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Total number of comments: 10694 (since 2010-02-28 20:54:05)



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  • Palestinian and Palestine-solidarity activists issue critique and condemnation of Gilad Atzmon
    • Maju, on the other hand, makes some great points about how Judaism is not a race and therefore can and should be criticized.

      That's absolutely correct. Atzmon's book is supposedly about "Jewish identity politics". The notion that ultra-orthodoxy's rejection of enlightenment values is an inherited or immutable characteristic is utter hogwash. So, it's irrational for anyone to talk about the demographic threat posed by Israel's Haredi population as if the thinking of an entire generation of young people has already been predetermined or predestined, based upon their parent's narrow minded religious beliefs and customs.

      In our struggle against Zionism, racism, and all forms of colonialism and imperialism, there is no place for antisemitism or the vilification of Jews, Palestinians or any people based on their religions, cultures, nationalities, ethnicity or history.

      I'm sorry, but that sounds like platitudinous nonsense. None of the signatories would hesitate to condemn the clash of religious values reflected in works, like the Kings Torah or H. B. Isherwood, Religion and Racial Controversy, Brighton: The Racial Preservation Society, 1970. The latter defended apartheid and segregation on biblical grounds. If you're going to seriously discuss "Jewish identity politics" in modern-day Israel, then you need to drop this namby-pamby temporizing and get on with an honest discussion about the racist aspects of the various streams of Judaism and the fact that those aspects have been embraced or defended by several of the national religious parties which hold key positions in the Knesset and its committees.

      Mondoweiss, and mainstream media outlets, including the Forward, the LA Times, and the major Israeli daily newspapers actively criticized the strongly held religious and cultural beliefs of the extremist Orthodox Jews who attacked Naama Margolese, a 7 year old girl in the town of Beit Shemesh. They routinely condemn the same religious groups when they put-up warning signs for women and partition-off public thoroughfares or attack women on sex-segregated bus lines based upon their religion and culture. Religious superstitions and customs are perfectly fair game when you are discussing the march of civilization and political identity movements, including the Jewish national religious ones.

      All of this shreying about Atzmon's book, has guaranteed him at least one more sale. Jewish Voice for Peace has signed-on to the Palestinian solidarity movement condemnation. So, I'm going to have to read it and see if I agree.

  • The 'Arabwashers' of apartheid
    • Are you sure that you represent them Abir ?

      Well we can be certain that Israel isn't sending Hanin Zoabi or representatives from the Balad party or the United Arab List overseas during Israel Apartheid Week. Israel has historically acted to ban Palestinian political parties that represent the views of Palestinians or say that Israel should be a state of all its people, not a state for the Jewish people.

      Well i guess we will just have to live and see how the votes
      will fall in the next election.

      The Central Election Commission doesn't work that way. In 2009, the Knesset’s central election committee voted to ban two Arab parties—Balad and the United Arab List (UAL)–Ta’al —from that year’s elections. -- link to

      The Commission is expected to ban MK Hanin Zoabi – and perhaps Balad and Raam-Taal parties as well – from participating in the next elections:

      DURING THE debate in the Knesset last Wednesday, Levin repeatedly shouted that Zoabi would definitely not be a member of the next Knesset. There is no doubt that as elections for the 19th Knesset approach, right-wing parties will renew efforts to have Balad disqualified on the grounds that the party advocates turning Israel into “a state of all its citizens” – something they say essentially denies its existence as the state of the Jewish people. They also say Balad maintains contact with organizations that are defined in Israel as terrorist organizations.

      In the past, the High Court of Justice has overturned Central Elections Committee decisions to disqualify Balad, but the last time the court ruled on this issue, it stated that Balad’s positions were problematic, implying that the party is walking on very thin legal ice. With the High Court’s more conservative makeup, and especially the approaching retirement of Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch, it is quite likely that next time the court will uphold a committee decision to disqualify Balad.


  • Another civilian massacre and the savagery of our soldiers
    • Could some foreign country, acting on an ICC warrant, arrest Bush or Obama while they are abroad and take them before the ICC . . . ah, yeah, sure . . .dream on.

      Former President Bush obviously does not agree. He would be subject to arrest and surrender to the ICC. The US and EU have arrested or prosecuted other former heads of state, including Pinochet and Noriega.

      *Bush cancels Europe trip amid calls for his arrest
      link to
      *Protest Threats Derail Bush Speech in Switzerland
      link to

    • FYI, I believe you’ve got this wrong, Hostage. I note you don’t support it with any authority. . . . Last I heard the US and Israel are sovereign states. The whole point of sovereignty is being beyond any other power or jurisdiction.

      The participants at the San Francisco Conference on UN Organization agreed that sovereignty had been a poorly defined and abstract concept in international law during the colonial era and that its only tangible manifestation is jurisdiction. Israel has always claimed that it isn't responsible for application of human rights covenants in the Palestinian territories because they are not part of its sovereign territory or jurisdiction. See CCPR/C/ISR/2001/2, para 8 or E/1990/6/Add.32, para 6-7

      The jurisdiction of the international criminal tribunals has been limited to natural persons. See Article 25 of the Rome Statute at the UN Treaty Organization link supplied below. It is a recognized principle of international criminal law that individuals cannot invoke state sovereignty as a defense, e.g. Israel v. Eichmann, United States v. Noriega, and Prosecutor v. Tadic:

      "The right to plead violation of the sovereignty of a State is the exclusive right of that State. Only a sovereign State may raise the plea or waive it, and the accused has no right to take over the rights of that State." (36 International Law Reports 5, 62 (1961), affirmed by Supreme Court of Israel, 36 International Law Reports 277 (1962).)

      24. The doctrines of "political questions" and "non-justiciable disputes" are remnants of the reservations of "sovereignty", "national honour", etc. in very old arbitration treaties. They have receded from the horizon of contemporary international law, except for the occasional invocation of the "political question" argument before the International Court of Justice in advisory proceedings and, very rarely, in contentious proceedings as well.

      The Court has consistently rejected this argument as a bar to examining a case.

      link to

      Neither the US nor Israel exercise "sovereignty" over the territory of member states of the International Criminal Court or territories that they happen to occupy militarily under the terms of the Geneva Conventions. When the Rome Statute entered into effect in 2002, the future Israeli Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein was serving as the Attorney General. He warned that the decision not to ratify the Statute would not eliminate the danger of prosecutions. Deputy Attorney General Rachel Sukar explained that non-ratification does not provide immunity from prosecution by the court and that the court also does not recognize diplomatic immunity, so even a sitting prime minister could be indicted. See A-G: New Hague court may indict settlers for war crimes.

      That's why the US government scurried around negotiating so-called "Article 98" agreements with individual states. See Article 98 of the Rome Statute at the link supplied below and the section "Countries that have Signed Article 98 Agreements with the U.S." here link to

      FYI, the validity of those agreements has been called into question because they may have been obtained through coercion in violation of customary and conventional international law. See for example the restrictions on special agreements contained in Article 8 of the Geneva Convention; the prohibition against coercion in Article 52 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties; and the authorization for the use of force against Iraq, Afghanistan, and the International Criminal Court contained in the American Service-Members' Protection Act and other key US legislation.

      The ICC member states have given the Court the necessary authority to exercise complimentary jurisdiction over any crime committed on their own territory. See Articles 1, 13(c), and 15 of the Statute at the link provided below.

      Under the terms of Article 12 of the Statute, the only requirement for the Court to exercise jurisdiction elsewhere is:
      *that the accused be a national of one of the member states (See the Prosecutors remarks on a South African national serving in GOC Command during Operation Cast Lead link to ); or
      *A declaration from a non-member state, with territorial jurisdiction, which accepts the jurisdiction of the Court (See Article 12 of the Statute link to ); or
      *The UN Security Council refers a situation in a member or non-member state for investigation and prosecution ( See Article 13 of the Statute).

      The ICC Prosecutor and President of the Assembly of States Parties have both indicated that, if Palestine obtained observer state status or other recognition of its status as state from the UN organization, the ICC would react accordingly and that crimes committed on its territory since July 2002 would be investigated.
      *link to
      *link to

    • How inconvenient for the Pentagon.

      The function of the American Service-Members' Protection Act (aka The Hague Invasion Act) and various Status of Forces Agreements is to obstruct international criminal justice by prohibiting the use of funds appropriated by Congress to extradite service members for prosecution elsewhere and to authorize necessary force to free prisoners awaiting trial in the International Criminal Court. link to

    • Hostage . . . Both the US and Israel have “unsigned” the Rome Statute. They are no longer parties, and no longer bound by it. Can’t imagine why . . . . the freakin’ perps.

      Denis, it doesn't necessarily matter that neither the US nor Israel are parties to the Rome Statute. The Court can still exercise its jurisdiction if members of the US or Israeli armed forces commit crimes on the territory of one of the many states, like Afghanistan, that are parties to the Statute. FYI, crimes committed on US or Israeli territory by nationals of a state party could also be subject to the Court's jurisdiction.

      The Palestinian National Authority has accepted jurisdiction of the Int’l Criminal Court, although it cannot be a signatory because it is not a country.

      Correction: The Registrar of the Court informed the Palestinian Authority, that pending a decision from the Pre-Trial Chamber, its Article 12(3) declaration accepting the Court's jurisdiction had triggered the application of the provisions of Part 9 of the Statute on International Cooperation and Judicial Assistance and any rules thereunder, concerning State parties. link to

      One of the exhibits supplied to the Court by the members of the Arab League contained an annex which listed the international agreements they have with the third party state of Palestine on the subjects of diplomatic immunity and extradition. The Court is required to respect those agreements under the terms of Part 9, Article 98 of the Statute. See Documents on the status of Palestine, at the ICC website. It is axiomatic that Palestine cannot be treated as a state for the purposes of Article 98 and a non-state actor for the purposes of Articles 12 and 125.

      Under the terms of Article 125, the Rome Statute is open for signature by "all states" and the UN Secretary General is designated to act as the depositary. The Secretary General is obliged to accept instruments of accession or ratification from any full member state of the UN or one of its specialized agencies, including UNESCO under the "all states" or more strict "Vienna" formula. See The "Vienna formula"; the "all States formula"; the practice of the General Assembly in "Summary Of Practice Of The Secretary-General As Depositary Of Multilateral Treaties". link to

      Palestine can become a member of the ICC, but that isn't necessary for the Court to exercise its jurisdiction under the terms of Palestine's Article 12(3) declaration. Those provisions of the Statute allow non-member states to refer situations on their territory to the Court and Palestine has already made the necessary declaration.

    • He has been whisked out of harm’s way — meaning away from any possibility of a local trial — and brought to safety in the US.

      If Afghanistan is genuinely unable to carry out the investigation or prosecution, it is a member state of the International Criminal Court. These are certainly crimes which are subject to its jurisdiction that were committed inside the territory of Afghanistan.

      FYI, proceedings that are undertaken for the purpose of shielding the person concerned from criminal responsibility for crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court would actually trigger action by the Prosecutor under the terms of Article 17 of the Rome Statute. link to

    • Then you force yourself to look and see and only one thought is possible: This must stop now. You wonder, how can we do it? And your mind says, immediately: Whatever it takes.

      It's pretty simple. Rather than run around shreying about war crimes, try to remember that war is a crime.

      That means that 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 has been a criminal offense under customary international law since the principles in the Nuremberg Charter were adopted.

      There is no statute of limitations for the crime of aggression. It can lead to arrest and prosecution in any national court that has been given the authority to exercise universal jurisdiction.

      For example, the judgment in Regina v Jones (2006) noted:

      It was suggested, on behalf of the Crown, that the crime of aggression lacked the certainty of definition required of any criminal offence, particularly a crime of this gravity. This submission was based on the requirement in article 5(2) of the Rome statute that the crime of aggression be the subject of definition before the international court exercised jurisdiction to try persons accused of that offence. This was an argument which found some favour with the Court of Appeal (in para 43 of its judgment). I would not for my part accept it. It is true that some states parties to the Rome statute have sought an extended and more specific definition of aggression. It is also true that there has been protracted discussion of whether a finding of aggression against a state by the Security Council should be a necessary pre-condition of the court's exercise of jurisdiction to try a national of that state accused of committing the crime. I do not, however, think that either of these points undermines the appellants' essential proposition that the core elements of the crime of aggression have been understood, at least since 1945, with sufficient clarity to permit the lawful trial (and, on conviction, punishment) of those accused of this most serious crime. It is unhistorical to suppose that the elements of the crime were clear in 1945 but have since become in any way obscure.

      link to

      So it's only a matter of mobilizing the public to finally hold the individuals criminally responsible for starting all of these costly and destructive wars.

  • Liberal American Jews are giving themselves permission to say goodbye
    • Are there any basic rights that the US now supplies to its citizens?

      In a speech last week at Northwestern University Law School, US Attorney General Eric Holder defended the right of the government to assassinate US citizens and explained that power is "not limited to the battlefields in Afghanistan." link to

      English subjects had better legal protections from their King in 1354:

      None shall be condemned without due Process of Law.
      ITEM, That no Man of what Estate or Condition that he be, shall be put out of Land or Tenement, nor taken, nor imprisoned, nor disinherited, nor put to Death, without being brought in Answer by due Process of the Law.
      -- Liberty of Subject (1354) CHAPTER 3 28 Edw 3
      link to

  • Exclusive Excerpt: Miko Peled's 'The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine'
    • First of all in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the country was run by the Ottoman Empire. It was never Palestinian in the sense that you think it is now.

      LOL! You mean by the 19th Century, the Ottoman Empire was simply a euphemism for Muslims. Even the Jewish Virtual Library has a page which explains that Yussef Diya'uddin Al-Khalidi was Speaker of the Ottoman Parliament and Jerusalem's representative there in 1876. It's pretty amazing that Zionists still cling to these old myths. link to Palestinians held key positions in their own government and constituted the overwhelming majority of the population.

    • “How come you have nothing to say about what Islamic leaders say Jews and wiping Israel off the map? Why don’t you show us where you have opened up your mouth on this one?”

      In every instance that I've checked, they were actually taking about Zionist regime overthrow. That's a goal shared by Jewish religious fanatics both in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories and by secular political anti-Zionists everywhere.

      I've always responded that the justification for a racist Jewish state in Palestine is no more compelling to me than the justification for a German one in the Sudetenland. How's that?
      link to
      link to
      link to

  • Israeli right wing's vision for West Bank annexation (to 'pull the rug out from under apartheid accusation')
    • Some open questions to the Mondoweiss community:

      By addressing the key points of Apartheid, including voting and citizenship rights within a contiguous space, and unfettered transportation rights (public, not private) between the Palestinian enclaves, will it take the steam out of the anti-Israeli Apartheid movement?

      No need to go any further than that with your questions. The illegal settlers are trying to rollback time and reverse the 2004 ICJ advisory opinion which held that the Palestinians are entitled to self-determination, their territory, and their State.

      This proposal is prima facie evidence of the crime of apartheid. It still constitutes denial of nationality and self-determination for 4 million Palestinians. It is nothing more than a perpetuation of the existing policy of Bantustanization. This Jewish-only "realpolitik" is also an example of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over another racial group or groups - committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.

      So it does nothing to address the issue of apartheid. The South African BSD movement never succeeded in preventing the establishment of Bantustans, but the greed of the White supremacists was their undoing. The same thing will happen to these Jewish supremacists.

  • Fact checker fact checker find me a fact
    • mass of a sphere=volume times density . . . density of steel is minimum 7.75 g/cm^3

      We've already explained that steel is an alloy with various densities, based upon the constituents that are used in the production process. You are simply assuming the bullets are made from solid steel products.

      Porous steel stock with a relative density as low as 0.21-0.30 compared to solid steel can be manufactured by sintering (heating) a metal-carbonate, like steel and potassium carbonate. The resulting products are lighter than solid steel and can have improved elastic, flexural, and compressive properties.

    • P.S. Here is a YouTube video of the IRB and SRB rounds and the X-ray. link to

    • That doesn’t change the fact that a 2cm in diameter steel sphere masses about 32 grams, much more than the 14 grams he’s talking about. Do the math yourself instead of just counting on some journal article to be infallible.

      Steel is an alloy with various densities based upon the constituents that are used. Why don't you show us the infallible steps you employed to conclude the specs cited by the authors are incorrect? I provided a link to an X-Ray of the standard spherical round that was originally published by Time Magazine. It shows an object that is about 2cm inside a 14 year old's head. So you must be suggesting it is heavier and more lethal than the journal report, because it damn sure isn't any smaller or cylindrical.

    • Fact checker fact checker find me a fact


      Exactly. Judge because it’s made of rubber is irrelevant. If you could accellerate a marshmallow fast enough . . .

      Perhaps, but these are not marshmallows. They're rubber-jacketed metal bullets:

      The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have more than one type of rubber bullet. The most commonly used type and the one that we believe injured all our patients is a cylindrical rubber-coated metal bullet approximately 1.7cm in diameter and length with a mass of 15.4 g. Known as the improved rubber bullet (IRB), it was introduced in 1989 to replace the standard rubber bullet (SRB), which is still used occasionally. The SRB comprises a 2-cm-diameter steel sphere coated thinly in rubber, weighing 14 g. The IRB is considered to be more accurate, and therefore less likely to cause unintended injuries. -- T Lavy and S Abu Asleh, Ocular rubber bullet injuries, Eye (the Journal of Nature), (2003) 17, pp 821–824. doi:10.1038/sj.eye.6700447,

      Of course, the soldiers in the picture are not even using their sights and could probably give a f*ck about inaccurate fire.

      See also the X-Ray of the SRB in the victims cranium at "Misleading terminology: "Rubber" bullets" link to

  • The radicalization of Yossi Gurvitz
    • This is a brand new concept — when I heard Yossi Gurvitz mention it, it didn’t register

      In 1999 Norton Mezvinsky teamed-up with the late Israel Shahak to coauthor "Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel". A couple of years earlier Prof. Shahak had written "Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years". Gurvitz was touching upon many of the same themes that were addressed in those works.

    • this is an incredible interview with an incredible man. thank you very very much.

      Yes I'm a huge fan of his articles at +972 Magazine. Earlier this week I was worried that by concentrating on Zionism or Nationalism per se, that Phil might avoid articles or discussions like this one about the more troubling role played by this rise of so-called religious ultra-orthodoxy. Most American Jews aren't familiar with the subject.

      We are talking about a country so messed-up that Israeli Palestinian MKs have to listen to serious discussions about the need for a proposed bill (with co-sponsors from several political parties) that would grant Jewish leaders immunity from prosecution for incitement to commit genocide so that they can continue to use responsa in Jewish law like the crap mentioned in the interview above or to promote the wholesale massacre of Gentile men, women, and babies. See the subsection: "MKs: Rabbis Must be Protected" in: Rabbis to Explain 'Torat HaMelech' Controversy

      There have been several articles that touched on the problem in the last few days, but this one really "hit the nail on the head". Thanks to Phil, Scott, and Yossi!

  • Freedom Funnies: ‘You Can’t Just Continue’ Part II
    • Hmm? I should have used press card or press pass?

      No, I knew what you meant. I was just commenting that the moderators were more likely to be partisans than press in this instance.

    • So yes they exist: Israel Palestine Confederation. And the protesters may have been recruited by Fatah ..?

      Yes the symbolic efforts to implement a 1ss are predictably triggering hate, discontent, and ankle biting from the largely symbolic 2ss resistance movements over the propriety of launching normalization efforts in light of the on-going state of affairs under the occupation.

    • Do you think they will grant Mondoweiss press credentials?

      With the deck of speakers stacked that badly, I wonder if the Jerusalem Post deserves press credentials. Most of the participants belong in the dock at the Hague. If you're the sort of person who worries about the possibility of divine or more mundane forms of retribution, you'd best avoid being under the same roof with that much bad karma;-)

    • Wednesday, 14 December, 2011« Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan, Jerusalem

      Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) –
      link to

      Jerusalem activists successfully had the Ambassador Hotel cancel their hosting of events in the planned Israeli Palestinian Confederation Conference on Tuesday, 13 December. The conference, organized by Jerusalem University director Dr. Sari Nsaibeh and former Israeli foreign affairs minister Shlomo Bena’mi, was to see the election for the parliament and a chairman for the so-called Israeli- Palestinian Confederation.

      Conference events taking place in Beit Jalah and Haifa over the next few days have promoted a false illusion of Palestine already being liberated and contributed to the normalization of the Israeli occupation. One demonstrator commented that “how would such a confederation even be possible under the occupation?”

      The management of the Ambassador Hotel announced their decision to cancel the conference events in a printed statement posted at the hotel’s entrance. A hotel manager stated that “we have been manipulated by the conference organizers, who did not reveal to us its real purposes. We refuse to take part in their attempts to veil the reality of Palestinian suffering.”

      Protesters gathered outside the hotel to condemn the process of normalization of the occupation promoted by the conference, amidst the collapse of the peace process, continuing settlement construction and the confiscation of Palestinian land.

      Al-Hayat Al-Jadida - Dec. 13, 2011

      "The Israeli delegation left in shock, and Ubeidat demanded the dismissal of Sari Nusseibeh from the position of President of Al-Quds University – Jerusalem personalities obstruct conference on normalization in Jerusalem"

      "National figures from Jerusalem forced the management of the Ambassador Hotel in Jerusalem to prevent [the holding of] a conference on normalization, with the participation of Palestinians and Israelis, including President of Al-Quds University, Sari Nusseibeh; [Israeli professor and former MP] Shlomo Ben-Ami, and others, which had as its aim the holding of general Palestinian and Israeli parliamentary elections, in an attempt to achieve peace, according to their claim.
      Shortly after a sitting strike opposite the hotel, with the participation of dozens of [Palestinian] Jerusalem residents, including representatives of factions and national forces, and after some youth managed to break into the lobby and to remove posters for the conference… the Israeli delegation fled in shock, with angry screams in the background. It should be noted that several hundred meters from the stolen homes in the Sheikh Jarah neighborhood, some Palestinian and Israeli academics and politicians had intended to hold a press conference under the slogan, 'Palestinian-Israeli Confederation Congress', to establish a joint Palestinian-Israeli parliament, but the angry voice of the Jerusalem street succeeded in sabotaging the conference, because of its normalization objectives… Writer and media personality Rassem Ubeidat demanded of President Mahmoud Abbas and of [head of the Department for Jerusalem Affairs and former PM] Ahmad Qurei to dismiss the president of Al-Quds University, Seri Nusseibeh, following his participation in the conference, while the occupation is destroying Palestinians' homes and expel elected members of the Palestinian Parliament (Legislative Council) (i.e., from Hamas) from the city. He said, 'It is a disgrace that Nusseibeh is serving as president of the largest university while he plays a role of normalization with the occupation.'"

      Its damned if you do (1ss) and damned if you don't (2ss).

    • Terrific. And really explains why (certain) “normalization” things (Israel-Palestine cooperation things) are really destructive and should not be participated in.

      Recently some Israelis and Palestinians held an event where they were expected to vote for a joint parliament that would offer itself as a “third government” for the two peoples. The cultural boycott against "normalization" was invoked as an excuse to help shutdown the event. So I suppose a person can take this stuff too far, or flip it and prolong the conflict, e.g.:
      link to

  • Jon Stewart's Triple Threat
    • These are just AIPAC talking points.

      No, AIPAC has never said that it would be a f*uckup to commit US troops to assist Israel or that an attack on Iran would strengthen the dictatorship. That is Stewart's backhanded delivery of an anti-war editorial. You guys really need to get a grip if you think that somehow supports AIPAC.

    • I also believe, on the other hand, that unless the ambassador was 100% aware and supportive of the interview before hand, then this was distasteful fun that cheapens the struggle this man and his fellow Palestinians have endured.

      Ambassador Riyad Mansour gets American culture. He has served as Litigation Consultant with Leventhal & Slaughter; earned a PhD in Counselling from the University of Akron, an MA in Education Counselling, Youngstown State University, a BA in Philosophy from Youngstown State University and has served as Adjunct Professor, Political Science, at the University of Central Florida.

      He was quite obviously in on the joke about the thermostat/Jerusalem:

      Riyad: “We will not divide the thermostat, but it should be accessed by all those who cherish it and think that it is a holy place that should be accessed by everyone.”

      John [Quietly]: “You’re not touching that thermostat.”

      Riyad: “We’ll see.”

    • John Stewart and John Oliver aren't the only ones weighing-in lately on the recognition of Palestine and the 2ss.

      MK Hanin Zoabi endorses the two state solution:
      link to

      Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, head of the Central Command on the renewal of an Israeli-Arab drive for peace based on a two-state solution:
      link to

  • Netanyahu gives genocidal bible story to Obama
    • Would the bible passage that they . . . (didn’t rob the corpses) show that they were not, in fact at all revengeful?

      No. In fact, Rashi's commentary on Esther 9:10 stresses that they were simply afraid of the King: "but on the spoil they did not lay their hands: so that the king should not cast an envious eye on their money."

    • Your claim, your homework.

      No it was cited by both Dr. Simons and the publishers of Arutz Shiva. Your genetic fallacy, your homework.

      LOL. I am astounded that you would talk about what would stand up in an academic environment.

      Of course you're amazed. You usually waste your time here peddling unsourced Zionist talking points and bullying people. In an academic setting you can't rely on ad homenim and genetic fallacies, to disprove the published claims and bibliographic evidence provided by two PhDs like Lehmann and Simons. You have to provide your own sourced evidence that disproves their claims and evidence. The proposition that many Jews have used blood libels and Purim to excuse violence against others is uncontroversial in academic circles. That's why Princeton University Press published a work like Elliott Horowitz, "Reckless Rites: Purim and the Legacy of Jewish Violence" in the first place. link to

      My point was that many Jews, including Lehmann, Simons, and Segal, have used blood libels and Purim to excuse acts of violence. In this case there is ample evidence that they have been widely reprinted in the Israeli mainstream media and on the Internet. Anyone who is familiar with Justice Shamgar's benevolent published decisions and opinions on the IDF's use of home demolitions, expropriations, human shields, human bargaining chips, torture, extrajudicial killings, and the de jure non-applicability of the customary humanitarian laws contained in the Geneva Conventions regarding hostage taking, murder, deportations, & etc. knows perfectly well that he's the worst kind of extremist nut case who has also resorted to many blood libels against the Palestinian people in the past to justify the state policies of Israel. I cited one of those articles above.

      “Even an extremist or a settler can accurately quote a report that he has obtained and read for himself.” Sure he can. So now we’re trusting the self-serving statements of extremist settlers? Which do you accept and which do you not accept?

      The fact that traveling medieval Jewish merchants or pilgrims repeated legendary, fanciful, fantastic, folkloristic, and unreliable tales doesn't prevent historians from accepting the eye witness accounts of those same individuals. If it did, there wouldn't be any Jewish history as such.

      You're a lawyer. So you know perfectly well how to weigh evidence from a hostile or biased witness.
      *The claims and bibliographic evidence have been widely repeated in the mainstream media and on the Internet since 1994.
      *The Palestinian and Israeli critics who watched the televised Shamgar hearings and read the Shamgar report have not published any challenges to the validity of the particular quotes in question.
      *Each of the three men explained that he had personally read or obtained a copy of the report.
      *Each man repeated the same blood libel against the Palestinians.

      You and the two other members of the tag team have not read the report (and in several cases ignored the actual sources cited in the linked articles themselves). You've resorted to bluster, ad homenim, and genetic fallacies - but you haven't supplied a single scrap of published evidence that specifically supports your denials or these particular allegations of forgery or misattribution.

    • It’s funny though that you an Anti Zionist would continuously wave and claim to be true part of a conspiracy theory (a silly one) by the the most right wing settlers and their supporters that there are in Israel (i mean really Kiryat Arba). And do it just because what they claim in your eyes helps your cause and ideology.

      It's ironic that your tag team has experienced such a dearth of published sources which support your Zionist ideology;-)

      I'm simply repeating the fact that some Jews resorted to a using a blood libel against the victims to help excuse a Purim massacre of some Gentiles. That fact was amply demonstrated by the uncontested statements published by Lehmann, Simons, & Haggai Segal that were repeated in mainstream Israeli media outlets, like the Jerusalem Post.

      Everyone knows that the state of Israel has published blue-ribbon commission reports which allege that there might have been a conspiracy to smuggle weapons along with items of food and humanitarian aid. The IDF used that as an excuse to launch deadly attacks on ships that everyone (now) knows were carrying harmless cargoes. link to

      Justice Shamgar was an Irgun terrorist who was captured and deported by the British. I have no doubt that he is an extremist who would include doubtful evidence of an Arab conspiracy in a confidential section of a report about an incident involving illegal settlers.

      Even the Wikipedia article notes Shamgar and the report were criticized on that score:
      8.8a "Those in charge of security at the Tomb were given no intelligence reports that an attack by a Jew against Moslem worshipers could be expected, particularly since intelligence reports warned of the opposite: an attack by Hamas. Therefore, there was concern about an attack by Arabs against Jews."[31]

      Critics of the commission have suggested that Shamgar's judicial record has "consistently displayed his leniency toward the settlers, including those convicted of crimes against the Palestinians, but especially toward the soldiers who had fired at the Palestinians."[32]

      link to

    • I guess this is his MO makes him look credible so people don’t call
      his BS to often.

      Correct. My MO is to quote third-party verifiable published sources and let readers decide for themselves. Your MO is to tag team with a name caller and deploy ad hominem, innuendo, and genetic fallacies. But none of you can find any published source that challenges these citations or quotations I supplied, despite the fact they've been out there for nearly two decades. Once again, the silence from the opposition is pretty deafening and speaks louder than whatever you're saying on this particular subject.

    • Again, tertiary sources who are totally biased are not considered credible by anyone, least of all in academia. Gimme a break.

      Your link didn't indicate that Lehmann was a tertiary source. He said that he visted Kiryat Arba and had obtained his own copy of the report:

      The details and facts the Goldsteins documented reflected some of the findings in the 338 page Shamgar Commission Report of which I obtained a copy, but they have not been widely published in Israel because of the obvious leftist-inspired censorship that has been imposed on many of its findings. Thus, on Page 77 the Report confirms that Goldstein treated and healed an Arab terrorist in October 1990. If this had been publicized, the world press, including Time magazine, could not have claimed that Goldstein hated Arabs and refused to treat them.

      You still haven't provided any information to challenge the accuracy of the quoted material he supplied that would stand up in an academic environment, much less here at Mondoweiss.

      An article you haven’t furnished, other than as a citation of multiple biased tertiary sources.

      Even someone with your rudimentary intelligence can independently verify the contents of a Jerusalem Post article, given the date and page number, which I've already supplied. Do your own homework.

      You’ve not cited anything worth discrediting,

      Your entire argument is based upon ad hominem and genetic fallacies that wouldn't be accepted in an academic setting, at the Jerusalem Post, or here at Mondoweiss. Even an extremist or a settler can accurately quote a report that he has obtained and read for himself. We are dealing with independent secondary sources who have published articles with identical views.

    • I know very few people who interpret the Megillah as an instruction to massacre one’s enemies.

      Same here, but the ones that do include high ranking Israeli government officials like Danny Danon and members of the Rabbinate, e.g. link to

    • Excuse me for laughing. Let me know when the ICC prosecutes their first Palestinian terrorist.

      He who laughs last, laughs best. For example, Côte d’Ivoire lodged, via a note verbale, a declaration dated 18 April 2003 accepting the exercise of the jurisdiction of the Court under Article 12, paragraph 3. link to

      On February 22, 2012 the Pre-Trial Chamber issued its third authorization decision permitting the Prosecutor to proceed with an independent investigation of events in the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire on the basis of the old 2003 Declaration. The legal community is already grumbling for an explanation as to why the Prosecutor hasn't obtained a determination from the Pre-Trial Chamber on the situation in Palestine, e.g. link to

      Here is the draft resolution that the state of Palestine co-sponsored calling for the Goldstone report to be forwarded to the ICC. link to

      Here is a link, which includes the petitions from various Israeli and Zionist Lobbying groups that have asked the Prosecutor not to take the case. Most were based upon the (now moot) argument that Palestine is not recognized as a state by the UN or any of its specialized agencies - like UNESCO. Note that the exhibit from the Arab League included several treaties between ICC member states on extradition for acts of terrorism and diplomatic immunity with the third state of Palestine. The Court is required to honor those treaties in accordance with Article 98 of the Rome Statute. All UNESCO member states are invited to become parties to the Vienna Conventions on the Law of Treaties and Diplomatic Relations. Most scholars agree that a state, for the purposes of Article 98, must also be considered a state for the purposes of Article 12(3).
      link to

      In the August 2011 annual report before the UNESCO vote, the Prosecutor advised

      The Palestinian National Authority requested the right to be heard on the fulfilment of the statutory requirements for opening an investigation, including on the issue as to whether Palestine qualifies as a “State” for the purpose of article 12, paragraph 3, of the Statute. The Office considered that a fair process required that the Palestinian National Authority as well as other interested parties have the opportunity to be heard. The Office therefore ensured due process to all parties involved. Representatives of the Palestinian National Authority presented arguments by oral and written submissions. The final public briefing will be presented soon.

      link to

      He subsequently made public statements to the effect that his office was following events related to the Palestinian UN bid and would react accordingly. link to

    • If AIPAC is both Esther and Mordechai, are you suggesting, perchance, that when we glimpse The Dersch we be thinking new Esther?

      Well there were two Mordechais. Dersh undoubtedly represents the original "ticking bomb" that made it so urgent for Haman/Mordechai Vanunu to act.

    • It is up to you to provide a complete citation for what seems to be an outright lie.

      I have supplied verbatim quotes from an eye witness, Haggai Segal, who had read the report. His article was printed by the publishers and editors of the Jerusalem Post and backed-up by another eye witness Chaim Simons.

      So far, you hasbrats have produced zero evidence that these two and the JPost were publishing an "outright lie" about the unpublished portions of the confidential state report. I'm only replying because it's so much fun to watch a tag team this big squirm and bluster about disreputable settler nut cases;-)

    • You originally presented a quote, claiming it was taken from the Shamgar report – which you now admit is a lie.

      I originally cited Dr Lehmann, who supplied a verbatim quote from the Shamgar report. I don't admit that he was lying. It is you hasbrats that keep implying that he is, but you've failed to producing any compelling evidence.

    • Chaim Simmons, like the others you’ve cited, is linked to Kiryat Arba, and has an obvious interest in claiming that a confidential part of the report which no one can see backs up the beliefs of Kiryat Arba residents.

      Do you have evidence that Lehmann is linked to Kiryat Arba? Link please.

      Hophmi, your request is like asking for a link to the classified material Sandy Berger tried to steal from the National Archives and Records Administration. Once again, you'll just have to go to the Israeli State Archives and ask for access to whatever is available to the public like everyone else.

      In the meantime, the rest of us here at Mondoweiss are free to discuss things that have been reported by multiple sources - without any rebuttals - including an article printed by the publishers and editors of the Jerusalem Post.

      Chaim Simons has published his correspondence with the Israeli State Archives and Justice Shamgar and he has personally accessed the material in question - and the silence from his critics regarding the citation in question is deafening.

      It's obvious that neither you nor the Hasbara brotherhood can produce a published secondary or primary source from Google that so much as challenges the quotes and citations in any of the articles that I've cited. According to the Internet Archive, some of them have been online for nearly a decade now.

    • One cannot say the same for the many Hamas terror attacks that have taken place over the last two decades, which have had mainstream Palestinian support.

      Correction: Judge Goldstone's report cited Hamas rocket and missile attacks as examples of terrorism that are subject to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.

      The Government of Palestine had already accepted the jurisdiction of the Court - for the purpose of identifying, prosecuting and judging the authors and accomplices of acts committed on the territory of Palestine since 1 July 2002 - without any exceptions or reservations. -- 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

      So it's actually Israel that is shreying about terrorism everywhere, except where it really counts.

    • Israel does not worry about Iran because of Haman. Israel worries about Iran because Iranian leaders constantly talk of Israel as “a cancer” and so on, and because Iran is led by a bunch of religious fanatics. . . . . If modern Iranians die, it will be because their leaders have made bad choices.

      I think it's really AIPAC and Bibi who you should blame:
      Haaretz poll: Most of the public opposes an Israeli strike on Iran
      link to

    • Not good enough. Provide a direct link to a primary source (Hebrew is fine), not some claim made in some article by an extremist. Otherwise, there is little reason to believe you on this point.

      Please see the multiple comments with links to Dr. Simon's A STUDY OF THE FINDINGS OF THE SHAMGAR COMMISSION, Gaining access to the archival material.

      The full report was confidential and individuals had to request access to study it in the State Archive facility. I appreciate that the hasbara brotherhood would like to invent a new rule which says that we can't discuss reports here at MW that have been printed by the publishers and editors of the Jerusalem Post, but we both know that's nonsense.
      link to

    • Get the readers a link to the full report and substantiate your claims.

      I've already given the readers a link which explained that the full report was considered confidential, and that members of the public had to request access to study it in the State Archives facility. So the request for a link was rhetorical you dummy. link to

      Somehow it’s hard for me to believe that you would consider anything he says as truth under any other circumstances.

      LOL! You must be joking. Justice Meir Shamgar was the Attorney General who authored 'The Observance of International Law in the Administered Territories' , 1 Israel YB HR (1971) p. 262. It was one of the first attempts to rationalize the flagrantly illegal annexation of Jerusalem and the settlements in the Golan, Sinai, Gaza, and places in the West Bank - like Kiryat Araba. Why should anyone believe he didn't include a blood libel in one of the confidential chapters of his report? He was a much bigger nut case than the other people you are complaining about.

      Please drop the stick and step away from the dead horse, unless you can supply a published rebuttal from an independent source.

      Somehow you've managed to use every ad homenim and genetic fallacy in the book, but you haven't supplied a single published article or reliable source which challenges the veracity of the reports published in the Jerusalem Post, Arutz Sheva, and on Lehmann's and Simon's websites. So you are asking us to believe these are false reports that got past the editors at the JPost - and that they have somehow gone completely unchallenged, even by the Israeli government, for more than a decade. Naturally, we just have to take your word for all that.

    • I call bullshit. No such thing was written in the Shamgar report.
      link to

      You illiterate hasbrats are really fun to watch. You supplied a link to an MFA website which explicitly states that it is only supplies extracts: a translation of the introduction of the report, the conclusions from chapters 8, and the recommendations from Chapter 9. So it can't be used to disprove independent reports about the contents of the other chapters of the full commission report.

      Let's read the Arutz Sheva article again. It is quoting the Jerusalem Post article that informed its readers about the remarks in question and said they were from the heretofore uncited portions of the blue-ribbon panel report in 1994. The Israel National News article said:

      Rabbi Dr. Simons also refers to Haggai Segal's article, entitled "A Failure to Inform", which appeared in the Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post on July 11, 1994. Segal wrote about the Commission's findings, pointing out facts that the media conveniently ignored. Segal wrote, "The public doesn't know that the Commission charged a key witness from the Wakf [Islamic Trust] with giving false testimony, expressed an understanding of the motivations of the Jews in Hebron, indirectly rebuked Yitzchak Rabin, and even mentioned the purchase of the Cave of the Patriarchs by Abraham from a local merchant.... [The Commission considered that] 'the release of the terrorists [over 1000 in May 1985] raised tension between the Jewish residents and the Arab population of the area.' Oddly, we didn't hear this quote on the radio. And, wonder of wonders: It didn't appear in the press. For some reason, but apparently not by chance, the media have failed to mention the astounding statistics for Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] collected by the Commission [regarding the countless attacks by Arabs against Jews].... An additional section, as yet uncited, verifies the claim of the residents of Kiryat Arba that Goldstein acted fearing a massacre from the other side.... Not even one reporter quoted the Commission's sensational recommendation that the Intifada be crushed."

      FYI, the unclassified portions of the report were not published. Dr. Simons relates that he was given quite a run-around before he was finally allowed to study the contents in the State Archives facility. Try reading the material in this link:
      *A Study Of The Findings Of The Shamgar Commission
      Gaining access to the archival material
      link to

    • Yes, unfortunately Bibi skipped the lessons from the Pedagogic Center of the Jewish Agency for Israel. The Jewish-Zionist educators actually do point out that Esther's Hebrew name was Hadassah (Myrtle), and that her Persian name ""ester" (Esther) was known as the goddess of fertility in practically the entire ancient world of the Fertile Crescent (Babylon, Akkadia, Mesopotamia, Assyria, Syria, Phoenicia and the Land of Israel)." JAFI goes on to explain: "The name Mordecai is actually a variation of the name of the city god of Babylon; this being only one of the many written forms of the name "Marduk" in Cuneiform."

      link to

      FYI, In much the same way that the Bible explained that Sarah was Abraham's niece, the Talmud informs us that Esther was actually her uncle Mordechai's wife when he married her off to the King of Persia.

      link to

    • P.S. Dr. Simmons quoted Haggai Segal's article, entitled "A failure to inform" which appeared in the Jerusalem Post on July 11, 1994, page 6.

      So where the quote comes from is no great mystery. Ciao!

    • So where the quote came from is still a mystery. . . . Undermines your own credibility

      B.S. OlegR, you've provided a link to an MFA website that only provides extracts - the introduction from chapter one and the conclusions from chapters eight and nine of the blue ribbon panel report. There is no link there to the full Hebrew text of the report.

      I've provided readers with two citations to the Shamgar Commission’s report from individuals with earned PhDs who are both fluent in Hebrew. The independent articles by Manfred Lehmann and Chaim Simmons both say that the blue ribbon panel's report verified the claim of the residents of Kiryat Arba that Goldstein was acting to head off a massacre.

      FYI both Dr. Simmons and Arutz Sheva were relying on verbatim quotes taken from an article by Haggai Segal published in the Jerusalem Post entitled “A failure to inform”. Please note the quotation marks in the bolded section below and STFU about my credibility:

      A few months later, a Report of the findings of this Commission numbering over 300 pages was published.[106] It was naturally published in Hebrew, the official language of Israel, but since Hebrew is a language which does not rank high in the number of speakers on the face of the earth, the Israel Foreign Ministry excerpted several chapters of this Report in English, for the benefit of the world.[107] This translation was also sent, together with “Steps taken by the Israeli authorities in the aftermath of killings,” to the United Nations “as a matter of courtesy.”[108]

      Soon after publication of the Report, an article by Haggai Segal entitled “A failure to inform” appeared in the “Jerusalem Post” pointing out facts which the press conveniently omitted to report. He wrote: “The public doesn’t know that the commission charged a key witness from the Wakf with giving false testimony, expressed an understanding of the motivations of the Jews in Hebron, indirectly rebuked Yitzchak Rabin, and even mentioned the purchase of the Cave of the Patriarchs by Abraham from a local merchant.... [The Commission considered that] ‘the release of the terrorists [over 1000 in May 1985] raised tension between the Jewish residents and the Arab population of the area.’ Oddly, we didn’t hear this quote on the radio. And, wonder of wonders: it didn’t appear in the press. For some reason, but apparently not by chance, the media have failed to mention the astounding statistics for Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] collected by the commission [regarding the countless attacks by Arabs against Jews] ... An additional section, as yet uncited, verifies the claim of the residents of Kiryat Arba that Goldstein acted fearing a massacre from the other side .... Not even one reporter quoted the commission’s sensational recommendation that the intifada be crushed.”[109]

      link to

      Come on Hostage that’s evidence, be serious. You got this one wrong , let it go and move on

      Why don't you provide a link to the whole report of the Commission or provide a citation to a reliable source which says the articles from Lehmann, Simmons, Arutz Sheva, or the Jerusalem Post misrepresented the contents in question? The readers can independently verify everything that I've written about, but that isn't the case with your claims that imply Dr. Lehmann was lying. That doesn't help your credibility.

    • HOW was the Purim story used as classic propaganda and blood libels?

      The Scroll of Esther (3:1) identifies Haman as the descendent of Agag, King of Amalek. So he was a subject of the mitzvah to kill Amalek. Nowadays Orthodox Rabbis usually invoke the commandment to justify killing just about any perceived enemy of the Jewish people. Here is a recent example from an Israeli Orthodox family magazine that was highlighted at Tikun Olam:

      It will be interesting to see whether they leave the assembly of the Amalekites [Palestinians] in extermination camps to others, or whether they will declare that wiping out Amalek is no longer relevant. Only time will tell…

      link to

    • P.S. Here is a verbatim quote from the Arutz Sheva Israel National News article that I cited above:

      Oddly, we didn't hear this quote on the radio. And, wonder of wonders: It didn't appear in the press. For some reason, but apparently not by chance, the media have failed to mention the astounding statistics for Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] collected by the Commission [regarding the countless attacks by Arabs against Jews].... An additional section, as yet uncited, verifies the claim of the residents of Kiryat Arba that Goldstein acted fearing a massacre from the other side.... Not even one reporter quoted the Commission's sensational recommendation that the Intifada be crushed."

    • The point for this whole charade is to make sure Iran gets more and more
      political and diplomatic pressure to cease their nuclear program.

      I thought it was to deflect attention from the hundreds of nuclear warheads that the bellicose Israelis already possess and the fact that Israel refuses to put any of its facilities under the IAEA inspection regime or sign-on to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

    • Ah and here on mondoweiss where you appear to routinely use it in arguments. Damaging to your credibility Hostage.

      LOL! I'm aware that the MFA published sanitized excerpts, as the Arutz Sheva reported "The Shamgar Commission's Report was only published in Hebrew, but to help facilitate the international media's reporting on it, the Israeli Foreign Ministry translated selected excerpts." link to

      You also must know that I actually did provide a link to the relevant quote from the Shamgar Commission’s report in the earlier comment that you mentioned. link to

      It came from an article on the website of the late Dead Sea Scroll Scholar and President of Lehmann Trading Corporation, Manfred Lehmann, not from some settler nut case. Here is his biography and obituary: link to

      Dr. Lehmann was fluent in Hebrew and frequently testified before Congressional committees here in the US. He is a reliable enough source of information on the quote he supplied from the blue-ribbon report in his article at this link:
      link to

    • Perhaps you would have been happier if Haman triumphed and the Jews assimilated into the Persian empire of the time.

      There are plenty of scholars who think that the Pharisees (Farsi?) were assimilated to Persian religious customs. They propose that when Cyrus allowed them to returned from the exile, they simply incorporated their favorite Persian doctrines, to the extent that they could, when they were redacting the ancient scriptures.

      Its pretty hard not to notice the similarities between the religious obsessions of ancient Iranian and Iraqis with female impurity, e.g. link to

      After all, in the Iron Age the Jewish prophetess Deborah was supposedly judging all of Israel. You'd never know that from listening to the Hardei idiots that spit on little girls or set-up sex segregated streets and buses. The same goes for the ideas about racial purity and intermarriage. The Princes of the Tribe of Judah (Boaz?) were singled out as prime offenders.

      The writings of Josephus with regard to Vespasian indicate that the ancient Jews did not limit the interpretation of the divine succession (the scepter departing Judah, Genesis 49:10) to the sons of David or the Israelites alone, e.g. link to

      So some viewed Cyrus, the Maccabees, Vespasian, and Bar Kokhba as Messiahs that would usher in an age of religious reforms or changes. It is possible that the Book of Ruth was originally intended as anti-Judean propaganda and that it was countered by the subsequent introduction of the non-biblical doctrine of conversion. It certainly is at odds with the practices attributed to Ezra and Nehemiah.

    • The Purim story was used for centuries in classic antisemitic propaganda
      and blood libels.

      LOL! The blue-ribbon Shamgar Commission's report on its investigation of the Purim massacre in Hebron employed a blood libel. The report claimed that Dr. Goldstein's act was not an unprovoked act of violence, but a pre-emptive strike against a looming Arab pogrom of the Jewish population of Hebron. It failed to demonstrate that any of the victims were connected with any conspiracy, but nonetheless concluded:

      “The investigation verifies the claim of the residents of Kiryat Arba that Goldstein acted to forestall a massacre.”

      Most Gentiles today have never heard of Purim; much less the nutcases and politicians who invoke it on a routine basis to admonish us to rise up and destroy the latest pseudo-Amalek.

      In any event, there's no danger of blood libel in the case of notorious warmongers like Netanyahu. To be perfectly honest, the big surprise is that he hasn't already started a world war by sending-in Mossad agents with stolen US passports to assassinate Ahmadinejad.

      So long as Israelis are behaving irrationally en mass we certainly have a responsibility to call attention to their aberrant behavior, e.g.:
      *Sheikh Jarrah Jews praise Baruch Goldstein on Purim
      *White Shirts in Jerusalem cry ‘Butcher the Arabs’

  • A Palestinian student asks, 'Can I go on Birthright?'
    • I am alive today because my forefathers on my mother’s side left Vilnius and emigrated to Jerusalem, now Israel, two hundred years ago.

      Plenty of Jews from all over Lithuania emigrated to the United States instead. BTW, most other countries still do not recognize Jerusalem as being a city located in Israel.

    • I fail to see how Massada or Israeli archaeology have anything to do with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

      According to the accounts of both the Jewish Sages of the Talmud (e.g.) and the Jewish historian Josephus the efforts of the Zealots (Sacarii or Biryonim) who ended up defending Massada were responsible for Jerusalem being plowed like a field, the Temple being burned and leveled, and the Jews being exiled from the land. link to

      Nowadays the Zionists have stood history on its head and made heroes out of those same bigoted, malevolent, jackasses.

      "Biblical archeology" has always been a somewhat unscientific exercise based upon a priori assumptions, but the State of Israel's Antiquities Authority, the Knesset, and the Eldad association are using it as a tourist gimmick which promotes the Judaization of Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem in order to turn them into private parks.

    • ‘Israel promotes and conducts itself as a religion-supremacist “Jewish state”.’ No, that is a lie.

      MKs debate protection of 'equality' in future constitution - Haaretz

      Religious and secular MKs participating in a meeting of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee:

      "There cannot be a constitution in a Jewish and democratic state if it does not defend the unequal values of Judaism - and they are unequal," MK Yitzhak Levy (NRP) said. "Equality in fact will close the rabbinical courts," a contingency he was not prepared to allow for. "If you want equality in the constitution, it must be limited. We cannot write off the entire Jewish aspect of the country because, in the end, Judaism will be nothing more than eating a donut during Hanukkah."

      MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) said he was in favor of a constitution, on principle, but only on condition that equality is carefully defined.

      "I am among those who want a constitution," MK Gafni said: "[But] we must decide what the word 'equality' entails. [Does it relate to] marriage and divorce? Yeshiva students? Laws of kashrut?" He said that if equality means the cancellation of those things, then it would "cancel the idea of Israel as a Jewish state."

      Toward the end of the hearing, Levy suggested the clause on equality read simply, "Love thy neighbor."

      "I cannot commit to that," Beilin replied, while Gafni jokingly agreed to the proposal on condition that the clause be waived with regard to Knesset members.

      "I'm sorry to spoil to party," Levy told them: "But if there's no constitution and no equality, then that's a good option."

      link to

      The PLO formally recognized the State of Israel in the exchange of letters of 9 September 1993 between Mr. Yasser Arafat, President of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Mr. Yitzhak Rabin, lsraeli Prime Minister. See the observation of the International Court of Justice in that connection in paragraph 118 of the 2004 Advisory Opinion. Nonetheless, the Netanyahu government has attempted, through the good offices of the United States, to get the Middle East Quartet to adopt recognition of Israel as a "Jewish state" as one of the terms of reference for resuming negotiations. link to

    • “Jewish is not a nationality. It is a religious designation”
      I am an atheist. A Jewish atheist. The founders of Israel were non-religious as well.

      Actually I've commented elsewhere that there were three major responses to the European Enlightenment: the Haskalah; the rise of Jewish Religious Orthodoxy; and the rise of Zionist-Nationalism. Speaking in very general terms, Israel was founded by the latter two groups and opposed by the former.

    • Yes the debate about the need of a constitution is ongoing so far the religious parties has effectively blocked all attempts at legislation of a formal constitution.
      BTW this has nothing to do with the Israeli Arabs.

      LOL! Here is an article which explains that the lack of a constitution has everything to do with denial of equality to Israel's non-Jewish citizens:
      "MKs debate protection of 'equality' in future constitution", link to

      You cited the wrong Wikipedia articles. Here are portions of other Wikipedia articles which explain that the situation has everything to do with Israel's religious and ethnic minority populations:
      link to
      link to

      FYI, during the Eichmann trial Hannah Arendt wrote that Israeli officials agreed outside the courtroom upon the undesirability of a written constitution in which the basis of the many racially discriminatory laws would embarrassingly have to be spelled out. -- See Eichmann in Jerusalem: a report on the banality of evil, Penguin, 1992, page 7

    • Jerusalem and Israel appear in almost every religious and traditional Jewish text.

      Except of course for the Torah, which doesn't contain a single explicit reference to Jerusalem.

  • Hasbarapocalypse at Ynet: 'Zionism will only cease being demonized when the West stops demonizing colonialism'
    • Neocolonialism is everywhere. Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan.

      You don't really have authentic colonialism without population transfer or colonists. In any event, the Zionists will have to get the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity repealed, because it criminalized all of the practices necessary for colonialism to occur (not to mention the 4th Geneva Convention, the Rome Statute, & etc.):

      Crimes against humanity whether committed in time of war or in time of peace as they are defined in the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Nürnberg, . . eviction by armed attack or occupation and inhuman acts resulting from the policy of apartheid, and the crime of genocide, . . even if such acts do not constitute a violation of the domestic law of the country in which they were committed.

  • 'New Yorker' defends Rosenberg (and use of term 'Israel firster')
    • There’s nothing faux liberal Zionist about Dershowitz

      LOL! The liberal establishment wouldn't touch the reprobate Professor with a barge pole. He destroyed his liberal and legal credentials when he started advocating Court-ordered torture. See The Case for Torture Warrants, by Alan M. Dershowitz, 2002 and get yourself some clue: link to

      Like a lot of stuff, this suffers from the unbearable smug self-righteousness that is the reason MJ and others like him can gain little real traction in the organized Jewish community.

      So maybe you can explain why there is a freaked-out "emergency committee" of out-of-power pro-Israel Jewish neocons running around desperately shreying about the dangers inherent in the published opinions of the Media Matters Action Network regarding Israel? BTW, the folks out here in fly-over country are fed-up with Bibi Netanyahu and the organized Jewish community's campaign to start another war and screw them at the gas pump. There isn't anyway my neighbors are signing-on for a war against Iran and they are tired of their members of Congress ignoring the parade of military commanders, like Generals Petraus and Mattis, who have spoken out about the I-P albatross around our neck:

      Commander's Posture Statement
      Statement of U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis, U.S. Central Command commander, before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 1, 2011, about the posture of U.S. Central Command link to

      • Middle East Peace: Lack of progress in achieving comprehensive Middle East peace affects U.S. and CENTCOM security interests in the region. It is one of many issues that is exploited by our adversaries in the region and is used as a recruiting tool for extremist groups. The lack of progress also creates friction with regional partners and creates political challenges for advancing our interests by marginalizing moderate voices in the region. As Secretary Gates noted in July 2010, “the lack of progress in the peace process has provided political ammunition to our adversaries in the Middle East and in the region, and…progress in this arena will enable us not only to perhaps get others to support the peace process, but also support us in our efforts to try and impose effective sanctions against Iran.” In December 2010, Secretary Clinton observed “the conflict between Israel and Palestine and between Israel and its Arab neighbors is a source of tension and an obstacle to prosperity and opportunity for all of the people in the region.” By contrast, substantive progress on Middle East peace would improve CENTCOM’s opportunities to work with our regional partners and support multilateral security efforts. Speaking about the need for Middle East peace at the Manama Dialogue in December 2010, King Abdullah of Jordan observed “Our region will not enjoy security and stability unless we solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and Arabs and Israelis find peace. The stakes are high. As a solution continues to elude us, faith in negotiations, as the only path to peace and justice, is eroding. And if hope is killed, radical forces will prevail. The region will sink into more vicious warfare and instability…threatening security far beyond the borders of the Middle East.”

  • Netanyahu says, You also refused to bomb Auschwitz
    • I assumed that he was going for “Baha’i” but wasn’t sure how to spell it.

      It's a transliteration of بهائی So its no big deal.

    • “Sic” is not a fancy way of writing “(sp?)”.

      I thought that he was implying that it isn't correct to pigeon-hole people as being Bahi.

    • LOL, what were they going to do? Kill them twice?

      I'm pretty certain Netanboohoo would have produced a pair of letters complaining that the Allies bombed and killed the Jews at Auschwitz if the occasion had called for such a thing. This is all pretty shameless political theater.

      The German concentration camps weren't much different from the ones established during the Spanish civil war, or by the British in Palestine. People died slowly as a result of starvation, torture, slave labor, overcrowding, lack of medical care and disease. Any Allied bombing would have killed many of the internees and it would have given the Germans an excuse to execute the remaining prisoners who posed a flight risk. See for example, the American "dead zones" that were established around US concentration camps during our own Philippine–American War link to

      So yes, the German's could have responded with more summary executions or by imposing worse conditions that would have killed-off the prisoners engaged in slave labor more quickly. Bombing crematoriums used to destroy evidence of war crimes really shouldn't have been a war time priority and the gas chambers and concentration camps were hardly the only methods of mass extermination employed against the Jews during the war. Netanyahu was simply playing the blame game of damned if you do, damned if you don't.

  • 'We are you and you are us,' Netanyahu says-- but Obama thumbs him with talk of Palestinians and diplomacy
    • It seems to me that Netanyahu has already gained something significant for this confrontation with the President.

      Obama was already shamelessly repeating Netayahu's talking points about Israel's right to defend itself during last year's Middle East and AIPAC addresses:

      As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself -– by itself -– against any threat.

      May 19th, 2011, link to

      As I recall, he regurgitated the same sort of crap again during the opening address to the UN General Assembly last September too. Afterward Bibi said that security cooperation was Obama's badge of honor. In any event, the rest of the points in Obama's speech were cut'n pasted from the MFA website. link to

  • Ahmed Moor in WaPo: Harvard One State conference 'informed by the uncontroversial view that all people are created equal'
    • The Hashemite material is over-exploited.

      Yes there were a bunch of guys born in Poland or Russia running a "state within the state" in Palestine who complained about the plans for Transjordan's independence in 1946. They claimed that a naturalized Hashemite Arab citizen of Transjordan, living in Arabia, was somehow a foreigner and that the terms of Article 5 of the Palestine mandate prohibited the British from placing Transjordan under the control of a foreign power.
      link to

      Needless to say the Zionist's ran around shreying the party line that Transjordan was an indivisible part of the British mandate for Palestine, but nobody bought that argument. In any event, they quickly switched stories and falsely claimed it was one of the five Arab states that invaded the territory of Israel.

      FYI, the tomb of Hashim ibn Abd al-Manaf, Muhammad's grandfather is located in Gaza. He was King Abdullah's ancestor and the patriarch of all the Hashemites, including Arafat and the Mufti.

    • /The Hashemite material is over-exploited. Palestine and Transjordan were part of a joint mandate. /

      Yes, but the joint mandate contained two separate constitutions for the states of Palestine and Transjordan. For example "State lands and waste lands" in Transjordan were not subject to close settlement by Jews at any time and they were not included in the Jewish national home "in Palestine" mentioned in the Balfour Declaration, San Remo resolution, or Churchill White Paper of 1922.

      The joint mandate that I'm really referring to there is a separate resolution of the Council of the League of Nations adopted in 1932. It outlined the legal requirements for terminating the various mandate regimes. I've noted elsewhere that the 10 proposed mandates resulted in 15 mandated states. The Council ruled that all of the territory in the joint mandates of Syria-Lebanon and Palestine-Transjordan respectively had to be emancipated simultaneously. That didn't effect the status of the separate states or their separate constitutions. See The General Principles Governing the Termination of a Mandate, Luther Harris Evans, The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 26, No. 4 (Oct., 1932), pp. 735-758
      Stable URL: link to

      The President of the UN Security Council cited that requirement in 1946 when he asked for the postponement of the membership application of Transjordan. He explained that the country was part of a joint mandate with Palestine that had not been legally terminated yet. No one suggested that Transjordan was part of Palestine or that the two countries were part of a union. See --Minutes of the 57th Session of the Security Council, S/PV.57 pages 100-101 (pdf file pgs 3-4 of 52)
      link to

    • Legal status yes, autonomous to a large degree, sure
      but saying it was independent in any way resembling our ideas of
      independence i think is wrong.(And certainly nothing to do with
      Arab independence) By that logic you can say that PA is an independent state.

      Several UN member states, including Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, East Timor, Namibia, and the Baltic States have also been occupied for extremely long periods of time by foreign military forces. The majority of other existing states have recognized the PA as the government of an independent state that is being occupied by Israel. See for example the recent UNESCO vote. States don't cease to exist simply because they are occupied by a foreign power or their existence is challenged by a hostile neighboring state.

      In fact, the Council of the League of Nations adopted a resolution which excluded the ability to maintain political independence and territorial integrity under the threat of foreign aggression from the definition of "the ability to stand alone" it employed to terminate a mandate regime and recognize the independence of a mandated state. See The General Principles Governing the Termination of a Mandate, Luther Harris Evans, The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 26, No. 4 (Oct., 1932), pp. 735-758 Stable URL: link to

      The Ottoman's had a military Empire that was organized into military provinces. Joseph Mary Nagle Jeffries, "Palestine: The Reality", Longmans 1939, reprinted by Hyperion Press, 1975, explains that Palestine was part of the Arab homeland called "Bilad al Arab" or "Arabistan" (page 4). The 'Arabistan Ordusu', or the Provincial Ottoman Army for Arabia, was originally headquartered at Damascus, and was put in charge of Cilicia, Syria, Mount Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, and the southern Arabian Peninsula. See also Stanford J. Shaw, Ezel Kural Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, Cambridge University Press, 1977, page 85; Caesar E. Farah, The Politics of Interventionism in Ottoman Lebanon, 1830-1861, I.B.Tauris, 2000, page 417.

      The Sharif of Mecca issued a unilateral Declaration of the Independence of Arabia (“Arabistan” in Turkish) on June 27, 1916. That declaration was solicited and acknowledged by the other Allied and Associated Powers. See “International law documents”, by the Naval War College (U.S.), 1917, page 17 or International law studies, Volume 73, by Naval War College (U.S.), 1918, Proclamation of the Sherif of Mecca

      Balfour himself had personally circulated the detailed memorandum and maps I cited above to the Eastern Committee of the War Cabinet on December 5, 1918 which said that Great Britain had pledged to the Sharif of Mecca that Palestine itself would be Arab and independent. See the reference to the attendees and the distribution of E.C. 2201 in “E.C. 41st Minutes” (CAB 27/24, C372213 ). During the first portion of the meeting on the subject of Syria Lord Curzon, the Chairman, said:
      “First, as regards the facts of the case. The various pledges are given in the Foreign Office paper* [E.C. 2201] which has been circulated, and I need only refer to them in the briefest possible words. In their bearing on Syria they are the following: First there was the letter to King Hussein from Sir Henry McMahon of the 24th October 1915, in which we gave him the assurance that the Hedjaz, the red area which we commonly call Mesopotamia, the brown area or Palestine, the Acre-Haifa enclave, the big Arab areas (A) and (B), and the whole of the Arabian peninsula down to Aden should be Arab and independent.” (E.C. 41st minutes, for 5 December 1918, page 6).

      In the second half of the meeting on the subject of Palestine he said:

      “The Palestine position is this. If we deal with our commitments, there is first the general pledge to Hussein in October 1915, under which Palestine was included in the areas as to which Great Britain pledged itself that they should be Arab and independent in the future . . . the United Kingdom and France – Italy subsequently agreeing – committed themselves to an international administration of Palestine in consultation with Russia, who was an ally at that time . . . A new feature was brought into the case in November 1917, when Mr Balfour, with the authority of the War Cabinet, issued his famous declaration to the Zionists that Palestine ‘should be the national home of the Jewish people, but that nothing should be done – and this, of course, was a most important proviso – to prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine. Those, as far as I know, are the only actual engagements into which we entered with regard to Palestine.” (E.C. 41st minutes, for 5 December 1918, page 16)
      E.C. 2201 contained two documents:
      Former Reference: GT 6506A
      Title: Maps illustrating the Settlement of Turkey and the Arabian Peninsula.
      Author: Political Intelligence Department, Foreign Office
      Date 21 November 1918
      Catalogue reference CAB 24/72
      link to
      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

      Balfour’s memo from the Paris Peace Conference made it perfectly clear that the UK was betraying the Arabs and had no intention of honoring any of the agreements regarding their independence. He also mentions the French territorial interests in Syria; Palestine; and Mesopotamia as three completely different geographical areas. So Palestine was never the subject of the territorial reservations contained in the McMahon-Hussein Correspondence. In any event, Transjordan was east, not west, of the line drawn from Damascus, Homs, Hama, and Allepo. So it was excluded by definition from McMahon's proposed reservation:

      They [Sykes and Picot] started from the view that France had ancient interests and aspirations in Western Syria; that Britain had obvious claims in Baghdad and Southern Mesopotamia; that Palestine had a unique historic position; and that if these three areas were to be separately controlled, it was obviously expedient that none of the vast and vague territory lying between them [i.e. Transjordan], which had no national organisation, should be under any other foreign influences.

      See Nº. 242. Memorandum by Mr. Balfour (Paris) respecting Syria, Palestine, and Mesopotamia' [132187/2117/44A] link to

    • That makes it sound that the League of Nations was a rubber stamp for
      the resolutions of the Allied Powers (in this case UK / France)
      does it not?

      Not exactly. In many cases the Allied Powers (States) had entered into existing treaty agreements that were deposited with the Secretary-General of the League in accordance with the terms of the Covenant. One of the functions of the League and the Permanent Court of International Justice was to arbitrate or settle disputes over the interpretation of those international instruments.

      The Allied Powers were responsible for drafting the instruments and administering the new mandated states, because the principles of international law in the early 20th Century did not recognize the legal personality of international organizations like the League, only other States. The decision to ratify mandates through the League was adopted by the Allied States, not the League itself.

      I provided you with a citation from the FRUS which explained that the draft mandate instruments were modified by the Council of the League in several instances. The 10 mandates proposed at Versailles eventually resulted in the creation of 15 states, based upon the recommendations of the Council of the League of Nations. FYI, some of the territory subject to the Armistice of Mudros, like the Hatay Province of Syria, was not detached from Turkey by either the Treaties of Sèvres or Lausanne. So it didn't become part of one of the new mandated states. The Allies didn't need to obtain a rubber stamp for their decision in that regard from the League of Nations.

      Membership in the Council of the League included several States that weren't principle Allied Powers or States that had participated in the San Remo Conference. The Council's decisions on the subject of mandates were only adopted on the basis of unanimity.

      The first international organization that had the necessary legal capacity for for the exercise of its functions and the fulfilment of its purposes was the United Nations. See Article 104 of the Charter. link to

      The UN could pursue legal claims, conclude international agreements on its own behalf; directly administer territories under trust; and adopt legal opinions different from those of its member states, which they were nonetheless bound to respect. So it had its own international legal personality. See the decision in Reparation for Injuries Suffered in the Service of the United Nations link to

      The states that subsequently created other international organizations followed that example. For example, Articles 1-4 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court established the independent international legal personality of the Court separate from its member states or the UN organization. link to

    • Just because the British allowed it a different level of autonomy
      then they did to the rest of the Mandate does not imply that it can be
      seen as something external to it.It’s not.

      Correction, the League of Nations exempted Transjordan from the terms of the Palestine Mandate, not Great Britain. The League was acting in accordance with the terms of a Memorandum that was annexed to the Council resolution that approved the joint "A" mandates for Palestine and Transjordan. See the full text here link to

      According to the terms of the San Remo resolution, Palestine was to have whatever boundaries the Allied Powers chose to confer upon it and none of the draft mandate instruments were valid until they were submitted to the Council of the League of Nations for approval. link to

      The Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) contains the official documentary record of major foreign policy decisions taken by the post-World War I Peace Conferences. The Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919 Volume XIII, Annotations to the treaty of peace between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany, signed at Versailles, June 28, 1919 explains:

      “The mandates under which the various territories have been administered were submitted by the mandatory governments to the Council of the League of Nations in accordance with paragraph 8 of article 22. The terms were reviewed by the Council, in some cases revised on its recommendation, and finally approved by it. The following table gives the pertinent data for each territory:
      “A” Mandates
      *Syria and Lebanon’
      link to

      So Transjordan was always governed as a separate state under the terms of a separate international instrument. The fact that it was a separate foreign state for the purposes of article 15 of the Palestine Citizenship Order and the Palestine mandate was affirmed by the High Court of Justice of Palestine. See Hersh Lauterpacht (editor), "States as international persons", in "International Law Reports", Cambridge University Press, 1994, page 17

    • The idea that the land belongs to the native population and that the natives
      have right’s by being the natives is a relatively new idea that as far as i can tell
      emerged recently in the post colonial era ( i may be wrong about it so feel free to correct me)

      The Fourteen Points enumerated by President Wilson included, in part, the principle that: "XII. The Turkish portion of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development". link to

      the Inter-American Reciprocal Assistance and Solidarity (Act of Chapultepec) noted that: "The American states have been incorporating in their international law, since 1890, by means of conventions, resolutions and declarations, the following principles:
      a) The proscription of territorial conquest and the non-recognition of all acquisitions made by force (First International Conference of American States, 1890);
      link to

      The principle was definitely adopted as a norm of international law by the US Government and the League of Nations as part of the Stimson Doctrine and the findings of the Lytton Commission regarding the Mukden Incident and Japan’s seizure of Manchuria.

      That norm was reflected in the UN Charter adopted on 26 June 1945. For example, the ICJ noted:
      85. The Court first recalls that, pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 4, of
      the United Nations Charter:
      "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of'any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations."
      On 24 October 1970, the General Assembly adopted resolution 2625
      (XXV), entitled "Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning
      Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States" [in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations] (hereinafter "resolution 2625 (XXV)"), in which it emphasized that "No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal." As the Court stated in its Judgment in the case concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America), the principles as to the use of force incorporated in the Charter reflect customary international law (see I. C. J. Reports 1986, pp. 98-101, paras. 187- 190); the same is true of its corollary entailing the illegality of territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force.
      See link to

      Said you: "Judging the morality or the legality of the British actions towards their colonial conquests (or anyone else) in the early 1900 century by today’s standards (Let’s say international law to save us time) is incorrect."

      Palestine wasn't a British colony. The UK High Court of Justice ruled that Palestine was a separate foreign state when Mr Ketter [aka Kletter] was arrested and deported to Palestine: In any event, by reason of such Palestinian naturalization, he secured a passport to visit England to carry on his legal studies. The plaintiff's pursuit of citizenship led him into difficulty there with the British Government, when he unsuccessfully contended that he was a British subject, and not an alien, and therefore was not required to leave England pursuant to an order made respecting him as a Palestinian citizen. This case, King v. Ketter is reported in Law Reports, 1 King's Bench Division, 1940, at page 787. See the cite in Kletter v Dulles. link to

      In any event, I've been citing examples of contemporary international law from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    • That’s an interesting interpretation on your part, or is this classification in some official document?

      Of course. The ICJ advised in the "Status of South West Africa case" that League of Nations Mandates were international legal instruments that were partly international treaties and partly state constitutions that were issued in the form of resolutions of the Council of the League of Nations. See link to

      The Treaty of Lausanne contained protocols regarding the responsibilities of the new states that acquired the territories detached from Turkey with respect to citizenship, payment of debts, and succession in interest to state archives, and state properties. The Treaty required that any disputes be submitted to binding arbitration for a final determination. In 1925 Great Britain and France settled a dispute with the foreign bondholders over the distribution of shares in the Ottoman public debt among the sucessor states. They claimed that Iraq, Palestine, Transjordan, Lebanon, and Syria were separate Mandated States that were the true successors in interest - and an Arbiter appointed by the Council of the League of Nations agreed. The Permanent Court of International Justice also decided a case in 1925 which held that Palestine, not Great Britain was the successor state responsible for honoring the Ottoman concessions with friendly Allied states. You can read about the various international and national court decisions regarding the Mandated States here:
      link to

    • Come on annie we are not talking about palestine an amorphic entity that never had any legal status.

      Of course it had a legal status. Jerusalem was the capital of an independent Mutasarrifyya/Sanjak of Kudus (aka Palestine).

      The Western powers had operated their own consular courts under the terms of the capitulations in the Jerusalem (aka Palestine) jurisdiction west of the Jordan river for at least a hundred years. They called the country Palestine and its Pasha the Governor of Palestine. The territory on the east of the Jordan river was part of the Vilayet of Syria (aka Damascus). The Mandate always maintained them as separate legal jurisdictions and states too. The notion that the British gave Arabians part of Arabia is without merit. You can read more about that here:
      link to

      You can argue till you are blue in the face but the facts remain.
      If you are still not convinced try looking at the maps of that period.

      The official British maps used by the War Cabinet didn't include Transjordan in Palestine. In any event, both districts were included in the area of Arab independence that Great Britain had pledged to respect in agreements with the Sharif of Mecca. See
      Former Reference: GT 6506A
      Title: Maps illustrating the Settlement of Turkey and the Arabian Peninsula.
      Author: Political Intelligence Department, Foreign Office
      Date 21 November 1918
      Catalogue reference CAB 24/72
      link to
      *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

  • Responding to commenters on recent bannings
    • I take David Green seriously — I think he’s a serious apologist for the Israel lobby and for all the havoc and damage it has inflicted and continues to inflict on American society.

      No, but it appears he has wholeheartedly embraced some simplistic Marxist totalizing theories. I certainly agree with Chomsky's more nuanced positions about the role of the US government and our military-industrial sector in creating and prolonging the problem, but our foreign policy in the Middle East doesn't serve American or Western capital interests worth a damn.

    • However, there’s isn’t a shred of evidence that USFP would be significantly different without it. That seems to be the assumption at Mondoweiss, and I think it’s misguided.

      The Foreign Relations of the United States provides the documentary record of major US foreign policy decisions. It is punctuated by correspondence and recorded conversations with Zionist lobbyists, including Brandeis, Weizmann, Wise, Silver, Epstein, Shertok, Goldmann, et al. The record is also very clear that these Zionist agents routinely got what they were requesting, despite strenuous opposition from the top officials in the State Department, the Department of Defense, and the CIA.

      If you don't think there's ample evidence that US foreign policy would have been significantly different without that considerable outside influence, then you're either not very well informed or blinded by your own political agenda.

    • Serious scholars of Western anti-Semitism place the Holocaust within a long series of anti-Semitic episodes (including many pogroms and mass deportations) extending across several *millennia* (not centuries) and long preceding the founding of Christianity.

      There was no scholarly interest in anti-Semitism until the mid-19th Century. Even then, the works that were produced were polemical and non-factual in nature and based upon common fallacies. She Hannah Arendt's commentary on the situation here: link to

    • Are you suggesting the Boxheim Documents as treated in Socialist history are a hoax?

      No, I don't think so. The documents contained wholesale plans for dealing with various opponents of the Nazis as well as plans for starving and interning the Jews. Here is a snippet from the JTA archives of the era: "Jews to Be Starved out if Hitlerists Come to Power: Boxheim Documents Were Authentic Official Statement." Jewish Telegraphic Agency 25 Apr 1932:

      An official statement has been issued here to-day declaring that the recent police search in the Hitlerist headquarters at Munich has provided documentary proof that, not-withstanding the denials made at the time by Hitler and the other leaders of the Nazi Party, the so-called Boxheim documents were authentic and that the Nazi Party leaders had given their approval to the plans laid down in them for dealing with the Jews, who were to be starved out by being refused food cards, when the Hitlerist regime cane into power and made it impossible for food to be obtained other than by food-cards.

      link to

      The report in the FRUS about the internment camps also noted that the Boxheim plans dealt with both Jews and others:

      About a week ago it was reported in the press that the body of Dr. Schaeffer, a former Nazi, who was responsible for the disclosure of the notorious Boxheim documents which revealed the ruthless measures which the Nazis were planning against Jews and political opponents upon their accession to power (see despatch No. 1312 of December 1, 1931 51 ), was found on a railroad track near Frankfort. Dr. Schaeffer was apparently shot by former party colleagues who then threw his body from a bridge to the railroad tracks, about fifty feet below.

      link to

    • Arendt would probably have been banned here right alongside Blankfort. Thanks, Phil and Adam!

      That may be true, but Hannah Ardent was vilified and banned by the very audience that Phil and Adam are trying to engage. The finer points and nuances of Arendt's dissertations are completely lost on the knuckle-walking bigots on both sides of the debate. So there's merit to the idea of avoiding long polarizing debates about that period of history and simply letting readers investigate her works in order to draw their own conclusions.

    • I don’t really share the wish to widen the core discussion beyond issues raised by Zionism. The proposition I want to discuss (with reasonable people) is the Zionist proposition that Jewish people have special rights in Palestine.

      I already comment at other websites that are devoted to specific topics, including genocide studies, international law, international organization, and history. Many of the discussions here at MW about Zionism or the elements of Jewish and Palestinian identity would be off-topic or hard to pigeon-hole at most of those other websites.

      I'm not upset by decisions adopted by the website operators here, or elsewhere, to devote their bandwidth to articles or comments about a limited or shared area of interest. But I'm put-off by the "we know it when we see it" rule used to ban Blankfort, because most of us didn't see anti-Semites or Holocaust deniers joining in the discussion with Prof Slater. I accept the notion that they did arrive and overloaded the moderators and that Phil and Adam don't want to open that can of worms.

      Meanwhile eee seems to have been replaced in the twinkling of an eye by others equally horrifying, Blankfort not.

      Anonymous trolls reciting the MFA and Hasbara Fellowship's talking points aren't very hard to find. People like Blankfort who have devoted decades to study, interviews, analysis, writing, and activism can't be so easily replaced.

    • In revisionist “history” however, it becomes important, because it frames Nazi anti-Jewish policies as part of a “war” between Germany and “International Jewry” – actually started by the Jews!

      I've pointed out elsewhere that two years before this boycott vs boycott activity in 1933, the “Boxheim Document” was published. It revealed the Nazi plans to intern and starve the Jews to death.
      link to

      By the time the boycott debate of 1933 got rolling, various sources reported to the US government that there were already between 10,000 and 100,000 persons detained in German concentration camps. There were many reports of persons gunned down or murdered trying to flee or escape. link to

      So the war with International Jewry was already beyond the planning stages before the rally at Madison Square Garden ever happened.

    • Like this bit of inheritance?

      Yes. Dr. Baruch Goldstein, the perpetrator of the massacre at the Cave of the Patriarchs, was a direct descendant of the Baal HaTanya, Shneur Zalman of Liadi. So it appears that the hostile attitude toward non-Jews found in the Tanya was definitely part of Goldstein's "inheritance". The failedmessiah website is a testament to the fact that, in many ways, modern Jewish orthodox thinking can be viewed as a conscious rejection of Enlightenment era values.

    • Hostage–What would you say about someone like Meron Benvenisti, who in his book “Sacred Landscapes” makes a distinction between the motives behind Plan Dalet and what happened in the second half of the 1948 war.

      The crimes described in the Nuremberg Charter applied to any civilian population of an occupied territory. They resulted in criminal liability regardless of the motives involved. What I would say (if anything) would depend upon whether that someone is a troll who means to pardon serious crimes committed against Palestinians and/or preserve Israel's freedom to commit similar offenses in the future on the grounds of "security" or "necessity".

      Plan Dalet undoubtedly violated the provisions of the customary laws reflected in the Nuremberg Charter against planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression. It was based upon three previous plans to occupy Palestine after the British withdrawal and subdue the Arab civilian population. The plans were not solely defensive in nature, since they called for unprovoked attacks on Arab villages and supply lines; expulsion of the lawful Arab inhabitants if they exercised their own inherent right to self-defense; establishment of a "defensive system" on high ground and transportation arteries inside the proposed Arab state and Corpus Separatum; and freedom to pursue military activity from Jewish watchtower and stockade settlements located beyond the boundaries proposed for the Jewish State: e.g.:

      2. Ensuring freedom of military and economic activity within the borders of the [Hebrew] state and in Jewish settlements outside its borders by occupying and controlling important high-ground positions on a number of transportation arteries.
      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.

      link to

      I would argue with Benvenisti that the activities under item 4 above were exactly the sort of orders approved by General Jodl. By teletype of 28th October, 1944, Jodl ordered the evacuation of all persons in Northern Norway and the burning of their houses so they could not help the Russians.
      link to

      At the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial he was charged with approving orders that violated the rules of war. He was found guilty and hanged.

      A good rule of thumb is that it is probably not legal to treat Palestinians in ways that would be considered criminal if they happened to be Norwegian or Jewish.

    • Can you offer a working definition of Nakba denial?

      The Holocaust denial laws in Europe reflect the definition contained in the EU Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia. It criminalized forms of conduct that publicly condone, deny, or grossly trivialize crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined in the Statute of the International Criminal Court (Articles 6, 7 and 8) and the customary crimes against any civilian population defined in Article 6 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg.

      We have trolls here who deliberately engage in incitement and routinely trivialize, deny, or condone very well documented War Plans (Avner through Dalet); the resulting massacres; and involuntary population transfers carried-out by the Jewish militias in 1948. Those were serious crimes as defined by well established customary law reflected in both the Rome Statute and the Nuremberg Charter.

      Can you think of any specific remarks that should have been scrapped for Nakba denial, after the policy change, but weren’t?

      Surely, here is an example:
      link to

      Robert Werdine kept insisting that the Haganah did not participate in the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed against the village of Deir Yassin, even after I pointed out that a) the official IDF account states that the Haganah District Commander violated assurances contained in a non-aggression pact with the village when he authorized the unprovoked attack; b) the Haganah had no right to occupy the village, which was located beyond the borders of the proposed Jewish state, in the Corpus Seoparatum; and c) the Haganah forces were accessories to the conspiracy and the massacre because they provided deadly crossfire that killed some of the Arab inhabitants who had taken up defensive positions.
      link to

      Simply having a coordinated plan of attack, like Plan Dalet, or the plan to occupy Deir Yassin in violation of agreements or assurances, was a crime as defined in Article 6 of 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;

      The actions of the Haganah district commander and those who assisted in the illegal attack on Deir Yassin were also crimes under this provision of Article 6 of the Nuremberg Charter:
      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

      In 2004, the ICJ determined that Israel had violated a number of its binding obligations under international law, including many offenses that constitute grave breaches and war crimes under the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Those included house demolitions and expropriations of property that have displaced the Palestinian population and the establishment of illegal Israeli settlements.

      Werdine and other regular commenters dismiss the idea that those are serious crimes or that they are part of a multi-pronged on-going pogrom against the Palestinian people.

    • HOSTAGE- Your comment provides support for Israel Shahak’s interpretation of events in “Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years.”

      No, that would be an echo chamber, since my opinions have been informed by the facts and thoughts presented in the works of Jewish intellectuals like Hannah Arendt, Israel Shahak, Yoram Dinstein, and a host of other writers.

      Arendt certainly thought that Judaism and dislike of Gentiles was an antecedent of 19th Century Antisemitism - and she outlined that thesis as a preliminary to a discussion about the origins of totalitarianism (typified by Nazism and Stalinism). I respect the fact that Phil and Adam want to steer clear of the nut cases who want to blame the victims of the Holocaust, but see no harm in pointing readers to the works of Arendt and Shahak.

      The Palestinians are obviously facing both political and religious persecution. The Jewish Haskalah is reflected in Israeli Academia, but it has always been poorly represented in the governing coalitions of Israel, thanks in large measure to opposition from the left and right wing Zionist-Nationalists and the Religious Orthodox parties operating under the auspices of their Status Quo Agreement. In "Eichmann in Jerusalem", Arendt noted that the secular majority was in agreement with either the Zionist or Religious camps regarding the desirability of imposing discriminatory rabbinical laws.

      For example, the "Israel Yearbook on Human Rights", edited by Dinstein, noted that the so-called “Womens Equal Rights Law” of 1951 specifically excluded marriage, divorce, and other personal status laws from its guarantees of "equality" on religious grounds. He noted that the exclusion of equality for women in the Framework Law laid the ground rules for the subsequent subordination of legal equality to religious values in the entire Israeli legal system. Every subsequent attempt to adopt a real bill of rights has foundered on the requirement to pay deference to Jewish religious institutions and parties over the principle of human rights and equality. See the “Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, Volume 25; Volume 1995”, pages 210-212.

      Anti-Zionism alone can't address the Jewish rejection of Enlightenment era values. The rise of Jewish Religious Orthodoxy plays an integral role in the new Fascism on display in Israel and the longing for the "Good Old Days" of the ethnocentric 2nd Jewish Commonwealth.

    • I think this is true, Hannah Arendt warned about it, and part of the reason I plant my flag in Jewish turf is to prove that my community may be as idiotic as others, but there are many Jews who are working against the cultish thinking. (If you are going to go after religious communities for their mistakes, Jews aren’t the only group that will face judgments)

      The Jewish community had three primary reactions to the Christian Enlightenment in Europe. They were "The Haskalah", or Jewish Enlightenment (represented by individuals like Arendt), the rise of Religious Orthodoxy, and the rise Zionist Nationalism.

      It's sort of ironic that you mention Hannah Arendt in connection with banning commentators or going after religious communities. She went after Zionist Nazi collaborators and the racialists in both the Zionist Nationalist and Orthodox Jewish Religious movements. Those two groups still present an almost insurmountable problem to achieving peace in Palestine under either a one state or two state solution. The desire of religious Jews to restore their sovereignty over the entire land, the Temple Mount, and all of the inhabitants is an inseparable part of the our modern-day problems.

      As a result of her criticisms, Arendt was vilified and banned in Israel. Her books ridiculed the similarities between sacrosanct rabbinical laws and Hitler's Nuremberg laws (Eichmann in Jerusalem); and she claimed that Judaism had become a closed system of thought that was hostile to Gentiles and a direct antecedent to the rise of Antisemitism in middle of the 19th Century (Preface of later versions of "The Origins of Totalitarianism"). I've commented about her views on those subjects in the past:

      Objectionable Jewish religious beliefs and practices are not a genetic disorder that gets passed-on automagically to the next generation - despite a lot of shreying about the supposed Hardei demographic threat. I think that we still have a duty to go after the religious culture of violence or hatred against Gentiles, women, children, and even other Jews. You can't ignore the role played by the religious right, here in the US or Israel. They are actively prolonging the I/P conflict and "Strangling the soul" of our societies e.g.:
      *'Israelis should stand up to haredim' link to
      *'MK Eichler: Reform Jews anti-Semites' ("He must have not yet decided who he hates more – Arabs, Reform Jews or women.") link to

      I've commented on the struggle over the history and other textbooks employed by the Education Ministry in the State of Israel. There are many explicit distinctions between Jews and Gentiles in the Torah and Talmud. Those distinctions are employed by the religious parties to justify the political oppression of others living in the State of Israel and the Occupied territories.

      Archeology has confirmed the biblical accounts that Gentiles, who entered the Jerusalem Temple, were subject to summary execution. That's a fundamental characteristic of authentic ceremonial Judaism that many Zionists today implicitly yearn to restore. Here's a picture of one of the markers that were placed in the outer court of the Temple platform during the 2nd Commonwealth era warning all Gentiles not to enter the area on penalty of death. link to

      Palestinians are already being killed in clashes with the Jewish forces that police the supposed location of the Temple Mount. That situation is only going to deteriorate if Moshe Feiglin, Ateret Cohanim, et al establish a 3rd Sanctuary there in line with the precept of restoring authentic Judaism. That situation is an integral part of the conflict which has nothing to do with capitalism or colonialism - and it transcends either the one state or two state solution. link to

      Unfortunately, the modern-day non-Orthodox sects of Judaism, which initially rejected the divine origin of those segregationist beliefs and practices, have abandoned their principled enlightenment era objections to nationhood and have endorsed de facto separatism as part of a pragmatic Zionist-Nationalist program for restoring a Jewish nation or governing a Jewish State of Israel. The major Jewish organizations routinely cite antisemitism and the Holocaust to justify the necessity for a restored, segregated Jewish state or justify it on ancient religious grounds.

      Many Jews deliberately avoid honest discussions about the racist elements inherent in the various streams of Judaism by shreying about Holocaust denial and antisemitism. At the same time leading Torah Sages in Israel routinely claim that the nations hate Israel because of "our inheritance", while conveniently ignoring the fact that inheritance consists in large measure of an ancient racial code that purports to govern nearly every aspect of a Gentile inhabitant's life within the expansively defined boundaries of Eretz Israel on a non-democratic basis. That same code engenders separation from Gentiles in other lands. Some of the most influential Jewish Sages and/or State rabbinate authorities plainly teach that Gentiles only exist to serve the Jews, e.g. link to

      No amount of Jewish racial provocation could ever justify the crime of genocide or the Holocaust, because two wrongs don't make a right. That's also why neither "necessity" nor "yearning for Zion" can't be employed by Jewish Nationalists or Jewish religious authorities to excuse the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people. The backlash that Arendt warned about was based upon both Zionism and the closed system of thought employed by practitioners of Judaism.

  • Israeli government sending 100 Israelis abroad to 'defend the state' during Israel Apartheid Week
    • Does somebody have a problem with this??
      Free speech is a wonderful thing.

      Since you brought it up, I see no reason why activists shouldn't object when agents of a foreign government are deployed to commit acts that may constitute crimes or incitement in accordance with the terms of the relevant international conventions, i.e.:

      International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, G.A. res. 3068 (XXVIII)), 28 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 30) at 75, U.N. Doc. A/9030 (1974), 1015 U.N.T.S. 243, entered into force July 18, 1976.
      Article III

      International criminal responsibility shall apply, irrespective of the motive involved, to individuals, members of organizations and institutions and representatives of the State, whether residing in the territory of the State in which the acts are perpetrated or in some other State, whenever they:

      (a) Commit, participate in, directly incite or conspire in the commission of the acts mentioned in article II of the present Convention;

      (b) Directly abet, encourage or co-operate in the commission of the crime of apartheid.

      Agents of Israel can also be required to register and provide additional disclosures when they disseminate political propaganda in the United States, e.g. Meese v. Keene, 481 U.S. 465 (1987) link to

      There are many other examples of limitations placed upon the free speech of the agents of a foreign government. Under U.S. law, foreign corporations, individuals and governments have been prohibited from providing funds for national elections since 1966. Although the Supreme Court has ruled that campaign donations are a form of speech, it upheld the ban on foreign contributions earlier this year in Bluman v. FEC. link to

  • The end of the 'two-state solution' is the beginning of a more just future
    • Let us know when Jews living in Palestine or Palestinians living in Israel can join the PLO, as whites could join the ANC. Or when a ‘Freedom Charter’ style document that addresses the aspirations of both sides is adopted and accepted.

      Security Council resolution 1860 endorsed the Egyptian efforts to negotiate a reconciliation between Hamas and the PA, although the US abstained. Israel downplayed the importance of negotiations with the PA, because it did not govern Gaza or speak for all of the Palestinian people. The reconciliation agreement calls for Hamas to join the PLO. Let us know when Hamas is no longer designated as an enemy entity by the State of Israel. Seriously.

    • Halper had me until he started shreying about Fayyad building "something". The objection to recognizing and dealing with Palestinians on an equal legal footing has always been that there is only a government in exile or one presiding over nothing. I suppose he thinks publishing a plan to end the Israeli occupation or filing a criminal complaint against Israelis with the ICC Prosecutor are just some more examples of collaboration.

      Fayyad endorsed the existing PLO platform of a real state based upon 1967 borders in accordance with: the requirements of international legitimacy; the applicable UN resolutions, including 194(III), 242(1967), & 338(1973); and international law. That plan called for belated recognition of Palestine's borders and UN membership in line with Phase II of the Quartet Road Map as affirmed in Security Council resolution 1397 (2002). It has been available for several years from the PA website and the Permanent Observer's UN website.

      Haaretz, AFP, and others have reported on Fayyad’s refusal of proposals for an economic peace without ending the occupation or a real state:

      But Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad has rejected Netanyahu’s proposals for an economic solution to the Middle East conflict.
      Fayyad, a former International Monetary Fund economist, said the conflict was a political one that required a political solution.
      “I am interested not in redefining the occupation but in ending the occupation,” he said in an interview published by the Israeli daily Haaretz on Tuesday.

      link to
      The prime minister of the Palestinian Authority tells Al Jazeera why Palestine is ready for statehood.
      link to

      I agree that the status quo of a single apartheid state is the likely outcome of the US and Israel vetoing the plan for two stares that they both paid lip service to for so long. But why waste your time and space blaming the victims and putting words in their mouths that they've never uttered?

  • The Jab'a accident and the infrastructure of occupation
    • Satisfaction that “only Palestinians” were the victims and slogans such as “Death to Arabs, why do we help them?” were posted on the Facebook pages of Netanyahu, Wallah and the Israel Police.

      There is plenty of empirical evidence to suggest that, if Netanyahu had been a Presbyterian, someone would have already demanded that Mark Zuckerberg remove those pages.

  • BDS interview fallout: Finkelstein 'showed his own fear of the paradigm shift in discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict'
    • Hostage, I believe the headline here was sarcastic (Soviet archives show Stalin behind Israel Apartheid Week), he does have a tendency to use parody when criticizing the hardcore ideologues.

      I understand that NF was being sarcastic, but the headline he substituted for the original one, really only pokes fun at the supposed chain of direct historical and political connections that were outlined by Catherine Chatterley. The views I'm talking about are usually expressed with a great deal of subtlety. For example, by labeling the situation in the occupied territories apartheid, while denying that the situation in Israel constitutes apartheid too. That was implicit in the claims he made in the Barat interview. NF punted on the issue of apartheid or prohibited forms of segregation within the borders of the State of Israel and the possibility of enforcing the existing international laws and treaties on that particular subject. In the interview, he went so far as to claim that international law doesn't apply to minority rights in Israel.

      Israel will never recognize the establishment and maintenance of Jewish-only communities; the forced displacement of the Bedouins; and overt discrimination in the areas of land, housing, education, and family unification as human rights abuses if the solidarity movement and human rights organizations were to adopt NF's approach to the treatment of minorities within the state's recognized boundaries.

      Keep in mind that Judge Goldstone described the illegal discrimination in the occupied territories as a direct result of the application of Israel's two-tiered municipal legal system which provides superior rights and privileges to persons of Jewish descendancy.

    • I didn’t say no Arab state was established I said the other state was not established, take a look. I meant a state called Palestine

      The UN resolution didn't prescribe the names of the proposed states. It simply referred to them as the Arab state and the Jewish state.

      FYI, Abdullah was already the King of one state, Transjordan, when the Jericho Congress named him the King of Arab Palestine (as well). That was in December of 1948. See for example the Palestine Post 14 December 1948 page 1 link to

      The King installed a civil administration and issued a proclamation which provided for the continued application of the laws that were applicable in Palestine on the eve of the termination of the Mandate. King Abdullah was vested with all the powers that were enjoyed by the King of England, his ministers and the High Commissioner of Palestine by the Palestine Order-in-Council, 1922. See Raja Shehadeh, "From Occupation to Interim Accords", Kluwer Law International, 1997, pp. 77–78. The Order-in-Council and many of the ordinances referred to the state as Palestine and dealt with subjects of nationality, state lands, & etc.

      The joint Kingdom was established and renamed to reflect the new official status on 24 January 1949. See the entry for Transjordan in the Encyclopedia of the United Nations and international agreements, Volume 4 link to

      BTW, Palestine and Transjordan had both been officially recognized as states under the terms of the post-WWI treaties and the final decisions that had been handed down in a pair of international court cases in 1925. They were also recognized as state parties in several international treaties deposited with the Secretary of the League of Nations. When the UN refused to implement its partition plan by force, Israel was formed by its own unilateral act of secession. The government of Israel said that it was in no sense a successor of the former government of Palestine. See D.P. O'Connell author "The Law of State Succession", Volume V of the Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law, 1956, Hersh Lauterpacht editor, pages 10-11, and 178; and CApp 41/49 Simshon Palestine Portland Cement Factory LTD. v. Attorney-General (1950)
      link to

      A request for recognition, that was submitted to the United States, said that Israel had been established as an independent republic within the boundaries of the UN resolution of 29 November 1947. So it was not the formal successor and did not occupy all of the territory of Palestine.

      Ernest A. Gross, a senior U.S. State Department legal adviser, authored a memorandum for Under Secretary of State Lovett at the request of the President's Counsel, Clark Clifford and the representative of the Provisional Government of Israel, Elihu Epstein. See for example John Snetsinger, "Truman, the Jewish vote, and the creation of Israel", Hoover Press, 1974 & Richard Holbrooke and Clark Clifford, President Truman's Decision to Recognize Israel via the JCPA website. The memo was titled ''Recognition of New States and Governments in Palestine'', dated 11 May 1948. Gross said that:

      "The law of nations recognizes an inherent right of people lacking the agencies and institutions of social and political control to organize a state and operate a government."

      The memo is contained in the Foreign Relations of the United States 1948, volume 5, part 2, and starts on page 960. It is cited by Stefan Talmon, in "Recognition of Governments in International Law", Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998, page 36

      Israel recognized the legal competence of the new joint entity, Jordan, to negotiate the final borders when it signed the Armistice Agreement on 3 April 1949.

    • This is whre I don’t follow NF and I find him incoherent.

      So what? I find Ali Abunimah and Omar Barghouti incoherent. I still number them among the goods guys and simply agree to disagree with them on many issues. NF is saying that enforcing international law will result in a better outcome than sticking with the status quo of relying on political negotiations, Israeli Apartheid week, and BDS. There is no strong public opposition to enforcing international law.

      Which only reinforce the idea that placing one’s faith in international law is futile, which again undermines NF’s argument.

      Some of the Palestinian population groups have their own unique status under various international conventions on armed conflicts or refugees. For example, the humanitarian provisions of the Geneva Conventions may not apply to many of the Palestinian citizens of Israel and Jordan, or some of the refugees living outside the occupied territories. For 60 years Palestinians have been placing their faith in force majure, armed resistance, terrorism, and non-violent resistance. During that time, the Palestinians acquiesced in the deliberate strategy of keeping them and their case out of the international courts. It has been the strategy of waiting for a negotiated political settlement, without the added leverage of enforcing the existing international laws, that has proven to be futile.

      So the left wing is silly for not sticknig religiously to the law, but just as silly for limiting it’s position to the law.

      If you're going to utilize pilpul then it would be more accurate to describe NF as saying that a) the left is silly for saying that the 2ss is dead, because it will require the disruption and expense of resettling 600,000 Jewish settlers; while b) the 1ss will occur naturally, because it only entails the expense and disruption caused by resettling 6,000,000 Palestinian refugees; and c) the Jewish settlers have the option of pulling-up stakes and moving to Israel when the IDF leaves, but the Palestinian refugees still need the consent of the Israeli public and that's not ever going to happen.

      FYI, NF said he supports both the enforcement of international law and a BDS movement - based upon clearly defined and realistic goals.

      I disagree with some of NF's positions, e.g. with respect to equating political Zionism with racism., i.e. link to

      I think that political Zionism is a form of racism. At the same time, I agree with NF's, criticism that Syria, Saudi Arabia, et al are in no position to co-sponsor UN resolutions on the subject without inviting charges of hypocrisy over their role in prolonging the conflict for reasons that mirror those of political Zionism. He is correct when he describes the problem of IAW and BDS rhetoric which:

      is left open enough to incorporate: (1) critics of Israel who still support a two-state solution; (2) those who support the dismantling of the current Jewish State and its replacement with a single (highly theoretical) secular democratic state; and (3) those who support the destruction of Israel by any means necessary. All three camps are included amongst supporters of IAW and the BDS campaign, and therefore the lines are often blurred between harsh criticism of the state of Israel, outright condemnation of its continued existence, and calls for its eradication. This is a serious problem, and one that appears to be designed quite consciously by IAW and the BDS movement.

      The answer is to point-out their shortcomings too, not to avoid the subject altogether. Many of us do support organizations, like AI, HRW, & others with a view to addressing global human rights issues and criticize the positions taken by the BDS leadership.

    • If one is worried about being labeled a hypocrite, it pretty much precludes advocating for any cause at all – see discussion of R2P, foreign intervention, etc.

      There haven't been any really good examples of R2P to date, especially in the context of R2P Palestine. Frank Barat, who interviewed NF, edited and co-authored a book with Ilan Pappe and Noam Chomsky, Gaza in Crisis. Chomsky wrote a chapter which contains an appropriate illustration of the doubtful pedigree of R2P:

      Gareth Evans signed a treaty with his Indonesian counterpart Ali Alatas granting Australia rights to the substantial oil reserves in “the Indonesian Province of East Timor.” The Indonesia-Australia Timor Gap Treaty, which offered not a crumb to the people whose oil was being stolen, “is the only legal agreement anywhere in the world that effectively recognises Indonesia’s right to rule East Timor,” the Australian press reported. Asked about his willingness to recognize the Indonesian conquest and to rob the sole resource of the conquered territory, which had been subjected to near-genocidal slaughter by the Indonesian invader with the strong support of Australia (along with the United States, the United Kingdom, and some others), Evans explained that “there is no binding legal obligation not to recognise the acquisition of territory that was acquired by force,” adding that “the world is a pretty unfair place, littered with examples of acquisition by force.” It should, then, be unproblematic for Israel to follow suit in Gaza. A few years later, Evans became the leading figure in the campaign to introduce the concept “responsibility to protect”—known as R2P—into international law. R2P is intended to establish an international obligation to protect populations from grave crimes. Evans is the author of a major book on the subject and was co-chair of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, which issued what is considered the basic document on R2P.

      -- ibid pages 208-209

      Here’s Mouin Rabbani addressing this issue, in the first video, starting at around 1:27:00 :
      Rabbani says the core of any resolution has to be unambiguous Israeli recognition of the right of return and acknowledgment of its role in causing and perpetuating the refugee problem. Only then, he goes on to say, can there be a negotiated settlement of the refugee question that even the refugees can accept. So if I'm hearing him correctly, he wants Israel to acknowledge the moral principle underlying the universal right of return, while negotiating something less than that, i.e. a mea culpa + an agreed-upon negotiated settlement.

      Now you’re confusing me. Are you saying that UNSC res 194 and 242, or any other requirement of IL are not necessarily to be construed as applying the RoR to descendants of the refugees, and only to the refugees themselves? Has this issue ever been clarified?

      No. Israel played a role in adopting the principle that refugee status was passed to the descendants of Jewish refugees until their plight was resolved. It has always preferred to treat the legal issues related to Palestinian refugees as if they are merely political questions. That tactic has been successful, so Israel has no interest in challenging the status quo in international court. OTOH, the Palestinians haven't had access to the international court and a decision like the one in the ECHR case would be a disaster for them. The Geneva Convention and resolution 194(III) didn't envision a long-term occupation or conflict. So, the status of descendants were not specifically mentioned. The passage of time and the arrival of new generations does not work in favor of the Palestinians. So yes, there is a window of opportunity that is closing.

      One of the roles of the General Assembly is to promote the progressive codification of international law. The UN doesn't make international law, but it can state the consensus position of experts on a particular subject in a draft treaty and open it for signature. That makes it a matter of conventional law that is only binding on the parties to the agreement. When a treaty has been universally ratified, or there is no significant evidence of contrary state practice, then the UN can declare that the convention reflects customary practice that it considers binding upon non-signatories and signatories alike.

      The draft UN Refugee Convention of 1950 was the work of an Ad Hoc Committee on displaced or stateless persons and refugees. The Committee was comprised of representatives of Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Israel, Poland, Turkey, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Venezuela. The Committee agreed that children and the immediate family of a refugee should also be considered as refugees. See pdf page 40 of 66 link to

      The consensus position on the "Principle of unity of the family" was incorporated in the UN Convention and applies to all refugee programs operated under UN auspices. The treaty entered into force with 19 signatories and there were eventually 145 state parties including Israel. Needless to say there is little or no evidence of contrary state practice.

    • Rashid Khalidi’s The Iron Cage chapters “A Failure of Leadership” and “The Revolt, 1948 and Afterwards”.

      If he doesn't mention de jure recognition of the union between Arab Palestine and Transjordan by the US, UK, France, the USSR, and other UN member states, then who cares?

      King Abdullah had received hundreds of petitions from Palestinian notables requesting protection upon the withdrawal of the British forces. Eugene Rogan says that those petitions, from nearly every town and village in Palestine, are preserved in "The Hashemite Documents: The Papers of Abdullah bin al-Husayn, volume V: Palestine 1948 (Amman 1995)". See Chapter 5, Jordan and 1948, in "The war for Palestine: rewriting the history of 1948", By Eugene L. Rogan, and Avi Shlaim, Cambridge University Press, 2001.

      The fact is that the majority of Palestinians preferred to have Abdullah as their head of state over either Ben Gurion or the Mufti. They formally preserved their rights to their own state under any final settlement of the Palestine question in the text of the Act of Union and in the Arab League compromise on the issue. Half the seats in the lower house of the Jordanian Parliament were reserved for Palestinians.

      Do you know how stupid it sounds when you say there was no Arab State established in Palestine? That's exactly what the Jericho Congress was convened to accomplish. It declared Abdullah King of Arab Palestine and he certainly wasn't French. Transjordan was turned down for membership in the UN in 1946 because some members of the Security Council said it was still part of the Palestine Mandate, which had not been legally terminated. The General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee entertained requests to include some of Transjordan's territory in the Jewish state. Despite those facts, many commentators pretend that Abdullah was strictly a foreigner interloper with no vested interest in the Palestine mandate.

      Electronic Intifada founder, Ali Abunimah's own father was a member of the Jordaian UN delegation. So we need to drop the nonsensical B.S. about betrayal and bad advice. The Palestinians had their own elected representatives, held appointed public offices, and helped establish and govern the state which controlled the vast majority of the territory of the former mandate on both sides of the Jordan river.

    • Since ND’s claim that the public will see BDS activists as hypocrites is based on his argument that they ARE in fact hypocrites, and they aren’t, then his “practical” argument falls flat.

      No, Finkelstein is not only telling you that the Israeli public views the goals of the BDS movement as hypocritical, but that even if international law guaranteed the right of return for 6 million refugees and their descendants, there's no public or international support for a population transfer that large ever happening.

      FYI, the General Assembly simply delegated responsibility for identifying and registering the Palestine and other refugees to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), or the UN Palestine Conciliation Commission (PCC) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Those organs made the determination that all refugee communities have their refugee status passed through the generations while their plight remains unresolved. That determination is not grounded on any requirement of international law. In all likelihood Israel would challenge that in the ICJ as ultra vires to the powers and functions of the General Assembly if Palestinians ever attempted to enforce the right of return.

      Furthermore, by using the language of IL, the framers of the call have intentionally opened the movement to people who may disagree with them of matters of substance.

      International law doesn't matter if the courts dismiss your case and refuse to grant you a remedy. The European Court of Human Rights adopted decisions striking down claims based upon the right of return to occupied areas of northern Cyprus due to the passage of time and the arrival of new generations. The Court instructed the victims to present their claims to the compensation commissions of the illegal occupying power. The ruling was grounded in the ipse dixit of the court, not in the language of international law. The Greek Cypriot victims did not have anything analogous to UN General Assembly resolutions 181(II) and 194(III) by way of support, but they did have the Geneva Conventions (which the ECHR ignored). The decision is final and can't be appealed. See the discussions on Demopoulos and Others v. Turkey et al, decision of 1 March 2010, -- ECHR 2010 here:

      Finkelstein is telling you that he is no longer willing to waste his time on left wing silliness that isn't ever going to happen. If the poor Palestinians have to sit around somewhere "Waiting for Godot", then they really ought to be enjoying the hospitality of their own new Palestinian State. International law doesn't require the neighboring states to grant the UN or Israel an unconditional right to violate their territorial integrity in order to operate a bunch of large refugee camps.

    • Untrue. The other state did not exist at the time Israel became a state and in a sense turned down its opportunity to become a state at the time, thanks in part to some bad counsel from those who promised to fight on its behalf.

      The only bad advice was buying into hasbara myths. The US granted de jure recognition to Israel and the new state of Jordan on the very same day.

      The other state was formed by a union between the Arab territories of the former Palestine mandate, Arab Palestine and Transjordan after they had gained their independence. The new entity, Jordan, was recognized by many countries before it became a full member state of the United Nations. The union between Palestine and Jordan was dissolved by mutual consent in 1988 when Palestine declared its independence from the Hashemite Kingdom.

      You can read the full details about US recognition of Jordanian sovereignty over the West Bank and recognition by France, the UK, and the Soviet Union in the comment here: link to

    • Chris Green goes on to offer a good critique of the BDS movement by calling attention to the things NF tried to highlight in the interview.

  • Israeli apartheid is never fit to print in the 'Times', only in 'Haaretz'
    • can’t a person ever have a bad day around here!

      I wasn't scolding you. I was commenting on the Kafkaesque situation. The government of Palestine is boycotting Israeli settlements, industrial zones, & etc. and the University is a closed zone to Palestinian-Palestinians, but not Israeli-Palestinians. There is an Israeli law against Israeli-Palestinians who would like to speak out about boycotting the university. Nations are spatial entities, because people and their domiciles are not abstractions. In this case we have two of them and two governments that still claim to be nation-states that exercise personal jurisdiction over all of their citizens.

      We're still demanding equal rights, in part, because the two states haven't disappeared.

    • I am sorry, I misunderstood. I hope you forgive.

      Your questions weren't out of line given the context. So, no harm done in the first place. Internet chat is a second language for me too;-)

      P.S. Even if the university wasn't a closed zone the government of Palestine has a boycott going on against the settlements. Israeli-Palestinians can't support that boycott openly. So there are still two opposing jurisdictions.

    • that’s slightly mean hostage, no? What’s your point? To show that there is a basic truth to the hasbara line that “Arab Israelis” ultimately would prefer to stay in Israel? Since it’s much better there than in any other Arab state?

      None of the above. My point was that the two states have not disappeared, or else Palestinian-Palestinians would have the same second class rights as Israeli-Palestinians. States as persons of international law are always composed of a government and a permanent population. So I usually roll my eyes when someone says there's only one State between the Jordan and the Mediterranean because it simply isn't true. There's one state systematically dominating another state with the intent of maintaining that regime of domination.

      Earlier reports from Haaretz had explained this wasn't a move that extended Israel's normal municipal jurisdiction:

      The decision was vehemently opposed by the Council for Higher Education, which oversees all colleges and universities inside the Green Line. But because the Ariel University Center of Samaria is located in the West Bank, it is subordinate to a different, parallel, body, the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria - which, like all Israeli institutions in the West Bank, is formally subordinate to the Israel Defense Forces' GOC Central Command

      link to

    • whose fault is it that 2 states has disappeared?

      Oh they haven't. 500 Israeli Arab students attended Ariel in 2010. It's just a closed zone to Palestinians.

  • Norman Finkelstein slams the BDS movement calling it 'a cult'
    • During the negotiation on the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Arab states initiated an addition to the text in order to render it applicable to Israel’s settlement policy. This was indicative of the international community’s acknowledgment that the original 1949 Geneva Convention language was simply not relevant to Israel’s settlements.

      The UN, the EU, and the other High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions had advised Israel on numerous occasions about the flagrant illegality of its annexations, deportations, and settlements. Those universal condemnations were strong evidence of agreed-upon state practice. So, to no one's particular surprise, the offenses were added along with dozens of others under the heading "Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law".

      Baker spouts this nonsense in the Op-Eds. Like Charlie Sheen, he is always "winning", except in Court, at the Reconvened Geneva Conferences, or at the Rome Diplomatic Conference when it actually matters.

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