”

      link to

      The 1992 Hillel trademark registration specifically stipulated that promoting discussions of human rights would be one of the services offered to members of the Jewish religion under the exclusive Hillel brand. To sum-up: for decades persons who harbored anti-Zionist views have relied upon what appear to be fraudulent assurances when they were asked to provide charitable contributions of money, property, or real estate; made posthumous endowments; or donated their personal time and effort to build-up the Hillel organization.

      While the 1946 trademark statute permitted collective service marks used to denote accredited membership in an association, B'nai B'rith didn't register one until 1966. That one was granted for a now-defuct logo and was subject to a disclaimer on any rights to generic depictions of the Torah. It was abandoned in 1989. So for more than half a century there is a documented history of unregistered use by the individual chapters who acquired their own funding and rights to the brand through its use under common law or state law. There are no consent agreement documents or assignments of ownership at all contained in the Trademark Status & Document Retrieval (TSDR) which might indicate that one or more of them had ever signed over their legal rights in the brand to B'nai B'rith.

    • Re: Certainly Kehilah can say they and not the organization called Hillel are the authentic or more accurate, more righteous followers of Rabbi Hillel. So absolutely they can claim all they want to be students of Hillel or forming a school to study Hillel’s teachings. That’s a religious assertion and not subject to trademark.

      Once again, I'm talking about hundreds of thousands of entities "doing business as" d/b/a Hillel academies, schools, and etc. Many of them pre-date the first B'nai B'rith application for a federal service mark registration in 1966. FYI, prior unregistered use in the USA by others is grounds for denial of registration or invalidation of an existing mark by the Courts.

      Re: B’nai Brith on the other hand owns the trademark for foundation for campus jewish life (college clubs) under the name Hillel.

      The Encyclopaedia Judaica explains that the first Hillel at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign was a classic example of a campus ministry. B'nai B'rith only own an exclusive service mark on the category of "association services" listed on any "live" USPTO registration that has been published for public notice and objection. They may still have state or common law rights on "expired" or "abandoned" marks that remain in continuous use, but they are not necessarily entitled to the normal legal presumptions in federal court that are granted to an owner who pursues renewals, pays the necessary fees, and maintains a "live" trademark with USPTO.

      The current registration for the "Word Mark: Hillel" ... "Type of Mark: Service Mark" does not mention campuses or foundations. It could be used to prohibit others from using the name in their own religious ministries, since it stipulates that the beneficiaries or customers of the Hillel service are members of the Jewish religion:

      IC 042. US 100. G & S: association services; namely, promoting the interests of members of the Jewish religion through religious, career and vocational counseling programs, sporting events and social programs, and by providing information on issues concerning human rights and inter-faith relations. FIRST USE: 19230000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19230000

      One of the most obvious problems with these registrations was the examiners jaw-dropping failure to demand a disclaimer statement. Any mark, copyright, or patent is a government-franchised monopoly. The establishment clause of the first amendment prohibits the Congress from granting any kind of monopoly to one of many competing Jewish religious ministries regardless of whether or not their services happens to be offered on state property.

      FYI, the goods and services description is considered more dispositive than the category shown above, i.e. Nice Agreement international class 42 ("Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and research services; design and development of computer hardware and software". The two specimens provided to illustrate the use of the word mark in commerce were captured computer screen images from the Hillel internet site. It would still be perfectly okay for another entity to file an application using the word Hillel in Class 41 ("Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities") if their description of goods and services were sufficiently different or distinct from those in the B'nai B'rith Class 42 registration.

    • There is no evidence that prior to B’nai Brith there were Jewish college clubs operating under the name “Hillel” nor that people generally don’t associate Hillel with the Hillel organization.

      That's nonsense. Rabbi Hillel the Elder has always been part and parcel of Jewish learning and education. If you simply Google "Hillel School" you'll get over 2 million hits for entities in all levels of Jewish education doing business as yeshivas, Hebrew schools, academies, day schools, and other entities associated with or operating in traditional places of worship and study like Synagogues, Shuls and Temples. They all pick that name for their pedagogical endeavors for the same religious reasons that Reform Rabbi Benjamin Frankel picked it for his Jewish "campus ministry" at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1923. Hillel the Elder was a national figure from the Second Commonwealth of Israel who "symbolized" open inquiry, the pursuit of life long learning and teaching of others, plurality, and social justice according to the principles of the so-called "Golden Rule". But he wasn't just another Rabbi who founded his own academy and attracted a few disciples. He was reputedly a descendant of King David and one of the Patriarchs of the Palestinian Jews who was accorded the title "Nasi" or Prince. He served as one of the Presidents of the Great Sanhedrin during the Temple era. As such, he had sufficient respect and religious authority to hand down decrees or decisions on Jewish law that became part of the Halakhah, which many religious Jews feel obliged to study and observe to this very day.

      Frankel's campus "Hillel" raised $12,000 in one day from Chicago business men and was doing business, as such, for more than a year before Frankel decided to approach the Reform Hebrew Union and the B'nai B'rith to see if they were interested in becoming his national sponsors. Here's a link to a Jewish Virtual Library reprint of the Encyclopaedia Judaica Hillel article on the subject © 2008 link to and a related one at My Jewish Learning link to

      Even B'nai B'rith publications admit that it didn't become involved or sponsor any campus Hillel organizations until 1925. While they credit Frankel, there are other examples of even older claimants, e.g.:

      Founded in 1916, Texas A&M Hillel is the oldest organization in the United States called “Hillel.”

      The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (TAMC) Menorah Club was organized in 1916 by Esther Taubenhaus and Dr. Jacob Taubenhaus, the first Jewish professor to be hired at TAMC. In the fall of 1920, the group was transformed into the TAMC Hillel Club under the guidance of Rabbi David Lefkowitz of Dallas.

      link to

      So there is no chicken and egg conundrum involved here at all. There were already campus Hillel clubs, branded as such, with common law rights to the name years before B'nai B'rith ever got involved.

    • Re: Hostage, that still doesn’t relieve JVP of the liability associated with improperly using the “Jewish” word and logo.

      To quote Rufus T. Firefly, "I object!" At the worst we would have to bamboozle the Judge with the patented "Who is Jew?" argument and then demand a dismissal on the grounds that the other "purported Jews" are just a bunch of rotten scoundrels who had failed to state a claim (i.e. alleged a cause of action that doesn't even exist). In any event, we could make a good counterclaim case over the way their flagrantly improper use of the terms "Jewish people" and "peace" - in the marketing of their "peace process" scam - had sullied everyone else's good "Jewish" reputations, names, and service marks.

    • "Hillel International is the sole and exclusive licensee with the right to use the famous Hillel name."

      Looks to me like Open Hillel should file a Title VI complaint against both Bnai Brith and Hillel International for making threats and discriminating against Jewish students on campus on the basis of their ethnicity or religious beliefs;-)

    • Re: If Swarthmore can get sued for using the “Hillel” name

      Anyone can file a lawsuit over trademark infringement, but B'nai Brith probably can't win one over the use of the term "Open Hillel". They have a registered Service Mark, "Hillel", for their association's services: namely, promoting the interests of members of the Jewish religion through religious, career and vocational counseling programs, sporting events and social programs, and by providing information on issues concerning human rights and inter-faith relations.

      But "Hillel" is a figure from the 2000 year old Talmudic literature and tradition. So there are thousands of so-called "Hillel" day schools, private schools, academies, & etc. which have nothing to do with B'nai Brith. They have obviously violated and diluted the trademark's value without B'nai Brith raising any complaints. The B'nai Brith didn't file "Hillel" as a "collective mark" that could only be used by a specific class of persons. In fact, anyone of the Jewish faith or any Jewish student association could legitimately claim to be "students" (talmudim) or followers of the "school of Hillel" or "house of Hillel" without obtaining Mr. Fingerhut's or B'nai Brith's consent (if I've read the Talmud and the 1st amendment correctly).

  • Jeb Bush bashes Iran talks as 'foolish' and hails Israeli settlements as 'new apartment buildings in Jerusalem'
    • …….”The Obama administration treats announcements of new apartment buildings in Jerusalem like acts of aggression…..” ... "So who’s going to straighten out Jeb Bush’s blatant misconception ..."

      Okay. The announcements of new apartment buildings located beyond the armistice lines in Jerusalem only constitute an illegal threat of aggression in violation of article 2(4) and Article 24 and 25 of the UN Charter and the applicable Security Council resolutions. Once the apartments are actually built, and the Jewish settlers move in, that will constitute an act of aggression.

      For example, Count 3 of the Nuremberg Indictment, i.e. "(J) GERMANIZATION OF OCCUPIED TERRITORIES" charged the Nazis as follows:

      In certain occupied territories purportedly annexed to Germany the defendants methodically and pursuant to plan endeavored to assimilate those territories politically, culturally, socially, and economically into the German Reich. The defendants endeavored to obliterate the former national character of these territories. In pursuance of these plans and endeavors, the defendants forcibly deported inhabitants who were predominantly non-German and introduced thousands of German colonists.

      -- See pdf page 73 (printed page 63) of The International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, Trial of the Major War Criminals, Vol. 1 at the Library of Congress link to or see the Indictment, Count 3 "War Crimes" at the Avalon Project link to

      FYI, the Official documentary record of major US Foreign Policy decisions published by the U.S. State Department contains an entire chapter on "Resolutions proposed by the United States to the General Assembly of the United Nations to encourage the progressive development of international law and its codification" which reveals that it was actually the President of the United States who requested that the UN General Assembly codify the legal principles contained in the Nuremberg Charter as international law. See page 539 & et.seq of the Foreign relations of the United States, 1946. General; the United Nations link to

  • Washington 'sits shiva' for the 2-state solution

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