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  • '60 Minutes' profiles Palestinian Christians, Michael Oren falls on his face
    • LOL. On a thread that featured citations from a book that blames Jews for WWII.

      Straw man alert the book does no such thing.

    • Most of his chronology comes from a book by a PLO diplomat that accuses the Jews of starting WWII, not from news articles or first-hand accounts.

      A couple of corrections are in order. You and CAMERA have resorted to the use of straw man attacks against the author of The Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem in order to discredit the compilation of documentary evidence that it contains.

      The author does NOT accuse the Jews of starting WWII. His very first comment in the preface spells-out the causus belli:

      Before and during World War II millions of gentiles, including Poles, Dutch, Norwegians, French, Serbs, Greeks, Russians, Ukrainians, Germans, Austrians, and others, as well as Jews, were imprisoned, tortured, put in concentration camps and robbed of their worldly possessions by the Nazis.

      He goes on to note that a worldwide conference of Jews from around the globe declared war against Germany and that the Jewish leadership opposed efforts to negotiate a solution by peaceful means. He provides anecdotal evidence which shows that Jewish leaders applied political pressure to go to war and prosecute the Nazi war criminals. He provides evidence to support all of his claims. His bottom line is that when Palestinians act the very same way with respect to peace proposals and the crimes committed by Zionists against the people of Palestine, the victims are branded as terrorists.

      FYI, like it or not, the behavior that he is describing is mirrored in the posture of the Israel Lobby and the State Israel today with respect to Iran. For at least the last decade, they have chosen to push for the US and other countries to implement blockades, economic sanctions, bombing of nuclear facilities, and other acts of war in response to Iran's military alliances in the region, the supposed threat from Iran's weapons programs, and Iran's alleged support for terrorists.

      The Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem has Forewords written by two very well respected experts in the fields of international law and international human rights, Profs John Quigley and Francis Boyle. Neither of them have anything but praise for the well documented evidence it presents.

    • It encourages people to contact CBS after the program has been aired if it is what they think it is. How is that an attempt to keep it from airing?

      Hophmi no one takes your questions seriously. We're talking about efforts to intimidate the network or its advertisers over a pretty tame news report which explains why Arab Christians might be leaving Israel and Palestine.

      Mondoweiss readers have seen: videos of Jews marching through the streets of Jerusalem chanting death to the Arabs and proudly showing-off their racist dark side at a Jerusalem Mall after a soccer match. The state is evicting Arab families from their neighborhoods in East Jerusalem to make way for radical Jewish settlers. We've seen videos of those same settlers celebrating Purim by singing the praises of Baruch Goldstein and his efforts to shoot and kill Arabs.

      A long list of the country's leading Rabbis have signed threatening letters to their communities demanding that landlords and business owners deny Arabs housing and employment. Similar efforts have been undertaken by local authorities to establish special teams of youth counselors and psychologists whose job is to identify young Jewish women who are dating Arab men and "rescue" them. link to
      link to

      The major Israeli newspapers have all published reports which say the majority of Jewish high school students oppose equal rights for Arabs.
      link to

      Other polls show that the majority of Jews believe the state has the right to strip Arabs of their citizenship, redraw the country's borders to keep Arabs out, or to take action to prod Arabs to emigrate to other countries, e.g. link to

      Wikileaks has published cables which illustrate that the US State Department is aware of long term efforts on the part of the government and private groups to deny entitlements to Christians and Messianic believers and to uproot their communities in Israel.

      It's remarkable that Bob Simon and CBS didn't mention all of that in their report on the vanishing Christian population of the Holy Land. The Jewish Federation of America should be asking its members to don sackcloth and ashes. It shouldn't be encouraging them to compound the problem by making a nuisance out of themselves in order to send emails or place phone calls to CBS expressing mock outrage.

    • You cite Deuteronomy, which you reject as historical truth. I cite Christian persecution of Jews during the Middle Ages, which is historical truth.

      I actually cited the theology of Rabbi Meir Kahane. He's a bit more up-to-date than the Middle Ages. See Kahane was Right? Most Jews Think It's OK to Prod Arabs to Go -- In a poll of Jewish public, 53% say that the state is entitled to encourage Arabs to emigrate from Israel. Haredis most 'nationalistic' group.
      link to

    • No. I’m saying that people follow Kahane the nationalist, not Kahane the rabbi

      How convenient. Why do you suppose they are attacking Churches instead of foreign embassy offices? BTW, just how the hell would you know? Earlier in the day you claimed to be completely unaware of any possible application of this theological teaching regarding the applicability of the commandments regarding the 7 Nations to other Gentile nationalities who might consider Israel their home.

      Kahane represented enough national religious fanatics to hold down a seat in the Israeli Knesset several decades ago when the settlement movement was in its fledgling stages. His disciples are running the governing coalition these days. In several of the attacks on Churches mentioned above, the perpetrators deliberately left behind "Kahane was right" calling cards.

    • Bob Simon and 60 Minutes didn’t come close to getting the real story here.

      No, of course not.

    • Again, you speak nonsense. A pogrom is an attack that takes place as the authorities stand by.

      I gave you links to a Caspari report extracted from Ha'Aretz, HaModia,, HaTzofe, Ma'ariv, Yated Ne'eman, Yedi'ot Aharonot, Army Radio, Israel Radio, Israel TV, HaModia, Ma'ariv, The Jerusalem Post, Beersheba regional weeklies, etc. etc., Nov.29,30 and Dec. 2-4, 1998. They said the police were called during a 1998 Beersheba riot involving 1,000 ulta-Orthodox people that was organized by Yad L'Achim in coordination with Beersheba's chief rabbi. The rioters were threatening to kill the Christians and burn their homes. They were throwing rocks, vandalizing cars, and attempting to break into the building. The reports said the police merely escorted the Christians to safety, but did nothing to stop the riot that was endangering lives and disrupting the Christian Church service. link to

      I cited a State Department human rights report that documented subsequent attacks and noted that the courts refused to issue restraining orders. link to

      I gave you another link where the Chief Rabbi of the city openly called for the burning of Christian Bibles. It also announced that the Court had overturned an injunction. link to

      If you don't think that's a pogrom, then you're a nut case. Your remarks in response to a mountain of third party verifiable evidence is nothing short of Nakba denial.

    • Cite me one mainstream Jewish source that says Jews should burn the New Testament if they can.

      Surely, the Chief Rabbi of Beersheba, Yehuda Deri. He is paid by the State and happens to be the brother of Shas religious party founder Ariyeh Deri. His congregation is the one mentioned in the State Department human rights and Caspari Center Media reports that I cited above. They are responsible for burning Bibles and repeated attacks on local Christians.

      He and the national anti-missionary organization, Yad L’Achim, have openly invoked the halakhah and announced a ban which calls for the burning of any copies of the Torah or mezuzos prepared by a Christian. link to

      FYI, Shabbath folio 116A of the Babylonian Talmud has been employed since the earliest times to burn copies of the Torah prepared by Christians and to isolate communities of Christians. link to

      See footnote 21 on page 83 of Isaac Kalimi, "Early Jewish Exegesis and Theological Controversy: Studies in Scriptures in the Shadow of Internal and External Controversies", Uitgeverij Van Gorcum, 2002 - and stop badmouthing Israel Shahak. link to reported on a State Department cable that was published by Wikileaks on the relationships between Yad L’Achim and national and local government officials:

      A May 30, 2008 cable from the American Embassy in Tel Aviv describes the activities of the “Yad Leachim” anti-missionary movement, run by Chabad Rabbi Shalom Ber Lifshitz, and noting the fact that Chabad can “proselytize” openly:

      “2. BACKGROUND: While anti-missionary groups such as the ultra-Orthodox Yad l'Achim ("Hand to the Brothers") have long sought to uproot Messianic Jewish and Evangelical Christian congregations in Israel, their activities have gone largely unnoticed by mainstream Israeli society. Targeted congregations have suffered harassment and occasionally even vandalism or violence at the hands of Yad l'Achim activists, but such incidents rarely made the national press. Despite the harassment, the number of Messianic Jews and Evangelical Christians has grown in recent years through both immigration and conversion. In recent months, however, increased press reporting and complaints from religious freedom activists have indicated an increase in Yad l'Achim activism and a growing, wider backlash against the presence of Evangelical or Messianic congregations and missionaries living in Jewish communities. Contacts describe a mounting sense of fear among Messianic and Evangelical communities, and allege a situation of near impunity where police fail to adequately investigate hate crimes against them. They also claim that the Interior Ministry arbitrarily denies benefits to people it identifies as Messianic Jews or Evangelical Christians. For their part, Yad l'Achim and allied activists appear increasingly determined to head off what they see as the "stealing of Jewish souls" by proselytizing "cults" that use deception and manipulation to prey on the weaker sectors of Israeli Jewish society. (NOTE: Proselytizing is legal in Israel, as long as it is not directed toward minors and as long as people are not materially induced into conversion. Proselytizing of less-Orthodox Jews by ultra-Orthodox Jewish sects, such as Chabad, is done openly and without the constraints imposed on non-Jewish groups. END NOTE).

      -- link to

    • Hophmi the folks in the Bible belt jumped all the way to the ends of their chains when a lot fewer churches were attacked during the civil rights era and again a just a few years ago. You'd better come up with some better hasbara than you're peddling here. The nut cases in Israel aren't going anywhere and they are getting bolder everyday.

      Forget about quoting Shahak. He’s not remotely credible.

      I was citing an article by another author, Yehuda Koren. It appeared in Israel's largest newspaper, Yediot Ahronot. It addressed an incident involving the burning of New Testaments, and repeated attacks on Jehovah's Witnesses in Lydda with stones and building blocks. I notice you are dismissive as usual. We get it. You are trying to downplay the fact that in many communities the Israelis have been carrying-out pogroms against Christians for many years, while the authorities and Courts have played the role of willing accomplices.

    • Sigh. Believe what you want, Hostage. You can say up is down and down is up if you want. . . . The Jewish Encyclopedia is from 1906

      Hophmi the readers can see for themselves that Rashi and the Jewish Encyclopedia are both talking about replacement theology in which God gave Israel the inheritance of the other nations. You're simply proving that you either don't know what you're talking about or that you're deliberately trying to misrepresent an aspect of Jewish theology which unabashedly claims that Jews and converts have a superior covenantal relationship with God than the rest of mankind, who can't even keep the commandments of their inferior Noahide covenant.

      Again, it’s really beside the point. There is no actual history of Jews persecuting those nations, and no stream of Judaism that I know of that draws a modern lesson from this passage that others should be persecuted based on the idea that Jews superceded them.

      Hell even Jeffrey Goldberg has met Kahanists and admits that they exist and persecute Palestinians, e.g. link to

      Here is Rabbi Kahane's commentary on Rashi and Genesis 1:1, try to get some clue regarding his message on the infinite goodness entailed in the death of the wicked:

      Likewise, the Midrash says (Bereshit Rabbah, 1:2), “It was so that the nations would not castigate Israel and call them “a nation of plunderers”. R. Yitzchak did not say there, “because of the seven nations” but rather, “the nations of the world”, to inform us that all of the nations will join those nations who once inhabited the Land, be they the seven nations or Ishmaelites, with the claim that Israel are thieves and plunderers, and on that day, Israel shall stand alone. It follows that those same laws that applied to the seven nations [that is, to remove them from the Land] apply to all the nations that live in Eretz Yisrael in every age. This includes those of our age, who view Eretz Yisrael as their own land and soil, and who view the Jewish People as a nation of conquerers, robbers and thieves.

      After all, what difference is there as far as G-d's warning that “those who remain shall be barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, causing you troubles in the land” (Num. 33:55), between the seven nations and between any nations that dwells in the Land, views it as its own, and then Israel come and conquer it from them? Surely it will feel that same hatred and that same fierce will for revenge as did the seven nations. This logic appears already in Or HaChaim (Num. 33:52): “You must drive out”: Although the verse said of the seven nations, “You shall not allow any people to remain alive” (Deut. 20:16), here, the Torah is talking about other nations found there besides the seven. It therefore was careful to say, “all the Land's inhabitants”, meaning, even those not of the seven. They, too, will always harbor resentment against Israel and will never resign themselves to us, but will await the “right” moment to rebel. As for their ostensibly having submitted nowadays, that is only out of fear and the inability to claim victory for the time being.

      Abraham, out of his mercy and kindness, did not wish to see the evil done by Ishmael, especially with him being his son. G-d therefore had to command him, “Let it not be grievous in your sight because of the lad” (Gen. 21:12). Mercy towards the cruel is not a good trait. Quite the opposite, one is duty-bound to separate oneself from the evildoer even if this is a difficult step, and even if it appears cruel. There can be no coexistence between evil and upright people – only separation. [Likewise,] the death of the wicked is infinitely preferable to the death of the righteous, and eradicating evil is infinitely superior to eradicating good.

      --Parashat Vayeira - Isaac and Ishmael can't coexist - Rabbi Meir Kahane link to

    • Yes, though, again, supercessionism has a distinct meaning. Generally, the theology holds that G-d made a “new covenant” with Christians that replaced the one he had with the Israelites. Again, this is a real theology, which has had very unfortunate and documented applications over the centuries. It’s different from the biblical notion of Jews conquering the land of Canaan as explained by Rashi.

      Not it's not. God had a Noahide covenant with everyone and it got replaced by the better one Israel received when we were given "the inheritance of the nations", instead of the intended recipients:

      The barbarian Gentiles who could not be prevailed upon to observe law and order were not to be benefited by the Jewish civil laws, framed to regulate a stable and orderly society, and based on reciprocity. The passage in Moses' farewell address: "The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from Mount Paran" (Deut. xxxiii. 2), indicates that the Almighty offered the Torah to the Gentile nations also, but, since they refused to accept it. He withdrew His "shining" legal protection from them, and transferred their property rights to Israel, who observed His Law. A passage of Habakkuk is quoted as confirming this claim: "God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. . . . He stood, and measured the earth; he beheld, and drove asunder [ = "let loose," "outlawed"] the nations" (Hab. iii. 3-6); the Talmud adds that He had observed how the Gentile nations steadfastly refused to obey the seven moral Noachian precepts, and hence had decided to outlaw them (B. Ḳ. 38a).

      --See the entry for Gentile @ the Jewish Encyclopedia.
      link to

      According to the Talmud, the souls of all converts were actually present at Mount Sinai when the torah was given (Talmud - Shavuot 39a). link to

      Though the Bible’s command to wipe out the seven nations that inhabit Canaan is definitely one of its theological challenges, it has not had any real world application I know of; these nations do not exist today, and it’s a stretch to argue that they ever existed.

      That may be true, but from the Orthodox Jewish theological perspective, it's completely untenable to admit the possibility that the 7 Nations didn't exist.

    • So your claim that “Churches there have always been targets for arson, stoning, and graffiti” is based on a chronology of nine incidents from the mid-80s from a 22-year-old book

      No that's not the case at all. I think you omitted quite a few incidents too.

      I'd love to know how you eradicate over 400 Palestinian towns and villages without destroying any places of worship or attacking any Christians?

      Out here in fly-over country my neighbors don't care who compiles the lists of attacks on Churches and Christians, they just want an honest explanation of what the hell is going on, if such a thing is possible. They encounter Jewish message boards where idiots seem oblivious to the fact that Gentiles can read their posts. They also encounter Internet laundry lists of grievances against Israel over it's treatment of Christians. You can readily see that they are not limited to just nine alleged attacks. The problem of course is that many of these these things don't have any explanation:

      St. George's Cathedral in Jerusalem. On 3 Feb. 1944 three Jews were suprised as they tried to set a bomb at the gate through which the British High Commissioner would pass on his way to Sunday service.

      French Catholic Ratisbonne School. On 20 Nov, 1947 Jews smashed the statue of the Virgin Mary in the enclosure.

      German Catholic Church of Jerusalem. On 16 Feb. 1948 Jews threw hand grenades into the yard of the the church.

      Dormito Abbey, Mt. Zion. Also on 16 Feb. 1948 a bomb was thrown by the
      Haganah into the garden barely missing two fathers.

      The War Against the Chrisatian Palestinians 1948-49

      The Zionist attack on Christianity in Jerusalem:

      • In 1947 Christian Population of Palestine was 350,000. In 1948 the
      Israelis grabbed 80% of Palestine and expelled 800,000 Muslim and Christian Arabs. In 1969 the Christian population of Israel was less than 45,000.

      Convent of St. George of the Greek Orthodox- occupied 14 May 1948; struck on 18 May by a mortar shell

      Hospice "Notre Dame de France" of the Assumptionist Fathers- occupied 15 May 1948; used as a main base to attack Jerusalem. Large part of it was
      destroyed by the occupation.

      Convent of Reparatrice Sisters- occupied 15 May 1948; used in the attack on Jerusalem. Set on fire and mostly destroyed.

      French Hospital- occupied 15 May 1948 in defiance of the International Red
      Cross and French flags flying over it.

      Italian Hospital- occupied 15 May 1948 despite its being under the
      protection of the Red Cross; used to shell Jerusalem.

      Seminary of Ste. Anne was bombed on 17 & 19 May 1948 suffering heavy damage and many of the refugees within were wounded.

      Church of St. Constantin and Helena- struck by a bomb on 17 May 1948 the
      fragments of which damaged the Church of the Holy Sepulcher next-door.

      The Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate was hit with about one hundred mortar bombs launched by the Zionists from the monastery of the Benedictine Fathers on Mount Sion. These bombs also damaged St. Jacob's Convent, the Archangels Convent and their churches, their two Elementary and Seminary schools along with their libraries. 8 killed and 120 wounded.

      The Apostolic Delegation (protected by the Holy See)- occupied 18 May 1948.

      Monastery of the German Benedictine Fathers (Dormition)- occupied 18 May 1948; used as one of the main bases for the attack on Jerusalem.

      The English School at Mount Sion- occupied 18 May 1948

      Convent of St. John (Greek Orthodox)- occupied 18 May 1948; struck by a
      mortar shell on 23 May 1948

      St. Abraham convent struck by mortar fire on 23 May 1948

      St. Spiridon convent struck by mortar fire on 23 May 1948

      Convent of the Archangel (belonging to the Coptic Patriarchate) forming part of the Holy Sepulcher struck by a mortar shell on 23 May 1948

      The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate hit by mortar shells on 23 & 24 May 1948 wounding many refugees

      Franciscan Convent (St. Saviour) near the Holy Sepulcher hit by mortar
      shells on 19, 23, 24, & 28 May 1948- orphanage damaged; general secretariat damaged; many nearby houses destroyed; many sheltering children killed and wounded

      Latin Patriarchate hit by mortar shelling on 23, 26, 27 & 28 May 1948 damaging the Patriarchal Palace, especially the Cathedral

      Greek Catholic Patriarchate struck by mortar shells on 16 & 29 May 1948
      damaging the building and wounding several people.

      Church of St. Mark (Syrian Orthodox)- struck by mortar shell killing the
      monk Peter Saymy, secretary to the bishop, and wounding two others.

      Zionists fired on Jerusalem from the Hebrew University, Hadassah Hospital
      and from two synagogues located in the Old City.

      Desecration in Peace: 1949-1967

      • On Mt. Zion in Jerusalem Israeli forces first seized then looted various
      churches and convents. Gold and silver religious objects were taken and the
      churches and convents turned into military posts. The soldiers desecrated
      and vandalized the Armenian and Greek Orthodox cemeteries.

      • Churches were destroyed in Damound & Somata.

      • Christmas Day 1952 the Israeli army blew up the village of Ikret, whose
      population was 100% Catholic. Its beautiful church was destroyed and the
      population were scattered to other parts of Galilee.

      • October 1953 the Israeli army destroyed the Christian village of Kafr
      Bur'om in Galilee. Its churches and schools were demolished and the
      population scattered to various parts of Galilee.

      • 16 April 1954 Zionist attack the cemetery of the Greek Catholic Community in Haifa. 73 crosses and 50 statues of angles were smashed.

      • July 1954 Israeli fundamentalists attack a Christian religious procession
      of the Carmelite Fathers and the Christian community of Haifa on Mt. Carmel near Haifa. The procession was dispersed, many crosses were destroyed and many Christians were injured.

      • 12 July 1954, a Protestant Minister in Tiberias went to a house where some families of Christian and Jews had gathered. A rabbi provoked Jews to riot by spreading the rumor that many Jews were to be baptized in that house. Hundreds of Jews gathered and attacked the house. The police were rushed to disperse the mob, and it was only the presence of the police which saved the Protestant Minister from being lynched.

      • July 1961 a Christian missionary group in Jerusalem was
      forced to cancel it services when attacked by stone-throwing Jewish
      religious fanatics. They chanted "Eichmann! Eichmann!" and began tossing

      • 10 January 1963 the Finnish Christian Mission School in Jerusalem is
      attacked by seventy Jews, mostly Yeshiva students. They smashed windows and beat Mr. Risto Santala, the school pastor. Further along the street the plate glass windows of the Zion Mission shop run by Reverend William Hall were smashed. All of this was the result of an editorial in the Jewish newspaper Yediot Aharonot of 23 Dec. 1962 which accused the Christian Mission of converting Jews to Christianity, and calling on Jews to
      demonstrate outside the Finnish School.

      Attacks on Christianity-- 1967 & After
      The War:

      • Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem shelled by Israeli forces

      • Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem- Israeli soldiers and youths throw stink bombs into the church Israelis inappropriately dressed entered the church;they smoked cigarettes; they littered the church; they brought dogs with them
      • Church of the Nativity suffered some of the same desecretions as the Holy

      • Israeli forces shot up the Episcopal Cathedral just as they had done in 1948

      • IDF smashed the Episcopal school for boys with their tanks

      • IDF wrecked and looted the YMCA

      • IDF wrecked the Lutheran Hospital, even though it was being used by the UN
      • The Lutheran center for cripples was also heavily damaged by the Israelis

      • In Ramallah the Episcopal school for girls was fired upon by Israeli forces and some of the girls were killed

      • The Reverend S.J. Mattar, warden of the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, was
      murdered in his home by Israeli soldiers according to
      witnesses who were also fired upon.

      After the War: 1967--
      1972 Arson destroys the bookstore of the Baptist Church in Jerusalem. The
      church suffers several attacks per year- usually window breaking. The
      bookstore also is a favorite target for vandalism. The chapel had recently
      been vandalized by a member of the ultra-right Kach movement.

      1974 Two American Jewish girls attempt to set fire to the Baptist Church

      1975 A grenade damages the Baptist Church. Slogans were painted on the
      Church's property- a common practice in these attacks.

      1978 Law against missionaries.

      8 Oct. 1982 "Unknown persons" set fire to the Baptist Church in Jerusalem
      destroying it. The adjacent church library suffered damage also.

      23 Dec. 1982 "Unknown persons" drew swastikas on the entrances of two
      churches in Jerusalem. They also tried to set the two churches on fire. In
      addition to the swastikas the word "OUT" was painted on the entrance of the Notre Dame Church- the second such desecration.

      Dec. 1982 Meir Kahane's Kach group burned to the ground a Baptist church in Jerusalem.

      23 May 1983 "Unknown persons" attacked a convent run by German nuns in Jerusalem. Al-Fajr, a Jerusalem weekly, reported that this was just the
      latest incident in a series of many anti-Christian incidents in Jerusalem.

      June 1983 The Mother Superior and another nun of the Russian Orthodox Church were stabbed to death by an American Jew. In mid-month men entered the church and threatened the nuns. At another Russian Orthodox church, directly across the street from Jerusalem's main police center, swastikas were painted on the main entrance.

      Nov. 1983 Father Fawzi Khoury of the Fassouta Roman Catholic Church was held for weeks without charge.

      25 Dec. 1983 A fire was started in the Hotel Nitzan in Tiberias on Christmas
      Day. Jews claimed that the hotel is a center for missionary activity and
      that various Christian sects are offering clothes, jewelry and sneakers to
      Jews who would attend missionary lectures. The Jerusalem Post noted the
      incident as one of many such actions harassing the group; meetings
      interrupted and photos of the participants taken and sometimes published
      later in anti-missionary tracts; windows smashed; stones tossed into
      meetings; homes of members broken into; and converts are often harassed. The owners closed the hotel and asked the group to leave. The anti-missionary group Yad Le' Achim and a local yeshiva, Kolel Yad Rambam, seemed to the instigators of the attacks.

      Dec 1983 Explosives placed outside several Christian and Muslim religious
      institutions in Jerusalem injured a number of people.

      5 Jan. 1984 "Unknown persons" set fire to the Messianic Assemblies Church in Jerusalem-- the latest of a number of arsons and bombings against Christian and Muslim targets. The church's address had been placed on copies of Biblical literature later distributed in Orthodox Jewish circles. The church had nothing to do with the literature to which its name had been affixed.

      15 Jan. 1984 At the Russian Orthodox convent Ain Karem an Israeli army issue hand grenade exploded as a nun opened her door. The door was blown to pieces but the nun eluded death by ducking around a corner just before the grenade exploded. Israeli police point to the terror group Terror Against Terror held responsible for at least 14 such bomb attacks throughout the West Bank.

      Jan. 1984 Plans to build a Christian hotel near Bethlehem were scrapped by
      the Jewish municipality which refused to issue a building permit.

      After the fire meetings of the Baptist congregation are held in tent like structures. Their rebuilding plan is approved by Mayor Teddy Kollek but in the fall the district planning commission decided to allow only the building of a structure similar to the congregation's original 60 seat chapel built in
      1929. The Church filed suit in Israel's High Court.

      Yad Le' Achim organized protests against the rebuilding plans. an unnamed
      ultraconservative Orthodox Jewish leader told the Jerusalem Post that his
      political party would withdraw from the municipal coalition if approval were

      The High Court in mid 1985 asked the Baptist congregation to leave the area before it builds a new sanctuary. The court said it would not rule on the
      church's suit for two months. The delay is designed to give the congregation
      and the Baptist Convention of Israel time to consider trading the church
      property for another site in Jerusalem. Lawyers for the church have
      recommended that the Baptists move on condition the church's building will
      be approved as submitted.

      23 Jan. 1985 Ultra-Orthodox Jews protest opposite the Baptist Church against plans to rebuild the burnt-out church. The signs read: "Get Out," "We don't want a missionary center here." One demonstrator said: The Church disrupts the Shabbat peace and lowers the quality of life in our quiet residential area."

      13 Apr. 1985 Members of the Assyrian community (the oldest Christian
      community in Jerusalem), led by their archbishop, were walking to their
      quarter of the Old City on the occasion of Holy Fire when they were
      bombarded with hot water and rocks by a Jewish family from their home. This was the fifth time an Assyrian procession had been attacked during Christian holidays. The Jerusalem Post reported that the attackers were newly converted Orthodox Jews from America.

      The Jewish neighborhood in the vicinity of the Assyrian convent
      is all Assyrian property confiscated after 1967 to build the Jewish quarter.

      12 Apr. 1987 "Unknown persons" set fire to St. Savior's Episcopal Church in
      Akka. The arsonists also painted racists slogans in Hebrew on the church
      walls: "Kahane the Great," "Get Out Christians and Muslims, " and Death to
      the Pope."

      1988 In Gaza, 18-year old Kader Tarazi, on his way to buy groceries was
      caught in a crowd fleeing Israeli soldiers. He ducked into the house of a
      friend but the soldiers dragged him out. While beating him they demanded to know his religion. when he replied "Christian" the soldiers spread him
      cruciform on the hood of a jeep and beat him on the head. Then they drove
      him around the streets of Gaza for hours as an example. He died from the

    • Your links are overwhelmingly about one story

      I actually posted three or four recent stories that contained references to burning Christian scriptures and they were about separate incidents which happened years apart. FYI, here's a link to a story that first appeared in Yediot Ahronot, on 30 March 1997: "Burning the New Testament by Orthodox Jews in Israel"By Yehuda Koren. link to

      There is an explanatory note that accompanies the article from Professor Israel Shahak who explains that New Testaments are frequently burned in Israel:

      This is strictly according to the Jewish religious law and is often done, also in Jerusalem, since the Bibles contain the New Testament which pious Jews should burn, if they can. In Jerusalem, where Orthodox violence is more difficult than in a small town like Lydda, Bibles which contain the New Testament are often collected and ceremoniously burnt on a bonfire in an Orthodox neighborhood. No rabbi, and few politicians, have said a word about this. Needless to say, Western media will not report such events, although the Hebrew press does.

      That religious philosophy was repeated in the Arutz Sheva OpEd that I cited above. So why don't you address the issue and quit dissembling?

      The Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem dates from 1991. That’s 22 years ago.

      I also included several articles from the mainstream press about Churches that were attacked and burned. One of those articles indicated that Holy books had been burned too. Those articles covered events that happened in the last few years, although one church had been completely destroyed by fire in the 1980s, before the new building was burned again.

      Caspari is (predictably), an evangelical mission, not a source "that routinely translate[s] Hebrew press reports on instances of religious intolerance, persecution, price tag attacks, and acts of terror.

      I'll give you the URL to their archive again. They publish translations of regular Hebrew news items from the mainstream media several times a month. You can use the drop-down box at the bottom of the page to view their archives online. Those archives go back more than a decade, to 1998. link to

      Out here in fly-over country, you'd better smile when you claim that an Evangelical organization isn't a reliable source on persecution of Christians. That's especially true when the Caspari Center is translating articles and has always provided citations that can be verified by independent third parties.

    • I don’t. Supercessionism is a Christian ideology. link to

      I don't think Jimbo Wales or the Wikipedia Help Desk grok any of the sages. Rashi employs the principle of supercessionism in his commentary on the very first verse of the Torah:

      Bereishit - Genesis - Chapter 1:1. In the beginning of God's creation of the heavens and the earth

      In the beginning: Said Rabbi Isaac: It was not necessary to begin the Torah except from “This month is to you,” (Exod. 12:2) which is the first commandment that the Israelites were commanded, (for the main purpose of the Torah is its commandments, and although several commandments are found in Genesis, e.g., circumcision and the prohibition of eating the thigh sinew, they could have been included together with the other commandments). Now for what reason did He commence with “In the beginning?” Because of [the verse] “The strength of His works He related to His people, to give them the inheritance of the nations” (Ps. 111:6). For if the nations of the world should say to Israel, “You are robbers, for you conquered by force the lands of the seven nations [of Canaan],” they will reply, "The entire earth belongs to the Holy One, blessed be He; He created it (this we learn from the story of the Creation) and gave it to whomever He deemed proper When He wished, He gave it to them, and when He wished, He took it away from them and gave it to us.

      So according to Rashi and the Judaica Press, you too can practice supercessionism without converting to Christianity.

    • unlike the Ashkenazim who went as far as Europe, the Sephardi Jews didn’t move that far away, didn’t live among Christians and studied the Zohar

      Huh? Many European Jewish notables, like Sir Moses Montefiore, Baruch Spinoza, and Issac de Pinto were of Sephardic descent. Sephardic Jews ended-up living all over Western Europe, the British Isles, and the New World (which is pretty far away from Southwest Asia). FYI, “Ashkenazi” became a common Sephardic surname. See also "Sephardim in Eastern Europe"


    • I think it is relevant to point out both that Judaism is not supercessionist

      Unless of course you count the positive commandment regarding the destruction of the Seven Canaanite Nations or the fact that the Israeli Antiquities Authority has carried-out decades-long excavations on Mt. Gerizim which indicate that the Samaritan Temple to El/Yahweh pre-dated the one in Jerusalem:

      The Jews had significant competition in antiquity when it came to worshipping Yahweh. Archeologists have discovered a second great temple not far from Jerusalem that predates its better known cousin. It belonged to the Samaritans, and may have been edited out of the Bible once the rivalry had been decided.

      -- link to

    • P.S. Here is a 1998 report from the Caspari Center about 1,000 rock throwing ultra-Orthodox Jews disrupting the religious service of the Messianic congregation in Be’er Sheva, damaging property, and harassing members of the congregation. Compare with the State Department 2005 report in my post above (Same Shit, Different Day).
      link to

    • How many churches have been bombed by Jews since 1948?

      The Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem, by Issa Nakhleh documents dozens of examples.

      what proof do you have that it happens “frequently?”

      When the same thing happens year after year, as confirmed by the date line of the news reports.

      If you don't know what I'm talking about, try using Google yourself or subscribe to a few good news lists that routinely translate Hebrew press reports on instances of religious intolerance, persecution, price tag attacks, and acts of terror, e.g.: link to

      Here's a few articles from the English press:

      "Missionaries under threat in Israel" describes the pipe bomb attack
      link to
      German student to be deported for alleged 'missionary work'
      link to
      Evangelical Christian aid worker deported from Israel
      link to
      Christian Peacemakers deported from Israel
      link to
      Op-Ed: A Burning Issue (noxious, idolatrous books and pamphlets) link to
      Jewish Deputy Mayor Apologizes for New Testament Burning (2012)
      link to
      Hundreds of New Testaments torched in Israel (2008)
      link to
      Jerusalem church fire being probed (2010)
      link to
      Arsonists torch Jerusalem church, Holy books burnt (2007); last church fire in 1982 set by ultranationalists.
      link to
      link to
      Jerusalem Christians are latest targets in recent spate of 'price tag' attacks Attack on Baptist Congregation marks the latest in series of attacks ( 2012)
      link to
      Jerusalem monastery, Jewish-Arab school defaced in suspected 'price tag' attack (2012)
      link to
      Ultra-Orthodox Jews Harass Israeli Believers (2011)
      link to

      The State Department country report for Israel (2007) advised that:

      In July 2005 the Messianic congregation in Arad published a letter in Iton HaTzvi that reported harassment by members of an ultra-Orthodox community. In September 2005 the High Court heard a petition by ultra-Orthodox Jews seeking the right to demonstrate [with up to 700 persons] at the house of a family of Messianic Jews and reversal of a police decision prohibiting such a demonstration. At year's end there was no further information on a court ruling. According to Messianic Jews resident there, since 2004 the Gur Hassidim have demonstrated regularly in front of the homes of Christians and Messianic Jews in Arad to protest alleged Christian proselytizing by this group. In interviews with Ha'aretz newspaper on November 14, the mayor and several officials of Arad objected to Messianic Jews in their city, but acknowledged having no legal basis to expel them.

      In December 2005 approximately 200 ultra-Orthodox Jews disrupted the religious service of a Messianic congregation in Be'er Sheva, assaulting the congregation's pastor, damaging property, and harassing members of the congregation. In June a Be'er Sheva magistrate's court rejected an appeal by the congregation for a restraining order against ultra-Orthodox protesters. At year's end there were no further developments.
      link to

      The 2010 report said:
      Many Jewish citizens objected to exclusive Orthodox rabbinic control over aspects of their personal lives. Approximately 310,000 citizens who immigrated, either as Jews or as family members of Jews, are not considered Jewish by the Orthodox Rabbinate. They cannot be married, divorced, or buried in Jewish cemeteries within the country. The estimated 20,000 Messianic Jews, who believe Jesus is the Messiah and consider themselves to be Jews, also often experienced this infringement on their personal lives, since the Orthodox Rabbinate did not consider them Jewish. A 1996 law requiring the government to establish civil cemeteries has not been fully implemented, although eight civil cemeteries exist.
      link to

    • didn’t you leave out Syria, hop?

      Well there's no reason for Simon to say that Christians aren't suffering from violence in Israel. Churches there have always been targets for arson, stoning, and graffiti. Rabbis frequently gather and burn copies of the Christian scriptures. "Messianic" Jews have been given Purim baskets containing pipe bombs. The government frequently deports foreign "missionaries", and anti-missionary organizations, like "Yad Le'Achim, openly brag about the fact that their mass protests at private homes and churches have succeeded in preventing Christian congregations from holding services, distributing literature, or baptizing Jews.

    • As I watched the 60 Minutes segment, I was wondering what Mondoweiss would have to say about it. Unlike so much of what is spewed forth by The New York Times or NPR, it was genuinely balanced.

      Well no, it really wasn't. Simon failed to mention that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had determined that the Wall and the Israeli settlements that he was discussing are flagrant violations of international law that experts have described as crimes against humanity and war crimes. Even the US government has stated that neither have any legitimacy. For example, even Fox News reported that Secretary of State Colin Powell had criticized the Wall saying that "A nation is within its rights to put up a fence if it sees the need for one. However, in the case of the Israeli fence, we are concerned when the fence crosses over onto the land of others." See "Powell Criticizes Israeli Fence in West Bank" link to

      Simon simply repeated the common hasbara line that the Wall was built to keep terrorists out of "Israel". I think he let Oren off the hook when the Ambassador claimed: "It's their inconvenience, it's our survival." The ICJ specifically pointed-out that the Wall could not be justified on the basis of necessity or Israeli security. The General Assembly and ICJ both concluded that Israel could have built the Wall on its own territory if that had been the goal. I think Oren probably succeeded in toning-down the report.

  • Judge rules against Minnesota 'Break the Bonds' campaign
    • If you could only buy U.S. and Canadian bonds, why would there be statutes limiting bonds from these countries?

      I've never claimed that the statute prohibits buying guaranteed or insured bonds from other countries payable in US dollars, only that the "full faith and credit clause" for bonds that are not rated in a top category by a national agency obviously has the normal constitutional meaning that would exclude foreign acts, obligations, judgments, and any restrictions under general legislation adopted by the US Congress, like the applicable laws on legal tender for payment of public debts, & etc.

    • Ask your parents if you don’t know what an encyclopedia is.

      I gave you a link to a Congressional Research Service report and cited specific examples from its table of contents. If you think its an encyclopedia, I hope your parents are still looking out for you and making all of your important decisions for you.

      And yes, you certainly are engaging in a genetic fallacy when you claim that WRMEA magazine can't pass along facts that are verifiable and available from open government sources, like the CRS report.

    • No, the full faith and credit _clause _ of the U.S. Constitution means that. The term “full faith and credit” itself has wider application. All it means in this context is that if any country issued the bonds, backed by that country’s good name, then Minnesota can buy them.

      Fredblogs the statute is obviously using the clause in the narrow constitutional sense. Your interpretation would result in the absurd situation where the SBI could invest in Cuban government bonds payable in non-convertible national pesos without regard to the country's credit rating, but not guaranteed or insured issues of Canadian bonds payable in Canadian national currency or bonds of the International Bank payable in foreign currencies, since Subd. 2.Government obligations provides that:

      The state board may invest funds in governmental bonds, notes, bills, mortgages, and other evidences of indebtedness provided the issue is backed by the full faith and credit of the issuer or the issue is rated among the top four quality rating categories by a nationally recognized rating agency. The obligations in which the board may invest under this subdivision include guaranteed or insured issues of . . . (b) Canada and its provinces, provided the principal and interest is payable in United States dollars; . . . (d) the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank, or any other United States government sponsored organization of which the United States is a member, provided the principal and interest is payable in United States dollars.

      Please get yourself some clue.

    • BTW, you aren’t one of their lawyers are you? Because that would explain a whole lot about this case.

      No. I tend to agree that the statute contains no provisions for individual taxpayers to pursue a policy dispute over SBI investments through the Courts and that several non-Canadian types of foreign investment are explicitly authorized under certain circumstances. Without looking into the legislative history on the specific vs. general provisions you can't say for certain which is later in date or controlling.

    • What you aren’t understanding is that the term “full faith and credit” means

      Fredblogs I understand the term of art and the scope of the statute perfectly well. The statute is talking about investments in municipal and state bonds within the United States and foreign investments that are payable in legal tender. You're the one who is misrepresenting the content and the intent of the statute.

    • Currency and bonds of countries are often backed by the Full faith and credit of that country.

      It means that another state's acts, obligations, and judgments are enforceable in state courts or that a currency is legal tender for payment of debts, e.g. link to

      Your link to Google books doesn't establish that Israel's acts, obligations, or judgments are enforceable in the courts of Minnesota or that its currency is legal tender, now does it?

      Israel bonds are rated A+ by Standard and Poor’s. Ratings go AAA AA+ AA- A+. Israeli bonds have fourth highest possible rating, read the statute.

      There are plenty of US statutes which authorize the US government to guarantee Israel's commercial obligations, e.g. P.L. 100-202. Should I read those too?

    • If they can, then cite chapter and verse. If you can’t then quit citing anti-Israel, Saudi backed “reporters” who would say anything they could to hurt Israel.

      I did better than that, I gave the readers a link to the entire Congressional Research Service report: link to

      FYI, even the Nizkor Project warns against the use of genetic fallacies, like the ones you're employing here, e.g. link to

    • This is an interesting legal discussion, but not altogether applicable to the declaratory relief complaint that MN BBC filed that alleged . . .

      Yes. The main article addressees that. I was discussing the difficulty of enforcing treaties and customary international law in the domestic courts.

      financially facilitating customary international law violations exposing MN to aiding and abetting Alien Tort Statute liability under more recent and developing caselaw. (See the Ninth Circuit’s recent en banc decision in Sarei v. Rio Tinto).

      The Minnesota statute allows for investments in either government or corporate obligations. Sarei dealt with a limited liability company. ATS applies to individual state officials, but not to the sovereign acts of foreign states like issuing debt instruments. The 8th Circuit hasn't addressed the question of corporate liability under the ATS. I've commented on the split between the Districts on that issue before: link to

      The last time the issue came-up in the Supreme Court, in the South African apartheid case, the Justices couldn't muster a quorum due to conflicts of interest (stock holdings in the corporate petitioners). So the case was allowed to proceed in the lower court.
      link to

      *The Second Circuit decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum held that corporations can't be held liable for violations of customary international law under the ATS.
      *The DC Circuit disagreed. In its decision on Doe v. Exxon-Mobil it held that corporations can be liable, but in Ali Shafi v. Palestinian Authority it held that non-state actors may not be held liable under the ATS.
      *The Eleventh Circuit decision in Romero v. Drummond held that corporations can be held liable.
      *The Ninth Circuit agreed that corporations may be held liable in its Bauman v. Daimler Chrysler Corp decision.

    • It’s not so much that it is from 1997 as that it comes from an anti-Israel propaganda site that bothers me.

      The same facts can be independently verified from the reports of the Congressional Research Service. There have been numerous US commercial loan guarantees to prop-up Israel's credit ratings with the national ratings agencies; loans for which repayment has been waived; the "Cranston Amendment" which gave Israel economic assistance equal in amount to its annual debt payments to the US; and other "special benefits" for Israel. link to

    • I can’t see how any honest reading of the statute says that the SBI isn’t authorized to purchase Israeli bonds (as long as those bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of Israel, or highly rated by a rating agency).

      The section of the statute on corporate obligations is limited to investments in US and Canadian corporations in which the principle and interest are payable in US dollars. It appears that is also the intent of the section on government obligations. The examples of permitted investments cited in the section on government obligations are limited to rated instruments which are payable in US dollars; or instruments issued by a United States government sponsored organization of which the United States is a member, provided the principal and interest is payable in United States dollars. The Minnesota statute doesn't create a private right of action.

      FYI, the "full faith and credit" clause contained in Article IV, Section 1 of the United States Constitution does not apply to Israel. That clause only applies to obligations arising from public acts and judgements of our own State governments here in the US. In any event, the Congress is granted the power to adopt general laws that establish proof of the reliability of the acts, records, and judgments of a State. The observance of human rights and the Geneva Conventions is a principle foreign policy goal of the US government, e.g. See 22 USC § 2304 (a) and 18 USC § 2441. The official State Department position is that the Geneva Conventions do apply to the occupied Palestinian territory.

      The political question in this case would have to involve the unenumerated powers of the political branches of the Minnesota government for which they are only answerable to their particular political constituencies, not "foreign relations". That's one of the acts prohibited of the States under Article 1 section 10 the US Constitution. That's why the judges in the States are explicitly bound by treaties under the terms of the Supremacy clause of the US Constitution.

    • The Supreme Court and the Congress have deliberately limited the applicability of
      the Geneva Conventions. In many cases their domestic enforcement has been left solely to those responsible for violating them. The government's practice is aimed at reversing or altering landmark decisions on the customary law embodied in the Conventions. Customary law had formerly been viewed as an integral part of the law of the United States which is binding upon the judges in every state.

      The War Crimes Act criminalized violations of many of the Hague and Geneva Convention rules, but it does not create a private right of action. The Torture Victim Protection Act created a private right of action, but only against natural persons, not against any of the State parties to the Geneva Conventions.

      The Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in time of War article 5, 75 U.N.T.S. 287, Oct. 21, 1950 mentions the “full rights and privileges of a protected person under the present Convention”. Our Courts have ruled that the Geneva Conventions create private rights, but no private right of action. See Tel-Oren v. Libyan Arab Republic, 726 F.2d 774, 808-09 (D.C. Cir. 1984) and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 415 F.3d 33, 40 (D.C. Cir. 2005)

      The Supreme Court said “Even when treaties are self-executing in the sense that they create federal law, the background presumption is that international agreements, even those directly benefiting private persons, generally do not create private rights or provide for a private cause of action in domestic courts.” -- Medellín v. Texas, 128 Supreme Court, 1346, 1357 n.3 (2008).

      The Bush era Congress adopted the rather sinister Military Commission Act of 2006 which contained provisions that immunized government officers and agents for violations of the Geneva Conventions, e.g. "the Geneva Conventions are not judicially enforceable in any court of the United States”); 152 Cong. Rec. S10354-02, S10400 (daily ed. Sept. 28, 2006) (statement of Sen. Kennedy) (“[T]he bill expressly states that the Geneva Conventions cannot be relied upon in any U.S. court as a source of rights.”); id. at S10414 (statement of Sen. McCain) (“[This legislation] would eliminate any private right of action against our personnel based on a violation of the Geneva Conventions.”). See Noriega v. Pastrana FCI, United States Court of Appeals,Eleventh Circuit, No. 08-1102 (2009) link to

  • Assange's first guest on RT world premier: Nasrallah says US & Israel seek civil war in Syria
    • but wait Al Qaeda involvement was acknowledged by Israel like you said….oh then it must be true!!!!!!!!!!

      There are plenty of ordinary Syrians among the revolutionaries, military defectors, and the leadership of the “Transitional Council”.

      But the overthrow of Assad has also been an acknowledged goal of Al Qaeda for several years according to Ayman al-Zawahri and other Al Qaeda strategists. Members of the movement in Iraq have taken credit for some of the actions taken against Assad's forces. See the collection of articles at Prof. Jousha Landis' Syria Comment blog. link to

  • Define Orientalism (Palestinians make heroes of people who kill civilians)
    • There were lots of good citizens of Denmark but there were bad as well-the memories of both are still alive in Yad vaShem memorial.

      How convenient that you've got a State-sponsored memorial to bad citizens of Denmark where you can vicariously pick your scabs within clear sight of Deir Yassin. When do you suppose that museum will be opening-up?

    • Ehud Barak was a former prime minister when he did the same.

      He served as Prime Minister from 1999 to 2001. The UN Human Rights Commission fact finding mission and special rapporteur reports in 2000 noted widespread systematic and gross violations of human rights, in particular mass killings and collective punishments, that constituted war crimes and crimes against humanity. -- See E/CN.4/RES/S-5/1 19 October 2000 link to

  • Haaretz writer warns foreigners to stay away from 'nationalist fundamentalist enclave' that defines borders as threats
    • "World nations should issue a travel warning to Israel."

      I commented last month that someone at the State Department had finally decided to tell the truth about Israeli actions that hinder the ability of consular staff to offer timely assistance to U.S. citizens, the minefields in the Golan, injuries inflicted on westerners participating in demonstrations, closures and raids conducted by the Israeli security forces that effect travelers, demonstrations around Salah Ed-Din Street, Damascus Gate, Silwan, and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, and a long list of other things that don't make Israel or the West Bank look like very attractive travel destinations, e.g.:

      "Israeli security operations, including incursions in Palestinian population centers, can occur at any time and lead to disturbances and violence... U.S. citizens can be caught in the middle of potentially dangerous situations. Some U.S. citizens involved in demonstrations in the West Bank have sustained serious injuries in confrontations with Israeli security forces."

      -- See Travel Warning, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza link to

  • Rifle-bashing lieutenant-colonel solves Jewish problem created by Freud and my mother, says author of 'Indecent Proposal'
    • Funny that the Jews in the diaspora (not only Jews) are still finding the notion
      of a Jew who can give a thrashing as something of a novelty.

      Jack Engelhard is engaging in revisionist history. There were Jewish youth groups and Jewish military leagues, like Betar, Hashomer Hatsair, the Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa, et al. They were just as unsuccessful as everyone else in taking care of the Jewish people in Europe during WWII.

  • On Palestinian Prisoners' Day, protest mounts against world's largest security contractor
    • Like all UN member states, Denmark and Israel are bound to respect the Security Council resolutions which say that the Geneva Conventions are applicable in the occupied Arab territories.

      The most interesting angle here is that Denmark is a party to the Rome Statute. Certain crimes committed by its citizens anywhere else in the world are automatically subject to the ICC's jurisdiction. That certainly includes deportation of Palestinian civilians to Israeli prisons outside the territory that Israel is occupying under the terms of the Geneva Conventions. It would also include participation in joint criminal enterprises to facilitate transfers across the international armistice lines of demarcation. Denmark has primary responsibility for investigating and prosecuting any such crime. The original BDS call to action urged that we pressure governments to take appropriate action, i.e. apply sanctions and embargoes. Why not ask the government to investigate to see if G4S officers or employees are criminally liable for their role in creating this situation?

  • New Migron bill could lead to massive Israeli land grab in the West Bank
    • hostage, would it be new for israel within israel..or do you mean the precedence has been set previously wrt the occupied territories?

      Oh sure, after the landmark 1979 decision the Knesset adopted laws that superseded the Court decision with respect to East Jerusalem and the Golan. Those same three principles are the ones that the High Court employs to resolve conflicts in all the occupied territories between the Hague Regulations, the Geneva Conventions, the Basic Law Jerusalem, the Golan Heights Law, and statutes that provide funding for the settlements and Jewish sector infrastructure throughout the West Bank on a cases by case basis.

      The Prime Minister, speaking with the backing of his governing coalition, had already publicly promised that Court orders to dismantle certain West Bank outposts are never going to be enforced, e.g. See Netanyahu forbids demolition of illegal West Bank homes of slain IDF soldiers link to

      The very narrow line of cases regarding the construction of settlements on private property in the remainder of Palestine date back to the 1979 Elon Moreh case. There was no getting around the fact that the Nuremberg Tribunal had declared that the Hague rules were part of customary international law. In the Elon Moreh decision, the High Court noted that the customary rules did not (then) conflict with the explicit terms of any Knesset Statute. The rules prohibit expropriation of private property or expropriation of state lands for any purpose other than military necessity.

      The Court simply reasoned that settlements built without the prior knowledge or consent of the military commander could not possibly be retroactively justified on the basis of military necessity. That didn't stop the Knesset from adopting statutes that amounted to creeping expropriation and annexation, e.g. universities, museums, national heritage sites, public transportation, and utilities.

      The decision hasn't prevented the military commanders from illegally expropriating private property for military or other so-called public use (e.g. staging areas, Highway 443, bypass roads, utility easements, & etc). Conflicts between the Hague rules are resolved in favor of the Defense Emergency Regulations Act of 1945 and other Israeli statutes. Once the land has been expropriated, it frequently gets converted for the exclusive use of the settlers or citizens of Israel.

    • This bill will override Palestinian property rights in the West Bank, which is way outside of Knesset’s jurisdiction.

      The Knesset was originally created as a Constituent Assembly to author a Constitution (which conceivably will limit the scope of its jurisdiction when it finally gets around to that unpleasant bit of business).

    • have you heard about the slew of new bill’s coming up that the buzz of israel right now one of which affords the knesset to over rule supreme court rulings?

      That's nothing new. Primacy of parliamentary legislation has always been a key feature of the Israeli High Court's rulings on the occupied territories. David Kretzmer, held the Bruce W. Wayne Chair of International Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is a founding member of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and served on the Executive board of B'Tselem. In "International Law in Domestic Courts: Israel", he explained:

      In the absence of domestic legislative provisions the Supreme Court looked to the approach of the English legal system.

      The English approach rests on three principles: 1. Parliament is supreme in the field of legislation. Hence, any law enacted by parliament is valid, even if it is incompatible with the state's international law obligations. 2. Customary international law is part and parcel of the common law of the land, and will be enforced by the domestic courts unless it is incompatible with parliamentary legislation. 3. International treaties that were duly ratified by the state and bind it in international law will not be enforced by the domestic courts unless their provisions have been incorporated in domestic law through parliamentary legislation. The Supreme Court of Israel adopted all three principles.

      -- link to

      So long as Israel has no formal Constitution, any unpopular Supreme Court ruling is simply an accident waiting for a new statute to overturn it.

  • How Benny Morris transformed a patriotic struggle into a 'holy war' for 'sacred Islamic soil'
    • Palestinians killed in 2nd Intifada: 6513

      A UN Commission on Human Rights fact finding mission report in 2000 noted:

      "widespread, systematic and gross violations of human rights perpetrated by the Israeli occupying Power, in particular mass killings and collective punishments, such as demolition of houses and closure of the Palestinian territories, measures which constitute war crimes, flagrant violations of international humanitarian law and crimes against humanity."

      -- See E/CN.4/RES/S-5/1 19 October 2000 link to

      Like the Gaza fact finding report, these reports about war crimes and crimes against humanity were eventually consigned to the file cabinets at the UN's headquarters.

    • “How did the western left transformed a national struggle into a colonial
      apartheid enterprise”

      Through direct on-scene observation.

    • when PM Fayyad stood up Netanyahu and just sent two lower level delegates
      to the scheduled meeting.

      I think this is more of an example of falling victim to your own propaganda. The Israeli press has been trumpeting the behind-the-scenes arm twisting that's been going on to prevent Abbas from including a threat to dismantle the PA. It simply became part of the accepted wisdom that Fayyad would deliver that letter to Bibi today. But Haaretz noted that the Defense Minister had pointed-out that no time or place for the meeting had ever been confirmed and that it might simply be cancelled. link to

  • Barghouti to U.S. Jews: I know you don't like the word apartheid, but what do you call a system that gives a settler 50 times more water than a Palestinian?
    • I call it different countries having different standards of living. Take the net amount of water shipped across the Green Line, subtract all the water that goes to the settlers, you still have extra water going to the Palestinians from Israel.

      I'd call you a dishonest troll. Please provide your citations to reliable sources which show that Israel is providing more water to the territories than it steals from them. In any event the settlers, aren't living in a different country. Here are some reports on the situation:
      *BBC World News Israel stealing water from Palestine, link to
      *Amnesty: Israel withholds water from Palestinians - Rights group accuses Israel of consuming more than its fair share of water in West Bank link to
      *French parliament report accuses Israel of water 'apartheid' in West Bank link to

      For years the UN and other sources have reported that Israel diverts or exports water from Arab territories and that settlers and soldiers steal and destroy private springs and cisterns in Palestine, e.g.
      *“How Dispossession Happens: The Humanitarian Impact of the Takeover of Palestinian Water Springs by Israeli Settlers link to
      *Israel's Appropriation of Arab Water: An Obstacle to Peace link to
      *Diakonia The destruction of cisterns due to the lack of building permit in the Area C of the West Bank link to

  • P.A. has lost all its meaning -- Abbas
    • The primary reason for making Israel a Jewish state is to provide a haven for Jews who face persecution because they are Jews.

      Sure it is. Your Jewish State is: where doctors, nurses, social workers and other members of the Israeli establishment subject Ethiopian Jewish women to long term birth control; where the same groups secretly took Yemenite and other immigrant children away from their parents and told the families they had died; where Jewish women can be arrested for reading a Torah scroll in public; where the state put an end to the millenia-old religious tradition of Ethiopian Jewish priests; and where the government has deliberately made enemies out of the majority of the World's Muslim population - especially those living in the neighboring and nearby states.

    • lysias the report actually criticized the Hamas boycott for possibly preventing voters from voicing their preference. It also blamed the Israeli authorities for creating the majority of problems, which occurred in East Jerusalem. It shouldn't surprise anyone that Jimbo Wales hasbara echo chamber failed to summarize the report's principle conclusion:
      With the exception of East Jerusalem, no major systemic violations were reported. In this regard, ICDS along with other international observers including the European Union and the National Democratic Institute considered the 2005 Palestinian presidential elections a victory for democracy. link to

      Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he [Abbas] unilaterally extended his term for another year and continues in office even after that second deadline expired.

      So what? There was a civil war and the insurgents unilaterally extended their terms too. I subscribe to the views expressed by Mouin Rabbani on the subject:
      Q: How do you respond to those who argue that the current Palestinian leadership lacks legitimacy, either because their electoral terms have expired or because of the blurring of the lines between the PA and the PLO?
      A: Sure, if you look at it objectively, there is no legitimate Palestinian leadership, and that’s as true as it is for the government in Gaza as it is for the government in Ramallah. . . . Now does that mean that any Palestinian holding office is illegitimate and that anything they do is illegitimate? No. That would be going to the other extreme.
      link to

      The Wikipedia article doesn't spell-out the role of the PLO. Abbas was re-elected Chairman of the PLO in 2009. The PA is on the bottom of the Palestinian political food chain. The PLO Executive and Central Committees still retain the power, under the terms of the 1988 Declaration of the State of Palestine to form and establish provisional governments; to conduct votes of confidence regarding provisional governments; to conduct foreign relations on behalf of the provisional government; and to act as sole representative of the Palestinian people “until such time as the Palestinian people exercises full sovereignty over the land of Palestine”. In other words, until there isn't any interim government (aka the PA) anymore.

      The 2003 Basic Law was ratified and promulgated as law by Abbas acting in his capacity as the President of the PLO Executive Committee (NOT the President of the PA). It was ratified on the basis of those explicit legal understandings which were spelled-out in the preamble. It explained that the PA is only an interim body tasked to commence the organization and establishment of a sound, democratic and legislative life in Palestine and that it remains a creature of the PLO and ultimately depends upon the PLO for its own legitimacy:

      At the same time, the enactment and ratification of this law by the Legislative Council does spring from the fact that the Palestine Liberation Organization is the sole and legitimate representative of the Arab Palestinian people.

      link to

    • And, for Mayhem’s benefit, this was the condemnation I made, in that thread, of Areikat’s comments.

      In all fairness, the Haaretz article was summarizing information from an article that appeared in USA Today. That paper subsequently published an important clarification, which Haaretz did not pass along. USA Today said: In the headline and story, Palestinian Ambassador Maen Areikat says he was referring to Israelis, not Jews, when he stated that “it would be in the best interest of the two people to be separated first.” link to

      "Moderate" Israelis make worse pronouncements nearly every day, e.g. "The refugees are a clear red line for me. Not a single Palestinian refugee will go into Israel’s final borders." -- Kadima Party Leader MK Shaul Mofaz link to

    • How can the winners stage a coup?

      Winning a majority of seats in the PLC did not give Hamas the right to attack the regular PA security forces or overthrow the other branches of government, including the President.

      Were you trying to say the winners tried to hold the offices to which they were elected?

      No. The fact that one of our political parties might obtain a majority of seats in the Congress does not give it the right to form its own independent militia and attack the regular armed forces under the day to day operational control of the DoD and the President.

    • You tell Israel that it has to release all prisoners, many of whom are cold-blooded murderers. . . . And after all this Israel is supposed to say thank you very much and relent under the threat of you summoning the full force of international law.

      If it's any comfort to you, the subject of amnesty is very controversial in international criminal law. There are plenty of Israelis who belong in jail. There is no statute of limitations that can prevent that from eventually happening to many of your current or former officials and soldiers, whether they choose to make peace or not.

    • @libra: There is no mention in Abbas’ letter saying Israel is entitled to be a Jewish state.

      The Palestine Papers highlighted the fact that demanding recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is a form of incitement prohibited under the terms of the Quartet Road Map:

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

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

      Russia subsequently vetoed US attempts to modify the terms of reference to include that as a Quartet requirement. See Haaretz: Russia's refusal to refer to Israel as a "Jewish state" leads to failure of Quartet meeting link to

    • What is he waiting for?

      The Secretary General of the UN asked Abbas to abandon any further action on his statehood bid after the US defunded UNESCO. The Secretary General is part of one of the major organs of the UN, the Secretariat. After the UNESCO vote, he has no choice other than to accept treaty instruments from Palestine, like every other State. If he or the UN Treaty Organization extend the rights reserved for a State to Palestine, they risk loosing their funding from the US government.

      The Palestinian mission to the UN has an annual ritual where they co-sponsor draft resolutions in the General Assembly calling on the government of Switzerland to reconvene the Diplomatic Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions; calling on Israel to comply with its obligations under international law; and demanding that the Security Council take action on the outstanding agenda of items that have been addressed by the on-going 10th Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly - "Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory". link to

      Everyone pretends that they might grudgingly fulfill their treaty obligations towards Palestine in-line with the specific responsibilities outlined in the 2004 ICJ Advisory Opinion, while the US and EU claim that a solution can't be imposed from the outside and that enforcement of international law would only disrupt and delay the delicate "peace process".

      The mainstream media just doesn't cover all of this very well. The US and EU have been blocking action on the Advisory Opinion and dozens of fact finding mission reports concerning war crimesand crimes against humanity. They have also been blocking the criminal complaint that Palestine filed with the ICC and resisting efforts to reconvene the Geneva Conference of High Contracting Parties to take action on the 2004 ICJ Advisory Opinion. For example, when Palestine asked for membership in the UN, the US promised to veto the application and lobbied the other members of the Security Council to withhold support. The ICC Prosecutor said that Palestine could accept the Court's jurisdiction if it were upgraded to the status of an observer state. The French government reacted with its own plan to support an upgrade to Palestine's observer status, but only on condition that it withdraw its existing criminal complaint against Israel in the ICC, e.g. link to

    • He lost the last election. Hamas won. Abbas is the leader of the coup that ousted the winner.

      It was Hamas that launched what they described as a preemptive coup. Abbas was elected to the Presidency by 60 per cent of the vote. Hamas never fielded any candidate for that office. The fact is that the electoral mandates of both governing factions have long-since expired and that Hamas might have trouble getting re-elected these days, e.g. Hamas profits from Israel's Gaza blockade link to

    • Sounds like Abbas is taking Yossi Beilin’s advice.

      No, Beilin has never advocated that Abbas seek the full and complete implementation of international law as it pertains to Israel in all of the occupied Palestinian territory.

  • Jeffrey Goldberg's claim that Iran's Supreme Leader wants to kill Israeli Jews is based on shoddy sources
    • The United States and Israel have attempted, with no success, to revive the doctrine of preventative wars waged in violation of the UN Charter, i.e. Article 51. Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs . . . .

      However, if there's ever been a valid case for a pre-emptive strike (not!), the case for the necessity of such a strike against Israel is much more compelling than the one for such a strike against Iran.

  • Anti-Zionism will reemerge in American Jewish life -- Beinart
    • Seriously.

      No they're not serious. The text of Plan Dalet contains proof that they never considered self-defense among the basic rights of other states. That is also evident in the shreying about Nasser's deployment of his own army on Egyptian territory in the Sinai and Israel's insistence that buffer zones be set-up in Arab (not Jewish) territories.

      The plan called for unprovoked attacks against villages that might be used as bases in the Arab state, simply because of their location near the Jewish lines of defense. Those lines of defense included Jewish watchtower and stockade forts located deep within the new Arab state. They planned for expulsion of the inhabitants in case they defended themselves and demolitions in case the areas proved too difficult to control. Nowadays they insist that Palestine remain defenseless and demilitarized. Their opponents have observed with some justification that, under these conditions, Israelis really don't have a right to exist in peace and security either.

    • Good post, but I have a few minor nits to pick with it. The rabbi who spoke about the ‘disease of assimilation’ was Ammiel Hirsch who serves at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue. In his own day and age Stephen Wise attacked Gandhi for making critical remarks about the Zionist and British occupation of Palestine. link to

      The one problem that Alan Dershowitz doesn't have is being a secular, atheist Jew. He was raised in an Orthodox household and went to Yeshiva University High School. He claims that he remained Orthodox until mid-life and is a member of several Synagogues. The Jewish Chronicle reported: "He describes himself as a “post-denominational” Jew and is a member of the neighbourhood Orthodox synagogue where he grew up in Brooklyn, a Conservative Synagogue, a Reform synagogue and a reconstructionist congregation. He also advises the Chabad movement. He laughs: “You could say I have all my bases covered.” link to

  • Sheizaf shreds Oren Op-Ed touting Israeli democracy
    • Haaretz: Carl Perkal, Daniel Pipes’ attack on Israeli Arabs is baseless and inflammatory

      Daniel Pipes is synonymous with baseless and inflammatory. He recycled his blog post from link to once before at Netahyahu's echo chamber: link to

      I guess "third time" really is charmed. He claims that 1-in-5 Israelis are Arabs and then goes on to complain that they are uncomfortable about living in a "Jewish polity". Nuff said. It's obviously Pipes who's uncomfortable with the existing polity. It's ironic that no one has given him hell for the statements about ending "pro-natal subsidies" to Israeli Arabs. He's strangely silent about curtailing subsidies that support runaway Haredim reproduction. Many of them have a violent aversion for life among the Israeli polity.

    • The Jewish state, moreover, belongs to a tiny group of countries --...-- never to have suffered intervals of non-democratic governance.

      You could have called a stop to the exercise in futility right there. The UN Ad Hoc Committees were given last minute population figures for the proposed Jewish state from the British mandatory government. They reported:

      "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

      The Jewish Agency for Palestine and the National Council of the Jews of Palestine (Vaad Leumi) simply named themselves to the Provisional State Council and the Provisional Government of the State of Israel. On May 15, 1948, they vested all legislative, executive and judiciary powers in themselves without consulting the wishes of the Arab majority. See S/766, May 22, 1948 link to

      When the Jewish People’s Council met on 14 May 1948 to discuss the Draft of the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel no Arabs were present or invited. The Chairman, David Ben-Gurion said the purpose of the declaration and interim constitution were to implement Jewish rule. See Netanel Lorach, Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981, Volume 1 - People’s Council and Provisional Council of State, 1948-1949, pp 44

      The Head of the Agency's Political Department, Moshe Shertok noted a suggestion in a telegram from America that, sometime before the 15 May assembly, which is the assembly of the declaration, the Executive shall issue a communique saying that on Saturday night (May 15) the first meeting of the Provisional Government would be convened with an item on the agenda regarding The return of the Arab population of the Jewish State to their homes. Ben Gurion dismissed the idea and closed the meeting. link to

      John Quigley discusses how the government used martial law and the Courts to prevent the Arabs from organizing politically in Apartheid Outside Africa: The Case of Israel", 2 Indiana International & Comparative Law Review, Volume 1, pp 221-252:

      For example, in the 1950s, using its martial law powers, Israel's government prevented Arab political organizing. The military administration did not permit travel by Arabs from one town to another without a permit, and it routinely denied permits to political activists. It issued house arrest orders against some activists. It prevented meetings and public speeches of a nationalist group called the Popular Front. In national elections, the military administration coerced Arabs to vote for the party in power, which was called Mapai. Military authorities threatened land confiscation or loss of work permits to persons supporting non-Zionist parties. "[T]hrough the military government," said Teddy Kollek, later the mayor of Jerusalem, "Arab votes were secured." The Mapai Party pressured Arabs to put together lists of Arab candidates for the general elections, to co-opt the Arabs. A 1959 Mapai internal memorandum explained that through the lists Mapai "ensured that those lists would not consolidate into an independent Arab bloc." In local politics in Arab areas, the Israeli government thwarted election to municipal councils of nationalist-minded candidates.

      “State for all its citizens” is code for “dismantling the Jewish State”.

      The bigots in the nativist political movement of California said the same sorts of things when they adopted legislation to segregate the schools to keep-out the so-called Japanese citizens and "anti-Okie" laws which made it a crime for people to take-in their own unemployed family members (e.g. Edwards v. People of State of California, 314 U.S. 160 (1941) ). Why should I care if the lawful inhabitants want to dismantle the Jewish state? Our Constitution wouldn't allow such a thing to be established on U.S. soil in the first place.

  • Connecticut Senate hopeful calls congressman a ‘whore’ for AIPAC in televized debate
    • “What I would like to propose is a prosecution of settlers here, American settlers, who go to Israel and maim or kill in the Promised Land.”

      LOL! Holder and Obama are much too busy actualizing the World of Warcraft and living their dreams. I hear they can just summon-up an Ethereal Soul-Trader and get credits they can use to purchase drones, daisy cutters, and Presidential powers that enable them to carry-out difficult extra-judicial killing missions.

      BTW, any national of the United States who kills people in the Holy Land can be prosecuted under the terms of existing US law. See 18 USC § 2441 - War crimes (d) Common Article 3 Violations, (1) Prohibited conduct, (D) Murder.

      The US government has always taken the position that the Geneva Conventions are applicable in the Occupied Territories of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. But it also claims that the Conventions cannot be relied upon in US Courts as a source of any private right of action.

      Unfortunately when it comes to getting US Courts to recognize the killing of citizens as a violation of another state's rights, you're completely out of luck. That is a political question that the Courts won't touch. e.g. See Al-Aulaqi v. Obama, Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v. United States of America) 2004 -- and Request for Interpretation of the Judgment of 31 March 2004 in the Case concerning Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v. United States of America) 2008.

  • Finkelstein 'not going to be an Israel-basher anymore' but remains 'appalled and disgusted'
    • Do you know Robert Dreyfus’ interview with Keith Weissman, Hostage?

      No, but I agree with the general idea that you've expressed that NeoCon, Jewish, Zionist, and Israel Lobby are overlapping sets of people and that many individuals are members of only one set.

      I'll be sure to read the Robert Dreyfus interview, but a brouhaha has broken-out in the international law forums this weekend over the ICC Prosecutor's decision on Palestine. I'm staying pretty busy just trying to read the various legal arguments and posting comments of my own on that subject.

    • Israel has internationally recognized borders on at least two fronts and possibly three: Jordan, Egypt, with Lebanon a third possibility.

      Nope, the article on boundaries in the peace treaty with Jordan reserved Jordan's position concerning the status of all the territory that came under Israeli military control in 1967.

    • Well said Kathleen. Finkelstein’s unwillingness to fully support BDS is sad. Perpetuating the conflict by keeping the failed idea of “two-states” alive is, apparently, more lucrative.

      Members of the Palestinian leadership, including President Abbas, Hamas leader Khaled Mashal, jailed leader Marwan Barghouti, Israeli MK Hanan Zoabi, and the legal assistance organization Al Haq have all endorsed the UN bid for recognition of the statehood of Palestine.

      FYI the Palestinian Solidarity Movement call for action in 2005 was based upon the notion that the Security Council had done absolutely nothing about the ICJ advisory opinion for more than one year. They asked all of us to pressure our state governments to take direct actions and to impose sanctions and embargoes against Israel.

      After the attack on Gaza the PA filed a criminal complaint against Israel directly with the ICC Prosecutor, because all of the many reports about war crimes and crimes against humanity authored by the United Nations since the second intifada have been quashed by the Security Council. The Goldstone report contained recommendations for the Security Council, but it also addressed a recommendation directly to the International Criminal Court:

      1767. To the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court:
      • With reference to the declaration under article 12 (3) received by the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC from the Government of Palestine, the Mission considers that accountability for victims and the interests of peace and justice in the region require that the legal determination should be made by the Prosecutor as expeditiously as possible.

      Abbas caved-in to threats of attacks against the West Bank from Israel and the US government's promise that it would veto the Goldstone report in the Security Council anyway and postponed a procedural vote in the Human Rights Council. The leaders of the BDS movement who had given up on the Security Council in 2005 feigned mock outrage and ignored the much more important Palestinian criminal complaint that was already on file with the ICC Prosecutor. The residents of Gaza staged demonstrations and tossed shoes at pictures of Abbas.

      When Abbas and Fayyad went to the United Nations, they immediately secured international recognition of Palestine's statehood from UNESCO for the purpose of becoming a party to UN and other multilateral treaties. They also pursued full UN membership through the Security Council in order to isolate the US and force it to waste political capital. The Solidarity Movement feigned ignorance about the significance of the UNESCO vote and wrote editorials about the futility of pursuing action through the Security Council. The so-called leadership went into high gear and wrote editorials about the non-existent State of Palestine and never once called for the ICC Prosecutor to finally take action on Palestine's criminal complaint in the wake of the UNESCO vote. At my house we started throwing shoes at pictures of Ali Abunimah and Omar Barghouti.

      After 3 years of fence sitting, the ICC Prosecutor ignored the applicable treaty law contained in the Vienna Conventions regarding the status of members of UN specialized agencies and simply echoed the sentiments expressed by Abunimah and Barghouti about the so-called non-existence of Palestinian statehood. The international law experts of the BDS Movement have continued to remain silent, while the rest of the International legal community, including Amnesty International, Al Haq, the European Journal of International Law, Opinio Juris, et al are expressing shock and demanding a that the decision be subjected to judicial review or put to a vote of the Assembly of State Parties here are some of the articles:

    • None of this proves AIPAC is responsible for the Iraq war or the campaign to sanction Iran.

      LOL! Unless you've been lining in a cave, on a number of occasions, AIPAC has pushed resolutions calling for a blockade of Iran and made passage it's top legislative priority e.g. link to

      The last time I checked, the US State Department was still describing blockades as "a weapon of war between sovereign states." link to

    • Which powerful Jewish orgs pushed for war?

      When I "paste and go" the phrase "Which powerful Jewish orgs pushed for war?" into the Mozilla address bar, Google loads the Wikipedia article on AIPAC, but YMMV;-)

    • Recall what Benjamin Netanyahu stated so eloquently in his speech to AIPAC last month — “If it looks like a duck, it quacks like a duck . . .”

      Yes, but when Bibi and the circus left town, our government gave him another thumbs down on his call for a preemptive strike against Iran. So to paraphrase: If the Israel Lobby's attempts to call the shots on US foreign policy look like a failure, and sound like a failure, they're probably a failure - and that's the point Finkelstein is trying to make. At the height of their power, during an election campaign, we can still say "No".

    • I’ve never before had occasion to question his intellect or his integrity. But if he really sees no evidence for the lobby’s role in U.S. Iran policy, I have to say I think he’s lost his grip on reality!

      He doesn't object to the claim that it is an extremely powerful and influential lobby when it comes to protecting the settlements and Israel, or that it attempts to influence US policy in other areas.

      He objects to the overly-broad generalizations. The warmongering NeoCons aren't necessarily Jewish. Even the ones who are, represent many other special interests beside Israel. Finkelstein has cited the fact that, in many cases, the Lobby hasn't been able to call the shots or seal the deal on US foreign policy regarding Iran, & etc.

      If you had been underwriting the costs of AIPAC's perennial efforts to instigate a war with Iran, you'd have to be pretty disappointed in the returns on your investment since the early 1990s.

      One of the best lines in film maker Yoav Shamir's "Defamation", was Finkelstein saying: "It's the best thing that will ever happen to Israel if they get rid of these American Jews who are warmongers from Martha's Vinyard; and the warmongers from the Hamptons; and the warmongers from Beverly Hills; and the warmongers from Miami. It's been a disaster for Israel. It's the best thing if it can ever get rid of this [warmongering] American Jewry. It's a curse."

  • International Criminal Court refuses to investigate 'Cast Lead' because the UN does not officially recognize Palestine as a state
    • Hostage, I wouldn’t say it is direct pressure in the case of the ICC, but indirect pressure.

      LOL! Wikileaks revealed a pretty direct approach from Ambassador Rice to the President of the ICC. It was combined with the approach contained in the so-called "American Service-Members' Protection Act" (aka The Hague Invasion Act). That's all about protecting US and allied civilian officials using the pretense of "supporting the troops". link to

      It could be employed to extend an umbrella of protection to our Israeli friends. It authorizes the use of any necessary force to free US or allied prisoners awaiting trial in the ICC.

    • Was South Sudan a country when Bashir was prosecuted by the ICC?

      Sure, the UN Security Council can refer "situations" to the ICC. But the 2005 BDS call to action noted that the UN Security Council has never taken action against Israel and appealed for us to pressure our respective states to take action instead.

      The government of the State of Palestine did exactly the right thing when it filed its own criminal complaint with the ICC and joined UNESCO. Nothing is standing between the State of Palestine and full membership in the ICC, except the apathy of the Palestinian people and a few key leaders of the solidarity movement who dislike the two state solution. Otherwise, they would have simply pressured the government of Palestine to deposit a couple of form letters with the UN Treaty Organization and that would have tied the Prosecutor's hands. The good news is that it is not too late to do that.

    • Is anyone really surprised? The “international” organizations are nothing more than gloss for the acts by the US and those who control it with campaign donations.

      The ICC can't get a dime from the US government, because it's illegal to spend any money appropriated by Congress on the institution itself or in assisting it in some way.

      I figured Luis Moreno Ocampo would finish his term this summer without doing anything much, but was surprised when he wrote this status update.
      link to

      The Registrar had advised that the Judges would have to make a determination as to whether or not Palestine's declaration meets the statutory requirements. The Prosecutor claims he has no authority to determine that Palestine is a state. But even that decision is subject to judicial review.

      There are also several ways that the Secretary General and/or the PA can get around this attempted rejection without upgrading Palestine's observer status. That move might endanger funding of the UN General Assembly. Palestine could simply deposit an instrument of accession and become a state party to the Rome statute. The US and Israel can't give the ICC less money than nothing, and that's exactly how much money they currently pay-in to the system.

    • It would appear the PA leadership and their legal advisers do not have a clue what to do.

      HarryLaw, Prof. William A. Schabas is the author of the standard textbooks on the ICC: Introduction to the International Criminal Court, Cambridge University Press and The International Criminal Court: A Commentary on the Rome Statute, Oxford University Press. There have been several editions in a dozen languages.

      He observed months ago that the recognition the Palestinian lawyers obtained from UNESCO satisfies the statutory requirements for it to become a member state of the ICC and that the Prosecutor should proceed under the terms of the existing Article 12(3) declaration. It appears that Article allows a non-member state to accept the Court's jurisdiction without having to pay dues (and that's real handy, since the US, Israel, and the EU (Sarkozy) have been turning off the tap and demanding that it drop the ICC complaint:-)

      Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen introduced legislation that would have defunded the General Assembly if it upgraded the observer status of Palestine and threatened to place a hold on its funding if it did that while the bill is pending.

    • Is there any basis in the Rome Treaty that established the ICC for the conclusion that only entities that have the status of states within the UN can bring charges?

      Hell no. The Rome Statute is open for signature under the "all states" formula. It does not mention any requirement for UN recognition in Article 12(3) or any other article. Even if it did, Palestine has already been recognized as a full member state of an agency within the UN system. That fact alone entitles it to sign multilateral treaties open for signature only to states within the UN system under the "Vienna" formula.

      BTW, Article 2(6) of the UN Charter acknowledges the existence of states outside the UN system. The UN Security Council or General Assembly can decline membership for reasons other than statehood, for example if the applicant is not considered a "peace-loving-state". Members do not have to explain or justify their negative votes on membership or observer status. A situation like that would not disqualify the State of Palestine from accepting the jurisdiction of the Court under the all states formula.

    • Actually I made my comment deliberately provocative to see what hostage’s response would be (didn’t know that he approved of the ICC).

      I beat you to it and commented @ 3 AM yesterday
      link to

      Then I moved on to comment elsewhere:

      The fellow who wrote the book on the Rome Statute and the International Criminal Court, Prof. William A. Schabas, had gone on record shortly after I did here in the wake of the UNESCO vote. He explained back then why it entitles Palestine to accept the jurisdiction of the ICC. He also said that the Prosecutor should have reacted then and there. Although Prof. Kevin Jon Heller doesn't think that it would be wise to involve the Court in one of the worlds oldest conflicts, he has agreed that Palestine has the legal right to accept the Court's jurisdiction after the UNESCO vote.

      I'm sure Ban Ki Moon is hiding under his desk with his fingers crossed hoping that Palestine goes away.

  • 'The Crisis of Zionism' and the contradictions of Israel as a liberal democratic fantasy
    • It makes one wonder that the Palestinians in the 1930s knew what the Zionists were up to with their planned massive immigration projects and why they (the Palestinians)opposed them so much.

      The draft charter that Herzl hoped to obtain from the Sultan for a Jewish-Ottoman Land Company (JOLC) granted it complete autonomy and reserved the right of the Zionists to purchase any land they desired and transfer the populations of enclaves living in Palestine and Syria to other parts of the Ottoman Empire. The amount of compensation would have been determined by the JOLC.

      It's doubtful that after several visits with the Ottoman officials of the Sublime Porte, that Herzl's aims were kept secret from the Palestinian notables:

      His Majesty the Sultan grants and guarantees the JOLC the following special rights and privileges for the purpose of settling Palestine and Syria with Jews who assume Ottoman citizenship . . .

      I. A special right to purchase large estates and small farms (Jifliks of whatever kind), and to use them for agriculture, horticulture, forestry, and mining (the latter without having to purchase the entire surface of the ground to be used). On these areas [the JOLC] may build all installations, roads, bridges, buildings and houses, industrial and other facilities, which it considers appropriate, without being restricted in the choice of means to be used, and without having to apply for special permits. . . .

      II. The limited proprietorship of all estates and landed properties belonging to His Majesty the Sultan in the above mentioned "Privileged Territories." [The JOLC shall express its] eternal recognition of his supreme proprietorship through a permanent annual payment of 3 Turkish Piasters per dunum. This refers to the areas which [the company] has the right to utilize according to article I of this agreement. Likewise, a special right to occupy all those areas for which nobody can prove legal title or the right of ownership. This occupation has to be carried out in the name of His Majesty the Sultan, and the occupied areas have to be treated like the estates mentioned in the first paragraph of this item with regard to the supreme proprietorship, the annual payment, and the utilization.

      III. The right to exchange economic enclaves of its territory, with the exception of the holy places or places already designated for worship. The owners shall receive plots of equal size and quality procured by it [the JOLC] in other provinces and territories of the Ottoman Empire.

      The text of the Charter appeared in Appendix I of Adolf Böhm's Die Zionistische Bewegung vol I, pp. 704-9 and was published as a annex to a Journal of Palestine Studies article by Walid Khalidi, The Jewish-Ottoman Land Company: Herzl's Blueprint for the Colonization of Palestine,
      Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Winter, 1993), pp. 30-47, link to

    • Ever try discussing “intelligent design” with a creationist?

      No kidding. 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;-)

  • Flabby Zionism
    • Well Hostage, I guess you agree with me too, because this was my point.

      You said: "I never knew the Bill of Rights and the Constitution were designed to confer “minority rights” – I thought they just outlined what rights all men have inherently."

      Prior to the adoption of the 14th Amendment, neither the Constitution nor the Bill of Rights ever attempted to outline any rights that all men have inherently, e.g. no person descended from an American slave had ever been a US citizen for Article III purposes. See Scott v. Sandford - 60 U.S. 393 (1856) link to

      Despite the fact that slaves were men, the Constitution acknowledged the practice. The 5th Amendment recognized a slave owner's secured interest and guaranteed that they could not be deprived of their property without due process of law.

      The scope of application of the 14th Amendment is strictly limited to those persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to its jurisdiction. So it doesn't apply to Haitian or Cuban boat people. The international labor movement concerned itself with women and children. The US Constitution still doesn't explicitly protect internationally recognized rights of children or women.

    • The Irish and Jews joined labor unions and weren’t afraid to be called “socialists”

      I have to agree with Woody. The Irish and Jews who joined the international labor movement, or the Comintern and Socialist Internationale weren't overly concerned with their American-ness or with displaying any kind of nationalist loyalty. They were united in an international struggle for equality and fair and humane conditions of life for all men, women, and children. Trade guilds were notorious for discriminating against outsiders and racial minorities. The international movement never succeeded on its own in overcoming America's fondness for protectionism, i.e. "separate but equal" opportunities for advancement.

    • I believe in the notion of a Jewish and democratic state, for all the complexity such a juxtaposition entails.

      That's all the talk about democracy has ever been: a notion that the UN insisted the Zionists mention in their Declaration of Independence and adopt into their laws and Constitution. They've never gotten beyond the stage of simply paying lip service to the idea.

  • Marwan Barghouti calls for popular uprising for statehood. Israel puts him in solitary confinement
    • perhaps they have lost faith in all things procedural at this given time.

      Sweet Jesus! Bear with me for a moment. The only "procedure" standing in the way of the ICC investigating and prosecuting this case, is for the Secretary General - acting as UN and ICC Depositary for multilateral treaties - to recognize the statehood of Palestine.

      That entails the mere formality of the President or Foreign Minister of Palestine accepting the standing invitation from the General Assembly of the United Nations to members of any UN specialized agency, like UNESCO, to sign a letter of accession to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (See Articles 81 and 83) and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (see Articles 48 and 50).

      If Palestine would deposit those accessions with the Secretary General, he would immediately notify the other 187 signatories (including the United States) about the new State Party and engage their binding multilateral treaty obligations with respect to the State of Palestine.
      * link to

      The procedure used by the Secretary General in doubtful cases (that the Prosecutor mentioned in his written opinion) is not applicable to member states of UN specialized agencies or state parties to UN multilateral treaties. So nothing would prevent Palestine from depositing an instrument of accession and becoming a State Party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in accordance with Article 12(1) and Article 125.

      Under the terms of Article 15(5) of the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor should have obtained a decision from the Pre-Trial Chamber. In any event, his refusal to investigate the complaint at this time cannot preclude a future investigation if Palestine accedes to the Rome Statute or UN Charter. The last section of the Prosecutor's "update" on the situation in Palestine contains an allusion to that fact - and the Israeli Foreign Ministry has already taken exception to the opinion.

      So the Palestinian Civil Society organizations and the people of Palestine only need to get their own government to sign two or three form letters. Nobody needs to vote on anything and there isn't any veto to overcome, just their own apathy.

    • The Palestinian Solidarity Community has remained silent in the face of calls for support of the Palestinian statehood bid from Palestinian leaders, like Zoabi, Barghouti, and Mashal.

      The International Criminal Court has finally responded by rejecting the Palestinian request that it investigate crimes committed during Operation Cast Lead. See ICC rejects Palestinian bid to investigate Israeli war crimes during 'Cast Lead' Gaza operation. link to

      The Prosecutor claims that Palestine is merely recognized as a non-member observer, but not a non-member state by the General Assembly. Note that the relevant legal standard under the Vienna Formula requires the Secretary General to accept treaty instruments as depositary from any member state of a UN special agency, including UNESCO.

      A dangerous precedent has been established. A rogue state can commit the most serious crimes against the population of a widely recognized state member of a UN agency. The aggressor has been granted legal immunity for those crimes, even though they would be actionable if they had been committed against the population of a UN member or observer state. This revives the discredited constitutive theory of recognition and ignores the right of the Palestinian people to exercise self determination of their own political status. It also ignores the General Assembly resolutions and EU declarations which said that Palestinian statehood is not subject to the peace process or any veto.

  • My spirit is American (a religious manifesto)
    • wondering jew, I consider the claims that Pinsker and Herzl really had a preference for assimilation to be self-serving Zionist hasbara that shouldn't be taken too seriously.

    • Focus on the pre-’67 part, since you’re arguing the whole project is bad.

      There aren't any post-67 parts. I've already provided you cites and quotations regarding the undemocratic government that implemented Jewish minority rule on 14 May 1948 and the racist laws and court decisions.

      and had just recently lost 6 million of their number to mass murder to the same people, it would be understandable if they asked for self-determination and a plot of land to live on

      You've got that *ss-backwards. A few Jews invented a political movement, based upon the proposition that they could never co-exist with Gentiles and that anti-semitism was an incurable hereditary disease and you keep preaching their gospel.

      They demanded a land that was populated by another people in Palestine long before the Holocaust ever occurred. They recruited the sort of people who wanted to hold a propaganda pity party or belligerents who actively sought out opportunities to be offended by western modernity. They carried a chip around on their shoulders once they arrived in Palestine; considered the Gentile inhabitants to be their inferiors; and demanded special rights and privileges for themselves at the expense of the non-Jewish population. A member of the original Jewish Palestine Commission, Sylvain Levi of France, summed-up the looming disaster:

      In the third place, the masses of people who might wish to return to Palestine, would largely be drawn from those countries where they had been persecuted and ill-treated, and the mentality which such a regime was likely to engender could be easily realised. Those people would carry with them into Palestine highly explosive passions, conducive to very serious trouble . . . For many years the Jews had, in the countries inhabited by them, claimed equality of rights, but those claims had not yet everywhere been admitted. Under the circumstances, it seemed to him shocking that the Jews, as soon as their rights of equality were about to be recognised in all countries of the world, should already seek to obtain exceptional privileges for themselves in Palestine.

      The situation that seemed shocking to him way back then, had long term legal and moral consequences. The two states with the largest remaining Jewish communities have become despised and isolated in the larger international community of states due to their mistreatment and persecution of the Palestinian people.

    • Israel is not an example of Jewish ethnic nationalism. The country has many ethnicities other than Jewish. Israel is an example of a state with a Jewish majority that practices democracy that is extended to people of all ethnicities.

      Okay, let's recall that all of the citizens held Palestinian nationality on 15 May 1948. The Jewish minority didn't bother to conduct a plebiscite before it appointed the Jewish Agency for Palestine to serve as the Provisional Government of the State. It quickly implemented Jewish rule over the Arab majority and abolished generic Palestinian nationality.

      The UN Ad Hoc Committee report, A/AC.14/32, dated 11 November 1947 noted the updated population figures supplied by the British mandatory government which indicated that, from the outset, Arabs would constitute a majority of the population of the proposed "Jewish" state - 509,780 Arabs and 499,020 Jews. See pdf file page 42 of 69.

      When the Jewish People’s Council met for it's third sitting on 14 May 1948 (5 Iyar 5708) it discussed the Draft of the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel. The Chairman, David Ben-Gurion said the purpose of the declaration and interim constitution were to implement Jewish rule:

      "The Mandate has ended and we must establish Jewish rule." . . .We have assembled here today to make preparations and dispositions for independent Jewish rule. You have before you two documents for consideration: the first, a declaration; the second, the first draft of an interim constitution, which is urgently needed so that the Jewish institutions will be able to function during this period.

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

      Those undemocratic acts are perpetuated in the Law of Return and Citizenship and Nationality Laws and amendments which discriminate against so-called "Israeli Arabs" and their Palestinian spouses from the OPT.

      So repeat after Israeli Supreme Court President Shimon Agranat:

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

      In the words of the Deputy President of the Supreme Court, Elon all citizens have an equal civil right to recognize that Israel is the state of the Jewish people and only the Jewish people:

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

      None of that was ever subject to a democratic plebiscite that consulted the wishes of the Palestinian people on the subject.

    • The point is that more than half of Europe’s Jewish population was wiped out. We cannot rely on gentiles to secure our safety. We must rely on ourselves.

      If you don't recognize the fact that millions of gentiles died fighting against the Nazi occupations because of the concomitant atrocities that were being committed, then you're suffering from a psychosis. BTW, Rommel’s defeat by the Allies at El Alamein prevented the implementation of the German final solution to the problem of the Zionist Jews living in Palestine. See Klaus-Michael Mallmann, Martin Cüppers, "Nazi Palestine: The Plans for the Extermination of the Jews in Palestine, Enigma Books, 2009.

      Israel counted on massive shipments of US arms to save their *sses during the Yom Kippur war, and the gentiles came to their rescue as usual.

    • I don’t think it’s accurate to say American Jews support the settlement project.

      Only 8 percent of American Jews think Israel should dismantle all of the illegal settlements in the West Bank and 61 percent say that Israel should not compromise on the status of the illegal settlements in East Jerusalem. They insist that the latter be considered part of a united city under Israeli jurisdiction as part of the framework of any permanent peace with the Palestinians. link to

    • Most of world stood silent when 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, so I don’t really give much weight to world opinion.

      You're trying to lend credibility to a popular Zionist myth. The Nazis humiliated Jews, expropriated their property, and encouraged emigration to Palestine and other destinations. The United States and other governments immediately took the German government to task over reports of atrocities committed against the Jews. See for example the Memorandum by the Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, of a Conversation With the German Ambassador (Luther), [WASHINGTON,] May 3, 1933 starting at the bottom of page 352 and continuing to page 354 of the FRUS. link to

      The de facto policy of genocide was only incorporated into the final solution to the Jewish Question after the Wannsee Conference in late January of 1942. The Allies were very outspoken about the atrocities committed against the Jews and millions of their fellow countrymen:


      Signed by President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and Premier Stalin.

      The United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union have received from many quarters evidence of atrocities, massacres and cold-blooded mass executions which are being perpetrated by Hitlerite forces in many of the countries they have overrun and from which they are now being steadily expelled. The brutalities of Nazi domination are no new thing, and all peoples or territories in their grip have suffered from the worst form of government by terror. What is new is that many of the territories are now being redeemed by the advancing armies of the advancing armies of the liberating powers, and that in their desperation the recoiling Hitlerites and Huns are redoubling their ruthless cruelties. This is now evidenced with particular clearness by monstrous crimes on the territory of the Soviet Union which is being liberated from Hitlerites, and on French and Italian territory.

      Accordingly, the aforesaid three Allied powers, speaking in the interest of the thirty-two United Nations, hereby solemnly declare and give full warning of their declaration as follows:

      At the time of granting of any armistice to any government which may be set up in Germany, those German officers and men and members of the Nazi party who have been responsible for or have taken a consenting part in the above atrocities, massacres and executions will be sent back to the countries in which their abominable deeds were done in order that they may be judged and punished according to the laws of these liberated countries and of free governments which will be erected therein. Lists will be compiled in all possible detail from all these countries having regard especially to invaded parts of the Soviet Union, to Poland and Czechoslovakia, to Yugoslavia and Greece including Crete and other islands, to Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Italy.

      Thus, Germans who take part in wholesale shooting of Polish officers or in the execution of French, Dutch, Belgian or Norwegian hostages of Cretan peasants, or who have shared in slaughters inflicted on the people of Poland or in territories of the Soviet Union which are now being swept clear of the enemy, will know they will be brought back to the scene of their crimes and judged on the spot by the peoples whom they have outraged.

      Let those who have hitherto not imbrued their hands with innocent blood beware lest they join the ranks of the guilty, for most assuredly the three Allied powers will pursue them to the uttermost ends of the earth and will deliver them to their accusors in order that justice may be done.

      The above declaration is without prejudice to the case of German criminals whose offenses have no particular geographical localization and who will be punished by joint decision of the government of the Allies.

      -- link to

  • More on the Barghouti attack at Qalandiya on Friday
    • You to protest towards military checkpoint-expect to be tear-gassed, hit by the rubber bullet and, God forbid ,canister! What is wrong here- is he a child or mentally incompetent person?

      Let us know when to apply that rule to Jewish settlers on a rampage. link to

  • Bradley Burston dips his toes in one-state water
    • In his latest Haaretz column, Bradley Burston dares to go where he has never gone before, taking the first tentative steps toward consideration of the one-state solution.

      He's only talking about annexing the West Bank. There is no hint of a grand gesture in store for the folks living under siege in Gaza. It isn't mentioned at all.

  • The Global March to Jerusalem, a brave and admirable attempt to awaken the world’s conscience
    • Add to that the fact that Abraham came from Ur, and it seems the Iraqis (as the successors to the Sumerians) have a pretty good claim.

      The traditional spot in Iraq is an anachronism. The Chaldeans didn't arrive there until centuries after Abraham's era. The more likely spot is in southeastern Turkey.

      link to
      link to

    • “Amoral paranoid sociopaths” “border guards defending a known border from hostile invasion”, you have your way of looking at things, I have the truth.

      Not when they shoot at people trying to walk home. That's what they did last year.

    • For starters, the city is not mentioned once in the Koran. Mohammed never visited Jerusalem and the only possible religious reference is to the prophet’s night journey, which is essentially a matter of legend.

      The five books of Moses are essentially a matter of legend too. While we're on the subject, the city of Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Torah either.

  • Another two-stater goes one-state
    • What does Hamas have to do with it?

      Nothing. Strenger isn't advocating a 1ss or equal rights. He is suggesting that Hamas and the PA adopt non-violence and accept the status quo while working to improve their human rights.

    • First Carlo Strenger at Haaretz telling Peter Beinart that the two-state solution is a "mirage of the past." Can you imagine an American publication running this?

      Everyone at Haaretz is talking about annexing the West Bank. They have no Earthly idea how to implement a 1ss that includes the population of Gaza too. The declassified documents from the 1960s and 70s reveal that Israel wanted the territory of Gaza if they could figure out how to do that without taking in the inhabitants too. Wake me up when an Israeli talks about a 1ss that includes Gaza.

  • Sen. Cardin tells how he and Hillary Clinton muscled foreign ambassadors to block 'anti-American' Palestinian statehood
    • The Allies in WWII took plenty of territory.

      They didn't annex Japan or Germany to their empires and there were signed treaties after both World Wars that ceded the territories you mention as a form of economic reparation. That practice along with the expulsion of ethnic minorities was abolished by mutual consent when the Allies adopted the UN Charter, and the Geneva Conventions of 1949. There is unanimous agreement that Israel isn't entitled to any territorial reparations.

      The states that you mentioned have accepted the acquis communautaire of the EU. They allow Germans to travel freely, reside, and work in their territories. When do you suppose Israel will do the same thing for the refugees it has expelled?

    • As for the settlements being wrong, if your people try to kill my people and I win, I take your land. See: the entire history of the human race.

      Nope. So, either you don't consider the WWII Allies to be human, or you're an ignoramus who never heard of Peal Harbor, the Battle of Britain, and the modern-day independent states of Germany and Japan.

    • I’m glad you believe everything Bibi Netanyahu says. I’ll assume you also believe that Iran should be attacked.

      Hell no, Netanyahu's assessment of the water crisis has been independently verified. Israel is emptying the aquifers faster than they can be naturally recharged and has already built several desalinization plants that exacerbate its energy problems and reliance on imports. For several years it was much cheaper to import citrus products than to pay for the water needed to produce them in Israel.

      A country that can't supply its own water or feed its people from domestic sources when needed can't be considered self-sufficient.

    • GDP of close to $250 billion dollars . . . What about this says “artificial state that can’t fend for itself?”

      GDP only reflects the final cost of goods and services produced, not whether a state relies on foreign sources for essential goods and services of a non-self-supporting nature.

      Those figures include goods and services produced in the occupied territories using stolen resources and a military occupation that is being funded by the PA and foreign donor capital that Israel would otherwise be obliged to pay. See for example Guy S. Goodwin-Gill, Opinion, Re Certain Legal Issues Arising from the Application of Israel to become a Member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. link to

    • Israel is the 24th largest economy in the world and ranks 17th on the UN’s Human Development Index. This is pure irrelevant waffle to suggest that Israel will never be self-sufficient.

      Only because it is stealing and borrowing resources from others that it has no intention of ever repaying. The ability to provide essential public services, like water, without invading neighboring states and stealing it, is part of the standard that is used to measure the viability of a prospective state. Israel has come to rely on the US to write-off the balance due on its foreign military assistance loan accounts in order to provide for Israel's domestic defense needs. On the water issue alone, your current Prime Minister has admitted that the creation of a Palestinian state along the lines of the 1967 borders would mean the end of the Jewish state.

    • There were no settlements before 1967 and there were plenty of obstacles to a peace process back then.

      On the contrary, the Zionist Organization established Jewish colonies all along. But when the non-Jewish Palestinian population was finally emancipated from the mandate, the Jews displaced hundreds of thousands of them, declared martial law to prevent them from returning to their homes and villages, and commenced the greatest program of foreign colonization in the history of Palestine. In many instances their homes and villages were resettled by waves of incoming Jewish immigrants, i.e.

      The United Nations had certainly not intended that the Jewish State should rid itself of its Arab citizens. On the contrary, section C of part I of the Assembly's 1947 resolution had explicitly provided guarantees of minority rights in each of the two States. For example, it had prohibited the expropriation of land owned by an Arab in the Jewish State except for public purposes, and then only upon payment of full compensation. Yet the fact was that 90 per cent of the Arab population of Israel had been driven outside its boundaries by military operations, had been forced to seek refuge in neighbouring Arab territories, had been reduced to misery and destitution, and had been prevented by Israel from returning to their homes. Their homes and property had been seized and were being used by thousands of European Jewish immigrants. -- Representative Malik, Lebanon 45th Session of the Ad Hoc Committee hearings on Israel's membership application in the UN, A/AC.24/SR.45, 5 May 1949

      link to

      In John Quigly, "Apartheid Outside Africa: The Case of Israel," 2 Ind. International and Comparative Law Review. 221, 1991-1992; and The Palestine Yearbook of International Law 2000-2001, page 5 The authors and editors explained that the martial law regime against the Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel began in 1948 and lasted for nearly two decades. It was used to prevent internally displaced citizens from traveling in their own country, returning to their homes, accessing their agricultural lands, or conducting political organizing activities on their own behalf and amounted to a regime of apartheid. The properties of the displaced citizens were classified as "abandoned" and expropriated to facilitate the in-gathering of foreign Jewish "exiles" who simply perpetuated the colonial project undertaken by the Zionist Organization.

      Moshe Dayan implicitly admitted as much when he glossed-over the fact that Jews only purchased about 6 percent of the territory of Palestine:

      We came to this country which was already populated by Arabs, and we are establishing a Hebrew, that is a Jewish state here. In considerable areas of the country we bought lands from the Arabs. Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you, because these geography books no longer exist; not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahalal arose in the place of Mahalul, Gevat — in the place of Jibta, Sarid — in the place of Haneifs and Kefar Yehoshua — in the place of Tell Shaman. There is no one place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population. -- Ha'aretz, April 4, 1969, cited and quoted in The Question of Palestine (1980) by Edward Said, p.14

      Obama used the issue of the settlements to try to force a peace deal but it backfired.

      The removal of outposts constructed after 2001 and putting an end to settlement construction, including natural growth, was a Quartet Phase 1 demand. It was endorsed and adopted by the UN Security Council. It remains to be seen if Israel has heard the last word on that subject.

    • Do you just make this stuff up as it suits you, or do you really believe it?

      Nope the CIA reported that Israel would never be self-sufficient, and it isn't. It's highly dependent on imported food, petroleum, raw materials, and foreign military alliances. It's also facing an on-going water crisis.

    • All of this talk about the Security Council and UN membership may rake in the contributions for American Jewish International Relations Institute, but the UN organization as a whole cannot continue to treat a full member state of one of its own specialized agencies as a non-state actor or entity - especially when it already enjoys all of the privileges of a full UN member state in the other organs, except for voting privileges and payment of dues.

      Congress adopted the threat to UNESCO funding to keep us from being in this situation and the tactic failed. That's the reason Secretary Clinton's representative cradled his head in his hands after the UNESCO vote.

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