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  • Even Fayyad forecasts struggle for equal voting rights in I/P
  • Muammar Gaddafi captured and killed in Sirte
    • He’s an example of courage, not pride. He could have fled, whatever his opinion of himself.

      Gaddafi may look to the example of Charles Taylor, who was also promised a ‘get out of jail free’ card in exchange for leaving power. The peace deal that ended the conflict in Liberia included a promise that Taylor could live in exile in Nigeria. But states reneged on the deal. Gaddafi may be mad but he’s not stupid.

    • I think that the notion of a trial in the Hague as panacea or catharsis for the victims is false in many cases and can be absolutely harmful by prolonging the problem.

      Even when the Security Council refers situations to the ICC, its jurisdiction remains "complimentary" to the national courts of the country concerned. So the Libyan NTC would have the opportunity to put individuals on trial and preempt the ICC from taking any action. The Court can still initiate prosecutions in cases where the national courts are used to shield individuals from criminal responsibility.

    • Does this make what was done to Qaddafi good? I mean I see a lot of deflection, does that mean you guys approve of his execution?

      The National Transitional Council has claimed to be the legitimate government of a High Contracting Party to the Geneva Conventions. I've cited the prohibition against extrajudicial killings in Common Article 3 on non-international armed conflicts often enough that you shouldn't have to ask.

      Anyone can see from the video that he was abused after he was captured and "hors de combat". The news reports that I've seen so far are inconclusive as to whether he was executed or succumbed to his wounds. FYI, UN Security Council resolution 1970 required all of the Libyan authorities to act with the utmost restraint, respect human rights and international humanitarian law. The referral of the situation in Libya to the ICC applied to all crimes committed by Libyans, not just Qaddafi's forces.

    • 120 countries sponsored the recent Security Council resolution that declared the settlements illegal.

      Correction. A check of the verbatim Security Council record reveals that it was actually 122 countries.

    • Which country will be the first to say this out loud in the public space?

      120 countries sponsored the recent Security Council resolution that declared the settlements illegal. All 14 of the other members of the Council voted in favor, but the US vetoed the measure on January 18th, 2011. Afterward, the Representative of Great Britain publicly stated that the settlements were illegal. US Ambassador Rice offered the non-explanation that the US had not used the term illegal since 1980 and that the settlements are illegitimate (i.e. Websters Definition of "illegitimate": "not sanctioned by law : illegal"). Go figure.

  • Gary Ackerman blasts NYU divestment campaign, NYU students and faculty blast back
    • Perhaps Ford, GM and Chrysler should be held accountable if their cars are used for drive-by shootings, or bank heists? Maybe Dell and Apple should be punished too for their products use in activities with which the professors disapprove?

      This sort of studied ignorance deliberately misses the point. Ford, GM and Chrysler were named as defendants in the South African Apartheid Litigation and volumes have been written about "Ford, General Motors, and Forced Labor in Germany during the Second World War". See the filings in the Apartheid Litigation case at the the Hague Justice Portal and Reinhold Billstein, Karola Fings, and Anita Kugler, "Working For The Enemy, Berghahn Books, 2000.

      It's pretty obvious Dell and Apple Computer aren't located in nearby Armonk, New York. Ackerman doesn't mention IBM, but it has been the target of a number of class action lawsuits filed on behalf of Jewish and Gypsy Holocaust survivors, e.g.

    • As the boycott campaign employs such imprecise criteria, it amounts to collective punishment, in the name of opposing collective punishment.

      Not at all. The campaign employs common law criteria that holds Israel and all third parties responsible for the consequences of their voluntary actions no matter how unintended or unforeseen. The principle dates back to the Torah and there is a quaint old Jewish tradition of treating the law as the law.

      A famous Jewish jurist, Roslyn Cohen Higgins, advised that "A binding determination made by a competent organ of the United Nations to the effect that a situation is illegal cannot remain without consequence." She said "That an illegal situation is not to be recognized or assisted by third parties is self-evident . . . Although in the present case it is the Court, rather than a United Nations organ . . . that has found the illegality; and although it is found in the context of an advisory opinion rather than in a contentious case, the Court's position as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations suggests that the legal consequence for a finding that an act or situation is illegal is the same [for third party enablers like Motorola Systems, Caterpillar, Northrop Grumman, Elbit, and Veolia]. -- See Her Opinion in Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

  • More creeping halacha
  • Endangered Palestinian village gets int'l media attention-- except from the U.S.
    • This looks like an important law for torture victims but not a clear path to assure the village its right to exist.

      No, the FSIA immunity ruling was that: foreign states enjoy immunity, but that foreign officials do not enjoy immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act. Here is the decision. The part on FSIA is in the first few paragraphs:

      That should open the door to more suits against individual Israeli officials for any sort of violation of customary international law or treaty under the Alien Tort Statute 28 U.S.C. § 1350

    • What steps can we take, right now, to assure Al Aqaba Village their right to exist?

      I think in the short term, the brightest prospect is that Palestine will become a UN observer state and formally become a state party to major multilateral treaties. Recognition by the executive branch would not be automatic, but an unrecognized state is not a legal nullity. Some of the provisions of those treaties are enforceable in our courts, e.g. Common Article 3 and Title 18, § 2441. War crimes + Title 28, § 1361. Action to compel an officer of the United States to perform his duty. The Congress may repeal a treaty, but it can't really sanction the courts for enforcing one while it remains in force.

      You've mentioned one of the Lehy Acts, but it is only applicable to discretionary spending. Lehy also sponsored the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) which was one of the bases of Samantar v. Yousuf, 130 S.Ct. 2278 (2010). I think the FSIA immunity ruling in that case opened the door to successful suits against Israeli officials under the other statutes that provide an Alien's action for tort. All of the major Jewish groups filed unpersuasive amicus briefs on behalf of Samantar. So they obviously think it opens their favorite officials to liability too. You can read about the case here:

    • I hope that the real take away message is that genocide used to be the only way to prosecute crimes committed in a peace time context. The real watershed was the ability, after 1993, to prosecute crimes against humanity without establishing a direct connection to an armed conflict. There really is no difference between a life sentence for genocide or a life sentence for the corresponding crimes against humanity.

      Israel is rather infamous for picking and choosing the laws of war that it applies and for deliberately conflating jus ad bellum and jus in bello, while ignoring jus contra bellum entirely. So elimination of the nexus to armed conflict was a very important step in prohibiting crimes against humanity at all times and places. We obviously aren't quite there yet, since the ICC statute requires that the victim be a "state" to have locus standi to file a complaint. Many people don't live in places that are recognized as states, e.g. Falkland Islands, Chagos Islands, & etc. Does that mean a state is free to commit crimes against them that would otherwise be prohibited? In Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua the ICJ ruled that the victim of aggression was in the best position to determine if there was reason to believe a crime had occurred, not the Security Council. The amendment to the Rome Statute recognizes that fact. It does not require a determination from the Security Council.

    • Hostage . . .we would all be interested in your opinion on the Genocide Convention where it deals with “intent”, “motivation”,”patterns” and ‘results” in establishing prosecution for genocide.

      That's a lot of territory to cover in a comment. Motivation: Genocide and Apartheid result in criminal liability regardless of the motive involved. The old reliable excuses of "national security", "self-defense", & etc. are not a valid defense against prosecution.

      The preamble of the original draft of the Genocide Convention submitted by the Secretary General alluded to the difficulty of proving intent in most cases, but didn't mention it in the operative subsections. The proposal to include "intent to destroy" in the definition of the crime came from the United States. It obviously made prosecution much more difficult, but that really doesn't matter as much these days.

      In the period between the Nuremberg and Yugoslavian Tribunals, it was impossible to prosecute crimes against humanity unless there was a nexus to an armed conflict. That wasn't the case with the crime of genocide. Today a prosecutor can obtain the same results (a life sentence) for crimes against humanity: murder, extermination, and persecution; or genocide. No connection to an armed conflict is required. So intent is not a get out of jail free card.

      In addition, the Courts have developed tests for intent which facilitate prosecution for genocide. Intent can be inferred based upon common sense patterns of behavior and the results.

      I could go on and on until your eyes glaze over with the if, ands, buts, and maybes, but that's a simplified overview.

    • i knew genocide scholars were divided over the definition of genocide but i did not know this division was specifically or primarily tied to support for israel.

      Lemkin and many other experts viewed population transfers and settler-colonialism conducted under a military occupation regime as inherently genocidal. Some of them, like Dr Ralph Bunche, are hidden in plain sight (more below). Lemkin wrote about the subject in "6. The Problem of Colonists", in "Axis rule in occupied Europe", 1944, Carnegie Endowment, page 45. See also John Docker, Raphael Lemkin’s History of Genocide and Colonialism, Paper for United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Washington DC, 26 February 2004; and John Docker and Ned Curthoys, The Gaza massacre, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 9 January 2009.

      In the late 1940s, all of the "Great Powers" were colonizers. They were unwilling to declare their recent state practices illegal in a Genocide Convention. A few decades later there were more than enough newly-minted non-aligned states to forge ahead and adopt the UN resolutions which formally outlawed the practice of colonialism. In 1977 the Geneva Diplomatic Conference adopted Article 85 of the 1st Additional Protocol which designated the related practices of colonialism and apartheid grave breaches and war crimes.

      There really isn't a practical dispute in the legal community, since causing mental harm to members of the group; prevention of births; and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group do not entail the physical destruction of the targeted members of the group. All of those are nonetheless listed as constituent acts of the crime in the Genocide Convention. Various international courts have ruled that rape and other acts that destroy group cohesion, can constitute genocide even in cases where they don't result in the physical destruction of the targeted group members. See Jorgic v. Germany and The ICTR Prosecutor v. Jean‑Paul Akayesu starting on pdf page 8

      Many people are acquainted with Dr. Ralph Bunche's work as a member of the UN Secretariat staff for the UNSCOP; as Director of the United Nations Trusteeship Office staff tasked with responsibility for implementing the Corpus Separatum; or as the UN Mediator for the Question of Palestine. Most people are unaware of his lifelong role in combating colonialism. His doctoral thesis at Harvard, French Administration in Togoland and Dahomey (1934), was devoted to the subject of the application of the League of Nations system of mandates. His post-doctoral study in anthropology was done:

      "with the world's most eminent anthropologists -- Melville Herskovits at Northwestern University, Bronsilaw Manilowski in London and Isaac Schapera in Cape Town, South Africa -- together with research field trips in West Africa, East Africa, South Africa and Southeast Asia gave him first-hand knowledge and experience in the problems of colonialism in Africa and elsewhere in the world.

      Bunche was instrumental in developing and proposing the system of UN trusteeships to eliminate the abuses and colonialism that were pervasive under the mandates. In 1936 he wrote:

      The contemporary world, torn with hatred and fear, restive and confused, bordering on political, economic and moral chaos, presents an awesome picture to those disadvantaged and minority groups whose lot has so long been one of oppression and exploitation. There is more than ample evidence that the great nations of the world, discarding even the subtleties of diplomacy, are rushing pell mell to embrace unblushingly the old doctrine that only force will prevail in the world—that only the strong and the privileged have the right to freedom and a decent existence. This is easily understood when it is considered that these nations are relentlessly forced into conflicts and wars by their greedy, profit-motivated economic systems which must feed upon new markets for goods and capital, new reservoirs of raw materials and human labor to exploit.
      The doctrine of Fascism, with its extreme jingoism, its exaggerated exaltation of the state and its comic-opera glorification of race, has given a new and greater impetus to the policy of world imperialism which has already conquered and subjected to systematic and ruthless exploitation virtually all of the darker populations of the earth. -- Ralph J. Bunche, French and British Imperialism in West Africa, The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 21, No. 1 (Jan., 1936), pp. 31-46

    • For gawds sake…call it what it is!

      Some of us are consciously or unconsciously doing that very thing when we discuss the crime of apartheid. The portion of the Genocide Convention that you cited appears verbatim in Article 2 of the Apartheid Convention.

      The preamble of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid explains that, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide contains certain acts which may also be qualified as acts of apartheid and constitute a crime under that denomination in international law. Those acts of Genocide/Apartheid were explicitly and implicitly cited in the written submissions of the Secretary-General and the interested state parties in the 2004 ICJ Wall Case. For example:

      "The construction of the wall and the resulting situation correspond to a number of the constituent acts of the crime of apartheid, as enumerated in Article 2 of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, adopted by the General Assembly on 30 November 1973: that is to say, the denial of the liberty and dignity of a group, the deliberate imposition on a group of living conditions calculated to cause its physical destruction in whole or in part, measures calculated to deprive a group of the right to work, the right to education and the right to freedom of movement and residence, the creation of ghettos, the expropriation of property, etc. Such actions constitute measures of collective punishment." -- See Written Statement of Lebanon

      The close association of military occupation and settler colonialism with displacement, eviction, apartheid and genocide are reflected in the subject matter of the UN Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity:

      Crimes against humanity whether committed in time of war or in time of peace as they are defined in the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Nürnberg, of 8 August 1945 and confirmed by resolutions 3 (I) of 13 February 1946 and 95 ((I) of 11 December 1946 of the General Assembly of the United Nations, eviction by armed attack or occupation and inhuman acts resulting from the policy of apartheid, and the crime of genocide as defined in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, even if such acts do not constitute a violation of the domestic law of the country in which they were committed.

  • Finkelstein thinks shift in young Jewish opinion means there will be 2 (viable) states. Mearsheimer doesn't
    • Hostage ~ given Israel declared it’s borders in 1948 and 1949 to be those specified in UN181, why didn’t the UN also acknowledge this in UN242?

      So far, the hold-up has been the terms of the armistice. The armistice agreements were concluded pursuant to Security Council resolution 62 (16 November 1948), which was adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter as a provisional measure under Article 40. They established a provisional border which is unchallengeable until a new process of negotiation and agreement has been successfully consummated. Under the terms of the agreements, establishing a permanent boundary and resolving territorial claims falls within the "exclusive competence" of the state parties.

      If I were you, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for either the Israeli or the Palestinian side to make any cessions of territory. The talk about rationalizing the border or agreed swaps is just that, talk.

    • I find it frankly odd that you, an intelligent person, would refer ONLY to 1948 conditions as currently binding.

      There is a fundamental principle of international and civil legal systems: Pacta sunt servanda, i.e. agreements must be kept. In most civilized legal systems it is recognized that legal rights may only be exercised conditioned upon compliance with legal duties.

      In any event, I was responding to your rationalizations about the rights of a theoretical Jewish majority. I cited publicly available information from 1947 and from 2005 (the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics) to illustrate that the Jews have never constituted a democratic majority in the region. If you'd like to review the archives you'll find that I've cited a plethora of modern-day conventions and UN resolutions that are also legally binding. They all point in the same direction and identify the same underlying problem. Israel does not believe that agreements must be kept.

      FYI, the ICJ also cited these old 1947 resolutions. The majority opinion said they are still relevant and the source of permanent UN responsibility for Palestine.

      Otherwise you open up the possibility of validity of the exagerated right-wing Israeli assertion that the San Remo agreement affirms Jewish rights to all of mandate Palestine.

      Anyone can verify that the text of the San Remo resolution says no such thing.

      The resolution put Great Britain itself in charge of implementing its own Balfour Declaration and drafting the terms of the mandate. But it contained an undertaking in addition to the Balfour safeguarding clause that the mandate would not involve the surrender of any of the rights hitherto enjoyed by the non-Jewish communities in Palestine. That obviously included the right to enjoy quiet possession of their homes, villages, and agricultural lands.

      The travaux préparatoires of the British Foreign Office Committee that was tasked with drafting the Mandate said it did not form the basis for any Jewish claim:

      "It was agreed that they had no claim, whatever might be done for them on sentimental grounds; further that all that was necessary was to make room for Zionists in Palestine, not that they should turn "it", that is the whole country, into their home.

      -- See PRO FO 371/5245, cited in Doreen Ingrams, Palestine Papers 1917-1922: Seeds of Conflict, George Brazziler, 1972, pages 99-100

    • (btw. International UN decided , in 1947, oficially kick Palestinians out fo their land ,and create Israel,so thank you Cesar).

      The partition proposal was suggested as a peaceful alternative at a time when preparations for a civil war were well underway. The UN didn't propose to kick any Palestinians out of their land. In fact the UN insisted upon Israel accepting a minority protection plan after the fact with the specific intention of guaranteeing the rights of anyone who had been displaced or deported.

      The UN didn't do anything other than refer the situation in Libya to the ICC and prohibit NATO from sending in ground forces. In any event, NATO is not an organ of the UN or the international criminal judiciary.

    • I had no idea that this higher power was part of the whole Israeli thing. This is so Old Testament.

      Christians aside, Jewish believers feel the same way. Arno Penzias won a Nobel prize for his work in discovering the residual background radiation from the Big Bang. He was also a Vice President and Chief Scientist at Bell Laboratories. He found nothing in his discovery that was inconsistent with the teachings of Maimonides that the universe was suddenly created out of nothing and the Kabbalistic belief that it happened about 15 billion years ago.

    • Give me examples of the real, practical execution of statements concerning Palestine that were issued by ICC, ICJ. I know, a lot was written on the “Very Importanat, International Paper”.

      Well for starters Wikileaks revealed that the Government of Israel considers the Palestinian complaint with the ICC "an act of war" and asked the United States for help in getting it quashed.

      The Summary legal position of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the 2004 Wall Case was that:

      violation of Palestinian rights, including facilitating the entry into and residency of Israeli civilians in the Closed Area while restricting Palestinian access to and residency in that Area, are causing long-term, permanent harm, including the transfer of Palestinians, contrary to the Fourth Geneva Convention and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
      • Because these Israeli measures are neither necessary nor proportionate, they give rise to criminal liability by the Government of Israel for violations of human rights and some prima facie grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

      See the Annex II of the Report of the Secretary-General prepared pursuant to General Assembly resolution ES-10/13, A/ES-10/248
      24 November 2003.

      The ICJ findings of fact confirmed the violations contained in the Palestinians written and oral submissions. The ICC is a new organization that only started prosecuting its fist case in 2005. In 2009 the Palestinian Authority filed a complaint with the ICC regarding Operation Cast Lead and other crimes against humanity committed on the territory of Palestine since 2002. The Arab League submitted an independent fact finding commission report that incorporated all of the findings from to 2004 ICJ Advisory Opinion regarding violations of human rights and grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

      The Palestinian Authority is currently in the process of resolving a dispute through the UN regarding its ability as an independent state under military occupation to bring criminal charges against Israeli officials in the ICC or to pursue contentious cases in the ICJ and other courts.

    • Finkelstein , naively, still believes in the “Power of International Law” ,even though this Law is nothing more than a statement written on the paper. There has been NO “executive ” power behind it.

      You might want to tell that to all of the individuals that have stood trial in the ICC, ICTY, ICTR, SCSL, & etc. It appears that a lot of them are sitting in jail for no good reason.

    • In ALL cases, where a proposed remedy to a prior wrong results in the prospective disenfranchisement of a clear majority, there is a tension (fundamental) between current democracy and “should have been” democracy.

      Richard it is a matter of public record that the number of Palestinians living in the region have always exceeded the number of Jews living there. So, it is a case of "current" and "should have been" democracy unjustly denied. At the end of 2005, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reported that 9.53 million of the 10.1 million Palestinians worldwide lived in Israel, the Occupied Territories, Jordan, or other neighboring Arab countries. Where is your Jewish majority? You need to supply a map with some borders before you talk about clear majorities and current democracy. Israel doesn't have borders yet. The ones it claims under its Basic Law Jereusalem & etc. constitute flagrant violations of international law.

      US Secretary of State Lansing specifically asked Chaim Weizmann if the correct meaning of the words "Jewish National Home" mean an autonomous Jewish Government? Weizmann answered that they did not. However Weizmann said:

      Later on, when the Jews formed the large majority, they would be ripe to establish such a Government as would answer to the state of the development of the country and to their ideals.

      The Palestinians outnumbered the Jews of Palestine by a factor of two to one. The UNSCOP cited a British mandatory government population survey which indicated:

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

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

    • Your reply was utterly skew to the question of single-state vs two-state.

      No, it was not. You Zionists always try to kick the can down the road on the issue of the inherent rights of indigenous peoples of the region. You aren't just violating Palestinian rights, you are also violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the neighboring states where the refugees have been exiled for the last 60 years. Repatriation of the refugees who are willing to return is really not negotiable. The Arab Peace Initiative can't be interpreted as if it proposes a flagrant violation of international law. It implicitly offers the absorption of any refugees who do not wish to exercise their right of return, but only if Israel agrees to repatriate the others and withdraws from the territories occupied in 1967 under the concept of land for peace. The one state solution would avoid many of the legal obstacles.

      FYI, in order for communication to take place there has to be a 1) a sender; 2) a receiver; and 3) a shared set of symbols which can be used to transmit a message. Sometimes the symbols, e.g. words spoken in a foreign language, don't have any shared meaning and communication can not take place. Zionists, like yourself, don't seem to grasp the meaning of words like "No", "inadmissibility", and "illegality":

      On 22 November 1967, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 242 (1967), which emphasized the inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war and called for the "Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict", and "Termination of all claims or states of belligerency".
      On 24 October 1973, the General Assembly adopted resolution 2625 (XXV), entitled “Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States”, in which it emphasized that “No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.” As the Court stated in its Judgment in the case concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America), the principles as to the use of force incorporated in the Charter reflect customary international law (see I. C. J. Reports 1986, pp. 98-101, paras. 187- 190); the same is true of its corollary entailing the illegality of territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force.

      The words "agreed" and "negotiations" do not appear to have the standard meaning in the context of a process where the United States and Israel rule-out any possibility of returning to the 1967 borders before the parties have even discussed the issue of territorial swaps.

    • By “ROR” I assume you mean a right for Palestinian refugees living outside Palestine to return to Palestine.

      Yes I mean RoR for all of the inhabitants of mandate Palestine. The rights of the Palestinian people in the proposed Jewish and Arab states were placed under UN guarantee. The General Assembly took action in keeping with that guarantee in resolution 194(III) to prevent Israel from deliberately making its Arab inhabitants stateless and penniless.

      The UN explains that statelessness occurs for a variety of reasons including discrimination against minority groups in nationality legislation, failure to include all residents in the body of citizens when a state becomes independent (state succession) and conflicts of laws between states. Israel has deliberately exploited all three of those factors as part of a policy that amounts to a system of Grand Apartheid.

    • You repeat the “should have been” version of what democracy is.

      You have repeated the platitude that democracy can be used to excuse illegal conduct in the past and in the present. So I'll repeat the explanation why that simply isn't true:

      Neither the Road Map nor the Mitchell report conditioned the cessation of illegal colonization on negotiations. The Mitchell report requirement for Israel to cease settlement activity was based upon its illegality under the terms of the Geneva Convention – and an existing mandate from the Security Council “requiring the Israeli withdrawal from Arab territory acquired by force and the subsequent termination of all states of belligerency”.

      The Restatement (Third) of The Foreign Relations Law of the United States §202(2) says that “A state has an obligation not to recognize or treat as a state an entity that has attained the qualifications for statehood as a result of a threat or use of armed force in violation of the United Nations Charter.”
      States do not have an inherent right to exist. One of the things that the International Law Commission decided during its very first session was that there is an essential difference between recognition of the existence of a State, which is a question of fact, and the attribution to any State of “the right of existence” which is a legal matter. A conditional right to exist does not imply that a state is entitled to commit, or is justified in committing unjust acts towards others. A State’s right of existence might end because its population wished to divide the State into further States or because a State was established on the territory of an existing State without the consent of its population. The right of a state to exist cannot be defended by illegal means. See the many discussions on the Rights and Duties of States in Volume 1 of the Yearbook of the International Law Commission (1949), and especially the remarks on pdf page 85. The subject of self-determination of people was subsequently dealt with in the General Assembly Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. It established several methods for peoples to exercise their right to self-determination that do not include establishing a new state or secession from an existing one by force.

      Israel has asserted a number of specific territorial claims and refuses to permit Palestinian refugees to return to the ‘Jewish homeland’. So, the ‘Jewish State’ does not “exist” irrespective of its territory. President Abbas explained, “An independent Palestinian state is a truth recognized by the world, and we are now leading a battle to have its border recognized.” Israel is demanding that the Palestinians accept and recognize territorial and human rights situations that the UN Security Council, General Assembly, and ICJ have determined to be illegal and a violation of the UN Charter, such as the annexation of East Jerusalem and the displacement of Palestinians as a result of the construction of the wall. That is something they cannot do in accordance with the Geneva Convention and Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. A single state solution with RoR avoids all of these legal problems.

    • The two-state approach is the only feasible one that affirms consent of the governed.

      Hogwash. Every one of the Zionists in the First and Second Aliyas chose to immigrate to Ottoman Asia. The only prospect they had was to either become Ottoman subjects or to become protégés of one of the many foreign consulates. Neither of those options entitled them to any say in how they were governed. The Zionist immigrants during the mandate era chose to immigrate to a single mandated state of Palestine where they could only apply for Palestinian citizenship. If they wanted a job in the government, they soon learned that the government did not include the Jewish Agency.

      You do know that you are articulating a uniquely anti-democratic assertion, one that would deny self-governance to 6 million.

      That's more of the same nonsense. The first yearbook of the International Law Commission contains the deliberations on the rights and duties of states. The Commission concluded that the right to self-determination does not extend to establishing a new state in a territory inhabited by other peoples without first obtaining their consent. You only raise this unheard of right to invade and self-govern to safeguard the interests of illegal settlers.

      BTW, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the total number of Palestinians throughout the world in 1998 was 8,041,569. When did the six million in Israel give a second thought to denying all of those people self-governance? In 1948-49 Israel refused to negotiate with any representatives of the Palestinian people at the Rhodes and Lausanne Conferences. Ben Gurion told the Palestine Conciliation Committee that Arab Palestine could only be recognized through the device of a federal union with Transjordan. After the 1967 war, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 242. It directed the parties to drop all of their belligerent claims. Israel nonetheless invented several new claims, including among other things the assertion that the government of Jordan and its members of Parliament from Palestine had never exercised "sovereignty" over the West Bank. Israel used that as an excuse to illegally colonize the occupied territories in the same fashion that you deploy self-governance to exercise first right of refusal to any Palestinian governance at all. You can have self-governance today, but Palestinians can only have it through negotiations with Israel.

    • I don’t know what makes a kibbutz “traditional”

      Communal child rearing in separate quarters, called the Children's house. The parents were somewhat detached and uninvolved in the whole process.

    • I didn’t mean anything offensive by it Hostage, I was just curious.

      That's okay. FYI, I would never have considered joining a traditional kibbutz. I don't think it's sensible or healthy to let the "Jewish community" takeover responsibility for the upbringing of children.

    • I don’t agree. The economics trump everything else. Blacks in Dixieland may have legal rights but the vast majority have no economic rights.

      That's something of a non-sequitur, since the last Universal Periodic Review of the United States recommend that it ratify without reservation a plethora of conventions and protocols concerning international human rights and international humanitarian rights, including those related to economic rights contained in the ICESCR. See the recommendations of the Working Group starting on .pdf page 13.

      Here is a link to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights:

    • Shalit is a dual national. He could have gone to France and studied for free in one of its universities. Instead he choose to stay in Israel and go to the IDF.

      I hear he's been kicking himself in the ass everyday for the last five years about that decision. Many of Israel's leaders have gone on record lately saying that he should have been declared dead. I'll bet that makes him feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

    • Where are the anti-Zionists organizations that parallel the Hillels?

      You don't need a bullshit organization that parallels Birthright to know that most of us just stay home and never visit Israel at all. Most of us don't join Hillel or any kind of Jewish fraternal organizations either, because its soooo passé.

    • Two-states has not been viable for a long, long time.

      The Allies destroyed the regional economy after WWI when they setup their mandated states. The United Nations recognized that the proposed rump Arab state would not be economically viable. Too much of the revenue producing Arab property was located in the proposed Jewish state. In many cases, the Arab villages were located in the proposed Arab state, while their agricultural lands were located in the proposed Jewish state. The UN General Assembly resolution was based on the premise of an economic union and compulsory redistribution of revenues from the Jewish state to the Arab state to support essential public services. The international community has been picking-up the tab for that since 1947 and they have done a miserable job.

      Two-staters are honestly part of the problem at this point, sorry to say.

      The number of states is completely irrelevant. The most pressing problem is the lack of equal human rights and discriminatory treatment under existing national laws.

    • “Secondly, Palestinians have never been given the option of binationalism. ”

      Neither have the Jews. But it’s not an idea with any support.

      Actually I've documented the fact that there were formal proposals for a bi-national federal union comprised of Arab and Jewish cantons with their own state constitutions. One of the proposals was based upon the US Constitution and the individual state constitutions. The right to self-determination was exercised by the Zionist Organization when it opted for integration and free association in a mandated state of Palestine together with many non-Jewish communities.

    • Would your children or grandchildren be caught dead in a synagogue Hostage?

      Certainly, and I've attended several myself (although I don't recommend it to anyone else). You can't honestly critique the various streams without studying their beliefs and practices and I prefer to do that on the basis of first hand information.

    • There are no anti-Zionist Jewish organizations that can come close in size to 1/10 of the Zionist organizations. . . .The numbers just don’t back up the assertion that there is change in the mindset of young Jews regarding Israel.

      The surveys about the loss of support among most younger Jews are correct. 70 percent of young Jews don't belong to either Hillel or a Jewish fraternity. My three children and 5 grandchildren wouldn't be caught dead in either a Zionist or Anti-Zionist organization. They think for themselves and are disgusted by what they've read and seen on the Internet about Israel and its treatment of other people, especially the indigenous ones.

      None of them are in favor of spending tax revenues on the maintenance or defense of a Jewish state.

  • 'Washington Post' headline: US must reevaluate aid to Israel
    • There is no other technology in the world like Iron Dome, damn right America is investing in it.

      Don't be naive. Anti-missile technology is not new. Using it on small conventional rockets is prohibitively expensive overkill. In any event, the US government isn't "investing" in it. It's just giving away US tax dollars in exchange for nothing and funding development of yet another system for Israelis to peddle commercially on the international arms market.

    • DBG, there have been unscheduled increases in the 2011 and 2012 budgets for anti-missile technology. For example, Ynet reported that according to an agreement between the US and Israel for the next 10 years, 2011 aid was slated to grow to $3 billion (from $2.77 billion) in addition to an extra $205 million for the development of the Iron Dome system.,7340,L-4055093,00.html

      The aid is scheduled to increase another $150 million in fiscal year 2013, and stay at that level until 2018. In that same time frame the Congress is putting the axe to trillions of dollars in US domestic and foreign aid programs.

  • Bill Kristol: 'We need to hear' that Obama has gone to war on Iran
    • nasty traditionalists do whatever it is nasty traditionalists do.

      They unfortunately end-up on the hilltops of Judea and Samaria or in Silwan claiming to be God's agents ushering-in a Messianic era. Nothing in their tradition allows for peaceful co-existence with gentile inhabitants of Eretz Israel who do not know God. Their animosity and continual provocations of the neighbors, coupled with the traditional Jewish sense of entitlement and victim-hood, inevitably lead to preemptive attacks against the gentiles and any Jewish co-conspirator/friends of the gentiles. There is ample evidence of that pattern of violence in the biblical injunction against Amalek, the tradition of Purim, Baruch Goldstein, and etc. See for example Sheikh Jarrah Jews praise Baruch Goldstein on Purim

      As for members of Peace Now, B'Tselem, Jewish Voice for Peace, & etc. They are considered traitors and pursuers. The Rabbis ruled: "If someone is coming to kill you, rise early and kill him first". See for example the Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 72a; Baba Kamma 117a; Berakoth 58a & etc.

    • So only the more traditional and observant Jews ask God to bury us alive, burn us up, kill all our firstborn, afflict us with plagues and boils, and so on.

      Some do, but even among traditional Jews opinion has always been divided between the "big tent" universalists (ala Amos 9) and the particularists.

    • Is this true? Do Jews really ask God to smite the rest of us?

      No, only some of the "observant" ones. You can read about that here:

    • It’s long since been time for the United States to speak to this regime in the language it understands—force.

      Doesn't Bill Kristol understand that he is perpetuating an ugly Jewish stereotype when he says that others in the Middle East only understand the use of force? It would be much more accurate to say that war is the only language spoken by Israel and the United States.

  • 'Commentary' smear of Occupy Wall St. doesn't bother to get basic facts right
    • In 2009, the magazine published a photomontage comparing the Gaza Strip to the Warsaw Ghetto. This sparked a legal dispute between the magazine and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, which reportedly owned the Warsaw photos used by Adbusters.

      There are no plans for a federally-supported living memorial on the national mall devoted to teaching us how to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity by showcasing the Native American and Philippine genocides or the Japanese civilian victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So, it comes as no surprise that you can't use Holocaust Museum photos to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity in Gaza.

  • Boycott update: Champion fencer Sara Besbes stands down rather than plays Israeli
    • A simple question, Hostage: did the Arab states vote for or against those resolutions?

      It doesn't matter how states vote on resolutions, Article 2(5) of the UN Charter contains a treaty obligation that requires members to give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the Charter once they are adopted. Israel was not created by an act of the United Nations, but it accepted the terms of resolution 181 and 194, after the fact, as a condition of membership in the UN. The Arab States also accepted the terms, after the fact, on the very same day. Do you care to explain why Israel refuses to implement resolution 194?

      The Security Council had refused to implement the plan of partition by force. It convened a second special session of the General Assembly and referred the question of Palestine back to that body. The Security Council called on the General Assembly to find another peaceful solution. For its part, the General Assembly suspended the implementation of the partition plan and appointed a UN Mediator to negotiate terms of reference acceptable to the parties involved. Israel refused to negotiate with the Palestinians directly and insisted that it would only negotiate with so-called sovereign states. Israel and all of the Arab states signed the Lausanne protocol and agreed to negotiate a just partition of the country. Ever since then, Israel has been dragging its feet and pursuing territorial aggrandizement and new settlements. The UN and Israel had to negotiate with Palestine after it declared its independence in 1988. Like the Israelis, the PLO also cited resolutions 181 and 194 as the basis of it own international legitimacy.

    • DBG, I love the way they bring up resolutions 181 and 194, which the Arab side rejected at the time. Sheer nonsense.

      Correction: The Arab side never rejected resolution 194. That resolution, together with resolution 181 are the basis of the Palestinian right of return and compensation for expropriated property. The very same day that the UN finally decided to recognize the legitimacy of the government of the State of Israel, all of the Arab states signed the Lausanne protocol and accepted the map annexed to the UN plan of partition as the basis of negotiations.

      In any event, resolution 181 stipulated that the rights contained in section C, chapters 1 & 2 are under UN guarantee and cannot be modified without the consent of the General Assembly. I provided you with citations to United Nations organs that keep bringing-up resolution 181 and 194. Here are some more:
      * UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/48/158D, 20 December 1993. para. 5(c) stipulated that the permanent status negotiations must guarantee "arrangements for peace and security of all States in the region, including those named in resolution 181(II) of 29 November 1947, within secure and internationally recognized boundaries."
      *UN General Assembly resolution ES-10/14, 12 December 2003 requested an advisory opinion and recalled "relevant General Assembly resolutions, including resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, which partitioned mandated Palestine into two States, one Arab and one Jewish"
      *The ICJ noted that the responsibility of the United Nations in this matter had its origin in the "Partition Resolution concerning Palestine. This responsibility has been described by the General Assembly as "a permanent responsibility towards the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects in a satisfactory manner in accordance with international legitimacy" (General Assembly resolution 57/107 of 3 December 2002).

      The only nonsense we've heard so far are discussions about unilateral expansion of Israel's recognized borders. For years the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has claimed the “non‐prejudice clause” in the 1949 Israel‐Jordan Armistice Agreement froze the parties’ rights and claims to the territory of the West Bank. The MFA claims that as long as this remained in force, no unilateral act could alter the rights of either party.

    • 181 wasn’t binding and wasn’t accepted by the Arabs.

      On June 20, 1962 the UN General Assembly adopted a decision to accept a UN commission's proposal to partition Ruanda-Urundi into two independent states, Rwanda and Burundi. I don't believe that anyone has ever suggested that decision was non-binding or can be revisited.

      FYI, the General Assembly acknowledged that both Israel and Palestine had made declarations in-line with their acceptance of resolution 181. See sections C and F of resolution 181 and resolutions 273/3; 43/177; and the discussion about the resolution 181(II) guarantees in Chapter “III The United Nations Charter and the treaties concluded after the war”, starting on page 22, in E/CN.4/367

      The declarations and explanations regarding Israel's acceptance were provided by the representative of Israel during the 48th and 51st meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on membership. They were noted in the text and footnote 5 of UN General Assembly resolution 273 (III) Admission of Israel to membership in the United Nations. See pages 2-3 of the .pdf A/AC.24/SR.48 and page 7 of the .pdf A/AC.24/SR.51

      The UN Charter does not mention resolutions or say that decisions on important questions or trusteeship, like those regarding the establishment of the Corpus Separatum, are non-binding after they have been adopted by a vote of 2/3rds of the General Assembly. In fact, the International Court of Justice ruled in the Namibia case that:

      the General Assembly declared that the Mandate having been terminated “South Africa has no other right to administer the Territory”. This is not a finding on facts, but the formulation of a legal situation [i.e. laying down the law]. For it would not be correct to assume that, because the General Assembly is in principle vested with recommendatory powers, it is debarred from adopting, in specific cases within the framework of its competence, resolutions which make determinations or have operative design.

      In any event, both the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of International Justice have ruled that parties remain bound by the terms of their own acceptance in the case of what otherwise might be considered non-binding resolutions. The representative of the Jewish Agency, Mr. Shertok who subsequently served as Foreign Minister and the Prime Minister of Israel, referred to the "binding force" of resolution 181 on April 27, 1948:

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

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

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

    • You are attempting to con Jon into thinking there is something morally important about international law when there absolutely isn’t.

      Israelis had no complaints about the moral basis of international criminal law when they used it to rationalize the prosecution of Eichmann for crimes committed in other countries against citizens of other states before the state of Israel had even come into existence. They only complain when it is applied to their immoral conduct.

    • We have been around the block with this in the case of targeted killings. You could have brought tens of reports and experts that would say this is some kind of crime and is immoral.

      The United States is a party to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. Each of those four treaties contains common articles 2 & 3 which especially prohibit extrajudicial killings:

      3 . . .(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.

      To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
      (a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
      (b) taking of hostages;
      (c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;
      (d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

      Title 18, § 2441. War crimes makes it a capital offense:
      (a) Offense.— Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.
      (b) Circumstances.— The circumstances referred to in subsection (a) are that the person committing such war crime or the victim of such war crime is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or a national of the United States (as defined in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act).
      (c) Definition.— As used in this section the term “war crime” means any conduct—
      (1) defined as a grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party;
      (d) Common Article 3 Violations.—
      (1) Prohibited conduct.— In subsection (c)(3), the term “grave breach of common Article 3” means any conduct (such conduct constituting a grave breach of common Article 3 of the international conventions done at Geneva August 12, 1949), as follows:
      D) Murder.— The act of a person who intentionally kills, or conspires or attempts to kill, or kills whether intentionally or unintentionally in the course of committing any other offense under this subsection, one or more persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including those placed out of combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause.

    • I put “apartheid” in quotes because they are only apartheid states based on the definitions you are trying to push down Jon’s throat.

      Correction, 120 other nations adopted the definition of apartheid contained in Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. 119 countries have subsequently ratified that definition, i.e.: a course of conduct involving the multiple commission of these or similar acts committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime:
      *a) Murder;
      b) Extermination;
      (c) Enslavement;
      *(d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population;
      *(e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;
      *(f) Torture;
      *(g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;
      *(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court.
      *(i) Enforced disappearance of persons;
      *k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.

      I marked the items above with an asterisk in cases where reliable published reports are available.

      The travaux préparatoires for the Rome Statute and ICERD are available on line. The Israeli delegation has never mentioned any reservations regarding the definition of apartheid used by either the ICC or the legal experts of the CERD. See for example the Statement by Judge Eli Nathan Head of the Delegation of Israel to the Rome Conference of the ICC. link to

    • Basically, if you take the definitions uses by this group it turns out that Russia and China are also apartheid countries. Since no one considers these countries as apartheid countries, the definition of this group is wrong.

      Straw man alert. You didn't provide a shred of evidence in support of a) the proposition that either Russia or China has committed a constituent act of apartheid; or b) that governments and NGOs alike haven't formally complained about violations of the ICERD with regard to prohibited forms of racial segregation committed by the governments of Russia and China.

      There is quite a bit of evidence to the contrary. See for example:
      *"Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Georgia v. Russian Federation)" in the ICJ list of contentious cases
      *"Racial Discrimination in the Tibetan Autonomous Region and other Tibetan areas in the People’s Republic of China" at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

    • That should have read The CERD panel has took action under its "early warning" and "urgent action" procedures when families and marriages were adversely affected by the Nationality and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) of 31 July 2003.

      The CERD also has expressed concerns over the maintenance and reporting on separate Jewish and Arab sectors in the areas of housing and education by the government of Israel. The government pointed to the Supreme Court decision in the Ka'adan case as an example of progress. The CERD still had concerns, since there is no constitution guaranteeing equal rights. That concern was warranted, since the Knesset has subsequently adopted statutes that permit local housing councils to establish admissions committees. It has also considered legislation that would deny the Supreme Court jurisdiction or require it to give more weight to the Jewish nature of the state than to any democratic principles.

    • Where can I find the report titled: Which countries in the world are apartheid countries?

      The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination provides for an independent treaty monitoring body, the CERD, composed of a panel of experts elected by the signatory states. The members of the CERD panel serve in their own personal capacity and do not represent the UN or any member state.

      The thematic reports, country reports, comments, recommendations, early-warning procedures, and follow-up procedures are readily available on the CERD website. The CERD has been pointing out Article 3 apartheid and illegal racial segregation concerns with regard to Israel since at least 1998. See for example
      *CERD/C/SR.1250, 9 March 1998;
      *The UN Anti-Racism Committee questions Israel’s policy of apartheid

      The CERD panel has took early warning and urgent action procedures when families and marriages were adversely affected by the Nationality and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) of 31 July 2003. The CERD decided that it raised serious issues under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. e.g. See [here] and para 20 [here]. The latter contains several concerns in connection with article 3, which prohibited apartheid and similar policies of racial segregation.

    • No,I wouldn’t depict the PA as friendly and collaborationist. You yourself refer in your last paragraph to the PA’s resentment of occupation, ethnic cleansing,etc.,

      Relations between the Bantustans and the government of South Africa were extremely strained. For example, Transkei broke-off all diplomatic relations with South Africa as a result of a territorial dispute in April of 1978. Among other things it withdrew from the non-aggression pact between the two governments and ordered all South African Defense forces out of its territory.

      The folks at MW tend to view the PA as collaborators and minimize the fact that Palestinians are living under constant threat and have zero negotiating leverage. People make platitudinous statements like "The PA should pursue Palestinian rights, not statehood". But they don't elaborate how anyone, much less the PA, can secure rights for the Palestinians. BDS is part of the solution, but it won't keep the IDF from arresting the PA leadership or their families in the middle of the night.

      The ICC complaint; the UN statehood bid; and stories like "PA Police Operate in Israeli Town: PA Arabs show up to harvest Jewish-grown olives in Samaria, with PA police standing watch" illustrate that the PA is resisting the occupation with the non-violent methods that are available to the people living under occupation.

    • The SouthAfricans established friendly, collaborationist regimes there. The Hamas terrorists controlling Gaza are distinctly unfriendly, to put it mildly.

      Correction, the government of Israel began building the fence around Gaza shortly after it signed agreements to establish the PLO/Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority as the local government of Gaza. I've repeatedly pointed out a Wikileaks cable which revealed that Israel was only too glad to use the Hamas takeover as an excuse to treat Gaza as a hostile state. It had already been deporting other Palestinians to Gaza and isolating the enclave long before the Hamas victory in the 2006 elections.

    • First, the OT are not on the moon, or even in another country.

      It wouldn't matter if it was another country. South Africa illegally imposed apartheid in neighboring Namibia too. The situation is exactly analogous to Israel and the OPT. Both were former mandated territories that the neighboring states wanted to annex or colonize.

    • You have basically made three points on this thread:
      1. Gaza is not under Israeli control and therefore does not count, even if definitions of apartheid might otherwise apply.
      2. You do not approve of policies in the West Bank (I don’t know whether you include E. Jerusalem or not), but would not define them as apartheid.

      That whole line of argument is bizarre. There are published interviews that are part of the US Congressional record in which Ariel Sharon outlined his plans for establishing inland strips of Jewish settlements to break-up the contiguity of Arab population centers. See the table of contents:

      The practice of creating Bantustans is, by definition, one of the constituent acts of the crime of apartheid. See the Human Rights Commission, Study Concerning the Question of Apartheid from the Point of View of International Penal Law, E/CN.4/1075, 15 February 1972, pp. 51 – 52.

      The blacks in South Africa were crowded into a handful of small Bantustans. They were established as "autonomous" nation states for South Africa's black ethnic groups to prevent them from living in areas expropriated by whites. Four of them became nominally independent states: Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei. The situation of the people living in refugee camps in Gaza and the West Bank is completely analogous, with the caveat that the South Africans never erected security fences, walls, or remotely operated weapons systems in pillboxes surrounding their Bantustans.

      Jon S has never addressed the situation faced by Bedouin citizens of Israel and the West Bank. They too are experiencing a policy of Bantustanization.

    • Hostage, you’re ignoring a fundamental point: In Israel the Arab citizens are inside the political process, their elected representatives are in the Knesset and have a say in any legislation.

      Arabs don't have an equal say in the government. Every Arab political party that has denied that Israel is the state of the Jewish people has been outlawed. As a result they can't even participate in the elections.

      The WZO and JNF are completely undemocratic state institutions. Arabs can't vote on the Jewish officials of those particular organizations. Yet those unelected Jewish officials govern their daily lives through their seats in state institutions like the Israeli Land Administration. Jews living in separate foreign states have a greater say in setting national policy than the indigenous non-Jewish population.

    • Mills’ actions were a fine metaphor for what Israel does . . .

      It compliments the Israeli national pastime of shooting and crying.

    • In Israel itself there is nothing like apartheid.

      Of course there is. You are currently removing Bedouin voters from their lands through a policy of Bantustanization and you don't even permit them to run their own regional council. There is a two-tiered system of legislation in Israel which gives superior rights to persons of Jewish descendancy superior rights and privileges under the law. The Arab right to vote does not include or effect in any way the operation of Jewish parastatal organizations like the WZO or JNF which are instrumental in adopting national policy and in national planning.

    • BDS is a very strange tactic for them as if it is even slightly successful, it will surely backfire terribly.

      This from the country that uses the nuclear "Samson Option" to threaten other nations whose military attacks might threaten the State of Israel's existence, but not necessarily the survival of its Jewish population.

    • The fact that the West Bank is occupied territory is a moot point.

      Yes it was a violation of the right of self-determination contained in the UN Charter and international law for South Africa to impose a policy of apartheid in the territory of Namibia that it had occupied. See Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970)

    • The argument that neither Jews nor Palestinians are races is a distinction without a difference.

      Article 1 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination defined racial discrimination for the purposes of international law and Article 3 contained the first conventional prohibition of apartheid:

      the term "racial discrimination" shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life. . . . States Parties particularly condemn racial segregation and apartheid and undertake to prevent, prohibit and eradicate all practices of this nature in territories under their jurisdiction.

    • The term “apartheid” is constantly thrown around on this forum as a way to villify Israel. (Similarly: “ethnic cleansing”) .

      I've pointed out before that the written statements of several of the interested state parties and Palestine in the ICJ Wall case devoted entire chapters to the constituent acts of the crime of apartheid committed by Israel in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem. The Secretary-General's dossier contained reports from two special rapporteurs, John Dugard and Jean Ziegler, who did the same thing. The Court cited those reports and repeated the constituent acts in its own findings of fact (paras 132-134).

      During the recent debate between scholars in the Journal of Genocide Studies, both sides agreed that Israel was guilty of illegal population displacement and transfer which amounted to the serious crime of ethnic cleansing, but disagreed over whether or not that constituted the crime of genocide.

    • I bet you didn’t say that when The U.S boycotted the Olympics in Russia.

      Frankly I wish the Russians would return the favor and demand that NATO withdraw from Afghanistan too.

  • Some preliminary questions about the alleged Iranian terror plot
    • Hostage and Chaos, again, you are both talking about domestically produced weapons, I was responding to Iran getting brand new Russian weaponry.

      I am talking about a country ten times the size of Israel that can produce its own world class weapons. They also produce spare parts for their F-14 Tomcats and have purchased airframe and engine upgrades from the Russians for them. BTW, the F-15 and F-16 aircraft in Israel's inventory are the same upgraded 1970s technology.

      Sure it is an amazing weapon, but it isn’t sinking any US carriers in the Gulf.

      I spent several years of my adult life on the headquarters Combat Operations (DO) staff of Gen. Wilbur Creech, who among other things was the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Forces Atlantic. I can assure you that US aircraft carriers are sitting ducks for cruise missile attacks, even when they have an air cap and are surrounded by a fleet equipped with Phalanx systems. BTW, you don't need to sink a carrier to prevent it from launching and recovering aircraft.

    • They won’t sell them a 12 year old SAM system, but will sell them a newly produced anti-ship missile? You guys are laughable.

      Just for the record, GlobalSecurity​.org says the missile that hit the IDF's Hanit was a

      C-802, an Iranian-made variant of a stealthy, turbojet-powered, Chinese weapon. It’s “considered along with the US ‘Harpoon’ as among the best anti-ship missiles” in the world.

      You really only need adequate weapons, since most vessels aren't equipped with very good missile defense systems.

    • You’ll of course cite some obscure nonsense ‘disproving’ all of this

      No because you didn't cite any specific sources that need to be disproved and its time to put the trolls on a diet anyway.

    • All the “why would it be in their interest to do it” questions “why did they screw up” are nonsense.

      I thought I made it perfectly clear that I thought the US and Saudi Arabia had conspired to do the same and much worse to the government of Iran.

      Do you suppose the defense can enter all of those Wikileaks cables into evidence which describe Saudi King Abdullah's repeated approaches through the Ambassador urging the United States to attack Iran? I think that the theory of preemptive self-defense may be relevant and that US-Saudi unclean hands should be considered in mitigating any punishment imposed;-)

    • It must be a ‘hunting season’ in Mondotown for the conspiracy loons.

      The report of a conspiracy here came from the AG, Eric Holder.

      Now lets ask the question : “Cui bono?” My answer would be Iran . . . Any sane counterarguments?

      Surely. The report of a conspiracy in that instance came from the AG, Eric Holder. another conspiracy loon.

    • Israel has been blamed for 9/11, mass genocide, false flags in basically every Palestinian/Arab terror attack since Christ, but this is impossible for them to believe, talk about blinders.

      In fairness Israel and the US have confessed to false flags, psudeo-Palestinian/Arab terror attacks, and previous illegal plots and schemes involving the government of Iran. After all, many of them can be easily verified from declassified US and Israeli archive sources, including Moshe Sharett's diary, the investigations of the Lavon Affair, Kermit Roosevelt's account of the 1953 Iranian coup d'état, Poindexter and North's testimony in the Iran-Contra hearing, & etc.

    • huh? i thought i read holder said there was no evidence iranian gov was implicated. i will have to read the post…

      Oh yeah, Eric Holder started off the Press Conference by flatly stating that the deadly plot was directed by factions of the Iranian government and described one of the individuals named in the indictment as an Iranian based member of the Quds Force who is still at large. He said that the other individual had confessed to his role and that of the Iranian government. He said that, in addition to holding the individuals accountable, the United States intends to hold Iran accountable.

      I thought he went over the top with the mock outrage over this violation of US and international law. After all, US government officials have routinely directed deadly plots right under Holders nose. They have targeted persons for assassination in all of the countries neighboring Iran (Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, & etc.) - and they have been doing that for more than a decade. During that time, Iranian scientists and engineers have developed a nasty habit of getting themselves assassinated too. The press here routinely reports on Israeli and Saudi officials and their discussions with US officials regarding the desirability of launching preemptive strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities. Neo-Con PACs spam us with political television ads which explain why it would be in the US interest to preemptively bomb Iran. All of that violates US and international law too.

  • Creeping halacha?
    • Hey, cool!!! These guys found a God that tells ‘em its alright to throw feces!!!

      Nope. They are transgressing the commandments (I shit you not;-). See Devarim 23:13-15 (Deuteronomy 23:12-14):

      13. And you shall have a designated place outside the camp, so that you can go out there [to use it as a privy].
      14. And you shall keep a stake in addition to your weapons; and it shall be, when you sit down outside [to relieve yourself], you shall dig with it, and you shall return and cover your excrement.
      15. For the Lord, your God, goes along in the midst of your camp, to rescue you and to deliver your enemies before you. [Therefore,] your camp shall be holy, so that He should not see anything unseemly among you and would turn away from you.

    • for those rebels who dare walk on the sidewalk when men are approaching. . . .

      Or forget: to go to the back of the bus; to STFU when the men are trying to avoid female singing . . .

      Israeli orchestra drops female singer after pressure from Orthodox subscribers
      Metzger: Let troops avoid women's singing,7340,L-4128078,00.html

  • Jewish Federations drop JVP leader from 'Heroes' ballot without explanation
    • I love it when these pieces of shit reveal themselves unabashedly.

      The statement that you cited satisfies the legal criteria for a true threat and incitement to commit genocide. There is no immunity from extradition for religious leaders under the terms of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide - and the US is a state party.

      That's probably why Abe Foxman said "I am not shocked that there would be a rabbi who would have these views, but I am shocked that Moment would give up all editorial discretion and good sense to publish this as representative of Chabad."

      Haaretz reported that Shmarya Rosenberg, a blogger and critic of Chabad who lives a few blocks from Friedman in Minnesota, says that the comment in Moment is not an aberration from his experiences with Friedman and many other Chabad rabbis.

  • In memoriam: Hanan Porat, an extremist by any other name
    • Shmuel, you’ve lived in Israel, what is your opinion on Mikhael’s statement?

      Mikhael never addressed the evidence of racism in Post-Zionism and the Sephardi Question by Meyrav Wurmser.

      So I'll put some of the material here and let everyone see for themselves:

      For example, in 1949, Ashkenazi journalist Aryeh Gelblum wrote the following about the arriving Mizrahi immigrants:

      This is the immigration of a race we have not yet known in the country. We are dealing with people whose primitivism is at a peak, whose level of knowledge is one of virtually absolute ignorance and, worse, who have little talent for understanding anything intellectual. Generally, they are only slightly better than the general level of the Arabs, Negroes, and Berbers in the same regions. In any case, they are at an even lower level than what we know with regard to the former Arabs of Israel. These Jews also lack roots in Judaism, as they are totally subordinated to savage and primitive instincts. As with Africans you will find among them gambling, drunkenness, and prostitution ... chronic laziness and hatred for work; there is nothing safe about this asocial element. [Even] the kibbutzim will not hear of their absorption.[13]

      Gelblum was not alone. Post-Zionist Mizrahim quote one of Israel's leading intellectuals in the 1950s, Karl Frankenstein, a celebrated professor at Hebrew University and the man considered the father of the Israeli education system. Frankenstein expressed outright racist attitudes towards Mizrahim, writing, "We have to recognize the primitive mentality of many of the immigrants from backward countries."[14] He further suggested that Mizrahi Jews have the mentality of primitive people who are somewhat mentally disturbed.[15] Israeli sociologist Yosef Gross argued in the early 1950s that Mizrahi immigrants suffered from "mental regression."[16] One of the worst examples of the anti-Mizrahi discrimination involves The Ashkenazi Revolution published in 1964 by writer Kalman Katzenelson in which the author argues that the Mizrahim suffer from irreversible genetic inferiority that endangers the superiority of the Ashkenazi-Zionist state. He called for the establishment of an apartheid regime that, among other limitations, would abolish their political rights. He also objected to mixed marriages and demanded the prohibition of the Hebrew language because it resembled Arabic too greatly. Instead he demanded that Yiddish become the national language because of its supreme Germanic origins. His book was a bestseller until Ben-Gurion banned it.[17]

      The sentiments expressed by these intellectuals, the Mizrahi post-Zionists argue, were not uncommon. There were racist attitudes toward the Mizrahi Jews even among the highest political levels. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion described the Mizrahi immigrants as lacking even "the most elementary knowledge" or "a trace of Jewish or human education."[18] Furthermore, he said, "We do not want Israelis to become Arabs. We are bound by duty to fight against the spirit of the Levant that corrupts individuals and society."[19] Likewise, Abba Eban, one of Israel's most eloquent diplomats, noted that "one of the great apprehensions which afflict us is the danger of the predominance of immigrants of Oriental origin forcing Israel to equalize its cultural level with that of the neighboring world."[20] In 1949, Shoshana Frasitz, a member of the Knesset, said of the Mizrahim, "You know that we have no common language with them. Our cultural level does not fit with their level; their lifestyle is the lifestyle of the middle ages."[21] Nachum Goldman, chairman of the Jewish Agency and president of the World Zionist Organization in the late 1940s and 1950s, said, "A Jew from Eastern Europe is worth twice as much as a Jew from Kurdistan," and continued, "We should return a hundred thousand of the Jews of the East to their countries of origin."[22] Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir once asked, "Shall we be able to elevate these immigrants to a suitable level of civilization?"[23]

      The current clique of radical post-Zionist Mizrahim argues that such attitudes have not disappeared from Israel. Even as late as 1983, for example, the left-wing liberal and Palestinian-rights advocate, Shulamit Aloni, who headed the Citizens' Rights party and served as a member of the Knesset, denounced the Mizrahim as "barbarous tribal forces" who were "driven like a flock to the sound of tom-toms … chanting like a savage tribe."[24] In the same year, the celebrated Ashkenazi columnist Amnon Dankner raised the possibility of an Ashkenazi-Mizrahi cultural war in Ha'aretz:

      This will not be a war among brothers … [because] these are not my brothers … The sticky blanket of "Jewish love and brotherhood" is thrown on my head and I am asked to be considerate of the [Mizrahi] cultural deficit and the authentic feelings of discrimination. My blood boils when I hear those hypocritical calls. They put me in a cage with a baboon running amok and then they tell me: "Okay, now you are together and begin a dialogue.…" Now I want to tell you that I am tired of empathizing and understanding. I have heard all the stories about discrimination, the social-economic gap, the feelings of frustration, the DDT and the maabarot. [I am told that] we [the Ashkenazim] have Heine, Freud, Einstein, and the wonderful synthesis between Judaism and Western culture, but the [Mizrahim] also have some wonderful things: hospitality, respect for mother and father, and a wonderful patriarchal tradition. … For me, however, they are not among the traits that I wish to see in the society that my spiritual fathers and I dreamed about establishing here: an exemplary and modern society laced with the most beautiful visions of humanistic liberalism. [Still] the advocates of Jewish love and brotherhood say, "Do not call them [the Mizrahim] Khomeini-like or primitive. It makes them even angrier.'[25]

      These anti-Mizrahi attitudes, argue the post-Zionist Mizrahim, exist in the depiction of Mizrahim in movies, literary works, and especially, the media. They quote the findings of researcher Eli Avraham who investigated the media portrayal of the Mizrahim in the 1980s and 1990s. He found a number of recurring themes were associated with the Mizrahim. Those included violence, crime, and social unrest; unseemliness and neglect; limited future prospects; a herd mentality, and ethnically-determined political identity; an inability to be "like us [Ashkenazim]; and a syndrome of 'primitivism.'"[26]

      While anti-Mizrahi attitudes are a legitimate concern, for radical post-Zionist writers, the problem does not end with the racism of some of Israel's founding fathers, politicians, and intellectuals. For them, the core issue is economic and social discrimination. In the 1970s, the Mizrahi Black Panther movement emerged to address economic and social discrimination through violent protests. Prime Minister Golda Meir ordered a brutal crackdown on the movement, which took its revolutionary outlook from the African American struggle in the United States and Marxist movements in Latin America. Radical post-Zionists believe that socioeconomic discrimination continues to exist, and they see it as the key factor that has led the Mizrahim to vote in droves since 1988 for the religious Mizrahi party Shas.
      But despite the appearance of change and of a closing Ashkenazi-Mizrahi gap, studies show that during the 1990s the disparity between Ashkenazim and Mizrahim in Israel grew. Even in the late 1990s, 88 percent of upper-income Israelis were Ashkenazim while 60 percent of lower-income families were Mizrahim.[27] In spite of the general increase in standard of living in Israel, the gap between Israeli-born Ashkenazim and Mizrahim, especially in housing, remains comparable to their parents' generation. In other areas such as income, the gap has only become wider. In fact, as Yoav Peled, a Tel Aviv University political scientist, demonstrated, a "cultural division of labor" characterized Israel in the 1990s when, within the Jewish population, the vast majority of the low income and impoverished families were of Mizrahi origin. The lower-middle class consisted of both Ashkenazi and Mizrahi families, with a small Ashkenazi majority, while the upper-middle and upper classes were almost exclusively Ashkenazi.

    • P.S. Here is another example: Petah Tikva teacher of Ethiopian students: Israeli society is racist

      FYI: rightly or wrongly, Israel is viewed as a transplanted European, i.e. predominately white dominated society, by other Western countries. The founding Zionist leaders perpetuated that myth. Rightly or wrongly the Arabs are not viewed as European or white. The only reason Israeli officials are not being prosecuted for war crimes is because the other members of the United Nations Western European and Others Group take turns preventing the Security Council from referring the situation in Palestine to the ICC.

    • Again, a non sequitur and irrelevant, just like your buddy Shawket’s bringing up “white” Israelis versus “non-white” Arabs.

      Sorry, but I cited a mainstream Israeli news article that describes the situation as an example of racism. You are simply pretending to engage in meaningful dialog in order to deflect, dissemble, and change the subject. The headline and tag line says "Ethiopian community hit hard by discrimination: Examples of racism in Israel in 2007". They certainly aren't white. Take up your disbelief with the editors and reporters at YNet.,7340,L-3480010,00.html

    • Ben Gurion had cabled Haganah commander Moshe Sneh and instructed him to give Irgun and Lehi a free hand in the outbreak of violence that started in Jerusalem. -- See the Minutes of the 8th Sitting of the First Knesset, 8 March 1949, in Netanel Lorach, "Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981" Volume 2, JCPA/University Press, 1993, page 445.

      The Haganah had a role in the uprising too. After the UN vote it planted a bomb in the Semiramas Hotel that killed the Spanish Consul. It carried out other terror attacks in the territory allocated for the Corpus Separatum in cooperation with the Irgun and Lehi (e.g. Deir Yassin) long before the militia members of the Etzion Block decided to attack the Arab Legion convoy.

      Avi Shlaim doesn't mention that the Etzion Block initiated the hostilities against the Arab Legion, but he does note that the Jewish side took the initiative after the British withdrew from Jerusalem:

      In Jerusalem the initiative was seized by the Jewish side. As soon as the British evacuated the city, a vigorous offensive was launched to capture the Arab and mixed quarters of the city and form a solid area going all the way to the Old City walls. Glubb Pasha, the British commander of the Arab Legion, adopted a defensive strategy which was intended to avert a head-on collision with the Jewish forces. According to his account, the Arab Legion crossed the Jordan on 15 May to help the Arabs defend the area of Judea and Samaria allocated to them. They were strictly forbidden to enter Jerusalem or to enter any area allotted to the Jewish state in the partition plan. But on 16 May the Jewish forces tried to break into the Old City, prompting urgent calls for help from the Arab defenders. On 17 May, King ‘Abdullah ordered Glubb Pasha to send a force to defend the Old City. Fierce fighting ensued. The legionnaires inflicted very heavy damage and civilian casualties by shelling the New City, the Jewish quarters of Jerusalem. On 28 May, the Jewish Quarter inside the Old City finally surrendered to the Arab Legion.

    • No, first you answered my reply to Shawket’s nonsense (i.e., that Israeli Jews are somehow “white” and that Palestinian Arabs are somehow “non-white”) with a complete non sequitur.

      No I did not. Here is another report from the Israeli press that labels similar incidents racism.,7340,L-3480010,00.html

      Here is an article by one of the Hudson Institute Directors in the Middle East Quarterly which describes examples of continuing systematic discrimination and racism directed against Mizrahi Jews. The article cites a number of post-Zionist Mizrahi leaders, including Ella Habiba-Shohat, who says that, alongside the Palestinians, Mizrahi Jews are Zionism's "other" victims. According to Shohat, Zionism is a white, Ashkenazi phenomenon, based on the denial of the Orient and the rights of both Mizrahi Jews and the Palestinians. The author admits:

      The Mizrahi post-Zionist allegations about the systemic ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic discrimination that marked much of Israeli society in its early years are truthful. The claim that Mizrahim continue to live the consequences of this type of discrimination is not a distortion. The examples they point to are neither fabricated nor taken out of context.

      The author does not attribute the problem to Zionism, but unlike you, he does not pretend that it is restricted to the Haredi religious community. Many of the examples cited are racist remarks based upon ethnicity, not religion.

    • Now, in your lazy, hazy, confused response to my calling Shawkat on his bullshit, you appended a link about a year and-a-half-year-old controversy regarding intercommunal segregation at a state-supported haredi girls’ school in the settlement of Immanuel. Your point is?

      So, is there really a "nation of Israel" or are there "two Jewish peoples"? My point is that there were tens of thousands of bigots who didn't hesitate to put on a public demonstration regarding an order to desegregate a state funded religious girls school - and no one had or has the option to not pay taxes. The bigots exerted more than enough political influence to circumvent the Supreme Court order which had directed that both the fathers and mothers responsible for the illegal segregation be jailed for contempt. I notice that you are simpleminded enough to claim there was no harm and no foul. What a jerk.

    • Porat’s parents evacuated him to the relative safety of Jerusalem to escape his village, which was ultimately destroyed by the Arab Legion in 1948.

      You forgot to mention that his parents part of an illegal Jewish militia unit that deliberately attacked an Arab Legion convoy on the main road between Hebron and Bethlehem. The Legion convoy was on its way to Amman in Transjordan from its garrisons in Rafah and Gaza as part of the phased withdrawal of British mandatory forces from Palestine. It came under fire from a building owned by the Orthodox Church that had been occupied by militia members from nearby Kfar Etzion. So, the Jewish militia unit went out of its way to make the so-called "village" of Kfar Etzion unsafe.

    • Both national communities have people with a wide diversity of skin tones, which really has no relevance in a discussion of the national aspirations of the two national communities, except for simpleminded folk.

      Yeah right:

      Reporting from Jerusalem —Tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews protested Thursday against a Supreme Court decision to jail parents who have refused to comply with its order to desegregate a religious girls school.

    • Christians in Israel / Status of non-Jews
      Jerusalem Report (Hebrew), Oct. 4; Ha'Aretz English, Oct. 1,8,12,15,18,22; Ha'Aretz, Oct. 1,10,11,12,13,14,15,17,18,22; HaModia, Oct. 14,19; Jerusalem Post, Oct. 1,11,15,21,22; NRG, Oct. 13; Ynet, Oct. 25; Kol HaTzafon, Sept. 24; HaTzofeh, Oct. 13,15,22; Kol HaZman, Oct. 15; Yated Ne'eman, Oct. 15; Kol HaEmek V'HaGalil, Sept. 29; Ma'ariv, Oct. 18; Mifneh, Sept. 2004

      The bulk of the articles in this category cover the incident in which a yeshiva student spat at an Armenian archbishop in Jerusalem's Old City. Some orthodox Jews often spit on the ground when they see crosses or Christians in religious garb, but on this day the spitting occurred during a procession, and a ceremonial cross was the target. The archbishop got upset and slapped the young man, which resulted in a scuffle, and both men were questioned by police. The student eventually apologized. Israeli authorities, including some rabbis, were quick to condemn the incident, which also grabbed attention in the international media and in various internet weblogs.

      Numerous editorials also condemn the incident and others like it, bemoaning the impact on Jewish-Christian relations (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 15) and attempting to get to the bottom of Orthodox Jewish hatred of Christians (Jerusalem Report, Oct. 4, NRG, Oct. 13). In these latter two editorials we read about traditional Jewish prayers thanking God that he "didn't make me like the gentiles" who "worship in vain." The authors conclude that the orthodox community is still relating to Christians with the mindset of a persecuted minority in the diaspora, to some extent because they do not recognize Israel as a truly Jewish state. Other editorials in the orthodox press (Yated Ne'eman, Oct. 15, HaModia, Oct. 19) make light of the incident, complaining that Israeli officials don't condemn attacks against orthodox Jews by secular Israelis, and claiming that this incident is not representative, since it's the first time something like this has happened since the establishment of the state of Israel. (This despite numerous other reports of spitting and vandalism against Christians. - ed.)

      Spit may have been a typo for sh*t. The Ultra-Orthodox have been trying for years to get the feces-filled diaper toss accepted as an Olympic sport. I've commented in the past that, in light of the Divine injunction in Devarim 23:13-15 (Deuteronomy 23:12-14), I’m always fascinated by the reports about the nut cases who desecrate the Kotel by hurling soiled diapers at the “Women of the Wall” whenever they read from the Torah or sing praises there, e.g.

      The group Women of the Wall have been called whores, lesbians, goyim, and much worse. Chairs have been thrown at them as they chant the morning prayers together. Soiled diapers are hurled over the mechitza in a strange display of contempt and disgust. One can only wonder to oneself, “Do the fervently Orthodox bring the soiled diapers with them on the bus to the Kotel on Rosh Hodesh? Or, are the dirtied diapers manufactured on the spot?”

      We all know that the IDF can't control their bowels when they occupy a Palestinian home, but that has nothing to do with Judaism.

    • So to summarize, both you Annie and Hostage approve killing of surrendered prisoners.
      Well done both of you.

      I explicitly stated that the answer to that question was "No". The settlements of Kfar-Etzion, Mesu'ot-Yitzhak, Ein-Tzurim and Revadim lay within the territory marked out by the UN for an Arab state. The lame-assed hasbara talking point is the suggestion that Jews have the right to occupy and annex a piece of real estate that was used for illegal pre-state milita operations against the armed forces of the Mandatory government. This, despite the fact that it was situated in territory that had been allocated to the proposed Arab state and located well beyond the armistice lines that Israel is still bound to respect in accordance with Chapter VII Security Council resolutions and the terms of agreements that the government of Israel itself has already signed.

      *I'm sure that we've discussed this all before, but High Commissioner Herbert Samuel requested the authority to adopt a Collective Punishment Ordinance from the Colonial Secretary for use in the so-called Arab tribal areas of Palestine. It was eventually used to justify the employment of RAF bombing missions to flatten entire Arab villages in reprisal for civil disturbances during the Arab revolt. See:
      **Prof. Susan Pedersen, The Meaning of the Mandates System: An Argument
      **Former Reference: CP 152 (24)
      Title: Palestine. Proposed Special Legislation for Tribal Areas.
      Author: James H Thomas
      Date 03 March 1924
      Catalogue reference CAB 24/165
      link to

      *Segev, Shlaim, and other historians document the fact that when Major General Bernard Montgomery was given command in Palestine to put down the Arab revolt, the British forces were given standing orders on how to handle rebels: kill them. The Arab Legion had been part of those forces under Montgomery's command. The policies of Montgomery and Wingate were definitely still in use by the Arab Legion garrisons in Gaza and Rafah during the post-war mandate era. So, the reports that the Legion summarily executed the Jewish rebels at Kfar Etzion are certainly credible - and customary for the time.

      *During the trials of The WWII War Criminals, the opinion of Hersh Lauterpacht from Oppenheim’s International Law, 6th and 8th Editions was cited to define reprisals and to determine when reprisals against civilians, towns, and villages were customarily authorized in accordance with Article 50 of the Hague Convention (see pages 3 & 4).

      *The government of Israel continued to use the mandate era ordinances and emergency regulations to justify reprisals in which mass casualties were summarily inflicted by its armed forces or civilians long after the Geneva Conventions had outlawed such practices.

    • Is it justifies killing of surrendering people?

      No. I was explaining why the Arab majority and the government of the proposed Arab state were well within their rights to remove all of the Zionist military installations from their territory. The inhabitants of Kfar Etzion who attacked the Arab Legion convey were not defending themselves or engaged in a legitimate kibbutz activity.

      The notion that Jews have a right to own property in another country does not automatically give them the right to build skirmish lines of watchtower and stockade forts; conduct offensives from those bases against the neighbors; or annex the territory to another state under any future settlement. Please give the lame-assed hasbara talking points a rest.

    • The report is in very bad taste and very low.

      You mean the part where Porat replied with “Happy Purim!” to a reporter’s question about what he thought of the massacre at the mosque in Hebron? I thought that was pretty low-down and tasteless too.

    • The New York Times also reported that the San Remo Conference had decided against the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine.

      The oldest US publication devoted exclusively to world affairs, Current History was founded by The New York Times in 1914 to provide detailed coverage of what was then known as the Great War.

      Current History, Volume 13, 1921 reported:

      The publication on Feb. 4 of the mandate over Palestine allotted to Great Britain by the Supreme Council of the Allies at San Remo threw a flood of light upon a hitherto dark spot of diplomacy and straightened out a question which was rapidly becoming involved in serious complications. The text embodies, aside from the articles of procedure, the famous San Remo resolution and the no less famous Balfour declaration. Although approved by the Supreme Council at San Remo it has yet to be submitted to the Council of the League of Nations. It makes it clear that while the mandatary is expected to establish “a national home for the Jewish people” it is not the intention to create a “Jewish State,” as had been charged in certain quarters.

    • The Etzion bloc that Porat helped found "is one of the large West Bank settlement blocs that Israel wants to keep in any deal with a future Palestinian state. One reason many Israelis consider it theirs by right is that it had been settled by Jews before 1948.

      So naturally, all of the locales in Israel that were settled by Palestinians before 1948 are considered Palestinian "by right". Curiously, that doesn't seem to have anything to do with whether they will be kept by the Palestinians as part of any future deal.

      Porat . . . living at the same place where kibbutzes were standing and Jews were executed by Arab legion and cheerful supporters.

      Kfar Etzion was not actually located on the main road between Bethlehem and Hebron. It was out of small arms range of the road. So the Zionist took over and occupied a building owned by the Orthodox Church in order to fire on a passing convoy of Arab Legion vehicles. The Legion units had been permanently garrisoned in Gaza and Rafah for years as part of the Mandatory administration's armed forces.

      Kfar Etzion and three other settlements had been deliberately established along a confrontation line in a futile attempt to dictate the borders of the Jewish state. In any event, the UN General Assembly allocated it to the proposed Arab State. All the talk about Jordanian and Jewish conquest is a distraction. The Zionists were once again trying to enlarge their borders and eradicate any future Palestinian state or, at the very least, dictate the borders under any deal with a future Palestinian state when Porat re-established it.

  • Kol Nidre in Cairo. Not
    • So all of the descendents of the refugees would be included in this binational state? how on earth will it survive? where will they live? who is going to support them? Do you think this will happen peacefully? both sides hate each other, both sides have grown up hating each other.

      LOL! Israel has shuffled-off responsibility for supporting the Palestinian refugees to others for decades. Are you admitting the neighboring countries and the UNRWA are better at problem solving and more resourceful than your own government officials? BTW, why do Zionists keep preaching about the necessity of supporting a Jewish nation-state to serve as a safe haven for the 6 million Jews who live in the US? . . .;-) We could always turn your argument around and suggest that there are dozens of Arab countries that must repatriate all of those so-called Jewish refugees and their descendants;-)

      It's odd that Israel says the Palestinian refugees should exercise the RoR in a future Palestinian state, but expresses disbelief that the same number of people could be accommodated in the much larger region of both Israel and Palestine. In any event, polls show that 90 percent of the refugees in question want to exercise their right to compensation, not their right to return to Israel. They're employed as a propaganda tactic to postpone a final settlement. Official preparations for any real settlement will have to include the step of consulting the actual wishes of the individuals concerned at some point in time to quantify the actual numbers involved. If you look at water usage per capita the problem is pretty obvious. The Israeli agricultural sector uses 70% of the water and contributes only 2% of GDP. You are already subsidizing that anomaly by building more water desalinization plants to service the needs of the national water carrier. It's really a lot cheaper to produce and purchase these products somewhere else.

    • where does a state go exactly Chaos? how about the 70% of Israelis who were born in Israel?

      We are discussing states as abstract legal and political constructs. When South Africans repealed the apartheid laws, the people who were born there didn't (*poof*) magically disappear.

      There are about an equal number of Palestinians and Jews in the region, if we include the refugees in neighboring states. Why do you run around shreying as if it would be *the end of the world as we know it* if the Palestinians were given an equal democratic say about the composition of the government and the laws that are imposed on them?

    • Many of the posters here see nothing wrong with national movements and nation-states all over the world. A Jewish state, on the other hand, is racism.

      Well duh! Many of us object to racist nation-states anywhere. Herzl preached the immiscibility of the Jewish people with those of other origins. We know from DNA studies on European Jews that about 60% are the result of admixtures of peoples from the Middle East and Europe. So the founding myth of an ancient homeland in Palestine and the premise for Zionism is unsupportable. Herzl's theory was every bit as racist and unscientific as those of the Nazis and the KKK.

      The detached referrence to “if Israel is dismantled…” :I can’t see that happening without a genocidal-scale bloodbath.

      You have a lack of imagination. If much larger countries, like the Soviet Union and South Africa, can be dismantled without a genocidal-scale bloodbath, then tiny Israel can be dismantled too.

    • Hostage, You know very well that any solution will be along the Clinton parameters and only very few extremists like you will interpret that agreement as null and void because it was “forced” on the Palestinians.

      I always find it fascinating when Zionist's label customary and conventional laws adopted unanimously by the international community of states as "extremism". Don't blame me if your officials don't understand the meaning of all the treaties they've signed on your behalf.

      The obvious reason that there has never been a negotiated settlement to date is because Israel wants to impose one more to its liking. Unfortunately, the terms it wants have already been declared illegal and they would instantly be declared null and void by the international community and the international courts. So, the Zionists have naturally delayed and created an even bigger mess for themselves. They demanded that the PLO or PA accept a two state solution knowing full well that it wasn't really a viable economic alternative even in 1948. The Palestinians are forcing the Israelis, the Quartet, and the US Congress to admit publicly that the offer of self-determination and a Palestinian state was never legitimate.

      Arafat and Abbas have declined or refused to act on previous offers corresponding to the Clinton parameters. Netanyahu's address to the joint session of Congress and AIPAC indicated that nothing approaching the Clinton proposal is even in the offing under the current regime. If nothing else, we all know by now that the extremists in the US Congress would block a settlement along those lines anyway. In fact, it's doubtful they would even accept UN recognition of a Palestinian rump state in Area C, since Israeli officials would still be liable to prosecution for war crimes committed there since 2002.

      For all of those reasons, the Palestinians have given-up on negotiations and gone back to the UN. They are asking for the necessary leverage to negotiate a settlement in-line previous UN resolutions and international law. When that exercise fails, the only likely alternative will be a formal sanctions regime to impose a one state solution between the Jordan and the Med, not the old Clinton parameters.

    • territorial expansionism in Egypt Chaos? do tell.

      Sure here is Livia Rokach's summary of a few of the disclosures contained in PM Moshe Sherett's Diary:

      "In providing documentation on the above points, Sharett's Diary deals a deadly blow to a number of important interpretations which are still being presented as historical truths. Among these are the following items:

      1. To this date the majority of scholars and analysts cite the nationalization of the Suez Canal as the chief motivation for the October 1956 war, It is thereby implied that the projected British and French aggression against Egypt provided Israel with an opportunity to achieve the termination of fedayeen attacks from across the armistice lines, and to settle its accounts with Nasser's regime, to which these attacks were attributed.

      What Sharett tells us now is that a major war against Egypt aimed at the territorial conquest of Gaza and the Sinai was on the Israeli leadership's agenda at least as early as the autumn of 1953, almost a year before Nasser ousted Neguib and consolidated his leadership. It was agreed then that the international conditions for such a war would mature within a period of about three years. The Israeli military attack on Gaza in February 1955 was consciously undertaken as a preliminary act of war. A couple of months later a government decision to commence a war to conquer the Gaza Strip met with the strenuous opposition of the foreign minister, whose political liquidation was thereupon decided by the supporters of the war policy, headed by Ben Gurion. Had the prospect of the tripartite aggression not appeared on the horizon in later months, Israel would have gone on to attack Egypt according to its own plans, and, moreover, with U.S. consent.

      2. The occupation by Israel of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 has been described, and is still widely understood today, as an Israeli defensive action in the face of Arab threats. Sharett's Diary offers unequivocable evidence that the occupation of Gaza and also of the West Bank was part of lsrael's plans since the early fifties. American Zionist leaders were informed about these plans in 1954, In 1955, Jewish and Arab lives were sacrificed in a series of provocative attacks undertaken to create a pretext for the occupation of Jordanian territory. The chief obstacle postponing this occupation was Britain's residual presence in Jordan upholding the Hashemite throne."

    • Annie, you should really brush up on your history then.

      Maybe you should too. The Zionists have always relied upon antisemitism to drive aliyah to Israel. The State and the Jewish Agency have always published blatant propaganda and educational materials that deliberately portray Jewish civilians in Arab countries as both victims of antisemitism and a fifth column of spies, e.g. bragging about the way Eli Cohen sent intelligence to Israel about the Syrian fortifications on the Golan Heights that helped Israel during the 1967 War.

      The Lavon Affair had a similar purpose with respect to targeting the Suez Canal zone. This coded cable was sent to the Israeli spy ring which had been planted in Egypt many months before it was activated in July 1954:

      ONE: Start immediate action to prevent or postpone Anglo-Egyptian Agreement. Objectives are: one, cultural and information centers; two, economic institutions; three, cars of British representatives and other Britons; four, whichever target whose sabotage could bring about a worsening of diplomatic relations. TWO. Inform us on possibilities of action in Canal Zone. THREE. Listen to us every day at 7 o'clock on wavelength G.

      The Panama Canal Treaty contained a clause identical to the one in the Suez Canal Treaty. Nonetheless, the United States closed it to enemy civilian and military vessels throughout WWII. For example, the National Archives relates:

      ships flying Axis colors in territorial waters were also seized and their crews detained. The Italian passenger liner Il Conte Biancamano, for example, was homeward bound from Valparaiso on a scheduled Latin America route when it found itself trapped in the Panama Canal Zone at the outbreak of war in Europe. The U.S. neutrality patrol impounded the ship and confined its crew on board for the next eighteen months before finally transferring the seamen to Ellis Island in early 1941. The Italians joined a large group of German seamen, including the Columbus crew, as well as a group of Italian Pavilion employees from the 1939 New York World's Fair. In all, nearly 1,700 Axis noncombatants faced an uncertain future on Ellis Island in a country not yet at war.

      During the same era the US interned thousands of Japanese-Americans due to the fear that they posed a fifth-column threat to the defense of the West Coast. The US government refused to apologize or compensate them for many decades.

      should the US have kicked out all Arabs after 9/11?

      Don't be silly. That's exactly what the US did. It rounded-up and detained thousands of Asian aliens and deported them after 9/11. Then it began performing well-publicized surveillance and sting operations on the resident aliens. It was even reported that it cooperated with the Iranian government in interrogating refugees. It was rumored at the time that was a quid pro quo for support from the Iranian-backed Northern Alliance in Afghanistan.

    • You can laugh all you want. This will be part of the final agreement negotiations.

      lol! We've been here before. You can negotiate all you want, but if the IDF isn't withdrawn and the refugees repatriated first, the so-called "final agreement" will be null and void at the time it is concluded (ab initio). See Article 52 Coercion of a State by the threat or use of force; Article 53 Treaties conflicting with a peremptory norm of general international law (“jus cogens”); and the official commentary on Article 8 of the 4th Geneva Convention:

    • Zionism is meant to make antisemitism go away by separating them among the nations in their own country.

      There's no evidence to support that superstition either. According to Jabotinsky:

      "What we see around us among Jews is merely the outcome of arbitrary action perpetrated by others. This prevalent Jew, the Yid, as he is pejoratively called by the Gentiles, does not reflect a proud national past but embodies the very negative traits from which Zionism seeks to redeem the Jews. Only after removing the dust accumulated through two thousand years of exile, of galut, will the true, authentic Hebrew character reveal its glorious head. Only then shall we be able to say: This is a typical Hebrew, in every sense of the word."

      Well, it turned out that the typical Hebrew is an unrepentant Troglodyte in every sense of the word. We were much better off with the prevalent Jew, the Yid.

    • THAT is what counts in the US, just ask blacks, people of Arab or Asian descent, Hispanics, etc.

      Nonetheless, many of us can name notable examples of Hispanics and Arabs who were successful before the civil rights movement gained popular acceptance, like Desi Arnaz and Danny Thomas. The Arab American Institute has complied quite a long list of successful people of Arab heritage, including one or two Jewish people:

    • I never claimed that Anti-Zionists accept Arab Racism. It is YOU who is erecting a straw man.

      You posed a strawman question based upon ethnicity, not religion. There are both Muslim and Christain Arabs: "if israel treated it’s Arab citizens the same way that Egypt treats it’s Coptic citizens, would you cease to be an anti Zionist?" The Copts are not descendants of the Arabs; their Coptic language is the direct descendant of Demotic Egyptian; and they have not converted to Islam.

      “The Arabs were indigenous” . . .Their ancestors were conquerors and ethnic cleansers as much as the zionists are. History does not stop whenever you say so.

      In fact, DNA studies prove that many of them shared the same Jewish ancestors as some of the modern-day Zionists. Some scholars suggest that there were only about 23,000 Arabs that rode out of the Arabian Peninsula during the conquest (and some of them were members of allied Jewish tribes). BTW, they subjugated indigenous peoples and made cultural and religious converts, but they did not replace them.

      Avigdor Levy and others have written extensively about the fact that entire autonomous Jewish communities were tolerated for hundreds of years under Islam. It really doesn't matter if the modern-day Palestinian refugees are willing to accept dhimmitude, the State of Israel has stated emphatically that it will not tolerate them.

      Bottom line – we deserve to have our nation state in which hebrew/jewish culture is dominant.

      Nonsense. The right of self-determination can be exercised through free association or incorporation in another existing state. Those are exactly the terms that the Zionist organization accepted under the League of Nations Mandate and the Balfour Declaration. There is no right to establish a nation-state by force in a territory inhabited by another people without their consent. That's why the UN Security Council refused to take any action or adopt the General Assembly's plan of partition and called on another Special Session to reconsider alternative courses of action.

      You are invoking another strawman when you discuss dismantling apartheid. Israel can grant Jews a right of return after a hundred generations, but it claims that it will somehow cease to exist unless it is permitted to deny Palestinian refugees their own right of return. There is no evidence to support that claim.

    • Why on earth would a Jew be in Cairo on Yom kippur knowing full well that it would be impossible to make up a minyan ( minimum 10 men required to hold a service ) unless of course it provided an opportunity to pen an Israel put down.

      I suppose you'd have to contact Tamir Pardo and ask how Mossad agents in Egypt cope with that problem;-) Do you think they would have invited Phil?

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