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  • Michael Oren cannot hide his disrespect for Jewish Americans
    • See, they think of themselves as "Israelis" but the Government of Israel registers them as "Jews". Isn't that a compound identity?

      I know, then there's this "Hebrew" identity from Plan Dalet:

      (a) The objective of this plan is to gain control of the areas of the Hebrew state and defend its borders.

      link to

      So they must have had a map somewhere that showed their armed militias the location of these "defensible borders" they keep shreying about, but they've never been willing to share it with anyone.

  • 'Why this bullsh-t?' Video of Israeli navy flotilla takeover
    • My reading of the San Remo materials is that blockaders do not breach international law by enforcing a blockade in international waters as far as they are able.

      The problem with the San Remo materials is that they were not accepted as a codification or incorporated into any IHL treaties. The legality of blockades was disputed by the relatively few number of scholars involved, which included some Israeli participants. Remember that in 1967, the Prime Minister of Israel cabled President Johnson and explained that Israel went to war because of the “illegal blockade” and "the insolent defiance of the international and maritime community." That's powerful evidence of state practice that operating blockades in international shipping channels was no longer considered to be legal. See the page on the telegram from Israeli PM Eshkol to President Johnson

      Unlike the San Remo Manual or the Helsinki Principles On The Law Of Maritime Neutrality, the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas, the 1st Additional Protocol, and the UN Charter have each been ratified by more than 160 state parties. Together they guarantee the freedom of the high seas and reserve it for peaceful purposes. A naval blockade against neutral shipping is, prima facie, a violation of freedom of the high seas which belong to mankind. Such efforts constitute a violation of international law if not conducted with the authorization of the United Nations Security Council pursuant to Chapter VII of the Charter.

      It goes without saying that Israel is violating the call for "unimpeded" distribution of humanitarian relief contained in Security Council resolution 1860 (2009) and that it has never obtained Security Council consent under Chapter VII to attack ships on the high seas. In fact the members of the Security Council condemned the attack on the Mavi Marmara and tasked the Secretary General with responsibility for conducting a full, prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards. In short, everything the Palmer Inquiry was not. See "Security Council Condemns Acts Resulting in Civilian Deaths during Israeli Operation against Gaza-Bound Aid Convoy, Calls for Investigation, in Presidential Statement" link to

      As I've already pointed out the Secretary himself has subsequently contradicted the observation that the blockade was a lawful one. The Palmer report itself said that, regardless of its status, Israel had acted prematurely and improperly by seizing the ships in international waters outside the declared coordinates of its Gaza blockade without proper warning.

    • So Hostage, more legalistic gobbledegook to defend the previous set!

      Once again, I'm quoting treaty documents and Court decisions in context. They have either been universally ratified or have been declared to be reflections of the rules of customary international law that non-signatories are legally bound to respect. The SS Lotus decision is really pretty simple. Ships in international waters are considered to be under the territorial jurisdiction of the flag state. Under the rules of customary law, other states are prohibited from employing threats or force against the territorial integrity or independence of any other state. Whenever a state does exercise its powers on the territory of another it must be acting in a previously agreed-upon "erga omnes" capacity in the interest of the international community to prevent piracy, slavery, crimes against humanity, or some other affirmative, "jus cogens" rule of compelling international law. Otherwise it is guilty of a criminal act of aggression. That's why blockades operated in violation of the prohibition contained in Article 2(4) of the UN Charter are considered crimes against the territory of the flag state:

      All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

      -- link to

      Likewise, the laws and customs of war are pretty simple. The IDF cannot use malnutrition or persecution as modes of warfare. It cannot impose collective punishments/penalties to the point that agreed-upon treaty monitoring bodies and medical experts put its officials on notice that they have permanently damaged the health of a significant percentage of the civilian population and then allow them to exonerate themselves without a real independent criminal investigation and trial where eyewitnesses and medical experts can testify and those responsible can cross-examine them and publicly defend or explain their actions. Sham proceedings, like the Turkel and Palmer Inquiries, are actually supposed to trigger the ICC's jurisdiction in accordance with Article 17 of the Rome Statute. FYI, the ICC Prosecutor already determined during the initial evaluation of the situation that war crimes were undoubtedly committed during the IDF raid on the ships flagged by Comoros, Cambodia, and Greece.

      The UN bodies, to which Hostage has referred, have already clearly demonstrated that unprincipled bias against Israel by passing more resolutions against it than virtually all the rest of the world’s nations combined.

      There's nothing "unprincipled" about it. The scoundrels who ran the Apartheid regime in South Africa employed the same propaganda talking point. The UN organization's attitude in both cases simply reflects the fact that the international community views states like Israel as lawless nations which do not have a decent respect for the opinions of mankind.

      As I've pointed out on many occasions, the Zionists depended upon the international community of states to impose a permanent servitude on the people of Palestine in the form of their national home. It was part of an international trust territory. Then they asked the UN to authorize the partition of Palestine. Part of the customary rules in such cases is that fundamental human rights were placed under LoN and UN guarantees and the new governments were not allowed to modify or violate them. Israel is one of the few states created by an international organization that has flagrantly and repeatedly violated the human rights it agreed to protect with seemingly limitless impunity supplied by the US veto in the Security Council.

      Judge Lauterpacht addressed the complaints of South African officials about UN bias and the "Cumulative Legal effect" of a succession of recommendations, on the same subject and with regard to the same State, solemnly reaffirmed by the General Assembly and the UN Human Rights treaty bodies:

      '[A] ... State may not be acting illegally by declining to act on a recommendation or series of recommendations on the same subject. But in so doing it acts at its peril when a point is reached when the cumulative effect of the persistent disregard of the articulate opinion of the Organization is such as to foster the conviction that the State in question has become guilty of disloyalty to the principles and purposes of the Charter. Thus [a] . . . State which consistently sets itself above the solemnly and repeatedly expressed judgment of the Organization in particular as that judgment approximates to unanimity, may find that it has overstepped the imperceptible line between impropriety and illegality, between discretion and arbitrariness, between the exercise of the legal right to disregard the recommendation and the abuse of that right, and that it has exposed itself to consequences legitimately following as a legal sanction.

      --See pdf file page 61 of 68 link to

      Hostage has not dismissed the validity of the principle contained in para 18 USC §7 where it refers to “Any place outside the jurisdiction of any nation with respect to an offense by or against a national of the United States.”

      I most certainly have dismissed its applicability to consignments of food, medical supplies, or commercial goods. The 4th Geneva Convention and the 1st Additional Protocol do not permit those to be construed as contraband or offers of relief to be treated as belligerent acts. Whenever a population is not adequately supplied, the parties to the conflict are not only under an obligation to permit free passage, they are required to actively protect the relief ships after they have exercised the right of visit and inspection.

      There were Israeli nationals on board the Marianne – enough reason for Israel to be justified in apprehending the vessel, about to enter Gaza – a state to all intentions purposes still at war with Israel.

      Maybe the reason Israel is still "to all intents and purposes" at war is because it has steadfastly refused to drop its multitude of belligerent claims in accordance with the decisions adopted on its behalf by the UN Security Council? There is no right in rem to impede or seize a foreign flagged relief ship and divert it to Israel on the basis of the exercise of Israel's in personam jurisdiction over one or more of the passengers. Let's remember that Israel is under an international treaty obligation to end all of its "belligerent claims" and to begin repatriating the refugees it has confined inside the Gaza Strip for up to sixty years. It is also supposed to be permitting unimpeded distribution of humanitarian relief consignments into and throughout Gaza, which does not include Ashdod, Israel. See the terms of S/RES/89(1950), S/RES/95(1951), S/RES/242 (1967), S/RES/338 (1973), and S/RES/1860 (2009). link to

    • Should Israel play into their hands and allow this cynical script? It would be utterly foolish to do so ...

      That milestone disappeared in the rear view mirror a long time ago. Being utterly foolish is the Zionist national pastime.

    • Hostage shrouds many misconceptions and falsities with his verbose legalese.

      LOL! Only you Zionist fringe theorists think that quoting the Security Council, the UN Charter, the Geneva Convention and its Additional Protocol, the Definition of Aggression employed by the ICJ and ICC, and the UN and ICRC treaty monitoring bodies verbatim conceals misconceptions and falsities.

      Extraterritorial Israeli jurisdiction applies to the apprehension of a vessel on the high seas for these reasons:
      (1) The passive personality principle, which is jurisdiction based on the nationality of those injured by the conduct. An example is 18 USC §7, a statute by which the U.S. asserts jurisdiction “[a]ny place outside the jurisdiction of any nation with respect to an offense . . . against a national of the United States.”

      That's pretty irrelevant, since 18 USC §7 doesn't make delivery of consignments of food, medical equipment, or offers of humanitarian assistance a criminal "offense against a national" of either the United States or Israel and neither the Geneva Conventions nor the Additional Protocols permit the USA, or any other High Contracting Party, to do such a thing.

      Likewise your long quote from Henry Kissinger about "ships suspected of piracy, transporting slaves, or broadcasting illegally" is completely irrelevant. You've obviously overlooked this part of what he said: "For other crimes, the arresting State must get the consent or assistance of the flag state." That flows from the PCIJ holding in the SS Lotus case which said that "the first and foremost restriction imposed by international law upon a State is that failing the existence of a permissive rule to the contrary – it may not exercise its power in any form in the territory of another State."

      Interdicting a neutral foreign ship on the high seas as part of a blockade does, in fact, violate such a prohibitive rule: namely, the customary rule (the prohibition of aggression) that prohibits states from interdicting a foreign state's ships on the high seas without an agreed upon justification, such as piracy, the slave trade, drug trafficking, etc. Even the Palmer Inquiry pointed out that the IDF acted prematurely and improperly, because it seized the Mavi Marmara in international waters, well outside the declared coordinates of its blockade.

      FYI in the Eichmann case, the Israeli Supreme Court invoked universal jurisdiction by citing the customary obligation to either prosecute or extradite persons accused of committing grave breaches outlined in the 4th Geneva [sic Hague] Convention of 1907 and its Martens Clause regarding "the principles of the law of nations as they result from the usages established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity and from the dictates of public conscience." link to

      In 1920 the Versailles Peace Conference report of the "Commission on the Responsibility of the Authors of the War and on Enforcement of Penalties" listed usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation; starvation of civilians; imposition of collective penalties; deliberate bombardment of hospitals; wanton devastation and destruction of property; wanton destruction of religious, charitable, educational, and historic buildings and monuments; and destruction of fishing boats or relief ships in its list of 32 recognized violations of the laws of humanity and the dictates of public conscience. link to

      It is also extraordinary that he tries to dismiss the report of the Palmer Commission and the two Turkel Commission reports as political exercises when he himself dredges up stuff from Lancet that is overtly political, as well as being dated.

      I didn't try to dismiss them, they were not proper criminal investigations that met international standards and couldn't have exonerated anyone accused of a grave breach in any event. In accordance with the customary obligation to either prosecute or extradite contained in Article 146 of the Geneva Convention (see the text below), there has to be a trial by a regular court when that many treaty monitoring body experts have outlined a prima facie case. The collective punishments, permanent health problems, learning disabilities, and premature deaths reported by the UNRWA, the ICRC, the UN OHCHR, the UNHRC, the OHCHR, the Secretary General, and non-governmental organizations, like the Lancet, are not any more "dated" than the crimes against humanity committed during the Holocaust era. They are not subject to any statutory limitations. Those are the same expert parties that outlined the prima facie ' case for the establishment of all the other UN ad hoc criminal tribunals. So what's your point?

      Article 146 of the 4th Geneva Convention says: "The High Contracting Parties undertake to enact any legislation necessary to provide effective penal sanctions for persons committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the grave breaches of the present Convention defined in the following Article [147 ] .
      Each High Contracting Party shall be under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts. It may also, if it prefers, and in accordance with the provisions of its own legislation, hand such persons over for trial to another High Contracting Party concerned, provided such High Contracting Party has made out a ' prima facie ' case. -- link to

    • Kris,
      Simple logic says that if a blockade is legal, then attempting to break it is not.

      Then let's try this simple logic: There is no such thing as an international agreement or convention that legalizes the use of blockades. Even if there were, the customary rules contained in the Convention on the Law of Treaties say that it couldn't create obligations for third parties without their consent or violate a customary norm of international law.

      In fact, the UN Charter prohibits the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity and independence of any state or in any manner that violates the UN Charter. The customary definition of the Crime of Aggression cites both blockades and military occupations in violation of the UN Charter as prime examples of the crime of aggression.

      You guys keep pedaling the false idea that the Palmer Inquiry magically conferred legality on the blockade, but the same UN Secretary General that commissioned its efforts at political conciliation reported his own conclusions on March 14th of this year that the blockade "is a continuing collective penalty against the population in Gaza" that violates the fundamental human rights of the population to an adequate standard of living, housing, food, water, sanitation, health and education (A/HRC/28/45, para. 70). link to

      173 State Parties have ratified the prohibition of collective punishments contained in Article 75 of the 1st Additional Protocol (1977) and the prohibition of collective penalties contained in Article 33 of the 4th Geneva Convention has been universally ratified. The prohibition of collective punishments is also considered a "customary norm" that is binding on non-signatories. See Rule 103. Collective punishments are prohibited. link to

    • You zionist-haters simply want to keep believing the least credible source for determining what and what is not ‘legal’ about a military blockade in general and with respect to Israel and Gaza. You can shimmy around the international and maritime law as much as you like but the UNHRC is not an unbiased source and is not qualified to comment on naval/international law. The Palmer commission as well as international naval bodies determined the Israeli blockade of Gaza in international waters was legal as was the seizure of the Mamara. And surely if it truly was ‘illegal’ as you claim there would have been numerous attempts to bring charges at the ICC. There have not.

      Not at all, even the relatively few countries (only 28 in number) that participated in drafting the San Remo Manual included a number which held that blockades were inherently illegal under international law. All of them agreed that any time malnutrition was a possible side effect, it triggers an obligation to permit vessels carrying relief shipments to gain access to the coasts of the blockaded belligerent, after the right of visit and inspection have been exercised. It is strictly prohibited to declare humanitarian relief shipment a belligerent act or contraband as Israel has done in these cases.

      The UN Security Council explicitly called for "the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment" in S/Res/1860 (2009). It also defined "Gaza" as an integral part of the territory that was occupied in 1967, which does not include "Ashdod, Israel". link to

      All UN member states have a treaty obligation under the terms of Article 25 to accept and carry-out that decision. According to Article 103 of the Charter, in the event of a conflict between the members obligations under the Charter and any other international agreement, the Charter obligation shall prevail. The Security Council just reminded the Saudis that their arms embargo or blockade of Yemen is not permitted to interfere with the free flow of humanitarian aid or commercial goods into the country. link to

      FYI, the ICC Prosecutor reported that it had received hundreds of Article 15 communications regarding the illegal attack on the flotilla and the situation Israel had created in Gaza. The Mavi Marmara and other vessels were flagged by ICC member states and a Pre-Trial Chamber is still reviewing whether these attacks and seizures in international waters are legal. The Prosecutor doesn't need any complaints, since the Court already has jurisdiction over crimes committed on the territories of all its member states. It simply has to wait until the investigations and court cases in states, like Israel and Turkey, have been concluded or appear to be disingenuous shams designed to shield the perpetrators from prosecution. The Prosecutor's report said that war crimes were undoubtedly committed during the raid on the Mavi Marmara and other ships. She doesn't have the final say as to whether they are of sufficient "gravity" to warrant ICC action. The States concerned have asked the Pre-Trial Chamber to decide the question:

      Pre-Trial Chamber I is composed of Judge Joyce Aluoch, Presiding Judge, Judge Cuno Tarfusser and Judge Péter Kovács. Pre-Trial Chamber I has been assigned with the situations in Côte d'Ivoire, Libya, Mali and the Situation on Registered Vessels of the Union of the Comoros, the Hellenic Republic and the Kingdom of Cambodia.

      -- link to

      The report of the Palmer Commission and the two Turkel Commission reports were political exercises, not legal inquiries or fact finding investigations “conforming to international standards.” See the text of the Palmer report itself in that regard and H.C.J. 4641/10, Uri Avneri et al. v. The Prime Minister et al.

      So, the Secretary General’s Palmer Commission was operating under a cloud from the get-go. It’s mandate didn’t allow it to collect its own evidence or hear direct testimony from eyewitnesses. It also took instructions from the two member states concerned regarding the findings contained in its report in direct violation of the principles contained in Article 100 of the UN Charter regarding the operation of the UN Secretariat.

      Neither the Secretary's or the Israeli commissions were empowered to collect or cross examine testimony from the IDF members involved in the raid; the victims on board the ships; or the victims of the blockade in Gaza. FYI, the US had arranged for the Palmer report in order to make the formal reports from the international treaty mandate holders, i.e. the UN OHCHR and UN HRC, “disappear”. Anne Bayefsky and Haaretz spilled the beans about the behind the barn deal that led to its creation because it appeared the Obama administration hadn’t kept-up its end of the bargain:

      August 2, Ban launched his investigation, which got off the ground only because the U.S. pressed Israel to agree, and Israel took American assurances seriously. U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice spelled some of them out: “The United States expects that the Panel will…obviate the need for any overlapping international inquiries.” The overlapping inquiry of the Human Rights Council, she claimed, would go away.

      Haaretz added that the Israeli government believed it had received assurances that “the review panel will not have the authority to subpoena witnesses, including Israel Defense Forces soldiers and officers.”

      link to

      Israel had been accused by the authoritative treaty monitoring bodies (the UN HRC and ICRC) of imposing collective punishments and deliberately using starvation as a mode of warfare by destroying livestock and crops and interfering with essential consignments of food and medical supplies to the point that it caused serious injury to the bodies and health of between 10 to 30 percent of the children of Gaza. That was backed-up by reliable published reports in peer reviewed journals, like The Lancet, e.g.
      * link to
      * link to

      Documents obtained through the Israeli Courts revealed that the responsible Israeli officials calculated the minimum daily caloric intake and the minimum number of trucks needed to supply the necessary imported food, then deliberately prevented that many relief trucks from entering Gaza. That is a grave breach according to the explicit terms of Article 147 for which no statutory limits apply, i.e. Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, ... wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health". link to

      No High Contracting Party can exonerate itself, even by employing a series of bogus "inquiries" that do not meet international standards, i.e. "Art. 148. No High Contracting Party shall be allowed to absolve itself or any other High Contracting Party of any liability incurred by itself or by another High Contracting Party in respect of breaches referred to in the preceding Article." link to

  • Oren's memoir reveals Israel's elite is hyper-sensitive to U.S. criticism
    • I do not think so. Nazi analogies evoke Goodwin law, and indeed, the history is much richer than that. ...The first genocide of XX century (to my limited knowledge) affected Hereros who stood in the path of progress in German South West Africa (today, Namibia). .

      *Then you'd have to invoke Godwin's law against the father of genocide studies, Raphael Lemkin. He wrote two manuscripts: “Herero” and “The Germans in Africa”. They detailed the genocide in Namibia, the suppression of the so-called “Maji-Maji Rebellion” in Tanzania and the “Duala Massacres” in Cameroon. Lemkin noted that “the Germans introduced the Prussian military system into their rule of the African colonies, a system of cruelty and oppression” and the continuities to Axis practices in Eastern Europe. The papers are part of the collection at the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, the Raphael Lemkin Papers (Box 6, Folder 9).

      *That doesn't mean that other examples of settler colonialism, like the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand were very different in nature. Frequently the bulk of the indigenous populations were massacred, the remainder were segregated, persecuted, and their culture or way of life was destroyed. John Docker wrote a paper for the US Holocaust Museum several years ago explaining that a review of Raphael Lemkin's unpublished research notes and papers revealed that he had come to the conclusion that all settler colonial societies were inherently genocidal, without exception. -- link to

      *Likewise you'd have to invoke Godwin's law against Benjamin Madley. He documented the continuities in “From Africa to Auschwitz: How German South West Africa Incubated Ideas and Methods Adopted and Developed by the Nazis in Eastern Europe”, European History Quarterly, 2005; 35: 429-464

      *The BBC studied the earlier German genocide in the documentary, “Namibia – Genocide and the second Reich”
      *Baruch Kimmerling, Henry Siegman, Israel Shahak, the Jerusalem Post, and Haaretz each documented the fact that Israeli officials, like Ariel Sharon, consciously pursued a public policy modeled on the South African and Namibian Bantustans. See:
      -Kimmerling, Politicide:Ariel Sharon's War Against the Palestinians
      link to
      -Siegman, Sharon and the Future of Palestine
      link to
      -Siegman, Imposing Middle East Peace link to
      -Israel Shahak's Senate testimony and the JPost interviews with Sharon entered as exhibits in "The Colonization of the West Bank Territories by Israel" @ the Library of Congress link to
      -The citation to Akiva Eldar, “Sharon’s Bantustans are far from Copenhagen’s hope”, Ha’aretz, 13 May 2003 in the report of the UN Special Rapporteur
      link to

      The tactics employed to displace the indigenous populations and acquire territory are very similar in every case:

      * 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
      * 100-Year-Old Becomes Israeli Major-General
      * 100-year-old finally gets rank of “Major General” that he earned 60 years ago. Nearly 60 years later, Pundak sat flanked by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and finally received the long-awaited rank. He was the first person in Israeli history to be raised to the rank of Major-General after retirement.
      link to
      * Gen. Pundak: Kill 500 in Gaza and They’ll be Quiet
      Newly promoted 100-year old general who was Gaza Governor supplies his formula for peace.
      link to

      Don't forget that the methods of racial segregation, oppression, and control employed in the Jim Crowe era in the USA were carried-out after the forced displacement and genocide of the original inhabitants. In many cases the white settlers pursued a living from hunting and fishing, just like their predecessors, but were portrayed as being more civilized or industrious than Native Americans. Officials quite openly admitted the desire to either exterminate them or force them to give up their way of life, and be interned on reservations where they would be required to adopt a new way of life. See Ulysses S. Grant, Second Inaugural Address, Tuesday, March 4, 1873 link to or Roosevelts Fourth Annual Message, December 6, 1904 link to

      The annexation and Judiazation of Palestinian territory has been accomplished through the same methods of forced eviction, deportation, or confinement in small ethnic enclaves as a result of frequent lightning-style military strikes or incremental accession during prolonged invasions and occupation, followed by the imposition of policies and practices of racial segregation and persecution - including all of the constituent acts of apartheid listed in Article II of the UN Convention. These similarities are no accident.

      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

    • As you know, the amidah is only one of numerous examples. Everything from “next year in Jerusalem ” at the seder, to the oath that every Jewish groom makes, just before he breaks the glass and is engulfed by his new bride’s perspiring uncles, to R. Yehudah HaLevi’s poetry.

      There are people who live in Jerusalem that still recite "Next year in Jerusalem," because they consider the modern city and state to be an abomination and NOT the fulfillment of things that Jews have been praying for all of these thousands of years. For the same reasons, there are very devout Jews still living elsewhere around the globe who feel no religious obligation to make aliyah or help in the Zionist conquest of the land.

      The connections to Eretz Yisrael were always there, part of the Jewish DNA, so to speak.. The modern political movement arose when conditions were ripe, and built on those historic and religious ties.

      Entire volumes have been written about the fact that Israel was founded and continues to be governed by non-religious Jews who simply adapted Jewish traditions and myths, like the ones about Masada, to the propaganda needs of the state. They ignored or discarded the parts that didn't suit their political agenda, e.g. See "Civil Religion in Israel", by Lieberman and Don-Yehiya.

    • Then why did Herzl first suggest taking over Uganda as the Jewish State in the late 1800s?

      Herzl's diary and letters establish the fact that he wanted to be the head of a worldwide Jewish Empire and that he still planned on acquiring the territory of Palestine and anything else he could lay his hands on. He called Zionists who insisted on foregoing the offer of lands in Africa "Miserable eunuchs". link to

      He employed the Dreyfus Affair for propaganda purposes in Die Welt. After the fact, he revised his initial accounts of the crowds shouting "Death to the traitor" to read "Death to the Jews". See "Did Dreyfus Affair Really Inspire Herzl?" link to

      Other writers have noted that, at the time, coverage of the affair in Die Welt was more concerned about laying the blame for it at the feet of the Jewish establishment of Europe for having been too "assimilationist" and portraying France somewhat inaccurately as a country that had conspired at all military and civil levels of society against the Jewish people. See for instance Maya Balakirsky Katz, "Revising Dreyfus", Brill, 2013 link to

      Never mind that their faith in the French people and assimilation just might have been vindicated in the end by the Dreyfusards, like Georges Clemenceau, who helped exonerate Dreyfus and who managed to rise to power and lead France through WWI. Despite the anti-Semitic elements of French society, the country had a Jewish Prime Minister, Léon Blum, who entered politics in reaction to the Dreyfus Affair and led three cabinets before and after WWII - long before Israel had its own Jewish Prime Minister. It was his successor's foreign minister who concluded the agreement with the Irgun that violated the UN arms embargo by supplying the weapons and ammunition involved in the infamous Altalena Affair. See the interview with Yitzhak Shamir published in the Times of Israel. link to

      I assume that since most of the talkback artists here haven't made aliyah yet, that they agree with these community spokespersons: "Jewish leaders rebuff Netanyahu's call for mass migration" (Netanyahu to European Jews: Come 'home') link to

      There is obviously no Jewish religious obligation to go to Israel.

    • but something physical was busted and is being mourned on the 9th of Av.

      The first Temple and the exile happened inline with the prophecies contained in the Torah itself. The second one was a man made undertaking commissioned by Cyrus that was destroyed on account of "hatred without a cause". Ezra, the Maccabees, and Simon bar Kochba were not Messiahs and neither were Herzl, Weizmann, or Ben Gurion.

    • James North- According to the Pew poll of October 2013 (page 85) link to the number is 43% of American Jews have visited Israel at least once.

      Sounds like a circular argument. In the first place, who put Pew in charge of determining which persons they should include in a poll of "American Jews" and how did they manage to track them all down?

    • How are people who have no religion in a position to comment about the passivity of those who did follow a specific religion?

      I think most Buddhists would complain that you are confusing religion with the god idea. I consider secular humanistic Judaism to be a religion and anti-Zionism to be an independent and valid religious creed in its own right. It used to be de rigueur in the days when the Reform movement officially incorporated it in the Pittsburgh Platform.

    • Why not consider the possibility that the Jews praying for a return to Zion for thousands of years – actually meant what they were saying?

      Why don't you consider the possibility that the Torah doesn't claim that God will answer personal prayers for an individual's return to Zion and that it doesn't command anyone living today to go there?

    • I frankly don’t think they have a clue. They’re far too comfortable here to comprehend it. And regrettably, you guys on the hard left have not raised your voices at all because you’re afraid it will endanger your alliances with Muslim Arabs on issues like Israel-Palestine, and because countries that oppose the United States internationally couldn’t care less.

      What a load of platitudinous crap. The PA "dictatorship" didn't build the concrete wall that was used to persecute the Christians in Bob Simon's report. And of course, it's not like none of us have ever met or worked with any the Christian parties to the Kairos Palestine Document or that we've never condemned ISIS, like everyone else. As usual I don't hear you complaining about the fact that UN observers have formally advised the Security Council that Israel has been collaborating with Al-Qaeda and ISIS in the Golan for months on end, despite the fact that they've massacred Muslim, Druze, and Christians alike in Syria.
      * UN Report: Israel in Regular Contact with Syrian Rebels including ISIS link to
      * UN reveals Israeli links with Syrian rebels: Reports by UN observers in the Golan submitted to 15 members of Security Council detail regular contact between IDF officers and armed Syrian opposition figures at the border. link to
      * New UN report reveals collaboration between Israel and Syrian rebels link to

      I suppose that's because Israeli Jews are far too comfortable and don't have a clue about the fact that both those groups have murdered Jews in Europe. -- 'Competing ISIS & Al-Qaeda place European Jews under greater threat' link to

    • the top secret big crisis is: the Palestinian Authority is applying for state status in the United Nations General Assembly. Oren is ordered to start calling U.S. Congressmen immediately to block the move.

      The Zionists have played the recognition of statehood game brilliantly ever since 1946. Ambassadors Eliahu Epstein in the USA and Golda Meir in the USSR worked with their P-5 members to keep Transjordan, and the new state created as a result of the union between Transjordan and Arab Palestine, out of the UN for nearly a decade (1955).

      The claim that the joint entity "Jordan" was a foreign occupying power appeared to be totally schizophrenic, since their original protest against its UN membership had been that the two areas were indivisible parts of the same mandated Palestinian territory. Here's an example of those tactics in action taken from the official documentary record published by the US State Department:

      In view of application of Trans-Jordan for membership in UN received July 5, we have to establish our attitude without delay and I am sending memorandum to President requesting his views. I should appreciate knowing your thoughts in advance of beginning of SC Committee discussion on membership on July 15.
      As you are aware, we have had correspondence with Senator Myers regarding Trans-Jordan and he has introduced resolution containing request that executive take no action in any way recognizing Trans-Jordan as separate or independent state and that US representative on UN be instructed to seek postponement of international determination of status of Trans-Jordan area until future status of Palestine as a whole will be determined.
      We also have received a long detailed legal argument from Rabbis Wise and Silver [on behalf of the Jewish Agency for Palestine] objecting to independence of Trans-Jordan.

      –See Foreign relations of the United States, 1946. General; the United Nations Volume I, Page 411 link to

      Sure enough, when Abdullah tried to join the UN in 1946, he was turned down. The President of the Security Council cited advice from the US Secretary State that Transjordan was considered an integral part of the joint Palestine mandate, which had not yet been legally terminated. He recommended that no action should be taken, until the question of “Palestine as a whole” could be addressed by the UN. See The Minutes of the 57th Session of the Security Council, S/PV.57 pages 100-101 (pdf file pgs 3-4 of 52) link to

    • the Palestinians love the land. Now the next temptation is to write “the Jews love the land”, which is obviously untrue, because you’re a Jew and you don’t love the land. ... it is easy to look at the key texts and see how a philosophy of judaism would have a special place in its heart for jerusalem.

      You are deploying the usual nonsense. For most of recorded history, there has been no requirement for Jews to live in the ancient land, visit it, or love it. The references to the Land and Jerusalem were treated as allegories that conveyed a spiritual message. That was the state of affairs for thousands of years. In fact, the Torah itself contains the key prophecies which explain why the bulk of the Jewish people have chosen to remain exiled to this very day, including the multitude of literal descendants who you consider to be "assimilated". No British Mandate is capable of altering that situation. According to Jewish tradition, the Shekinah never even rested on the Temple of Cyrus and most Jews remained in Babylon or chose to settle in places like Alexandria even back then. They were not followers of the small number of zealots, like Ezra and Nehemiah, who were responsible for the establishment of the relatively short-lived "Second Commonwealth".

  • In rebuke to Israel, State Dep't says it has no objection to BDS aimed at occupation
    • The US government has never defended or supported Israeli settlements and activity associated with them and, by extension, does not pursue policies or activities that would legitimize them.

      As a member of Avaaz, I strongly disagree. Apparently the IRS never got the memo, since it's still allowing Zionists to write-off their contributions to the illegal settlements. Likewise, the Justice Department is permitting tens of thousands of US citizens to reside in settlements acquired and maintained by plunder, murder, and terror, and to return or visit the USA without fear of prosecution. See "Why Are US Taxpayers Subsidizing Right-Wing Israeli Settlers?" link to

    • The statement of the Wiesenthal Center is intentionally deceptive, hyperbolic and factually false. The arrogance of it, and the contempt it assumes toward its readers is jaw dropping.

      So, just business as usual then?

    • Did Congress, by passing this provision, and AIPAC, by drafting it and pressuring Congress to pass it, force the administration to take this stand?

      No, since the weasel wording of the statute only applies to boycotts undertaken for "political" purposes, not ones undertaken by governments or individuals for legal purposes. If you've read the ICJ findings in the Wall case or the dozens of UN Security Council resolutions on Israel's illegal annexations and the demographic changes brought about by the implantation of settlers, then you already know that all UN member states are under a legally binding UN Charter obligation not to recognize or facilitate those situations in any way. Article 103 of the Charter stipulates that:

      In the event of a conflict between the obligations of the Members of the United Nations under the present Charter and their obligations under any other international agreement, their obligations under the present Charter shall prevail.

      -- link to

    • Phil: The statement was a special clarification of White House policy on the new fast-track trade bill, which contained a provision that Congress had included at the urging of Israel lobby groups: to punish European companies and governments that support BDS of Israel– including Israeli activities in the occupied territories. The legislation purposely sought to protect settlements; and yesterday the Obama administration said it isn’t buying.

      a blah chick: I’ve never understood the policy of just going after the settlements. It’s the Israeli government that puts them there and sustains them, but whatever.

      No, you are quite correct. The BDS movement includes people, like myself, who are boycotting Israel on perfectly legal, not so-called "political" grounds, regarding its fundamental human rights abuses on either side of the armistice lines.

      For example, "the right of displaced persons “to voluntary return in safety to their homes or places of habitual residence as soon as the reasons for their displacement cease to exist” is regarded as a rule of customary international law (see Rule 132 of the ICRC Study on Customary International Humanitarian Law) that applies to any kind of territory. ... The Court considers that the mere fact that peace negotiations are on-going does not absolve the Government from taking other measures, especially when negotiations have been pending for such a long time. In that connection the Court refers to Resolution 1708 (2010) on “Solving property issues of refugees and displaced persons” of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe which, relying on relevant international standards, calls on member states to “guarantee timely and effective redress for the loss of access and rights to housing, land and property abandoned by refugees and IDPs without regard to pending negotiations concerning the resolution of armed conflicts of the status of a particular territory”. -- Sargsyan v. Azerbaija link to

  • Netanyahu issues 'welcome letter' as Gaza flotilla is seized by Israeli navy
    • the source of all evil lies

      Haaretz and +972 both have articles which call into question the absurdity of the contradictory claims contained in Netanyahu's letter, i.e. claiming both that “There is no blockade of Gaza." while seizing the ships and passengers for "attempting to violate the blockade".

      * Netanyahu to Gaza flotilla: Did you mean to sail to Syria?
      link to
      *The Orwellian logic of Israel’s blockade of Gaza
      It goes like this: There is no such blockade, and if you violate it, you will be arrested.
      link to

  • Sniper shots and mass arrests: UN Gaza report also documents Israeli abuses in West Bank last summer
    • Yet another UN report, giving us terrible crimes committed by Israel. Like others before it, it has been dismissed by Israel, and it will not be held accountable for atrocities and violence against MOSTLY civilians who died by the hundreds. The US will shield Israel at the UN, if it decides to pass any resolutions against Israel, and the Israelis will live on uncaring, to inflict more pain on those they occupy.

      Oh no, the US and the UN Security Council are mostly irrelevant. This UN HRC report is in the public domain and anyone can incorporate it by reference in their own Article 15 communications with the ICC. The ICC Prosecutor already has Article 12(3) declarations in hand and an Article 14 state referral from Palestine. The Office of the Prosecutor has scheduled a team to arrive in Israel in just a few days from now as part of its preliminary examination to see if any crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC have been committed. Never mind that it has dozens of Article 15 communications from governments and NGOs, like the Arab League, HRW, AI, et al reminding it that the ICJ advised that Israel's wall and settlements violated portions of the Geneva Convention that are reflected in Articles 7 and 8 of the Rome Statute.

      It's time for Palestinian Solidarity activists to get serious about applying political pressure on the Prosecutor. Despite all of her public denials, she and her predecessor have played politics and employed jargon and sophomoric legal nonsense to avoid taking action against Israeli officials. If she drags her feet yet again, we should start demanding that she be removed from office for a “serious breach of duty” in accordance with Article 46 of the Statute and Article 24 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence: i.e. "Repeatedly causes unwarranted delay in the initiation, prosecution or trial of cases, or in the exercise of judicial powers."

    • Worrisome during reporting that Palestinians were referred to as the “people of Gaza” all of the time. As if the West Bank did not belong to Palestinians and was not occupied.

      From the standpoint of the crime of apartheid, the Netanyahu regime has been totally successful in pursuing its goal of divide and rule over isolated ethnic enclaves. The Israelis didn't wait until the summer to throw a tantrum, they started applying sanctions and withholding customs revenues the minute the new unity government was sworn into office in the Spring. That was another violation of UN Security Council resolution 1860 (2009), which stressed that Gaza is an integral part of Palestine; called for the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including food, fuel and medical treatment; and encouraged tangible steps towards intra-Palestinian reconciliation, including support of mediation efforts of Egypt and the League of Arab States.

      The reason that Fatah and Hamas have worked out five or six unsuccessful unity agreements is because the Palestinian people will not accept the legitimacy of either party governing alone or in isolation from the other and its constituents; and because Israel is still illegally interfering in the exercise of the Palestinian right of self-determination in violation of international law.

  • UN report on Gaza war is 'tepid,' 'unserious' and exhibits 'anti-Muslim bigotry' -- Finkelstein
    • A post to which you’ve had no answer essentially but picked and selected to convey your own meaning, and that is true of all your responses.

      No, I've responded to the distortions contained in the comments made by yourself and Giles and the readers can decide for themselves. Chomsky and Finkelstein have never denied the power of the Lobby and it is no exaggeration, total diminshment, or negation to point out that purely American priorities have quite frequently prevailed over those of the Israel and Jewish Lobbies and have dictated key foreign policies regarding the location of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv; the decisions not to use military force against Syria and Iran; the decision not to enter "Jerusalem, Israel" on US passports; the decision not to include Israel in the visa waiver program; the Bush Jr decision to offset US loan guarantees by the amount spent on constructing the Wall; the Bush Sr administration decision to tie loan guarantees for Israel to a freeze in settlement construction; the Reagan Administration decision to sell AWACS and F-15s to Saudi Arabia; & etc.

      On the issues of US loan guarantees and foreign weapons sales, the private banks and Wall Street players or the defense industry players, like Citi Bank, Goldman Sacks, General Dynamics, Boeing/McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, et al have invariably urinated higher on the wall than the Israel Lobby during any political pissing contest between the parties concerned. Mearsheimer and Walt do not disagree with Chomsky on that score, only people who haven't actually read their book claim that they do so.

      The issue of the role of UN HRC and the ICC in armed conflicts is no different. There are overriding US priorities that would dictate its response, with or without the Lobby.

    • Hostage: “There’s no tribal monopoly on the related dialectical traditions in Greek, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and even Secular Western philosophy. ”

      Aiman: Actually there is Hostage. By you yourself. My response was triggered by your own contention of tribal monopoly when you remarked to Giles: “I would also suggest that you get a translator to assist you in deciphering Jewish dialectics, hyperbole, and idioms.”

      Make up your mind: do people need to hire a translator to decipher Jewish verbal gymnastics or there is no tribal monopoly?

      That and the rest of your post is simply more dissembling bullshit. I said that he should get a translator to assist him in deciphering three things "Jewish dialectics, hyperbole, and idioms". There's no claim of monopoly there, since I assume he would be just as clueless if he encountered almost identical modes of expression in instances of Islamic dialectics, hyperbole, and idioms. There's nothing exclusive or tribal about it.

    • “I think anyone who has seen the films, video, and controversial statements he made in regard to Mearsheimer’s and Walt’s thesis is that he actually said that: sometimes the Lobby takes priority and sometimes it does not on broader non-regional issues, like US international criminal liability.”

      No, it just proves NF is inconsistent.

      No, that proves that you are not swayed by either the facts or the readily available evidence and are an unreliable source of information and analysis on the subject of his views.

      I think you’ve let your paranoia, to put it most politely, get the better of you. ... the idea that the US is not interested in prosecuting Israel because it is itself mired in sins or prevented by law is a common argument on the Jewish Left.

      Bullshit. There was a solid Gentile majority who voted to adopt that very idea when the Congress and the Executive Branch signed the so-called "American Servicemembers Protection Act of 2002" also known to the rest of the world as "The Hague Invasion Act". The law authorizes the use of military force to liberate any American or citizen of a U.S.-allied country being held by the International Criminal Court, which is located in The Hague. Among other things, the statute itself defines "covered allied persons" as military personnel, elected or appointed officials, and other persons employed by or working on behalf of the government of Israel. For a complete listing of US client states, see: TITLE 22 / CHAPTER 81 / SUBCHAPTER II / § 7432, paragraph 3 of the current US Code link to

      FYI, I was raised in a secular Jewish household in Kansas by grandparents and parents who were Anti-Zionists and Eisenhower Republicans. I pursued a career in the US military for 21 years. The idea that the US government, US arms manufacturers, and US corporations violate international humanitarian and human rights laws in the same fashion as their Israeli and other allied counterparts is widely shared among government experts and scholars of nearly every ethnicity in the international political science and legal communities. It's a recurring theme among contributors to online forums that specialize in international criminal law, like the European Journal of International Law Talk!, Lawfare, Just Security, Opinio Juris, Lawgirls, & etc. - including more than a few non-Jewish former White House, DoS, DoD, and Congressional legal staffers.

      So unlike Chomsky, I was never an anarchist or part of the American Zionist Movement and unlike Finkelstein, I was never a fan of Trotsky or Chairman Mao.

    • False. Point out where I misstated C’s and F’s stated positions on the matter of the Lobby.

      Surely, in your very first endorsement of Giles comment ("Professor F is a brave and moral man, a great man, but has a blind spot when it comes to the power of the Lobby.") on June 28, 2015, @ 11:36 am. You said:

      Excellent point Giles. By that standard, why did the U.S. Govt use Saddam Hussein’s crimes as an example when it has done much worse or the same? Because there was no Iraq Lobby except for charlatans entertained by Bernard Lewis’s school of journalism and politics. As you rightly pointed out and Prof F ruled out, it is the Israel Lobby and I’m afraid it’s not on the blind spot but right in front for the world to see. Chomsky’s pupils will continue to diminish this fact even if as in the case of Prof F they are moral and great persons.

      As I've pointed out, neither Chomsky nor Finkelstein deny the power of the Lobby. There's oddly no mention in your comment about the fact that the US threatened to topple the Provisional Government of Iraq when it tried to ratify the Rome Statute during the US occupation; that the US threatened to move NATO headquarters over a Belgian indictment of General Tommy Franks for crimes he allegedly committed on the territory of Iraq; the fact that Germany and France registered formal protests at the UN over continued US requests from the Security Council for waivers of ICC jurisdiction after evidence of torture and prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison came to light; the fact that DoD Secretary Rumsfled reportedly authored a memo agreeing with the Bernard Lewis school of journalism and politics that described how the USA was going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran; and the fact that the USA insisted on a local tribunal to handle the cases of Sadaam Hussein and the members of his regime in accordance with municipal laws.

      It is well known Chomsky never took much interest in the subject of the Lobby till W&M came along.

      That's because is was known as "the American Zionist movement" before W&M wrote their book and Chomsky had written all about his own involvement in it. He noted the fact that, unlike its leadership, the rank and file was opposed to a Jewish state and did not officially endorse the idea until 1942.

      NF for his part closely stuck with Chomsky at first though gives a few grudging murmurs now and then.

      I take it that his remarks in the video and in the film that I cited discussing the power of the Lobby and condemning the warmongering members of American Jewry were not obtained either grudgingly or under duress.

      There is no “dialectical pairing”. Let’s not enter into the realm of non-Zionist or anti-Zionist tribal mysticism aka absolute bullsh*t.

      There's no tribal monopoly on the related dialectical traditions in Greek, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and even Secular Western philosophy. The latest UN report, like the Goldstone report before it, contains a separate subsection on the West Bank and East Jerusalem which fall completely outside the scope of Finkelstein's logical {because [AND] NOT because} pairing in this instance:

      “The US will of course side with Israel, not because of the Israel lobby, but because whatever Israel did in Gaza, the US routinely does around the world on an infinitely greater scale. ”

      The US has obviously prevented the adoption of sanctions over Israel's annexation of Jerusalem and its colonization of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, even though "it is not currently doing those same things around the world on an infinitely greater scale". For example:

      “As I’ve already said, fundamentally I think that’s mistaken,” he said. “The U.S. supports Israel when it’s useful to U.S. fundamental interests. However, and here I have to be a little bit more settled in the argument because that’s what the evidence requires, I do think it’s the case that the U.S. supports Israeli policy in the occupied territories due to the lobby.”

      Finkelstein clarified his statement, saying, “When it comes to broad regional fundamental interests, Iraq, Iran, South Arabia oil, it is U.S. national interests that take priority,” he said. “When it comes to a local question like Israel and occupied territories, there I think it is true that it’s the lobby that is destroying U.S. policy because the obvious question you would ask yourself is, I think, ‘What does the U.S. stand to gain from the settlements that Israel is building?’ The answer quite obviously is nothing.”

      -- link to

      Anyone with a modicum of reading comprehension knows that NF is discounting the role of the Lobby to put it most politely if not outright denying it.

      I think anyone who has seen the films, video, and controversial statements he made in regard to Mearsheimer’s and Walt’s thesis is that he actually said that: sometimes the Lobby takes priority and sometimes it does not on broader non-regional issues, like US international criminal liability.

    • Actually he said “…not because of the lobby”. That seems pretty clear.

      What seems pretty clear is that you are ignoring his because/not because dialectical pairing and that you don't comprehend which one is the first cause in this case.

    • Still waiting for support for Norm’s statement “not because of the Lobby..”. Wondering why the Lobby apparently stepped aside on this particular event.

      You're still trying to draw unsupported inferences from what he said about the US government's ultimate motivation. He didn't say the Lobby stepped aside or was standing on the sidelines. He said the USA's criminal liability for similar operations elsewhere in the world was sufficient enough to serve as the sole determining or decisive factor.

    • I don’t see where he adds the qualifiers you have added “in this particular case concerning the events in Gaza,”.

      When you encounter words like "because" or "therefore", you should probably backup and see what they are there for. The phrase "but because whatever Israel did in Gaza, the US routinely does around the world on an infinitely greater scale” limits the applicability of his remarks about the certainty of US support to the justifications employed for that military operation.

    • Now to me that is a great comment on liberal Zionists and their desire to downplay the role of “The Lobby” (it is, of course, far more than a lobby; I would call it an organized crime family, professor Petras has dubbed it The Zionist power configuration).

      Except that I've described the special relationship as a "joint criminal enterprise" on numerous occasions and called for lawsuits and prosecutions all around. I have no problem at all parsing Finkelstein's actual remarks and the implicitly limited scope of context in which they were meant to apply. The remarks he made in the video establish that he has no such blind spot. In Yoav Shamir's film "Defamation," Finklestein was talking about the power of the American Zionist Lobby when he said:

      "It's the best thing that will ever happen to Israel if they get rid of these American Jews who are warmongers from Martha's Vinyard; and the warmongers from the Hamptons; and the warmongers from Beverly Hills; and the warmongers from Miami. It's been a disaster for Israel. It's the best thing if it can ever get rid of this American Jewry. It's a curse."

      Now I could cut and paste and claim that he holds all "American Jewry" responsible, and totally lets Israeli Jewry off the hook. But I know that's not the idea he meant to convey to the intended audience.

    • Note that I copied and pasted the quote from this article.

      Finkelstein did NOT say that "the Lobby plays no role", you said that. He only said that, in this particular case concerning the events in Gaza, the US would oppose the findings contained in the report, but not because of the Lobby. As a person who is still on the US military payroll, and who served in Air Force Departmental major command headquarters staff positions and DoD operational command headquarters staff positions, I can assure you that he is correct about that situation. As a Jewish person, I would also suggest that you get a translator to assist you in deciphering Jewish dialectics, hyperbole, and idioms.

    • And the reason for the powerful and long-standing affinity between U.S. and Israel militarism/imperialism? Not The Lobby? If not The Lobby, then what?

      The writings of the leaders of the Zionist movement reveal that they quite consciously adopted and exploited the existing imperial or colonial policies of the US and other great powers. It was a genocidal model of denying the rights of others, establishing tower and stockade fortifications along skirmish or confrontation lines in order to kill or evict the existing local "uncivilized" populations, dictate the location of future territorial boundaries, exploit plundered natural resources, implant settlers, and confine the remaining members of the targeted population to small reservations, while denying them equal protection or self-determination. It's a great line of work if you can still find it, but 170+ countries have outlawed it by ratifying the Geneva and Hague Conventions and their Additional Protocols, unlike the USA or Israel.

    • Hostage seems quite incapable of responding to my assertion that prof F is wrong in saying the lobby has no role in the US always siding with Israel.

      Because he didn't actually say that, you did. In this case, the US truly would oppose the findings, based upon its own published military and foreign policy doctrines regarding the permissible use of force, with or without any outside political influences.

      What’s up Hostage? Why going off on all these tangents?

      Precisely because the actions of the USA in the armed conflicts in places like Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, and in connection with Palestine are potentially just as incriminating for our own officials as they are for Israeli officials.

    • 1, Hostage @ 12:29 pm!

      Yes, my son just emailed his condolences for the damage done to my intellect by my Jewish up-bringing. He wondered how I still managed to write so many informative comments about the obscure declassified State Department memos on subjects like the Jewish Lobby efforts to block UN membership of the new state formed by the union between Transjordan and Arab Palestine or the Hackworth and Gross memos regarding the universal and democratic doctrines the US government espoused in the Atlantic and UN Charters that were directly undermined by our support for the Zionist movement and Jewish minority rule in Palestine (and the subsequent role played by our government to block every effort to obtain an ICJ advisory opinion on those subjects on behalf of the Zionist Lobby and Israel)? How could I have been so blind to my blind spot? ...;-)

    • Norman’s statement completely discounts the role of the Lobby. Let me repeat the key phrase “…not because of the Israel Lobby…”.

      Once again, the USA has always been openly opposed to any efforts that would outlaw its own foreign diplomatic and military interventions through the adoption of regional Pan-American codifications of international law; adoption of constitutional, "Calvo Clauses", the exercise of universal jurisdiction over its crimes by other states, or the establishment of international criminal tribunals wherein it doesn't enjoy a veto power.

      I've commented here about the fact that the State Department's own archives record the fact that the United States helped invent the methods to circumvent international law and obtain concessions from victim states during a military occupation, like the Platt Amendment, which allowed the USA to dictate the terms of the victim state's: internal governance, fiscal policies, customs collections, and prohibit foreign relations with other states - all while obtaining permission to permanently acquire and maintain military bases, canals, & key advantages for US businesses. President Roosevelt and Elihu Root were praised and awarded prizes for implementing the rules of international arbitration and the permanent court that could be employed to settle boundary and other disputes among "civilized people," while retaining their own country's right to use force against any people that they accused of being less civilized or less "sovereign".

      You can read pro-Israel, Anti-BDS, pro-Gaza blockade articles by Prof Eugene Kontorovich (who used to be a journalist employed by the Forward) at Opinio Juris, The European Journal of International Law, The Washington Post's "The Volokh Conspiracy" blog, the Jerusalem Post, & etc. He also submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of Zivotofsky for the Louis D. Brandies Center in the recent Jerusalem passports case; is a guest speaker for the JNF; and a knitted kippah-wearing research fellow at the Kohelet Policy Forum in Jerusalem which advocates for the adoption of the racist Basic Law: Israel the Nation-State of the Jewish People, e.g. link to

      By definition, he works for the Israeli Lobby and bemoans the fact that the US and other governments have unfairly employed national and international laws against the State of Israel with regard to labeling goods manufactured in illegal Israeli settlements, the status of Jerusalem, the West bank, and Gaza, and host of other areas of disagreement.

    • Page: 105
    • “The US will of course side with Israel, not because of the Israel lobby, but because whatever Israel did in Gaza, the US routinely does around the world on an infinitely greater scale”.

      This is false.

      And the evidence that the USA has not invaded the other countries that I mentioned, killing hundreds of thousands, destroying tens of thousands of homes, public property and infrastructure; making millions of persons refugees; carrying-out targeted assassinations, deportations, enforced disappearances, renditions, tortures, and wrongful imprisonments; providing weapons and ammunition to various government, rebel, and terrorist groups that routinely commit atrocities; while trillions in revenue change hands or disappears entirely is exactly what - your pitiful and vacuous dismissal of a mountain of evidence to the contrary?

      If that's the case, then its a pity that you can only be banned from Mondoweiss for denying the Nakba or the Holocaust, but not when the same thing is done in connection with the crimes committed against other civilian populations.

    • The new UN report on the Gaza war of last summer accepts Israel’s rationale for the destruction of 70 mosques in Gaza ... What about the 80 estimated mosques that the Tunisian government says are operating outside state control, that have been slated for closure as the Tunisian Government struggles to respond to the worst ever terror attack on its soil?

      You are comparing apples to oranges. Even if we accept your proposition, the UN and Finkelstein are discussing possible violations of the Hague and Geneva rules of warfare and physical destruction by armed force. But you are not discussing an instance of the same thing.

    • Hostage and Chomsky got it wrong. The main factor that determines US policy in the Middle East is that the American public and officialdom fears, hates and loathes Arabs.

      I was simply reciting Chomsky's actual stated views, not endorsing all of them. It goes without saying that I've commented about the post 9-11 round-up and jailing of Asian-looking aliens and the utterly racist comments of US and Allied officialdom, both present and past, on the issue of Palestine or the Muslim religion notwithstanding their demurrals and public condemnation of "Islamophobia".

    • Disclaimer: Neither Giles nor I claimed the Israel Lobby is omnipotent. So the straw man arguments presented are better consumed by their farmers.

      What straw men? The failures of the Israel Lobby that I outlined and the citations to the Chomsky article and Finkelstein video are facts and evidence. That's something that's missing entirely from your comments. It doesn't matter whether you claimed the lobby was omnipotent, you both misstated the actual facts about Chomsky's and Finkelstein's stated positions on the strength or role of the Israel Lobby and got called out on it. Now you're engaging not too clever insults and dissimulations.

      Nonsense. Here is Native American/Jewish Winona La Duke giving us the same reason and was ably rebutted by many commenters. I consider your, Chomsky’s, Hostage’s. and La Duke’s argument diversionary. In fact, this argument is not about East/West at all but a simple inability of many Jewish non-Zionist left or those in their circles in facing the facts.

      FYI, I'm an Anti-Zionist with way more than 10,000 comments in the archives here at Mondoweiss alone that speak for themselves. Among other things, I've repeatedly advocated lawsuits and criminal prosecutions of members of the Israel Lobby as well as lawsuits and criminal prosecutions of US government officials and corrupt US corporations. I've gone out of my way to present the material facts, the evidence, and the applicable US and international laws. I'm just curious, what have you done? In this case you've only contributed a few false generalizations and ignored the actual facts and evidence.

      I've always relied upon primary sources, such as the official US government documentary records of its own invasions and occupations of countries in the Caribbean, the Pacific, Latin America, Asia, and Africa; and US-conducted atrocities and genocides in other countries, as well as right here at home. I've almost always managed to do that without resorting to a single reference to any of Chomsky's or Finkelstein's published materials on those particular subjects.

      There is no arguing with Hostage on this just as there is no arguing with any other zealot.

      I'm no student or zealot of the positions taken by Chomsky or Finkelstein. In fact, I disagree completely with Chomsky and Finkelstein on the subject of the applicability and pertinence of international law to the subject of the right of return and minority rights in Israel and have said as much on several occasions. In dozens of cases, international courts have ruled that refugees have an inalienable right to return and access properties they have abandoned due to armed conflicts the moment the shooting stops and that states have an affirmative obligation under international law to facilitate restitution and individual compensation without regard to on-going negotiations regarding a final peace settlement between the countries concerned. Here are the links to the latest cases which cite many other earlier precedent setting ones:
      * Chiragov and Others v. Armenia link to
      * Sargsyan v. Azerbaija link to

      I just get tired of hearing people deliberately misstating his positions on the issue of the Lobby, which is actually that: (a) the Israel Lobby is one of the two main factors that determine US foreign policy in the Middle East. I've pointed that out to you, and you are still churning out these illogical screeds and ignoring all of the evidence that doesn't fit your original, false premise.

    • Of course, to paraphrase what I wrote elsewhere: even eloquent men of letters like you begin to stumble and splutter when their guru is questioned.

      Neither Chomsky not Finkelstein is my guru. I disagree with both men on substantial issues. But I get tired of people misstating their actual positions in order to argue with straw men.

      All your responses on this topic make no sense and stem from an emotional place. Let’s leave it at that. We all have at least one intellectual/ideological weakness.

      If my comments about the failure of hundreds of AIPAC and other pro-Israel lobbyists make no sense to you, then the intellectual/ideological weakness are all yours. Feel free to explain the failure of the Israel Lobby to obtain: (a) Congressional approval of Obama's proposal to bomb Syrian weapons stockpiles; (b) war with Iran; (c) the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem; and (d) the entry of Jerusalem, Israel on US passports.

      I'm no prophet, but I was smart enough to predict the Lobby's failure to achieve each of those goals.

    • I’m not the one trying to sell the idea that it is fear of international prosecutions of US officials and not The Lobby that is the reason for such blind support for Israel.

      Now that’s stupid.

      First we're disingenuous and now we're stupid? This is an article about a report that encourages states "To support actively the work of the International Criminal Court in relation to the Occupied Palestinian Territory; to exercise universal jurisdiction to try international crimes in national courts; and to comply with extradition requests pertaining to suspects of such crimes to countries where they would face a fair trial."

      That has been the United States' worst nightmare for decades now. I've written more intelligent comments about the political agenda and power of the Jewish and Israeli Lobbies; their 28 billion dollar per year charity industry; and the tens of thousands of Jewish US nationals who have served in the IDF or taken-up housekeeping in the Occupied Palestinian territories than you ever have or ever will.

      None of that can be relied upon as the sole basis to explain the USA's aversion to the ICC, the exercise of universal jurisdiction, or the UN's efforts to address crimes and mistreatment of indigenous peoples and minority groups and reparations for instances of invasion, occupation, segregation, apartheid, slavery, and genocide. The USA and the former colonial powers are avoiding responsibility for their own past and present misconduct, not just providing cover for Israel.

      The USA demanded Security Council screening of ICC cases and the inclusion of Article 98 in the Rome Statute. It demanded immunity from criminal prosecution from the Security Council for its military operations in Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. It conditioned its foreign and military assistance on the conclusion of bilateral agreements, which guarantee that other governments won't surrender US officials or members of the US armed forces for prosecution in the ICC. It vigorously opposed the ICC 2010 Review Conference adoption of the General Assembly's "Definition of Aggression" and demanded terms that exclude non-member states and required member states to opt-in to the Court's exercise of jurisdiction over that crime on their own territories - even after they've ratified the Rome Statute amendments. See:
      * US Opposition to the International Criminal Court link to
      * International Criminal Court - Article 98 Agreements Research Guide link to
      * U.S. Policy on the ICC Crime of Aggression Announced
      link to

      Likewise, the US has demanded that loopholes and immunity for foreign nationals be included in every ICC referral made by the Security Council to date. It isn't doing all of that for the Israel Lobby, it is covering its own ass.

    • However, the disingenuousness [sic] of your replies has caused me to change my mind.

      There was nothing disingenuous about pointing out that hundreds of Israel Lobbyists couldn't get Congress to okay Obama's request for an Authorization to Use Military Force against Syria's chemical weapons stockpile See:
      * AIPAC on an island: ‘Politico’ report says Israel lobby alone in pushing for war in Syria link to ; or
      * That it failed to convince either of the Secretaries of State (Clinton and Kerry) or the President to put Jerusalem on US passports.

      Lets add to that list its abject failure so far to provoke Presidents, including Clinton, Bush II, and Obama into going to war with Iran or moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

      “The idea that Chomsky denies the existence of the Israel Lobby ” . Arguing against a point I never made and do not believe.

      I see that you snipped-off this part "or that he doesn’t agree that it is one of the main factors that interacts in determining US state policy is an urban legend." You are guilty of perpetuating that myth.

      Chomsky has always said that “The Israel Lobby” is one of the two main factors that determine US policy in the Middle East “. Exactly. Chomsky totally downplays the power of the Lobby. There is one and only one reason the USA so fully backs Israel — even to its own detriment. And that is “The Lobby” — which include but is surely not limited to the massive pro Israel education and mass media that we are subjected to. There is no second reason.

      Oh no, the US military industrial complex would never worry about US service members being indicted by the ICC or their role in supplying weapons for them or other regions in conflict getting them indicted like the leaders of I.G. Farben or Krupp were after WWII. See:
      *Prosecuting Persons Doing Business with Armed Groups in Conflict Areas The Strategy of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court with respect to investigations and prosecutions of persons who finance armed groups in conflict areas or provide them with weapons or ammunition and the Law Enforcement Network (LEN) established for that purpose. link to

      See also:
      * "US and Israel are accused of manipulating Hague to acquit accused Serb and Croat leaders" link to
      * UK Supreme Court Rejects Jack Goldsmith’s Interpretation of GC IV - Mr. Rahmatullah continues to be detained by the U.S. [in Gitmo] — illegally, as the U.K.’s highest court has now made clear. link to

    • Can I assume that Hostage and Donald are, like Chomksy and Finkelstein, Jewish? ... You guys are deeply in denial of the obvioud [sic]

      I suppose I can assume that you are illiterate. Chomsky has always said that "The Israel Lobby" is one of the two main factors that determine US policy in the Middle East, and I clearly said that "No.2" has to try harder:

      I've reviewed elsewhere what the record (historical and documentary) seems to me to show about the main sources of US ME policy, in books and articles for the past 40 years, and can't try to repeat here. M-W make as good a case as one can, I suppose, for the power of the Lobby, but I don't think it provides any reason to modify what has always seemed to me a more plausible interpretation. Notice incidentally that what is at stake is a rather subtle matter: weighing the impact of several factors which (all agree) interact in determining state policy: in particular, (A) strategic-economic interests of concentrations of domestic power in the tight state-corporate linkage, and (B) the Lobby.

      Chomsky "The Israel Lobby?" link to

      The idea that Chomsky denies the existence of the Israel Lobby or that he doesn't agree that it is one of the main factors that interacts in determining US state policy is an urban legend. Likewise, Finkelstein says that US policy on what Israel considers its own local or domestic issues is dictated by "AIPAC": link to

    • 1. Apparently the Lobby disagrees with you by their very existence and by the amount of money it spreads around.

      It only proves that "When you're No.2, you have to try harder," not that you don't exist.

      Re: 2. Support for the actions of Israel makes American officials far more vulnerable to international prosecution.

      Not at all. They are already vulnerable, because they have committed the same crimes for which no statutory limitations apply. Allowing Israelis to be prosecuted would establish or solidify the legal precedents and framework. Speaking mathematically, the statistical odds of anything ever happening are astronomically high, until it happens the first time. Then the odds of it happening again are lowered.

      Re: 3. If US officials really feared international prosecutions I don’t see how their solution to this problem would be to routinely back Israel no matter what it does. This just exacerbates the problem.

      Not at all. It backs the same changes to international law that Israel has demanded. Customary and conventional international law is simply the set of rules that states have adopted to govern the conduct of their mutual relations. The US, Israel, and several of the other great powers are pro-actively seeking exceptions and a new set of rules, e.g.See:
      *Israel Pushes To Change International Laws Of War After Damning Gaza Report
      link to
      *The video of Shurat HaDin's "Towards a New Law of War Conference", in Jerusalem May 4-5, 2015 link to

      The Nazis simply outlawed the methods of warfare employed by their weaker partisan adversaries and summarily executed them, while defending themselves with arguments that the Hague rules were somehow defective because they did not envision "Total War". Israeli and US "experts" do exactly the same thing today, while arguing that the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols do not adequately address the issues of "Non-State Actors," "Asymmetrical Wars," or "The War on Terror".

    • The USA sides with Israel routinely solely because of the Lobby.

      Not at all. There are a number of former State, Defense, and Congressional legal counsels who routinely blog about the fact that it's in the interest of the US to defend Israel from prosecution in national and international courts, precisely because our executive, congressional, and military leaders would be next. They are vulnerable to prosecution on the same sort of charges in connection with US and NATO operations in Africa and Asia.

    • P.S. FYI, the reference to a fictional man-made monster in my comment above was quite intentional;-)

    • As you rightly pointed out and Prof F ruled out, it is the Israel Lobby and I’m afraid it’s not on the blind spot but right in front for the world to see. Chomsky’s pupils will continue to diminish this fact even if as in the case of Prof F they are moral and great persons.

      {sarcasm on} And of course, that's why Obama got permission to bomb Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles when AIPAC deployed 300 lobbyists to Capitol Hill to twist a few arms on his behalf and the reason Obama caved-in and put "Jerusalem, Israel" on US passports.{sarcasm off}

      Chomsky and Frankenstein have both publicly stated that the Lobby is powerful, but point out that it isn't always strong enough to dictate the terms of US Foreign Policy in the Middle East.

    • The US will of course side with Israel, not because of the Israel lobby, but because whatever Israel did in Gaza, the US routinely does around the world on an infinitely greater scale…

      Correction: If you use the criteria that was just employed in the Case of Chiragov and Others v. Armenia, then the USA and Israel should both be considered the occupying powers in the case of the former Palestinian mandated territories. Thousands of US Nationals have either served in the IDF or reside in the illegal settlements. The US backed and protected the Zionist colonial project from the very beginning and has provided it with continuous political and military support in direct violation of UN resolutions which have condemned the use of the UN SC veto and US arms deals with Israel.

      link to

  • 'Jewish cow' is udderly superior to all other cows in the world, Netanyahu says
  • Exclusive: Palestine seeks to charge Israel with 'apartheid' and war crimes at The Hague
    • The double jeopardy principle : The premise that a respective nation-states jurisprudential system civilian or military vis-a-vis any person accused of War Crimes would delay the ICC investigation until that domestic case ran its course is not equal to immunity from ICC.

      In practice nothing prevents the ICC from investigating and indicting individuals for any of the crimes listed in Articles 6, 7, & 8 - so long as they are not charged in a national court with exactly the same offense or have been charged with an offense that has different elements. Israel doesn't even have enabling legislation for the Geneva or Apartheid Conventions, so it's not likely that it will be able to charge anyone for the offenses enumerated in them.

    • So the fact that Israel can ‘investigate’ and exonerate itself protects it from charges? What a pathetic regulation.

      Not at all. for instance the extensive destruction of essential housing and infrastructure in Gaza, the illegal transfer or deportation of prisoners to Israel, and the unlawful appropriation of land for settlements are :

      Art. 147. Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the present Convention: wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile Power, or wilfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in the present Convention, taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.

      Art. 148. No High Contracting Party shall be allowed to absolve itself or any other High Contracting Party of any liability incurred by itself or by another High Contracting Party in respect of breaches referred to in the preceding Article.

      -- 4th Geneva Convention

      The fact that Israel doesn't bother to investigate crimes or closes-out criminal inquiries without even obtaining sworn testimony from the eyewitnesses or victims and cross-examining them is very well documented. In 2003, the ICJ advised that the settlements and the wall were not only illegal, but that:

      ...under the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel is under an obligation to search for and bring before its courts persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, grave breaches of international humanitarian law flowing from the planning, construction and use of the wall. (paragrapgh 145)

      link to

      So Israel fits the bill perfectly when it comes to either the "unwilling or unable" test that triggers ICC jurisdiction:

      Article 17
      Issues of admissibility

      1. Having regard to paragraph 10 of the Preamble and article 1, the Court shall determine that a case is inadmissible where:

      (a) The case is being investigated or prosecuted by a State which has jurisdiction over it, unless the State is unwilling or unable genuinely to carry out the investigation or prosecution;

      (b) The case has been investigated by a State which has jurisdiction over it and the State has decided not to prosecute the person concerned, unless the decision resulted from the unwillingness or inability of the State genuinely to prosecute;

      (c) The person concerned has already been tried for conduct which is the subject of the complaint, and a trial by the Court is not permitted under article 20, paragraph 3;

      (d) The case is not of sufficient gravity to justify further action by the Court.

      2. In order to determine unwillingness in a particular case, the Court shall consider, having regard to the principles of due process recognized by international law, whether one or more of the following exist, as applicable:

      (a) The proceedings were or are being undertaken or the national decision was made for the purpose of shielding the person concerned from criminal responsibility for crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court referred to in article 5;

      (b) There has been an unjustified delay in the proceedings which in the circumstances is inconsistent with an intent to bring the person concerned to justice;

      (c) The proceedings were not or are not being conducted independently or impartially, and they were or are being conducted in a manner which, in the circumstances, is inconsistent with an intent to bring the person concerned to justice.

      3. In order to determine inability in a particular case, the Court shall consider whether, due to a total or substantial collapse or unavailability of its national judicial system, the State is unable to obtain the accused or the necessary evidence and testimony or otherwise unable to carry out its proceedings.

      Rome Statute of the ICC

  • Israeli lawmaker wants to force foreign-funded NGO officials to wear stigmatizing i.d.'s
    • i’m sure all the right leaning ones depend on american funding

      Sure enough, and the Israeli Consulates in the USA fund plenty of NGOs here according to the IRS form 990s. I'm not sure how you'd categorize the JAFI agit-prop shills that staff positions in the Federations and Hillels, since the parastatal agencies aren't really non-governmental.

  • PLO: Abbas to head new Palestinian government, weighs national unity with Hamas
    • I wonder how many other PLO officials, even Abbas himself, tow the 2 state line just to avoid international ostracism, as any talk about the one state solution on that high of an international level is still strictly taboo, and the work of threats and boogie men and not an actual resolution.

      Netanyahu jumped on a plane and flew to Washington after Obama endorsed the Bush formula of 1967 borders with agreed swaps and got a commitment that Israel would only negotiate a border "that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967."

      George Mitchell and Obama subsequently confirmed that the Quartet Road Map framework was no longer considered legally binding. The Chief PLO negotiator, Erekat, couldn't believe it and repeatedly said that everyone in the PLO would back the one state solution under those conditions:

      Erekat: It is the last time for the two states. My option, the BATNA [Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement], if all goes down, is the one state.
      George Mitchell: The reality is: No negotiations is not in your interest. So we are to come up with a statement to give you a ladder to climb down on this issue – just like you asked a week ago. Now you are arguing over the color of the ladder. And you are drawing unfounded inferences… Again I tell you that President Obama does not accept prior decisions by Bush. Don’t use this because it can hurt you. Countries are bound by agreements – not discussions or statements.

      Erekat: But this was an agreement with Sec. Rice. (later)
      Schwartz: It is not legally binding – not an agreement.
      Erekat: For God’s sake, she said to put it on the record. It was the basis for the maps.
      George Mitchell: You guys are now trying to come up with a history that Obama somehow invented the freeze. You and the Arabs have been calling for a freeze long before Obama. He did not pull it out of the air and impose it!
      Erekat: You wrote it in your report.
      George Mitchell: You established it as a precondition. We tried very hard, and we know what you think of us because we failed. Fine. So you can look back 10, 20, 60 years from now without negotiations or we can try to move forward.
      Erekat: I have my BATNA, Senator. People keep telling me the consequences of this, and the consequences of that … We have ongoing discussion in the PLO and Fatah Central Committee. If this is what we have, then we will no longer be talking about two states, but one state.

      link to

  • Israeli leader turns on US Jewish journalists Friedman, Wieseltier, Remnick and Silvers for disloyalty and anti-semitism!
    • Then the Obama administration will refuse to veto a Palestinian state resolution in the Security Council ... ...Will he sign on to the French UNSC resolution this fall.

      The United States promoted the Quartet Roadmap and it voted to adopt it under the auspices of UN Security Council resolution 1515 (2003). The US agreed to begin promoting recognition of Palestinian statehood and UN membership within provisional borders no later than December of 2003, in exchange for alterations in the Palestinian constitutional form of government (creating a new post for an "empowered Prime Minister") and cooperation on security matters to suppress acts of terror. It has not fulfilled those obligations - or the ones found in UN GA resolution 181(II) regarding UN membership of the Arab state. So it's time for Palestinians to take the gloves off.

      Frankly, the UN Charter, like any other treaty, has to be read and interpreted according the customary rules reflected in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Article 27(2) provides that:

      Decisions of the Security Council on procedural matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members.

      -- link to

      There is nothing at all in the language of the Charter which would indicate that the routine procedure of admitting a new member state should be subject to a Security Council veto. The Charter merely grants the Council the power to make a "recommendation", not a dispositive "decision" on membership. That power is reserved exclusively for the General Assembly in accordance with Article 4(2) of the Charter:

      The admission of any such state to membership in the Nations will be effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.

      -- link to

      The Foreign Relations of the United States reveals that the US government has provided other members of the UN assurances on several occasions in the past that it would no longer employ its own veto to prevent a state from joining the UN and that US policy was: that membership in the UN should be universal. Originally an 11-member body, the Security Council was subsequently enlarged to 15 members by a Charter amendment that came into effect on 31 August 1965. The references in the texts cited below to seven votes were replaced by the Charter reference to nine votes in Article 27(2). For examples of the assurances about the veto and universal membership see:
      * Foreign relations of the United States, 1949. The United Nations; The Western Hemisphere (1949), The United Nations, page 307 link to
      * Foreign relations of the United States, 1951. The United Nations; the Western Hemisphere (1951), The United Nations, page 377 link to
      * Foreign relations of the United States, 1952-1954. United Nations affairs
      (1952-1954), page 152 link to

      It is simply NOT true, as the USA contends today, that it has been widely understood from the beginning that a recommendation on a membership application is a substantive question to which the veto should apply, and that the Security Council and the General Assembly have always proceeded on that basis. The FRUS reveals that it was privately agreed upon by the permanent members, but that on several occasions the General Assembly has challenged the status quo and asked the Security Council to reconsider and alter the practice. Members have gone so far as to introduce resolutions in the General Assembly in accordance with Article 18(2) to simply declare membership a procedural matter to which the veto does not apply. Article 18 stipulates:

      2. Decisions of the General Assembly on important questions shall be made by a two- thirds majority of the members present and voting. These questions shall include: recommendations with respect to the maintenance of international peace and security, the election of the non-permanent members of the Security Council, the election of the members of the Economic and Social Council, the election of members of the Trusteeship Council in accordance with paragraph 1 of Article 86, the admission of new Members to the United Nations, the suspension of the rights and privileges of membership, the expulsion of Members, questions relating to the operation of the trusteeship system, and budgetary questions.

      -- link to

      For example, The Ad Hoc Political Committee of the Seventh Assembly considered the membership problem from December 12 to December 19, 1952. Unlike Israel, "Jordan" (Transjordan + Arab Palestine) was still being denied admission. At the initial meeting El Salvador submitted a resolution under which the Assembly would conclude that a recommendation to admit a new member was not subject to the veto; and would decide for or against the admission of the applicants which had received seven or more votes in the Council. At the same meeting Peru introduced a similar resolution under which the Assembly would deduce that a Council recommendation on the admission of a new member was a procedural stage of the matter and was not subject to the veto. While the Permanent members argued that it was a violation of the Charter, nothing could be further from the truth. Palestine should simply introduce a similar resolution and request an Advisory Opinion on the question of the "veto" versus the reference to a "recommendation" of the Security Council on membership
      -- Foreign relations of the United States, 1952-1954. United Nations affairs
      (1952-1954), page 913 link to

      In paragraphs 27-28 of the ICJ Advisory Opinion in the Wall case the Court noted that initially, both the General Assembly and the Security Council interpreted and applied Article 12 differently than they do today and that the practice of the United Nations has evolved. link to

      Nothing prevents the same thing from happening with regard to the use of the veto as part of the procedure used to apply for membership in the UN.

    • Beinart will not renounce Zionism, because Beinart is not a self-hating bigot who would deny to his own people what everyone else enjoys.

      A typical Hophmi ad homenim diatribe based upon nothing but pure unadulterated Zionist propaganda. Wonder where he gets his inspiration?

      "Throughout the 1930s, Hitler portrayed Germany as a victimized nation, held in bondage by the chains of the post-World War I Versailles Treaty and denied the right of national self-determination." -- Deceiving the Public, Holocaust Encyclopedia, link to

      In the 1940s, Hitler outlawed the distribution of maps of "Greater Germany" he had commissioned and employed to justify the conquest of other nations in Europe, when Germany overran and occupied much more territory than even those grandiose fabrications would have permitted him to claim. When he renounced German claims to South Tyrol and ordered it to be depicted as Italian territory, the leaders of the Volkish Nationalist settler movement, like Friedrich Metz, denounced him as "a traitor to the German people". See Guntram Henrik Herb, "Under the Map of Germany: Nationalism and Propaganda 1918 - 1945," Routledge, 2002, page 182

  • Obama violated US-Israeli understanding by not clearing Cairo speech and Iran talks with Netanyahu --Oren
    • Josh Marshall of TPM wrote about Oren this morning, too... Some good background in that article.

      You don't even need to read Peter Beinart's article to get the point, it's in the headline: "Michael Oren's wildly unconvincing attack on Obama: If absence of public disagreement is a 'core principle' of U.S.-Israel affairs, Oren must have forgotten to tell his boss, the prime minister." -- link to

    • The former ambassador claims that Obama had forsaken the commitment to “no surprises” by “abruptly” demanding during his first meeting with Netanyahu in May 2009 that Israel freeze settlement construction and accept the two-state solution.

      I think that boils-down to a basic literacy problem on the part of Oren and Netanyahu. The Quartet Performance-based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, S/2003/529, required Israel to take both of those steps immediately back in 2003 - and it was approved by a unanimous vote of the UN Security Council, S/2003/1100- S/RES/1515 (2003) , including the representative of the United States, Mr. Negroponte, a member of the Bush administration. See the verbatim record of the vote in S/PV.4862, 19 November 2003 link to

      Security Council resolutions are legally binding under the terms of Article 25 (Chapter 5) of the UN Charter. Abba Eban, who had a marginally better command of the English language and the UN Charter than Michael Oren, stated for the official record that Security Council resolutions:

      possessed, within the meaning of Article 25, a compelling force beyond that pertaining to any resolution of any other organ of the United Nations, in his view the importance of the resolution had to be envisaged in the light of Article 25, under which the decisions of the Council on matters affecting international peace and security assumed an obligatory character for all Member States.

      -- -- See Paragraph 7 of the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs relating to Article 25 of the Charter of the United Nations: “The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.” link to

  • African leaders want indictments of Bush, Blair and Netanyahu -- NPR
    • I like the obvious hypocrisy bubbling to the surface and being commented on.

      Yes, Matt Lee of AP is at it again over at the State Department press briefing. See the transcript and brief commentary at "A Funny Aside to the Whole Bashir-South Africa Debacle" link to

    • the defiance of the ICC by South Africa will diminish the court’s authority.’

      I doubt that. On two previous occasions Bashir had to cancel plans to visit South Africa because of the ICC warrant. This time, the South African executive branch had to cut short Bashir's visit and sneak him out of the country from a military base, after the South African Courts had ordered that he be detained while hearings were in progress on surrendering him to the ICC. That might reflect poorly on the authority of the South African Courts, but it illustrates that the ICC had an effect.

      What authority, exactly? The court has so far proved almost entirely useless.

      Some of the fault for that lies with the Security Council, based upon its refusal to take action after the fact to support their own referrals, and for actively blocking referrals of serious situations. The UN is freeloading, by refusing to fund those investigations and prosecutions and in not ordering all member states to cooperate in arresting suspects, like Bashir. The two Prosecutors the Court has had so far, should have been removed under the terms of Article 46 of the Rome Statute for repeatedly delaying investigations and prosecutions of situations that had been properly referred to the Court by member and non-member states. Likewise, the judges should never allow the Office of the Prosecutor to discuss situations with political officials, like US Secretary of State John Kerry, who publicly took credit for making 50 phone calls to prevent the Prosecutor's from accepting Palestine's declaration accepting the Court's jurisdiction.

  • Jewish community must 'welcome' anti-Zionist, pro-BDS Jews, Beinart says-- but Shavit says, Excommunicate them
    • Personally, I don’t feel that “not Zionist,” is the same as “anti-Zionist.” Not by a long shot. Call this a “semantic” point. Call me nit-picky. But Beinart is usually very specific in his wording, as we all should be when possible. So I think it’s important.

      Then its up to Beinart to include a caveat, because “anti-Zionists" are included as a subset of "not-Zionists".

    • So, if a Jewish person does something horrible like deny the Holocaust (or maybe even disobey his god), he “loses his place in the Jewish community”

      I believe that the term Jew-ish was originally coined to describe secular persons or Christian converts whose religious status was disputed, i.e. "Jewish" as distinguished from a "Jew".

    • Reminds me of the comment in which you referred to the study of Jewish sources as “all that shit”… and claimed to have read it all.

      I'll let readers see what you said to Annie and my response and judge for themselves: link to

      I was referring to the portions of the Torah that many Israeli's and Zionists employ to justify genocidal attacks against non-Jews living in modern day Palestine. I certainly do consider those passages to be some pretty contrived and spurious shit and the Israelis who take them literally to be some of the stupidest people on Earth. Just for the record, I have read the JPS Tanakh, The Soncino Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, and Rashi's Commentaries. Like many secular Jews, I think that parts of that collection do constitute some good examples of ancient literature on aspects of ethics and philosophy, but that parts of it cannot be adapted or applied to the views and habits of modern civilization or sanctified as "Holy" writ.

    • Martin Luther King zionism? Joke of the decade. How can you have a Martin Luther King version of a supremacist movement?

      While the hypocrisy of the juxtaposition may seem absurd, truth is stranger than fiction sometimes. MLK and the members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference were ardent Christian Zionists. Stokely Carmichael and other leaders of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee SNCC spoke out against White Supremacy and Zionism in the same context and accused Israel of committing atrocities against Arabs, e.g. See SNCC Draws Fire For Zionist Charge link to The SNCC and other civil rights groups thought that Ashkenazi rule over the Arabs was simply another example of white minority rule over people of color. MLK labeled them “young militants” and anti-semites. He spoke about the necessity of security and territorial integrity for Israelis, but like Netanyahu, he claimed that Arabs only needed security on another, economic, level that would end their hunger, backwardness, and illiteracy. He repeated the usual hasbara talking points about transforming the desert into an oasis and called Israel a shining example of democracy and brotherhood. – See A testament of hope: the essential writings and speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr, Harper Collins, 1991, Martin Luther King, Martin Luther King (Jr.), James Melvin Washington, pages 670-671

    • I agree with Prof. Beinart that Anti-Zionist Jews should be seen as a legitimate part of the community, should “have a place at the table” , assuming that they don’t cross certain lines, and despite the irony that boycott-supporters worry about being boycotted in the community.

      I don't worry about being boycotted by your stupid community. I object to these so-called Jew-ish Federation "communities" grabbing the majority of the millions of taxpayers dollars available from Homeland Security grants to physically harden and secure your bastions of hate and discontent and promote your stupid pro-Israel racist creed using additional multi-year Homeland Security "Interfaith Bridge Building" grants" to promote Hillel's exclusionary "Israel guidelines" under the misnomer "Religious Pluralism in a Time of Extremism: The Campus Responds," while excluding the creeds of Anti-Zionist Jews and Palestinian Christians and Muslims who demand equal rights under the law, both here in the USA and in Palestine. See "Jewish Groups Grab Huge Share of Grants" link to and "Grant Helps Campuses Build Interfaith Bridges" link to and "“Hillel Explains When ‘Open Hillel’ Will Result in Disaffiliation” link to

      You are operating a tax scam to send the majority of the money raised straight to Israel to support or offset the costs of that country's illegal settlement enterprise in violation of the IRS code. See 26 Billion Bucks: The Jewish Charity Industry Uncovered link to and IRS 1985 EO CPE Text "J. Activities That Are Illegal Or Contrary To Public Policy link to

      It's utterly preposterous for Hillel, the Jewish Federations, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Education, and the Department of State to violate the separation of Church and State and prescribe their (per)version of Jew-ish orthodoxy and call everyone else anti-Semites. Maybe you're stupid enough to not notice that it's all illegal and unconstitutional, but the rest of us know what's really going on.

    • I forgot the link to the New York Department of Homeland Security and emergency services Non-Profits Grant page link to

    • The two writers spoke June 12 on an all-Zionist and mostly-right-wing panel about “What’s Next for Israel?” at the 92nd Street Y, an organization that has censored Palestinian and anti-Zionist voices.

      Well I'm still trying to figure out how that's supposed to be legal. The 92nd Street Y is on the list prepared by the Jewish Daily Forward of all non-profit organizations that received Homeland Security grants from 2007-2010. link to

      The FEMA Urban Areas Security Initiative Nonprofit Security Grant Program
      Guidance And Application Kit explains that:

      "Recipients of FEMA financial assistance are required to comply with several Federal civil rights laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. These laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, natural origin, and sex in the delivery of services.

      That should mean that they are not allowed to discriminate against Jewish people on the basis of their anti-Zionist religious creed or Palestinians on the basis of their national origin or religious beliefs in the delivery of services or use of their government-subsidized facilities and accommodations. link to

      Likewise, recipients of New York State Homeland Security Grants must comply with the Non-Discrimination Requirements: Pursuant to Article 15 of the Executive Law (also known as the Human Rights Law) and all other State and Federal statutory and constitutional nondiscrimination provisions. That means the recipients will not discriminate in employment or use of public accommodations because of race, creed (religion), color, sex (including gender identity or expression), national origin, sexual orientation, military status, age, disability, predisposing genetic characteristic, marital status or domestic violence victim status, and shall also follow the requirements of the State Human Rights Law with regard to non-discrimination on the basis of prior criminal conviction and prior arrest. See for example, the New York Human Rights Law: link to and the standard New York State Division Of Homeland Security And Emergency Services Grant Contract: link to

      The New York JCRC page about the Homeland Security Urban Nonprofit Security Grant Program Updates explains that the applicants have to stay prequalified through the New York State Grants Gateway link to There's nothing there that provides an exception for Zionism.

  • BDS could cost Israel $4.7 billion a year
    • All corporations care about is making money and pleasing the stockholders, and if doing business with country y or business x is costing you money you dump them. It’s nothing personal it’s just business.

      It isn't just that. The EU governments have advised citizens that doing business in the illegal settlements can expose them to legal risks in EU courts and the companies and banks doing business there suddenly can't get insurance or reinsurance. In any event, if your publicly owned company's future profits are exposed to the risk of civil or criminal forfeiture you are required to advise current and potential investors about that in your disclosures under the securities laws in most jurisdictions.

  • Orange CEO flies to Jerusalem to apologize personally to Netanyahu: Israel is ‘fantastic’
    • @Jackdaw, since you like to keep bringing this topic up, here's the latest development in the legal battle taking place in the General Court of the European Union over annulment of the EU trade agreement with Morocco regarding fishing in the occupied territorial waters of the Western Sahara. See: Trade Agreements, EU Law, and Occupied Territories – A Report on Polisario v Council @ link to

    • @Jackdaw, since you like to keep bringing this topic up, based upon the ICJ opinion regarding Palestinians who had been displaced by the construction of the Wall, and the Judgments Of The European Court Of Human Rights In The Case Of Loizidou Against Turkey link to , I would expect the ICC, the ICJ, and the ECHR to treat the illegal settlers and Israel as being in "continuing" violation of the rights of the refugees or prisoners/deportees to return to their properties in accordance with the applicable international human rights conventions and the corollary criminal prohibitions and statutes. See for example, Alan Nissel, ‘Continuing Crimes in the Rome Statute’ (2004) 25 Michigan Journal of International Law 653. link to

      Article 14 of the ILC's codification regarding "Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts" states, “The breach of an international obligation by an act of a State having a continuing character extends over the entire period during which the act continues and remains not in conformity with the international obligation.” Article 30 stipulates “The State responsible for the international wrongful act is under an obligation to cease that act, if it is continuing.” The responsible officials of each successive regime and the individual settlers can be held criminally or civilly liable by the respective national, regional, and international courts for on-going refusal to make restitution, allow access to property, or pay compensation. Likewise, they can be held liable for the on-going offense of "unreasonable delay" or refusal to repatriate prisoners or refugees in cases of forced disappearances, transfers, or deportations.

    • @Hostage

      Regardless of it’s noble aims, it remains that the EU is giving out grants, contracts, and building infrastructure that benefits, directly or indirectly, the illegal Turkish settlers who now comprise half the population of Northern Cyprus.

      No, you're still repeating shopworn propaganda on that score. The Grand Chamber of the European Court allows Greek owners to regain their property under any judgment of the Cypriot Courts and the funding regulation explicitly requires those original property rights to be respected. I already advised you about that here link to

      It’s refreshing to read your concession that the EU is guilty of the war crime of pillage, for it’s part in fishing out the resources of Western Sahara.

      What's this "concession" crap? I've written about the illegal activities, including joint criminal enterprises, involving the USA, UK, the EU, Israel, and other countries for years. Why don't you admit that you'd like to see the guilty parties, especially the Israelis, get-off scot free? I contribute to NGOs and blogs that are dedicated to exposing these things and seeing that those responsible are named and shamed and brought to justice whenever possible.

    • Are you involved in the Anti-Plundering of the Western Sahara movement, Jack? Why not, dude?

      There are groups in the EU mounting legal challenges to stop the plunder of the natural resources of the Western Sahara, e.g. link to

    • @Hostage

      “..who participate in the plunder and pillage of Palestine..”

      Is the EU pillaging the resources of Western Sahara?

      I see that you are still repeating Eugene Kontorovich's old hasbara talking points as if two wrongs make a right. All that illustrates is that he is a very crappy lawyer, since the EU treaty is justiciable too, and it's legality has (and still is) being challenged.

      Yes they are violating the permanent sovereignty of the people of Western Sahara over their natural resources and my friend Lorenzo Kamel wrote about that very subject in a two part article at Opino Juris in January of 2014. He compared the situations in Cyprus, Western Sahara, and Palestine. Note that I was one of the commentors back then, and that I'm miles ahead of you on the subject:
      * link to
      * link to

    • Sorry about the dynamic link here is a permanent one to “Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises" link to

    • Why the fear? I cannot find the answer. No one can it seems.

      LOL! Mondoweiss does a great job of covering individual stories, but it can "miss seeing the forest for the trees" sometimes and putting the pieces of a story together.

      There is a team from the ICC Prosecutor's office scheduled to arrive in Palestine in less than 25 days. See "International Criminal Court planning to send delegation to examine complaints against Israel" link to

      There is a well grounded fear that ordinary citizens there and the victims can call for the investigation and prosecution of billionaires like Hiam Saban, who participate in the plunder and pillage of Palestine through participation in organizations like the Partner Co. See for example the French online petition calling on Orange to terminate its contract with Partner Co. link to

      According to the petition, Partner is an Israeli telephony company directly participating in settlement activities in the West Bank and the Golan Heights. It has 176 antennas and communications equipment located on land illegally confiscated by the Israeli army and settlers. The ICC, like the Courts in the EU and USA, do not recognize the legality of titles to property acquired as the spoils of war or military occupation.

      Sabin and others provide the IDF and the illegal settlers with communications vital to the facilitation of the settlement enterprise and use their Israeli government-franchised monopolies to prevent Palestinians from entering their markets on an equal, competitive footing. The threat to withhold a Palestinian cellphone license was employed by the Israeli government in its attempts to get the PA to withdraw its declarations accepting the jurisdiction of the ICC. See "Israel demands PA drop war crimes suit [sic] at The Hague" link to

      So Saban's involvement as a co-sponsor of Sheldon Adelson's Anti-Boycott donor conference and his angry statements about possible legal reprisals against the CEO of Orange have to be understood in that context and in light of very official warnings from the French government putting its own citizens on formal notice that involvement with firms doing business in the illegal settlements can result in civil and criminal liabilities in France. See "France warns citizens against doing business in settlements: Foreign ministry declares economic activity in the territories a ‘legal risk'; link to

      Like many other jurisdictions in the EU, under the French criminal code corporations and other "legal persons" can be found guilty of crimes, just like a "natural" person. For a discussion of the various EU criminal codes, see "Corporate Liability in Europe" link to

      One of the many modes of individual liability recognized by the ICC and other Courts is control over the immediate actor exerted through an organization. The victims can also seek compensation from companies, like Orange, that have profited from the proceeds of a criminal enterprise.

      There has been quite an uproar in recent years over the use of globalization treaties and transnational corporations to shield individuals responsible for criminal business practices, including arm sales and the plunder of public and private property in regions undergoing armed conflicts. In the case of plunder or pillage through a corporation the core elements of the crime have been understood, at least since 1945, with sufficient clarity to permit the lawful trial, conviction, and punishment of individuals in cases such as the so-called I.G. Farben and Krupp trials after WWII. link to

      At the ICC, the Office of the Prosecutor is formally committed to encourage and support national prosecutions of foreign corporate representatives involved in armed conflicts, through its establishment of a mutual network of national law enforcement agencies for that very purpose (LEN). See "Addressing the Economic Dimensions of Mass Atrocities: International Criminal Law’s Business or Blind Spot?" link to and the ICRC Customary International Humanitarian Law article on "Pillage by Civilians" link to

      The United Nations formally took up the subject after a 2007 "Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises" was published. link to

      There was a French judge who chaired the UN HRC Fact Finding Mission report on the impact of illegal settlements in Palestine. The Mission took particular note of the many transnational corporations and other businesses operating or profiting from entities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories that facilitate the illegal settlements. The Mission concluded that they can be held responsible in other countries under existing civil and criminal statutes and that the Israeli settlements symbolize the acute lack of justice experienced by the Palestinian people. link to See also the subsequent "Statement on the implications of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in the context of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory" by the UN Working Group on Transnational Businesses: link to

      It might even be illegal under those circumstances for Mr Sabin to hold any such plundered public or private property under color of Israeli municipal law and an Israeli-government telephone license. See 18 U.S. Code § 957 – Possession of property in aid of foreign government link to and the penal sanctions for any grave breaches of the Geneva and Hague Conventions in 18 U.S. Code § 2441 – War crimes like pillage Article 28 of Hague VI (1907) and Articles 33 and 147 of the GC IV (1949) link to
      Any financial transaction which represents the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity under those statutes would also amount to "an offense with respect to which the United States would be obligated by a multilateral treaty, either to extradite the alleged offender or to submit the case for prosecution", if the offender were found within the territory of the United States. See “specified unlawful activity” in 18 U.S. Code § 1956 – Laundering of monetary instruments link to and 18 U.S. Code § 1957 – Engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity link to and the definition of “racketeering activity” in 18 U.S. Code Chapter 96 “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations” RICO, § 1961 – Definitions link to

      Here is an article on the use of criminal and civil remedies available under the RICO statutes and the IRS tax codes as "Legal Avenues to Prosecute a US Citizen for War Crimes" based upon the author's testimony to the US Congress as a member of the Department of State’s Advisory Committee on International Law. link to

  • 'NY Times' helps Israel whitewash the killings of four boys playing soccer on Gaza beach
    • “The military also “made efforts to collect the testimonies” of Gazan witnesses, the report said, but “regretfully,” they declined to be interviewed.”

      Gee, I wonder why?

      Oh come on now, no Palestinian has ever died from simply answering a few questions over the telephone during a call from the IDF!, No wait a minute, you're right, there actually have been multiple murders "extra-judicial" killings where cellphone GPS or a land line was used to confirm the victim's location.

    • If we have to keep it clean it’s a little tougher.

      I agree. After 20+ years of daily training in the use of profanity under the tutelage of some truly world class experts in the US armed forces, I sometimes feel like we are being asked to fight with one hand tied behind our backs.

  • Jeffrey Goldberg has never faced 'pundit reckoning' for pushing Iraq war
    • Jeffrey Goldberg has never faced ‘pundit reckoning’ for pushing Iraq war

      Oddly enough, the US government is trying to impose legal sanctions on persons or groups who call for peaceful measures, like boycotts, divestments, and sanctions of Israel over violations of international human rights (HR) conventions and conventions on international humanitarian law (IHL). The US is a State party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, an HR Convention which stipulates:

      Article 20

      1. Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.

      But the USA filed a reservation explaining that its power to adopt a prohibition was limited by the 1st Amendment. Nonetheless, it seems pretty obvious that the Executive and Legislative branches have found what they consider constitutionally sufficient grounds to justify the adoption of policies and statutes that have the practical effect of discouraging the exercise of constitutionally protected political rights regarding BDS, by simply invoking the "perception" of Antisemitism on college campuses. Surely then, there ought to be initiatives to discourage the danger of another war, like the one in Iraq, in which propaganda concerning WMDs led to at least 600,000 unnecessary deaths, and the displacement of 2 million refugees in violation of our obligations under the UN Charter and the relevant HR and IHL conventions.

      Likewise Goldberg has never been prosecuted for carrying out unlawful orders that amount to accessory to kidnapping and war crimes when he served as a prison guard and member of the Israeli armed forces during the 1st Intifada. Palestinians were forceably transferred out of the Occupied Territory in violation of IHL and held in a prison in the Israeli Negev under his control. Many were tortured and held without charge and/or detained for use as "bargaining chips", and some even died in captivity. Like John Demjanjuk, he was engaged in an inherently illegal operation for which individual criminal responsibility applies, regardless of the motive involved, and for which, no statutory limitations apply.

  • Netanyahu cabinet members reject two-state solution; call for annexation of occupied territories
    • This sounds like a declaration of war against the Palestinians living in the West Bank.

      It's a crime under customary international law without regard to whether or not there is a declaration of war:

      Any of the following acts, regardless of a declaration of war, shall, subject to and in accordance with the provisions of article 2 [of the UN Charter], qualify as an act of aggression:

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

      In the ICC Prosecutor's preliminary examination of the Comoros complaint regarding the attack on the Aid Flotilla the Prosecutor said that Gaza was still Israeli occupied territory and that war crimes had undoubtedly been committed, but she opted to leave prosecution up to the member states and Turkey owing to the "lack of gravity". That decision is currently being appealed by Comoros. Nothing would prevent the Prosecutor from observing that an annexation amounted to the crime of aggression, and leaving prosecution up to the member states that can exercise jurisdiction over the offense.

      In Regina v. Jones (2006), the UK Law Lords spelled-out the proposition that the core elements of the crime of aggression have been understood, at least since 1945, with sufficient clarity to permit the lawful trial (and, on conviction, punishment) of those accused of this most serious crime. They said that: "It is unhistorical to suppose that the elements of the crime were clear in 1945 but have since become in any way obscure."

      They “want to put Israel alongside al-Qaeda,” she said.

      No, the government of Israel deliberately put itself along side al-Qaeda, since it is providing Kahanist nutcase settler/terror groups with small arms, ammunition, subsidies, utilities, and IDF protection. See "Prosecuting Persons Doing Business with Armed Groups in Conflict Areas, The Strategy of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court", by Reinhold Gallmetzer Appeals Counsel, Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and coordinator of its Law Enforcement Network:

      This article sets out the strategy of the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) with respect to investigations and prosecutions of persons who illegally finance armed groups in conflict areas or provide them with weapons or ammunition. In accordance with this strategy, the OTP is considering prosecuting such person(s) before the ICC. The OTP has further decided to actively support national proceedings related to the work of the ICC, including proceedings against persons supporting armed groups in conflict areas. To that end, the OTP has recently initiated a network with national law enforcement agencies and other specialized institutions and organizations to coordinate and strengthen the efforts of multiple national and international actors by exchanging evidence, mutually supporting investigations and by sharing expertise.

      link to

  • Supreme Court slam dunks the Israel lobby on Jerusalem, 6-3 (and Rubio, Oren, and Engel are angry)
    • Whoa. Backup.

      Bribery and perjury allegations pertaining to the (inculpatory) ‘jailhouse witness(es)’, or bribery and perjury allegations pertaining to the (exculpatory) seven Jerusalem eyewitnesses?

      Big, big difference.
      Let’s clear that up.

      Okay, let's clear it up. None of the defense witnesses were considered reliable. The Chief Justice's opinion for the majority on appeal didn't even take up the subject of the witnesses in Jerusalem, because none of them offered exculpatory testimony that placed him there during the critical window of time at 10 pm, when the murder took place. In fact, only the defendant himself testified that he was there at the Sharon restaurant all evening. Two policemen who were at the restaurant between 7:30 and 8:30 testified that he wasn't there then, and his landlord testified that the defendant had been at home in Tel Aviv in the early evening. See the summary in the Preface pages XV-XIX of "The Arlosoroff Murder Trial: Speeches and Relevant Documents", by Zvi Rosenblatt (editor). link to

      The Arab who confessed, subsequently withdrew his confession and said he had been bribed by the Revisionists. There was also a statement to the Police and testimony from another Jewish man, who had been in jail with the defendants, who swore that Zvi Rosenblatt had confessed to the murder. See Moses Cohen's Statement to the Police link to

    • I’d have no problem sending Stavasky to the gallows based on Mrs. Arlosoroff’s identification, except that seven eyewitnesses put Stavasky in Jerusalem on the night of the assassination. Two of the eyewitnesses were children. That’s a lot of eyewitnesses.

      Once again, there were allegations of bribery and perjury and the presiding Judge had no doubt that those witnesses were not credible.

      Now what about Herr Goebells?

      He has nothing to do with the subject. He was a better propagandist than you are, but he also engaged in hyperbole that was not to be taken seriously as well as exaggerations that he hoped would be considered sound.

    • This is no ‘mere technicality’, and begs a question.

      Yes it does beg the question why you don't accept Ms. Arlosoroff's identification and are still beating the dead horse that there was zero evidence of Jewish vigilantes or assassins.

      In any event, Ben Gurion and the Zionist Executive ultimately exacted their revenge on the Revisionists during The Hunting Season. Stavsky escaped that, but ultimately died at the hands of the Haganah during the Battle of the Altalena, when the Irgun defenders refused to surrender the weapons and munitions on board to Yitzhak Rabin, and Ben Gurion ordered him to attack the vessel.

    • I’m done here.

      You mean you're done making an ass out of yourself? I doubt it. This thread started out when I said that Ben Gurion learned that you can't fool all of the people all of the time, and nobody believed the testimony that you cited.

      The Court of Criminal Appeals let the conviction stand because there were credible allegations and evidence of bribery and perjury. Now you're trying to to tell readers here that there was "Zero evidence" that Jews murdered Arlosoroff, despite the fact that there was enough evidence to lead to a conviction of a known Jewish terrorist by the Jewish trier of the facts and the evidence. That conviction was only overturned on the basis of a legal technicality that other civilized systems of criminal justice don't employ or consider essential.

      A verdict of not guilty in this case was NOT a determination of innocence or zero evidence as you suggest.

    • In your rush to judgment, you’ve confused Arlosoroff and Ben Gurion.

      No I haven't. David Ben-Gurion was a member of the Jewish Agency Executive and Arlosoroff was one of its lieutenants in charge of the Political Department. The Haavara Agreement didn't die with Arlosoroff, because it had been concluded at the behest of the Executive and all of the members of the Labor Socialist wing were receiving death threats from the Revisionists at one and the same time. That evidence was relevant and came out during the trial.

    • Hostage. The only person in the entire world who had a compelling motive to assassinate Arlosorov, was Reich’s Propaganda Minister Josef Goebells.

      Oh please, drop the stupid hyperbole and exaggerations. During the trial Policemen testified that Stavsky had engraved two stones with death threats against Arlosoroff. link to

      He received death threats from Jews all over Palestine. Arlosoroff had negotiated and signed-on to a business partnership with the Third Reich under which the Zionist organization's subsidiaries became the purchasing agents and distributors of German manufactured goods. The minute the news about the deal became public in Palestine there were "riots, antiphonal screaming, protest marches, rancor, and threats." In other words the same Revisionist behavior that preceded Rabin's assassination:

      On June 1 6 , 1933, the Revisionist newspaper Hazit Ha-am printed the following: “ There will be no forgiveness for those who for greed have sold out the honor of their people to madmen and
      anti-Semites. . . . The Jewish people have always known how to size up betrayers,. . . and it will know how to react to this crime” ("Chaim Arlosoroff", Encyclopedia Judaica). To some in the Labor Party, this statement cer­tainly sounded like a death threat.

      Carole S. Kessner, Marie Syrkin: Values Beyond the Self, UPNE, 2008, page 244

    • Zero. I emphasize, zero proof that Jews had a hand in the killing of Arlosoroff.

      No, that's never the case, when the murder is positively identified by an eyewitness and his conviction is upheld by the Court of Appeals and only overturned on a technicality by the High Court of Justice.

      Professor of Law at Tel-Aviv University, Asher Maoz explains:

      Two members of the Revisionist camp, Abraham Stavsky and Zvi Rosenblatt, were tried for the murder in the Serious Crimes Court in Jerusalem. Abba Achimeir was charged with advising and inciting the commission of the murder. (Achimeir was founder of Berit ha'Biryonim, an underground group formed to fight British policy in Palestine and bearing the name of a group that fought the Romans and their Jewish collaborators.) All three were acquitted; however, only the acquittal of Abba Achimeir was unequivocal, to the extent that it was held that he could enjoy the defense of "no case to answer," after the court found that insufficient incriminatory evidence had been presented against him.

      Rosenblatt and Stavsky were also acquitted, the former at first instance and the latter by the Supreme Court sitting as a Court of Criminal Appeal. Their acquittal was primarily technical, as the lower court had fully accepted the testimony of Mrs. Arlosoroff, who identified the accused as those who had committed the murder, and the Appeal Court saw no reason to interfere in this finding. The accused were acquitted because Mrs. Arlosoroff's testimony was not corroborated, as required by the prevailing Palestinian law. Nonetheless, the Appeal Court left no doubt as to the events of the murder. In regard to Stavsky's acquittal, the Appeal Court even went so far as to state that had the case been heard in England itself, or in most of the territories of the British Empire, the conviction would rightly have been upheld, as under those legal systems there was no requirement of corroboration of an individual's testimony.

      Historical Adjudication: Courts of Law, Commissions of Inquiry, and "Historical Truth" link to

      Years later, Shabtai Teveth wrote about the incident and angered Prime Minister Begin, who setup a Commission to whitewash the affair in exactly the same way Ben Gurion had Kastner's accuser sued for libel. The notion that there was never sufficient evidence in either case is viewed by many as state-sponsored propaganda.

    • The argument that the experience was comparable to what Polish Jews experienced, sometimes at the hands of their Christian Polish brethren, is belied by history.

      Once again, this construction of the exceptional and tearful history is used to excuse the establishment of a state that dehumanizes Palestinians in exactly the same fashion that the Nazis blamed their Jewish and Polish victims. Volumes have been written about the subject, i.e. Guntram Herb's, "Under the Map of Germany: Nationalism and Propaganda 1918 - 1945" and "Blaming the Victims: Spurious Scholarship and the Palestinian Question." By Edward W. Said, Christopher Hitchens. The notion that Jews "had it worse" and needed a special remedy, different from the millions of other victims who died at the same time, and quite frequently in the same death camps, makes no sense.

    • I wouldn’t assume that these posts are just a waste of space.”

      Far from it! ;-)

      It really doesn't matter, it's just a blog. I get amused though by Hophmi's overly broad assumption that we don't contact the proper authorities over this stuff. We've had articles here about petitions to the Treasury Department and IRS over charities that fund the illegal settlements from organizations like J-Street and Avaaz. After I commented here about the fact that the US already had a Treasury Department Directive on labeling products from the West bank and Gaza that the Israelis were violating, a group in the Pacific Northwest contacted customs officials who seized some mislabeled products. Likewise the Center for Constitutional Rights has been in contact with California and federal officials almost since day one of the AntiZionism=AntiSemitism lawfare campaign.

    • It is likewise great propaganda to refer to BDS as a religious movement.

      No it's propaganda for the kippah-wearing Taliban to show-up at Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, or other Church conventions and shreying that any expression of concern for Palestinian human rights is a form of antisemitism and bigotry.

      BTW, entire volumes have been written about the fact that Israel was founded and continues to be governed by non-religious Jews who simply adapted Jewish traditions to the propaganda needs of the state, e.g. Civil Religion in Israel, by Lieberman and Don-Yehiya.

    • I’m again urging you to advance this argument with the relevant authorities. You can persist in this silliness. You won’t convince anyone outside of the cult.

      I already do contribute to the Center for Constitutional Rights and it already has done work with Palestine Solidarity Legal Support. They and hundreds of Jewish academics have delivered a letter to the U.S. State Department demanding that it “revise its definition of anti-Semitism to reflect its commitment to opposing hate and discrimination without curtailing constitutionally protected freedom of speech." We've had articles about that right here at MW.

      FYI, the former Deputy Legal Counsel for the Israeli Delegation to the UN published a series of articles on lawfare and complained bitterly about the fact that Palestinians seemed to be following legal and political advice derived from comments made on the Opinio Juris and other blogs. So if I were you, I wouldn't assume that these posts are just a waste of space.

    • Yeah, that’s patience and generosity, calling the people who don’t agree with you “big pricks” in a room full of your fellow travelers.

      Look Hophmi, the fact is that when human beings are getting exterminated to make room for colonization by members of a fanatical blood and soil cult, it's just as big of a tragedy for one of the victims to have been an innocent Pole as it is for one of them to have been an innocent Jewish - and you would still be just as big of a prick for suggesting otherwise, even if we were alone in the proverbial room.

      In Palestine Jews took matters into their own hands so people like Arlosoroff and Kastner couldn't use any clever legal defenses. When Israel adopted its own symbolic Nazi Collaborators Law. But it became perfectly clear that Zionist officials, like Kastner, were never in any more danger due to adoption of "The Final Solution," than the Poles who managed to survive.

    • And at the end of the war, the survivors went back to their homes and country, and in some cases, denied that ability to the few Polish Jews who survived.

      And how is this different from the plight of the refugees of African forms of genocide that resulted in Netanyahu's fence on the Egyptian border and deportations and refoulments? There have already been press reports about people put to death that Israel had expelled. Hell, for that matter you haven't explained why the Jewish DPs didn't just stay in the Allied DP centers until they could be resettled in some other "European country" in the same fashion that Zionist insist the Palestinian refugees must be accommodated by "the Arabs".

    • Again, if you disagree, please feel free to press this claim under Title VI with the relevant agency.

      Don't tell me, tell the Litigation department of Louis D. Brandies Center to read their own pamphlet that I quoted above (Anti-Zionism as Racism: Campus Anti-Semitism
      and the Civil Rights Act of 1964). They are soliciting pointless reports from Students and Professors regarding "anti-Israeli incidents on your college or university campus" without bothering to explain that neither DOE nor the Courts will be interested if its JVP or a Muslim Student association complaining about Israeli policies on the grounds of their religious beliefs. It makes for great propaganda that gets used to drum up support for symbolic anti-boycott legislation. link to

    • So what? They’re targeting organizations that support BDS, not organizations that are Jewish.

      Correction: Read the NAACP decisions again. They are targeting organizations and individual members who are specifically associating with the BDS movement in most instances as part of a formal platform for the advancement of their Jewish values, creed, and beliefs. That's the same thing other Jewish groups do when they promote their "Jewish Traditions".

      I would also like to point out that the original draft of the Balfour Declaration used the term "Jews" and that it was deliberately rejected by the predominately atheist Zionist leadership who were merely "Jew-ish" like myself. A lot of ink was spilled over a dispute between the members of the Jewish Board of Deputies and the Jewish Board of Governors over the subsequent, undesirable use of the pretentious or offensive terms "Jewish race" and "Jewish nationality".

    • The Poles lost 17% of their population during the war. There was no campaign to annihilate them.

      OMG! Read Count 3 of the Nuremburg Indictment again. They were exterminated precisely because they were Poles and their "space" was needed for Germanization. So, please don't try to tell me there was no plan to exterminate them. Before we have a contest over dick size, I'll concede up front that you are the biggest prick I've ever encountered at MW.

    • It’s perfectly legal if your policy is not to hire non-citizens. If your policy is not to hire Israelis only, then it’s quite illegal. Get the difference now? Or are we going to continue to be silly?

      Who is being silly? I was pointing out that there are exceptions to the statutory prohibitions on employment-based discrimination on the basis of alien national origin that allow us to discriminate against any and all non-US nationals. I have only been pointing that out, by way of these and analogies, that any constitutional anti-boycott statute will similarly permit behavior or nationality based discrimination against states, their agencies, and their citizens. I already pointed out an example of that in the South Carolina statute.

    • Neither anti-Zionism nor Zionism count as religious creeds, sorry to say; while tenets of both might find support in Jewish religious texts, political ideologies are not elevated to religious creeds by virtue of their tenets finding support in religious texts.

      What a dumb thing to say. The Pittsburgh Platform is by definition a published religious creed and I wish you luck convincing the Satmar Rebbe that the "Three Oaths" and the Talmud are just elements of his "political ideology".

    • Let’s drop this whole premise that anti-boycott legislation is aimed at anti-Zionist Jews. You know that’s not the case, not in word or deed; the boycott movement is not “Jewish.”

      I don't have to take your word for that. The organizations involved even admit that they are targeting Jewish Voice for Peace campus chapters and the Jewishpress reports named Jewish members of the Students for Justice in Palestine as examples of groups and individuals that should be targeted by anti-boycott legislation.

    • You’re right. There isn’t such a statute. There are dozens of such statutes, most importantly, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act:

      24 hours and counting. You still haven't cited a single violation of any statute by the BDS movement, including that one. So why did you ever bring the subject up in the first place?

      “There is no loophole in the Foreign Agents Registration Act that permits a law firm or other organization to avoid registration ... Not the point; JCRC isn’t a law firm representing the government of Israel as a client.

      But it's an organization and the statute applies to those, as well as corporations, partnerships, or any other combination, not just clients.

    • You must be kidding. A law that requires teachers to be either citizens or to have the intent to acquire citizenship is not remotely the same thing as a law or policy that singles out those from a specific country.

      No, its just perfectly legal to refuse to hire an Israeli national by explaining that we don't want to expose the kiddies to their alien culture and outlook.

    • Comments like this are really beneath contempt. The Polish Jewish community went from three million to three hundred thousand.

      No comments like that one are. The Nazis committed genocide against the Poles and Soviet POWs too. They lost more than 20 million people and no one was offering to setup a safe haven or state for them in another part of the world.

      For that matter Netanyahu has been building fences to keep refugees from coming to Israel and doesn't seem to be convinced that everyone has the right to setup a new state somewhere else whenever a genocidal war breaks out in their country. If that's not beneath contempt, then suggesting that Jewish war survivors should have gotten on with their lives in their countries of origin, like everyone else, is not beneath contempt either. You're just upset that I don't accept your narrative of Jewish exceptionalism in the aftermath of a war that killed-off 40 million people.

    • I grew-up in a house with a country lawyer who worked in the Political Department of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and he was a past expert in the art of Zionist “Lawfare”, long before anyone coined the term.”

      Ah, so you’re like an ex-smoker.

      No, he was. Unlike his brother, my grandfather was always an Anti-Zionist. We simply took him in when he became old and disillusioned with the situation in Israel and retired to the USA.

    • I’m not aware of how Jewish organization write “judgments” in these cases.

      LoL! If you read Mondoweiss, the NY Times, or Haaretz, then you'd know how. The Israeli government has adopted an anti-boycott statute that has passed muster in the HCJ. It allows any party to claim statutory monetary damages from individuals or organizations who advocate BDS without the need to prove any lost income. The Israeli government has also established "a War Cabinet" to organize and fund BDS Lawfare efforts undertaken by its own parastatal organizations and officials and its foreign partners/agents here in the USA.

    • If we extended FARA to organizations that receive grants from foreign countries as a small percentage of their donation base, lots of organizations, like, for instance, the United Palestinian Appeal, to which the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia is a major donor, link to, or the Clinton Foundation, which has taken money from several governments, would have to so register.

      If those organizations are taking instructions or directions from a foreign entity, then they should be registered as agents too. There's no stigma attached to it, although the Justice Department used to ask that any published material be clearly labeled as "political propaganda," which is the Clinton Foundation's raison d'etre. FYI, the Supreme Court has long since upheld the definition of “political propaganda” contained in the Foreign Agents Registration Act, as “any communication intended to influence the United States’ foreign policies”. See Meese v. Keene, 481 U.S. 465 (1987)

      I think your whole problem is that you don't think its illegal to boycott or sanction Anti-Zionist Jews over their religion, creed, or national origin, but you insist that it is illegal for them or anyone else to boycott or sanction Zionist over theirs, even when the Zionist concerned have committed flagrant crimes. The statutes that Zionists employ just can't be applied in that way.

      For example, 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. They try to ignore 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—blog/news-and-views/2008/03/11/grant-helps-campuses-build-interfaith-bridges 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

    • It’s perfectly legal, as long as that’s not the main thing that they do. ... . JCRC’s principal mission is to represent the Jews of New York to government officials.

      Lol! No, it is illegal for a 501(c)3 to be organized in order to do that. It is illegal so long as it is more than an insubstantial part of the organizations activities, not just the "main thing" that it does. Hell some of them have full-time personnel with duty titles like "Director of Legislative Affairs". See Measuring Lobbying: Substantial Part Test link to

      Let's get real, conducting grass roots political propaganda in support of its efforts to obtain subsidies, community block grants, and pro-Israel legislation is one of the primary functions of the Jewish Federation's and their JCRCs. If the date on the calender is a number and something above it has a name that ends in "day", then they are lobbying for legislation.

      As usual, Hophmi is engaging in flim flammery. There is no loophole in the Foreign Agents Registration Act that permits a law firm or other organization to avoid registration because it derives the bulk of its income from other clients or sources or agrees to do the work pro bono. The statute requires anyone taking instructions or directions from a foreign entity to register, even if they are working for free. The Federations and their JCRCs work openly with the government of Israel and they are fixtures at one another's annual conferences where they develop their joint strategies to combat BDS.

    • The scheming Zionist cabal? You mean the people who supported Zhivitovsky’s claim by filing amicus briefs?

      Oh hell no, I'm not limiting in scope to anything that small or few in number. I mean the "Jewish", "Zionist", and "Israel" member associations who have a number of confederations with interlocking boards of directors that are self-styled and publicized as "major organizations" working with the government of the State of Israel itself. They don't just write those foreign libel and anti-boycott lawsuit judgments that I mentioned. They would most certainly be using existing agreements to have those enforced here in the USA.

      FYI, I wasn't born yesterday, like you seem to have been. I grew-up in a house with a country lawyer who worked in the Political Department of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and he was a past expert in the art of Zionist "Lawfare", long before anyone coined the term.

    • But in all honesty, I’m not really sure why you see a big difference here. Whether Jews established a refuge or a state, the Arabs in the region would still have opposed any major influx of Jews.

      Contrary to your hasbara talking points, the Jews were expected to pick-up the pieces of their shattered lives like everyone else under the Marshall Plan, and rebuild their former communities after WWII.

      The plight of the Jews of Eastern Europe was viewed no differently than the refugees trying to flee Libya today or the persons displaced during our own bloody civil war in the USA. Nobody claimed the right to go re-establish their ancestor's ancient homeland in the middle of another country.

      The international community of states voted down a proposal that they open their doors to immigration to resolve the problem of Jews in the displaced persons camps minutes before adopting the UN Partition Plan, because they were no longer in any grave danger. The UNSCOP majority report concluded that Palestine could NOT be used to solve the Jewish Question without seriously violating the fundamental human rights of the existing Arab population. That prediction proved to be all too true. Foreign Minister Shertok, who had claimed that there would be no problem accommodating several million Jewish immigrants in the Negev, suddenly started singing a different tune. When UN and US officials advised that the Palestinians had no shelter or sources of food and water and that many would die from exposure in the coming winter months, unless they were allowed to return to their homes, they reported that he got a "swelled head" and told the UN Mediator that Israel would never be willing to allow the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, because "their space" was needed to accommodate Jews from Arab countries who had expressed an interest in coming to Palestine. link to

      That is sufficient evidence of a genocidal mens rea to establish that it was not merely ethnic cleansing, Sixty years on, the JNF is still selling pipe dreams about the "Judaization" of the Negev. The only difference is that this time they are stealing the Bedouin's "space" there. Frankly there is no difference between the methods and propaganda employed by Israel in 1948, 1967, and today and the ones described in the Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Vol. 1, Indictment : Count Three, including "Plunder of public and private property" and "Germanization Of Occupied Territories". Using the Holocaust to justify that is just sickening. link to

    • You could have just said that as it said all that was needed.

      Hophmi is overlooking the fact that we already are boycotting companies right here in the USA that are complicit in the occupation of Palestine and we are naming and shaming politicians and the corrupt billionaires who are supporting Israeli apartheid.

      The Illinois pension funds are some of the worst in the country in terms of unfunded liabilities. They do not need to be investing in companies that the UN and EU have already warned about possible civil and criminal liability for their activities in the illegal settlements. When they go broke, the retirees there will be told the same thing that the ones in Detroit were told: We can't afford to bail out your system. In Detroit that would have only taken a one time expenditure of 3 billion dollars. That's an amount that we give away to Israel every year. I belong to several organizations that demand a stop to all military funding for Israel and the imposition of sanctions until it signs the Non-Proliferation Treaty and allows the IAEA the same access that we are demanding in the case of Iran's nuclear program.

      If we need corporate welfare in this country, then it should be spent on things that benefit the people who are paying taxes here. That doesn't include the $26 billion per year Jewish public charity scam that is sending most of the tax free money raised straight to Israel to help offset its costs in the colonization and oppression of Palestinians. See 26 Billion Bucks: The Jewish Charity Industry Uncovered See: link to

      It didn't used to be that way. The declassified minutes of the People's Council meeting convened to impose Jewish rule and declare the establishment of a Jewish state revealed that Secretary of State George Marshall and Under-Secretary Lovett were alarmed over the hundreds of thousands of refugees that were being driven across the borders into neighboring Arab states. They told Jewish Agency Political Department Chief and "Foreign Minister" Moshe Shertok that “We shall not allow the Jews to conduct a war that we do not want with our dollars.” The US threatened to shutdown the United Jewish Appeal and publish the incriminating evidence the US government had obtained on the organization. Shertok acknowledged that they could back-up their threats. The record also revealed that Ben Gurion refused a suggestion from Shertok that they address urgent concerns from New York and announce that the first order of business on the new government's agenda would be "The return of the Arab population of the Jewish State to their homes".

      There was no doubt from the very outset that the Jewish Agency was responsible for keeping the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the camps nearby from returning to their homes in safety - and our government was poised to go after their wallets. See the verbatim minutes of the People’s Council Meeting in "The Palestine Yearbook of International Law 1987-1988", Pineschi (editor), Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1997, pages 270 and 293.

    • Since it is your position that boycotts of people from countries that you say commit war crimes are justified, you’ll of course be boycotting the United States, which most likely committed war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki too. You should leave now. In fact, since you’re a vet, maybe you should turn yourself into the Hague.

      What a dumb shit thing to suggest. Like Barghouti, I can hardly boycott my own country. But I have no problem with anyone else who does. FYI, our Supreme Court claims that former foreign officials can't claim sovereign immunity as a defense against extradition or prosecution for crimes against humanity, since those aren't a part of an official's legal duties in the first place. So I'm in favor of other countries using the same techniques in the cases of our former officials that were employed against the government of Serbia to obtain the surrender of Milosovic et al. That certainly included economic sanctions and a boycott, and ultimately criminal sanctions.

      I've got comments in the archives here about the criminality of the Iraq war, the drone programs, the forced disappearances, continuing torture and imprisonment of innocent people, the illegal occupation of Gitmo, you name it. I think the US has a duty to bring those responsible to justice by either prosecuting them or extraditing them.

    • and State/Federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of national origin has nothing to do w/bds either.

      Well Hophmi has failed to state a claim all day on that account. It simply isn't true that there is a statute that makes it "illegal" to discriminate on the basis of nationality or national origin. For example, even though those are federally protected characteristics, it is not a violation of the federal employment statutes to discriminate on that basis in certain situations. It wasn't all that long ago that the US Supreme Court held that:

      A New York statute forbidding permanent certification as a public school teacher of any person who is not a United States citizen unless that person has manifested an intention to apply for citizenship, does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
      (a) As a general principle some state functions are so bound up with the operation of the State as a governmental entity as to permit exclusion from those functions of all persons who have not become part of the process of self-government.

      -- See AMBACH v. NORWICK, 441 U.S. 68 (1979) link to

      If New York can impose a ban on Israeli school teachers, then it can certainly permit a human rights boycott on Israeli officials, agencies, and the transnational corporations doing business with it as part of a joint criminal enterprise. FYI, the newest mode of liability recently adopted by the International Criminal Court is "indirect perpetration through an
      organisation." link to

      There's a group in France making headlines over the fact that Chaim Saban's Partner Co is employing nearly 200 sites in Palestine for its cellphone facilities that were plundered by the IDF or settlers. link to

      The International Criminal Court is planning to send a delegation to examine complaints against Israel by the end of June. Russia and China have promised to veto any U.S. proposal in the Security Council to delay that investigation. link to

      Obama and the Presidential candidates ought to think twice about their relationships with Saban and he ought to be worried about the chances of being indicted for corporate pillage.

    • You’ve not proven your First Amendment case.

      I did that a long time ago with respect to statutes that target funding of campus academic groups who support BDS on the basis of their Anti-Zionist Jewish religious creeds. You are right, you've spent enough time on it.

      I've never changed the subject to mere disclosures. The NAACP ruling that I cited and quoted mentioned decisions in other strict scrutiny cases that had stuck down statutory "prohibitions", "imposing taxes upon, rather than prohibiting particular activity," and "demands for disclosures" - all aimed at unduly curtailing the liberty of freedom of speech or the press assured under the 1st and 14th Amendment or the right of corporations and associations to affiliate with groups engaged in political boycotts. The Illinois statute most definitely fails the strict scrutiny test as either a "prohibition" or a required "disclosure" aimed at curtailing the right to associate for the advancement of political and economic beliefs and ideas and engage with others in a political boycott.

      I think it's obvious that you are feigning ignorance and talking in circles.

    • None of which has anything to do with State and Federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of national origin.

      Hophmi you've been asked to provide an example of a claim against the BDS movement in which it has been engaged in an act of discrimination on the basis of nationality for which judicial relief can be granted. You've been totally non-responsive so far.

      The 1951 Refugee Convention provides an example of a law that permits discrimination against individuals on the basis of their nationality when their country is guilty of widespread war crimes or crimes against humanity. Germans displaced during WII were not eligible for treatment as refugees. That provision was included at the insistence of the State of Israel who did not want Nazi collaborators expelled by the British administration during to war returning when the fighting was over. The government of the Netherlands has refused to grant refugee status to defendants and witnesses in ICC cases on the basis of their suspected involvement in non-international armed conflicts in which atrocities occurred. link to

      On the other hand, we've provided you with public statements by an Israeli commanding general officer who admits to having razed Arab villages in order to drive 1 million inhabitants into exile beyond the boundaries of the Hebrew State. He claims that was an indispensable step that was required in order to establish the State of Israel. That is a crime against humanity for which no statutory limitations apply and for which the customary obligation of non-recognition and non-facilitation by other states is engaged. The refugees have an inalienable right to return and compensation under the terms of customary international law governing family rights and honor and the prohibition of the plunder of public and private property. Moreover, the government of Israel remains bound by the terms of own acceptance of the UN minority protection plan in resolution 181(II) and resolution 194(III).

      There are both federal and state legal protections for human rights political boycotts targeting states; their institutions, and their populations in order to secure the rights of others. That is not considered illegal discrimination on the basis of a protected characteristic.

    • Yeah Annie, as you said, the point is to discriminate against Israel. Legally, it really doesn’t matter what your reason is. Discrimination on the basis of national origin is illegal.

      That's rather bizarre coming from a guy who justifies the State of Israel's commission of all of the constituent acts of the crime of apartheid on the basis of its motives and the Palestinian nationality of the victims. The UN Convention literally says in Article II that its apartheid when you do any of the things mentioned in subparagraph a, b, c, d, e, and f; and in Article III it says that you do any of those acts then are guilty of the crime of apartheid regardless of the motive involved.
      link to

      I've already noted that the Maryland statute correctly permits boycotts of states and state institutions on the grounds of behavior.

      FYI, § 201, § 202, and § 203 of The Restatement (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States stipulates that States are under an obligation NOT to recognize a State or Government, or establish and maintain diplomatic relations with one that has acquired any of the necessary attributes of statehood in violation of the UN Charter, i.e. ethnic cleansing, acquisition of territory by war, the establishment of ethnic minority rule.

    • I have no idea what you’re talking about. You suggested that two cases which establish that State school cannot discriminate against religious groups that wish to use campus space may be applied to anti-boycott legislation. In New York, as in Illinois, proposed legislation would ban state pension funds from doing business with companies that boycott Israel. That’s simply not a legally cognizable argument.

      No, your playing stupid. The New York, Federal, and Maryland statutes explicitly targeted funding of state universities and academic groups, not pension funds and Dov's bill was revived after the rules committee tossed it out and simply didn't garner enough support. He was not debarred from submitting a similar bill again.

      The Supreme Court decision in Rosenberger was about the administration's denial of funding for a student group publication on the basis of discrimination against its religious viewpoint. That's exactly the same legally cognizable argument in these examples:

      *Bill Targeting Israel Boycott Bounces Back in New York State — and Nationally
      The New York bill, which passed the State Senate January 28, prohibits universities from using state funds to support academic groups boycotting Israel, among other countries; universities that violated the ban would lose all state funding. Under mounting pressure from opponents, who criticized the measure as an assault on free speech, a companion bill was withdrawn from the State Assembly, New York’s lower house. But on Thursday, the bill was reintroduced in the State Assembly with softer financial penalties. Instead of losing all state funding, as specified in the State Senate bill, such universities would lose only the money they used to participate in the banned groups’ activities. Membership costs or travel to banned groups’ conferences would “be deducted from any future payments of state aid” to such colleges,” according to the revised Assembly bill’s language

      * A version of the bill was also introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives February 6, sponsored by House Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill). The congressional bill would deny federal funding to any U.S. academic institution participating in a boycott of Israeli universities. The university would also lose funding if “any organization significantly funded by the institution” endorses an Israeli academic boycott.
      -- link to

      * Maryland Legislature: Senate Bill 647/House Bill 998-Public Higher Education-Use of Funds--Prohibition, introduced by Senator Joan Carter Conway and Delegate Ben Kramer:
      This legislation, which was in response to the recent passage of an American Studies Association (ASA) resolution boycotting Israeli universities as a part of a larger Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, would have imposed financial penalties on state universities/colleges that allowed state dollars to be used for faculty/staff membership fees or participation in meetings/conferences in an organization that has issued a public resolution or statement or taken an official action boycotting a country that has ratified a declaration of cooperation with the State or the country’s institutions of higher education.
      link to

      * On Wednesday evening, the Senate Finance Committee unanimously voted in favor of an amendment to discourage European participation in the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. ... The amendment, which was tacked onto a larger piece of trade legislation that establishes Congressional trade objectives, is intended to apply specifically to an emerging free trade agreement between the U.S. and Europe.

      If you notice, there is an attempt to immunize Israel and Israeli institutions through instruments tantamount to a treaty agreement between Maryland and Israel or through trade legislation. That's why I've addressed the fact that those are preempted by jus cogens and the UN Charter. Likewise, the Supreme Court has ruled time and again, that the power delegated to Congress under the Commerce Clauses do not trump the Bill of Rights and the 14th amendment.

      ignoring the legislation that did pass, and that presents no First Amendment problem.

      LOL! Unless you've read the NAACP and Citizens United cases regarding the rights of private membership corporations as legal persons and all of the Supreme Court decisions which prohibit the the State from unduly burdening their 1st and 14th Amendment rights to put their money where their mouth is as a form of protected speech and the freedom of association to promote unpopular beliefs and to engage in political boycotts without State sponsored tax reprisals or demands for disclosure of information regarding affiliation with other advocacy groups, like BDS, as a tactic to curtail the right of association.

      The Court has specifically ruled in several cases that States can't compel corporations to disclose information for the purpose of curtailing boycotts or the freedom to associate:

      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. De Jonge v. Oregon, 299 U. S. 353, 299 U. S. 364; Thomas v. Collins, 323 U. S. 516, 323 U. S. 530. 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. See Gitlow v. New York, 268 U. S. 652, 268 U. S. 666; Palko v. Connecticut, 302 U. S. 319, 302 U. S. 324; Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U. S. 296, 310 U. S. 303; Staub v. City of Baxley, 355 U. S. 313, 355 U. S. 321. 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. ...The governmental action challenged may appear to be totally unrelated to protected liberties. Statutes imposing taxes upon, rather than prohibiting particular activity have been struck down when perceived to have the consequence of unduly curtailing the liberty of freedom of press assured under the Fourteenth Amendment. Grosjean v. American Press Co., 297 U. S. 233; Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U. S. 105.

      It is hardly a novel perception that compelled disclosure of affiliation with groups engaged in advocacy may constitute as effective a restraint on freedom of association as the forms of governmental action in the cases above were thought likely to produce upon the particular constitutional rights there involved. This Court has recognized the vital relationship between freedom to associate and privacy in one's associations. When referring to the varied forms of governmental action which might interfere with freedom of assembly.

      -- NAACP v. Patterson, 357 U.S. 449 (1958)

      I short, if a state pension fund manager demands that a private business or corporation disclose association or involvement in the BDS movement, the right answer may be that its none of the States business.

    • LOL. Anyone acting with a smidgen of integrity would acknowledge that the letter was written IN SUPPORT of a Jewish homeland, even if, at that time, the signatories did not favor a state.

      Well, Rabbi Judah Magnes still didn't favor a Jewish state 25 years later and he testified to that effect during the UNSCOP hearings. If he was frightened or concerned with his place in society, it sure didn't show-up in his public condemnations of the Jewish underground terror squads and his NY Times Op-Ed excoriating First Lady Elenore Roosevelt for helping the Bergsen group raise money for the Irgun.

      Like Rabbi Berger, he also insisted on the inclusion of a minority protection plan for Jews and non-Jews and their communities in each of the new states in Palestine and wanted them placed under UN guarantee. If you think that he beat his wife or was friends with Stalin, please keep it to yourself, since you hit your daily bag limit on ad hominem fallacies.

      Your comments in that regard are really ironic, since Stalin was the first head of state to extend de jure recognition to Israel's shitty little provisional government and historian Tom Segev wrote an article that appeared in Haaertz about a decade ago describing how in many cases the socialist and communist members of the Palmach brigades would scream "For Comrade Stalin" when they were leading a charge against an Arab village out of force of habit.

    • The Supreme Court has ruled that the States may not discriminate against groups on campus or impose any financial burden on speech predicated on the basis of its viewpoint or content.”

      And neither one is relevant here. Both are cases in which universities sought to apply content specific restrictions against religious organizations

      Pardon me, but you've taken leave of your senses if you plan on using that argument in Court:

      The State Education Department does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, religion, creed, disability, marital status, veteran status, national origin, race, gender, genetic predisposition or carrier status, or sexual orientation in its educational programs, services and activities.

      -- example extract from Statement on the Role of a Trustee or Board Member link to

      The existing New York State human rights statute does not apply to human rights boycotts and it prohibits the University Regents, Trustees, and Board Members from discriminating against any Anti-Zionist Jews on the basis of their "religion" or "creed", like the one contained in the Pittsburgh Platform that I cited and quoted verbatim and the comment about equal rights for non-Jews in Palestine in accordance with "the Mosaic legislation" made by the Chief Rabbi of the UK Commonwealth (and Rabbi Elmer Berger for that matter).

      The New York legislation was definitely targeting campus chapters of an entity called "Jewish Voice for Peace" and we definitely have a "Jewish creed" embodied in our platform and position paper on BDS published by our national organization and our "Rabbinical Advisory Council".

      Since he hasn’t made out his First Amendment case, he can’t make much else out either;

      I think you need to go back to the drawing board and think about that again.

      Legislation like South Carolina’s, which bans state entities from doing business with companies that boycott on the basis of, among other things, national origin, do not violate the Constitution.

      Of course not. But I never said it was. The statute and all the Zionist buzz surrounding it was merely symbolic. It contains the required constitutional exceptions that permit targeted boycotts against states, companies, and individuals, based upon economic factors, like the UN and EU warnings about civil liability, and sanctions for criminal behavior:

      Section 11-35-5300. (A) of the South Carolina Statute says:
      ‘Boycott’ does not include:
      (a) a decision based on business or economic reasons, or the specific conduct of a targeted person or firm;
      (b) a boycott against a public entity of a foreign state when the boycott is applied in a nondiscriminatory manner;

      -- link to

      Both are correct, although Hostage apparently forgets that “when a statute which is subsequent in time is inconsistent with a treaty, the statute to the extent of conflict renders the treaty null.” Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1, 18 (1957). The rest is rhetoric, not a legal argument.

      What's your point. I haven't forgotten anything. You still haven't cited any statute "later in time" or otherwise that rendered any of the examples of treaty preemption that I mentioned "null and void". In any event, that's not even possible in the case of the customary norms (jus cogens) reflected in the UN Charter, the Hague, or the Geneva Conventions. The Nuremberg, ICTY, and ICTR tribunals statutes established that those jus cogen norms rendered any conflicting municipal statutes null and void and were even binding on non-signatories. The USA, and Secretary of State Warren Christopher, were instrumental in introducing the Chapter VII resolutions that required all UN member states to accept that decision as a legally one and the Congress has cited them in every annual budget authorizing surrenders to one or more of those UN tribunals ever since.

      The last time I checked, the UN Charter, like the Hague and Geneva Conventions is still listed among the Treaties In Force (TIF) by the US State Department. link to

      he moves on to a jumbled, unrelated argument about how GATT is null and void because it conflicts with the UN Charter.

      No, you made a jumbled argument that said states and governments were different from individuals because they are prohibited from boycotting on the basis of nationality under the GATT. I suggest you tell that to the Iraqis and Iranians and the Secretary General of the UN. I simply explained that governments cannot use the commerce clause or a trade agreement to excuse war crimes or crimes against humanity, because those are subject to a blanket prohibition of "compelling" customary international law (jus cogens) as well as a preemption clause in the UN Charter and the Convention on the Law of Treaties. You're still talking in circles.

      Hostage also conveniently forgets .. The Arab League ... Congress amended the Export Administration Act and passed the Ribicoff Amendment, along with other legislation, prohibiting American companies from participating in unsanctioned boycotts

      Nope, I've commented about that subject at length here in the past - and the fact that there are exceptions that allow companies doing business in Arab League States to comply with local import prohibitions against Israeli sourced items. So that boycott has been very successful in 22 countries. I've also commented about the fact that Eric Fingerhut led an unsuccessful effort to restore parts of the bill that were subject to a sunset provision that expired. The potential for enormous fines still exists, but the bill really hasn't garnered the Treasury any enormous sums lately, since transnational businesses figured out how to game the system a long time ago.

    • It certainly was a legal creation. The Palestine Mandate was a “a legal and administrative instrument, not a geographical territory.” -- link to

      LoL! You are quoting an unsourced statement from an anonymous Zionist edit warrior. That's the sort of crap that the Wikimedia Foundation is famous for hosting on its servers. Even Jimbo Wales warns readers that it is NOT a reliable source of information.

      Anyone who has read my comments here at Mondoweiss knows better, e.g. link to

      The article talk page at Wikipedia indicates that it has been the repeated target of edit warriors and malicious sockpuppets who have created the current version by deleting all of the citations and quotes from the relevant historians, sociologists, the FRUS, the DBFP, the State Department Digest of International Law, The British Yearbook of International Law, the Annual Digest and International Law Reports which say quite the opposite. It suffices to say that even if we accept your argument, that doesn't alter the fact that the Palestine Mandate was a state with borders defined by international treaties and that the Zionist Executive's Propaganda Minister publicly admitted in an article first published in November of 1923 that the inhabitants of Palestine were "a living nation" and that Palestine was their "homeland". See Jabotinsky's "The Iron Wall (We and the Arabs)" at Daniel Pipes blog: link to

      In any event, Zionists invariably employ your argument to falsely suggest that "stateless" indigenous populations do not enjoy the same protections against violations of their family rights and honor, including the prohibitions of pillage and forced transfer found in Article 46 of the Hague Convention. The Nuremberg Charter established that those are crimes when they target any civilian population, including stateless Jews living in an unrecognized "territory". The theft of lands, property, resources, and cultural artifacts can obviously devastate both families and their communities:

      Expropriation of Jewish property was an essential element of Nazi anti-Jewish policy. The Nazis systematically plundered land and property throughout Europe that had been obtained through hard work and creativity for hundreds of years and which were an important part of Jewish economic and cultural activity.

      Yad Vashem, "The Holocaust, The Outbreak of World War II and Anti-Jewish Policy: Expansion of German Conquest and Policy Towards Jews" -- link to

      In essence, whenever they are questioned about this subject, Israel State officials invariably say that the rules of international law that apply to humans do not apply to Palestinians, i.e. so long as Israel chooses to wage its war of choice, International Humanitarian Law and UN Human Rights Conventions do not apply to them, because "Palestine is not a State." I suppose that's the best argument they've got, but I don't see why you are still trying to parrot it here. You really aren't fooling anyone.

    • You have an interesting (and apparently deficient) knowledge of how cases reach the Court if you think that the case “jumped to the head of a long line of other cases”

      I don't mean to be droll, but I've discussed this case with post-doctoral fellows who have degrees in law and political science and they are also mystified about the reasons the Supreme Court didn't simply let the lower court decisions stand and dispose of the case at the certiorari stage.

      Zhivotovsky v. Clinton was about whether the case was a political question and could proceed at all

      Even the US State Department Digest of International Law cites a Supreme Court decision which said that recognition of sovereignty is "a political question" and that the decision has attained customary status in international law:

      'Who is the sovereign, de jure or de facto, of a territory is not a judicial, but is a political question, the determination of which by the legislative and executive departments of any government conclusively binds the judges, as well as all other officers, citizens and subjects of that government. This principle has always been upheld by this court, and has been affirmed under a great variety of circumstances.' Jones v. United States, 137 U.S. 202, 212 , 11 S. Sup. Ct. 80, 83 (34 L. Ed. 691). -- OETJEN v. CENTRAL LEATHER CO. , 246 U.S. 297 (1918) link to

      The Supremes certainly didn't add anything to the lower Court's finding that the statute was unconstitutional and they didn't clarify things one bit by inventing a new fourth, imaginary leg of the Youngstown Steel three prong test that actually gives the Executive branch a new "preclusive power" that the President supposedly not only holds under the Constitution, but holds even if Congress enacts a law otherwise. Judge Jackson never hinted that he envisioned such a thing in his Youngstown opinion and would probably not have agreed with Kennedy's assessment in the dicta that the Supremes were somehow dialing-back or reigning in the President's powers under Curtis-Wright, when they explicitly admitted this particular case didn't require them to rule on all the relevant issues involved, and so they would not do so.

      If you sit down and count the nearly two dozen Supreme Court cases involving disputes over the recognition power in the D.C. Court of Appeals decision, then you should already know that the Court regularly revisits its precedents and that it left the door open to more cases on this subject with all of their comments about the "limits" on this new sole executive authority and their mysterious new test. Chief Justice Robert's old boss William Rehnquist wrote: "Stare decisis is not an inexorable command,” in a 1991 opinion that included, in a page and a half of small type, a list of 33 precedents that the court had overturned in the previous 20 years and nothing prevents this one from meeting the same fate.

    • So the US was more than complicit from the git- go and still is. “Principles” be damned!

      Hell yes. There were several Latin American member states of the UN which had been subjected to US military invasions, occupations, and the imposition of supposedly "perpetual" international servitudes for the Panama canal and our military bases there, Gitmo, and elsewhere. They certainly knew the score and proposed a resolution requesting an ICJ Advisory Opinion on the legality of the territorial settlement contained in the UNSCOP recommendation over the objections of the inhabitants and the neighboring Arab states, which were most directly concerned with issues like Arab emigration or refugees from the low level conflict in Palestine. They did that once again after the Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly had sweetened the deal by adding the entire Negev to the proposed Jewish State. They also backed a similar Syrian proposal in the Security Council after the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel.

      Future Secretary of State Dean Rusk was serving in an Under Secretary-level assignment as Director of the US United Nations section of the State Department. He authored a memo recommending that the US back those requests for an Advisory Opinion and several others which noted that the Jewish militias were actually the aggressors, despite the protests of the provisional government of Israel that it was the victim. But one of the State Department's new Legal Advisors, Ernest Gross, who worked for Rusk wrote two memos on the subject of the Palestine Partition Plan and recognition of the new states for the Secretary and Clark Clifford, the President's Legal Counsel, explicitly warning against US support for any Advisory Opinion on the subject of whether or not the UN had the authority to partition the country against the wishes of the inhabitants. See Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa, page 543 link to

      I think its pretty obvious after reading Hackworth's declaration and letter of transmittal why the Truman administration followed the advice given by Gross. Green Hackworth was sitting on the bench of the ICJ and had already written a declaration saying that adoption of a territorial settlement against the wishes of the inhabitants was a violation of the United Nations Atlantic Charter, before he went on to help draft the new UN Charter and the Statute of the Court. He had literally written the Government's own official guide book on the subject of the development and codifications of international law under five US Presidents and he knew all about the Zionist skeletons in the closet at the State Department and the White House.

    • waaaah!

      “Jerusalemite-American? How the U.S. Supreme Court passport decision insulted my son

      Zionists suffer from a lot of irrational rage issues. These teenagers need to take the issue up with Herzl, Weizmann, and Balfour. In the text of Der Judenstaat, the Basel Platform of the Zionist Congress, and the Balfour Declaration it was agreed that the Jewish national home would be established in "Palestine" or "Argentina", not in "Israel".

      In a famous mandate era lawsuit over precise translations into the three official languages, that went all the way to the High Court of Justice on appeal, the Zionists swore under oath that the abbreviation for "Eretz Yisrael" used on some stamps was only the Hebrew cognate of the English term "Palestine". See Jamal Effendi Husseini v. Government of Palestine (1 P.L.R. 5O), The case is discussed briefly on page 218 of 398 in the Yearbook Of The International Law Commission 1950 Volume II, link to The Court never reached the question, since it ruled that Article 22 of the Mandate was not enforceable, because there was no enabling legislation and the issue wasn't addressed in the 1922 Order-in-Council.

      It was only decades later that the government of Israel claimed that Palestine was all a legal and historical fiction. In 1995 the State Department published a Memorandum of Conversation between William Crawford Jr. and Mr. Shaul Bar-Haim from the Israeli Embassy (February 7, 1963) regarding Jerusalem. Bar-Haim said “The use of the term “Palestine” is historical fiction; it encourages the Palestine entity concept; its “revived usage enrages” individual Israelis”. Crawford replied “It is difficult to see how it “enrages” Israeli opinion. The practice is consistent with the fact that, ”in a de jure sense”, Jerusalem was part of Palestine and has not since become part of any other sovereignty." -- See Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963, Vol. Xviii, Near East, United States. Dept. of State, G.P.O., 1995, ISBN 0160451590, page 341. -

      Nonetheless, the government of Israel refused to accept the official "English" passport entry "Jerusalem, Palestine" or the credentials of our US Consular staff. See the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS), 1964–1968, Volume XVIII, Arab-Israeli Dispute, 1964–67, Document 30, footnote 2. It reveals that:.

      Telegram 774 to Tel Aviv, March 5, summarized an informal conversation between Davies and Israeli Minister Gazit concerning Israel's efforts to obtain U.S. agreement to drop the use of “Jerusalem, Palestine” in passports issued or renewed in Jerusalem and issued to officers stationed in Jerusalem. Davies strongly protested Israel's refusal to honor Consul Robert H. Munn's passport, which contained this usage. (Ibid.) A chronology of discussions on this subject, dating back to February 1963, is attached to A–104 from Jerusalem, March 30. (Ibid.).

      link to

      The same document revealed that:

      2. We will cease using “Palestine” in passports as place of assignment and cease issuing, renewing, or amending passports with seal bearing word “Palestine”.

    • Congrats; you’ve managed to work in a reference to the so-called Transfer Agreement, an historical event that you and other here are forever distorting for your narrow political purposes, even after the author of that book came here to straighten you out.

      Correction: You have a habit of falsely claiming that Rabbi Silver, et al were distorting the facts when they called the Transfer Agreement a collaboration with the enemy. I'm just agreeing with what he said and quoting the JTA report on the fireworks and dirty details that came out during the Zionist Congress. The author of the book that I just cited in the comment above is Aaron Berman. He has never come here to Mondoweiss and "straightened me out". FYI, I've quoted a number of historians and press reports on the subject of the Transfer Agreement "verbatim" including Francis R. Nicosia, Simha Flapan, Mordecai Paldiel, The Encyclopedia Judica, The Jewish Telegaphic Agency, and Edwin Black's essay "Adolf Hitler: Could We Have Stopped Hitler?"at the Jewish Virtual Library. You seem to have a reading comprehension problem, since I only repeated what Black himself admitted in the conclusion of his own essay -and the fact that he contradicts something (in your estimation) that you think he said in an earlier work is something that he and I have never discussed. See the exchanges here and pull your head out:
      * link to
      * link to
      * link to
      * link to
      * link to

      I certainly do recall going to a hasbara website mentioned in an article here and straightening Black out on a number of totally different subjects, like the Versailles Peace Conference and its Allied Commission, the San Remo resolution and etc. He was engaging in outrageous and deliberate prevarications that could be debunked by anyone. I simply provided readers links to the original texts of the minutes of the meetings, conferences, resolutions, and reports in the FRUS.

    • As for hophmi’s “I’m not impressed by you, Hostage. ...

      I don't really care if he is impressed or not, since I'm usually just citing the contents of third-party verifiable official texts of the State Department, UK Cabinet Papers, Permanent Court of International Justice, International Court of Justice, US Supreme Court, Israeli High Court of Justice, the mandates, resolutions, the US Code of Statutes, and the treaty texts verbatim. Hophmi is just pissed-off because no one could make-up or fabricate this much damning evidence against the Zionists and their cause.

      For example, Green Hackworth served as the longest running Legal Adviser to the US Department of State (1925 -1946) in history. He edited the official Digest of International Law, and helped draft every important treaty from the Montevideo Convention, to the OAS Charter, and both the UN Charter and the ICJ Statute - before going-on to serve as the first US Justice on the bench of the ICJ. Here is a link to a declaration he helped author at the request of the Secretary of State "concerning the harmful effects of Zionist agitation on the war effort". It admitted that the US Government's policy and attitudes toward the Near Eastern peoples generally, and the peoples of Palestine in particular violated fundamental Atlantic Charter principles that were regarded as customary law when they were included shortly thereafter in the Charter of the UN, i.e. "The war objectives of this Government as stated in the Atlantic Charter include the "desire to see no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned", and respect for "the right of all peoples to choose the form of Government under which they will live".

      Here is an extract of the letter of transmittal he enclosed for the Secretary of State to use to forward the declaration to President Roosevelt:
      [Enclosure 2]
      Draft Letter to President Roosevelt
      MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: The agitation for the formation of a Jewish army in Palestine is having such alarming effects in the Near and Middle East that I am impelled to draw your attention to the matter. From the reports of our military and political observers, it is clear that the British and ourselves cannot use these territories as bases of operations against Germany, Italy and Japan and as routes of access to the combat areas in Libya, Russia and China, if, in addition to combatting the Axis forces, we have to; defend ourselves against the local populations. The essential fact which has to be faced is that the Near and Middle East is overwhelmingly Moslem. In India the only worthwhile fighting material of significance is drawn from the large minority group of 80,000,000 Moslems.

      These peoples are becoming more and more hostile to the United Nations' cause due to the fear that their fellow Moslems in Palestine will be overridden. As the result of continuous agitation by the Zionists of their ambitions in Palestine, the Axis propagandists have been broadcasting, with good effect from their viewpoint, that the United States intends to turn Palestine over to the Jews despite the opposition of the Moslem majority in that country. Of course, this agitation, which has recently taken the form of full-page advertisements in the metropolitan press advocating the formation of a Jewish army to defend Palestine, and a widely publicized dinner here in Washington, gives the Axis powers additional oil to pour on the fire, which is already dangerously high. We have just learned that the Axis powers have promised the Arabs their independence and the elimination of the Jewish national home in Palestine. Doubtless, the Axis will in the near future make public announcement of this promise as further evidence of their friendship for the Moslems.

      Much has been written and a great deal of blood has been spilled over the Palestine problem, which admittedly is difficult. It is evident, however, that no satisfactory and lasting political solution can be reached except on the basis of common agreement between the Arabs and the Jews in that country. So long as the Zionists feel that they can obtain outside support which will enable them to impose their own solution, they will not be disposed to treat with the Arabs on equal terms. A settlement in Palestine resulting from the use or threat of force, would, of course, be completely opposed to the principles for which we fought the last war -and are fighting the present war.

      For a year our representatives in Egypt and elsewhere in the Near East have been calling attention to the progressive undermining of the military and political position in the Middle Eastern area as a result of Zionist agitation, and the fact that the authorities here, through silence, appear to support the objectives of political Zionism. I believe that the time has come when the position of this Government, based squarely on the Atlantic Charter, should be made known. To that end, I enclose a draft of a declaration or statement which might now be issued to clarify the situation.

      Faithfully yours -- See Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1942. The Near East and Africa (1942) link to

      That is part of the official documentary record of major US Foreign Policy decisions. That record proves beyond any doubt, that we supported and assisted the illegal Zionist objectives with a whole lot more than our government's silence.

    • Oh, are we cursing now? Am I supposed to be blown away by your intellect here?

      No, but you've been blown away by the substance of what I just said and you're just too stupid to stop digging yourself into a deeper hole with all your dissimulations.

      Clearly, I’ve gotten under your skin by doing what no one else does here: challenging your perspective.

      You've got way too high of an opinion of yourself then, because Zionist talkback artists, just like you, have always been a dime a dozen here and none of you have ever said or done a damn thing that strays from the shopworn reflexive point scoring system described in a publication sponsored by the Education Department of the Jewish Agency for Israel and published by the World Union of Jewish Students, the "Hasbara Handbook: Promoting Israel on Campus" or in one of the RSS feeds for the members of the Hasbara Fellowship International. Both of those have literally suggested that its perfectly fine to employ deliberate falsehoods as tools in your arsenal and you do it as often as not.
      * link to
      * link to

      You seem to be making the argument ... [insert Hophmi's artless attempt to say something that I didn't right here] ... The [straw man] argument fails on several fronts.

      Granted, but why didn't you address what I actually said based upon the various doctrines of Constitutional, UN Charter, and jus cogens preemption? I suspect that you changed the subject, because you couldn't find the proverbial clean end of the turd that you are so busy trying to polish.

      First, there is no rule that every country with which America has a bilateral relationship must reflect American Constitutional values.

      That isn't what I said and wasn't what I objected to. I said that the US Constitution does not permit our Congress to adopt any law (or treaty) respecting the establishment of a Jewish State here or anywhere else, much less appropriate or exempt a few hundred billion dollars from taxes and loan repayments to do exactly that, over the objections of the majority of the country's inhabitants and provide an ethnic minority group of aggressors a steady supply of weapons and firepower to establish minority rule in the midst of flagrant war crimes and crimes against humanity. All of that has been done over the principled objections of the other members of the Security Council and Emergency Special Sessions of the General Assembly convened under the auspices of Uniting for Peace resolutions.

      For example, 22 U.S. Code § 8602 - Statement of policy "reaffirmed our unwavering commitment to the security of the State of Israel as a Jewish state ... and to encourage Israel’s neighbors to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state." The Statute is patently absurd. Israel has steadfastly refused for more than 60 years to adopt a constitution granting its non-Jewish inhabitants equal rights under the law. This, even after it had supplied a treaty declaration for the official UN record during the hearings on its UN membership application guaranteeing that it had already done so. By way of comparison, the State of Palestine supplied a treaty declaration in line with resolution 181(II) in 1988 and adopted a constitution in the very same year that the UN Quartet requested the creation of an empowered "Prime Minister" position in its internal form of government that says:

      <Title Two – Public Rights and Liberties
      Article 9
      Palestinians shall be equal before the law and the judiciary, without distinction based upon race, sex, color, religion, political views or disability.
      Article 10
      Basic human rights and liberties shall be protected and respected.
      The Palestinian National Authority shall work without delay to become a party to regional and international declarations and covenants that protect human rights.

      -- link to

      It actually did become a party to all of the Hague and Geneva IHL and UN Human Rights Conventions without any significant delay after the General Assembly reaffirmed that its statehood was a matter of it own self-determination and upgraded it's observer status. Oddly enough, the US and Israeli governments moved to impose sanctions on the Palestinians and punish them for doing that, despite the fact that both were obliged to support international recognition of the State of Palestine under the terms of the same subsection of the Road map in return for those constitutional reforms and security cooperation. You certainly can't say the same thing about the US government's reaction to the adoption of 50+ racist laws by the Zionist government of the State of Israel and its refusal to adopt any constitution at all.

      Having now had your hero, Elmer Berger, exposed as a Stalin-loving, full-assimilationist, historically discredited figure, you now cite a few others.

      I don't have to cite any others, because the ones that I have succeeded in getting 2/3rds of the members of the UN to agree with them about the absolute necessity for the conclusion of a minority protection plan under UN guarantee with respect to both the non-Jewish and Jewish citizens and communities of the two new states in Palestine. It was an integral condition for terminating the mandate under the UN Plan for the Future Government of Palestine.

      Your silly citation about suppressing the speech of groups on campus is inapposite. You’ve not provided the text of any of these bills, and it’s obvious why ...

      Nonsense, I didn't cite any because I've got over 10,000 comments stored here and Mondoweiss has devoted entire feature-length articles to the subject of state and federal legislative initiatives.

      There was one about a New York bill to prohibit state funding from flowing to institutions or any student or academic groups on campuses that participate in voluntary boycott, divestment, and sanctions advocacy. The funding restrictions were based purely on the content of their speech and they were exactly the same sort of forum and viewpoint discrimination tactics that the Supreme Court said State governments were prohibited from employing in Widmar and Rosenberger. In any event I don't give a damn if there is a Kahanist populist constituency in New York for that sort of thing, it's still unconstitutional. I also pointed out at the time, that the Zionist groups pushing for the legislation were flaunting the prohibitions against a IRS 501(c)(3) organizations working directly with legislators on drafting the bill's provisions and that they were receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in subsidies from the Consulate of the State of Israel to boot without registering as foreign agents.
      * link to
      * link to
      * link to
      * link to

      I've also commented about the stupidity of US lawmakers trying to include an anti-boycott provision about illegal Israeli settlements in a "trade agreement with the EU that conflicts with jus cogens norms of international law and the futility of the bankrupt pension system of the State of Illinios trying to penalize companies for exercising normal due diligence and their fiduciary responsibility to stock holders in the face of UN and EU warnings about transnational corporate and other business exposure to civil and criminal liability for doing business in the illegal Israeli settlements.
      * link to

      Godwins Law. In any event, this is a lot of fancy rhetoric that is completely beside the point. You can’t see the difference between Nazis invading most of Europe and refugees fighting for their independence in 1948 and to defend themselves in 1967 on a tiny piece of land in Asia, that’s really your problem.

      While all of the relevant State archives haven't been declassified and published, its a very well settled historical fact that the Zionists militias were the aggressors in both 1948 and that the IDF initiated the 1967 War. The State of Israel recently promoted a 100 year old General who bragged about razing Arab villages in order to drive off a million of their inhabitants so that a Jewish State could be established in the first place. That is a very serious crime against humanity that was deliberately committed on a scale that wouldn't have gone unnoticed, even in Eastern Europe:
      *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
      * Historic Moment: Yitzhak Pundak Rises to Rank of Major General at Age 100
      link to

      FYI, Truman knew that the Jewish leadership had green-lighted those atrocities and that there were already hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees at the moment when he recognized Jewish minority rule over a portion of Palestine. Here's what the United States had to say to the ICJ about recognizing declarations under those particular conditions:

      Section III. The Situation May Differ When Declarations Of Independence Are Conjoined With Actions That Themselves Violate International Law

      Although declarations of independence do not by themselves violate international
      law, they are at times conjoined with other events or acts in combination with which they
      might be characterized as serious international law violations. This is an important
      distinction. For example, where a declaration of independence is adopted in conjunction
      with an effort to establish an apartheid regime—which would amount to a serious
      violation of a peremptory norm of international law—declarations of independence
      have been characterized as unlawful. Thus, the United Nations Security Council adopted
      a resolution that condemned the “usurpation of power” by the white supremacist leader of
      the Southern Rhodesian government, Ian Smith, and stated the Security Council’s view
      that his government’s declaration of independence had “no legal validity.”

      See Accordance with international law of the unilateral declaration of independence in respect of Kosovo link to

      FYI, Godwin’s Law doesn't apply to discussions about entities, such as the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the WZO, which were members of a formal business partnership with the Nazi regime to obtain capital and represent them in trade deals for the sale of German manufactured goods in Palestine and other countries during the worldwide General Jewish Boycott of Germany. Even the Zionist Organization of America, and Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, together with the Jewish State Party of the WZO, publicly condemned the Transfer Agreement in 1935 as "a form of collaboration with the enemy" and accused their Zionist brethren in the Jewish Agency of acting out of simple mercantile self-interest. -- See
      *Aaron Berman, Nazism, the Jews and American Zionism, 1933-1948, Wayne State University Press, 1990, pages 39 and 40, link to
      *Jewish Telegraphic Agency, "Favor Transfer Agreement Continuance", September 4, 1945, link to

      The WZO was granted special rights and immunities for itself and the officers of its subsidiaries under the deal, that did indeed amount to outright collaboration in some cases. Hannah Arendt got blacklisted in Israel for writing about some of those situations in her book about the Eichmann Trial. Ben Gurion found out the hard way in the Rudolf Kastner libel trial that you can't fool all of the people all of the time, even with the best hasbara.

    • Kerpow! Many thanks for that Hostage. Terrific stuff.

      Well, you can take my word for it, part of my secular Jewish upbringing was to study and master these subjects and to learn to apply the lessons from Jewish history and traditions. The hatred of Gentiles living in ancient Palestine and the attempts to use ordinances governing commerce as an excuse to persecute them and end all communications between them and their Jewish neighbors goes back thousands of years to the final bloody rift between the Houses of Hillel and Shammai. The 18 ordinances could only be adopted over the dead bodies of the disciples of Hillel, They literally had to be put to death by the sword to prevent them from voting down the measures. According to Jewish Talmudic tradition, the Halakha follows the teachings of the House of Hillel, and not the House of Shammai, because they always listened to the views of their opponents and repeated them before presenting their own views to others. So, the very idea of Zionists registering a trademark on the name "Hillel" and using the powers of Congress under the Commerce Clause to prohibit or threaten legal action if Jews subscribing to a universalistic Anti-Zionist creed are present or God forbid actually discussing issues, like the State of Israel's relations with indigenous Gentiles and its illegal modern-day policies of unilateral partition, separation (hafrada), and apartheid is simply ludicrous. The material I posted here is simply the legal corollary to the moral, ethical, and philosophical issues that I've discussed at length elsewhere under the heading of "The Jewish Theory of Everything". link to

      I sincerely do think that there is a unified theory which can explain 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 Gentiles. This situation of irrational animosity toward non-chauvinist Jews or indigenous Gentiles has always been described in Jewish literature as "hatred without a cause" - and the underlying reason the Jewish commonwealth destroyed itself from within and ultimately brought about the Exile.

      Here are the views of the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth on the inclusion of the safeguarding clauses in the Balfour Declaration that guaranteed the rights of the non-Jewish communities of Palestine:

      The draft declaration is in spirit and in substance everything that could be desired. I welcome the reference to the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.. It is but a translation of the basic principle of the Mosaic legislation: "And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex (oppress) him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself." (Lev., xix, 33, 34.)

      -- — Printed for the War Cabinet, October 1917, SECRET, G.-164, CAB/24/4

      It doesn't take the proverbial rocket scientist to see that the Zionists have completely lost the meaning of that "translation of the basic principle of the Mosaic legislation" somewhere along the way.

    • As a US citizen and as a Zionist Jew (rather than as an anti-Zionist “person of Jewish descent”), I have a perfect legal and moral right to disagree with all of Hostage’s comment, and to note the absolute lack of context he provides.

      Let me give you some context then. As a person who is still drawing pay from a regular component of the US armed forces, and under an obligation to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”. I would NOT take too kindly to any attempt on your part to establish Jewish rule over Kansas and turn it into another West Bank, Gaza, or Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. So if you think the 1st and 14th Amendment don't mean exactly what I claimed, you had better come armed with something more than just your feeble fucking intellect and some Zionist propaganda talking points, because you do not have the right to disagree with me on that subject, and I am not alone in saying that. Bottom line, if it isn't immoral or illegal for Americans to adopt a constitutional plan that prohibits the establishment of a Jewish state here, then it was never immoral or illegal for the Palestinian majority to exercise the same right in their country.

      Anti-Zionist Jews who prevented the words “Jewish state” from being utilized in the Balfour Declaration were by and large either frightened and persecuted people who felt that any acknowledgement of a collective Jewish identity would disturb their place in Western society, or simply, clueless people whose views would be repudiated by the Holocaust.

      Correction: During the war years, Edwin Montagu was many things, i.e. UK Secretary of State for India, UK Financial Secretary to the Treasury, a member of both the UK Privy Council and the UK War Cabinet. But he was never frightened or persecuted and his principled objections could never be repudiated by the Holocaust. The most clueless person involved was Lord Rothschild whose written reply to the Balfour Declaration said:

      I would welcome a declaration on the lines of the draft you send me, for I think it will to a great extent meet the objections raised by the anti-Zionists. Personally, I think that the proviso is rather, a slur on Zionism, as it presupposes the possibility of a danger to non-Zionists, which I deny.

      -- Printed for the War Cabinet, October 1917, SECRET, G.-164, CAB/24/4

      Once again, the Zionist legislation I'm talking about violates the principles laid down 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 against groups on campus or impose any financial burden on speech predicated on the basis of its viewpoint or content.

      Re the Holocaust: In fact, mental midgets, like yourself in the Zionist movement employed the very same immature philosophy, methods, and tactics after the 1939 White Paper had set the maximum limits and boundaries of the "Jewish national home" that their Nazi business partners employed to justify their colonization and crimes against humanity in Eastern Europe after the Treaty Of Versailles set the new national limits and boundaries of the German national home.

      Both the Nazi and Zionist movements enlisted lawyers, scholars, and propagandists to concoct a lacrimose version of ancient history, drew-up fanciful maps of Greater Germany or Israel that completely omitted other modern-day countries, based upon equally doubtful ancient legends or religious mythology. They falsely complained that they alone were denied the national right of self-determination, just as everyone one else in the world was given an unqualified right. Furthermore, they declared that their historical connections to territories inhabited by other peoples and ethnic groups provided them with a superior and exclusive legal claim to exercise sovereignty therein and to colonize other countries that they targeted for aggression and refused to "recognize".

      If the Judiazation of Palestinian territory, accomplished through forced eviction or deportation of the other inhabitants during frequent lightning-style military strikes or prolonged invasions and occupation, followed by the imposition of policies and practices of racial segregation and persecution - including all of the constituent acts of apartheid listed in Article II of the UN Convention - doesn't constitute a flagrant violation of international criminal law, then neither did anything mentioned in Count 3 of the Nuremberg Indictment regarding the Germanization of the occupied territories of Eastern Europe. link to

      I don't accept that proposition, or make exceptions for the Zionists or anyone else. When I say "Never again!" that's just what I mean.

      As far as Hostage’s arguments on legislation: most of the proposed legislation is targeted at the boycott movement, and has a firm foundation in American laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of national origin. Boycotts certainly are a form of speech, and individuals are certainly welcome to advocate discriminatory boycotts against Israeli interests. But governments and state institutions are a different story. The Congressional legislation, for instance, arguing that government-sanctioned BDS violates the provisions of GATT. Other state legislation is based in law banning discrimination on the basis of national origin. None ban Hostage, or any other discriminator, from refusing to buy Israeli products or from promoting that position to others.

      Correction: Governments and state institutions cannot employ the "foreign commerce clause" to circumvent the Bill of Rights or a peremptory norm of customary or conventional international law. In Reid v Covert the Supreme Court noted that treaties have equal standing with statutes under the plan of the Constitution and that neither statutes nor treaties are listed among the methods enumerated in Article V that can be used to amend the Constitution. Among other things, that means that, if a statute has to comply with the Constitution, then so does a treaty, including the GATT (and that you are not a very good lawyer).

      When a provision in the GATT or any other treaty conflicts with the requirement for member states to accept and carry out the multitude of decisions of the UN Security Council regarding non-recognition or non-facilitation of the illegal demographic situations created by Israel that have been adopted in accordance with Article 25 of the UN Charter or a conflict exists with the requirement that members must respect the principle of equal rights and self-determination of the Palestinian people in accordance with Article 1 of the UN Charter, then the terms of the Charter prevail over the GATT or other treaty:

      In the event of a conflict between the obligations of the Members of the United Nations under the present Charter and their obligations under any other international agreement, their obligations under the present Charter shall prevail.

      See Article 103 link to

      Any conflict between any treaty, including the UN Charter itself, and a peremptory norm of customary international law renders the treaty null and void from the outset. That customary rule was codified in Article 53 of the Convention on the Law of Treaties. That quashes the idea that a valid final settlement in line with Zionist desiderata can ever be concluded with the Government of the State of Palestine, the latest contracting state party. All of the prohibitions against war crimes and crimes against humanity are black letter jus cogens law, including the prohibition of plunder of public and private property, forced population transfer or deportations, unwarranted delay in the repatriation of prisoners and refugees, and the acquisition of territory through the threat of use force. link to

    • “Is there something wrong with not liking Israel? Is it against the law or something? ”

      As a US citizen and a Anti-Zionist person of Jewish descent, I have a perfect legal and moral right to object to my own government's attempts to assist in the establishment of a "Jewish state" and to absolutely abhor the proposition of such a thing if I feel like it. Anti-Zionist Jews were instrumental in preventing the words "Jewish State" from being utilized in the Balfour Declaration and the Palestine Mandate. Jews, like Rabbi Elmer Berger protested against the partition of Palestine and insisted on the inclusion of a minority rights plan to protect the non-Jewish inhabitants from the virulent racist doctrines of the Zionist movement.

      I'd like to point out here (once again) that the 1st and 14th Amendments to the US Constitution do not permit the establishment of a Jewish state anywhere within the territorial or maritime jurisdiction of this country, nor do they permit our lawmakers to adopt any law respecting the establishment of a Jewish state anywhere else. In Reid v Covert the Supreme Court adopted the proposition that the President and the Congress are merely creatures of the Constitution and that they have no authority whatsoever to commit any acts outside of our territorial jurisdiction if they are prohibited by that document.

      Nonetheless, as a member of Jewish Voice for Peace, I can assure you that Zionists and agents of the State of Israel are trying their damnedest to get US lawmakers to adopt unconstitutional legislation against any respectable form of Jewish Anti-Zionism. It's "as if" they think the Congress can use the "Commerce clause" to regulate political speech and political boycotts in violation of the 1st and 14th Amendments and the landmark Supreme Court civil rights cases on the subject, like NAACP v. Alabama ex rel. Patterson (1958) and NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co. (1982). Bottom line, despite Netanyahu's shreying to the contrary, it isn't 1939 again, and even if it were, I'd still have the same legal and moral rights.

      Back then, the Anglo-American Palestine Mandate Convention (1924), 44 Stat.2184; Treaty Series 728 explicitly guaranteed that the Zionist's so-called "national home" enterprise would not be allowed to undermine the civil or political rights of any Anti-Zionist Jew living in this country. Back in 1924, there were still plenty of Non-Zionist and Anti-Zionist Jews, because the majority of Reform Jews still subscribed to the Pittsburgh Platform and views like this were de rigueur:

      We recognize, in the modern era of universal culture of heart and intellect, the approaching of the realization of Israel's great Messianic hope for the establishment of the kingdom of truth, justice, and peace among all men. We consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religious community, and therefore expect neither a return to Palestine, nor a sacrificial worship under the sons of Aaron, nor the restoration of any of the laws concerning the Jewish state.

      link to

      You have to remember that many of our own Jewish ancestors warned against the Zionist movement and said that many of its leaders and members were little more than murderous racists and racketeers pursuing their own enrichment at the expense of the rights and property of others. By 1924, they had co-opted and taken over the Palestine Yishuv, They had already organized a crew of assassins who were murdering Jews, like Jacob Israel DeHaan. So it was not without relevance to note that non-Zionist and Anti-Zionist Jews demanded that legal safeguards be included in the Balfour Declaration, the Palestine Mandate, and the Anglo-American Palestine Convention stipulating that there would be no attempts by these thugs or anyone else to do anything that would prejudice the political or civil rights of non-Zionist or Anti-Zionist Jews living in this or any other country. Furthermore, it was stipulated that nothing would be done to violate the rights of the non-Jewish communities of Palestine. We all know how well those legal undertakings have turned out and exactly who to blame.

    • “And in his dissent, Justice Roberts noted that the 2012 Democratic platform contradicted the executive’s position, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital”

      Brilliant inclusion

      Only if you operate under the assumption that an IRS Code 527 organization is capable of making a truthful declaration, disclosure, or assurance about its conduct before, during, or after an election in the text its platform or other agreement constituting or defending its existence. There's really very little evidence to support that proposition.

      It’s so awful to revisit that sham.

      You really have to make allowances for people with disabilities when dealing with one of our political parties. For starters, there are sociopaths in charge of conducting the vote. You might run afoul of the ADA if you demand that these individuals "do the right thing", when they are clinically incapable of making such a decision. You can't even suggest a recorded vote or mention a hanging chad around some Democrats without triggering a case of Bush-Gore PTSD.

      Then there are people with obvious hearing disabilities, like DNC Chair Antonio Villaraigosa, who should never have been conducting a voice vote in the first place, let alone a second or third such failed performance. But what are ya gonna do? Asking for a show of hands would discriminate against those with handicaps; those bearing concealed weapons or "twisting a few arms" on behalf of the President, who are simply too busy to drop what they are doing and vote for themselves on this key question. Asking the participants to rise and be counted would likewise discriminate against those who are physically handicapped or morally "spineless".

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