Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 10697 (since 2010-02-28 20:54:05)



Showing comments 3400 - 3301

  • Finkelstein stands by 'BDS cult' accusation, says it's 'historically criminal' to not support the two state solution
    • How do you get Israel into an international criminal court setting?

      You don't. The Nuremberg Principles hold that certain acts always give rise to individual criminal responsibility:

      "The very idea that states commit crimes is a fiction. Crimes are always committed by persons. Men who exercised great power cannot be allowed to shift their responsibilities on the fictional state which cannot be produced for trial"

      The jurisdiction of the ICC is strictly limited to "natural persons", not states. The Court doesn't have its own police force, so it relies on its members and other states to make arrests or employ their agreements on extradition. The Prosecutor would ask the Court to issue arrest warrants on the responsible government officials. If the Court agrees, the 121 member states are advised and the Court requests that Interpol issue a "Red Notice" to seek the arrest and surrender of the wanted person into the custody of the Court. So personal or business trips to the EU and most of the rest of the world would suddenly be impossible and the official would remain a wanted fugitive for the rest of their life.

    • Hostage, . . . May I ask you why Fink seems to ignore UNGA194? If he’s such a stickler for international law, then why not this too?

      Okay. One of the commentators here said there was a contradiction in his position because it left out right of return or somehow interpreted it differently. I supplied a link to the exact minute and second in the video where he said:

      The consensus is clear. It’s a two state settlement under June 1967 borders, and a just settlement of the refugee question, based upon the right of return and compensation. That’s the limit of opinion. Do my personal views go beyond that limit? Yes they do.

      link to

      Here is his verbatim position on resolution 194(III):

      A broad international consensus has also crystallized upholding the Palestinian “right of return.” We have already seen that the annual United Nations resolution, supported overwhelmingly by member States, calls for a settlement of the refugee question on the basis of resolution 194, which “resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for property of those choosing not to return.” In addition, respected human rights organizations “urge Israel to recognize the right to return for those Palestinians, and their descendants, who fled from territory that is now within the State of Israel, and who have maintained appropriate links with that territory” (Human Rights Watch), and “call for Palestinians who fled or were expelled from Israel, the West Bank or Gaza Strip, along with those of their descendants who have maintained genuine links with the area, to be able to exercise their right to return” (Amnesty International).

      The resolution used the term final "settlement" and did not establish a completely unqualified right of return. A good faith interpretation requires as a minimum a clear relinquishment of any belligerent rights on the part of the repatriated individuals as a condition of return.

      The General Assembly established a new subsidiary organ, the PCC, charged with facilitating 1) repatriation; 2) resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of refugees; and 3) the payment of compensation.

      People who are repatriated are no longer refugees. Any arrangement regarding compensation for citizens is a matter essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of the State. People who are resettled elsewhere and provided with economic and social rehabilitation are still considered refugees. Any arrangement for compensation of refugees is essentially an international matter that has to be addressed in a settlement.

      Resolution 194 (III) does not address the subject of subsequent generations. While they remain refugees and are entitled to opt for resettlement and compensation, it isn't clear if family unification remains a determining factor for purposes of right of return after displaced parents have passed away or in cases where no other close family members remain in Palestine. Finkelstein uses Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International as examples of the "limit of opinion". Both organizations are discussing return to the territory of Israel and stressing cases of refugees or descendants who have "maintained links with the territory". In Demopoulos and Others v. Turkey et al, decision of 1 March 2010, — ECHR 2010 the EU Human rights Court rejected a petition based upon the right of return to occupied areas of northern Cyprus. The Court's decision was based upon the passage of time, the arrival of new generations, and the lack of any remaining links to the territory. The Court instructed the victims to present their claims to the compensation commissions of the de facto government:
      *link to
      *link to

      So Finkelstein is not ignoring the terms of resolution or the consensus of opinion regarding its meaning in international law.

    • Don’t underestimate average people. The consensus position has failed to produce results, hasn’t it?

      Consensus said that apartheid should be established as a general denomination of international crime without any geographical nexus. Consensus said that the existing paradigm, which only permitted prosecution of crimes against humanity in cases where a nexus could be established to an armed conflict was obsolete. It became generally recognized that a government could commit crimes against its own or neighboring populations outside the context of the battlefield. Consensus said that a permanent international criminal court should be established to put an end to impunity. All of those things were crystallized after the fall of apartheid in South Africa, when the Rome Statute entered into effect in 2002.

      The Baltic States, Namibia, and East Timor emerged as independent states decades after theywere written off and it had been declared "too late" to save them. They had either been annexed or converted into Bantustans by racists or ideological fanatics and despots.

    • Should the parties negotiate a solution that better meets the needs of both sides, the requirements of international law and reality on the ground, I’m sure the UNGA would not stand in their way.

      The deadlines for a negotiated settlement on Palestinian autonomy or self-determination contained in Carter's Camp David Accords, the Oslo Accords, the Quartet Road Map, and the Annapolis Conference have all come and gone with no settlement in sight.

      Here is the latest deadline:

      It is easy to understand the deep frustration of the Palestinian leaders, who cannot continue to accept the unbearable status quo indefinitely. The international community must therefore take bold and urgent action to break the deadlock while the two-State solution can still be salvaged. In addition, the Quartet and its regional partners must remain firmly resolved to enforce the deadline set for the end of 2012 to reach the long-awaited agreement.

      -- link to

      I'd put my money on a room full of chimps with typewriters. If the Quartet P-5 aren't still actively blocking the UN statehood bid by the end of the year, it'll be a bigger miracle than the proverbial loaves and the fishes.

      By that time the Palestinian leaders should have already taken action to break the status quo by obtaining a simple majority vote from the General Assembly upgrading the status of Palestine and using that status in-turn to join the ICC. If they don't do that, it truly will be "historically criminal". They'll essentially asking more people to die waiting for a one state solution to materialize and somehow stop the violence.

    • Hostage, do you not have any demands on the Palestinians?

      They have already filed a declaration that accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC for all crimes committed on their territory since the Rome Statute entered into force in July of 2002. That declaration is not limited in scope to Israeli crimes only.

      Palestine is fully represented in the League of Arab States and its Secretariat. The League sent its own international fact finding mission, lead by Judge John Dugard, into Gaza after Operation Cast Lead. The report was turned over to the ICC Prosecutor. Like Dugard's many UN reports, it found that members of the Palestinian militias that fired mortars and rockets into Israel should be investigated and prosecuted for serious war crimes.

      The Justice Minister in Gaza asked the UN Human Rights Commission to follow-up on the Palestinian responses to the Goldstone report. It contained similar findings regarding war crimes committed by the Palestinian militias. Goldstone had recommended that the UN follow-up, and in the event impartial inquires were not conducted, he advised that the matter be transferred to the International Criminal Court. link to

      I'm satisfied that an effort will be made to investigate and prosecute the responsible Palestinians if the Court takes-up the situation in Palestine.

    • One is moral, the other is not. The dog wins.

      What perplexes me are the fanatics who use analogies of rape or amputation of a limb to discuss the mere loss of territory, but fail to register the real cases of rape, torture, loss of limbs, and even murder that are reported everyday here in Kate's aggregation of the news.

      So remember that while you are recommending yet another panel discussion about economic or academic sanctions at the PTA, the Y, or the synagogue, real flesh and blood victims of crime are perishing for lack of a remedy. If gangs were routinely raping, torturing, maiming, and murdering people in your neighborhood, a sane person would not put a premium on panel discussions about symbolic academic boycotts or efforts to discourage others from engaging in simple commerce with your persecutors home communities. Your top priority would be to restore law and order.

      Norman Finkelstein is saying that the international consensus requires that we enforce existing international law. It just so happens that current international law contains criminal sanctions that apply to apartheid and racial segregation that would address the concerns some here have expressed that a "Jewish State" might continue to violate the rights of its Palestinian population or persecute them.

    • when Israel has confiscated internationally recognized Palestinians land in the West Bank and built and expand illegal settlements and illegal housing in E Jerusalem what does he expect?

      You talk as if he were the one asking that we take an informal political approach. That's what BDS is.

      He expects that we'll enforce existing international law through treaty bodies that include a criminal court with formal jurisdiction over those crimes that you've mentioned.

      The written complaints of the Palestinian, Lebanese, and Syrian governments in the 2004 Wall case listed examples of nearly all of the constituent acts of the crime of apartheid. Those allegations were affirmed in the Court's findings of fact. The UN treaty bodies have subsequent documented a number of state practices that violate the prohibition of apartheid. Palestinian society can sponsor Apartheid Week every year, or it can have its government introduce a General assembly resolution that grants it observer state status and pursue formal charges of apartheid against the responsible Israeli officials in the ICC.

    • The precise political arrangement (including the number of states) is entirely a matter for negotiation

      The minimum number of states required under the terms of reference contained in the Middle East Quartet's Performance based Road Map for a Two State Solution is still the number two.

      UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/48/158D, 20 December 1993 stipulated:

      (c) Guaranteeing arrangements for peace and security of all States in
      the region, including those named in resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947,
      within secure and internationally recognized boundaries;

      (d) Resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees in conformity with
      General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, and subsequent
      relevant resolutions;

      (e) Resolving the problem of the Israeli settlements, which are
      illegal and an obstacle to peace, in conformity with relevant United Nations

      -- link to

      Resolution 181(II) partitioned Palestine into two states, one named the Jewish State and one named the Arab State. Equal rights for minorities, women, and religious groups were placed under UN guarantee.

    • You bring some important points. However, what has ever brought the US or Israel to abandon the status quo?

      The minute the Rome Statute was adopted over US and Israeli objections, both countries started campaigning against the dangers posed by the new Court and began looking for ways to avoid its jurisdiction.

      Netanyahu and his cronies are used to doing whatever they like in the Palestinian territories and East Jerusalem. Both Jordan and Palestine have accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC, unlike the other neighboring Arab states. If Palestine becomes a member or its declaration is accepted by the Assembly of State Parties, then any crimes committed on its territory will automatically be within the jurisdiction of the international court.

      Netanyahu or other ministers will face the prospect of dodging arrest warrants and hefty jail terms if they continue to do outlandish things like building thousands of new units in illegal settlements, constructing walls the ICJ has declared illegal, condone settler violence, and using armed force, collective punishment, and persecution as formal parts of Israel's government policies.

    • BDS is an appropriate response to political problems. It is not appropriate for bringing the officials responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity to justice. The Palestinians and the international legal community have signaled a readiness to go around the Security Council and begin using the tools of the international criminal justice system, when and where it's appropriate, in order to help protect the vulnerable civilian population of the occupied territories from further criminal abuses. I've commented about this in the past, but here is another one: link to

    • And this is where Obama and Finkelstein will continue to insure that peace never happens.

      You Israelis have already claimed that spot for yourselves. I would be willing to bet that your officials would be more amenable to the idea of negotiations aimed at sharing Jerusalem if the International Criminal Court started issuing arrest warrants for officials responsible for annexing portions of the west Bank to Jerusalem and constructing thousands of illegal units in portions of the City that were captured in 1967. A few Interpol red notices might work wonders.

    • Also, Ali A. makes a great point about NF being simply wrong about “the law” requiring the continued existence of the Jewish State

      I don't see how Finkelstein is "effectively" asking the Palestinians to accept Israel as a Jewish State. International law is already raising and addressing the issue of apartheid in the State of Israel, through the human rights treaty monitoring bodies. There are several articles on EI about the CERD panel's closing observations on the subject of racial discrimination and apartheid:
      UN body "appalled" by Israel’s racial segregation policies.
      link to
      The UN Anti-Racism Committee questions Israel’s policy of apartheid
      link to

      I think that the legal requirements of international law do guarantee the continued existence of the State of Israel. Starting with Security Council resolution 242:

      Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires . . .
      *Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;
      *Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;

      Judge Roslyn Higgins addressed that very point in her separate opinion in the 2004 Wall case. She summed-up the legal requirements under the terms of 242 and the Quartet Road map (resolution 1515):

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

      -- link to

      Resolution 242 and 338 have been enshrined in customary and conventional international law as the legal framework for peace 1) through policy statements made by the parties; and 2) explicit references in the Camp David Accords, the Oslo Agreements, the Middle East Quartet's Performance based Road map for the Two State solution, and the terms of reference for the Annapolis Conference.

    • However, the irreconcilable inconsistency between a Jewish State and a state of true equality for all citizens is one that Finkelstein himself steadfastly refuses to face.

      No he has always stated that the ultimate goal is freeing the Palestinian people from their bondage and obtaining legal equality (more below). Even in the article where he supposedly said goodbye to Israel bashing, he bashed Israel and put the blame for the conflict on Israel. Here is an extract from the Haaretz article:

      Leftist-turned-rightist historian Benny Morris, who gets a whole chapter in the book, said once that "for Finkelstein the only good Israeli is an evil Israeli." Is he right?

      "I don't claim to know Israel. I don't speak Hebrew, my contacts are pretty limited. But I didn't know Vietnam, I didn't know Nicaragua, El Salvador or Honduras. It doesn't mean you can't reach your conclusions. I don't study cafe life in Tel Aviv. I visited Israel every year for 16 years until I was denied entrance in 2008. I don't feel particularly attached to Israel - nationalism, as Noam Chomsky said, is not my cup of tea - but I feel no particular need to demonize it. I do feel a certain amount of disgust, that's for sure. If my focus was on any other country's human rights violations, I would be as appalled and disgusted. It's just unacceptable, and you can't make excuses for that with 'other people do it.' You probably will find the comparison offensive - it's like going to my parents in the Warsaw ghetto and asking, what do you think about the Volkswagen? Isn't it great? Don't ask people in Iraq or Afghanistan to praise Hollywood, or whether Whitney Houston did a beautiful rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner."

      Why does he put the blame solely on Israel?

      "Because I don't think both sides are equally responsible. If I were a Palestinian I wouldn't have accepted what was offered at Camp David. On the critical issues, the Palestinians have been willing to make far greater concessions than are required to by [international] law - 60 percent of settlers to remain in place, largest Jerusalem in Israel's history. How can a rational person conclude that the Palestinians bear responsibility for the non-resolution of this conflict?"

      How about the violence against civilians they turned to after Camp David?

      "International law says people fighting for self-determination can use force in order to achieve their independence."

      And targeting civilians?

      "They do not have the right to target the civilian population.

      link to

      Here is his position on right of return:

      A broad international consensus has also crystallized upholding the Palestinian “right of return.” We have already seen that the annual United Nations resolution, supported overwhelmingly by member States, calls for a settlement of the refugee question on the basis of resolution 194, which “resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for property of those choosing not to return.” In addition, respected human rights organizations “urge Israel to recognize the right to return for those Palestinians, and their descendants, who fled from
      territory that is now within the State of Israel, and who have maintained appropriate links with that territory” (Human Rights Watch), and “call for Palestinians who fled or were expelled from Israel, the West Bank or Gaza Strip, along with those of their descendants who have maintained genuine links with the area, to be able to exercise their right to return” (Amnesty International).

      Here is the real application of Gandhi's beliefs:

      Gandhi translated satyagraha as “hold on to the truth.” Herewith is our challenge: to hold on to the truth that what Israel has done to the Palestinians is wrong; to hold on to the truth that Israel’s refusal, backed by the U.S., to respect international law and the considered opinion of humankind is the sole obstacle to putting an end, finally, to their suffering.
      We can win if we hold on to the truth, and if, as the Negro spiritual put it with cognate wisdom, we “keep our eyes on the prize, and hold on.” That is, if we keep remembering what the struggle—the prize—is all about: not theoretical fad or intellectual provocation, not holier-than-thou radical posturing, but—however humdrum, however prosaic, by comparison—freeing the Palestinian people from their bondage. And then to hold on, to be ready for sacrifice and
      for the long haul—do I dare mention the example of Hezbollah’s heroic resistance?—but also, and especially, to be humble in the knowledge that for those of us living in North America and Europe, the burdens pale next to those borne daily by the people of Palestine. Whenever I harbor doubts about holding on, whenever I contemplate moving on in life, I see in my mind’s eye a dear friend and comrade
      who lives in Hebron where he is the field representative for an Israeli-based human rights organization, and hear his words in my head. My friend Musa, who grew up in a refugee camp, told me once, “The past 38 years should have been the best in my life. But I honestly cannot remember a single happy day.” To forsake those trapped in abject distress would be yet more wrong. Where was the world during the Nazi holocaust?, we still ask. Where is the world now?
      Has the Palestinian struggle gone on too long? Has it become boring and passé? Has the time come to move on? But the Palestinian people continue to be ground under, the merciless Israeli juggernaut keeps pressing on, confiscating yet more land, demolishing yet more homes, destroying yet more lives. The time now is not to move on—but to hold on!

      link to

    • There is a contradiction in what Norman says and I’d be interested to hear his response.

      There's no real contradiction in what he said. Resolution194 contains an algorithm with conditional branches. The first sieve in the algorithm limits the RoR to non-belligerents willing to live in peace with their neighbors. It makes the final decision to either opt for return or payment of compensation a matter of private discretion that is not in the hands of the state parties.

      He said:

      The consensus is clear. It's a two state settlement under June 1967 borders, and a just settlement of the refugee question, based upon the right of return and compensation. That's the limit of opinion. Do my personal views go beyond that limit? Yes they do.


    • Another frusterating aspect to Finkelstien’s critique is that he shifts the focus away from the injustices committed by Israel and towards the “historically criminal” demands for justice on the part of Palestinians.

      Ali Abunimah does exactly the same when he lectures others about international law. If there really is such a thing as international law, then why prevent it from being employed? There is a parallel here to the situation Luther described in the 95 Theses: Therefore I claim that the pope has no jurisdiction over Purgatory. ... If the pope does have power to release anyone from Purgatory, why in the name of love does he not abolish Purgatory by letting everyone out?

      Last year the President and the Prosecutor of the ICC both publicly stated that if a simple majority of the General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine's status to that of an observer state, then it could join the ICC and all crimes committed by Israel on its territory since 2002 could be investigated and the responsible officials brought to justice. A simple majority of UN member states present and voting in the General Assembly supposedly has the power to finally subject the officials of the State of Israel to the global criminal jurisdiction of the ICC or the individual Courts of its 121 member states.

      Under the customary rules of international law reflected in Article 81 and 83 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and its own standing rules of procedure, State members of any UN specialized agency (like UNESCO) are automatically placed into a category of States that the General Assembly must invite to participate in the business of its international diplomatic conferences of plenipotentiaries.

      For example, the General Assembly, in resolution 52/160 of 15 December 1997, decided to hold the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, open to all States Members of the United Nations or members of the UN specialized agencies, including UNESCO.

      Ali Abunimah, Israel, and the United States know perfectly well that the vote to admit Palestine as a full member state of UNESCO has made it inevitable for the General Assembly to eventually recognize Palestine as a State in the normal course of its business. Why waste so much time and energy shreying about the dangers of that happening if you are honestly neutral about the possibility of a 2SS?

    • I do not think a one state solution is inconsistent with international law.

      The members of the United Nations have agreed to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council when it is acting on their behalf in its role of maintaining international peace and security. See Article 24 and 25 of the UN Charter. link to

      So a one state solution would be inconsistent with the treaty obligations of the member states under the terms of UN Security Council resolutions 62, 73, 242, 338, 1515, and 1860. For that reason alone, it is also inconsistent with the Camp David framework agreement, the Oslo Accords, the Quartet Performance based Road map for a two state solution, and the terms of reference of the Annapolis Conference.

      In order to change the status quo (more apartheid), you'd need to get the P-5 to formally adopt the one state solution. I'm guessing that AIPAC would employ the full court press and lobby for a US veto to prevent that from happening.

    • “Finkelstein asks Palestinians to sacrifice this power for what is politically feasible at this time, regardless if it is even possible on the ground.”

      Israel butchered 1440 Palestinians in Operation Cast Lead and has gotten away with it so far. Whatever the Palestinians have, it doesn't translate into power.

      In 2009 the majority of experts and government officials around the world agreed that, technically speaking, Palestine was still not a State. So when the US refused to discuss Security Council action on the war crimes and crimes against humanity outlined in the Goldstone report, the Palestinians were prevented from taking any action through their own government.

      The vote to admit Palestine as a full member state of UNESCO represented a sea change, even though nothing had changed on the ground. Now the majority of experts and officials around the world agree that, technically speaking, Palestine is a state with the capacity to pursue claims in connection with those war crimes and crimes against humanity that Israel has committed on its territory. The consensus of opinion is that an upgrade in its observer status at the UN is not required, but that an upgrade would dispose of any remaining skeptics.

      For years Charles Taylor, the Liberian President, enjoyed almost complete impunity. After years of civil war, he agreed to go into exile in exchange for promises of immunity from prosecution for war crimes and crimes against humanity. However the concept of amnesty or any statutory limitations for the most serious international crimes is extremely controversial. Taylor was just convicted in connection with crimes committed against the people of the neighboring state of Sierra Leone. The 64 year-old Taylor was sentenced to 50 years. Finkelstein is asking Palestinians to accept the international consensus in exchange for the power to do something similar.

      When the officials of the government of Isreal can't safely travel beyond their own borders and they face trials in absentia around the globe, that will provide a powerful catalyst to alter the status quo. However effective BDS and Apartheid week have become, they have not yet forced the US or Israel to abandon the status quo.

    • being agnostic is not fuzzy or evasive, for me, it’s about being honest. i really am agnostic. calling for people to mobilize around the two-state settlement as a goal, if it is not ones goal, is dishonest and won’t work. the goal should be to mobilize people over what they agree on.

      But if you're an agnostic Palestinian, you're actually maintaining a belligerent state and belligerent claim in violation of existing UN Security Council and General Assembly Emergency Special Session resolutions, e.g. A/RES/ES-10/15 of 2 August 2004 link to

      The international community of states have dictated a two state solution with equal rights on the basis of existing international law and international agreements. Israel can't be required to terminate its state of belligerency or belligerent claims until all of the parties to the conflict recognize its sovereignty and territorial integrity inside pre-67 armistice lines. That's not an option, it's been a Chapter VII legal mandate ever since Security Council resolution 338 was adopted in 1973. The two state solution was officially adopted in resolutions like SC resolution 1515 and 1860.

    • I cannot see why people are getting hot under the collar about Professor Finkelstein

      I can''t either. Ali Abunimah's father was a member of the Jordanian UN delegation. Do you really think he is unaware of the fact that the two state solution is enshrined in the current law of the United Nations through GA resolution 181 (II), and Security Council resolutions 242, 338, 1515, and 1860? He talks as if all of that hard-won international consensus can be reversed or simply turned on a dime. Finkelstein is saying that it would be a crime if we miss the a historic opportunity to accept the public international consensus. I agree. Precious human lives are still being lost nearly everyday, while the armchair generals argue over the minutia of imaginary property settlements.

    • That’s what the 2SS entails. You haven’t really challenged this argument at all here.

      Because it can't be challenged in line with existing UN SC resolutions, like 242, 338, 1515, and 1860. There are a plethora of UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions and binding international agreements, based upon those resolutions, that remain in full legal force and effect. Those resolutions and agreements unambiguously require all of the parties to the conflict to recognize the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State of Israel as part of the final settlement. That's not some sort of vaguely defined aim, its a non-negotiable legal obligation. You can't seriously engage in talk about securing "rights in accordance with international law" and still reserve your position about the continuing existence of the State of Israel. That's a complete non-sequitur.

      Nothing in those resolutions and agreements requires anyone to accept Israel or Palestine as Jewish-only or Palestinian-only states. In fact, the applicable resolutions and international law have required the exact opposite from the very outset. Chomsky and Finkelstein have both explicitly rejected the claim that Israel is the State of the Jewish people. It's embarrassing to hear people compare them to Benny Morris. Both men have unequivocally stated that equal rights for everyone is the ultimate goal. Chomsky has stated that two states with equality of rights is a logical precursor that would make a single state solution possible.

      Ilan Pappé, Noam Chomsky, and Frank Barat are hardly at each other's throats, they were co-authors of Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians.

    • Q: Finkelstein is making a critique, not attacking BDS.

      R: Finkelstein said the BDS movement is a cult. @ link to

      I've got videos of what Finkelstein actually said. Why is everyone giving me links to editorials from Ali Abunimah and Arutz Sheva that are riddled with distortions?

    • I am puzzled where Finkelstein got the idea that BDS supporters require a one state solution. It seems out of nowhere.

      Ali Abunimah and Omar Barghouti have been very up-front about their opposition to the two state solution and the on-going efforts to gain UN recognition of the State of Palestine. It would be refreshing if some other leader of the BDS movement could be cited, beside these two individuals, regarding the neutrality of the movement. They've engaged in non-stop ankle biting, sniping, and public opposition to the two state solution and have resorted to spreading FUD (Fear, Uncertainly, and Doubt) e.g. Recognising Palestine? The efforts of the Palestinian Authority to push for statehood are nothing more than an elaborate farce
      link to UN application for the State of Palestine and the future of the PLO
      link to

      The EI article is another example. It "hits em where they ain't". For example it suggests that Finkelstein is undermining the efforts of human rights groups, like Al Haq, or the refugees to obtain their rights. But Dr. Michael Kearney has written a number of position papers and articles for Al Haq which hold that Palestine is a State capable of accepting the jurisdiction of the ICC, and that it has already been recognized by international consensus, expressed in the UNESCO vote.

      In fact Palestinian citizens of Israel and their NGOs already participate in the official periodic review process of the Israeli government by the UN human rights treaty monitoring bodies. It's the Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories that fall through the cracks of the current reporting and review system. The situation permits both the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to violate human rights with a high degree of impunity. There are also UN subsidiary organs devoted to assisting the Palestinian refugees and facilitating the exercise of their right of return, right of self-determination, right to sovereignty over their natural resources, and right to compensation within a two state solution.

      Members of the Palestinian leadership, including President Abbas, Prime Minister Fayyad, Hamas leader Khaled Mashal, jailed leader Marwan Barghouti, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, and Israeli MK Hanan Zoabi have all endorsed the UN bid for recognition of the statehood of Palestine and the two state solution.

  • Restraint
    • An unjust deity would just increase evil in the World through prejudicial, unbalanced judgement.

      Well it doesn't take much imagination to figure out what a just God would do to an army of soldiers that uses mothers for target practice when they are trying to glean a meager living for themselves and their young ones.

      The God of the Jewish scriptures wasn't worried about balance. He promised to "judge you according to your own ways" and said "My eye will not spare, and I shall not pity." Sounds like a good plan to me.

  • Senate challenge to Obama on refugees came from Israel
    • When it comes to the Nakba it’s not denial – saying it didn’t really happen – that concerns me, but justification and claims that it was the right thing.

      Agreed. Publicly justifying war crimes or crimes against humanity that have targeted an identifiable ethnic, religious, or national group is a hate crime in many jurisdictions. Websites that condone or tolerate that sort of commentary are engaging in conduct that can be viewed as criminal too. The operators are also at risk of having access blocked by web filtering software or the Courts.

    • The Arabs do not want an end of conflict agreements with Jews. They don’t want an independent Jewish State, anywhere.

      It's actually more like the Israelis want to illicitly establish a Jewish State in all of Palestine.

      The Arab Peace Initiative (API) of 2002 has been cited in so many UN resolutions in the past decade that I've lost count. The Arab States offered Israel full recognition and an end to the conflict in return for withdrawal from all of the territories captured in 1967 and a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194. link to

      Israel consciously chose to ignore the offer, while dramatically expanding its illegal colonial enterprise.

    • Remember that the Jews accepted the 1947 UN Partition Plan. By accepting this plan there was no room to dabble in lies.

      LOL! We've debunked that myth already.
      link to

      In fact, the representatives of the Jewish Agency said that they only accepted the principle that the plan required the establishment of their Jewish State.

      They stated for the record that they did not accept:
      *The principle that the Plan required the establishment of an Arab State or Corpus Separatum including Jerusalem;
      *The collection of the revenues that were necessary for the provision of essential public services in the Arab State under the Plan of Economic Union;
      *The termination of the Mandate with respect to the non-Jewish communities. They refused to accept the right of the Emancipated and Independent Arab States of the former Mandate to determine their own status and dispose of their own territory as free peoples. The Jewish Agency continued to cite Article 80 of the Charter and demanded a fresh round of UN deliberations and territorial revisions in favor of the State of Israel when the two neighboring Arab countries entered into a voluntary federal union, e.g. link to

      So when a Zionist claims that Jews accepted the 1947 Partition Plan, they are either extremely simple-minded, to the point of mental incompetence, or simply lying.

    • For the UN’s position on who qualifies for refugee status

      A bit of clarification is in order: Even if the UNRWA were to magically disappear tomorrow, the status of the refugees can only be definitively settled in accordance with the resolutions of the General Assembly, not by the US Senate; not through bilateral negotiations; and not according to UNHCR guidelines. The 1951 Refugee Convention contains an express provision whereby the participating states assigned the ultimate authority on status decisions to the resolutions of the General Assembly. The ipso facto application of the provisions of the Refugee Convention to Palestinian refugees is strictly limited to its "benefits":

      D. This Convention shall not apply to persons who are at present receiving from organs or agencies of the United Nations other than the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees protection or assistance.

      When such protection or assistance has ceased for any reason, without the position of such persons being definitively settled in accordance with the relevant resolutions adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations, these persons shall ipso facto be entitled to the benefits of this Convention.

      In the Certain Expenses, the Namibia, and many other cases the ICJ has patiently explained that the General Assembly can adopt legally binding decisions on budgetary matters:

      “the functions and powers conferred by the Charter on the General Assembly are not confined to discussion, consideration, the initiation of studies and the making of recommendations; they are not merely hortatory. Article 18 deals with “decisions” of the General Assembly “on important questions”. These “decisions” do indeed include certain recommendations, but the others have dispositive force and effect. Among these latter decisions, Article 18 includes suspension of rjghts and privileges of membership, expulsion of Members, “and budgetary questions”.”

      -- See printed pages 163-64 (pdf file page 29-30) of Certain Expenses of the United Nations (Article 17, paragraph 2, of the Charter).
      *link to

      So the General Assembly can adopt a decision in accordance with Article 18 of the Charter and Article 1 of the Refugee Convention which disposes of any question a participating state might have regarding the final status and number of registered Palestinian refugees. It can also adopt a binding resolution with respect to the allocation of expenses among the member states for their support if necessary.

    • So Palestinians will have to prove they were “original” refugees, not descendants, in order to have any rights.

      No the language which Kirk attempted to insert which said "It shall be the policy of the United States with regard to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) that a Palestinian refugee is defined as ..." was axed and does not appear in S.3241. link to

      The UN General Assembly can decide who is or isn't a refugee and also who is or isn't an observer state for its own purposes. More importantly, it can push-back on the US and Israel by deciding exactly how much of the cost of operations is going to be borne by the two on a non-voluntary basis. While Sen Kirk and Rep. Ros-Lehtinen have grandiose plans to reform the UN through the use of US legislation, the UN Organization is governed by a multilateral treaty that doesn't permit modifications to the Charter without the consent of the P-5 and all of the members. Here is the type of reform the UN has been demanding:

      The financial fabric of the United Nations must be repaired, most fundamentally by renewed performance of the treaty obligations of the Members of the United Nations to pay the assessments upon them, as determined by this General Assembly in the exercise of the authority deliberately and expressly entrusted to it by the terms of the Charter. The binding character of those assessments was affirmed by the Court in 1962, when it held that "the exercise of the power of apportionment creates the obligation, specifically stated in Article 17, paragraph 2, of each Member to bear that part of the expenses which is apportioned to it by the General Assembly". Failure to meet that obligation not only has the gravest effects on the life of the Organization; it transgresses the principles of free consent and good faith and pacta sunt servanda which are at the heart of international law and relations.

      --Address to the Plenary session of the General Assembly of the United Nations by Judge Stephen M. Schwebel (United States), President of the International Court of Justice, 26 October 1999

      So, if the Palestinian refugees can't be supported by voluntary contributions, the General Assembly can always make up the difference by levying a mandatory assessment against the responsible member state or states. Israel has been outsourcing the costs of its wrongful acts of state, including ethnic cleansing, the illegal colonial enterprise, and the illegal occupation for too many decades. It has done that with US assistance, despite the frequent objections of various UN organs.

      In addition, Article 1D of the 1951 Refugee Convention stipulates that the final status of any refugees is determined in accordance with the applicable resolutions of the United Nations, not by negotiations.

      It says that refugees receiving relief from any other UN organs, like the UNRWA, will automatically be covered by the protections of the Convention and the UNHCR in the event that they loose the other UN-provided relief before their final status is resolved in accordance with the applicable resolutions of the General Assembly. In this case that would include UN GA resolution 194(III) and any other dispositive resolution that the General Assembly adopts in accordance with Article 18(3).
      link to

      So Israel and the US are risking the possibility of paying the lion's share of the bill for 5 million refugees (as determined by operation of international treaty law) if they aren't wise enough to leave well enough alone.

    • Excuse me, moderators, but wasn’t giladg’s comment above an example of Nakba denial which is supposedly prohibited on this site?

      Mondoweiss certainly has a similar comment policy that would prohibit anyone else from making allegations like the one giladg made about the magnitude of the Holocaust.

  • 'Do you feel more Arab or more American?': Two women's story of being detained and interrogated at Ben Gurion
    • @Hostage Last chance. Please cite to the exact page in Shapira’s book which details Jew on Arab terror during the 1920′s.

      LOL! As I said in the first place, “The Arab Problem” starts on page 40; "Tel Hai as a Defensive Myth" on page 98; the fact that it was all just a propaganda device, on page 130; Jabotinsky's public demand in 1923 that Arabs be subjugated by force and Jewish colonization carried out behind an Iron Wall of bayonets is at page 158 and footnote material on page 390;

      In "Violence as a Political Method the Emergence of an Extreme Right" on page 194, she notes that Uri Greenburg, Abba Ahimeir, and Yehoshua Yeivin left the Labor Movement in 1928 and were advocating the use of violence against the Arabs for political purposes as the preferred method of action around the time of the 1929 riots. She writes:

      Whoever searches for new components in that ideology will be disappointed. Virtually all the basic ideas that the three preached could be found in the teachings of earlier Zionist thinkers. Ahimir believed the spiritual roots of Betar lay in modern Hebrew literature from Y.L. Gordon, Bialik, Berdichevsky, and Tchernichovsky to Zalman Shneour and Yaakov Cahan.
      . . .
      In the first editorial to appear in the paper of Betar in Palestine, Tel Hai, he [Ahimeir] wrote: "Tel Hai . . . shall remove the fig leaf from the vegetarian opinions of Buberism and Borochovism, revealing them in all of their nakedness." In one brief sentence he made short shrift of Brit Shalom and the Left, labeling them cowardly pacifists. As I have mentioned there were only a few Pacifists in Palestine; but the adherents of the Labor movement cherished a certain respect for them, mixed with a drop of compassion.
      He rejected the concept of pacifism, regarding it as an expression of a psychological constitution unsuitable for mentally healthy people. "Among us there is far too much expression of an ostentatious humanism and vegetarianism." He praised the fostering of a cult of militarism, compared Tel Hai to Thermopylae, and made Trumpeldor into a symbol of military virtues, and a promoter of their advancement. Ahimeir viewed militarism and aggressiveness as manifestations of national vitality, the healthy (one of his most popular adjectives) antithesis to the delicate and tender vegetarians, always concerned about ethical considerations and plagued by other inhibitions that had no place in the new Hebrew Nation.

      She goes on to explain that he actually invented the pedagogical strategy of dredging-up "The murder of a Jew in Bethlehem, attacks on the soil of Eretz Israel" as methods of indoctrinating youth. You know, the same nonsensical view of the terrorist colonizers as victims that he propagated after the 1929 chauvinist military parade to the Wailing Wall. It worked as expected and triggered the violence that Ahimeir and his associates have capitalized upon ever since for propaganda purposes. Your link to the nationalist crap fest about Hebron is just the latest example of living perpetually in the past and dwelling on the same old manufactured conflicts. It claims that without Hebron, there can be no Jewish State, but offers no satisfactory explanation other than the author's militancy and egotistical pride.

    • I said, “these Zionists”, referring to haHashomer and the Legionnaries, and YOU go off topic and out of our 1920′s time frame by introducing the Irgun and Lehi, which were founded in 1931 and 1940 respectively .

      LOL! your desperation is showing.
      *Jabotinsky and Trumpeldor were both Russian interlopers and co-founders of the Jewish Legion.
      *Jabotinsky openly trained Jews in warfare and was arrested for possession of illegal weapons and blamed for the 1920 Palestine riots. He was given 15 years in prison, but was granted amnesty.
      *Jabotinsky is specifically mentioned in Anita Shapira's account of the development of the Tel Hai Myth of Defense.
      *Jabotinsky founded B'rith Trumpeldor (Betar)
      *Jabotinsky was a member of the Zionist Organization Executive. That organization ran wholely-owned subsidiaries that were chartered colonial trusts long before 1920. Jabotinsky wrote the Iron Wall in 1923 about the on-going Colonization of Palestine link to
      *The Irgun and Lehi were self-confessed terror organizations. Jabotinsky was the leader of the Irgun until he died in 1940. For example, J. Bowyer Bell cites a meeting in Alexandria in July 1937 between Jabotinsky and Irgun commander Col. Robert Bitker and chief of staff Moshe Rosenberg. Ze'ev listened, while the two explained the need for indiscriminate retaliation attacks, like the bombing of the Azur coffee house outside Tel Aviv, due to the difficulty of limiting operations to only the "guilty". See Terror Out of Zion, pages 35-36.

      So I'm not changing the subject when I mention the fact that Zionist Colonialism and Terrorism are not mutually exclusive categories. Russian interlopers like Jabotinsky and Trumpeldor were "up to their eyes" in colonial terrorism in 1920.

    • Wait. Were these Zionists ‘colonial aggressors’ or ‘ terrorists’? Make up your mind.

      The Irgun and Lehi were both colonists and self-proclaimed terrorists. those are not mutually exclusive categories.

      Regardless, you called the Legionnaires ‘interlopers’, but in truth, . . . So who were Hostage’s ‘interlopers’ than?

      I provided you with a link to a New York Times article which illustrates that Edmond Rothschild and the JNF assisted demobilized Legionaries in settling on the land, rather than returning to their countries of origin.

      Most of the Jews in Ottoman Asia prior to the war were not natives or Ottoman citizens. They were protégés of one of the western consulates who used the capitulations to circumvent the prohibition against Jewish immigration to Palestine. --See Ruth Kark, American consuls in the Holy Land, 1832-1914, Wayne State University Press, 1994

      Trumpeldor was in that category. He was just a Russian interloper who was neither a native of Palestine nor a legal Ottoman subject. But keep on dissimulating and trying to change the subject.

    • There goes Hostage trying to bury the truth in an avalanche of distracting material. . . . At least Citizen, not a Zionist, by any stretch, is trying to stay on topic

      I cite and quote material and provide a link that you can use to confirm what I've said. That's how I expose the truth. If that distracts from your irrelevant myths and hasbara, so be it.

      Citizen's first response to you cited one of my comments from another thread and said that it had already answered your question. I had also cited Anita Shapira's book in this thread, "Land and Power: The Zionist Resort to Force 1881-1948. It detailed the use of threats and force against Arab civilians throughout that period to influence their policies toward Zionist colonization and displacement from their lands. That's the very definition of terrorism.

      In my last comment I only cited and quoted four reliable sources to confirm what Shapira had already explained. The territory in question at Tel Hai was neither under British nor French mandate. It was not part of Palestine on 1 March 1920 at all. On the 8th of March, the Syrian General Congress declared it was part of the Kingdom of Syria. FYI, on 6 January 1920 the Emir Faisal of Hedjaz had initialed an agreement with French Prime Minister Clemenceau which acknowledged "the right of Syrians to unite to govern themselves as an independent nation" But the Arabs knew they were being betrayed by their war time Allies. See Timothy J. Paris, "Britain, the Hashemites and Arab Rule, 1920-1925", Routledge, 2003, page 64. link to

      So let's review
      1) the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement recognized the competence and the discretion of the Arabs to fix the definite boundaries of Palestine. The Balfour memo confirms that fact.
      2) The Memo on Commitments to King Husein reveald that the British and French advisors were not supposed to have executive powers in the Arab States under the terms of an agreement reached with Sykes and Picot.
      3) The Sykes-Picot Treaty required the French and British to consult the Arabs regarding the government of Palestine.
      4) The Faisal-Clemenceau agreement acknowledged "the right of Syrians to unite to govern themselves as an independent nation".
      5) The “Aide-memoire in regard to the occupation of Syria, Palestine and Mesopotamia pending the decision in regard to Mandates, 13 September 1919″ defined Palestine strictly on the basis of the territory actually occupied by the British Army after its withdrawal from the Arab OETA.
      6) Shapira wrote that the Zionists and the Legionaries intended to occupy and annex the sources of the Jordan River in Galilee to the Jewish motherland.

    • Did they really?Not according to the contemporary Chaim Weizman. . . See Stein, Land Question

      *Weizmann was another Russian who had just signed a treaty with the Arabs recognizing their legal competence to establish the definite boundaries between "the Arab State" and Palestine. Balfour also lamented that fact:

      “In our promises with regard to the frontiers of the new Arab States we do not seem to have been more fortunate than in our promises about their independence. In 1915 it was the Sharif of Mecca to whom the task of delimitation was to have been confided, nor were any restrictions placed upon his discretion in this matter, except certain reservations intended to protect French interests in Western Syria and Cilicia.

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

      Declassified documents have long since revealed that both the British and French violated their agreements regarding Palestine and Arab independence. The Sharif Hussein was only willing to accept Syke’s and Picot’s proposal regarding foreign advisors, subject to the understanding that they were to have no executive powers whatsoever. As far as Hussein was concerned, both the British and French had agreed to the renunciation of the ideas of annexation, permanent occupation, or suzerainty over any part of Syria, Lebanon, or Palestine. See pdf file page 9 of 21 in:
      Former Reference: GT 6185
      Title: British Commitments to King Husein.
      Author: Political Intelligence Department, Foreign Office
      Date November 1918
      Catalogue reference CAB 24/68
      link to
      *The 3rd paragraph of the Sykes-Picot Agreement required the allies to consult with the Sharif of Mecca on the form of government in the brown area of international administration in Palestine.

      The boundaries of Palestine were established on a provisional basis in an “Aide-memoire in regard to the occupation of Syria, Palestine and Mesopotamia pending the decision in regard to Mandates, 13 September 1919″. It was handed by Mr. Lloyd George to M. Clemenceau and placed before the Versailles Peace Conference. It divided the territory between the British, French, and Arab administered OETAs on the basis of the principles of the Sykes-Picot agreement and the Sykes-Picot lines - and it specifically mentioned "the Arab State". The memo is available in the FRUS and in J. C. Hurewitz collection.

      Palestine was strictly defined as the area actually occupied by the British Army, not the demobilized Legionaries.

    • Hostage deluged us with ‘links to nowhere’.

      No, I gave you an example of armed Jews using terror tactics against the indigenous Arab civilian population in order to acquire and annex their territory to the "Jewish motherland". The Ottoman Land Code permitted Ottoman subjects to purchase and register land, not Edmund Rothschild or the Legionaries. The registered owner was entitled to usufruct, but not entitled to evict or threaten the tenured Arab cultivators. Those details are omitted from the myth of defense that Israel created to justify the colonial aggression perpetrated by the HaShomer and demobilized Legionaries.

    • Hostage. You were supposed to say Zionist interloper. Zionist, not Jewish interloper. . . .What happened to your political correctness tonight? You almost sound just like a bigot.

      What happened to your knowledge of Jewish history? I just reminded you about a little of it. You either didn't know or had forgotten that renegade demobilized Jewish Legionaries and members of the French armed forces had violated the rights of Arab cultivators long before the international mandates were even granted, and that Arabs had been killed by Jewish Legionaries during the fighting in Galilee. Here are a few relevant facts for you:

      Many religious Jews, like Rav Kook, supported and visited the new secular settlements in Galilee prior to the mandate era. He wrote that these new secular settlements would become holy and that they were the fulfillment of the vision of the prophet Ezekiel. For Kook and his followers, "Judaism" based on the commandments was a sine qua non for "Jewish national life" in the homeland. Kook was appointed Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem in 1919 and Chief Rabbi of Palestine in 1921.

      The "Zionist" Organization had zero legal standing in either Ottoman Asia or Arabia, so it submitted that the international community of states should "recognise the historic title of the Jewish people to Palestine and the right of the Jews to reconstitute in Palestine their National Home. In pursuit of that objective Dr. Weizmann and the Emir Faisal of Hedjaz concluded an agreement, which among other things, required that "Arab and Jewish duly accredited agents shall be established and maintained in their respective territories."

      The name of the organization responsible for committing the acts of military aggression against the Arab people in this 1920s myth of defense was "The Jewish Legion".

      The demobilized Jewish Legionaries from the United States, Canada, and England expressed a desire to stay on in Palestine, provided that they could settle on some land. There was no international mandate for them to do that, but they were aided by Baron Rothschild and the authorities of "The Jewish National Fund", one of the Jewish duly accredited agents in Palestine.
      *Aids Jewish Legionaires; Baron Rothschild to Provide Land for Them in Palestine. New York Times July 19th, 1919 link to

      The name of the organization that glorified Trumpeldor's death for its own propaganda purposes was "The Jewish Agency for Palestine, nowadays known as "The Jewish Agency for Israel", another of the Jewish duly accredited agents in Palestine.

      Berit Trumpeldor (Betar) was originally founded in Latvia by a group young students and workers who declared themselves a "part of the Jewish Legion to be established in Eretz Israel" on the basis of the ideology of Vladimir Jabotinsky's "legionism" and the ideals of personal pioneering and defense exemplified in Joseph Trumpeldor's life and death. Their goal was to create "a Jewish State on both sides of the Jordan River".
      link to

      The Zionists were quite obviously self-proclaimed Jews and they quickly established themselves as the only "Jewish duly accredited agents" for the territory of Palestine.
      *See the Jewish Agency, "Memorandum on the Development of the Jewish National Home", 1924, submitted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine to the Secretary General of the League of Nations for the Information of the Permanent Mandates Commission, London, October 1924 (cited in Mutaz M. Qafisheh, The International Law Foundations of Palestinian Nationality, BRILL, 2008, page 231 and UN Reference documents on Palestine, A/296/Add.1 of 1 May 1947). link to

    • @Hostage Cop out.

      @ proudzionist777: sour grapes.

      I've already given you citations to the applicable Ottoman Land Code which protected the rights of the cultivators on any lands purchased by Edmund Rothschild. On 1 Mach 1920 there were no mandates, High Commissioners, or revised British or French land ordinances. link to

      Trumpeldor was just another Russian terrorist and Jewish interloper as of 1 March 1920. The French military officials who were encroaching on Arab lands, despite their assurances about Arab independence, were interlopers too. The Arabs that clashed with these foreigners died defending their farmland and their country, but Trumpeldor did not. The Principle Allied Powers had not reached any decisions regarding the mandates in Ottoman Asia, much less the details concerning the future boundaries of the Jewish national home.

    • First, your question was already answered in detail on this blog by Hostage

      The same could be said for the book cite that I provided to proudzionist777 written by Israel Prize winning historian Anita Shapira, "Land and Power: The Zionist Resort to Force 1881-1948". For example, she deconstructs the Tel Hai Myth and notes that there's no particular reason for Israelis to feel proud about the clash that the HaShomer initiated with the local Arabs or the deaths of Trumpeldor and his cohorts. She notes that the territory contained most of the sources of the Jordan river and was of interest to the Zionist, but wasn't actually part of Palestine or the British sphere of influence at the time. The official Zionist Commission to Palestine washed its hands of the entire matter and the informal leaders of the Yishuv couldn't decide among themselves whether or not to assist the Jewish militants in their fight against the neighboring Arab villages. See "Tel Hai as a Defensive Myth" pages 98-109.

    • Some people think they can get over by just dumping ‘too much information’ on a thread ( hoping nobody takes the time to read it all), and than moving on.

      Most ordinary readers grasped the situation after the first pass through the CNN article. Let's try this again. The CNN article about Mairead Maguire says;
      *"An Israeli court will hold a deportation hearing Friday"
      The article also explains that Maguire
      *"was refused entry into Israel on Tuesday";
      *"was detained this week when she tried to visit the Jewish state and the Palestinian territories."
      link to

      Here's another article on the Fly-In which says that:
      *Some activists refused to talk to investigators and only presented their passports;
      *Four activists from Germany and Holland were released and permitted to enter Israel after they pledged not to participate in violent protest activities;
      *a number of 'fly-in' activists succeeded in entering Israel and participated demonstrations at the Qalandiya checkpoint and in East Jerusalem.
      *120 foreign activists were still being held at detention facilities; and
      *"Immigration and Population Authority officials told Haaretz on Saturday evening that all foreign pro-Palestinian 'fly-in' activists who were refused entry into Israel over the past few days would be deported back to their home countries within 48 hours."
      link to

      Both the US State Department, and the Government of Israel described the procedure used against the flotilla members captured at sea as arrest and deportation.
      link to
      link to

      You and Fredblogs have both vapor locked while delivering explanations about these articles. They indicate that non-residents have been arrested and given deportation hearings and that some activist have even been allowed entry to the country after they pledged that they were non-violent. Nobody here has been talking about cases of people who were denied visas at a consulate; or cases of people who were not detained or agreed to leave a country voluntarily.

    • According to the United States Embassy, there is a distinction between denied entry and deportation.

      @ pudzionista I've mentioned several times that these women were 1) denied entry, 2) detained, and 3) deported.

      The forms mentioned in the section on denial of entry that you cited can be issued to persons who have never been removed from the United States against their will. For example, people who apply for a visa at a US Consulate overseas can be denied entry if they don't have an affidavit of support, previous employment in the US, or enough funds to pay for their stay:

      8 USC § 1182 Inadmissible Aliens
      (a) Classes of aliens ineligible for visas or admission
      Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, aliens who are inadmissible under the following paragraphs are ineligible to receive visas and ineligible to be admitted to the United States:
      (4) Public charge
      (A) In general
      Any alien who, in the opinion of the consular officer at the time of application for a visa, or in the opinion of the Attorney General at the time of application for admission or adjustment of status, is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible.
      link to

      Israel denied entry to travelers on the Fly-In by placing their names on a no-fly list, but it also denied entry, detained, and deported the travelers who arrived at Ben Gurion with plans to visit the West Bank.

    • @Hostage . . . Unless you can prove otherwise with something more than a conclusory statement, I continue to believe that the young women were denied entry, and not deported.

      Pudzionclown nobody cares what you wish to believe. The readers can make up their own minds based upon the facts. This is just the continuation of Israel's announced policy of denying entry, detaining, and deport people it believes are Palestinian solidarity activists:

      Israel begins deporting ‘fly-in’ activists
      July 10, 2011
      JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel began deporting pro-Palestinian protesters who flew into Ben Gurion International Airport to attend protests and activities in the West Bank.

      Some 118 protesters arrived over the weekend at Israel's airport. As many as 200 protesters had been prevented from boarding planes to Israel on July 8 by airport authorities in Paris, Berlin, Geneva and other cities who used lists of potential protesters compiled by Israeli police from social media sites.

      link to

    • That ‘nice Nobel Prize Laureate from Ireland’ was denied entry to Israel because she willfully violated a 10 year travel ban to Israel
      CNN, the US State Department, and the Government of Israel described the procedure used against the flotilla members as arrest and deportation.
      link to
      link to

    • I don’t know if these young ladies can be considered deportees. They were in transit in BG Airport, and hadn’t been residents in the State, temporary or otherwise.

      I'll add that to the long list of other topics you're not sure about. Deportation is the removal or expulsion of undesirable aliens from a country. Residency isn't necessarily a relevant factor. For example, the nice Nobel Prize Laureate from Ireland, who is mentioned in the CNN article that I cited earlier, was denied entry to Israel, detained, and given a deportation hearing despite the fact that she was merely "in transit".

      BTW, as you well know, the Mandatory Administration deported whole groups of people because of their political beliefs i.e., the Bolshevik leaning
      Poale Zion Smol and the Templars, to name a few.

      The Mandatory government had collective punishment laws, concentration camps, employed torture, and summary executions. It did a lot of other things that were subsequently prohibited under international law too. Those prohibitions apply to all of us, not just Israel.

      Deportation doesn't apply to the citizens of a country, unless they're denaturalized first, like John Demjanjuk. That is still permitted in cases where: 1) the original naturalization was obtained through falsification or concealment; 2) the naturalized person is a member of a subversive organization; or 3) a dishonorable military discharge is given to a naturalized immigrant who initially enter the country to serve in the military.

      The Germans were at war with Great Britain, so the Templars were treated as enemy aliens during that conflict. There were a number of subversive Zionist groups, like the Irgun, who declared war on the Mandatory government. Deportation or forced exile of indigenous Jews and Arabs would not be considered legal by today's standards.

    • Please tell us all the terror attacks perpetrated by Jews against Arabs in 1920′s Palestine.

      I've posted on the topic in the past, e.g. link to

      You could also pick-up a book by Israel Prize winner Anita Shapira, "Land and Power: The Zionist Resort to Force, 1881-1948 and start reading about your fractured fairy tale and the origins of your misplaced sense of righteousness and hereditary entitlement. "The Arab Problem" starts on page 40 after a preliminary overview of the thoughts of the early leaders of the movement.

    • Hostage. Why do you presume Mr. Chaikin, zt’l, was a ‘would be terrorist’. . . .I’m begging you.

      pudzionist that remark was sarcasm. The performance of our consulate staff in years gone by was superior in every respect to the job they are doing protecting travelers today in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv:
      *Back then, our citizens were sprung from jails, despite the fact that they were accused of crimes, like carrying an illegal firearm. The ladies that you deported in these stories were advocates of justice and peace who did nothing wrong.
      *Back then, our consulate would not permit our allies to deport our citizens on the basis of race or religion. Today your Interior officials, like Eli Yishai, display their racism openly and publicly as if it's a badge of honor.

    • my original point was that Zionist and many at the UN who helped create Israel more than likely knew that Palestinians forced, threatened, some killed…off their lands would reject this agreement from the beginning.

      Of course. That's why the General Assembly proposed an arbitrated "settlement". It hoped to avert further acts of violence and bloodshed and asked the Security Council to consent to the plan envisioned in the settlement and treat any attempt to alter it by force as an act of aggression.

      The Arabs and Jews had already been killing one another for a long, long, time before the UN was asked to recommend a solution. The leaders on both sides had advised that further negotiation was a waste of time and that the only reasonable course of action was to impose a solution on the other party by force. In this case everyone admitted the UN was competent to terminate the mandate and impose solutions on the other parties.

      Courts enter summary judgments to enforce arbitrated settlements everyday, whether the parties are complying with the terms or not. The Security Council refused to do that in the Palestine case on Charter grounds. In subsequent disputes involving mandate era boundaries, the Security Council intervened and imposed a solution and no such objections were raised, e.g. Iraq-Kuwait.

      Its a mistaken view under the circumstances to think that the General Assembly's proposal was the primary source of the problem. The main problem was that both sides intended to use force to overturn any settlement that was not to their complete satisfaction and the Security Council was hopelessly divided and could not take effective action as a result.

    • Like I said, “ugly Americans” think that being an American means they don’t have to obey the laws and rules of other countries.

      Fred you keep engaging in defamation per se. There's zero evidence that any of these ladies violated any of the municipal laws of Israel, or that they made false statements about the purpose of their visits. The government of Israel denies that it has an official policy of denial of entry or permission to pass through its border entries to the members of the ISM movement.

    • They weren’t kept out because they were Arabs, or because their friends were Arabs. They were kept out because they were anti-Israel activists. What’s more, they were prominent enough that a friend suggested they try to cover up their activities so they couldn’t be found out by googling them.

      Look, Naomi Klein and Phil Weiss are a lot more prominent. Googling them would reveal that before their trips they had been outspoken supporters of the BDS and Palestinian Solidarity Movements; the Goldstone Report; the Right of Return and Single State Solution; and made comparisons of the situation in Israel and the West Bank to South African apartheid. J-Street went so far as to petition the DoJ to conduct criminal investigations of US charities that finance the illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. All of these people were allowed to pass through Israe's border entry points.

      FYI, the government of Israel denies that it has a policy of denying entry to members of the ISM movement.

    • Like I said, “ugly Americans” think that being an American means they don’t have to obey the laws and rules of other countries.

      The problem, of course, is that you keep suggesting that these young ladies violated some municipal law of Israel. You've also claimed that their answers about the purpose of their visit were dishonest.

      For its own part, the government of Israel lets members of the ISM movement pass though its border entries. It officially denies that it has any policy of denial of entry to people associated with the ISM. So most of your comments here are examples of defamation per se.

    • Another anti-Israel activist. Nice little story here about his visit with Arafat

      LOL! A delegation of American Christians passed through Israeli checkpoints to visit the President of an entity that had been created by the government of Israel and the PLO.

      FYI, the PA has always been funded by an Ad Hoc Liaison Committee that was created in 1993, the Ad Hoc Committee on Assistance to the Palestinians (AHLC). It is chaired by Norway and co-sponsored by the EU and the US. There are 17 member countries and some invited bilateral donor countries, including Israel.

    • Oh, and the women who were denied entry to Israel have not been deprived of their “right to hold opinions, the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion”. They just haven’t been allowed into Israel.

      Reality check: Al Aqsa Mosque isn't located in Israel and the vast majority of worshipers there are already supporters of BDS and the ISM. The Israeli authorities certainly do routinely violate the right of Palestinian Muslims and Christians to movement and access necessary to make religious pilgrimages to their Holy Sites in Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem, and Nazareth. They also routinely interfere with the rights of Muslims and Christians from other countries when they wish to visit those sites. This episode is a graphic example of that very thing. These practices have been highlighted and condemned by the ICJ and the Human rights treaty bodies.

      FYI, a couple of seconds on Mondoweiss or Google would have also revealed that Naomi Klein gave a talk at the Friends School in Ramallah supporting the BDS movement against Israel and talked about the same subject during a visit to Bil’in too.

      Here's a recent article in which Phil compares the situation in the West Bank to apartheid and discusses his trip to Israel and the Nablus area.

      J-Street doesn't support BDS or ISM, but here's a JPost article which reported on the J-Street call for the Justice Department to conduct criminal investigations of US charities which financially support illegal Israeli settlements. They still manage to routinely enter Israel and even sponsor trips for visiting Congressional delegations:

      I could go on, but the readers can see what's really going on here.

    • Why shouldn’t Israel ban a woman who has lived in enemy Arab countries?

      (Pilpul Alert) Because that would also apply to hundreds of thousands of the citizens of Israel who came to Palestine under the auspices of the Jewish Agency and the Mossad Le'aliyah bet. It would also apply to the displaced Jews of Arab Palestine (1948) and the Israeli settlers who lived in the Enemy Entity (Gaza) or the State of Palestine. Never ask a question unless you already know the answer.

    • OK, mystery solved. Anti-Israel essay. Googleable. SJP president.

      The linked blog article suggests that its okay to deny entry to and deport members of Students for Justice and Peace in Palestine because they've compared conditions in Palestine to South African apartheid and have spoken out against pro-Israel speakers visiting their schools. The author also attempts to discredit Deir Yassin remembrance days "to mark what Palestinians have claimed was a massacre of Palestinians in 1948", despite the fact that the massacre was verified at the time by the Jewish Agency and the International Red Cross. Yitzhak Levi, "Nine Measures", published by Maarachot, the Israel Defense Army Press, Tel Aviv, 1986 confirmed details of the massacre. Extracts, like "Deir Yassin:Levitza's Account" were translated by Ami Isseroff and are available online. link to

      In any event, Pro-Israel speakers aren't being deported from the US, because Articles 18 and 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights prevent state parties from interfering with the right to hold opinions, the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Israel and the USA are both participating states. link to

      The attitude of the blog operator does help to explain why Israel has denied entry to South Africans, like Judge John Dugard and Bishop Desmond Tutu when they were on mission to Israel for the UN. The CERD Panels of Experts are democratically elected by the 175 State Parties to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. They have been periodically voicing their concerns about apparent violations of the prohibition of racial segregation and apartheid in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory for nearly two decades. So have the elected representatives of the Palestinian people. In the 2004 Wall case, the Justices pointed out in paragraph 129 that Israel was violating longstanding international guarantees regarding the right of freedom of movement and transit to the Holy sites on both sides of the Green Line.

      So, denying people access to Al Aqsa or Jewish sites because they are "Arabs" or because they support justice and peace for Palestinians is just another graphic example of Israel's disregard for international norms.

      P.S. if Google keeps putting israelmatsav in the first few pages of your search results, that only proves that they've got you pegged and have personalized the results. That doesn't necessarily apply to the rest of us here (thank God).

    • Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. Just because she was an Arab and turned away doesn’t mean it was because she was an Arab that she was turned away.

      No, long before I ever heard of these particular young ladies I knew, a priori, that a wide variety of legal scholars serving in treaty monitoring bodies had examined the facts and concluded that Israel routinely behaves in this illegal fashion. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

      I had repeatedly mentioned those findings and the absurdity of the situation with respect to our latest US Consular travel advisories on Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza beforehand too, e.g.:

      Those legal conclusions have repeatedly cited the prohibition of apartheid contained in article 3 of the ICERD convention and systematic violations of the human rights of freedom of movement, and access in territory controlled by Israeli authorities. These travel-related problems invariably involve people that Israel considers to be persons of "Arab nationality", "Palestinians", or human rights rapporteurs and officials on mission for the UN.

      I was already familiar with the conclusions of top jurists and expert fact finding missions that it has killed Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians, Egyptians, and other "Arabs" for speaking out or demonstrating against its occupation of their lands and its systematic violation of their human rights. I know that it has detained and questioned other Arabs and its own citizens for "the serious crime" of simply visiting the other Arab States that were brought-up during Najwa's detention and questioning.

      I knew that Israel had kept its entire Arab population under martial law for nearly two decades, during which time its Border Police murdered hundreds of Arabs in travel and access incidents that some of its own Courts had labeled crimes against humanity and discussed as "black flag" incidents involving manifestly illegal orders to kill from senior state officials:

      The distinguishing mark of a ‘manifestly unlawful order’ should fly like a black flag ... Not formal unlawfulness, hidden or half-hidden, nor unlawfulness discernible only by the eyes of legal experts, is important here, but ... unlawfulness piercing the eye and revolting the heart, be the eye not blind nor the heart stony and corrupt—that is the measure of ‘manifest unlawfulness’ required to release a soldier from the duty of obedience (Chief Military Prosecutor v. Melinki (1958), 13 Pesakim Mehoziim 90, cited in Israel (A.G.) v. Adolf Eichmann (1961), 36 I.L.R. 18 at 256 (Israel, District Court of Jerusalem)).

      So we are not discussing things that are only discernible to the legal experts anymore. We are talking about things that anyone finds revolting except for those who have been blinded or corrupted by Zionism.

    • The whole exercise is an illustration of the point made by the late Tony Judt. In many respects Israeli society is an anachronism. It's still functioning on the level of the 19th Century failed Ottoman state and it is dragging the rest of us down to its level.

      The Ottoman's have vanished from the scene. Modern-day Turkey only recognizes civil marriage, while Israel desperately re-jiggers the millet system in order to cling to its racist doctrines. It wastes its vital resources and energy on finding ways to humiliate others like these US citizens. That need to humiliate others extends to fellow Jews, i.e. See Haaretz "For first time, Israel to recognize Reform and Conservative rabbis: State to support salaries of non-Orthodox rabbis; 'rabbis of non-Orthodox communities' will not have authority over religious and halakhic matters. Financing will be the responsibility of the Culture and Sports Ministry and not the Religious Services Ministry." link to

      Lord Curzon noted that the text of the British Mandate engaged in semantics to conceal the presence of the Arab majority: "Even the poor Arabs are only allowed to look through the keyhole as a non-Jewish community." Here is the latest example these Rabbis aren't even "Jewish" community leaders:

      In negotiations held out of court, the state agreed to recognize the non-Orthodox rabbis, but refused to recognize their rabbinates. The State offered to call them "community leaders." About three weeks ago, the panel of judges led by Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein requested the intervention of Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, who agreed to recognize the terminology "rabbi of a non-Orthodox community."

      The State held that the deal on Reform and Conservative rabbis will not be made via the religious council and will not be done via direct employment by the local authorities, rather via financial assistance. The Reform movement agreed to this. Financing will be the responsibility of the Culture and Sports Ministry and not the Religious Services Ministry.

      In sports terms, it looks like they accepted a bribe to throw the fight.

      The Russell Tribunal noted the similarity of the Oslo Accords to the old system of Capitulations and the fact that the world has moved-on from colonialism and that sort of national exceptionalism. After 110 years of waiting, the status of our Palestinian equals, and fellow human beings, can't be more humiliation and apartheid pending pie-in-the-sky negotiations:

      Certain provisions of the Interim Agreement, expressing the Israeli positions, are clearly violations of international law. The recognition of the Palestinian competence in "the Occupied Territories", despite recognised territorial integrity, is undermined in several clauses. The Palestinian Authority can only exert jurisdiction by attribution. Israel continues to exert competence which has not been expressly transferred, thus in breach of the international law of decolonisation accepted by the United Nations. Moreover, the Israeli citizens residing in Palestine do not fall within Palestinian jurisdiction. This recalls the distressing "capitulations" that certain European states imposed on defeated states in the 19th century. This provision is all the more contrary to contemporary international law because it contains the germ of conflict and domination since all the Israeli colonies are not dismantled. From this point of view, by not putting any clear end to colonisation and by not accepting Palestinian jurisdiction on the Israeli residents, Israel violates an essential element of the Palestinian peoples' right to self-determination violates by preventing it from availing of all its land and by placing its citizens above Palestinian law.

      -- link to

    • Well, the ones who lie to Israeli officials about the purpose of their visit are guilty of perjury and conspiracy to commit perjury (or whatever the equivalent charge is for lying to customs agents) to evade security procedures when entering Israel.

      The article doesn't say they were lying about the purpose of their visit. Having emails with the words "West Bank", "Israel", "Palestine", or "International Solidarity Movement" isn't evidence of perjury either. The US Consular Service travel advisory notes that:

      Demonstrations and Civil Unrest: U.S. citizens are advised to avoid demonstrations. Demonstrations or altercations can occur spontaneously, and all demonstrations have the potential to become violent without warning. If such disturbances occur, U.S. citizen visitors should leave the area immediately. U.S. citizens have been seriously injured in demonstrations that have turned violent. In Jerusalem's Old City, where exit routes are limited, U.S. citizen visitors should seek safe haven inside a shop or restaurant until the incident is over. Demonstrations can be particularly dangerous in areas such as checkpoints, settlements, military areas, and major thoroughfares where protesters are likely to encounter Israeli security forces. Within Israel, U.S. citizens should be aware that demonstrations in predominantly Arab areas and confrontations between Arab and Jewish residents in ethnically mixed towns can occur with little or no advance warning.

      ISM supports demonstrations and you can updates needed to avoid them by email at: [email protected]

    • Would deluded fools such as he consider the US non-racist if for some unfathomable reason it decided to only allow immigration of Christians, wherever in the world they might come from, and decide to dispossess, expel, treat as second class citizens with fewer rights, all non-Christians?

      (sarcasim) The incident involving the Quaker lady from Missouri at Ben Gurion airport proves that Quakers can't rely on others. They need the safe haven that only the Quaker State can provide. The Mason-Dixon line is unacceptable and indefensible. It violates the right of the Quaker people to self-determination. The Quakers accepted the British partition proposal and ended their 17 year dispute over the borders of the Quaker State and the international status of Philadelphia. But the land for peace formula didn't satisfy the Papist forces in Maryland or the forces of the Church of England in Virginia. They eventually attacked Gettysburg and would have driven all of the Quakers into the Harbor at Philadelphia if their plans had been successful. The West Virginians are an invented people. The borders of partition cannot be for us the final borders. We are entitled to decide our borders according to our defense needs.(/sarcasm)

    • Which may lead to innocent people being mistaken for ISM people.

      There's no danger of you being mistaken for a clever troll. Can you provide a link to an official source which says that ISM people are guilty of something?

    • If only we could get close to that original agreement that they all knew the Palestinians would reject then.

      The United States didn't reject it and consular protections were explicitly covered. Let's review that together. Our Jerusalem Consular staff flatly refused to allow the deportation of US citizens on the basis of race or religion during the Ottoman era. The US government asserted its right to exercise in personam jurisdiction under the Capitulations:

      Though Jews belonging to other nationalities have been expelled from Jerusalem and Palestine, no American citizen has been expelled during my connection with this consulate. In all communications with the local authorities I have invariably and decidedly held the position that I could in no wise consent, much less render aid to expel from Palestine citizens of the United States who are Jews; that a fundamental principle of our Government was involved, which positively forbids any ‘discrimination made for or against American citizens on account of their race or religion.

      --link to

      FYI, in personam jurisdiction allows Israeli citizens to take their country's laws and immunities with them whenever they decide to settle in the occupied Palestinian territories.

      Article 28 of the Treaty of Lausanne abolished the Capitulations in Turkey.

      Article 8 of the Palestine Mandate (and the Anglo-American Palestine Mandate Convention) provided that US rights and immunities under the Ottoman era Capitulations in Palestine would only be suspended during the term of the mandate, but would immediately be re-established in their entirety at the expiration of the mandate. link to

      The United States refused to recognize the jurisdiction of the British Courts of Palestine after the San Remo Conference in April 1920, because the terms of the draft Mandate and the Anglo-American Convention had not been ratified. Here is an example of our Consular staff in action during that period on behalf of a would-be Jewish terrorist:

      SIR: I have the honor to state that on or about August 3, 1921, the Palestine police arrested at the town of Ludd, Palestine, an American citizen named Abraham Chaikin. Mr. Chaikin was charged with carrying a revolver contrary to local law and was tried and sentenced by the District Governor at Ramleh to imprisonment for thirty days.

      In accordance with standing instructions this Consulate demanded a week later when informed of the occurrence that Mr. Chaikin be turned over to it for trial in the American Consular Court in accordance with the Capitulations.

      -- link to

      Under the existing treaties the US had the right to operate its own consular courts separate from Great Britain's courts in Palestine.
      link to

      When Great Britain proposed to grant independence to Transjordan in 1946, the US government reserved its right to automatically resume its rights under the Capitulations in the future in line with its own policy considerations:

      6. The United States would automatically resume the right to exercise the capitulatory privileges formerly conceded by the Ottoman Government, upon termination of the Mandate, under Article 8 thereof. The United States would be extremely reluctant to resume these capitulatory rights, however, since such a retrogressive step would be contrary to the spirit of our present policy.

      link to

      UN General Assembly Resolution 181(II) terminated the Palestine Mandate, which triggered the provisions of Article 8 thereof. The General Assembly implicitly acknowledged that states had the automatic right to immediately re-establish their rights and immunities under the Capitulations:

      PART IV Capitulations

      States whose nationals have in the past enjoyed in Palestine the privileges and immunities of foreigners, including the benefits of consular jurisdiction and protection, as formerly enjoyed by capitulation or usage in the Ottoman Empire, are invited to renounce any right pertaining to them to the reestablishment of such privileges and immunities in the proposed Arab and Jewish States and the City of Jerusalem.

      link to
      link to

      Because it disputes the legal status of those territories, Israel claims the right to ignore the prohibition against transferring portions of its own population into the occupied territory and asserts the right to retain in personam jurisdiction over its citizens in Palestine and Jerusalem. The US certainly has adequate ground for disputing that status and retaining the rights and immunities of its citizens in Israel, Palestine, and Jerusalem.

  • US Embassy to American in trouble in Israel: 'You're not Jewish? Then we can't do anything to help you'
    • I believe Archbishop Tutu was denied entry at one time

      Yes, the UN Human Rights Council appointed him and Professor Christine Chinkin (lately of Goldstone Mission fame) to conduct a High Level Fact Finding Mission on the IDF shelling in Beit Hanun, Gaza Strip, which killed 19 Palestinian civilians. Israel always denies entry to anyone on mission from the UN with a mandate to conduct a fact finding and report on any human rights violations, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
      link to
      link to

      The ever pleasant Abe Foxman and the ADL went into blitz mode and defamed the UN, Tutu, and Chinkin for trying to conduct a "Kangaroo Court". link to

    • Serving U.S. Citizens in Jerusalem, . . . . which will not assist Jewish Americans!

      LOL! Okay which is it gonna be? The link you supplied says "Serving U.S. Citizens in Jerusalem" and nothing at all to support the claim that it won't assist Jewish Americans.

      The current Consul General, Daniel Rubinstein, happens to be a Jewish American diplomat. His service area is exclusively geographical and it includes, wait for it, Serving American Citizens in Jerusalem!

      FYI, there is every indication that he is a useless tool of oppression when it comes to helping Palestinians. See: "U.S.: We will stop aid to Palestinians if UN bid proceeds -- U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem, Daniel Rubinstein, tells chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat U.S. 'will take punitive measures' against Palestinian Authority if it seeks to upgrade position at UN General Assembly.
      link to

    • Deportation does not equal denial of entry. . . . As for the deportation hearing for Maguire

      The article specifically says she was denied entry and detained. So in this case deportation was the next step in the process that began with denial of entry.

    • Hostage has posted an uncited list of obligations for the U.S. Embassy for a U.S. Citizen facing deportation. Does anyone have a cite for a list of obligations for a U.S. citizen being denied initial entry to a country?

      Emergency Assistance to U.S. Citizens Abroad includes arrest, detention, crime victimization, disappearance, and death.
      link to

      Here is one of the many available citations that contains a summary of services provided: link to

      More importantly I gave you a citation to an article about a Court date being set for a deportation hearing in a case involving someone who was initially denied entry and detained:

      An Israeli court will hold a deportation hearing Friday for an Irish Nobel Peace Prize winner, who was detained this week when she tried to visit the Jewish state and the Palestinian territories.

      Mairead Maguire was refused entry into Israel on Tuesday as she arrived with a delegation of other high-level women's rights activists from around the world, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said.

      Maguire, along with fellow Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams and founders of the Nobel Women's Initiative, was set to lead a delegation to Israel and the Palestinian territory over the next seven days. The delegation planned to travel to Jerusalem, Haifa, Nazareth, Ramallah, Hebron and Bil'in to learn from and highlight the work of female peace builders.

      -- link to

      So there is no prohibition in the local law against obtaining a list of lawyers from the US Consulate, obtaining emergency loans, etc., and petitioning the Court for a deportation hearing. Drop the stick and step away from the dead horse.

    • These entry denials weren’t done on the basis of race. Since as it turns out, neither this woman nor the others banned as described in the other thread were banned because they were Arabs. They were banned because they are members of anti-Israel organizations.

      Please remember that Naomi Klein and Phil Weiss have both visited Israel and the West Bank; compared conditions they witnessed there to South African Apartheid; supported the findings of the Goldstone report; and support the BDS movement.

    • What exactly would you have had the embassy do, that was actually in their power and could have lead to a different outcome? For a random American, you know we have 300 million of them right?

      You've asked that stupid question twice now and its already been answered. They can lodge a protest over the "Arab vs American" line of questioning, they can provide a list of lawyers, they can arrange for loans, Arrange for medical care, and arrange for food under programs that are authorized by US statute. The likelihood that the US Consulate was busy servicing 300 million detainees is extremely remote.

      The fact remains that there are Courts in Israel that have entertained petitions from people who were denied entry and facing deportation, e.g. Deportation hearing set for Nobel laureate in Israel link to

    • Got a cite for any of that? Also something that says that being denied entry into a country is the same as being deported after having gained entrance.

      Fred here is the standard State Department boiler plate. Please note that it does not say "There's nothing we can do for you.":

      Assistance in Case of Arrest or Incarceration

      American citizens are subject to local laws, which may differ significantly from those in the U.S. Consular officers can provide a list of attorneys and information about judicial procedures, notify relatives if requested, and forward requests for money and other aid to relatives and friends. U.S. embassies can also arrange for medical care and provide loans to destitute prisoners through the Emergency Medical/Dietary Assistance (EMDA-I) program. Consular officers will sometimes attend the trial and monitor the treatment of prisoners and protest abuse. Consular officers cannot demand the release of a U.S. citizen or represent a U.S. citizen at trial, give legal advice, pay legal fees, or represent a prisoner in court.

    • Then you have A) not done your homework about what border security can and can’t do to you when you are traveling

      Fred you seem to be claiming that our federal border officials aren't creatures of the US Constitution or that our US State Department Consular officials can waive their legal obligations to a citizen based upon some sort of religious test.

      In fact the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have all been respondents in lawsuits about these very same questions. Spokesmen advise that CBP strictly prohibits profiling on the basis of race or religion in determining whether individuals are admissible into the United States, e.g. link to

      The agencies claim that they strictly observe the prohibitions against stops, detention, or questioning on the basis of race or religion in line with Court decisions like United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S. 873, 878 (1975), United States v Montero-Camargo U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (2000), and the guidance contained in the DOJs Guidance Regarding The Use of Race By Federal Law Enforcement Agencies. link to

      In short: what you've been defending here is actually illegal under our domestic laws and Constitution.

    • Laws, rights, treaties, international agreements, duties of the US Government to its citizens, etc., etc. . . . What have any of these things got to do with Israel?

      Our government is a creature of the Constitution. It can't do anything overseas that's prohibited by that document. If it claims the power and authority to murder civilians far away from any battlefield overseas, you can be sure that some lawyer in the DoJ has advised it has the Constitutional power and authority to do that at home. It views the international community of states as a collection of similarly empowered entities.

      So the United States has reached a new low point in its international relations and its respect for the fundamental rights of its own citizens. It has followed bad advice about waging the amorphous "war on terror", the use of drones against civilians, & refusal to accept international adjudication from the likes of Bolton, Yoo, and Koh. That behavior has tended to destroy the international order and organizations that are intended to solve problems peacefully inside the framework of law and human rights, not wars. In fact, our elected leaders and courts almost pride themselves on their defiance of international institutions and their ability to game the system to achieve short-term goals and objectives. All of that comes at a tremendous cost to the rest of us.

      In the past, leaders in our own and other governments had spent the better part of a century trying to build-up a framework of international law. It placed emphasis on arbitration, and adjudication, not endless negotiations accompanied by the intermittent use of force. In fact, they sought to outlaw war and placed severe restrictions and prohibitions on the unilateral use of force and warfare starting with the 1899 Hague Convention for the pacific settlement of international disputes, the Hague Conventions of 1907 on the Laws and Customs of War, the Covenant of the League of Nations, the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols, and the all of the UN Covenants and Conventions on Human Rights. If respect for peaceful settlement of disputes, human rights, and humanitarian law threatens our "sovereignty", what does that say about the purpose of sovereignty, and ultimately about us?

      The US is increasingly isolated and wasting its political capital trying to prop-up a few rogue states and defending perpetual wars. Glorifying Zionist wars, colonialism, and apartheid is just a symptom of the underlying problem of lawlessness and immorality in our own society. When governments deny the fundamental rights of others, they invariably end up destroying the fundamental rights of everyone.

    • “The person is in no danger. The person is in no danger and doesn’t have the right to stay in the country that is deporting them anyway." . . . You can never say that about israel.

      That goes double for turning over accused terrorists to the US. The European Court of Human Rights has prohibited deportations in the past because of the genuine risk they would be tortured or receive the death penalty.

    • >> … deportation is the prerogative of the state.

      In international law it always takes at least two to Tango, the sending and the receiving state.

      If you plan on using rights of transit, remember that the EU placed an absolute ban on deportations or "renditions" of accused terrorists to the United States or other countries that practice torture. So your actual mileage may vary when you try to exercise that "prerogative". link to

    • Let’s deport some Palestinian refugees back to their home country.

      Might as well. Although the Jews complain that the US closed it doors to refugees during the Holocaust, it actually admitted tens of thousands of refugees. The group the US has persecuted the most in that regard are the Palestinians. Our government freely admits that it normally does not admit them into our country and that it is only willing to accept one or two thousand that it displaced during the war in Iraq. link to

    • It was well within the legitimate rights of the Germans to deport a U.S. citizen to the U.S.

      LOL! Always reliving the golden age of Fascism eh Friedblogs? I seem to recall that the Nuremberg Charter (and the hangman's noose) curtailed the boundless discretion of the Germans to deport civilians on the basis of race or religion. Those prohibitions were codified in the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

    • “Help, I’m being put on a plane in 10 minutes to be deported back to my home country”.

      You're kidding right? When the Consular Section is advised that an American has been arrested or detained for deportation, a consular officer is required to visit the American Citizen as soon as possible; provides information regarding the foreign legal system and a list of attorneys; and offers other assistance such as contacting family or friends on the prisoner's behalf; arranges transfer of private funds for delivery to American prisoners, arranges dietary food supplements and/or medical care through a U.S. Government loan. All of those activities are prescribed by the US Code on Foreign Relations.

      The State of Israel purports to reserve the right to treat US citizens or nationals as "Palestinian" if their parents or grandparents ever lived in the West Bank or Gaza. If Israel is going to treat our citizens as "stateless" or worse still, as "citizens of an enemy power", then a determination and deportation to the "home country" would require a hearing in a regular court in accordance with the minimum protections contained in Article 3 and 6 of the 4th Geneva Convention. Even if a Palestinian-American civilian were accused of being a "Palestinian terrorist", they would still be a "protected person" once they are in the territory of a party to the armed conflict. The US supplies Israel with billions in military aid, so our citizens are not really subjects of an enemy or neutral power for GC IV purposes.

      In any event, Israel and the United States are both signatories of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations link to

      Article 36 of that treaty permits the US Consul to arrange for legal representation of citizens who have been arrested or detained for any reason, including deportation proceedings. The international courts have ruled that the provisions of Article 36 create an enforceable individual right.

    • Sovereign immunity would probably apply.

      They say that all politics is local. The 11th Amendment does prevent Israel from suing Pennsylvania in federal court, but the Religious Society of Friends would never respond by expelling Jews from the Quaker State in the first place.

      FYI, the Congressional authorization to use necessary military force against terror organizations linked to the attacks on September 11, 2001 might be applicable to the Mossad or Urban Moving System, but blaming the Society of Friends would cross too many red lines in the Bible Belt during an election year. For example, the Friends were among the earliest settlers here in "Bloody Kansas". They have descendants, meeting houses, camp grounds, and three university campuses scattered around the state. AIPAC couldn't get Romney elected to the post of dog catcher in this red state if he or his Israeli friends were ever perceived to be hostile to the Methodists, Presbyterians, AND the Quakers too.

      The natives here already support BDS (Boeing Defense, Space, and Security). But Boeing has announced that the Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) facility in Wichita is closing down after 60 years of operation due to cuts in domestic spending programs. link to

      The move is required in order for Boeing to stay competitive with US taxpayer-subsidized Israeli firms, like Rafael Advanced Defense Systems that are allowed to bid on DoD contracts. Congress has increased support for Rafael's Iron Dome system. So Israeli total military aid will be 4 billion this year instead of the projected 3.1 billion. Believe me, AIPAC's candidates won't be enjoying "sovereign immunity" at the ballot boxes here in Kansas.

    • You’d be wrong. The U.S. embassy (assuming that this story is even true) was asking about religion, not race.

      Sorry, but treating the pacifists in The Religious Society of Friends like enemy terrorists is crossing a red line, even for the suck-ups in our US State Department.

      Besides, the US Consular advisories have long-since warned travelers that the Israeli authorities may consider US citizens born in the United States as "Palestinian" - without regard to any religion - so long as one of their parents or grandparents were either born in or lived in the West Bank or Gaza. That rule has never been applied to the descendants of a Palestinian Jew or an Israeli settler. So it is undoubtedly a case of ethnic or racial discrimination.

    • “Jews of any race are welcome in Israel” unless they’re black, unless they’re Norman Finkelstein . . .

      . . . or Noam Chomsky, Richard Falk, Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, (Double Jeopardy! Round‎/Daily Double: Who are Phil and Adam?), et. al.

    • There is no right to be in a country of which you are not a citizen

      *The General Assembly has used that same rationale to demand the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the IDF from the occupied Arab territories.
      --General Assembly Resolution ES-9/1 link to
      --General Assembly resolution 39/146 link to

      *Our Jerusalem Consular staff hasn't always been so gutless in cases where the local authorities have attempted to deport US citizens:

      Though Jews belonging to other nationalities have been expelled from Jerusalem and Palestine, no American citizen has been expelled during my connection with this consulate. In all communications with the local authorities I have invariably and decidedly held the position that I could in no wise consent, much less render aid to expel from Palestine citizens of the United States who are Jews; that a fundamental principle of our Government was involved, which positively forbids any ‘discrimination made for or against American citizens on account of their race or religion.


      *Jewish members of Congress have introduced legislation that would permit Israeli terrorists to infiltrate the United States and alter the character and demographic balance of our "Quaker State" without obtaining a visa. link to

  • Once she joined 'Women in Black' and opposed aid to Israel. And then-- she ran for Congress and went to AIPAC
    • Explaining his opposition to "H.R. 4133, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012: Rep. Ron Paul told his fellow lawmakers:

      “This bill states that it is the policy of the United States to ‘reaffirm the enduring commitment of the United States to the security of the State of Israel as a Jewish state,’” said the congressman. “However, according to our Constitution the policy of the United States government should be to protect the security of the United States, not to guarantee the religious, ethnic, or cultural composition of a foreign country. In fact, our own Constitution prohibits the establishment of any particular religion in the US.”

      See 'It will lead to war' - Ron Paul fights to end military aid for Israel link to

    • The solution is simple – when an AIPAC candidate runs just spell out for the people in that district all the money we give to Israel that could be spend here at home.

      AIPAC is a 501(c)(4) organization. So it really can't publicly endorse its own list of candidates, although you'd think that is the organization's primary function. The promotion of social welfare does not include direct or indirect participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. However, a section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization may engage in some political activities, so long as that is not its primary activity. However, any expenditure it makes for political activities may be subject to tax under section 527(f). For further information regarding political and lobbying activities of section 501(c) organizations, see Election Year Issues, Political Campaign and Lobbying Activities of IRC 501(c)(4), (c)(5), and (c)(6) Organizations, and Revenue Ruling 2004-6. --,,id=96178,00.html

    • The solution is simple – when an AIPAC candidate runs just spell out for the people in that district all the money we give to Israel that could be spend here at home.

      AIPAC is a 501(c)(4) organization. So it really can't publicly endorse its own list of candidates. The promotion of social welfare does not include direct or indirect participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. However, a section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization may engage in some political activities, so long as that is not its primary activity. However, any expenditure it makes for political activities may be subject to tax under section 527(f). For further information regarding political and lobbying activities of section 501(c) organizations, see Election Year Issues, Political Campaign and Lobbying Activities of IRC 501(c)(4), (c)(5), and (c)(6) Organizations, and Revenue Ruling 2004-6. --,,id=96178,00.html

  • AP investigates the 'Made in Israel' label
    • “Since the products of the settlements are made under Israeli regulations and standards, they are ‘made in Israel.’”

      "Israel" only retained personal jurisdiction over its citizens in the occupied Palestinian territories. That means there's no uniform enforcement or application of Israeli labor and industrial laws in the occupied territories.

      Nothing is stopping the producers or manufacturers from putting all of the applicable conformance testing marks from the Standards Institution of Israel (SII), UL, CSA, TÜV, & etc. on their products. But that has nothing to do with Country of Origin Marking.

      Our own Treasury Department directives prohibit labeling products from the West Bank and Gaza as made in Israel:

      [B]y letter dated October 24, 1994, the Department of State advised the Department of the Treasury that, in view of certain developments, principally the Israeli-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (signed on September 13, 1993), the primary purpose of 19 U.S.C. 1304 would be best served if goods produced in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were permitted to be marked ‘‘West Bank’’ or ‘‘Gaza Strip.’’
      Accordingly, as Customs has previously relied upon advice received from the Department of State in making determinations regarding the ‘‘country of origin’’ of a good for marking purposes, Customs notified the public in T.D. 95–25 that, unless excepted from marking, goods produced in the West Bank or Gaza Strip shall be marked as ‘‘West Bank,’’ ‘‘Gaza,’’ or ‘‘Gaza Strip.’’ The T.D. further stated that the country of origin markings of such goods shall not contain the words ‘‘Israel,’’ ‘‘Made in Israel,’’ ‘‘Occupied Territories-Israel,’’ or words of similar meaning.
      By letter dated January 13, 1997, the Department of State advised the Department of the Treasury that the Palestinian Authority has asked that the U.S. accept the country of origin marking ‘‘West Bank/Gaza’’ so as to reaffirm the territorial unity of the two areas. The Department of State further advised that it considers the West Bank and Gaza Strip to be one area for political, economic, legal and other purposes.

      62 FR 12269 - Country of Origin Marking of Products From the West Bank and Gaza link to

      He said there were other cases of contestable labeling, including by the Palestinians who label products from parts of the West Bank governed by the Palestinian Authority as "Made in Palestine." There is formally no state of Palestine, he noted.

      Nonsense the State of Palestine was declared in 1988 and has been formally recognized by about 130 countries which can demand that products be labeled with Palestine as the country of origin.

      Statehood was never a final status issue of the Oslo Accords or Quartet Road map. In fact the Interim Agreement of 1995, which is the major post-Oslo agreement, specifies that neither party shall be deemed “to have renounced or waived any of its existing rights, claims or positions” (Art. 31-6). So the Palestinians position on statehood was preserved.

  • 'NYT' chronicles underground passage from Egypt to Gaza
    • did not change the Agreement on Movement which requires all goods entering Gaza to go through the Kerem Shalom Crossing.

      Reminder: The 2005 AMA allowed Gaza to operate and enlarge its sea port. It also guaranteed there would be no interference with the sea port from the IDF.

    • Egypt is allowing Palestinian Airlines flights between Marka Air Base, Jordan and El Arish, Egypt. link to

      So people still have to queue-up and request permission to leave Gaza through the Rafah crossing in order to get on a flight.

    • I assure you, I’m far better informed than most people on this site, though I choose to remain anonymous – as do many others.

      Well then you ought to know that the ICRC and UNRWA have labeled the closure collective punishment, which is a war crime. The humanitarian watchdogs noted that delivery of humanitarian aid alone won't solve the problem because the closure and Cast Lead have destroyed the local economy and infrastructure. So the ICRC and UNRWa have demanded that Israel relax the blockade and lift the closure.

      UNRWA and the Arab Network for Humanitarian Information report that nothing has fundamentally changed about that situation since 2010:

      *The U.N. official responsible for Palestinian refugees said Tuesday that Israel has been too slow to relax its blockade of Gaza, which has devastated the isolated economy and failed to achieve its security goals.
      link to
      *Egypt: International delegations denied access into Gaza: Mubarak’s ruling mindset perpetuated; the ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) succumbs to Israeli and Western dictates.
      link to

      It's obvious that Israel's blockade and the closure of Gaza are still a form of collective punishment that Israel uses to choke off the local economy and the people from the outside world in order to humiliate the people of Gaza and those who attempt to provide them with humanitarian aid.

      *AIPAC and Israel continue to attack US funding for UNRWA refugees in living in Gaza through propaganda and draft legislation;
      *The IDF is still violating the unilateral withdrawal agreement and the 2005 agreement on movement and access with regard to the operation of the Gaza port. It does that to prevent deliveries of humanitarian aid and the conduct of normal commerce through imports and exports; to punish the local fishing fleet; and to harm the local economy. It is doing the same things with the land crossings to prevent exports to the West Bank and the rest of the world, and to slow down deliveries of products and humanitarian aid shipments in violation of Security Council resolution 1860 (2009).

    • We’ve been over this before. Through the Israeli agreements with Egypt and the PA, Israel insisted on controlling all border points, even the one from Egypt. No goods, only pedestrians are allowed through the Rafah crossing from Egypt, and Israel still maintains the final say on who is allowed through, All goods from Egypt must go through the Israeli crossing at Kerem Shalom.

      That's not correct, but certainly agree that's how it works. The 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access specifically provided for the export of goods through the Rafah crossing.
      See the summary on page 2 of 6 link to

      In addition the negotiators announced they had achieved an agreement on facilitating the movement of people and goods within the Palestinian Territories and on opening an international crossing on the Gaza-Egypt border that will put the Palestinians in control of the entry and exit of people.

      Nothing in the agreement with the PA would prevent goods from Egypt from arriving at the Gaza Seaport:

      Construction of a seaport can commence. The GoI will undertake to assure donors that it will not interfere with operation of the port.

      The parties agreed that:

      The passages will operate continuously. On an urgent basis, Israel will permit the export of all agricultural products from Gaza during this 2005 harvest season.

      The new and additional scanner will be installed and fully operational by December 31. At that time, the number of export trucks per day to be processed through Karni will reach 150, and 400 by end-2006. A common management system will be adopted by both parties.

      In addition to the number of trucks above, Israel will permit export of agricultural produce from Gaza and will facilitate its speedy exit and onward movement so that quality and freshness can be maintained. Israel will ensure the continued opportunity to export.

      -- link to

      In addition the Security Council ordered that unrestricted flow of humanitarian aid throughout Gaza be resumed on the "continuous" basis stipulated by the 2005 AMA.
      link to

      The 3rd party implementation procedure contained in the 2005 agreement only requires Egypt to operate its side of the border in accordance with international standards, in accordance with Palestinian law and subject to the terms of the agreement. The agreement does not say that Israel has any final say in how the border operates: "Israel has no effective physical control of the crossing which is controlled by Hamas on one side and the Egyptian authorities on the other" -- H.C.J. 7761/08, Bur'i v. Defense Minister, Respondents ' reply dated September 22, 2008, para. 6

    • And note: the source for that earlier NYT report were… the tunnel operators themselves.

      Actually it was just one man. He only said it "seemed" like Israel knew which tunnels were operated by Hamas and which ones are operated by local businesses.

  • Alterman says BDS shares Ahmadinejad's agenda, and Hezbollah's too
    • Oh, and here’s an article exposing The Israel Project’s secret hasbara handbook: link to

      They probably kept it secret to avoid getting a take down notice from the original copyright owners or to avoid looking clueless. After all, they paid Lutz to regurgitate hasbara talking points that they could have obtained by simply subscribing to a free Hasbara Fellowship RSS feed. This crap was probably already taking up valuable space on their badly infected hard drives.

    • re:Mordechai Vanunu A traitor who was arrested by unusual means.

      RE: Fredblogs a lousy guy with an even lousier memory. The law in these parts limits treason to actually waging war against your own state and giving aid and comfort to its enemies. Revealing that a psychotic state with a Samson complex possesses nukes is neither an aid nor a comfort to anyone - and its hardly an act of war.

    • The Israelis enforced a legitimate blockade in full accord with international law. The passengers committed an act of war (though not an act of terrorism) against Israel by attacking the soldiers.

      Hardly, it's a violation of international law to attack vessels outside the published coordinates of a blockade zone. The most favorable "findings" expressed in any "inquiry" report by a committee established without the necessary legal mandate to conduct a proper criminal investigation noted:

      "Israel’s decision to board the vessels with such substantial force at a great distance from the blockade zone and with no final warning immediately prior to the boarding was excessive and unreasonable"
      "The loss of life and injuries resulting from the use of force by Israeli forces during the take-over of the Mavi Marmara was unacceptable. Nine passengers were killed and many others seriously wounded by Israeli forces. No satisfactory explanation has been provided to the Panel by Israel for any of the nine deaths. Forensic evidence showing that most of the deceased were shot multiple times, including in the back, or at close range has not been adequately accounted for in the material presented by Israel.

      There was significant mistreatment of passengers by Israeli authorities after the take-over of the vessels had been completed through until their deportation."
      "The vessels were in international waters, 72 nautical miles from the coast and 64 nautical miles (approximately 5 hours sailing) from the blockade zone at the time of the attack.

      In the S.S. Lotus case, the World Court decided, that the first and foremost restriction imposed by international law upon a State is that – failing the existence of a permissive rule to the contrary – it may not exercise its power in any form against the territory of another State, which includes vessels and aircraft. FYI, Turkey was the state party which prevailed in the case. See the S.S. “Lotus” (France v. Turkey), PCIJ Series A, No. 10, at p. 18 (1927) link to

      The MV Mavi Marmara was flagged in Comoros, a State Party to the Rome Statute. That means the ICC automatically has complementary jurisdiction under the terms of Article 12 of the Statute in the event that the responsible states fail to investigate the or prosecute the deaths for which no adequate explanation has been provided:

      Article 12
      Preconditions to the exercise of jurisdiction

      1. A State which becomes a Party to this Statute thereby accepts the jurisdiction of the Court with respect to the crimes referred to in article 5. [(a) The crime of genocide; (b) Crimes against humanity; (c) War crimes; (d) The crime of aggression]

      2. In the case of article 13, paragraph (a) or (c), the Court may exercise its jurisdiction if one or more of the following States are Parties to this Statute or have accepted the jurisdiction of the Court in accordance with paragraph 3:

      (a) The State on the territory of which the conduct in question occurred or, if the crime was committed on board a vessel or aircraft, the State of registration of that vessel or aircraft;

      -- link to

      Comoros is also one of the members of the League of Arab States which referred a report on the situation in Gaza, including the blockade, to the Office of the ICC Prosecutor. link to

      The official inquiry conducted by the UN human rights mandate holder determined that the blockade was illegal. That inquiry was headed-up by a former Justice of ICC. -- link to

      The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also determined that the blockade is illegal. She also is a former Justice of the ICC Appeals Chamber who noted that:

      In so far as it constitutes collective punishment of all persons in Gaza, including the civilian population, the blockade is itself a violation of international humanitarian law.


    • “Israel does not kidnap anyone (not since Eichman anyway). They arrest people. Sometimes they capture enemy combatants. Neither of those is kidnapping.’

      LOL! Of course the Mossad subsequently kidnapped Mordecai Vanunu. FYI: when you 1) "arrest" a protected civilian in the occupied Palestinian or Lebanese territories; and 2) transfer them to facility, like 1391 in Israel, where they are held for years without any charges; that is an illegal deportation under the terms of Article49(6) of the 4th Geneva Convention.

      Whenever you arrest and transport someone from the territory of one of the lucky states that Israel hasn't occupied so far, and you don't allow them legal representation or an extradition hearing, it's considered a case of "enforced disappearance". The latest example of that involved the abduction of Dirar Abu Seesi from the Ukraine by the Mossad. You might need to bone up on the 4th Geneva Convention and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. Nobody calls it kidnapping anymore when the perpetrators are agents of a state.

    • They do treat them like humans. The Palestinians like enemy humans and the Israeli Arabs like citizen humans.

      The responsible treaty monitoring bodies have repeatedly pointed out a long list of inhuman practices that Israel directs toward its "Arab" citizens, which constitute the crime of apartheid. Anat Kamm and Uri Blau revealed that the IDF actually treats enemy civilians as if they are combatants in violation of Supreme Court decisions on the subject. For example, when Egyptians attacked and killed some Israelis near Eilat, Defense Minister Barak granted himself carte blanche to arbitrarily murder some uninvolved civilians in Gaza.

      Perhaps you can explain why Israel destroys its "Arab citizen's" existing communal settlements, including the ones located within the known boundaries of their ancestral lands or why it has never built new Arab communal settlements for general public use on state-owned or other land since the day the Jewish state came into existence? During that same period Israel has built hundreds of Jewish communal settlements on Israel's state lands and on state-owned and private lands in Palestine. While all of that was happening, Israeli officials were frantically shreying about the Arab demographic threat and Arab encroachment on state lands. Why aren't all of Israel's "human citizens" allowed to build new communal settlements or to use its state lands on a non-discriminatory basis?

    • Uri blau should have stayed in europe.

      Mordechai Vanunu followed that advice, but found out too late that he was still a sitting duck.

  • Fear, the African refugees and the cost of maintaining Israel as a Jewish state
    • I would guess that the Jewish community legal construct was probably by ‘mutual’ demand in a lot of cases.

      I'm certain that non-believers were not beating down any doors to demand the privilege of paying taxes into the religious community's coffers, the right to recognize Orthodox national leaders, or the obligation to comply with the rulings of rabbinical courts. I know I've never felt the urge to do any of those things;-)

    • This goes right to the heart of all arguments about the “Jewish Community”. Apparently the “Jewish Community” is not actually of Jewish construction, it is a condition imposed on Jews.

      Yes, in Europe the "Jewish community" was usually a legal construct that was part of the laws on residency or minorities. Jewish communities not only had a right to police and govern themselves as autonomous entities, they had an obligation to do so. In Germany, Jewish neighborhoods were governed by codes of residence, aka: Judenstättigkeit. Shofar Volume 15, 1996, page 65 noted that in the 1744 Judenstättigkeit of Hessen-Kassel, 842 Jewish families lived in 177 communities, for the most part (148 communities) in small groups of up to merely five families. Jewish communities in the new states, like Poland, that were established after WWI, retained the right to operate their own autonomous minority schools and religious institutions, which helped preserve their common culture, language, or heritage.

    • What does ‘secular’ mean here? Not quite the same as ‘atheist’, as far as I can see.

      I don't know about Mike or Danaa, but I was talking about secularity in the ordinary sense of someone or something separate or apart from religion. "Jew" or "Jewishness" are terms with meanings that contradict or oppose one another - similar to the way the word "cleave" can either mean to split away from something, or to adhere to something. Jewish secularity included people who held opposing views, like those who believe in Zionist particularity and others who believe in a universality of the human condition and experience that transcends the framework of race, religion, or nationality.

      There have been groups of Jewish intellectuals who developed philosophies based upon both of those schools of thought. So while "Jewishness" might conjure-up the idea of narrow-minded nationalism or particularism, to many of us Jewishness represents universalism too. It can be a philosophy that applies to everyone - outside the categories of race, nationalism, or statism. See for example the long discussion about that in Avner Dinur, "Jewish-German-Universal: Judaism in the thought of Hannah Arendt and Hans Jonas" link to

      I simply noted that the orthodox and the atheist could share one of the common Jewish languages, elements of culture, or personal family ties within a Jewish community. People tend to generalize when they are discussing the roles played by religion, racial theory, or national particularism in public life. Many simply assume that the public sphere should be a place outside of those categories. If your point of departure is the impropriety of those factors intruding or trespassing on the public domain, then you should ask yourself how or when religion, race, or nationality became solely private matters in the first place and whether the various efforts to make them private have ever really succeeded.

      Religious people are still exercising considerable control of the public domain whether we like to admit it or not. If you're familiar with the unsuccessful efforts to adopt constitutional amendments guaranteeing equal rights for women or homosexuals; efforts to overturn "Blue Laws"; reform immigration laws; or repeal prohibitions on gambling, then you know that many times the opposition comes from religious groups that are determined to impose a religious status quo on the public.

      In the past, Jews had the obligation and the right to govern and police themselves. Jewish communities could compel those of a non-religious persuasion to pay taxes into their community coffers. They could command that Jews respect the authority of government-recognized heads of the Jewish "nation," and that they abide by the legal judgments of the rabbinate. Even after the so-called Enlightenment, there were measures like the ones I linked to above in Romania that dealt in a sweeping fashion with all non-Christian Jews as members of an alien race, nationality, or religion. In egalitarian France, the gentiles threw-off the authority of their Church, but turned around and convened a "Great Sanhedrin" based upon the idea that certain Jewish notables spoke on behalf of communities and still governed them under a hierarchy of ecclesiastical councils or tribunals with judicial powers that answered to the central authorities in Paris.

      There are still orthodox Jews today who consider anyone with a Jewish mother as someone who has an obligation to observe the Halakhah - whether they like it or not. That's fairly evident to anyone who wants Bar-Ilan Street or King George and Shmuel HaNagid streets in Jerusalem, or HaShomer Street in Bnei Brak open to vehicular traffic on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays. See for example Horev - vs -The Minister of Transport. There are disputes here in the US between Jewish sectarians over the need for Eruvs & etc.

      I could ramble-on but there are the two extremes within the Jewish community and every shade of gray in between.

    • How can a secular Jew feel chosen?

      For starters, some Orthodox authorities hold that secular Jews have the same duties to observe the Halachah as any other Jew and that they are subject to the same punishments whenever the authorities have sufficient temporal powers to impose them. Other religious Jews believed in toleration and mutual support of others who suffer persecution on the basis of a shared race, language, customs, traditions, and family ties.

      Religion had nothing to do with the racial theories of Arthur de Gobineau, Social Darwinism, or the nationality laws that were based upon the concept that humans are divided into several mutually incompatible races. Even in cases where religion was a factor, non-Christian Jews were expelled from towns and villages, positions in government, & etc.

      The social movement founded to implement minority rights treaties worked to protect the use of the Yiddish language or aspects of Yiddish culture common to atheist and devout Jews alike and the right to operate schools and other institutions that served "Jewish communities". In Greco-Bulgarian Communities (Opinion No. 17) and Minority Schools in Albania (Opinion A/B 64) the Permanent Court of International Justice provided a standard legal definition of a “community” in which religion was only one factor. That legal definition applied to Jewish and other national minority communities of the day. It is:

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

      Those legal principles are a relevant part of the public law of Europe today. See for example the report on “Minority Rights in Albania”, by the Albanian Helsinki Committee, September 1999.

    • Why do I read so little here on Mondoweiss about this naked contradiction: the very notion of the secular Jew?

      Because there are so many secular Jews commenting here. Members of Jewish communities became the objects of the national and international public laws of Europe during the Enlightenment. "Jew" was a non-Christian civil status that affected the right of naturalization, residency, and employment. It was assigned regardless of one's faith in Judaism or Atheism to keep members of a non-Christian alien minority group outside the scope of the laws that applied to the privileged mainstream national ethnic groups, i.e. "aliens of the Christian persuasion alone can obtain naturalization." -- See for example Dr. E. Schwarzfeld, The Situation Of The Jews In Roumania Since The Treaty Of Berlin (1878) link to

      Even today, the European acquis communautaire does not set rules on secularism, but it does protect any cultural, linguistic and religious identity of a national minority. The history of Europe, or "Christendom", has legated several official models of state and church relations that continue to exist to this very day. So there are similar naked contradictions: the very notion of secular citizens or nationals of states and principalities that are still officially Christian.

    • I distinctly recall some concerns that Palestinians had about demographic changes

      That included the resident Palestinian Jews. They were subjugated and treated like second-class humans - especially by the Ashkenazi Jews and Zionists after they wrestled control away from the leadership of the old Yishuv:

      One peculiar phase of the case is that large numbers of the resident Jews share in this dislike to the coming here of more Jews. This is explained by the fact that it tends to the increase in price of all articles of living, adds little or nothing to the wealth of the city, and reduces the proportion of the charitable aid sent here by their wealthy co-religionists from abroad.

      link to

      A two-state solution that does not include the right of return of the Palestinian refugees is not only an unjust solution that would leave Palestinians with a non-viable, non-contiguous, so called state but it would leave Israelis trapped in their ethnocracy.

      True enough, but in the interim, Jews are livin' large with all of the legal benefits of "statehood" and UN membership - except for those pesky contiguous borders. Why don't we go ahead and give the Palestinians those same temporary benefits and status while we're waiting for a final settlement to magically happen? For decades the Israelis have been crowing about their ability to commit crimes against the Palestinian people that are prohibited in cases involving the inhabitants of another state.

  • Netanyahu govt to impose fines on mayors of cities that employ migrant workers
    • Were they operating under a law, put in place by the Native Palestinians, to govern their own land and their own society? Or where they taking advantage of the then-current foreign control of Palestine which stripped self-governance from the Palestinian people?

      Neither, even Rothschild had to use a Turkish citizen, like Efraim Krause, as an agent to make the land purchases and registrations. Foreign ownership by the National Fund or the Palestine Land Development Company and foreign colonization by their societies were practices that violated the law. That's why the Ottoman officials refused to register the land they obtained in the valley of Jezreel.

    • is an Israeli contractor still the proposed builder or did the U.S. government give the contract to someone else?

      The Government scrapped the idea after they wasted a billion on 53 miles of fence built by Boeing. link to

Showing comments 3400 - 3301