Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 10620 (since 2010-02-28 20:54:05)



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  • Mustafa Bargouti: Jerusalem is at the heart of the Palestinian cause
    • What is this “heritage” that you think Jews should know and care about?

      For starters there's this whole body of ancient literature that extolls the virtue of a nation being ruled by a moral code, a requirement to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly before a God who defended the cause of the fatherless, the widow, and strangers.

    • GA resolutions aren’t law, not even close, and the people voting on them know that, even though you don’t.

      The majority of post-WWI and WWII international legal instruments, including the Palestine mandate, are contained in resolutions of the League of Nations and United Nations. Those resolutions contain the vast majority of international conventions, including the minority protection plan contained in General Assembly resolution 181(II). Treaty law is based on the contract law theory of "acceptance", i.e. the state parties agree to be legally bound by the terms of their own "acceptance".

      The principle of self-determination of peoples contained in the UN Charter is not optional. The Security Council, General Assembly, and ICJ have each declared that the right of peoples to self-determination is a right erga omnes and an essential principle of contemporary international law.

    • You are probably going by third hand myth based on UN resolution 273, which inducted Israel into the U.N.

      The Palestinians already had a guaranteed right to live in the proposed state of Israel before resolution 194(III) was ever adopted.

      The authors of Wikipedia articles aren't supposed to include original research or personal opinions. The undertakings in question are the UN Charter obligation which requires members to respect the right of self-determination of peoples; and the obligations related to the right of the inhabitants to enjoy quiet possession of their property and the right of domicile in accordance with the terms of the minority protection plan in resolution 181(II).

      The resolution you mentioned contains footnotes which cite the verbatim minutes of the sessions of the Ad Hoc Committee meetings in question and the representative of Israel certainly did make declarations acknowledging the legal undertakings that I described. The ones regarding Charter obligations and the minority rights agreement had immediate legal effect.

      The UN created a subsidiary organ comprised of a panel of legal experts to look into that and other matters, The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. It submitted a report on Israel's continuing legal obligations to the Security Council that said:

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

      Foreign Minister Shertok provided a declaration to the Secretary General and Mr. Eban testified that it was a formal acknowledgment of Israel's obligations under the terms of the minorities agreement. You can read more about that in this comment: link to

    • The Jews on this website need to call on the Palestinians to recognize the special connection Jews have to Jerusalem, not in place of their own connection, but a special connection never-the-less.

      Odd, but I don't have a special connection to Jerusalem. That particular psychosis really isn't an inherited trait.

  • Settlers aren't freelancers-- Israeli government is behind them all the way
    • GOI and WZO, yet another faith-based public-private partnership.

      The World Zionist Organization's settlement division is a department of the Prime Minister's Office.

      While it's supposedly a parastatal or non-government entity, it has actually been contracted for decades to execute government- funded projects over the Green Line. See the Jerusalem Post article "WZO Settlement Division returns to the PMO" link to

  • Because they are not numbers
    • Whenever there is an assault on civilians in Gaza, the only moral thing to do is to condemn the attacks

      No, the moral thing to do is to arrest the suspects and prosecute them. Just compare the urgency and nature of the response from Jewish and governmental organizations to the deliberate murders of a few people in France with the response of Palestinian and governmental organizations to the deliberate murders of hundreds of people in Gaza, i.e. link to

      "A person stands a better chance of being tried and judged for killing one human being than for killing 100,000." -- José Ayala Lasso, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from "Establishment of an International Criminal Court" at the UN Treaty Organization link to

  • Rockets are collective punishment
    • Rockets are collective punishment

      I think Annie got it right. They are a reprisal against the continuing illegal siege or closure/blockade of Gaza.

      Collective punishment is defined in The Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Under the terms of the convention, protected persons are by definition only those Israelis who find themselves in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals. Sderot is not in the hands of an occupying Palestinian power.

      Under the laws and customs of war a reprisal is, by definition, an otherwise illegal act that is deliberately carried-out in response to the prohibited acts committed by an enemy. Neither Israel nor the United States have ratified the prohibition on reprisals that target civilian objectives contained in the 1st Additional Protocol. For example, Israel has carried out punitive home demolitions as reprisals against real or perceived criminal or terrorist activities using the mandate era Defense Emergency Regulation and "military necessity" as its justification. See the discussion in Bringing Down The House: Israeli Demolitions in the Occupied West Bank, at the Foreign Policy Journal link to

  • First 'J Street,' now Princeton -- man who ordered Gaza onslaught tours U.S.
    • There's no need to exercise universal jurisdiction. The US extradited Noriega to France. Nothing prevents the US from arresting former heads of state or extraditing them to stand trial elsewhere.

  • Munayyer: Liberal Zionist sympathy for Palestinians generally ends at the green line. This is moral and intellectual cowardice.
    • In international relations, there are no cops.

      The United Nations have been prosecuting war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression through ad hoc and permanent international criminal tribunals ever since WWII, e.g. Nuremberg, ICTY, ICTR, ICC, & etc. Israeli cabinet members and the IDF general staff have been dodging arrest warrants issued in other countries for several years now.

    • The U.N. is made up of every country in the world.

      There has never been a time when one or more permanent member of the Security Council hasn't abused the veto to block the membership of widely recognized countries. That's why the international community started opening UN treaties for signature by member states of any UN specialized agency, like UNESCO. That practice has passed into customary and conventional law and is known as the "Vienna Formula", which was codified in Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and the "Summary Of Practice Of The Secretary-General As Depositary Of Multilateral Treaties".
      link to

      The U.N. has been unremittingly hostile to Israel for at least the past 40 years.

      Even states that are governed by liberal democracies have been unremittingly hostile to Israel for 40 to 60 years and have repeatedly condemned its flagrant violations of international laws and norms that are recognized by all "civilized peoples".

    • Funny how taking territory from the losers of a war was legitimate right up until the day some Jews did it.

      The British partition of India did not call for any forced population transfers. FYI, there are a series of General Assembly and Security Council resolutions on the India-Pakistan and Cyprus Questions which prohibit the acquisition of territories by war and which call for accession of territories through the democratic method of free and impartial plebiscites, e.g. Security Council resolution 47 (April 1948). link to

      Since you are obviously aware that population transfers are illegal, it appears that you've been consciously engaging in Nakba denial and extolling the virtue of war crimes and crimes against humanity in pursuit of military conquest and territorial aggrandizement.

      Unlike some of the others here, I really don't object to the comment policy which prohibits comments like that. I'm just wondering how long it will take for the moderators here to stop approving them.

    • My maternal mitochondrial RNA is indicating that I originated in Africa. . . . . “Similarly, while some of the recent ancestors of the Palestinians were from what is now Israel, their ancient ancestors were from other parts of the Middle East.”

      Of course the scriptures relate that Moses married an Ethiopian (Cushite) woman, although Rashi and other commentators have engaged in lengthy and doubtful attempts to establish that he did not. Joseph married an Egyptian, and Solomon married Pharaoh's daughter. So the daughters of some of the leading Israelite tribes and families would have passed down African MtDNA to their off-spring. Apparently there are quite a few modern genetic researchers who aren't familiar with these bible stories, since they attempt to establish that African mitochondrial DNA influences in the Southern Arabian population are a characteristic that can be used to distinguish so-called Jews from so-called Arabs.

    • we’ll all be going to Kenya. . . . Maybe Fredblogs could ask somebody Jewish to explain it to him!

      Okay. (sarcasim) Kenya was indeed a part of our ancient homeland in East Africa, but the Zionist Organization declined a generous offer of territory there - despite Herzl's strenuous objections: link to

      British High Commissioner McMahon had another look around Egypt and determined that life actually began in the seas.

      This is the only possible explanation for the curious reservation about the "portions of Syria lying to the west of the district of Aleppo" (aka the Mediterranean Sea). It was withheld from the territory that was promised to the Sharif of Mecca in McMahon's correspondence. I firmly believe that is where he intended to put both the French and the restored Jewish national home. The Zionists have misunderstood the motivation of the parties who endeavored to drive them into sea and have forgotten that popular wisdom summed-up by Fredblogs, "population transfer happens all the time". (/sarcasim).

    • “It’s called “population exchange”. It happens all the time.”

      It's actually a very serious war crime and a crime against humanity. FYI Alexander Orakhelashvili and Judge Elihu Lauterpact have both explained that the UN Security Council is unconditionally bound by peremptory norms of international law. Orakhelashvili said

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

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

      Because the population that loses the war of extermination they started (the Arabs in this case) don’t get first choice of which land they keep.

      Wrong again. The International Court of Justice advised in 2004 that the principles as to the use of force incorporated in the Charter reflect customary international law. The Court cited the Declaration On Principles Of International Law Friendly Relations And Co-Operation Among States In Accordance With The Charter Of The United Nations, which states "No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal." and its corollary entailing the illegality of territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force.

      In any event, there has never been any evidence provided that the "Arabs" were responsible for starting any wars for the purposes of extermination or otherwise.

  • Israeli academics call for massive attack on Gaza to 'mow the lawn' -- before November election ends the 'opportunity'
    • Again, being able read a case or two is not enough to actually know how the process works.

      Frankly being able to read the cases that I cited proves that the process doesn't work the way you keep insisting that it does. I've cited plenty of cases involving innocent people who've ended up in Court. I've pointed-out all along that it would have been wise to counsel Adler against publishing an article that would invite a Secret Service investigation and the possibility of legal action.

    • There’s a recent judicial ruling on a white militia group that the feds have been hounding at Obama’s AG direction;

      That's yet another example of a case that went to Court. There is another case in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals involving a man who made idle comments about shooting Obama with a 50 caliber bullet in an internet chat room. The Secret Service subsequently searched his home and found a 50 caliber rifle. His conviction in the lower court was overturned. The Appeals Court decision explained that its ruling in Planned Parenthood case was still sound.

      My point is that the practice in the federal circuits is split, that there are new statutes that have not been struck down, and that the Prosecutors took all of these cases to Court - including many that involved innocent parties or innocent remarks. In several of these cases, including Watts, the innocent parties were forced to appeal an initial conviction in a lower court.

      And the facts of each of those cases were different from the facts of this case.

      And when the parties have disputes over the existence of a threat, they can end up needing a lawyer to present their arguments in Court.

    • P.S. Sami Al-Arian, the Holy Land 5, and Irvine 11 can attest to the fact that Prosecutors can be more than a little dickish in developing bizarre theories and strategies to pursue a case.

    • Being able to Google a couple of cases doesn’t give you an idea how the law actually works. . . . One of the ways it is done is called “summary judgment.” It’s one of a number of preliminary techniques to elminate cases prior to a determination on the merit.

      Summary judgments are not appropriate if there are disputes over a "material" fact requiring a trial to resolve. The results of the Secret Service investigation of Mr. Adler and any special precautions that were required as a result would be an example of admissible evidence in a true threats case that you can't prejudge as "undisputed".

      All I said was that a Prosecutor could take Mr. Adler to Court on such a basis, and David Samel agreed. Mr Adler would have made an appearance in Court long before the preliminary motions practice that you keep mentioning.

    • Who cares? It’s irrelevant because, again, for the fiftieth time, the guy did nothing which could constitute a true threat.

      And for the last time you can't prejudge that issue, because the Supreme Court's definition of a true threat includes the burden imposed on the victim of having to take extra-precautions, like those statutory ones the Secret Service is required to take automatically. The Court has already ruled that the state can prohibit pure speech in those cases, and that's why the Congress and lawmakers keep on adopting statutes that make threats on candidates and officials or things like bomb threats or calling-in false alarms illegal.

    • “In some other case, this broad principle applied, therefore, since I can shoe-horn the broad principle into the present case, therefore I WIN!!!” It’s not.

      I've never said that. I only said that Prosecutors could take this case to Court if they had a mind to do that.

      The Supreme Court hasn't taken up a case in which its true threats doctrine from Virgina v Black has been tested with respect to a host of new statutes dealing with pure speech threats, like nuisance bomb threats, or threats against the life of government officials and candidates, including the President. The Congress has always said that the state has the right to prohibit threats that cause disruptions in the routine of the victims and of the operation of the government itself due to extra precautions.

      This administration has gone to Court and to the Congress to defended its right to go so far as to kill American citizens outside the context of an armed conflict for pure speech attempts to influence others to murder US government officials through disseminating propaganda. A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit seeking to block the US from carrying out the targeted killing of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki ana said the matter was a "political question". I've discussed that and other cases here at MW in the past, and now the Attorney General Holder has signaled the Offices of the United States Attorneys that due process doesn't mean judicial process. Here is another example:

      in February 2010, then-Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, in response to a question by a member of Congress about the targeted killing of U.S. citizens, stated that the United States takes “direct action” against suspected terrorists and that “if we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission [from the Executive] to do that.” -- Alaulaqi v Obama


      So you need to stop telling me that no Judge would allow these abuses to happen, because that's just bullshit.

    • A motion for summary judgment early on, if won, declares that the facts alleged have not been put at issue by either side, and, based on those facts, either one side or the other prevails without further judicial process. if the facts are significantly ambiguous to the Judge , then the trial will proceed further.

      The true threats doctrine makes obtaining a pre-trial summary judgment difficult, since it's based upon the perceptions of the intended victim. You'd have to show that a reasonable man wouldn't feel threatened; have a sense of dread; or feel the need to take extra precautions that result in disruptions. In this particular case, there is a statute, the Presidential Threat Protection Act of 2000, that requires the Secret Service to take extra precautions on the basis of reported threats against the life of the President; the Sedition and Patriot Acts, & etc. The practice in the District Courts is divided. Some have ruled that pure speech threats against the life of the President are not illegal, but the Supreme Court has not taken up that particular issue or the constitutionality of the latest statutes.

    • You appear to be impervious to the argument.

      Actually you appear to be impervious to facts. I simply said that there was sufficient evidence for a Prosecutor to take Andrew Adler to trial, and David Samel agreed.

      I supplied you with information on the true threats doctrine and a line of subsequent cases that ended up in the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court, despite the argument that a lower court Judge would never allow such cases to go to trial in the first place.

      Apparently you're not very familiar with the standard practice of deciding disputes regarding the material facts of a case after the evidence has been presented at trial. The Justice Department has an established practice of obtaining indictments from Federal Grand Juries and appealing the application of stare decisis whenever it feels there are justicable differences between cases.

    • I was merely noting that his speech wasn’t criminal, based on the nature of the speech.

      Woody I pointed out that the Congress has never amended or rescinded the original statute that criminalized the speech in question. It has subsequently adopted the Patriot Act and other legislation that is not covered by the Court's earlier decisions.

      We've subsequently seen the spectacle of the Congress and President signing indefinite detention without trial into law and our Attorney General justifying extrajudicial killings of citizens based upon the rationale that the phrase "due process of law" in the Constitution doesn't mean a judicial process.

      So it would be inadvisable for anyone to rely on the principle of stare decisis, because neither the President nor the Congress are paying much attention to it or the guarantees in the Bill of Rights.

    • She’s a blood thinner in not differentiating between the acts of an anti-Semitic murderer who, as video surveillance footage showed, shot one child at close range in the head**, and those in Gaza, victims of their neighborhood terrorists who were firing at Israeli schoolchildren and killed incidentally in acts of legitimate self-defense.

      The IDF wasn't killing three year-olds in self-defense. The IDF tracked down and prosecuted a soldier who stole a credit card, but it can't manage to utilize its own sophisticated command and control system to determine which of its main battle tanks was stationed across from the Khalid Abd Rabbo house on 7 January 2009 at 1250hrs or which of the crew members murdered 3 year-old Amal and his grandmother in cold blood. See Testimony from a Gazan and the Goldstone report, A/HRC/12/48, page 174, paragraph 773-779:
      * link to
      * link to

  • Those killed in Gaza have a name, and each has a family that grieves for them
    • The General Assembly seems to have reconvened the 10th Emergency Special Session. The Observer for Palestine circulated a two page letter containing the names and ages of the dead which complained that: "This letter is in follow-up to our previous 420 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 28 September 2000".

      After outlining a litany of serious crimes it said:
      We again repeat that the international community, including the Security Council, cannot remain silent or continue to only express regret or disappointment at Israel’s violations. It is the responsibility of the international community to put an end to these crimes by the occupying Power, and this begins with holding Israel accountable under international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions. The Palestinian people cannot remain the exception to this responsibility to protect civilians from such war crimes and atrocities. . . . I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.
      link to

  • The flaw of Beinart's conception of Israel's 'flawed but genuine democracy'
    • Read the Declaration for the Establishment of the State of Israel. The words ‘democratic’ and ‘democracy’ simply do not appear.

      Of course not. According to revised statistics provided by the Mandatory Administration, the Palestinian Arab population of the proposed Jewish state was slightly larger than the Jewish population. Notwithstanding that fact the People's Council that named itself as the Provisional Government was comprised entirely of Jews. This after 25 years of collaboration with various Palestinian leaders. See Hillel Cohen, “Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaboration with Zionism, 1917-1948″, University of California Press, 2008.

      Needless to say the People's Council was only interested in establishing Jewish rule when it met to discuss the Declaration and the so-called Constitution (the Transition Act):

      Draft of the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel
      Sitting 3 of the People’s Council
      14 May 1948 (5 Iyar 5708)
      JNF Building, Tel Aviv
      The Chairman, D. Ben-Gurion: Today is a day of greater opportunities and graver dangers than we have faced for many generations, a) The Mandate has ended and we must establish Jewish rule; b) War has been declared on us. This war may be intensified by an invasion by the regular Arab armies.

      Our defense forces are functioning with the utmost dedication on all fronts and will do their duty. Arrangements have been made with regard to the danger of invasion.
      We have assembled here today to make preparations and dispositions for independent Jewish rule. You have before you two documents for consideration: the first, a declaration; the second, the first draft of an interim constitution, which is urgently needed so that the Jewish institutions will be able to function during this period.

      We will start with the first document: “The Declaration by the People's Council of the Establishment of the State of Israel.”

      -- Netanel Lorach, Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981, Volume 1 - People’s Council and Provisional Council of State, 1948-1949, pp 44

    • While promoting his new book he frequently refers to the Israeli declaration of independence, which he also mentions in his Times piece

      I've documented elsewhere that Ben Gurion said the authors of Israel's Declaration of Independence simply "put in the basic phrases demanded by the UN." link to

      During the subsequent hearings on its membership application in the UN, Israel cited the Declaration of Independence - which had been signed by the members of the Provisional government - as the fulfillment of its obligation to supply a declaration on the subject of the fundamental laws of state regarding equal rights.

      The General Assembly required each of the new states to acknowledge an undertaking to implement equal constitutional rights for minorities under the terms of the plan for the future government of Palestine contained in resolution 181(II). Within two years, the government of Israel denied it had ever signed any such declaration. So, it's pointless to lecture Israelis about its contents. They have never amounted to anything more than hasbara, so far as their own government is concerned.

  • Beinart calls for boycott of settlements 'to save Israel'
    • Right, and we appreciate your honesty and your apparent inability to make comparisons that pass the test of basic logic.

      Right. For quite a while, the Czech Republic and Slovakia had a binational state. The Zionist Organization would never hear of such a thing. "We" also appreciate the fact that you're one of the name calling Zionist trolls.

    • The Germans were stitched up at Versailles, Hostage. The Sudetenland should have been granted to Germany.

      Deutschland, Deutschland über alles . . . I suppose that Germany could also have been given the Volga Germans and their territory too;-)

      The Allies were not empowered to make ethnic Germans in Allied or Associated states liable for payment of German or Austrian war reparations. The Czecho-Slovak National Council had declared its independence from Austria in 1918, and it was immediately recognized as an associated power of the Allies. That's because Czecho-Slovak forces in Great Britain, France and Russia had volunteered to fight for the Allies from the very outset of the war. So it would not have been feasible to cede an independent Allied successor state to an enemy power. See for example, Charles Francis Horne, The Odyssey of the Czecho-Slavs : The March of the "Army Without a Country", in The Great Events of the Great War: A.D. 1918, The National Alumni, 1920. link to

    • I agree, but I’m not sure, if your Sudetenland comparison works 100%,

      Yes it does. There was no international mandate or obligation to establish and maintain a racist regime there, regardless of the demographic ratios.

      There was no international obligation for Czechoslovakia or other states to recognize the acquisition of the territory through annexation by Germany, despite the conclusion of the Munich Agreement by Adolf Hitler, Neville Chamberlain, Edouard Daladier and Benito Mussolini on 29 September 1938.

    • Hostage – Wasn’t the Sudetenland >80% German?

      You're missing my point about maintaining a racist Nazi regime in the Sudetenland. The fact that ethnic German citizens had obtained a majority in the Sudetenland did not justify it's military occupation and annexation by a neighboring German state whose ideology and official policies were to treat the non-German inhabitants as Untermenschen, much less create an obligation for the international community to maintain that racist German state or regime.

      Portions of the Czech population had been expelled in the Middle Ages by Kings who had invited Germans to establish colonies in Bohemia in the first place. At the Versailles Peace Conference, the Allies established a single committee for the creation of new states and minority rights. On 10 September 1919, Czechoslovakia had signed a minorities treaty, which guaranteed all of the inhabitants equal rights. Germany was not a new state, so it was not required to accept any agreement on minorities. That Czechoslovakian agreement was placed under the protection of the League of Nations. Germany had become the fifth permanent member of the Council after it joined the League in 1926. So it accepted a Covenant obligation to respect the League's agreements on equal rights.

    • So we are going to have two BDS movements with different objectives regarding equal rights for Palestinians and refugees from Israel? Beinart is still deliberately whitewashing illegal forms of segregation, discrimination, and population displacement inside the Green Line (i.e. Israel and East Jerusalem).

      I've said it before and I'll say it again: 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. There is no legal or moral obligation to "save Israel". Beinart is too devious and evasive in my opinion.

  • 'Daily Beast' ode to Livni makes no mention of Gaza assault
    • lysias, if you remember the sequence of events that preceded Israel’s barbaric onslaught on Gaza on December 27,2008, the barracuda was shuttling all over the place filling in other countries about the planned attack and the last was with Mubarak that appears to have given the final green light.

      When the UN began pressing demands for a criminal investigation, the Israeli government engaged in a propaganda campaign which claimed everyone and their dog knew all along about the up-coming attack on Gaza.

      Those reports were at odds with earlier reports from the Israeli government's media echo chamber which highlighted the success of the deliberate disinformation campaign to deceive the public and international community into believing that there would be no attack on Gaza - and the fact that it had been an integral part of the operational planning all along. See Disinformation, secrecy and lies: How the Gaza offensive came about - Barak ordered preparations for Saturday's operation 6 months ago, as Israel, Hamas agreed on a truce. link to

      There was also disinformation about the PA being supplied prior notice or having called for an Israeli attack, but that backfired and resulted in the PA demand for an independent investigation by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. See ICC prosecutor considers ‘Gaza war crimes’ probe. link to

      Olmert and the other members of his cabinet ignored warnings from Barak and Livni that prolonging Operation Cast Lead or inserting ground forces deep into populated areas would damage Israel diplomatically. See Olmert: Gaza war won't end until rockets and smuggling stop - Barak, Livni disagree with Olmert, want quick end to Gaza fighting; PM: Truce now would be missed opportunity. link to

    • the memos released on Monday revealed they also agreed that only 10, 000 refugees and their families – out of a total refugee population exceeding 5 million – could return to Israel as part of a peace settlement.

      In fact none of the memos published by the Guardian or Al Jazeera contained any record that documented such an agreement between the PA and Israeli negotiators. The summaries published by the media simply alleged that an offer had been made.

      While chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in exchange for an extension of the construction moratorium in the West Bank racist, the secret documents show that his position was quite different behind closed doors.

      The memos showed that he called it incitement behind closed doors too:

      …Then Obama brought up incitement. . . .We should prepare for them a file on who is actually inciting. The demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state is incitement. [To the NSU] Look very carefully at incitement. Bring as much evidence as possible on Israeli incitement against us, including legislation, speeches, books …

      See “Meeting Minutes: Saeb Erekat with (PLO) Negotiations Support Unit on US Meetings” link to June 2, 2009

      The PA never agreed to Netanyahu's request that the PA formally recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Erekat simply replied that Israel could (continue to) call itself a Jewish state.

    • Tzipi did not dare to go to London until the present government changed laws to please her.

      Her visit to the UK still wasn't possible, even after the law was changed. The government suspended the application of the new statutory procedures by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) , and simply granted Livni "special mission immunity" for the duration of her visit. So the new statute wasn't actually tested as Livni and the UK government claimed at the time. See Changes to UK law didn't protect Tzipi Livni link to

  • Israel to Europe: Palestinians can't have a state because they can't support themselves
    • 40 years after Golda Meir said there was no such thing as a Palestinian the word comes up 115 million times on Google.

      Jimmy Wales has the same problem. See the entry for Arab Citizens of Israel. link to

      The Zionists who propagandize so much about "the Jews from Arab Lands", do not consider them to be "Arab citizens of Israel" (although there can be no Israeli nationality separate from the Jewish people according to HCJ 630/70 Tamarin v. State of Israel [1970] IsrSC 26(1) 197).

      In fact, there is no recognized "Arab nationality" anywhere else in the world, except for the people registered as such by the government of Israel - which denies the Palestinians their own nationality for purposes of their apartheid policy, e.g. the following inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them:

      Any legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country and the deliberate creation of conditions preventing the full development of such a group or groups, in particular by denying to members of a racial group or groups basic human rights and freedoms, including the right to work, the right to form recognized trade unions, the right to education, the right to leave and to return to their country, the right to a nationality, the right to freedom of movement and residence, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association;


      For a fuller explanation, see “A racism outside of language: Israel’s apartheid”, by Saree Makdisi, in the Pambazuka News, 2010-03-11, Issue 473

    • It is so convenient to forget how in 2009 there was an economic boom in the West Bank with growth reaching 8%, higher than in Israel or the West. In 2011 the Palestinian Planning Minister said GDP growth was expected to rise to 12% by 2013.

      The World Bank and IMF reports didn't overlook the so-called economic boom. They both concluded the economy was being run for the benefit of the illegal Israeli settlers.

      FYI, Israel has a GDP of over $2oo billion, while Palestine's GDP is still under $5 billion. The differences in the sizes of the two populations and their educational levels don't account for those differences either. For example, Dr Hassan A El-Najjar has noted that:

      The UN educational program was so successful that the Palestinian level of higher education in the 1970s was among the highest in the world. The ratio of Palestinian college students to the general Palestinian population was 20/1000 in 1977. Among the refugee segment of the population, it was even higher reaching about 47/1000 in 1986. For other leading societies, the ratio was 30/1000 for the U.S., 18/1000 for USSR, 9/1000 for France, 8/1000 for England, and 4/1000 for the Arab states as a whole. --See Hassan A El-Najjar, "The Gulf War", Amazone Press, 2001

    • Israel systematically destroyed the Palestinian economy starting from 1967.

      Yes, the World Bank has been reporting on that situation for years:

      The restrictions on Palestinian economic potential involve more than roadblocks and checkpoints. With due regard to Israel’s security concerns, there is consensus on the paralytic effects of the current physical obstacles placed on the Palestinian economy. In reality, these restrictions go beyond concrete and earth-mounds, and extend to a system of physical and administrative restrictions that prevent the realization of Palestinian economic potential.

      link to

      When the British, French, and League of Nations partitioned Ottoman Asia they disrupted regional trade and replaced it with their own "policy of the Open Door", which favored the members of the League. The British granted long-term concessions, banking charters, and many other key economic privileges to the Zionists, See Barbara J. Smith, The Roots of Separatism in Palestine: British Economic Policy, 1920-1929 (Contemporary Issues in the Middle East), Syracuse Univ., 1993.

      You can't very easily partition a river, sea port, line of communication, or sole source of essential materials. The UN answer was a proposal to lower the standard of living that the Palestinians had enjoyed during the mandate era by partitioning Palestine into a Jewish state and a non-viable, dependent, Arab state. Many UN member states admitted as much for the record (see the verbatim quote in the link below).

      Rules of Transit and a Plan for an Economic Union were included in the UN partition plan to compensate for those disadvantages, but they were never implemented. That situation, and the role of the Jewish Agency in creating it, is documented in declassified materials published in the State Department's Foreign Relations (FRUS) series and in the unclassified UN documents themselves. I've cited and quoted some of them in the past: link to

  • Rendell (of MSNBC and Friends of IDF) is under investigation for ties to Iranian terror group
    • Could it be, finally these fanatics may face the music, don’t hold your breath.

      Perhaps. They might have to forgo speaking engagements in Canada or jump through some hoops to enter the country. Section 34(1) of the immigration act protects Canadians from people who fund, support or engage in terrorism. So it would be possible for groups there to protest against admitting them for visits and demand they be banned like anti-war UK MP Galloway.

      Read more on that at: link to

      It's also likely that they'll spend more than they've earned on legal fees. So it will be interesting to see if they drop their public support for the MEK.

  • Gilad Shalit's father says, 'If I were Palestinian I'd kidnap soldiers'
    • It is playing with semantics to categorise religious persecution as being different from apartheid.

      No it certainly is not. A person can opt to change their religion, but not their race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin. In many cases religious discrimination merely results in a preference, exclusion, restriction, or other distinction that is not "inhuman" in nature or that doesn't employ prohibited forms of segregation.

      We're discussing conventional international agreements on prohibited forms of racism, i.e. segregation or apartheid. The authors and state parties deliberately chose to exclude the topic of religious discrimination or persecution from the scope of the treaties or to make it a separate criminal offense.

    • Mayhem, the definition of the crime of apartheid used in the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court have never included any form of religious discrimination. Inhumane acts directed against groups on the grounds of religion are defined as the crime of persecution. See for example Article 7(1)(h) of the Rome Statute. link to

      The very same stakeholders who have described some of Israel's laws, policies, and practices as forms of racial discrimination, persecution, and apartheid, have described some of Malaysia's laws, policies, and practices as forms of religious discrimination or persecution.

      FYI, the supreme court of Malaysia considered the effect of Islam as the state religion in Che Omar Che Soh v. Public Prosecutor (1988) 2 MLJ 55, and concluded that Article 2(1) merely provided for the ceremonial role of Islam under the Constitution. The Court held that it was civil (as opposed to Islamic) law that governed the country. All citizens are subject to civil laws. Non-Muslims are to be governed exclusively by civil law. Muslims are also governed by Sharia in specifically enumerated matters, usually having to do with family law (e.g. marriage, divorce) and property rights (e.g. inheritance). In those enumerated areas, Sharia courts have limited jurisdiction.

      As you know, Israel and its parastatal agencies grant superior legal rights and privileges to citizens of Jewish descendancy and nationality, while discriminating against all of its citizens of Palestinian descendancy or nationality. The laws do not disqualify secular Jews, former Jewish citizens of Palestine, or foreign Jews from enjoyment of the superior rights afforded by Israeli law and the parastatal agency charters on grounds of religion.

    • The demand to be recognized as a Jewish State is just schtick in the spokes to prevent Palestinian statehood. The demand has no legal foundation. No state has recognized Israel as anything other than the ‘State of Israel’.

      The demand has a very firm legal foundation. Haaretz reported a long time ago that Rep. Ros-Lehtinen intended to end PA funding due to the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement. U.S. House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, released a statement saying

      "the law stipulates that the PA government must recognize the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist, among other things. Therefore, in order to implement existing law, the U.S. must end assistance to the Palestinian Authority."

      The law in question is U.S. Code Title 22, Chapter 32, Subchapter III, Part I, § 2378b “Limitation on assistance to the Palestinian authority”.

      The relevant portion regarding initial and semi-annual certifications provides:
      (b) Certification
      A certification described in subsection (a) is a certification transmitted by the President to Congress that contains a determination of the President that—
      (1) no ministry, agency, or instrumentality of the Palestinian Authority is effectively controlled by Hamas, unless the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority has—
      (A) publicly acknowledged the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist; and ….

  • Palestinian and Palestine-solidarity activists issue critique and condemnation of Gilad Atzmon
    • So how many Jewish-Americans agree with Chaim Weizmann. Hardly if any that I know.

      Atzmon is only critiquing particularism or "Jewish-ness" of the sort described by Weizmann, Jabotinsky, et al. He does not include all of the followers of Judaism, or those who merely identify themselves as persons of Jewish descent.

    • does it mean to define oneself as a jew is 2012 is to “put their Jewish-ness over and above all of their other traits”?

      No, since a person of Jewish descent or a person who follows Judaism can identify themselves as Jews and still embrace universalism and brotherhood while leading ordinary lives among Gentiles.

      Atzmon went out of his way to make a careful distinction between the harmless members of those groups and the members who practice particularism and view their Jewish-ness as the primary element of their personality that makes them unique.

    • How much responsibility do you think the German community should assume for the German establishment and its policies in the 1930s?

      They recently announced the third round of reparations payments to Jewish victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The latest payments will go to Moroccan Jews whose freedom of movement was violated by the Vichy government. link to

      The government of Israel was advised to stop building The Wall and pay compensation for the very same reasons.

    • In “Tribal Marxism for Dummies” Atzmon attacked anti-Zionist Jewish Marxists. So it was not the question of Marxism being employed to justify Zionism.

      It's too late to tell that to Ben Gurion now and he was certainly guilty of using Marxism to justify Zionism.

      At any rate here is some material from "The Wandering Who", page 17:

      'A Jew brought up among Germans may assume German customs, German words. He may be wholly imbued with that German fluid but the nucleus of his spiritual structure will always remain Jewish, because his blood, his body, his physical racial type are Jewish.' (Vladimir Jabotinsky, 'A Letter on Autonomy', 1904).

      These racist ideas predate Nazism. Jabotinsky wasn't alone, even the Jewish Marxist Ber Borochov, who refers the Jewish condition to historical and material circumstances, suggested a remedy that was particular to Jewish people, i.e. Jewish Nationalism. An ideology in which Jews would practice some proletarian activity, namely production, yet maintain their national and cultural symptoms. Borochov sets Jews apart from the international proletarian revolution. Why does he do this? Because Jews are uniquely Jewish or at least the Zionists tend to believe they are.

      The Zionist is first and foremost a Jew. He can't be just an ordinary British citizen who happens to be of a Jewish descent. He is rather a Jew who dwells in Britain. He is a Jew who speaks English

    • iow, atzmon is simply reinforcing (or doubling down) on what “the Jewish establishment” has been claiming all along.

      No not at all. It would be helpful if people would stick to citing what he actually said about "Jewish-ness" and the ideology of the Jewish Marxism of Ber Borochov and stop libeling the guy.

    • To define oneself as a Jew in the year 2012 is to define oneself as a Zionist — as an ethnic nationalist . . . why?

      Good question, because Atzmon says that those who follow Judaism or who are merely of Jewish descent can be perfectly harmless, unless they also happen to put their Jewish-ness over and above all of their other traits. He cited Chaim Weizmann who said there are no English, French, German, or American Jews, but only Jews living in England, France, Germany, and America. Atzmon explains that it is about viewing Jewish-ness as the fundamental element of your being that prevents you from assimilating into Gentile society. These individuals don't view themselves as normal or ordinary, and it is neither racist nor antisemetic to point that situation out.

    • thanks for straightening me out, the zionism = judaism was from one of his critics. but didn’t he say that jews (all?) were other than normal people. if so (and following this thread and the supplied links, isn’t easy), doesn’t such a generalization smack of stereotyping?

      I just got his book and no, he did not say that. He specifically states that he is not talking about all of the harmless people who follow Judaism or happen to be of Jewish origin, just those people who put their Jewish-ness over and above all of their other traits (page 16). Think of Elliott Abrams, who said that Jews must stand apart in every society they happen to live in or Theodore Herzl who claimed that Jews had lost the ability to assimilate and could not possibly lead normal lives among Gentiles.

      Atzmon said that if the Jewish Marxists and cosmopolitans that founded the State of Israel had been open to the notion of brotherhood, they would have given up on their unique, exclusive ways and simply aspired to become ordinary people like the rest of us. Pointing out the snobbery of folks like Elliott Abrams, Theodore Herzl, or Ber Borochov is neither anti-semetic nor racist.

    • hostage, given that zionist israel insists that it speaks for all jews, might it not be said that zionism is a hijacking of judaism? as for jewish ideology, what percentage of jews do you think have more than a cursory familiarity with those bronze age writings and their various appendages? yet somehow the thoughts of mostly unknown authors are supposed to be influencing the large number if secular jews?

      I self-identify as a secular Jew, because I am a person of Jewish descent. I can also recite the Torah, Talmud, and Rashi's Commentaries if the occasion arises, in much the same way that many English speakers can unselfconsciously recite biblical references from the works of Shakespeare or employ Jewish idioms from the King James or other vernacular version of the Bible. The premise of many Jewish studies programs is that Jewish literature, religion, and philosophy are integral parts of Western culture. So, I'd guess that most Jews have heard about those brozne age writers and some of their ideas.

    • Then there are those (like Herzl) who were not raised in Jewish tradition at all, but in other traditions and cultures.

      Herzl attended a Jewish elementary school and took classes in Judaism at his secondary school. He and his parents also attended a modern synagogue. link to

      His grandfather was an orthodox rabbi, who advocated the establishment of Jewish colonies in Palestine:

      Theodor Herzl’s grandfather, Simon Loeb Herzl, was a fervent disciple of Rabbi Judah Alkalai (1798-1878) who, for most of his life, had been a preacher in Semlin, near Belgrade. This Rabbi astounded his congregants when, among other pronouncements, he published a textbook declaring that establishing Jewish colonies and a Jewish State in the Holy Land was the necessary prelude to the Redemption of Israel and to the Restoration of the Temple of Jerusalem for the coming of Messiah. Thus, this Sephardic Rabbi Judah Alkalai, along with, for instance, the Ashkenazi Rabbi Zvi Kalischer of Prussia were representatives of a very tiny minority of European and American Rabbis who supported the religious concept of the Jewish people returning progressively to Palestine in order to recreate Israel and to restore the Temple.

      However the vast majority of Rabbis (and religious Jews) opposed violently this view and were divided (to simplify matters with modern vocabulary) between “Reform Jews” and “Orthodox Jews”

      link to

    • Honestly, I can't understand why so many here are obsessed with defending him as if he were some helpless animal. If his writings stand on their own, there should be no problem.

      I wonder why so many otherwise intelligent people are being so blithe about applying the label of racism and antisemitism to Atzmon and Zero books in the midst of a promotional tour without providing any real citations, quotes, or examples to substantiate those claims?

      It may be intended as sarcasm, but there is a kernel of truth to the label "anti-Atzmon Defamation League", since the signatories are engaging in defamation and libel per se. Allegations that are injurious to a person in their trade, business, or profession are actionable and damages may be presumed unless they're rebutted. You really can't hide behind the shield of a screen name in order to make libelous comments either.

      The constant references to “Jewish Marxism” (whatever that is) are rather strange, as if “Marxism” could not exist without Judaism, which is totally absurd. Marx wrote about it, yes, but that doesn’t mean that “Jewishness” is a defining and necessary characteristic of Marxist thought.

      Israel has a Communist party, but the conflicts between Marxism and Jewish nationalism were reconciled and rationalized away using elements of Judaism by its Socialist party. That ideological work was done by the Jewish Marxists of Poale Zion, like Ber Borochov, Nahum Syrkin, et al. There wouldn't have been a "Jewish state" without the Labor Socialist movement that ran the Jewish Agency during the Mandate era and governed Israel until the 1970s. Their propaganda and political platforms made extensive use of references to Judaism, Jewish history, and the concept of messianism. Their ends were set forth as the in-gathering of the so-called exiles, restoring the Jewish nation and reviving the Jewish state and its independence "which had been destroyed, supposedly forever, at the time of Bar Kochba and Rabbi Akiva." None of that had anything to do with Karl Marx. See for example Ben Gurion's address when introducing the Law of Return and Nationality Law in Netanel Lorch (ed), Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981, Volume 2, JCPA/University Press of America, 1993, pp 611 - 613.
      link to

    • we have a political problem on our hands. Mearsheimer is a very important voice and it would be sad to see him discredited.

      I think Mearsheimer stopped loosing sleep over the opinions of the publishers and editors of Commentary magazine long before he and Walt published their first article on The Lobby in the London Review of Books.

      Mearsheimer runs the international studies center for the University of Chicago. He isn't an anti-establishment figure like many of the signatories of these letters. So he doesn't need endorsements from Abunimah, Barghouti, Massad, et al. None of those people are considered heavy weights in the academic or professional political science or foreign relations community.

    • o’k', uniquely evil is implied in his rebuttal of the abuminah letter (see pixel’s comment, 12:01 am) – Atzmon’s “Zionism does not fit the colonial model”

      He stated that the reason it didn't fit the colonial model was because the Zionist project wasn't launched from a Jewish mother country. That objection obviously is not aimed at the subsequent events surrounding the establishment of illegal settlements beyond the Green Line.

      what is it other than some unique evil. and since, according to him, zionism = judaism, and since he believes all jews (whether we know it or not) are zionists), it follows that he believes jews are uniquely evil.

      Wow an entire string of implausible straw men. Saying that Zionism is a continuation of Jewish ideology is not really saying that zionism = judaism. In the final analysis Weizmann, Ben Gurion, and Jabotinsky weren't interested in practicing Judaism. They could have done that in Poland or Russia.

      In any event, please name all of the modern political movements that have taken over a territory and dispossessed the lawful inhabitants - with the cooperation and assistance of the international community of states - based upon a dubious 3,000 year old religious claim or "historical connection" to the land.

    • If someone thinks Atzmon’s comments are acceptable, then that person has no standing to condemn Islamophobia.

      I think that we can discuss the state of the existing laws on Holocaust denial or the Armenian and other genocides without endorsing the idea that remembrance or memory laws serve exactly the same purpose as laws prohibiting forms of incitement to discrimination, like Islamophobia or Anti-Semetism.

      Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulates that every individual has the right to be free not only from discrimination on grounds of race, religion and national origins, but also from incitement to such discrimination. That doesn't mean that opinions about historical facts can be penalized or that everyone has to abandon studies or discussions on comparative religion. Articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights doesn't permit the prohibition of an individual's right to hold an opinion on the grounds that it is erroneous or an incorrect interpretation of past events. link to
      *See for example paragraph 19 of the observations on Hungary's memory laws and "The Law of Holocaust Denial in Europe: Towards a (qualified) EU-wide Criminal Prohibition"

      In a more recent example, the French Constitutional Council declared legislation that criminalized denial of genocide - as recognized by a law- is inherently unconstitutional. So far, only the French version of the decision has been posted but Translate gives a very good rendering of the body of the opinion:
      I've previously commented on legal developments in the UN committees in that area, e.g. link to

      Adam and Phil have a perfect right to avoid discussions on all of these topics, since Jewish organizations in other countries have asked their courts to block websites using various incitement and memory laws.

    • “to what extent has Jewish identity politics contributed to the disaster?” . . . yt – but if the immediacy of the moral argument against the settler state doesn’t suffice to sway the public, how will going into identity politics do the job?

      How exactly have you managed to avoid the issue in your encounters with the people of StandWithUs, campus Hillel societies, Jewish studies departments, the political parties, and our government when they negate Jewish universalism and promote the cultural and historical necessity of Jewish ghettoism in Israel?

      See the comments of Profs Ilan Pappe and Marc Ellis on David Landy, "Jewish Identity and Palestinian Rights: Diaspora Jewish Opposition to Israel" link to

    • Gurvitz is talking about religious nationalists who have latched onto racist and nationalistic elements in Jewish tradition. He is not talking about “anti-Zionist Zionists”, “Jewish ideology”, “Jewish Marxists” or Jews becoming “ordinary human beings like the rest of us”. He does not confound Judaism and Zionism, and does not equate “Jewishness” with the worst elements in Jewish tradition.

      Gurvitz statement that "They took the hatred of mankind which had persisted in Judaism for millennia and gave it voice and force" is exactly what Atzmon is railing against in what I've read and it cannot be reconciled with this position statement: "We reaffirm that there is no room in this historic and foundational analysis of our struggle for any attacks on our Jewish allies, Jews, or Judaism; nor denying the Holocaust; nor allying in any way shape or form with any conspiracy theories, far-right, orientalist, and racist arguments, associations and entities."

      I don't even see how some of the writings of Joseph Massad about the march of civilization and Western culture can be reconciled with that statement. For example, he has described the women's rights movement as "colonial feminism" and suggested that promotion of gay rights in the Middle East is a "missionary" conspiracy led by western orientalists and colonialists which “produces homosexuals, as well as gays and lesbians, where they do not exist”.
      link to
      link to

    • Hardly anyone here on the anti-Zionist side would have any trouble seeing what is wrong with what Atzmon says if one just altered it a little bit and made it about Muslims.

      He is merely addressing typical claims made by Jewish commenters right here at Mondoweiss. So I don't see anything inherently antisemitic about him mentioning them. I can show you links to discussions with Jews who claimed that Zionist-nationalism has always been an integral part of Judaism; that the three oaths are no longer relevant now that the state of Israel has been established; and that the religious beliefs of non-Zionist Jews regarding the allegorical return and the world to come are "repellent and discredited" and helped bring about the Holocaust, e.g. see a few of my responses here:

      There have been several articles about Netanyahu's gift of the Book of Esther to President Obama and the history of Jewish violence associated with the religious holiday of Purim. The interview with Yossi Gurvitz would certainly not pass muster under the criteria published in the letters above. They attempt to place criticism of Jewish religion and culture beyond the pale. Gurvitz said Zionism is irrelevant or dead and that religion is a more important factor:

      You have to understand what the religious right means when they say of leftists, the multitude, they are the erav rav. This means the ones who left Egypt, the mixed multitude. It is a concept in Kabbalah-- the Amalekite Jew. A Jew who isn’t really a Jew. He looks like a Jew, thinks he’s a Jew, but he's an enemy of God. It’s been used in the Knesset, the word erav rav.

      If you think this Judaism is the wisdom of Israel, it’s not. This is the Judaism forced underground by the Christian regimes, censored time and again. It’s coming to the surface. Just about everyone knows this code here.
      These Jews ... took the elements of the religion that were nationalistic and have been slumbering for 100s of years and awakened it. They took the hatred of mankind which had persisted in Judaism for millennia and gave it voice and force.
      But once Israel was created, many Jews saw it as the end of the three oaths, the Shloshet Ha'Shvuot. Two of these oaths enjoin the Jews not to mass-emigrate to Eretz Yisrael and not to provoke the gentiles.
      Now Israel has the right to use force, and every demon that was pushed into the basement is up and has an M16.

      Expressing solidarity with the Palestinians in pursuit of equal human rights doesn't mean that we have to give the unenlightened religious beliefs and cultural views held by extremists factions, like Hamas, a free pass either.

    • 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

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