Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 77 (since 2011-10-14 12:52:34)

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  • In 'Dissent' debate, Walzer hints that leftists who focus on Israel are anti-Semitic
    • I forgot to type in the word apartheid in front of South Africa. The country still exists, but its political structure is radically different what it was during the years 1948-1994.

    • The term "left" refers to people who identify themselves as "leftists." Walzer self identifies himself as a man of the "left." Whether you wish to accept his definition as accurate or not is neither here nor there. The fact is that people like Walzer do not and never have described themselves as being "rightists." The justification for support of Israel by people like Walzer is all done using the rhetoric of what in the US is considered the "left wing" of the political spectrum. This allows Israel to get the support of "liberals", "progressives", and "leftists" in the US who would never think to back Zionism if it were solely justified using "right wing" rhetoric. South Africa and Rhodesia never had this "leftist" base of support and hence no longer exist.

    • Walzer is a lot more typical of American "progressives" particularly those in academia than Chomsky who is an anarchist not a "liberal" or a "progressive" or Klein who is Canadian. Had South Africa had the support of "Left wing" academics in the US like Israel does among Walzer and others apartheid would still be hanging around the bottom of the continent. This is because Walzer and his ilk provide the intellectual infrastructure for "progressive" hard core Zionists in the Democratic Party like Alan Grayson, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and others. These people have always given unconditional support to Israel and it is not because of the influence of the evangelical Christian Right. It is, however, in large part because of the justification provided by "liberal" intellectuals like Walzer that Israel is a "progressive" cause. The leftist base of Israeli support in the US is what distinguishes it and just about the only thing that distinguishes it from regimes like apartheid South Africa and White ruled Rhodesia. This distinction, however, has allowed it to outlive the other colonial settler regimes by decades.

    • Walzer has been a pillar of the US academic "left" for decades and his stance is typical of many of the people in that environment. The few dissidents such as Finkelstein or Mearsheimer and Walt are generally ruthlessly attacked by other academics and driven out completely if they lack tenure. "Left wing" professors in the academy like Walzer not Christian evangelists have provided the intellectual infrastructure for the US government's, particularly on the Congressional level, unconditional support of Israel. People like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are self identified "progressives" not right wingers. Until the left wing base of support for Israel is discredited then they will continue to receive US support. Had they only been a right wing cause they would have gone the way of Rhodesia decades ago. It is their left wing support in US universities and among the Democratic Party that has given them an edge over other settler colonies like South Africa.

  • Shlomo Sand on Zionism, post-Zionism, and the two-state solution
    • The two million deaths for expelled Germans came from estimates on the missing number of Germans compiled by the West German government early in its existence. It has since been revised downward. The lowest figure I have seen is 500,000, but I have also seen a credible recent scholarly figure of about 1,000,000. At any rate the expulsion of 14 million ethnic Germans from eastern Germany, Central Europe, and the Balkans was certainly a massive act of ethnic cleansing which had at the very least hundreds of thousands of fatalities. Estimating the number of rapes by the Soviet army at the end of WWII is much harder to do since most were not reported. I have seen the figure 2 million floated around, but I think it is just a guess at a plausible minimal figure. The real figure could be much higher.

  • UC Berkeley's new chancellor disavows Columbia divestment petition his name was on
    • Maybe the Israeli lobby will force him to divorce his wife and marry a reliably staunch Zionist before he takes the job? ;-)

  • Apartheid? Don't be silly
    • This doesn't have that great of effect visually. The apartheid in Palestine primarily consists of the residency and movement restrictions imposed upon Palestinians not those imposed upon Israelis. It would be like seeing a sign in South Africa stating, "Territory of Transkei Ahead. No Entry for Whites. Entry Illegal by South African Law." The few restrictions on the Herrenvolk really are not what makes apartheid in either case offensive. It is the massive restrictions on the lives of the indigenous majority that is offensive.

  • Reactions to UN vote: Livni calls Palestinian move 'strategic terrorist attack'
    • Because they think Zionism is a "liberal" or "progressive" idea.

    • No, I can definitely see merit in the Palestinians reasserting their financial independence. I think it is obvious to everybody outside the "developed North" that the US provides the treasury and armory that allows Israel to oppress the Palestinians. Nothing, however, apparently will convince the majority of US citizens and from what I can tell evidently Canadian ones as well that there is any oppression of Palestinians. I think the US media position is that the Palestinians oppress the Israelis through "terrorism".

  • UN approves Palestinian status upgrade with 138-9 vote (and US Senators threaten to cut aid)
    • No, the Czechs were also occupied by the Nazis and they voted no. In fact almost all of continental Europe was occupied by the Nazis so it really is not a determining factor.

    • As I mentioned above she has been very bad for Africa.

      I have some recent posts on my blog about her role in Rwandan and Ugandan crimes in Congo.

    • Rice has also been very bad news for Africa. She not only covers for Israeli crimes against Palestinian,s, but she has actively facilitated Rwandan and Ugandan crimes in Congo. Indeed since 1996 the US has been increasingly treating Rwanda as the Israel of Africa, a state engaged in wholesale aggression against its neighbor, but receiving unconditional US support.

    • They only got the Czech Republic in Europe. It appears there is a mutual Czech-Israeli admiration society. Each state admiring the ethnic cleansing committed by the other during the 1940s. The Israelis view the Germans from the Sudetenland and Zipser as European Palestinians and the Czechs view the Palestinian Arabs as the Sudeten Germans of the Middle East. The Czechs much more so than Poland have been very reluctant to admit to any wrong doing in expelling their ethnic Germans and Hungarians at the end of WWII. I think this continued support for their own ethnic cleansing is what binds the Czechs to the Israelis.

  • 'We lost Europe,' says Israeli official
    • No Latvia and the other two Baltic states abstained. Since the Soviet Union subjected much of their indigenous population to forced removal in 1941 and again in 1949 (also 1948 for Lithuania) they probably have more sympathy for the Palestinians than the Czechs. The Czechs are still celebrating their own version of the Nakba against ethnic Germans in the Sudetenland, Zipser, and other areas.

    • No it did not. The Czech Republic was the only European state to vote against upgrading Palestine's status. I suspect it is because of the common refusal to acknowledge their own ethnic cleansing of ethnic Germans and Hungarians after WWII that they share with the Israelis. They seem to have a mutual ethnic cleansing admiration society going.

    • It is my understanding that the only European country to vote no on Palestinian statehood was the Czech Republic. Given that the Benes Decrees which ordered the mass expulsion of Czechoslovakia's German and Hungarian minorities in 1945 are still on the books this is not really surprising. The Czech Republic has been much more militant than Poland in recent decades in justifying and defending the massive ethnic cleansing of its citizens of German heritage at the end of World War II. There seems to be a meeting of the minds between Czechs and Israelis on ethnic cleansing. The Czechs view the Palestinians as Arab Sudeten Germans and the Israelis view the ethnic Germans of the Sudetenland and Zipser as European Palestinians. Fortunately, much of the rest of the world is slowly moving away from the racist attitudes that motivated both the Czech and Israeli programs of ethnic cleansing during the 1940s.

  • IHT's unkind, inaccurate cut: ‘Germany making Jews feel unwelcome’
    • Why is this surprising? Germany had a policy of allowing the settlement with citizenship and generous provisions of assistance of two groups of people it believed it had a moral responsibility for due to the consequences of WWII. The first were ethnic Germans in the USSR and Eastern Europe. The Aussiedler and Spaetaussiedler were allowed to "return" to Germany because the BRD believed correctly that the communist governments had persecuted their citizens of German ancestry and that Germany had a moral responsibility to these people. Part of this was guilt over the fact that the communists justified anti-German persecution by linking ethnic Germans with the Nazis. The other group given special rights to settle in Germany were Jews from the USSR. This was also considered a form of Wiedermachtgut and was undertaken in an attempt to rebuild the Jewish community in Germany that had been destroyed by the Nazis. In total about 2 million ethnic Germans and 200,000 Jews from the USSR and its successor states settled in Germany.

  • Israel's version of the two-state 'solution' is anything but dead
    • Excellent article on Israeli strategy towards the West Bank. I think this analysis is correct. The Israelis want as much land and as few Palestinians on that land as possible. So they will annex the sparsely populated areas and leave the bulk of the Palestinian population confined to fragmented "Native Reserves." It has some similarities with the Bantustans of the old RSA, but unlike South Africa which depended upon Black labor, the Palestinians will have far less mobility in practice. In South Africa the White areas depended upon migrant labor from the Bantustans to function so Black "citizens" of the Bantustans were allowed to travel to White areas under severe restrictions to work. This prevented material conditions in the Bantustans from going from extremely miserable poverty to outright lethal starvation. The Palestinians will not even have this much. They will almost all be permanently confined to their Bantustans unable to move through "Israeli" territory. The Israelis long ago replaced Palestinian labor with labor from non-Arab countries. I think the ways in which the Israeli solution is actually worse than the South African one really does need to be emphasized. Being penned up as a poorly paid migrant labor force is bade. Confinement without any possibility of migration or work at all is far worse.

  • Boycott advocates hope that Red Hot Chili Peppers will call off Monday nite gig in Tel Aviv
    • I named one in my original comment, Claire Potter also known as "the Tenured Radical." A huge name professor in Gender and Queer Studies who is a militant opponent of BDS.

    • No of course not because "progressives" do not believe that Palestine is a progressive cause. They believe that the Palestinian Arabs are reactionaries that deserve to be displaced by the "progressive" Jews. Look at all the claims since 1948 at how Zionism is a "National Liberation Movement", how Israel supports Gay Rights, how Israel embodies "progressive" values of tolerance, democracy, etc. Contrast this with the propaganda that the Arabs are religious fanatics, women haters, and homophobes. Currently the big thing is to link the Mufti to the Nazis. In the 1940s the in thing was to link the Arabs to British Imperialism. But, the key point is always to show the Arabs as on the extreme right and the Zionists as "progressive."

    • PEP is very hip and trendy. One thing I noticed about the Butler affair is that most of the other big names in Gender and Queer Studies like Claire Potter are rabid opponents of BDS. Often making false claims that it requires a boycott against individual scholars rather than institutions. They then use this lie to claim that it is totally different from the boycott against South Africa so they are justified in having a double standard.

    • Oops, I am not sure how I messed up the grammar on that first comment so badly. I meant "an integral part" and "not politically correct."

    • Being pro-Israel is considered integral part of being a hip and trendy "progressive" in the US. So no they won't call off the concert. Palestinians are no politically correct people in the eyes of "progressives."

  • NPR's Bob Garfield says a listener who senses pro-Israel bias has 'a receiver in his dental fillings'
    • No surprise here. NPR like most liberal media in the US has always been a hard line supporter of Israel. "Progressives" do not support human rights for politically incorrect people like the Palestinians. They still adhere to the old left wing orthodoxy of the late 1940s that the Palestinian Arabs are reactionaries and deserve whatever they get.

  • DNC chair: 'I bring my love of Israel to work every day' and our platform is more pro-Israel than GOP's
    • Ghana is great. Our economy is growing rapidly, we have political stability, and we have a Palestinian embassy in the capital.

    • I don't like either Israel or Florida. Despite the dominant liberal prejudices supported by the US media a lot of Africa especially Ghana is light years ahead of either Israel or Florida in almost all aspects of civilization.

  • Confronting anti-semitic discourses head on: How to avoid self-silencing
    • I think this may be the first time anybody on the internet has ever agreed with anything I have ever written.

    • Using this strategy there would never have been any sanctions or divestment against South Africa. Arguably the human rights situation in a number of other countries were worse than in South Africa. But, the decision to employ BDS is not based on a country being the worst or in the case of the OP "uniquely evil." It is made on the basis that BDS can be effective and it is supported by the majority of the population. So no we do not need to boycott China over Tibet, Morocco over Western Sahara, and India over Kashmir before we can oppose Israeli apartheid and colonialism.

    • This is an absolutely ridiculous position. It completely ignores the power dynamics that have existed in the world since 1948. Anti-Arab racism is a concern because there are powerful states like Israel that practice racial discrimination along these lines. There are currently no states practicing similar forms of racial discrimination against Jews so anti-Semitism is far less of a concern. Indeed comparing Palestinian anti-Semitism to Israeli anti-Arabism is no different than being concerned about anti-white racism in apartheid South Africa. Yes, some members of South Africa's national liberation movements expressed racist sentiments against whites. But, given the power differential between these movements and the apartheid regime there was no moral equivalency. The same thing is true in Palestine. Anti-Semitism in Palestine today is not morally equivalent to Israeli apartheid and the claim that it is in this post is ludicrous. Israel is illegitimate for the same reasons apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia were illegitimate. It was not always unique, but with the end of White minority rule in Southern Africa Israel has become unique in being the only apartheid state left in the world. The best way to deal with the charge of anti-Semitism is just to ignore it. It has finally become a meaningless term in the 21st century.

  • 'I thought the Democrats supported a two-state solution, Madame Speaker'
    • Bravo! It is the hard left Democrats like Pelosi that have been the staple of Israeli support in the US. Without the support of people calling themselves "socialists", "leftists", and "liberals" Israel would have gone the way of South Africa years ago. It is only because the Zionists have had the support of much of the international left for much of their existence including crucial Soviet aid from 1947-1949 and American liberals since 1943 that they remain the last apartheid settler colony on earth.

  • Hasbara in 1988: 'despite difficulties, South Africa is a vital, progressive state with much to admire '
    • I remember in college during the 1980s, however, that many of the White people most militantly in support of the most extreme pro-Israeli positions were also prominent in the student anti-apartheid movement. The alliance between South Africa and Israel being a taboo subject among the liberals who hated the first one and loved the second one. The party line then was that there was no comparison between Israel and South Africa because Israel actually was threatened, Jews were a majority in Israel proper, Arabs in Israel proper could vote, and Arabs were an enemy nationality that engaged in terrorism not a race like Black people.

      All of these arguments could have been used to defend South Africa of course. The surrounding African nations were hostile to the apartheid regime and had publicly vowed to liberate its Black population by military force if necessary. Whites were the largest ethnic group according to the divisions established by the South African government which placed the English and Afrikaners in the same group and divided Zulus, Tswana, Xhosa, etc. into different groups. "Coloureds" (mixed race people) and Indians could vote for representatives in powerless bodies. There was political hostility by the ANC, PAC, and others to the White minority regime and much of their armed resistance did not differ from that engaged in by Fatah and other Palestinian groups within Palestine. The racial classification of people in South Africa was done along cultural and ethnic lines rather than genetic and biological grounds and thus was much closer to Israel than to Nazi Germany in its rationale. However, anybody bringing up these points was denounced as an anti-semite and a Nazi. I would like to think it is different today. But, looking on the internet it seems that most liberals still are unconditionally pro-Israel.

  • Israel bars Gunter Grass from entry under law barring former Nazis
    • Grass was conscripted into a tank unit when he was 17 near the end of the war. He is not and has never been a National Socialist as the term is understood by rationale people. But, it is interesting that Grass has become more interested in the plight of people forcibly displaced in the name of "anti-fascism." His book Crab Walk talked about the ethnic Germans expelled from Central Europe and now he has spoken out against Israel another state that has justified ethnic cleansing using "anti-fascist" rhetoric not too different from the USSR, Poland, and Czechoslovakia in the 1940s.

  • Introducing Freedom Funnies - 'My Name is Samia Halaby'
    • This is fantastic. She is absolutely right. You can not have an art show with people who shoot children. Israel gets a free pass in the US not because its policies are any different from the old South Africa, but because of the identities of the oppressors and the oppressed.

  • Is portrait of Mark Zuckerberg in 'The Social Network' anti-Semitic?
    • The movie portrayed Zuckerberg as an awful individual. But, the first commentator is right it had nothing to do with his ethnic heritage. Nowhere ever does the movie suggest that Zuckerberg and Summers are awful people because they are Jewish. They are simply portrayed as awful people (rightly or wrongly) and their ethnicity is never even hinted at in the movie. Compare this to the huge number of movies portraying Arabs or Muslims or Germans as inherently evil because they are Arab, Muslim, or German.

  • Hitchens's Jewishness
    • No, I am saying that the Israeli rabbinate, Jewish nationalists, and anti-semites as well as Soviet ethnographers such as Lev Sternberg perceived them as having evolved as a separate "people" and incapable of losing their distinct "culural" difference from the rest of mankind. I do not think there are primordial ethnic groups, but many Jewish intellectuals whether religious, zionist or socialist have noted that Jews as a "separate people" are an eternal group. Go look up the works of Sternberg to see a strongly pro-Jewish, Boasian, and Soviet take on how Jews are "separate" and better and can never become non-Jews.

    • I believe it is defined as a primordial ethnicity (race without the pseudo-biology) marked by the religion of one's mother's ancestors. So if your maternal line includes somebody who practiced the Jewish religion and none of the people in the line between that person and yourself converted to another religion then you are Jewish. This is the traditional definition given by the rabbinate and as noted it is essentially a racial definition since it is based on biological descent from an ancestor. But, this is a silly way of classifying people. It would be far better to forget about all this "Jewish People" (Judische Volk) nonsense and define Jews as the people that actually practice the Jewish religion. So the idea an atheist or secular Jew would be in the same realm of absurdity as an evangelical Christian atheist.

  • Why did it take 6 years to talk about the Israel lobby?
    • Because some fringe anti-Semites with no political power might cite the work of legitimate scholars that criticize the role of the Israel lobby we must censor any and all attempts by such scholars to address the very negative effect of that lobby? That makes no sense at all. I know that at least in one case an article on Storm Front approvingly cited my first book, The Stalinist Penal System, (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1997). Or rather it cited the chapter on the deportation of the Crimean Tatars that SOTA (A Dutch based organization dealing with scholarship on Turkic peoples) had put up on the internet with McFarland's permission. So what? The fact that Nazis also don't like Stalin does not make Stalin a good guy. By the same token the fact that they don't like Israel does not make Ben Gurion and Netanyahu good guys.

  • How a comic book healed the wounds of normalization
    • The first Zionist Jewish colony was not established in Palestine until 1882 much, much later than the Dutch in South Africa who got there is 1656. The Boers established a very strong emotional connection to the land through the trek northward. So by the 19th century they no longer considered themselves Dutch, but a new nationality that had formed on the land of South Africa. The Boer connection to South Africa was much, much stronger than the connection of Ashkenazis to Palestine by 1948 when apartheid was established in both the RSA and Palestine. The Boers have been in South Africa for 226 years or almost five times as long as the Ashkenazis have been in Palestine. Yet, the White South Africans have dismantled apartheid and the Zionists keep on making their version harsher every day.

    • The problems is despite Zionist propaganda that Israel is not a normal nation-state like France, Italy or even Post WWII Germany. It is a colonial settler state like South Africa or Rhodesia. Starting in the 1960s and lasting until these states gave up their policies of White Supremacy and apartheid the international community did not allow them to have a normalized existence. Israel unlike the RSA and Rhodesia has benefited from having a political lobby in the US strong enough to garner itself the protection of a Security Council veto. This veto has prevented similar sanctions from being applied to Israel. Thus there is no comparable international pressure for Israel to give up Jewish supremacy and dismantle its system of apartheid.

  • 'Ha’aretz': Hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists storm 'Jewish supermarket'!
  • Obama ad attacks Romney, Gingrich and Perry for wanting to cut aid to Israel
    • It is a contest of Zionist idiots. But, I have faith Gingrich can win. After all I have already publicly stated on my blog that I think he is going to get the title of nuttiest Israel firster in the world ever. The competition, however, is becoming fierce.

  • Gingrich has opened an important door
    • I believe Rashid Khalidi also claims the 1834 revolt as an important early formative event in the development of Palestinian nationalism.

    • They are close enough to Light's I am not going to split hairs. But, what are Metawallis? I have never heard of them.

    • No, he has a figure for 5,000 Jews total of which 2,000 are settlers. But, he gives no source so it is very problematic. I am thinking maybe he meant 1900 and typed 1920. But, the strange thing is his number for Arabs is a reasonable estimate given the 1922 census figure. At any rate upon thinking about it I am going to assume that the number is incorrect. I just do not know why Jabbour made the error.

    • The numbers came from George Jabbour's book, Settler Colonialism in Southern Africa and the Middle East. But, after thinking about it appears that the Jewish figure is far too low. I am willing to defer to the 1922 census figures cited by Light. I suspect that 1920 is a typo and that he meant an earlier date perhaps 1900, I am don't know.

    • Thanks for the correction. Any clue as to why Jabbour's figure for the Jewish population is so much smaller? Did he mistype 1920 and mean an earlier date?

    • The Arab number is quite close. It is only the Jewish number that is significantly different. But, 1920 is not 1922. The source I cited Jabbour (PLO, 1970) may be wrong, but it is by no means a given that there was zero population growth of Jews in Palestine including through immigration from 1920-1922.

    • The thing about recent vintage is that the Zionist colonial settlement is so very recent compared to places like for instance South Africa. There is no real historical connection between the Ashkenazi and the land of Palestine. That is why the Zionists had to resort to distorting the Bible. The first Zionist settlement in Palestine is only established in 1882. By that time the Mennonites had colonies in Kyrgyzstan. As late as 1920 there are only 5,000 Jews, mostly non-Zionist native Arabized ones, in Palestine versus some 700,000 Palestinian Arabs. So just a few decades before the invention of Israel there are practically no Jews in Palestine. I have another post up on Gingrich and Palestine on my blog. The url is below.

  • The never-ending double standard
    • For decades Jewish activists told us the Holocaust was worse than Stalinism because the Nazis murdered Jews in foreign countries they militarily occupied like Poland or Ukraine. Now apparently this logic does not apply to Israeli killing of Palestinian dissenters and children in the Occupied Territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip because there is some military resistance. But, by the same token the very significant military resistance to Nazi occupation including by Jewish partisans should also make the Nazi crimes less significant than Stalin's murder of dissenters and children within the USSR in the 1930s. In fact if military confrontation reduces crimes against civilians than the armed struggle against the Nazis in Ukraine should reduce the Holocaust to a minor concern. Do you even see how twisted your logic is Mr. Witty?

  • Gingrich comment that Palestinians are an 'invented people' enters primary debate
    • I have been living overseas over four years now. Currently I live in Africa. But, yes Americans seem to be getting stupidier every day. Gingrich really epitomizes the statement "politicians, academics, and other professional idiots."

  • One day in the State of the Jewish People, a 'light unto the Nations'
    • No, Birobidzhan is both the official name of the capital and the unofficial name of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast. Up until 1937 the Soviet Far East including Birobidzhan had a substantial Korean and somewhat smaller Chinese population. Stalin deported the Koreans to administrative exile in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. His regime expelled most of the Chinese into China. But, a disproportionate number from both groups were also arrested and then short or sent to labor camps.

    • I suspect the attempt to create a Jewish State anywhere would have had similar results. The Zionists had one shot to completely ethnically cleanse the native Palestinians and hope that they would give up their right of return and integrate into the neighboring Arab states the way the Sudeten and other German expelled from East Central Europe did. Having failed to expel all Palestinians from all of Palestine and having failed to coerce them to renounce their right of return it was inevitable that Israel develop along South African lines. Establishing a Jewish state in Uganda or elsewhere would have just created a different set of oppressed natives. Although I suspect a Jewish apartheid state in Africa would have been far less popular in the US than the one in Palestine.

  • 'NYT' continues to fiddle with the Nakba
    • This type of historical revisionism is not surprising coming from the institutions of America's liberal elites. It should be treated the same way that Holocaust denial is treated. Not surprisingly, however, the strongest supporters of incarcerating Holocaust deniers are also those who most strongly deny the Nakba.

  • IDF kills Palestinian protester and tweets '#Fail'
    • I do not have a moral problem with violent Palestinian resistance against Israeli soldiers, Shin Bet agents, and armed settlers. However, armed struggle has been tried by the Palestinians in the past and the results were mixed. On the one hand it did get international recognition of their plight, mostly in Europe. On the other hand it greatly strengthened popular US support for Israel since it was not accompanied by a proper campaign in the US to portray the PLO as a national liberation movement like the ANC in South Africa. Instead the Zionists continued to fool most people in the US into thinking that Zionism was a national liberation movement for Jews, and the Arabs were just being anti-semitic in objecting to Israel's occupation of their land.

  • Gingrich says Palestinians are an 'invented people'
    • Technically, but most of us don't think much of him. He wrote his dissertation on how great Belgian colonial rule was for the people of the Congo, seriously. The Belgians stick out as particularly vile even by the wretched standards of European exploitation of Africa in the late 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. They oversaw the death through forced labor and just plain murder of about 10 million Congolese about twice as many people as perished in the Holocaust. So his defense of Zionist colonialism in Palestine is not surprising.

    • Gingrich really does seem clueless for somebody with a PhD in history. All nations are of course invented, Israel much more so than most including Palestine. But, really his whole shtick is just a rehash of Golda Meyerson's attempt to erase the national existence of the Palestinian people from public discourse many years ago. It isn't even original. I wrote a bit longer blog post on this subject yesterday morning. My blog, Otto's Random Thoughts can be found at the url below.

  • Red State/Blue State
    • I just want to note that the Republic of Ghana voted correctly unlike the US. Aiman is correct that the legacy of colonialism and the post-colonial legacy of things like the NAM have put most of Asia, Africa, and Latin America in the pro-Palestinian camp. I am actually surprised at how many African states abstained.

  • Times readers respond to Goldstone
    • I came across this quotation today.

      "It has always seemed to me unjustified for the world to unequivocally condemn the discriminatory practices of the settlers in South Africa, to unequivocally condemn the usurption of power by the settlers in Southern Rhodesia, and at the same time to be more lenient in respect of the crimes the Zionist settlers have committed and are still committing in Palestine, when the basic lines of all these regimes are identical to one another, when the thre regimes are but manifestations of the same colonialism, settler colonialism."

      George Jabbour, Settler Colonialism in Southern Africa and the Middle East, Khartoum and Beirut, 1970.

      What is interesting is that the categorization of Israel as an apartheid state had already been made by a number of people in Africa and the Middle East over forth years ago. But, the connection between liberalism and Jews in 20th Century America was too strong to allow for such an association in the US. For them of course apartheid was wrong in Southern Africa for the same reasons that apartheid in Palestine was right. It all boiled down to identity politics. American Jews were almost all liberals therefore all Arabs were reactionaries who got what they deserved at the hands of the progressive and moral Israelis. The opposition to South African apartheid by these same liberals proved in their mind that there was no racism in Israel. Why other Americans allowed themselves to buy this narcistic version of reality is a mystery. But, certainly Africans, both Arab and Black saw the similarities. It is one of the reasons that most African states broke diplomatic relations with Israel in 1967.

  • Racism toward Arabs is what unifies the Zionist right, says JJ Goldberg, liberal Zionist
    • I never said Hitler was leftwing. But, Ben Gurion was an openly declared socialists and he expressed admiration for the USSR under Stalin publicly. Claiming that the Israeli Labor Party in 1948 was right wing is silly. It was the Labor Party that instituted all of Israel's racist policies towards the Palestinians. The Likud just continued them.

    • Hatred of Arabs unifies all Zionists including those that call themselves liberals, leftists, and socialists. These people are still a large bloc of in the US. Liberal and even leftist Zionists dominate the Democratic Party of the US. They are no less racist than the Neo-Cons. After all the Nakba took place under Ben Gurion and the Labor Party not Jabotinsky's followers.

  • 'A historic forum:' Sylvia Schwarz tells Minneapolis gathering that privileging Jews is racism
    • Of course Zionism is racism. Regardless of the repeal of the 1975 resolution Zionism still meets all of the requirements under the 1965 Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, not to mention the 1973 Convention on the Crime of Apartheid. BTW, the claim that Israel practices apartheid is not new. I found a book published by the PLO office in Beirut in 1970 making the argument through a comparative history of Palestine, South Africa, and Rhodesia. It was evidently based on an earlier PhD dissertation done in Khartoum.

  • The lobby rescues its old warhorse from glue factory: Israel is a strategic asset
    • The startegic assets argument was never more than a cover for sentimental support for Israel by domestic lobbies devoted to identity politics. In a way not being a real startegic asset helped the Israelis. It prevented them from being cut off by the US the way Taiwan, South Africa, and other real startegic assets were. Everybody understands that US support for Israel was never about furthering US interests, but furthering Israel's interest and the interest of domestic groups loyal to Israel.

  • Lacking 'legitimacy' in its neighborhood, Israel is imploding -- Sullivan
    • Israel's creation was greatly facilitated by the fact that many of the Jews that survived Hitler's genocide left Europe for Palestine because they did not want to stay on the continent where the Holocast took place. However, Israel was not meant as compensation for the Holocaust. The Zionist movement existed earlier and the support for Israel by the governments with seats in the UN in 1948 sprang from other sources. In the UK it was largely Zionist terrorism that convinced the government to turn over the mandate to the UN. In the US it was organized Zionist groups putting pressure on the government that made Truman support the creation of Israel. In the USSR it was the chance to undermine British Imperialism and their Arab lackeys in the Middle East. It is only after 1967 that the Holocaust features prominently in Zionist propaganda. Peter Novick has written a good analysis of the rise of the Holocaust in American Jewish life. What is amazing is how small a role it played in the 1950s and early 1960s compared to later.

  • Soviet-style 'Foreign Affairs' stages 'debate' on Israel between '2 senior Israeli officials' and 'liberal American Zionist'
    • A Jewish state in Palestine is similar to a White State in South Africa or Rhodesia. Jewish in this case does not refer to religious law, but rather to a racialized category created by the State of Israel to distinguish which part of the population recieves full rights and privileges. So a Jewish state is a state in which only Jews have full citizenship rights and all others are second class citizens. In the case of Israel it goes beyond this in also granting full citizenship rights not just to Jews in the territory of Palestine, but the whole world.

  • Why Palestinian rights are not front and center for OWS meta-brand
    • I think this is a fair argument and I tend to agree with it. A movement embracing every single issue is going to be of limited effectiveness. I would say the fact that Palestine even shows up as a possible issue for OWS is a great leap forward. In 1967-1968 or even during any time during the 1980s as documented by Jeffry Blankfort it would be simply unimaginable for for the issue to even get serious consideration.

  • Occupy Wall Street movement is making room for Palestinian issue
    • The Soviet press at the time presented the Zionist cause as a revolutionary socialist one. Although a short time later they changed the Party line. Likewise the ruling party of Israel for over two decades was an explicitly left wing socialist party. I am not sure, how, one can present Israel in the fifties and sixties as not being a leftist government. Their economy was heavily socialized.

      As far as opposition to the formation of Israel in 1948. I meant public opposition. None of the State Dept. people you claim all opposed Zionism could speak out at the time. In fact they carried out the orders of the Truman administration which represented a lot more organized pro-Zionist interests than did the few voices that openly opposed creating Israel. The key word here is openly and publicly. I don't care that lots of State Dept. workers were privately against creating Israel. That had no effect on anything. The official policy of the US govt. along with most world governments was in support of Zionism in 1948. This was a reflection in the US of organized pro-Zionists being much louder, better organized and having more money and manpower than those that publicly opposed the formation of Israel. This has been the case in the US since before 1948 until today. I do not know why anybody would think it was controversial.

    • Traditionally Israel has been a leftist cause especially in the US. So of course the left has problems with the issue. In 1948 I do not think there were very many leftists supporting the Palestinians against Zionist ethnic cleansing. The Zionists were supported at that time by the governements of the USSR, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Poland, and most self identified American leftists. It was only a few British conservatives, American isolationists, anti-Zionist Jews such as the Elmer Berger, and of course the Arabs themselves that stood in opposition. Israel remained a leftwing cause in the US long after it broke with the USSR. Even today one finds even the most leftwing Democratic politicians are fanatically pro-Israeli. It is from the right with people like Ron Paul that criticism of Israel has traditionally come from in the US.

  • Israeli military and settlers interrupt olive harvest celebration in Hebron
  • For neoconservatives, Israel is a foreign and domestic issue
    • The neo-conservatives have a mixed background. Some were former Trotskyites who turned "permanent revolution" into "permanent counterrevolution." But, their move to the right parallels that in Israel itself. Israel was very socialist in its early days and even had a brief alliance with the USSR in 1948-1949. They then fell out with Moscow over the issue of promoting Jewish emigration from the USSR. During the 1950s and early 1960s their closest ally was France. Only in 1967 did the US become so tightly connected to Israel. Domestically, Israel's economy remained one of the most socialist outside the Soviet bloc until after 1978 with Likud's rise to power. Until this time it had been a defacto one party state under Labor.

      This is also about the same time that neo-conservatism develops in the US. During the next couple of decades there is a strong move to the right in Israel and among some American Jews. A key factor in the right turn appear to be the turn by non-aligned nations particularly in Africa against Zionism especially after 1973. Up until this time Labor still pretended that Israel was part of a family of progressive (a category excluding Arabs in their minds) anti-colonial nations in Africa and Asia. A similar falling out between more radical African American movements and Jewish intellectuals took place at the same time in the US. Despite the claims by a number of Jewish leaders such as Lerner to being an oppressed "non-White" group from the perspective of many people American Jews were a privileged sub-section of the ruling White population by the late 1960s. Hence the domestic movement right and the important role of Jewish intellectuals in the neo-conservative movement.

  • Nationalism reduced religious tolerance in Middle East
    • Tolerance faded in the Ottoman Empire before WWI. There were massacres of Armenians earlier under Sultan Abdul Hamid and later the CUP prior to the 1915 genocide. By the 1890s ethnic conflict in eastern Anatolia between Armenians and Turks and Kurds was already an established fact. Earlier in the Balkans there had been considerable conflict between Muslims and Christians. It is true that there isn't any persecution of Jews by the Ottoman Sultanate, but Jews were not the only minority in the empire. Even among trading middle men minorities they were far less important than Greeks and Armenians.

  • As the two-state solution dies, what comes next?
    • A single secular democratic Palestine was the official goal of the PLO from its founding in 1964 up until the 1980s. In 1988 they pretty much conceded to Israel's demand for 78% of Palestine, but still did not get the remaining 22%. As many people have commented including the late Edward Said in retrospect Oslo looks like a huge mistake by the Palestinians.

  • 'Neocon' is suddenly a bad career move (and Rachel Abrams ain't helping the Elliott Abrams brand)
    • Except I still read a lot of blog posts from leftist academics in the US (thankfully we don't have any such people here in Ghana) that Israel can not be racist because Jews are not White and most Israeli Jews are not Ashkenazi. I have no idea what the logic behind this claim is. But, it makes no sense to me.

      On a more rational note I read somewhere back in the 1980s an interesting insight. It was a short fictional story about a ethnic Vietnamese refugee from Cambodia. She noted that Americans believed that only White Americans, White South Africans, and Nazis could be racists. But, Asian people knew better. They knew that the Cambodians hated the Vietnamese and the Vietnamese hated the Chinese. Hence the complete expulsion and later killing of the Vietnamese minority under Lon Nol and Pol Pot and the expulsion of much of Vietnam's Chinese minority in 1979. The concept of Asian on Asian racism just does not exist for most Americans.

      I think this perception that only White Christians such as those enforcing Jim Crow, South African apartheid, or the Nuremberg Laws can be racist still dominates America. It does so because it is in the interest of the intellectual establishment to perpetrate this myth. Under this scheme racist governments disappear with the election of Mandela. It allows the US government a free hand in supporting racist regimes not just in Israel, but also in other "non-White" states.

  • Props for the amazing political space OWS created (but who is talking about Palestine?)
    • I am not sure if OWS can be described as a leftist movement. Traditionally leftist movements in the US have embraced foreign tyrants such as Stalin in the 1930s and Mao, Ho, and Castro in the 1960s. The OWS do not seem to have any worshipers of overseas despots among them. So either it is not a leftist movement or the American left today has undergone and incredible amount of moral development compared to their 60s counterparts.

  • AJC and ADL urge Jewish community not to bicker, so that US politicians don't waver in support for 'the Jewish State'
    • This is a problem. Can you imagine if this were true for some other state, say South Africa during the 1980s? I do not think there is anything Israel could do that would endanger their unconditional support by the US govt. They have sunk a US ship, killed US citizens, engaged in ethnic cleansing, colonialism, and apartheid after these crimes became outlawed in the wake of the Nuremberg trials. Yet there has never been any real opposition by US politicians to providing unconditional support to Israel.

  • Finkelstein thinks shift in young Jewish opinion means there will be 2 (viable) states. Mearsheimer doesn't
    • Also a good book on Algeria is Frantz Fanon's Wretched of the Earth. It is not a historical work like Horne's. Rather it is a psycholocial analysis of colonialism using Algeria as its primary case study. Fanon was a psychiatrist from Martinique who defected from the French army to the Algerian FLN. Later he bacame Algeria's ambassador to Ghana.

    • Is it legal to advocate genocide on the internet? I think that it must violate some EU hate laws? One thing the Palestinians have not been proactive enough on is the use of lawfare. If a country has laws that criminalize the denial of crimes against humanity for instance then people denying Israeli attrocities not just David Irving should be brought to dock. Also of course Israelis guilty of committing those crimes should be arrested if they travel to those countries. It might be a backdoor way of imposing a defacto travel ban on former Israeli officials and soldiers.

    • This is a great dialogue. I went to the American Conservative site and read the entire article. I have always liked Finkelstein. I saw him speak in London at SOAS when I was doing my Ph.D. But, I think a two state solution is unlikely. My guess is that there will either be a South African style solution if the Israelis cut a deal soon enough or an Algerian style one if they do not.

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