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  • Norman Finkelstein slams the BDS movement calling it 'a cult'
    • did you mean “places no emphasis on dialogue about international law outside of the courtroom” or “places so much emphasis on dialogue about international law outside of the courtroom.”

      “places so much emphasis on dialogue about international law outside of the courtroom.”

      “the resolution reflected the emergence of a broad ‘line’ from the jostling and mutual struggle of the powers involved and because the US, as the dominant party framing the legislation, wanted a very wide space for manouevre on Israel’s part. Israel has had that space, and made ample use of it.“?

      That's a hasbara talking point that was first deployed by Abba Eban to distract attention from the inadmissibility clause. That reflected a non-derogable customary norm of international law and the UN Charter which the Security Council is bound to unconditionally respect. It can't adopt a position which creates a loophole for Israel to do something that is legally prohibited (without exception) simply by omitting the definite article from a sentence in one of the multilingual versions of a resolution. The cabinet ministers who wrote the resolution repudiated that idea decades ago, but Israel never changed the script. I've written about the resolution at length here:
      link to

      No he’s pissed because BDS constantly cites international law, but does nothing to move the issue out of UN political forums and into the Courthouse

      NF said that all he wants to do is enforce existing international law. The Security Council is a political organ that doesn't enforce the laws. It has always turned that job over to ad hoc and permanent international tribunals.

      The movement can't just mobilize because no one has enforced a judgment and talk itself to death about rights and remedies and not bring political pressure to bear on prosecutors when the opportunity presents itself. Economic and academic sanctions are good, but the pursuit of appropriate penal sanctions should also be a priority of the movement.

    • I think part of that could be about the idea that recognition could preclude the PLO, which speaks for ALL Palestinian people, whereas the PA only speaks for those in the Occupied Terrotories.

      The PLO doesn't actually have any legal standing to represent the Israeli-Palestinian citizens of the State of Israel in the UN organization. That's one of the points that Finkelstein was trying to clear-up. The leaders of the BDS movement are the source of the bogus idea that UN recognition of Palestine would change the role of the PLO. NF explained that under international law Israel is a state, like every other member State of the United Nations, with the same rights and obligations. In his email to lareineblanche he explained that the terms for settling the conflict have been set forth in multiple forums, ranging from the U.N. General Assembly to the International Court of Justice to the positions of human rights organizations. The status of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel never comes up for an obvious reason.

      *The 1988 PLO Declaration of the State of Palestine implicitly recognized Israel by mentioning that resolution 181(II) had partitioned Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish State and that it continued to be the source of international legitimacy which guarantees the rights to sovereignty and national independence. link to
      *In an exchange of letters on 9 September 1993 between Yasser Arafat,
      President of the PLO and Yitzhak Rabin, lsraeli Prime Minister, the President
      of the PL0 recognized "the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security" and various other commitments that preclude it from interfering in matters falling within the domestic jurisdiction of another state.

    • I wish there was a way for non-state actors who are not officials of PA – and therefore not subject to immediate persecution – to pursue a case.

      That is already possible, but I don't believe it has happened yet. The Court is a new institution. Relative to other courts, these are still the early days.

      Anyone can refer crimes that are subject to the jurisdiction of the Court to the Prosecutor in-line with Article 15 of the Statute. The Prosecutor can then initiate investigations on his/her own initiative. The only legal hurdles in this case have been the challenges to the validity of the State of Palestine's declaration which accepted the jurisdiction of the Court for all the crimes that have been reported so far. In principle, there should be no need for Palestine to join the ICC as a state party, especially after the UNESCO vote. The Article 12(3) procedure it employed in 2009 applies to situations involving a State which is not a signatory of the Rome statute. Palestine supplied documentary evidence of recognition of its statehood from 69 other states at the time it supplied the declaration. Every state can exercise universal jurisdiction, so the UNESCO vote and the 69 bilateral agreements establish that Palestine is a state which can transfer jurisdiction to the Court.

      Palestinian civil society organizations could be mobilizing right now to get the ICC to start investigating the 300+ reports it received concerning the situation in Gaza from the Arab League, AI, HRW, and etc. The ICJ advisory opinion used the same language employed by the Geneva Convention and Rome Statute regarding the transfer or facilitation, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies and the prohibition against internal displacement or deportation. So obtaining permission to investigate and prosecute cases involving officials who are facilitating the illegal settlements from the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber should be a slam dunk.

    • It explains why Israel does not simply reject the terrain of the law, but rather insists on forcefully prosecuting its case and remaining a member of the relevant bodies.

      So the author doesn't appear to be aware that Dr. Alan Baker of the MFA submitted a written pleading and that both he and Israel were no-shows for oral arguments and the decision in the ICJ Wall case.

      Israel loves to dialogue with everyone, except where it counts, inside a courtroom. So it's inexplicable to me why BDS places so emphasis on dialogue about international law outside of the courtroom.

      Or, perhaps more urgently, it explains why the legal consensus to which Finkelstein refers was actually built on a series of ambiguities. UN Resolution 242, in which the US and European powers were important negotiating parties, deliberately adopted a certain terminological inexactitude as regards what constituted occupied territory;

      All 15 ICJ Justices rejected the Israeli propaganda talking points about ambiguity and noted that resolution 242 cites the unambiguous prohibitions against the acquisition of territory by war and the corollary from the UN Charter against the use of force in the conduct of international relations. They all said the territory captured in 1967 is occupied territory; that the Geneva Conventions apply there; and that Israel had established settlements in violation of international law.

      But construing the law as a consistent body of doctrine allows Finkelstein to belabour BDS for choosing to cite international law in its propaganda without explicitly endorsing the ongoing existence of Israel.

      No he's pissed because BDS constantly cites international law, but does nothing to move the issue out of UN political forums and into the Courthouse. Throwing shoes at pictures of Abbas to get him to refer the Goldstone report to the UN HRC is mental masturbation if you don't follow-up by throwing shoes at his picture to get the President of the State of Palestine to submit it to the International Criminal Court where it really belongs. All of this BDS shreying about international law rings a little hollow

      The US refused to ratify the Covenant of the League of Nations and managed to codify Henry Cabot Lodge's reservations when the UN Charter was being drafted. The failure of the political organs of the UN to enforce international law is no surprise, but that is one of the reasons the International Criminal Court was established as an independent organization outside of the UN. Bitching about legal hurdles to enforcing international criminal law that no longer exist, doesn't reflect particularly profound thinking.

      Nothing is standing between the Palestinians and a remedy in the International Criminal Court, except their own disinterest.

    • Hostage, When NF says that a 1ss is a violation of international law, what law is he referring to?

      Provide a link or cite and I'll look and see. I've never heard NF frame it that way. Right at the moment, international law happens to call for a two state solution because the parties concerned - Egypt, Jordan, the PLO, and Israel - accepted 242 as the framework for a series of related international agreements. That framework is reflected in the Mitchell report findings and the Quartet Road Map for the 2ss. The terms of reference contained in those agreements have been endorsed by the UN Security Council and ICJ. So that decision is binding on all of the member states (but not non-members or non-state actors).

      The Road Map and 242 could be abandoned in a heartbeat if the Palestinians, Jordan, and Egypt agree that Israel has violated the terms of reference contained in their respective agreements and demand a 1ss instead. That wouldn't be against international law, but it will probably never happen because it would seriously undermine the idea that Israel is an occupying power. You see, it wouldn't necessarily be against international law if Israel said okay to the 1ss and still refused to give the residents of the PA territory citizenship and the right to vote in Israel's national elections. After all, even the US nationals of American Samoa don't have citizenship yet. It would be incorrect to assume that, just because the 2ss is supposedly dead, Israel will have no other options short of granting the Palestinians citizenship. Alan Baker and Alan Dershowitz haven't been trained to think like that.

      Becasue as I see it, there is no Palestinian state

      The UNESCO vote disposed of any doubts on that score within the UN organization. Palestine is an occupied state, just like Iraq under Bremmer or Afghanistan under NATO.

    • And that is one reason BDS is the one and only means to put pressure on israel.

      Well you might have had me up to that point, but the ICC is not a political organ of the UN. Settlements are a violation of Article 8 of its Statute and the responsible Israel officials announce new settlements with great fanfare. So, there's really no need to resort to technicalities to obtain an arrest warrant.

      I don't imagine that the EU would refuse to arrest the unlovable bunch that's running things in Israel at the moment. At a minimum, the ICC could put the fear of God into officials when they are making travel plans to any of the 120 member states and cause them to waste even more of their rapidly diminishing political capital.

    • I think the problem lies with NF’s specific arguments and the tone (mockery and dismissal) with which they are delivered. I don’t think his position (as expressed in this interview) coincides with yours at all.

      I agree he was being sarcastic and that he was obviously upset. He is certainly more familiar with the positions and political in-fighting among other activists than I am.

      I disagree completely with the idea that international law says nothing about minority rights in Palestine or Israel and have commented ad nauseum on that at MW. I don't expect that the international community will make that a priority. The best way to bring attention to the problem is to present the findings of fact from the 2004 ICJ opinion to the ICC and ask that the responsible Israel officials be prosecuted for the crime of apartheid. Regardless of the outcome, that would focus the attention of Israelis on making some much needed changes at home.

    • He is criticising BDS for being hypocritical within the context of what it is trying to accomplish, not for failing to propose a rights-based solution. I think he completely misconstrues the goals of the movement and the motivation behind them.

      It's not just what Abunimah and Barghouti have discussed beyond BDS. There is no public political consensus in the US or EU for the solutions proposed in Part II of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) document on the Durban Review Conference, Geneva, 20 – 24 April 2009. link to

      And yeah, after reading about regime change there, I noticed there was no clear proposal for its successor, just the usual boilerplate about the exercise of the inalienable rights of Palestinians. That's not going to be any comfort to the Jewish public. There's lots of talk about holding Israelis criminally responsible for their actions, but no mention of equal treatment for Palestinians who've committed serious crimes. I also wonder why we don't discuss those proposals during events like PennBDS and simply say ‘we want to abolish Israel and this is our strategy for doing it’?

      I still think you guys are blaming the messenger. He was telling Frank Barat about the objections that he hears to the BDS movement at all of his lectures. He was not expressing his own views, he was talking about the Israeli public perception of BDS, so of course he sounded like Dershowitz - and of course you're never going to sell them on the goodness of the idea of regime change.

    • I sincerely hope he lives to regret saying all this because it’s OBVIOUS he is boiling with resentment throughout this video.

      The guy who actually won the Presidency of Palestine with 60 percent of the popular vote explained that he wants recognition from the UN so that he can make the case for Palestine a legal matter, not just an on-going political debate. link to

      The leader of the opposing political faction agreed with that strategy in the face of strong opposition from one of his largest financial supporters, Iran's Ayatollah Khameini. See Hamas Leader, Meshaal, Praises Abbas' UN Bid for Statehood. link to

      My opinion is that none of the leaders of the BDS movement have ever been elected and that the UN bid is the will of the Palestinian people until proven otherwise.

      Ali Abunimah and Omar Barghouti do not support the efforts to obtain recognition of Palestinian statehood from the UN so that Palestinians can pursue their own criminal complaints without having to depend on the good offices of the useless UN Human Rights Council and a bunch of impotent NGOs. Do you hope that they live to regret saying all of that?

      The operators of this website have written a book about the Goldstone report. They have also published articles from Omar Barghouti warning about the dangers of the Palestinian Statehood bid in the UN. Any State can refer information available from public sources relevant to the commission of a crime on its own territory to the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC for investigation. That means Palestine can include the entire Goldstone report in its own complaint without bothering with the UN Security Council. You won't read about that anywhere but in my off-topic comments here.

      To the best of my knowledge, there haven't been any articles here which explained that the Palestine Authority referred the situation in Gaza to the International Criminal Court for action in January 2009 - long before anyone had heard of Judge Goldstone. That complaint remains under seal, but the results of the Arab League's own independent investigation are publicly available. The Arab League report was also handed over to the ICC Prosecutor before the Goldstone report was ever finalized.

      Notwithstanding their prompt actions, there have been plenty of articles discrediting the efforts of the Palestinian Authority and the Arab League and accusing them of collaborating with the Israelis. Omar Barghouti has written articles elsewhere calling for the PA to be be disbanded, and responsibility for the territory handed back to the jackals in the IDF simply because the PA delayed a symbolic vote in the Human Rights Council on the Goldstone report. link to

      The statements that we hear from the leaders of the BDS movement echo the sentiments of former Israeli UN Ambassador Dore Gold when he claimed that the PA had no right to file a criminal case against Israel:
      *There has never been a State of Palestine. It is a sham, a farce, and a waste of time.
      *There is really only one existing entity in actual practice that has the right to transfer jurisdiction over the West Bank and Gaza to the ICC - Israel.

      The BDS movement was founded to end Israeli legal impunity in 2005. It's manifesto enumerated a list of historical wrongs and complained about the passage of time without a remedy. In the case of the ICJ Advisory Opinion the passage of a single year was sufficient to demand mobilization. That was seven years ago, and its time for the BDS movement to admit that there has been nothing but record growth in the settlements and increased acts of violence committed by the settlers and the IDF since it came into existence. Its time to mobilize support for Palestine to join the ICC and pursue criminal claims against the Israeli officials responsible for the settlements.

    • Finkelstein treats the goals of BDS as if they were a peace plan. They are not.

      Actually, it was the interviewer who asked Finkelstein about his book with Rabbani and asked him how he would resolve the conflict? Finkelstein responded by telling him that if you wanted to design a mass movement to do that you can't go beyond what the public is ready to accept. If you are saying that isn't the goal of BDS, then you are saying the same thing he did and talking past one another a bit.

    • Why is he suddenly reluctant to raise issues he doesn’t think will fly. Has that ever stopped him?

      I don't think he is shying away from expressing his opinion, he complained that others are doing that in several instances during the interview. At many points he was not expressing his own views, just playing the devil's advocate and presenting the standard objections that are raised by the public in Israel and other countries and saying that represents the current consensus we have to deal with.

      For example, Zionists always do object that they will never agree to the return of millions of refugees, because it would destroy the Jewish character of their society. I'm an anti-Zionist, so I've always responded that the justification for a Jewish state in Palestine is no more compelling to me than the justification for a German one in the Sudetenland. Neither Chomsky nor Finkelstein accept Israel as The Jewish State, but Israelis and many in the rest of the world do. We've got a statute on the books here in the US that requires Hamas to accept that.

      Some people in the BDS movement are reluctant to be honest and admit that they want to abolish the Zionist regime in Israel. It certainly isn't necessary to resolve the refugee problem before the military occupation and closure of the West Bank and Gaza can be brought to an end and a State in Palestine can be acknowledged and allowed to join the international community on an equal footing. But some people have taken an all or nothing approach to solving their pet problems and resist any interim steps toward a final settlement. There's an old Gallager joke that pointed out that "They called our ancestors settlers, because of all the things they were willing to settle for." Many refugees might be willing to move to the West Bank or Gaza, instead of Israel, if we don't prevent them from freely making that decision. People who want to solve the problems faced by Israeli Palestinians beat around the bush when a Zionist says equal rights and a just settlement will destroy the Jewish character of their state. That's what Finkelstein was getting angry about at one point:

      “You think you’re fooling anybody? You think you’re so clever?… You shouldn’t reach a broad public because you’re dishonest… At least be honest what you want — ‘we want to abolish Israel and this is our strategy for doing it’.”

      The South African BDS movement did that. They labeled apartheid as racism and a crime. The leadership openly admitted that apartheid could not be the basis of any decent society and that it had to be abolished. If you tried to resurrect the defunct UN resolution which equated Zionism with racism or a crime, a proverbial "hockey match" would breakout, because there's no public consensus for that position. The UN actually is addressing discriminatory legislation in Israel and equal rights for Palestinian Israelis, but it isn't the most urgent priority. Finkelstein is a political scientist and he was describing that situation and getting exasperated because a settlement of some of these problems is readily available by simply applying existing international law and measures that are supported by a broad consensus.

      The video is still available at link to

    • it was indeed ex post facto.

      You are certainly correct that the Allied crimes you mentioned should not have gone unpunished. However the crimes in question were contained in pre-existing prohibitions of customary law. They were given new names and denominations, but were not applied ex-post facto.

      There was pre-existing state practice for the establishment of special tribunals or trials in the regular courts for murder and other war crimes. For example, after the US Civil War Champ Ferguson and Henry Wirz had been tried and hanged
      * .

      The Hague Conventions had been adopted and labeled at the time as a codification of the laws and customs of war. It was an existing practice under international law to demand the prosecution of individuals, including government officials, who wage wars in violation of international treaties or violated the laws and customs of warfare. See for example the public arraignment of the German Emperor and others, for a supreme offence against international morality and the sanctity of treaties. in Articles 227-228 of the Treaty of Versailles, Penalties.

      The Allies had issued a number of public declarations and warnings to the Axis Powers. See for example "Allied declarations condemning German atrocities in occupied territories; proposal for the creation of a United Nations commission for the investigation of war crimes," pp. 45-71 in the Foreign relations of the Untied States diplomatic papers, 1942. link to
      The papers contain the negotiations leading to:
      The Allied Declaration on the German Government's determination to exterminate the Jewish people

      The Allied Declarations Condemning German Atrocities In Occupied Territories

    • What do YOU mean he ‘grew up’ Hostage? Are you partially agreeing with the troll?

      I was referring to the fact that Finkelstein is no longer a Maoist. Judging from the rest of Hophmi's comments, I doubt that's what he had in mind.

    • You side-stepped the issue

      That Chomsky offered sound advice, but someone got insulted by his bluntness. Big whoop. Look, symbolic victories can be accurately described as "feel good", but ineffective accomplishments in many cases. Why are you still flooding the comment threads about that?

      Unlike the South African BDS movement, the Palestinian BDS movement is pursuing zero formal sanctions against Israel, while defying its legal authorities in staging flotillas or similar demonstrations. So yes, you could say it resembles the anti-establishment or anti-war demonstrators who occasionally broke windows in some respects.

      I support the demonstrations and flotillas too, but that doesn't mean that I think they are the best way to address the problem.

    • The problem is the US standing in the way of Israel being subjected to the law.

      That was true enough, before the Vienna Formula was adopted to get around the objections from permanent members of the Security Council and before the ICC was deliberately created outside the UN framework to get around those same objections. The US can no longer prevent the ICC from considering petitions from Palestine like any other state or prevent Interpol and ICC member states from issuing arrest warrants at the request of the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber.

    • I was not aware the BDS did that.
      Who the hell ‘are’ the leaders of the BDS?
      There are obviously some foxes(or stupids) in the hen house.

      Omar Barghouti wrote an article right here at Mondoweiss which contained factual errors about the contents of the UN application. It was never updated or corrected even after some of the errors were acknowledged by Barghouti in the comments section. He claimed the PLO was too invaluable to be replaced by the State of Palestine: "While our inalienable rights cannot be voided or extinguished by this or any other "diplomatic" maneuver, our ability to struggle for these rights in international forums will be severely damaged if the PLO is replaced by this imaginary "State of Palestine" at the UN." link to

      Abbas, the Chairman of the PLO, hand carried the application for membership in the UN. Omar Barghouti wrote a series of articles which claimed the plan for ending the occupation and establishing the state was not approved by the PLO and that the PA did not have have the PLO's permission to go to the UN for recognition. In fact it had been approved by the PLO Executive and posted on the PLO UN Mission website for over two years.

      Ali Abunimah and/or Omar Barghouti contributed these gems:
      Palestinian analysts continue to debate, oppose PA "statehood" bid
      *A Formal Funeral for the Two-State Solution
      How the PA’s Statehood Bid Sidelines Palestinians
      link to
      Recognising Palestine?
      The efforts of the Palestinian Authority to push for statehood are nothing more than an elaborate farce
      *link to
      How Palestinian Authority’s UN “statehood” bid endangers Palestinian rights
      *link to

      I frankly don't hear a word these guys say anymore after the first insincere reference to international law or rights and remedies.

    • I want this madness to stop

      Immediately after Operation Cast Lead the Justice Minister and Foreign Minister of Palestine filed a criminal complain with the International Court and said this madness must stop. The Prosecutor's office received 300+ communications from the public reporting serious crimes committed in Palestine from other groups. So far as I can tell, the unelected BDS leadership said a) there is no State of Palestine; b) these Palestinian government officials don't represent anyone; and c) all of this is a waste of time and a farce.

    • But how and who will put Israel in the dock? And then enforce the legal remedies?

      Prior to the UNESCO vote, there had been a "knock down drag-out" battle going on to prevent the ICC Prosecutor from opening an investigation based upon the Palestinians complaint. The last straw man standing in the way was the Palestine wasn't eligible to become a member of the ICC and deposit an accession with the Secretary General because it wasn't officially recognized as a State by the UN or any of its agencies. It was argued that for the same reason it could not make a declaration as a non-member State either. The UNESCO vote eliminated that objection.

      I expected the hundreds of Palestinian civil society organizations that mobilized the BDS movement in the first place to inundate the Prosecutor's office with demands for prosecutions, and reports of additional crimes in accordance with Article 15 of the Statute. But the silence has been deafening. These people originally mobilized in 2005 because the ICJ advisory opinion had not been enforced. Now it looks like they are opposed to enforcing those same judgments.

    • hostage, i meant defining borders they would presently accept. referencing something defined 40 years ago, if they won’t agree to it today, is not what i meant.

      Israel doesn't have to accept them. I've noted elsewhere the Credentials Committee of the UN and the General Assembly started calling them borders several years ago and formally put the government of Israel on notice that their credentials did not apply to the area beyond those borders. The International Court agreed and said the Palestinians were entitled to the their territory and their own State.

      If you put the question of the current extent of the ICC's jurisdiction to the Pre-Trial Chamber, the answer would be all of Palestine beyond the Green Line. Israel is not included because it's not a member state. The crimes committed by Israelis on the territory of Palestine are a completely different matter because of the Article 12(3) Declaration supplied by the Government of Palestine in 2009. Those crimes can result in arrest warrants and prosecutions without the State of Israel's consent. Norman is pointing out that international consensus.

    • here is a very interesting quote from Int’l Relations theorist, Hedley Bull, the father of Rationalism:

      That comment is somewhat out of date. The UN was not setup to serve as a world government, but one of its tasks was to promote the progressive codification of international law. It facilitated the establishment of an international criminal court in 2002. It does have a legislative body that can amend its portion of the international criminal code and determine its own jurisdiction "whereby the law can be altered by consent". Unlike the UN none of the members has a veto.

    • When one country with 5% of global population consumes 25% of the world’s annual input of raw materials (which itself is 40% higher than the capacity of the world to sustain itself long term) and this is accepted as right, international law is a joke.

      International law is simply the collection of agreed upon rules that states have adopted to govern their mutual relations. If you think there should be laws about that fine, but there already are existing ones against illegal settlements, murder, and the like, that could be enforced. The BDS movement supposedly mobilized in 2005 because the ICJ advisory opinion wasn't being enforced. Maybe you haven't noticed, but nowadays the BDS movement leadership is mobilizing to prevent that from happening.

    • What I find troubling about Finkelstein’s arguments is actually what he doesnt say.

      I find what BDS activist don't say very troubling. They claimed in 2005 that they were mobilizing because no one was enforcing the ICJ advisory opinion. The leadership started writing Op-eds and books claiming the two state solution was already dead and only use the ICJ opinion as a straw man. Can you point to any BDS movement participants in these efforts to get the ICC to enforce international law and stop the violations mentioned by the ICJ? link to

      Don't you find that a little odd? After all that is a debate about legal rights and remedies for the victims of Israeli oppression and apartheid.

    • Yeah Hophmi Norman grew up. But he still wants to enforce international law and get Israel out of East Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. That would still make your head explode, so why don't you just keep quiet?

    • then what alternative does he provide or suggest? This is NF’s weak area.

      *In 2005 the BDS movement mobilized because the PLO and the UN hadn't enforced the ICJ advisory opinion.

      *In 2009 the PA filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court and accepted its jurisdiction over any crimes, including the construction of the Wall, settlements, and Cast Lead, that had been committed on its territory since July 2002.

      *Former Israeli Ambassador Dore Gold; the Israel Lobby, and the Christian Zionist organizations sprang into action and sent communications that said Palestine was not a State - despite written recognition from 69 other countries - and that it could not legally grant jurisdiction to the Court. They said that the fact it wasn't a member state of the UN or any of it's specialized agencies cast serious doubt on its statehood.

      *The ICC Prosecutor opened a public debate and opposing views were provided by the League of Arab States, Prof John Quigley, Prof Alain Pellet and group of other distinguished scholars, and Prof Michael Kearney of Al Haq. None of the many other legal scholars who are normally associated with the BDS movement participated. See Summary of submissions on whether the declaration lodged by the Palestinian National Authority meets statutory requirements link to

      *So now that the State of Palestine has been admitted to a UN specialized agency, Norm is naturally wondering why the BDS movement is still missing in action and hostile to moblizing efforts to enforce the ICJ advisory opinion in the ICC?

    • I think Fink is stuck because he knows the Jews need a place of their own while they have totally destroyed the possibility of the Palestinians having the same.

      No, I think he's tired of wasting his time with people who won't define their goals or admit their true agendas. There are four likely possibilities: a) more of the same apartheid, b) a 2ss, c) a 1ss, d) war.

      The US and Israel have already voted. They are going to give us more of the same apartheid. When the Palestinian leadership tried to change the status quo by publishing a plan for statehood, filing a complaint with the International Criminal Court, and joining the UN, the leaders of the BDS movement rejected the idea and offered a number of patently absurd excuses, chief among which were the farfetched ideas that:
      *The Chairman of the PLO and the PLO Executive, who approved the PA plan, were acting without the permission of the PLO (which declared the State of Palestine in the first place and tried to join the UN and its agencies back in 1989). The BDS movement (which has no legal mandate) claimed the PA and PLO needed a fresh mandate from the voters before they could demand an end to the occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian State.
      *That becoming a UN member state would harm the bang-up job the PLO has been doing for the last 40 years representing all of the Palestinians living in refugee camps.

      So that's another vote for more of the same. The leaders of the BDS movement know that the ICJ advised that the Palestinian people are entitled to all of their territory and their State and that the settlements are illegal. Therefore, the claim that UN recognition of the State of Palestine is tantamount to recognition of a Bantustan is simply propaganda. The UN has declared the settlement blocks to be illegal - and as a consequence - they would automatically fall within the International Criminal Court's jurisdiction. The Government of Palestine has already granted the Court jurisdiction over any crimes committed on the territory of Palestine after July of 2002. See Declaration of the Palestinian National Authority recognizing the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court,  executed for the Government of Palestine by Ali Khashan, Minister of Justice, January 21, 2009. link to

      Here is what one of the Jewish ICJ Justices said about the international consensus on the illegal wall and settlements back in 2004:

      This is not difficult – from Security Council resolution 242 (1967) through to Security Council resolution 1515 (2003), the key underlying requirements have remained the same – that Israel is entitled to exist, to be recognized, and to security, and that the Palestinian people are entitled to their territory, to exercise self-determination, and to have their own State.

      The Court also noted that Palestinians had been displaced in violation of Article 49(6) of the Geneva Convention. Those individuals have a guaranteed right to repatriation. With that ruling in hand, their State government can now pursue a remedy through the International Criminal Court on their behalf.

      So why is the BDS movement condemning the move, instead of endorsing the UN bid and demanding action on the criminal complaint the government of Palestine that was lodged with the International Criminal Court in 2009? Bear in mind that the leadership claims in the articles below that it had to mobilize in 2005, because the PLO and the international community didn't enforce the ICJ opinion.
      *A Formal Funeral for the Two-State Solution
      How the PA's Statehood Bid Sidelines Palestinians
      link to
      Recognising Palestine?
      The efforts of the Palestinian Authority to push for statehood are nothing more than an elaborate farce
      How Palestinian Authority’s UN "statehood" bid endangers Palestinian rights

      Fink is pissed because its obvious that folks, like Ali Abunimah, are actively undermining the individual rights of Palestinians who've voted in favor of the PLO demand for their own state in the occupied territories for the last 40 years. His actions are manifestly at odds with the claim of some in the BDS movement that we doen't take sides in the 1ss v 2ss debate.

    • Is taking land from one (private) person and giving it to another (private) person solely on the basis of religion / ethnicity a legitimate exercise of state power? Is the UN giving sanction to this sort action? Do you approve?

      No I don't approve and neither did the UN. That's why the PCC was directed to establish registries of Palestinian property that had been confiscated. In 1947, expropriation for public purposes did not include economic development or redistribution schemes. The US Supreme Court caused a firestorm of controversy with its decision in Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005), which is an instance of something like that. link to

      You'd have no trouble finding examples of Israeli officials shreying about Bedouin citizens encroaching on "state lands" that they've inhabited long before Israel came into existence. For example, FM Liebermann sent "Green patrols" and crop dusters with defoliants out to destroy Bedouin crops when he was the National Infrastructures Minister. link to

      In any event, the UN plan required the new states to treat Bedouins or other minorities as citizens with equal rights to enjoy quiet possession of their lands. They also should have an equal right to the use of any state land or use of state facilities located on lands expropriated for "public purposes".

    • No, I get it – you and David Green, and in the past Max Ajl(sp) and Keith and a whole host of others are knee-jerk defenders of Chomsky.

      I actually sided with Jeff Blankfort and ridiculed Max Ajl:
      I think Max Ajl details these influences quite ably on his website,

      I replied: "There’s an old Latin proverb that explained “to each his own is beautiful”. I’d rather not waste my time on simplistic Marxist totalizing theories that pretend to explain the whole of social reality."
      link to
      Like Blankfort, I've also been puzzled by activists, including Finkelstein, who downplay the role of Zionism in the motivations of the neocons who started the Iraq war:
      This is an important moment because it epitomizes the refusal of intelligent, prominent liberal American Jews to acknowledge the role of the Israel lobby (let alone dime out their crazy cousins, the neocons).

      To which I replied: "Yes, there are several examples that come to mind of intelligent Jews with a Marxist background who are happy to condemn the neocons for being evil greedy “capitalists”, yet make the bizarre excuse that Zionists like Richard Perle and Eliot Abrams have long since abandoned their Jewish roots."
      link to

      I think your caricatures of Chomsky's actual positions are similarly incorrect. But, by all means, don't let the facts get in your way.

    • Im sorry Hostage, was that supposed to make me change my mind about Finkelstein and his claims that the US (and its euro lackey’s) will adopt the law in regards to Palestine?

      Yes, the states that voted for Palestinian membership in UNESCO included Austria, France, and Spain who are each European lackeys. They were all aware that UNESCO's members have a standing invitation to become a State party to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and that the Rome Statute is open to membership by all States. The members of the EU are also members of the International Criminal Court too. Those states would automatically be off limits to any Israeli officials if the ICC Pre-trial Chamber issues an arrest warrant. Israeli government officials have been publicly announcing tenders for thousands of units in illegal settlements for so long that they've forgotten that is a grave breach and a war crime under the terms of the Rome Statute.

      The thing that troubles me is when activists who run around talking a good game about Israel's violations of international law and the need for equal rights and remedies, buy-in to Ali Abunimah's propaganda. He knows perfectly well that the ICC would have criminal jurisdiction over any Israeli crime committed on the whole of the occupied Palestinian territory, not just the Bantustans. Yet he still has the gall to write Op-Eds opposing the UN statehood bid. link to

      I'm sorry too, his real agenda is pretty obvious and it has nothing to do with stopping the violence or protecting the rights of the people living under occupation.

    • Too bad he does not say Israel is recognized as a state based on the 67 border

      That is exactly what he is saying every time that he mentions the 2004 ICJ advisory opinion; the unanimous findings of all the Justices with respect to the applicability of the Geneva Conventions to all of the Palestinian Occupied Territories, of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza; and the existing international consensus.

      The Court affirmed the General Assembly's determinations in the resolution which requested the advisory opinion titled "Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory" it found that the construction of the wall was illegal because it was "in departure from the Armistice Line of 1949 (Green Line) and which has involved the confiscation and destruction of Palestinian land and resources, the disruption of the lives of thousands of protected civilians and the de facto annexation of large areas of territory, and underlining the unanimous opposition by the international community to the construction of that wall". -- link to

    • Exactly. The equality approach (one state) is the pragmatic solution while the “two states” is neither two states nor a solution – it is just a smokescreen that legitimizes the Apartheid “while (the endless) negotiations continue…”

      The Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid was the first UN treaty that called for the establishment of an international criminal tribunal. The wasn't one during the era of South African Apartheid, so the UN adopted a sanctions regime of collective non-recognition which included recognizing or assisting in the policy of apartheid in the Bantustans.

      The UN has acknowledged Palestine's 1988 Algiers Declaration, adopted the Roadmap, and it was finally admitted as a full member state of one of the UN specialized agencies, UNESCO. So, unlike the Bantustans, it can be considered a victim state and deposit accessions to the Vienna Convention and Rome Statute. Then it can demand that the responsible Israeli officials be investigated and prosecuted for the crime of apartheid.

    • UN Resolution 273 (III) admission of Israel to membership in the United Nations recalls “its resolutions of 29 November 1947 and 11 December 1948” as the basis of accepting Israel as a state.

      No, in Israel's case, the rights mentioned in those resolutions are under the guarantee of the UN and its members. They constitute a Charter obligation of all the member states. So acceptance was a basis for admitting Israel as a member. If Israel's membership were ever revoked, it would simply become a non-member State.

      The PLO recognises the Palestinians holding Israeli citizenship as Palestinians.

      Yes but it does not represent them in the UN organization. The PLO represents Palestinian refugees, but Israel is the sole representative of its own citizens within the UN organization. Conversely, the Credentials Committee has never accepted Israel's credentials as valid for the Occupied Palestinian territories.

      Pending Palestine's full membership, the General Assembly Credentials Committee allows representatives of the permanent observer mission of "Palestine" to participate in the business of the UN without presenting credentials from either the "PLO" or "PNA". The UN reports and resolutions about that also mention "their State, Palestine". They describe the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967 as "their territory" and say that "the credentials of the delegation of Israel do not cover that territory", which has recently been formally admitted to UNESCO as a full member state. See A/58/L.48, 15 December 2003; General Assembly resolution, A/RES/58/292, 17 May 2004 and the discussion of those resolutions on page 192 of John Quigley, "The Statehood of Palestine". The verbatim record of the General Assembly discussion of the resolution indictes the words “pre-1967 borders” had replaced the words “Armistice Line of 1949”. link to

    • jamie, we’re talking about individual rights, not state rights.

      It's Catch-22. Only States have the necessary legal standing to pursue legal remedies based upon human and humanitarian rights conventions under international law. Since the leaders of the BDS movement don't want to enforce the existing consensus on that point, or accept the current international consensus on recognition of Palestine's statehood, what is their real agenda? Ali Abunimah has it all wrong. A Bantustan can be a "victim state" with legal standing to pursue a remedy for the crime of apartheid. On the other hand, individual rights (without a remedy) is all you get in most cases if you happen to be stateless.

    • @ Fred: Rights exist in a framework of laws. No, rights superseed laws. -N49.

      Under the existing framework of international law, only a State has the necessary legal standing to pursue claims based upon human rights and humanitarians rights. Before the UNESCO vote, Palestinians had not been represented by an internationally recognized State since the dissolution of the union with Jordan in 1988.

      The problem is that the leaders of the BDS movement won't touch the offer of UN recognition of Palestinian statehood (and locus standi wrt human rights and humanitarian rights) with a barge pole - and Norman knows that. So if the movement isn't about obtaining those equal human rights, what is its agenda?

    • i would support two states if israel would start by defining those borders. it won’t.

      Israel did that when it signed the Armistice Agreements as a provisional measure under Article 40, Chapter VII of the UN Charter. The ICJ cited Security Council resolution 62 and the other relevant resolutions in determining the legal status of the territory. I've noted elsewhere that Israel admitted the status of the territory is unchallengeable in the absence of a new round of negotiations and mutual consent. Palestine is not under any obligation to accept any changes. link to

      The international community adopted a consensus definition of the crime of aggression which included any military occupation that violates the UN Charter - and it has long-since applied it to the on-going occupation of the Arab territories captured by Israel in 1967. See for example UN General Assembly resolution 39/146 link to The ICC Assembly of State Parties adopted the consensus definition into the recent amendments to the Rome Statute. So Norman is actually correct. There is an enforceable consensus solution under existing Security Council resolutions 62 & 73 and international law.

    • What does Israel’s ‘right to exist . . . have to do w/ anything?

      It has all of the rights and duties that other states have under international law. While an NGO BDS movement can meddle in the internal affairs of a state, the ability of officials of other states to interfere in essentially domestic matters is very limited.

      For example, when Ali Abunimah and Omar Barghouti say that they want equal rights for Palestinian living in Israel, does that include the right to be represented in the UN by the government of Israel like the other citizens? The citizens of Israel are really not part of the Palestinian polity that the PLO officially represents.

      When Abunimah and Barghouti complain that the PA and Hamas or the PLO have no "mandate" from the Palestinian people, how do they expect them to obtain one? The Palestinians living in Israel can't communicate with members of enemy entities. The PLO/PA have included groups like Hamas since 2007 that Israel considers enemy terrorist entities. Every State has the right to prohibit its citizens from communicating with enemies or terrorists.

      The UN Palestine Conciliation Commission has several mandates to maintain databases for personal property claims stemming from the wars and construction of the wall. The UNRWA has been registering Palestine refugees since it came into existence. How is it possible for the parties to conduct negotiations for 20 years if no one knows how many refugees want to return to their country of origin, or how many simply want compensation? The press has reported that Palestinian polling shows 90 percent of the refugees just want want compensation. One or two spokesmen for the BDS Movement have challenged those findings, but they haven't published their own survey.

      What is the BDS movement's motive for discussing the return of 6 million refugees, if most of them may not be interested?

    • We have a chance to end the conflict now. So why not take it? Why not? Well, some people are far too obsessed with being armchair generals and gurus and winning arguments on the internet. It’s infuriating.

      I agree. Nationality is self-constructed from a shared sense of history and a sense of belonging together. How many states do the Germanic people have, and who would be harmed if the Palestinians had three or four?

      Colonial peoples always split into factions because they are subjected to a deliberate strategy of divide and rule. But that doesn't quite explain the current situation with the Palestinians. There are people who would shed the last drop of blood in Gaza before they would ever accept the idea of its membership in the UN (a 3ss). But it has more territory and a much larger population than many existing UN member states. The population there has been exposed to trials and tribulations that have not been shared with "Palestinians" living in Israel, Jordan, & etc. Why should they, or the people living under occupation in the West Bank care so much about achieving a 1ss vs 2ss - or submit the decision to others living in relative safety somewhere else?

    • Norman is right in thoery but not in reality. The thing he leaves out how we are, or who is, going to force people to do what they know is right and how we are going to force the law to apply the law.

      I'm always fascinated when people say that applying international criminal law hasn't worked, when it has never been tried.

      The mere threat caused Israeli Generals and Tzipi Livni to run hime and hide under the bed, while their minions ran around shreying about the dangers of universal jurisdiction. For the first time ever, the General Assembly ordered the Secretary General to conduct a symbolic poll to see what members states are willing to do in order to implement the penal sanctions contained in the Geneva Conventions against Israel.

      F*** ‘em. Use whatever you can,
      I agree.

    • Sorry but this is where we must part ways.

      I doubt it. If you check the archives, you'll see that I think that the threat of penal sanctions combined with BDS, and loss of open US support is the only thing that could make Israel change its policies. The real prospect of an imposed 2ss and the sudden realization that both sides would have to abandon parts of their prospective homelands is the only thing that will ever motivate them to seriously consider a 1ss with equal rights. The grassroots approach alone will probably never work.

    • What does this mean? That the UN provides for the expropriation of a refugee’s property willy-nilly? Please explain.

      The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, stipulates: "...nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

      The UN resolution contained a minority protection plan that spelled-out certain constitutional rights, including equality under the law. It contained a similar stipulation which allowed the new States to exercise eminent domain:

      No expropriation of land owned by an Arab in the Jewish State (by a Jew in the Arab State) shall be allowed except for public purposes. In all cases of expropriation full compensation as fixed by the Supreme Court shall be paid previous to dispossession.

      During the hearings on Israel's UN membership the representative of Lebanon pointed out that Israel was in violation of that provision and Israel made declarations and undertakings to implement resolution 181(II) and 194(III). I'm just pointing out that when Ali Abunimah says that refugees are entitled to both return and compensation, that international law doesn't govern adjudication of claims between a successor State and its own citizens. So ex-pat refugees could be compensated under a different, international framework.

    • Ali Abunimah is correct about the poll’s dishonest question.

      I include Ali Abunimah and Omar Barghouti among the good guys, but they are not elected officials, and their agendas have never been officially adopted by the only Palestinian poll that actually counts.

      Who gives a shit about East Timor in America, Hostage?
      Nobody really, but it still managed to emerge as a separate state after Indonesia had annexed it and signed a treaty with Australia to exploit the oil reserves of "the Indonesian Province of East Timor".

      but some people ‘get it’ (like Ilan Pappe or Jeff Halper when he says Palestinians are becoming a ‘warehoused’ people).

      Chomsky and Pappe recently collaborated on a book together. So far as I know, neither Pappe nor Halper have jumped to the end of their chains and snarled dickish things about Chomsky yet.

    • Hostage began to filibuster the discussion and side-step the issue.

      No you started offer your opinion and analysis to what Chomsky had actually said in a video where he was asked and answered some specific questions by a group of students. He actually commended their BDS agenda and said they were going about it the right way.

      We get it, you don't like Chomsky. BTW, even if he had been condescending, that doesn't prove that everything he said was wrong or somehow incorrect.

    • What makes him think a government like this will “uphold the law” for “unpeople” like Palestinians?

      The United States isn't the only country that can apply economic and penal sanctions against Israelis.

      *Israeli cos likely to bid in new Cypriot gas tenders link to

      *Report: Israel Considering Placing IAF Aircraft in Cyprus link to

      By a note verbale dated 19 July 2010, sent to all permanent missions, the Secretary-General drew the attention of all the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention) to operative paragraph 3 of General Assembly resolution 64/92. The Secretary-General requested, in view of his reporting obligations under resolution 64/92, information regarding any steps the High Contracting Parties had taken or envisaged taking concerning the implementation of that resolution.
      . . .
      On 10 August 2010, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Cyprus replied
      to the note verbale. In its reply Cyprus recalled its adherence to the Geneva
      Conventions and noted provisions of its domestic legal framework that governed criminal liability and jurisdiction arising from grave breaches thereof. Cyprus also noted that such provisions provided that breaches of article 147 of the Convention might result in criminal prosecutions, indictments, trials and punishment, irrespective of where the offence was committed. -- link to

    • Hostage wasted a whole lot of time, looking up a bunch of stuff (that was besides the point) to defend Chomsky’s patronizing/condescending and insulting characterization of BDS as ‘breaking windows’ (while ignoring the argument I made, which was – take these insulting characterizations in context to his comments that he’d move to Israel after the US as a second home, and blah blah blah).

      *The last time I checked, Prof Chomsky wasn't being represented by Prof. Finkelstein. I would disagree with Finkelstein's assessment about the obligations of the Israeli and Palestinian governments under the terms of the minority rights declarations they've each made in accordance with the terms of resolution 181(II). The responsible UN subsidiary organs are on record that there is a continuing legal obligation that flows from 181(II) and 194(III). I've outlined that situation on many occasions and it definitely falls under the category of enforcing existing international law, e.g. link to

      The recognition of both the new states that emerged from the former Yugoslavia and EU accession are routinely conditioned upon the acceptance of minority rights agreements as a matter of international law. So Israel and Palestine are not being singled out. See for example the report on “Minority Rights in Albania”, by the Albanian Helsinki Committee, September 1999.

      *One of the joys of being retired is the ability to waste time however I like. Here is some more blah, blah , blah for you. I've commented in the past that the right of return is an individual right. It is nonsense to conduct negotiations without defining the scope of the problem as a preliminary matter. That can only be done by consulting the wishes of the individual refugees who are actually registered with UNRWA. No one else's opinion matters.

      972 Magazine recently ran an article which said that polls conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research indicated 90 percent of the refugees preferred compensation in lieu of the right of return to Israel. Abbas's comments during the March 2009 meeting reflected that there would be a firm requirement for Israeli compensation of the refugees in any event and that the refugees in the Diaspora would be allowed to vote inthe national plebiscite on the final settlement. Ali Abunimah took issue with the poll because "the question offered a choice between return and compensation as if refugees are entitled to only one or the other."

      In reality, opting to exercise the "right of return" will undoubtedly work against an individual's "right to compensation". Resolution 181(II) allowed the states to expropriate property from the members of ethnic and religious minority groups. It gave the Supreme Courts of the respective states the discretion to decide upon the amount of compensation in such cases. Resolution 194(III) did not alter that situation.

      The existing Israeli Supreme Court precedents beginning with CApp 41/49 Simshon Palestine Portland Cement Factory LTD. v. Attorney-General (1950) have cited Hans Kelsen’s article, “Theorie generale du droit international public, problemes choisis”, in vol. 49 of the Recueil des Cours of the Hague Academy of International Law:

      “In so far as concerns debts due to individuals who become, as a result of territorial changes, citizens of the successor State, here there can arise no question of a legal succession based upon principles of general international law itself. The relations between the State and its citizens are in the exclusive jurisdiction of the State in question which can therefore, acting in full accord with international law, decide quite freely whether it will take upon itself debts such as these” (p. 329).

      *I've also pointed out that the Palestinians living in Israel do not want to be incorporated in the new Palestinian State and that they are currently represented in the UN system by the government of the State of Israel, not by the PLO. Membership of the State of Palestine in the UN does not alter that situation. Omar Barghouti, and Ali Abunimah incorrectly claim that Palestinian UN membership would amount to an abandonment of the movement for obtaining equal rights for the Palestinians living in Israel.

      The 2SS is dead.
      The Baltic States, East Timor, and Namibia were also graveyard dead. Try to remember that none of us here are prophets.

  • Two new videos take on The Dersh and introduce his toughest client yet - Claus Von Bibi!
    • Thanks Hostage. That link is from November 2002. Was there a resolution to it?

      Well he wasn't disbarred. The proceedings are confidential. I doubt that he was even reprimanded. He naturally claimed that he had a first amendment right to advocate war crimes and pretended that the Muslim lawyers had done the same thing. link to

    • Why is he not disbarred . . . Hostage, I hope I am on firm ground when I state that?

      Dershowitz habitual cheerleading for the use of torture did get on the nerves of defense lawyers representing detainees and Muslim legal groups, e.g.:

      An American Muslim legal group today announced the filing of a complaint with the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers demanding disciplinary action against Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz. The Muslim Legal Defense and Education Fund (MLDEF) says Dershowitz violated rules of professional conduct when he advocated the commission of war crimes and the use of torture.

      link to

  • Sh*t the David Project says about Israel
    • Its really only been 64 years. It just seeeemmms like 3000 years.

      LOL! I'll say. I was just poking fun at the twin myths about the total Jewish exile from Aelia Capitolina and the 3,000 year-long continuous Jewish presence there.

    • People who are Jewish have been in the place for 3,000 years.

      Well then, the mythical sages went to great lengths to lie about the literal fulfillment of the prophecy that Jerusalem had become completely desolate and they invented a story about the foxes using the grounds around the old Holy of Holies for their dens. Who am I supposed to believe, you or the Midrash contained in Makkoth 24b? link to

    • a more apropos video would be called, “Sh*t Zionist say to Palestinians.” However, no one has made that video yet.

      See All Your Base Are Belong To Us
      *In A.D. 2101 war was beginning;
      *Someone set us up the bomb;
      *What happen?;
      *All your base are belong to us;
      *You have no chance to survive make your time;
      *Israel are refuse to accept the Quartet Road Map (see the Government of Israel's two resolutions A & B and 14 reservations);
      *We won't accept Palestinian government Hamas participates, unless:
      A) acknowledges Israel's right to exist;
      B) Hamas also agree Quartet committee's conditions. link to

  • Hasbara PennBDS wrap-up: Pro-Israel students are ignorant
    • Zionism isn’t about seeking the re-establishment of the Kingdom of David or anything.

      On the day he introduced the Law of Return and the Nationality Laws, during the 160th Sitting of the First Knesset, David Ben Gurion said that Israel was the revival of the ancient Jewish State. He quoted the Jewish historian Josephus and also said: "These two laws determine the special character and destiny of Israel as bearer of the vision of the redemption of the Jewish Nation. . . . On 14 May 1948 the Jewish State was established not as something completely new but as the restoration of our ancient glory, 1813 years after our independence had been destroyed, supposedly forever, at the time of Bar Kochba and Rabbi Akiva. . . . Neither can the revival of the Jewish State be understood without knowing the history of the Jewish people during the period of the First and Second Temples, the history of Jewish prophecy, spirit and vision, the history of the Jewish diaspora and the concept of messianism, and its various manifestations, the incessant attempts of the wandering nation throughout the generations to return to its land and the history of the eternal culture which was forged in this land and its influence on the Jews and the rest of the world." The motives for unconditional immigration to Israel that he cited were "yearning for redemption, ancient memories, religious sentiments and love of the homeland". He said "The Law of Return is one of the State of Israel's Basic Laws. It encompasses one of the central missions of our country, the in-gathering of the exiles." See Lorch, Netanel (ed), Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981, Volume 2, JCPA/University Press of America, 1993, pp 611 - 613.

      So, he invoked the First and Second Temples, the prophets, messianism, redemption, The Antiquities of The Jews by Josephus (aka the Bible), the in-gathering of purported exiles, and the revival of the Jewish State.

    • Noooo, not ANY question. Just questions of the kind outlined in article 18(2) like you posted.

      In that case Article 18(3) would be superfluous. It contains no such limitation on the scope of the other questions that may be decided:

      3. Decisions on other questions, including the determination of additional categories of questions to be decided by a two-thirds majority, shall be made by a majority of the members present and voting.

      Look, people have certainly made the argument that the UNGA has the right to codify binding law wrt Palestine

      That is certainly true, but irrelevant. I'm discussing the explicit declarations and undertakings of the representatives of the government of Israel in which they unconditionally accepted the terms of the resolution, including the chapter containing the minority protection plan. That plan was cataloged in the 1950 study done by the Secretariat on treaties concluded after WWII. The Treaty of Berlin, Article 13 of the Mandate, and the chapter on minority rights in 181(II) were cited in paragraph 129 of the ICJ Advisory Opinion as instruments that contained safeguarding clauses regarding the "existing rights" of the Palestinian people.

      Even the example you gave are offered with extreme conditions attached that you seem to be ignoring for some reason. Had the UN’s partition plan actually been considered binding at any time then it did an extremely poor job of fulfilling its responsibilities in allowing Jordan to occupy east Jerusalem, the Palestinians blockading it, the Arab states invading it, etc.

      In his statement to the 51st session of the Ad Hoc Committee on Membership, Mr. Eban declared that Israel had supplied the necessary declaration on minority rights. He also acknowledged that the undertaking was an obligation that was capable of acceptance by Israel alone, and was not at all affected by the attempt by the Arab States to alter the resolution by force. See page 7 of the pdf file containing the verbatim UN record of his remarks, A/AC.24/SR.51 link to

      The report to the Security Council from the panel of experts serving in one of the UN's own subsidiary organs described that as "unreserved agreement by Israel" to honour its commitments under the Charter of the United Nations, and from its specific undertaking, when applying for membership of the United Nations, to implement General Assembly resolutions 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, safeguarding the rights of the Palestinian Arabs inside Israel, and 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, concerning the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes or to choose compensation for their property. This undertaking was also clearly reflected in General Assembly resolution 273 (III). -- -- link to

    • The people in these groups were ultimately absorbed into the Haganah after they disbanded, effectively ending their existence as paramil orgs.

      Nope the units themselves were absorbed into the Haganah. One of the disputes that erupted into the Altalena Affair was that Begin wanted the arms earmarked for the end use of the Irgun units in the Haganah. The IDF leadership objected to the maintenance of an "Army within the Army". See the Wikipedia link that you supplied.

    • This is untrue. My comment was not unsourced and your source does not contradict my assertion in the least.

      Robert I’ve already explained twice now that the leaders and members of the Haganah were legal accomplices to the massacre under the terms of the existing laws and customs of land warfare: link to

      You denied that. Now you are quoting a portion of a letter from the Haganah District Commander which establishes beyond any doubt that he was planning an unprovoked attack and occupation of a civilian population located beyond the borders of the proposed Jewish state in the Corpus Separatum. The IDF article says that he was consciously violating a non-aggression pact by authorizing that action.

      That makes him responsible for the crimes that subsequently occurred in the village under the customary terms outlined in the Nuremberg Charter, i.e. planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing; and being an accessory to the crimes against the civilian population committed by the Irgun/Stern/Haganah forces that took part in the attack:

      Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.

      -- link to

      Phil and Adam need to explain why the moderators here don't consider whitewashing and justifying the Haganah role in this series of crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity as a blatant example of Nakba denial. I'm beginning to agree with the others here about moving on to my regular haunts and letting you have the place all to yourself.

    • Just look it up dude. UNGA = non-binding.

      I have looked it up dude. The term "non-binding" does not appear in the text of Chapter IV of the UN Charter on the General Assembly. link to

      Article 18(2) & (3) of the UN Charter explicitly state that the General Assembly can adopt decisions on any question:

      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 (c) 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.

      3. Decisions on other questions, including the determination of additional categories of questions to be decided by a two-thirds majority, shall be made by a majority of the members present and voting.

      ICJ President Taslim Olawale Elias wrote about the legal effects of General Assembly resolutions. He said it seems clear that, as far as General Assembly recommendations in respect of the nine specifically enumerated matters in Article 18(2) are concerned, its "decisions" in the form of "recommendations" are binding upon all once a draft resolution is adopted by a two thirds majority and that a decision on any other important question can be adopted by a simple majority. I hope you don't think that when the General Assembly adopted resolutions which expelled Taiwan from the UN or refused to accept Rhodesia's credentials, those decisions were non-binding or subject to an appeal.

      The representative of the Jewish Agency, Mr. Shertok, who subsequently served as Foreign Minister and the Prime Minister of Israel, stated his opinion regarding the "binding force" of resolution 181 on April 27, 1948:

      "With regard to the status of Assembly resolutions in international law, it was admitted that any which touched the national sovereignty of the Members of the United Nations were mere recommendations and not binding. However, the Palestine resolution was essentially different for it concerned the future of a territory subject to an international trust. Only the United Nations as a whole was competent to determine the future of the territory, and its decision, therefore, had a binding force. --U.N. Doc. A/C. 1/SR. 127, P. 7 (27 April 1948) cited in An International Law Analysis Of The Major United Nations Resolutions Concerning The Palestine Question

      There have been a number of international court decisions which settled the question. In the "Certain Expenses" case the ICJ said that it was a mistaken view to assert that, just because the General Assembly had the power to make a recommendation, that its powers were limited to making hortatory statements. The Court affirmed the fact that the General Assembly can adopt legally binding decisions that have operative effects in the real world and that its authorization of the deployment of the UNEF forces in the Sinai and allocation of funding and assessments for that purpose did not exceed its authority and were within its explicit powers and functions under the Charter.

      In other cases, like the South West Africa/Namibia cases, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that the absence or lack of consent from one of the permanent members of the Security Council could not prevent one of the other responsible organs from acting validly in cases like the Korean War and the General Assembly's "Uniting for Peace" resolution. It also ruled that the General Assembly can adopt binding decisions to terminate mandates or in connection with non-self-governing peoples and territories. See ICJ Reports 1971, p. 16, at para. 22 . In the Wall case (para 49) the Court noted that the United Nation's permanent responsibility toward to the Question of Palestine was based upon the Covenant of the League of Nations and 181(II) and other relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, including e.g. General Assembly resolution 57/107 of 3 December 2002.

      In Jan Klabbers, "An introduction to international institutional law", Cambridge University Press, 2002, the author explains that the Covenant of the League of Nations was silent on the topic of the legal force of resolutions. In the absence of an express provision they are generally held to have been non-binding. In the 1931 Railway Traffic Case, the Court used the mundane contract law theory of acceptance and held that, since the parties had participated in adopting the resolution, they were bound by the terms of their acceptance. link to

      In the earlier Treaty of Lausanne case, the PCIJ employed the same logic. It said that powers of the Council, in regard to the settlement of disputes, are dealt with in Article 15 of the Covenant, and that, under that article, the Council can only make recommendations, but that the parties were bound by the terms of their own acceptance. So, by virtue of their previous consent in accordance with the provisions of Article 3, paragraph 2, of the Treaty of Lausanne, the Council had the power in this instance to compulsorily settle their dispute. See printed page 27 of Series B Advisory Opinion No. 12 link to

      The General Assembly subsequently recognized declarations supplied by Israel and Palestine as being in line with the requirements contained in resolution 181(II). See resolutions 273/3; 43/177;

    • …and the altalena
      link to

      Let me know what parts you still think are rubbish.

      The only thing that's notable about the Altalena affair is that the Provisional Government didn't convene a tribunal and prosecute Begin for insubordination. All of the European ex-pats took it as an article of faith that the state had to establish a monopoly on the use of force within its jurisdiction. In many other countries, Begin would have been sitting in jail instead of the first Knesset.

      The Wikipedia article notes that the provisional government had already absorbed the Irgun within its borders and had refused to make the cargo available for its exclusive use, because they were not viewed as "an Army within the Army".

      The story also illustrates that Israel was violating the UN truce and arms embargo.

    • The differences between his ideology and mainstream zionist thought were vast.

      Nonsense Jabotinsky was placed in charge of the Zionist Organization's entire Propaganda Department in 1921 and that's when he first mentioned the Iron Wall in meetings of the Zionist Executive. He published the idea in 1923. His differences with the Labor Socialists weren't over the need to carry-on colonization against the will of the Palestinians under the protection of an armed force. As far as mainstream Zionists and the IDF are concerned today its practically a mitzvah.

    • Wow, are you serious? There was no treaty, haha.

      Yes. 90 percent of the post WWII international treaties are contained in UN resolutions. That practice continued the tradition which began with the League of Nations Mandates. With the notable exception of Iraq, had of the mandate instruments were simply resolutions of the League of Nations. The Minority Protection Plan in resolution 181(II) and the defunct League of Nations agreements were cataloged in 1950 as part of a survey of legal instruments containing minority protection treaties.

      *The UN considers the instruments and accessions that it concluded after WWII to be agreements in force. E/CN.4/367, Date: 7 April 1950 (see Chapter III The United Nations Charter And The Treaties Concluded After The War, resolution 181(II) of 29 November 1947, “The Future Government of Palestine”, pages 22-23)

      *The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People reported to the Security Council that:

      19. In this respect, it was pointed out that Israel was under binding obligation to permit the return of all the Palestinian refugees displaced as a result of the hostilities of 1948 and 1967. This obligation flowed from the unreserved agreement by Israel to honour its commitments under the Charter of the United Nations, and from its specific undertaking, when applying for membership of the United Nations, to implement General Assembly resolutions 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, safeguarding the rights of the Palestinian Arabs inside Israel, and 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, concerning the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes or to choose compensation for their property. This undertaking was also clearly reflected in General Assembly resolution 273 (III).

      Mr Eban accepted that agreement on behalf of Israel and you can read more about that in this comment: link to

    • Most important of all, the Perushim learned to ‘work the system’, by petitioning the Ottomans, paying bribes and wrangling foreign citizenship from Russia, England, Holland, etc., and using than using their newly acquired European citizenship to extract ‘foreign concessions’ from the Ottomans.

      Exactly. Foreigners invaded the place with the intent of operating outside the Ottoman laws. They obtained immunity from consular officials of other nations, not a Jewish nation. That behavior incited antisemitic resentment, not religious hatred. The Socialists and anarchists didn't even pretend to have any religion, but went along with the same scam anyway. There was nothing messianic about the motives of their members. Stop kidding yourself.

    • “Men in Palestine call their fellows ‘Jew’, as the lowest of all possible words of abuse”.

      This is from the 20th & 21st Century:I was present at the Qana massacre by Israeli gunners in 1996 – "Arabushim" (the equivalent of the abusive term "Ayrab" in English), one of the gunners called the 106 dead civilians, more than half of them children, in the Israeli press. Then the Israeli government of Nobel laureate Shimon Peres said there were terrorists among the dead civilians – totally untrue, but who cares? – and then came the second Qana massacre in 2006 and then the 2008-09 Gaza slaughter of 1,300 Palestinians, most of them children, and then... Robert Fisk, link to

      But a contemporary eyewitness Ermete Pierotti, an Italian engineer who lived eight years in Jerusalem until 1864, ‘All the native population unfortunately hold the opinion that to injure a Jew is a work well pleasing in the sight of God.

      But there's no evidence that was religious hatred as opposed to antisemitism or that the Jews of the Old Yishuv even considered themselves members of a Jewish nation. In fact they continued to self-identify as Romaniot, Ashknazim, Sephardim, and in most cases remained isolated in their own communities. The western powers had long-since immunized their Jewish subjects and so-called proteges from Ottoman lawsuits, military service, taxation, & etc. They placed them under the jurisdiction of their own extraterritorial consular courts.

      That was the main reason that Ashkenazi Jews immigrated to Safed instead of Jerusalem. The Pascha Farrukh had banned them from the district of Jerusalem altogether, while allowing Jews who were Ottoman subjects to remain. Many of the Askenazim had refused to pay their debts and could only be sued in the foreign consular courts under the terms of the Ottoman regime of capitulations. See for example:
      *Dovid Rossoff, Safed: the mystical city link to
      *Leland J. Gordon, The Turkish American Controversy over Nationality link to

      Ruth Kark wrote in "American consuls in the Holy Land, 1832-1914" that the available statistics indicate that by the year 1872, about 770 citizens and 2473 proteges were registered in the foreign consulates. A census in 1839 showed 150 families of about 1500 Jews living in Safed. link to

      Now can we please get back to the real issue at hand. That is, that several waves of emigration to Eretz Yisroel, over a period of 600 years, were made by thousands of religiously inspired Jews….

      Perhaps, but most of them were long gone before the 18th Century. There were only 30,000 Jews in all of Syria and Palestine by then, mostly in the vicinity of Damascus. The few who remained formed semi-autonomous "communities". They retained their own languages, separate nationalities, synagogues, and courts. Entire volumes have been written on the subject, e.g. Avigdor Levy, "Jews, Turks, Ottomans: A Shared History, Fifteenth Through the Twentieth Century", Syracuse University Press, 2002

    • Hostage. . . . Your best efforts to obfuscate matters have failed the singular subject of Morgenstern’s article which is this . . . Several waves of emigration to Eretz Yisroel, over a period of 600 years, were made by thousands of religiously inspired Jews.

      I didn't obfuscate at all. The 1996 9th grade history textbooks, with material from the New Historians, came out after Morgenstern had left the Ministry of Education. They were withdrawn shortly after his 2002 article as a result of complaints from the far right. There was no such thing as Jewish nationalist history in the medieval era. It was invented by Jewish political hacks starting in the 19th century. I noted that Morgenstern didn't cite any actual medieval historical records. The primary source of his analysis and historical material was a work published in 1975 :
      *Benzion Dinur, “The Messianic Fermentation and Immigration to the
      Land of Israel from the Crusades until the Black Death, and Their Ideological
      Roots,” in Benzion Dinur, Historical Writings (Jerusalem: Mosad Bialik, 1975),
      vol. ii, p. 238.

      Unlike you, I read page 100 from Morgenstern’s article where he said:
      “In 1625, Jerusalem came under the control of the Ibn Farukh family.

      If there's anything I like less than a bigot, it's an ignorant bigot. I read that too, but I happened to know that the Ibn Farukh family were actually Circassians from Eurasia, not Arabs. See for example, The Farrukhs in Dror Zeʼevi, An Ottoman century: the district of Jerusalem in the 1600s, State University of New York Press, 1996, (mid page) 43 link to

      FYI, the Egyptian ruler mentioned by Morgenstern, named Muhammed Ali, was actually an Albanian mercenary. He was neither an Egyptian nor an Arab. When you get finished making a total ass out of yourself, please take your blinders off and apologize to the nice Arab readers. More often than not, their ancestors saved your ancestor's asses when the chips were down. Truth be told, the Muslims were no worse than the Christians or Jews. During this same 600-year time period the Jewish Perushim and Hassidim delighted in persecuting one another on account of their religious differences, while Hus and Tyndale were tortured and killed by their own Christian brethren.

      Here is a little more from Arendt on the modern development of:

      ANTISEMITISM, a secular nineteenth-century ideology—which in name, though not in argument, was unknown before the 1870's—and religious Jew-hatred, inspired by the mutually hostile antagonism of two conflicting creeds, are obviously not the same; and even the extent to which the former derives its arguments and emotional appeal from the latter is open to question. The notion of an unbroken continuity of persecutions, expulsions, and massacres from the end of the Roman Empire to the Middle Ages, the modern era, and down to our own time, frequently embellished by the idea that modern antisemitism is no more than a secularized version of popular medieval superstitions, is no less fallacious (though of course less mischievous) than the corresponding antisemitic notion of a Jewish secret society that has ruled, or aspired to rule, the world since antiquity. Historically, the hiatus between the late Middle Ages and the modern age with respect to Jewish affairs is even more marked than the rift between Roman antiquity and the Middle Ages, or the gulf—frequently considered to be the most important turning-point of Jewish history in the Diaspora—that separated the catastrophes of the First Crusades from earlier medieval centuries. For this hiatus lasted through nearly two centuries, from the fifteenth to the end of the sixteenth, during which Jewish-Gentile relations were at an all-time low, Jewish "indifference to conditions and events in the outside world" was at an all-time high, and Judaism became "more than ever a closed system of thought." It was at this time that Jews, without any outside interference, began to think "that the difference between Jewry and the nations was fundamentally not one of creed and faith, but one of inner nature" and that the ancient dichotomy between Jews and Gentiles was "more likely to be racial in origin rather than a matter of doctrinal dissension." This shift in evaluating the alien character of the Jewish people, which became common among non-Jews only much later in the Age of Enlightenment, is clearly the condition sine qua non for the birth of antisemitism, and it is of some importance to note that it occurred in Jewish self-interpretation first and at about the time when European Christendom split up into those ethnic groups which then came politically into their own in the system of modern nation-states.

    • Hostage. I’m still waiting for your comment on the Arie Morgenstern article I linked.

      Your earlier comment wasn't addressed to me. You linked to 62 pages of drek from a Zionist historiographer and that takes a few minutes to digest.

      Morgenstern was actually bemoaning the fact that upstart Jewish historians with PhDs have recently started to publish dissertations and journal articles debunking the accuracy of the artificially constructed Zionist historical narrative about the longing for Zion and colonial urges. He didn't really mention a damn thing about Arabs consistently treating Jewish pilgrims badly by the way. So you wasted a great deal of my time. Nothing that he said changed the fact that Nahum Sokolow's History of Zionism, 1600-1918, Volume 1 was stretching the point quite a bit and that the very first Zionist Congress in 1897 narrowly missed being a 20th century event.

      You claimed that Jews had been making ‘aliyah’ to Eretz Yisroel since at least the 13th century and the Arabs there consistently treated these ‘religious Zionists’ badly. Morgenstern buries all mention of Sabbatai Zevi in a few footnotes. He never mentions that the ancient Jewish Kingdoms had conquered or persecuted other peoples; that the Maccabees had forced the Idumeans to mutilate their genitals and observe Jewish laws; that Jews have holidays which celebrate violence against Gentiles; or admit that "messianic fervor" included plans to initiate another Crusade, appoint Jewish Princes, and restore the Kingdom by subduing Palestine under the leadership of literal Messiahs like Bar Kochba or Sabbatai Zevi, et al.

      The first reference to an "Arab of Tiberias" appears 37 pages into the 62 page article, and only then as the source of a report that Rabbi Abulafia “told the Jews who lived there that the Messiah would soon come."

      The only documented case of Arab violence that the author cites is a lone, cherry-picked, version of a report from Rabbi Shmuel Heller regarding an Arab attack on Safed during the 1834 revolt against the rule of Muhammed Ali of Egypt. Martin Sicker's account of the sack of Safed in "Reshaping Palestine: from Muhammad Ali to the British Mandate, 1831-1922 is also based upon Rabbi Heller's account. Unlike Arie Morgenstern, Sicker relates that the Jews fled and were saved by the friendly Arabs in the neighboring village of Ein Zietim. Neither of these historians provided any statistics on the purported number of casualties. Rabbi Shmuel Heller gained notoriety on account of his miraculous sightings of the Ari (Rabbi Yitzhak Luria), sitting in 19th century Safed - long after Luria had died in 1573.

      The actual reports of medieval Jewish pilgrims, like Petahiya of Regensburg, have been rejected by modern historians as fanciful, fantastic, legendary and folkloristic. The pilgrims who made aliyah to Palestine usually left due to disappointment, poverty, plague, or natural disasters, not persecution. While his article has the ambitious title "Dispersion and the Longing for Zion, 1240-1840", Morgenstern doesn't actually cite any medieval Jewish sources at all. He is complaining about these authors and works:
      *Jacob Barnai, Historiography and Nationalism: Trends in the Research of
      Palestine and Its Jewish Population, 634-1881 (Jerusalem: Magnes, 1995),
      *Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, The Nationalist Portrayal of the Exile, Zionist
      Historiography, and Medieval Jewry, doctoral dissertation, Tel Aviv University,1996
      *Elhanan Reiner, Pilgrims and Pilgrimage to the Land of Israel, 1099-1517,
      doctoral dissertation, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1988

      I've discussed similar works here in the past. See Israel Jacob Yuval, "The Myth of the Jewish Exile from the Land of Israel: A Demonstration of Irenic Scholarship", Common Knowledge - Volume 12, Issue 1, Winter 2006, pp. 16-33 link to

      BTW, Hannah Arendt addressed the subject of the post hoc, invented, nature of Jewish nationalist history very succinctly in the Preface to the 1968 Edition of Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, starting on page xii. She cited several earlier works, so Arie Morgenstern's must be pretty high if he thinks this is something that only became increasingly popular in recent years.

      Here is an excerpt. Arendt's quotes are taken from Jacob Katz, Exclusiveness and tolerance: studies in Jewish-Gentile relations in medieval and modern times, Behrman House, Inc, 1961:

      The history of antisemitism, like the history of Jew-hatred, is part and parcel of the long and intricate story of Jewish-Gentile relations under the conditions of Jewish dispersion. Interest in this history was practically nonexistent prior to the middle of the nineteenth century, when it coincided with the rise of antisemitism and its furious reaction to emancipated and assimilated Jewry—obviously the worst possible constellation for establishing reliable historical records.

      Since then, it has been the common fallacy of Jewish and non-Jewish historiography—though mostly for opposite reasons—to isolate the hostile elements in Christian and Jewish sources and to stress the series of catastrophes, expulsions, and massacres that have punctuated Jewish history just as armed and unarmed conflicts, war, famine, and pestilence have punctuated the history of Europe. Needless to add, it was Jewish historiography, with its strong polemical and apologetical bias, that undertook to trace the record of Jew-hatred in Christian history, while it was left to the antisemites to trace an intellectually not too dissimilar record from ancient Jewish authorities. When this Jewish tradition of an often violent antagonism to Christians and Gentiles came to light, "the general Jewish public was not only outraged but genuinely astonished," so well had its spokesmen succeeded in convincing themselves and everybody else of the non-fact that Jewish separateness was due exclusively to Gentile hostility and lack of enlightenment. Judaism, it was now maintained chiefly by Jewish historians, had always been superior to other religions in that it believed in human equality and tolerance. That this self-deceiving theory, accompanied by the belief that the Jewish people had always been the passive, suffering object of Christian persecutions, actually amounted to a prolongation and modernization of the old myth of chosenness and was bound to end in new and often very complicated practices of separation, destined to uphold the ancient dichotomy, is perhaps one of those ironies which seem to be in store for those who, for whatever reasons, try to embellish and manipulate political facts and historical records.

      I could go on, but you probably get the point. Arie Morgenstern was a Zionist apparatchik for the teaching of history in the Israeli Ministry of Education. I've commented elsewhere that there is a struggle going on over the inclusion of declassified material in the history textbooks that tends to debunk Zionist myths. That's what Morgenstern is really shreying about. link to

    • During the golden era of the Arab Caliphate Jund Filastin was an official military district with its own capital. The seat of government was initially located in Lod, was moved to Ramla, and finally ended up in Jerusalem. Wikipedia has an article about it. link to

      The United States has posted Consuls to the country of Palestine ever since the early 19th century and treated it as a formal jurisdiction. For example, the US Government addressed the Ottoman Pasha as “his excellency Raouf Pasha Governor of Jerusalem and Palestine”. link to

      Annual reports on Trade and Commerce of the country of Palestine were submitted to the US Bureau of Foreign Commerce from the Consuls in "Jerusalem, Palestine". See for example the report for 1884.

      The 19th century Jews certainly knew where Palestine was located. The documentary record proves that they repeatedly asked the US Consuls in Palestine and Constantinople for help in immigrating to Palestine. For example, The Ottoman Sultan had issued a firman permitting Jewish settlement in Syria that prevented Oriental and European Jews from settling in Palestine. Palestine was marked on most of the maps of the era. The first Jewish Aliya was carried-out in violation of that prohibition on mass Jewish immigration. In 1882, the American Consul summed up an immigration request from a group of Romanian Jews living in the Ottoman Empire this way:

      In conclusion, there is nothing to prevent all the Israelites on the earth from settling in Asiatic Turkey. They shall not settle in Palestine-’that is the only prohibition.

      The actual text of Basle Program of the First Zionist Congress did NOT use the term Eretz Israel, it used the term Palistina. link to

      It's amazing to most of us that you modern-day Zionists need finding aids and citations to locate Palestine. It's fairly obvious that your ancestors knew about it, managed to find the place, and even corresponded with the government officials there without too much difficulty.

    • Is discussing the historically factual instances of violence and ethnic cleansing directed toward the native Jewish population of Palestine somehow a denial of the nakba?

      I'm happy to discuss attacks on Jews in Palestine, but not the spurious legends that 7 Arab States invaded the territory of Israel, or that there was a conspiracy on the part of the Arab leadership to ethnically cleanse Palestine.

      *The Mufti did not enjoy much popular support and all his efforts to organize a popular resistance to the Partition Resolution were unsuccessful. According to Ian Bickerton, Carla Klausner, "A Concise History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict", 4th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2004, few Palestinians joined the Arab Liberation Army and many Palestinians favored partition and indicated a willingness to live alongside a Jewish state (page 88).

      *Ben-Gurion rebuffed the various efforts of more pragmatic Palestinian Arabs to reach a modus vivendi since it was his "belief ... that Zionist expansionism would be better served by leaving the leadership of the Palestinians in the hands of the extremist Mufti than in the hands of a 'moderate' opposition. 'Rely on the Mufti' became his motto." Blocked by Zionist policy from officially expressing their opposition to war, the Palestinian Arabs arranged "non-aggression" pacts with their Jewish neighbors. The relatively few who did take up arms did so primarily to defend themselves against feared attacks by the Jews. See the review of Simha Flapan's The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities

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

      In the final analysis, the Arab leaders who advocated negotiations and co-existence with the Jews from the very beginning ended up governing the overwhelming majority of the territory of the former Palestine mandate in the East and West banks.

    • The Lavon Affair was in the early 1950′s. . . . Egyptian pogroms against her Jews occurred in the 1940′s.

      Historian Shlomo Ben-Ami explains that, after the Arab revolt, a new military offspring of the Haganah, the Poum, led almost routine reprisals and collective punishments against Arab villages in Palestine. Do you thinkthat was a big secret in Egypt?
      link to

      The Jewish Agency had permanent offices in the major cities of Egypt, including Cairo and Alexandria. During the mandate era, members of the Egyptian Jewish communities participated in the Kibbutz movement, the Jewish underground, helped facilitate illegal immigration to Israel after the 1939 White Paper Policy was adopted, participated in all of the Zionist-affilated sports and youth movements, and were represented in the Zionist Congresses. I've discussed elsewhere that the attitude of Zionist spokesmen was openly hostile to the Arabs, e.g. In 1943 the US Consul at Cairo cabled the State Department:

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

      -- Kirk link to

      Zionist spokesmen and pundits openly lobbied leaders in Arab countries to support various schemes for forced exchanges of populations. After the Arab League was established, Eliyahu Sasson made regular visits to lobby for support of the partition of Palestine. The public in Egypt knew perfectly well that the Zionists planned to attack and dispossess their Arab brethren in Palestine. For example, on the day after the partition plan was adopted, the Palestine Post ran a front page article saying that the influential Cairo newspaper, Al Mokkatam, had published an editorial supporting the partition of Palestine. The editorial explained:

      “We stand for Partition because we believe it is the best final solution for Palestine. If rejection of Partition would have solved the problem we would have welcomed it, but in fact it will lead to further complications that will give the Zionists another space of time to complete their plans of defense and attack.

      See page 1 of the Palestine Post, 30 November 1947 link to

      For more background see Michael Doran, Pan-Arabism Before Nasser, Joseph Heller, "The birth of Israel, 1945-1949: Ben-Gurion and his critics", Joel Beinin, The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry, and the Foreign Relations of the United States series on the Middle East.

    • Hostage says: ‘Mossad black flag operations like the Lavon Affair’. . . . More drivel. The Lavon Affair was a rogue Mossad operation that sought to disrupt a growing entente between Egypt and the United States. It had nothing to do with immigration.

      Correction Lamezionist777, I never said the Lavon Affair was about immigration. I said that the botched black flag operations like the Lavon Affair had contributed to the exodus from Arab countries in some cases. See for example Naeim Giladi, Ben Gurion's Scandals, Glilit, 1995 & 2003 link to

    • The link, which you probably didn’t read, shows a scholarly dispute about the precise location of the ancient Temple on the Temple Mount. The link does not dispute the connection of the Western Wall (a retaining wall actually) to the Jewish Temple.

      No I've actually read it. The link that I provided was just one example. That's what the "e.g." (vs. "i.e.") always indicates. Here is another response to an earlier discussion here at MW in which I cited several examples of Temples and theories regarding the location, including one from a scholar who claimed the Temple must have been located in Silwan, not inside the area retained by the Wailing Wall:

      … Q:that the wall is part of a Roman fort Should this be true, than Christianity and Islam are both rendered pagan cults and have no credibility.

      A: Amillennialist Christians are underwhelmed by the whole thing. I doubt there would be any theological impact if the so-called Temple Mount really was Fort Antonia and Silwan turned out to the site of the Temples, e.g. See Ernest L. Martin, The Temples That Jerusalem Forgot, ASK, 1994. Even the Temple Mount organization maintains a webpage on various theories or conjectures, i.e. the “Northern Conjecture” and the “Southern Conjecture”.
      There were Jewish Temples all over the place anyway. The prophet Samuel was raised in a Temple at Shiloh. An Israelite Temple at Arad has been excavated. It included one of the largest collections of ostraca discovered to date. There were references to the the priestly families Pashur and Meremoth which are mentioned in the books of Jeremiah and Ezra.

      Ingrid Hjelm advised that“The duration of the Samaritan temple, which was dedicated to ‘Yahweh-el-‘Eljon’ (Magen 2000: 108, 113) was not the 200 years stated by Josephus (Ant. 13.256), but rather closer to the 343 years, he ascribes to the existence of the temple in Heliopolis / Leontopolis (War 7.436), stories of which, Josephus mingles with stories about Gerizim (Hjelm, in SJOT 13/2, 1999; Hjelm, The Samaritans and Early Judaism, 2000: 227-232).” 480 inscriptions were discovered. According to Ephraim Stern this is the largest collection of building inscriptions, some of which are quite large, ever found in Israel.
      A Jerusalem High Priest named Johanan built the Jewish Temple at Leontopolis in Egypt (cf Isaiah 19:19). So, there were several other Jewish Temples in operation during the Persian, Greek, and Roman periods including Leontopolis, Elephantine Island, Arad, and Mt. Gerizim. During the Second Commonwealth most Jews chose to live outside Judea and many of them may have had their own altars and Temples. Finding a Temple in Jerusalem would not vindicate the principles that it stood for, if they happened to be false in the first place.

      link to

      FYI, the same scholar argued that unequivocal references to the current "Wailing Wall" (as part of the Temple) are missing from the Jewish literature until the middle ages, e.g. link to

    • For the record, the initial purpose of the operation that led to the massacre was for the Stern/Irgun to secure Deir Yassin for the Haganah to occupy.

      Robert is constantly making gigabytes of unsourced comments for the record. In this case he is contradicting the official IDF account that was published for the record at the link that I supplied above.

      Deir Yassin was located beyond the borders of the proposed Jewish State - in the Corpus Separatum. A Haganah-Irgun/Lehi plan to violate the non-aggression pact and the UN transition plan, evict the population, and place a portion of the Corpus Separatum under Jewish military occupation would have constituted a crime against peace in violation of a formal international agreement and an attempt to alter the UN plan of partition by force.

      Werdine & Co. pretend that they can't grasp the simple concept of being an accessory or accomplice to a crime that deliberately targeted a civilian population outside the jurisdiction of the proposed Jewish State. I'm not interested in debating this or continuing to fund a website that provides Werdine and his partners a platform to whitewash Haganah's role in deliberately erasing 400+ villages, including Deir Yassin.

    • Jabotinsky believed in the forced colonization of both banks of the Jordan, if you are asking if I support that, I do not. Otherwise I’m not sure what you mean.

      So did Ben Gurion, he simply tried to conceal his long term ambition to redeem 100% of the territory of the Palestine Mandate and settle Jews on both sides of the Jordan. Here is how one Zionist historian summed it up:

      As a historian of Zionism, Gideon, you must know Ben-Gurion’s words in the 20th Zionist Congress in 1937 (this time in Zurich not in Basel): ‘If I had been faced with the question: a Jewish state in the west of the land of Israel (note the emphasis of the ‘west of the land of Israel’ meaning there is also a ‘east of the land of Israel’) in return to giving up on our historical right to the entire land of Israel I would have postponed the (establishment) of the state’. And he added (as far as I know, to applause from many of the delegates): ‘No Jew is entitled to give up the right of the Jewish nation to the land. It is not in the authority of any Jew or of any Jewish body; it is not even in the authority of the entire nation alive today to give up any part of the land’. This sentence has won great attention also in the St. James committee. He concluded by stating the view of the majority (then) in the Zionist movement: ‘this is a standing right under all conditions. Even if, at any point, the Jews choose to decline it, they have no right to deprive future generations of it. Our right to the entire land exists and stands for ever’. In view of the things that are being said today, it is hard to avoid the gloomy realisation that, sixty years after Ben-Gurion announced Israeli independence, the current Israeli president, Prime Minister and not a small coalition of Knesset Members seem willing to relinquish this historic claim. If nothing else, they have no right to do so because this land belongs to those who have left us, and those who are yet to come. Without them, it is impossible to make a decision.

      link to

      In 1946 the Jewish Agency under Ben Gurion's leadership, claimed that the mandate was indivisible and that the Jewish people still had a secured legal interest in the territory of Transjordan and that the provisions of the mandate with regard to the Jewish national home had only been "temporarily waived". The Agency claimed that the plans for Transjordan's independence violated Article 80 of the UN Charter. See the Palestine Post, April 9th, 1946, page 3 link to

    • He’s not in any way representative of the mainstream Zionist leadership of his time.

      Don't be silly, he was elected to the Executive Council of the Zionist Organization. So of course he was representative of the leadership. The fact is that Prime Minister Menachem Begin cited the policies of Ben Gurion's governments to support his own policies and the invasion of Lebanon. He claimed that the only difference was that Ben Gurion had resorted to subtrfuge. See Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel Myths and Realities, pages 5-6.

      In his latter years Ben Gurion abandoned the effort to disguise his policies and started publishing selections from his own diaries and mandate era correspondence. That, and the publication of Shertok's diaries, supported Begin's claims .

    • Shakt was thus right. The Haganah did not participate in the massacre

      Robert I've already explained that the members of the Haganah were legal accomplices to the massacre under the terms of the existing laws and customs of land warfare: link to

      And how does a person deny the charge without further incriminating themselves of the offense in the eyes of the Nakba police?

      I don't know Werdine, but you and your tag team partner are giving it one hell of a try. I've supplied you and him with the relevant extracts from official Israeli publications, Plan Dalet and an the IDF Journal, together with extracts from the Nuremberg Charter and the EU Framework on Racism. They amply illustrate a joint criminal enterprise undertaken by the officials of the nascent state of Israel to commit acts against civil population centers that were, by definition, war crimes and crimes against humanity. This is hardly the first time you've publicly condoned, denied, or trivialized these events, so I assume that the new comment policy on Nakba denial is either devoid of any meaning whatsoever or that Phil and Adam should finally ban you.

    • Great. But do you think Israel in any way violated that caveat? I don’t see how.

      Yes. The State of Israel continues to violate its obligations under the terms of the minority protection plan contained in UN General Assembly resolution 181(II) and it remains bound by the terms of its acceptance of that treaty obligation. See the discussion and references provided here:
      link to

    • If Jewish self-determination was such a necessity, we wouldn’t have a world in which more than half the world’s Jews refuse to excercise that self-determination.

      But they actually have. Most Jewish communities in the West have opted for incorporation in other existing states, and that is one of the valid methods of exercising the right of self-determination according to the Declaration of Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation Among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the safeguarding clauses contained in the Palestine Mandate.

      Even in Israel the structure of the Rabbinate reflects the existence of more than one Jewish community, e.g. there are two Chief Rabbis. In Greco-Bulgarian Communities (Opinion No. 17) and Minority Schools in Albania (Opinion A/B 64) the Permanent Court of International Justice provided a standard legal definition of a "community" that applied to Jewish and other national minority communities of the day. It is:

      " .... a group of persons living in a given country or locality, having a race, religion, language and traditions of their own and united by this identity of race, religion, language and traditions in a sentiment of solidarity, with a view to preserving their traditions, maintaining their form of worship, ensuring the instruction and upbringing of their children in accordance with the spirit and traditions of their race and rendering mutual assistance to each other."

      That's why the safeguarding clauses in the Mandate and the Entente between PM Ben Gurion and the heads of major Jewish organizations in this country were such big deals. We've opted NOT to form a single Jewish community (and certain whackos won't take no for an answer).

    • Besides, the report was wrong. Palestine did solve the problems facing world Jewry. Are you really arguing that the predictions in a report from 1946 have greater validity than the actual historical events that have taken place since then?

      The report was quite correct. It noted that the limited area and resources of Palestine could not be used to solve the problems of World Jewry without violating the rights of the Arab majority. That is exactly what has been happening ever since. BTW, the majority of the world's Jews have opted to live elsewhere, including a large number of Israeli ex-pats.

    • Self-determination is the right of a nation to sovereignty.

      It is actually the right of legally recognized communities, acting together as a people, to determine their own political status in accordance with Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. link to

      According to the UN General Assembly, Declaration of Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation Among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, 24 October 1970:

      The establishment of a sovereign and independent State, the free association or integration with an independent State or the emergence into any other political status freely determined by a people constitute modes of implementing the right of self-determination by that people.

      But there is a major caveat:

      Nothing in the foregoing paragraphs shall be construed as authorizing or encouraging any action which would dismember or impair, totally or in part, the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent States conducting themselves in compliance with the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples as described above and thus possessed of a government representing the whole people belonging to the territory without distinction as to race, creed or colour.

      link to

    • Why are you just quoting one of the most extreme Zionists of his time period? Jabotinsky was not the voice of a majority movement. Why choose him?

      ROTFLMAO! Here is some relevant info for you from the Isaac Landman (editor), The Universal Jewish encyclopedia, 1942, page 3:

      Jabotinsky, now universally acclaimed as a Jewish hero, was elected a member of the Zionist Executive (1921) and given charge of the departments of propaganda and Palestine Foundation Fund (Keren Hayesod).

      Jabotinsky first used the phrase "The Iron Wall" during a meeting of the Zionist Executive Council in 1921 and it was the central motif of the organization's propaganda during his term of office. See Jacob Shavit, Jabotinsky and the revisionist movement, 1925-1948, Psychology Press, 1988, page 253: link to

    • The nationality was strictly provisional as per the Versailles Treaty and fell under the purvue of the British mandate. It was never a real nation.

      The new states were only "provisionally" recognized from January 1920 until March of 1920 when the treaty provisions regarding recognition of the new frontiers and payments of shares in the Ottoman public debt to foreign bondholders on that basis came into force. Article 434 of the Treaty of Versailles stipulated that Germany was required to recognize the dispositions made concerning the territories of the former Ottoman Empire, "and to recognize the new States within their frontiers as there laid down." The other Central powers and the treaty articles that required them to recognize the new states were:
      *Bulgaria Article 60 of the Treaty of Neuilly;
      *Hungary Article 74 (2) of The Treaty of Trianon
      *Austria Article 90 of The Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye

      People were stripped of their US citizenship for becoming naturalized citizens of the very real state of Palestine. Let's all read the decision of the US District Court for the District of Colombia in the 1953 case of Kletter v Dulles:

      The contention of the plaintiff that Palestine, while under the League of Nations mandate, was not a foreign state within the meaning of the statute is wholly without merit.

      When the Congress speaks of a 'foreign State,' it means a country which is not the United States, or its possession or colony- an alien country- other than our own, bearing in mind that the average American, when he speaks of a 'foreigner,' means an alien, non- American. Uyeno v. Acheson, D.C., 96 F.Supp. 510.

      Furthermore, it is not for the judiciary, but for the political branches of the Government to determine that Palestine at that time was a foreign state. This the Executive branch of the Government did in 1932 with respect to the operation of the most favored nations provision in treaties of commerce.

      The decision notes that the petitioner had also been arrested and deported from Great Britain after he unsuccessfully claimed to be a British subject (R v. Ketter). link to

      The Treaty of Lausanne required that disputes about the legal status of the new states be submitted to a Court of Arbitration and that its judgment was to be final. In 1925 a Court of Arbitration setup by the Council of League of Nations ruled that the joint Palestine mandate contained two distinct states, Palestine and Transjordan. See Volume I of the Reports of International Arbitral Awards (United Nations, 1948), “Affaire de la Dette publique ottomane. Bulgarie, Irak, Palestine, Transjordanie, Grèce, Italie et Turquie. Genève, 18 avril 1925″, pages 529-614

    • The Bedouin claim the entire Negev as their own but it is not like it was ever purchased or settled in any conventional way.

      Same ol' hasbara bullsh*t different day. The Darb el Hajj or "Pilgrim's Road", from Africa through Egypt to Mecca, passed out of Sinai from the west at Umm Al-Rashrash (modern-day Eilat). The Bedouins comprised 98 percent of the permanent population of the Negev and they had converted a great deal of the waste land to private property by cultivating it for the required number of years in accordance with the Ottoman land code. They also enjoyed grazing rights under the mandate era boundary agreements. The War Cabinet plans for the settlement of the Ottoman Empire and Palestine recognized the rights of the Bedouin inhabitants and their farm lands as a possible source of revenue:

      This raises the question of the future frontier between Palestine and Egypt. On the one hand, it seems desirable that all cultivated or cultivable land on the southern borders of Palestine, in the neighbourhood of Gaza, Rafa, and Beersheba, should go to Palestine. But, on the other hand, it would be preferable, for the reasons suggested above, that the Palestinian State should not have jurisdiction over Bedouin tribes. The tribes south of the Rafa-Beersheba line and west of the Wady Arabah go naturally with those of the Sinai Peninsula, and the pre-war frontier between Turkey and Egypt, which separated them, was a quite arbitrary line.

      It might be desirable, therefore, to attach this triangle of formerly Turkish territory to Egypt. But the consent of the inhabitants would have first to be manifested in some clear form, in order to preclude any possibility of misinterpretation. For, since Egypt is a British Protectorate, the attachment of these tribes to Egypt might otherwise be represented as an annexation of free Arabs to the British Empire.

      See pdf page 16 of 24:
      Former Reference: GT 6506
      Title: The Settlement of Turkey and the Arablan Peninsula.
      Author: Political Intelligence Department, Foreign Office
      Date 21 November 1918
      Catalogue reference CAB 24/72
      link to

      FYI, in 1947 the British mandatory administration took great exception to the majority UNSCOP committee's careless use of statistics regarding so-called "nomads". The UNSCOP members had deliberately chosen to exclude the impact of the entire Bedouin population and their assets on the plan of partition. The Beduins were responsible for the cultivation of over two million dunams of land devoted to cereal grain production. At the time, the entire Jewish community only owned about 4.9 million dunams themselves and were demanding their own state. The government had the RAF conduct an aerial photographic survey that is still useful today in establishing the pre-state existence of Beduoin communities. On 1 November 1947 the British representative turned over the results to the UNSCOP committees. The resident Bedouin population data was revised upwards to 127,000. The RAF counted 3,389 houses and 8,722 tents. The British report explained that Bedouins had been settled on the land for generations and that they were known as Beersheba Bedouins, no matter where they lived, due to the land rights they held in that district. The report said that 105, 000 Bedouins should be added to the number of Arabs who normally resided in the area of the proposed Jewish state. When that was done, the UNSCOP committees reported that

      "It will thus be seen that the proposed Jewish State will contain a total population of 1,008,800, consisting of 509,780 Arabs and 499,020 Jews. In other words, at the outset, the Arabs will have a majority in the proposed Jewish State."

      See paragraphs 62-64 on pdf file pages 40-42 of A/AC.14/32, 11 November 1947 @ link to

    • Since when does Israel claim to represent all Jews? I don’t recall ever hearing that.

      They do it every time they use the definite article and claim to be "The National Homeland of the Jewish People" and "The Jewish State."

      Repeat after Supreme Court President Shimon Agranat:

      “the wish of a handful of Jews to break away from the nation and create a new concept of an Israeli nation was not a legitimate aspiration. . . . There is no Israeli nation separate from the Jewish people. . . . The Jewish people is composed not only of those residing in Israel but also of Diaspora Jewries."-- HCJ 630/70 Tamarin v. State of Israel [1970] IsrSC 26(1) 197

      In the words of the Deputy President of the Supreme Court, Elon:

      The principle that the State of Israel is the state of the Jewish people is Israel's foundation and mission [yessoda vi-yeuda], and the principle of the equality of rights and obligations of all citizens of the State of Israel is of the State's essence and character [mahuta ve-ofya]. The latter principle comes only to add to the former, not to modify it; there is nothing in the principle of the equality of civil rights and obligations to modify the principle that the State of Israel is the state of the Jewish people, and only the Jewish people.(Ben-Shalom v. CEC 1988, 272)

      That sort of mind numbing crapfest is what led to the showdown and entente between Israeli PM David Ben-Gurion and AJC President Jacob Blaustein.

    • Murdered? Seriously dude? . . . The Haganah KILLED many of the Arab defenders who were fighting back and also killed many of the Israelis.

      Yes, once again, the Haganah district commander authorized an unprovoked and premeditated attack against a civilian population center. That written authorization of the plan was a war crime and crime against humanity under the existing terms of the Nuremberg code:

      Article 6 (c)CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.

      Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.
      link to

      So let's be clear, the Haganah commander and his forces were accomplices to a crime against humanity. Under the EU Framework Decision on Racism it can be considered an act of criminal incitement to publicly condon, deny or grossly trivialize crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined in Article 6 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal or Articles 6, 7 and 8 of the the Statute of the International Criminal Court. That would definitely include the Holocaust or Nakba denial mentioned in Mondo's comments policy.
      link to

      BTW, the Haganah and IDF became famous for launching unprovoked "preventative attacks" against civilian population centers and then ethnically cleansing them if the inhabitants exercised the customary and inherent right of self defense, e.g. here is an extract from Plan Dalet which authorized the use of that tactic:

      This plan is based on three previous plans:

      1. Plan B, September 1945.

      2. The May 1946 Plan. (This is Plan Gimmel or Plan C.)
      3. Yehoshua Plan, 1948. . . .
      (b) Consolidation of Defense Systems and Fortifications
      . . . 4. Mounting operations against enemy population centers located inside or near our defensive system in order to prevent them from being used as bases by an active armed force. These operations can be divided into the following categories:

      Destruction of villages (setting fire to, blowing up, and planting mines in the debris), especially those population centers which are difficult to control continuously.

      Mounting search and control operations according to the following guidelines: encirclement of the village and conducting a search inside it. In the event of resistance, the armed force must be destroyed and the population must be expelled outside the borders of the state.

      The villages which are emptied in the manner described above must be included in the fixed defensive system and must be fortified as necessary.

      In the absence of resistance, garrison troops will enter the village and take up positions in it or in locations which enable complete tactical control. The officer in command of the unit will confiscate all weapons, wireless devices, and motor vehicles in the village. In addition, he will detain all politically suspect individuals. After consultation with the [Jewish] political authorities, bodies will be appointed consisting of people from the village to administer the internal affairs of the village. In every region, a [Jewish] person will be appointed to be responsible for arranging the political and administrative affairs of all [Arab] villages and population centers which are occupied within that region.
      link to

      General Jodl was tried, convicted, and hanged at Nuremberg for authorizing the destruction of the homes in a district of Norway and then removing the population to prevent them from being used to assist the enemy.

    • No, really… Are you making a weird joke or something?

      No Anti-Zionist Jews demanded the inclusion of that stipulation. See for example the War Cabinet Memorandum on the subject:
      Former Reference: GT 2263
      Title: Zionism.
      Author: E S Montagu
      Date 09 October 1917
      Catalogue reference CAB 24/28
      link to

      The 1950 “entente” between Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and AJC President Jacob Blaustein was very serious too. In an April 20, 1964 letter to Rabbi Elmer Berger of the American Council for Judaism from Assistant Secretary Phillips Talbot, the State Department confirmed that it “does not recognize a legal-political relationship based upon religious identification of American citizens. It does not in any way discriminate among American citizens upon the basis of religion or ethnicity. Accordingly, it should be clear that the Department of State does not regard the “Jewish people” concept as a concept of international law.” See Whiteman's Digest of International Law, Volume 8, U.S. Dept. of State, U.S. Govt. Print. Office, 1967, page 35

    • You’ll notice a distinct lack of Jewish citizens remaining in the Arab world

      There are actually thousands of them who don't want to live in Israel. There are also thousands in Israel who came forward in the 1970s and claimed they were Zionists during the mandate era and had made Aliya just like their European brethren. See the link to the book on the Egyptian diaspora I provided you earlier. I don't argue that there weren't Jewish refugees from the Arab states, but they ceased to be refugees when they voluntarily accepted Israeli citizenship. Israel contributed to the exodus in some cases, i.e. Mossad black flag operations like the Lavon Affair.

    • Shaktimaan you keep trivializing a serious crime against humanity, ethnic cleansing and the government of Israel's continuing role in the original joint criminal enterprise.

      Israel has used its domestic legislation to strip Palestinian citizenship rights, personal property rights, and prevent the repatriation of displaced persons in violation of international law. It legally discriminates against various classes of Palestinians regardless of where they live, and it has done that ever since the day it was established.

      The Haganah fdid NOT participate in the massacre at Deir Yassin. Your link supports this. What about any of that is the equivalent of denying the Nakba?

      The link I provided says that the district commander of the Haganah knowingly authorized an unprovoked attack on a civilian objective (a war crime) and that elements of the Haganah were ordered to assist the Revisionists in time of retreat and medical assistance. The article also explains in great detail that the Haganah assisted with fire power and inflicted heavy casualties on the Arab defenders who had dug in on the western ridge of the village and it describes the use of a murderous crossfire. So the Haganah authorized and participated in the joint criminal enterprise that caused "the murder of falachim and innocent citizens, faithful allies of the western sector, who kept faith despite pressure from the gangs, even during the conquest of Sharfa, {Mt Herzl}"
      link to

    • This casts serious doubt upon – I’m inclined to say disproves – the idea that the wall was part of Herod’s Temple, the last monument of Judaism in the area, since Josephus is so emphatic that this design, including the outer buildings, was completed on time and under budget ‘within 8 years’ by Herod. There’s more to the discussion than that, as you know, but the proposition that the Wall is not a Jewish monument is not at all absurd.

      Josephus wrote that only the western wall of the city was left standing, not the Western Wall of the Temple Mount. The Madaba Map doesn't even include the Wailing Wall, so the idea that it was finished by the Romans or Byzantines is not completely out of the question. link to

    • What nakba denial? Is discussing the historically factual instances of violence and ethnic cleansing directed toward the native Jewish population of Palestine somehow a denial of the nakba?

      You were falsely claiming that the Haganah did not take part in the attack on Deir Yassin. Publicly condoning, denying, or trivializing war crimes, crimes against humanity, acts of genocide is Nakba denial. The IDF publication that I cited explains that the Haganah commander authorized the unprovoked attack on the village, and that the Haganah murdered many of the Arab defenders by providing cross fire support.

    • Is it? Why is it different than asking why an Egyptian Jew needed to have a homeland in Israel?

      According to many of them, they didn't need a homeland in Palestine. link to

      Conversely there's no evidence that Egyptian Kibbutzniks were in less danger in Palestine during the various revolts and uprisings. In fact, there is quite a bit of evidence that Oriental Jews were disproportionately represented in the terrorist wings of the Jews underground. link to

    • it was the conclusion of every panel that studied the situation that the Jews and Arabs be split into two independent states.

      Of course that was NOT the conclusion of the Anglo-American Inquiry of 1946 or the recommendation of the two signatories of the Anglo-American Palestine Mandate Convention (1925) in their joint Grady-Morrison plan of 1946. It offered practical alternative.

      If Israel hoped to fulfill its mission of being a state that could offer safe-haven to all Jews it needed to ensure that it maintained a majority Jewish population.

      Nonsense, the UNSCOP majority report rejected the notion that Palestine could be used to answer the problems of World Jewry and offered a practical alternative. The British mandatory administration also submitted revised population estimates concerning the Beersheba district Beduoin to the General assembly which revealed that there would be an Arab majority in the proposed Jewish state from the very outset. FYI, that was when it was only proposed that Israel be allocated 56% of the land. The Jewish Agency conquered an additional 22 percent making a Jewish majority with the existing inhabitants an impossibility.

      The UNSCOP report stated

      VII. Jewish immigration into Palestine . . .
      4. While the problem of Jewish immigration is thus closely related to the solution of the Palestine question, it cannot be contemplated that Palestine is to be considered in any sense as a means of solving the problem of world Jewry. In direct and effective opposition to any such suggestion are the twin factors of limited area and resources and vigorous and persistent opposition of the Arab people, who constitute the majority population of the country.


      The Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly reported that

      "It will thus be seen that the proposed Jewish State will contain a total population of 1,008,800, consisting of 509,780 Arabs and 499,020 Jews. In other words, at the outset, the Arabs will have a majority in the proposed Jewish State."

      *See paragraphs 62-64 on pdf file pages 40-42 of A/AC.14/32, 11 November 1947 @ link to

    • If my posts are pointless then perhaps you can try answering the questions.

      I did. Under the terms of the Article 30 of the Treaty of Lausanne and the Palestinian Citizenship Order in Council (1925) Arafat was a citizen of Palestine by operation of law, not by his own declaration. The Egyptian case that I cited established that Palestinians were citizens of a separate foreign state, Palestine. They did not have an automatic right to take up permanent residence in Egypt. Ben Ami had to be naturalized in order to live in either Israel or Palestine, because he was Moroccan.

    • Palestine as a state has not yet ever existed, and the idea of a nationality of Palestinians is relatively new.

      We've been over this many times before. The citizens of the State of Palestine were required to begin paying-off their share of the Ottoman public debt to the foreign bondholders in March of 1920 under the terms of the treaty of Lausanne. That treaty required the signatories to recognize Palestinian nationality of Jews and Arabs alike. The Executive branch of the US government formally recognized the State of Palestine in its treaties of commerce in 1932. Israel was created by its own act of secession, not by the UN partition. The overwhelming majority of UN member states have recognized the occupied state of Palestine within the 67 borders.


    • But in light of the realities of global anti-semitism, Jewish self-determination has shown itself to be a necessity.

      Yeah Herzl was right. Jews are incapable of peacefully co-existing with Gentiles in America or any of the other civilized countries of the Western world (not).

    • Denying Jewish people self-determination in Palestine because their population in any single area was never dense enough is to use historic oppression to justify future discrimination.

      Not at all. There was never any time in the past when the Jews alone inhabited Palestine. Self-determination became a modern international law norm and treaty obligation under the terms of the UN Charter. Israel claims that it is anti-Semitic to deny the Jewish people the right of self-determination, but refuses to grant non-Jews living within its own frontiers equal human rights in violation of the UN Charter. I've noted elsewhere that a "people" cannot be defined in terms of ethnic identity alone, because if it were, participation in the political process would then be determined solely on the basis of ethnic characteristics. That's contrary to Article 1(3) of the UN Charter and customary minority rights to equality under international law. A new state or people in the modern era will always include all of the indigenous groups inhabiting a territory. See Thomas D. Musgrave, Self-determination and National Minorities, Oxford Monographs in International Law, 1997, page XV.

      Think about it. Nation-states are always spatial entities with a government, a permanent population, and well defined frontiers. They aren't extraterritorial entities. So, Jews scattered around the globe can't somehow assert a vicarious national right superior to the indigenous Palestinians to the right of self-determination in the territory of Palestine.

      States do not have an inherent right to exist. One of the things that the International Law Commission decided during its very first session was that there is an essential difference between recognition of the existence of a State, which is a question of fact, and the attribution to any State of “the right of existence” which is a legal matter. A conditional right to exist does not imply that a state is entitled to commit, or is justified in committing unjust acts towards others. So, a State’s right of existence might end because it was established on the territory of another group without the consent of that population (e.g. Union of South Africa, Namibia & the crime of apartheid).

      Starting with Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, and the Treaty of Berlin 1878, treaty-based protection of minority and religious groups became an integral part of public international law. Recognition of new states and grants of territory were conditioned upon acceptance of minority rights obligations.
      The Paris Peace Conference continued that practice when it created new states through a “The Committee on New States and for The Protection of Minorities”. All of the new states in Eastern Europe were required to accept minority treaties which placed the rights of Jews and other minorities under League of Nations guarantee. The report on “Minority Rights in Albania”, by the Albanian Helsinki Committee, September 1999 contains an small overview on the establishment of that system under the League of Nations. French Prime Minister Clemenceau noted in an aide-memoire attached to the Polish treaty that the minority protections were consistent with existing diplomatic precedent:

      This treaty does not constitute any fresh departure. It has for long been the established procedure of the public law of Europe that when a State is created, or when large accessions of territory are made to an established State, the joint and formal recognition of the Great Powers should be accompanied by the requirement that such States should, in the form of a binding International convention undertake to comply with certain principles of Government. In this regard I must recall for your consideration the fact that it is to the endeavors and sacrifices of the Powers in whose name I am addressing you that the Polish nation owes the recovery of its independence. It is by their decision that Polish sovereignty is being restored over the territories in question, and that the inhabitants of these territories are being incorporated into the Polish nation…. …There rests, therefore, upon these Powers an obligation, which they cannot evade, to secure in the most permanent and solemn form guarantees for certain essential rights which will afford to the inhabitants the necessary protection, whatever changes may take place in the internal constitution of the Polish State.

      When Poland joined the EU it had to accept the acquis communautaire and the equal human rights of ethnic minority groups. Tony Judt noted that Israel is an anachronism and that the days of ethnic nation states are long gone.

    • Of course the modern state of Israel was not an existing nation 100 years ago. Hence it is “The Jewish State.”

      Thankfully, the League of Nations Mandate contained a safeguarding clause which protected the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country from the mess they created in Palestine. So the use of the definite article in describing a Jewish state is inappropriate in this case - particularly in view of the 1950 "entente" between Israeli prime minister David Ben-Gurion and AJC president Jacob Blaustein. American Jews aren't members of some overarching nation of Israel.

    • So why does Schlomo Ben Ami need a homeland in Palestiine? . . . Well, it’s a bit besides the point of my post . . . But using this same argument, we may just as easily ask why Arafat needed a homeland in Palestine.

      Your posts are almost pointless, there weren't 1.3 million Arab tourists visiting Palestine in 1948 when Israel declared its independence. They were lawful inhabitants living in their homeland.

      You brought-up Ben Ami, who was definitely an immigrant to Israel from Morocco. FYI, Arafat personally disputed the stories about his birth in Cairo. He claimed that he had been born in Jerusalem before the family's move to Egypt. In any event, both of his parents were well-known Palestinians and that alone determined his nationality according to the Egyptian laws of 1929. He wasn't naturalized when he returned to Palestine at age 7, because he was already a Palestinian. In 1926, the Mixed Courts of Egypt recognized Palestinian nationality and ruled that the former Ottoman territories placed under Mandate had the character of regular States, and that their inhabitants possessed the nationality of those States in accordance with Article 30 of the Treaty of Lausanne. See Case No. 34 Mandated States (Saikaly v. Saikaly) reported in John Fischer Williams and Hersh Lauterpacht (editors), “International Law Reports”, Volume 3, Cambridge University Press, under the heading States as International Persons
      *link to

    • To ignore the riots and pogroms committed against the indigenous Jews on the basis that most of the Palestinians didn’t participate makes as much sense as discounting the effects of Deir Yassin because the Haganah did not participate in the massacre.

      Who do you think you are kidding? Israel has carried out a full-blown multi-pronged pogrom against the Palestinian people ever since the day the State was established.

      You can be banned here at MW for comments that deny the Nakba. According to the account published by the ‘Maarachot’ the Israel Defense Army Press Tel Aviv 1986, the Irgun and Lehi force that attacked Deir Yassin had significant assistance and written clearance to do so from the Haganah district commander David Shaltiel - this despite the fact the village had signed a non-aggression pact and honored the terms of the agreement.

      The Revisionist force was accompanied by Meir Pail, who was in Jerusalem at that time on an intelligence mission for the Palmach. The Haganah were directed to participate in the operation by giving aid in time of retreat and medical assistance. However, the Haganah forces decided to help their Revisionist brethren during the morning to aid with additional fire power. The aid consisted of two operations: A) Preventing the approach of Arab reinforcements from the direction of Malcha and Ein-Kerem; B) rear-attacks on the Arabs who had dug in on the west ridge of the village. These were carried out from the positions in Sharfa (Mt. Herzl). The reports claimed the Arabs were surprised by the fire and suffered significant casualties, as they were forced to expose themselves either to Haganah fire or that of the Revisionists attackers. link to

    • Honestly, how can you really just proclaim someone like Schlomo Ben Ami either ignorant or stupid with any degree of seriousness?

      He's from Morocco and immigrated to Israel in 1955. Even Mitchell Bard, a notable hasbarist, admits at present Morocco has one of the most tolerant environments for Jews in the Arab world. Moroccan Jewish emigres, even those with Israeli citizenship, freely visit friends and relatives in Morocco. Moroccan Jews have held leading positions in the business community and government. The major Jewish organization representing the community is the Conseil des Communautes Israelites in Casablanca. Its functions include external relations, general communal affairs, communal heritage, finance, maintenance of holy places, youth activities, and cultural and religious life.

      So why does Schlomo Ben Ami need a homeland in Palestiine?

    • Palestinian claims include narratives such as that Jews have no historical tie to the land whatsoever, that the Western Wall is unconnected to Judaism, that no massacres of indigenous Jews by Arabs took place in Palestine and other absurdities.

      So, what? There are still Jewish and Christian archeologists and scholars who dispute the connection of the so-called Western Wall to the sites of the ancient Jewish Temples, e.g. link to

      I can assure you that if 700,000 Palestinians actually wanted to massacre the 80,000 Jewish inhabitants of early mandate era Palestine, the small British garrison there in 1918-21 couldn't possibly have prevented it from happening. Most of the Palestinians have just never been that into killing the Jews.

      The claim that Jews and their descendants can live in other countries for thousands of years and still return and assert a superior claim to Palestine, based upon religious superstitions and sentimental bullsh*t is the absurdity in this case.

    • Pro-Israel students are ignorant . . . Dershowitz said the answer is that the Jews didn't steal the land.

      Ignorance just means you don't know yet, stupidity means Dershowitz never will.

  • A lull on this site
    • Again, I think Chao’s sense of urgency is spot on. I really can’t overstate my agreement all the way through.

      The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) was happy to get the endorsement of Jewish Voice for Peace, so it wouldn't comes across as an Arab separatist movement.

      So what do you guys think about renaming the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine? It's at the top of the list of civil society organizations that called for BDS. Why have a so-called Palestine Center in Washington D.C. and all of the Palestinian civil society organizations with mailing addresses outside the Middle East? Are we supposed to be leery about these allies too? I think these groups took on those names to influence a target audience, not to preach to the already converted. They want to show that it is respectable for Palestinians, Islamists, and Jews to support non-violent approaches and that we aren't all a bunch of terrorists, racists, or warmongers. "Citizens against Apartheid" would dilute or eliminate that aspect of the message.

    • Jeff made an astute comment that going forward there will be no deep probing of the conflict (it’s roots).

      I can't say yet, time will tell. I've never avoided the subject and don't intend to ignore the use of the Holocaust straw man arguments in the future. The UNSCOP majority asserted that Palestine could not solve the problems of World Jewry and that any attempt to do so with such limited space and resources would violate the rights of the Arab majority. They were absolutely correct.
      *Millions of Jews have never moved to Palestine. It would create an environmental and public services nightmare if they had ever tried.
      *Israel has become a by word for an institutionalized regime of inhumane and systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over another.
      *The Jews in Israel have required hundreds of billions in military assistance and they are less secure today than they would have been if they had simply stayed in post-WWII Germany. In fact, the Jewish Agency for Israel pressured the German government to adopt restrictions on Jewish immigration.

    • That’s the word on the street(blankfort’s banning)

      No Blankfort acknowledged the story in comments he made here: link to

    • No. He said Israel has carried out more “overseas” assassinations. Big difference.

      Okay let's parse what he actually said:
      1) From the day of establishment, the Israeli secret services have used the weapon of assassinations, targeted killing, more extensively than any other country in the world.
      2) Even the cruel tyrants, like Stalin or Saddam Husein, were far more hesitant when it came to overseas assassinations.

      He does not claim that Statement #2 is an exception to the "extensive" scope described in Statement #1. He only claims that Israel has acted with less inhibition than some tyrants when it comes to overseas assassinations.

    • It appears that Jeffrey Blankfort replied there as well to confirm that the moderators threw him off for bringing up facts that Hannah Arendt, Lenni Brenner, Tom Segev, and even Hostage linked to.

      I really couldn't say, because I haven't been warned privately or moderated. When someone deploys a hasbara straw man I've normally respond by directing attention to some of the standard published authorities that can shed light on the particular subject for those readers who might be interested in reading more about the topic. I've never thought the Jews were responsible for the rise of the Nazis and can't think of any enlightened sources, including Jeffrey Blankfort, who've stated that is the better view of the situation. I'm sorry that whatever happened ended in a ban.

      I generally disagree with attempts to justify attacks on non-belligerent civilians going about their daily business. That even includes rationalizations about attacks on Israeli citizens on their side of the Green line. See for example my comment on the controversial Derfner editorial. link to

      That rule applies to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust too. Codifications of the customary rules of warfare, like Article 16 and 23 of the Union Army Lieber Code of (1863) and the corresponding rules annexed to the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907 outlawed murder and cruelty that targets any civilian population - no matter how obnoxious the victim's culture might be to others (e.g. Zionists, Jabotinsky's Yid, or the Haredim).

      I don't think the Holocaust era Zionists and their slavish devotion to nation building is any more despicable than the conduct of our own modern-day officials. The latter are all too willing to sustain further military and civilian losses before they will consider a pullout from one of our disastrous wars, because of their concern over the possible loss of access to resources or national prestige. It's just silly to argue that those Zionist or US policies ever were, or are, essential to our survival - much less that they helped provide Jews or Americans with safe havens. There is international consensus that those sort of actions may give rise to criminal responsibility for the individuals involved, but that they are not a justification for the death penalty, much less wholesale genocide of the Zionists or Americans.

      The article on the new comment policy and Adam's replies both indicated that sort of discussion wasn't the real target of the new additions to the MW comment policy, but that beating off-topic dead horses about the Nazi era doesn't add to the value of the comment section - which should be aimed at providing information about the conflict today. link to

      I've never had a single comment rejected by the moderators here, although I've seen several of the regulars complain that they have been moderated from time to time. Anyone who has posted regularly on Israeli news sites can imagine the toxic brew the moderators here must see during discussions like the ones on Prof Slater's just war article. It was impossible for some of us readers to sort through the 400+ comments that made it through moderation without getting completely exasperated. So, I have no trouble accepting the claim that the moderators were burned-out afterward and that a rule change to avoid a repetition for the site operator's sakes was in order - and I indicated as much at the time. link to

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