Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 900 (since 2012-07-11 03:25:13)

Lived in the ME for six years.

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  • Turning Lebanon into Gaza -- Israel's hole card against Iran deal?
    • Agreed.

    • "...Hezbollah, a resistance force against illegal Israeli occupation of Lebanon..."

      Indeed. Seldom mentioned in the media and never by our politicians is the fact that since it launched the June, 1967 war, Israel has been belligerently and illegally occupying Lebanon's Shebaa Farms.

  • The end of hasbara? 'NYT' readers question US support for apartheid
    • Apart from its belligerent, illegal and brutal occupation of Palestinian and other Arab lands seized during the war it launched on June 5, 1967, Israel (i.e., west of the green line) is most certainly not a democracy. At best, it is an ethnocracy under which its citizens’ access to democracy and human rights is determined by religion, race or ethnicity, i.e. apartheid.

      To wit:
      Times of Israel, February 21, 2013:
      "Former Foreign Ministry director-general invokes South Africa comparisons. ‘Joint Israel-West Bank’ reality is an apartheid state"
      EXCERPT: "Similarities between the 'original apartheid' as it was practiced in South Africa and the situation in Israel and the West Bank today 'scream to the heavens,' added [Alon] Liel, who was Israel’s ambassador in Pretoria from 1992 to 1994. There can be little doubt that the suffering of Palestinians is not less intense than that of blacks during apartheid-era South Africa, he asserted."

      Ronnie Kasrils, key player in the struggle against the former South African apartheid regime, minister for intelligence in the current government and a devout Jew: "The Palestinian minority in Israel has for decades been denied basic equality in health, education, housing and land possession, solely because it is not Jewish. The fact that this minority is allowed to vote hardly redresses the rampant injustice in all other basic human rights. They are excluded from the very definition of the 'Jewish state', and have virtually no influence on the laws, or political, social and economic policies. Hence, their similarity to the black South Africans [under apartheid]." (The Guardian, 25 May 2005)

      Adi Ophir, professor of philosophy, Tel Aviv University: "...the adoption of the political forms of an ethnocentric and racist nation-state in general, are turning Israel into the most dangerous place in the world for the humanity and morality of the Jewish community, for the continuity of Jewish cultures and perhaps for Jewish existence itself." (1998 issue of "Theory and Criticism," published in Israel)

      The Independent, Dec. 27/2011:
      "...EU broadside over plight of Israel's Arabs"
      EXCERPT: "The confidential 27-page draft prepared by European diplomats... [shows] that Israeli Arabs suffer 'economic disparities... unequal access to land and housing... discriminatory draft legislation and a political climate in which discriminatory rhetoric and practice go unsanctioned.'"

      The U.S. State Department's report on International Religious Freedom: "Arabs in Israel...are subject to various forms of discrimination [and the government] does not provide Israeli Arabs...with the same quality of education, housing, employment opportunities as Jews."

      Jewish Voice for Peace, Washington D.C. January 19, 2013:
      "...what is meant by [Israeli] 'apartheid?' "
      "What we are talking about is a system that is similar to the oppression of South Africa, but also unique.... We believe that in law and in spirit, the term ‘Israeli Apartheid’ is fair...'”

      Shlomo Gazit, retired IDF Major General: "[Israel's] legal system that enforces the law in a discriminatory way on the basis of national identity, is actually maintaining an apartheid regime." (Haaretz, July 19, 2011)

      Israel’s Jewish citizens of Ethiopian origin/ancestry also suffer from discrimination and human rights violations:
      Haaretz, January 27, 2013 - “Israel admits Ethiopian women were given birth control shots.”
      EXCERPTS: “A government official has for the first time acknowledged the practice of injecting women of Ethiopian origin with the long-acting contraceptive Depo-Provera.”
      “The women’s testimony could help explain the almost 50-percent decline over the past 10 years in the birth rate of Israel’s Ethiopian community.”

      Attacks against Israel’s Christian citizens are tolerated by the government:
      Ynet, June 13, 2013:
      “Christian cemetery in Jaffa desecrated. Graffiti reading 'revenge' and 'price tag' found on tombstones in Christian Orthodox cemetery. Jaffa's Arab residents outraged over government inaction”
      EXCERPTS: “Unknown vandals desecrated the Christian Orthodox cemetery in Jaffa and spray-painted the words ‘revenge’ and ‘price tag’ on several tombstones. ‘Price tag’ graffiti was also found on a residential building near the cemetery where Tel Aviv District Judge Khaled Kaboub resides.”
      “Jaffa's Arab residents were outraged after learning of the vandalism and criticized the government and the police for failing to curb the phenomenon.”
      “Jaffa resident Mahmoud Aghabria said, ‘This is a criminal act that mustn't be ignored. Racism in Jaffa is spreading and we fear that the government and the police are not doing anything to those who are behind the 'price tag' acts. If Arabs had desecrated a Jewish cemetery I'm sure arrests would have been made within hours.’ "

      Israel is the only country in the world that differentiates between citizenship and nationality, i.e., “Israeli” nationality does not exist, only Jews and non-Jews, and each citizen carries an appropriate identity card. While the implications of this absurdity for discrimination and racism against non-Jews are obvious, it has just been upheld by Israel's Supreme Court.
      Times of Israel, October 4, 2013:
      "Supreme Court rejects ‘Israeli’ nationality status'"
      EXCERPT: "Allowing citizens to relinquish ethnic or religious identity in the population registry would undermine Israel’s Jewishness, ruling says.
      "Israel’s population registry lists a slew of 'nationalities' and ethnicities, among them Jew, Arab, Druse and more. But one word is conspicuously absent from the list: Israeli.
      "Residents cannot identify themselves as Israelis in the national registry because the move could have far-reaching consequences for the country’s Jewish character, the Israeli Supreme Court wrote in documents obtained Thursday"

      Furthermore, a few years ago, the Knesset passed the "Citizenship Law," which denies Israel's Arab citizens the right to bring a spouse from the occupied Palestinian territories or any Arab or other country to live in Israel. Jews, however, can immigrate to Israel from anywhere in the world and automatically become citizens with full rights.
      The effect of this blatantly racist law and more than fifty other restrictions (http://adalah.org/eng/Israeli-Discriminatory-Law-DatabaseIsrael's) Arab citizens have to endure is well expressed by writer and Knesset member, Ahmed Tibi, Palestinian/Arab citizen of Israel: "...dutifully defining the state [of Israel] as 'Jewish and democratic,' ignores the fact that in practice 'democratic' refers to Jews, and the Arabs are nothing more than citizens without citizenship." (Ma'ariv, 1.6.2005)

      More regarding the plight of Palestinians living under occupation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem:
      "In the name of occupation, generation after generation of Palestinians have been treated as property. They can be moved at will, shackled at will, tortured at will, have their families separated at will. They can be denied the right to vote, to own property, to meet or speak to family and friends. They can be hounded or even shot dead by their masters, who claim their position by biblical right, and also use them to build and work on the plantations the toilers cannot themselves ever hope to own. The masters dehumanize them, call them by the names of beasts." (Bradley Burston, Haaretz, Feb. 26/13)

      And more re Arab citizens of Israel proper, i.e., west of the green line:

      "...15 Jewish youths nearly kill[ed] an Arab Israeli in Jaffa, bloodying his head and one eye with bottles and glass shards, sending him to hospital in serious condition. The victim was attacked as he re-filled his vehicle with water, in order to continue to clean their streets. His wife quoted the attackers as saying as they beat him, that Arabs were 'trying to take over the country.' " (ibid)

  • Netanyahu: Jerusalem was always the capital 'of the Jewish people alone'
    • JeffB

      When in doubt, consult a real expert:

      To quote Professor Ilene Beatty, renowned historian/anthropologist and specialist on the Holy Land: "[Being of] Canaanite origin, Palestinians have priority; their descendants have continued to live there, which gives them continuity; and (except for the 800,000 dispossessed refugees [of 1948 and the hundreds of thousands subsequently expelled]), they are still living there, which gives them present possession. Thus we see that on purely statistical grounds they have a proven legal right to their land." (Ilene Beatty - Arab and Jew in the Land of Canaan, 1957)

      It should also be noted that thus far, no archaeological evidence or more importantly, writings of contemporaneous civilizations have been discovered that prove the Exodus from Egypt took place or that David and Solomon ever existed.

      BTW, the Jebusite/Canaanites, ancestors of today's Palestinians, founded Jerusalem around 3000 BCE. Originally known as Jebus, the first recorded reference to it as "Rushalimum" (or "Urussalim") appears in Egyptian Execration Texts of the nineteenth century BCE, nearly 800 years before it is alleged King David was born.

  • Rubio calls out Clinton over settlements -- and his biggest donor funds one
    • "Rubio called out Hillary Clinton because she 'berated' Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for 45 minutes in 2010 over the question of settlements in East Jerusalem. 'As if Jerusalem was not part of Israel,' Rubio said. He went on to assail Obama for criticizing settlements at the United Nations and he said that Israel could not 'return to its indefensible pre-1967 borders.' ”

      Well, apparently, as the following attests, if Rubio should win the presidency, he intends to end America's UN membership and its other commitments based on hard won international law.

      (A) Security Council Resolution 446 (22 March 1979) “[Affirms] once more that the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 is applicable to the Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem,
      “1. Determines that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;.."

      (B) Security Council Resolution 465 (1 March 1980) "determines that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity..."

      (C) Israel's 1980 annexation of East Jerusalem was unanimously rejected by the UNSC in Resolutions 476 and 478.

      (D) On 17 December 1981, the UNSC unanimously passed Resolution 497, which declared Israel’s 14 December 1981 annexation of Syria’s Golan Height “null and void.”

      (E) In accordance with the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, ratified by Israel, and further underscoring the illegality of the settlements, Part 2, Article 8, section B, paragraph viii of the Rome Statute of the International Court (1998) defines "the transfer directly or indirectly by the Occupying power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies" as a War Crime, indictable by the International Criminal Court.

      (F) On 24 February 2004, the U.S. State Department reaffirmed its earlier position in a report entitled Israel and the Occupied Territories, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: "Israel occupied the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights after the 1967 War.... The international community does not recognize Israel's sovereignty over any part of the occupied territories."

      (G) In its 2004 ruling, the International Court of Justice unanimously ruled that “No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.” The World Court denoted this principle a “corollary” of the U.N. Charter and as such “customary international law” and a “customary rule” binding on all member States of the United Nations.

      (H) In the summer of 1967, "[t]he legal counsel of the Foreign Ministry, Theodor Meron, was asked [by Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol] whether international law allowed settlement in the newly conquered land. In a memo marked 'Top Secret,' Meron wrote unequivocally: 'My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.'” (New York Times, 10 March 2006)

      (I) British Foreign Secretary William Hague regarding Jewish settlements in the West Bank (5 April 2011): "This is not disputed territory. It is occupied Palestinian territory and ongoing settlement expansion is illegal under international law..."

      (J) Even the Israeli Supreme Court has declared the West Bank (and Gaza Strip) to be under belligerent occupation. In 1979, the court declared "[t]his is a situation of belligerency and the status of [Israel] with respect to the occupied territory is that of an Occupying Power." In 2002, the court again held that the West Bank and Gaza Strip "are subject to a belligerent occupation by the State of Israel" and in June, 2004, it proclaimed "[s]ince 1967, Israel has been holding [the Palestinian Territories] in belligerent occupation."

  • Settlers Supporting Settlers: Towards an explanation of the US/Israel relationship
    • Steve Grover

      To quote Israeli historian Tom Segev from his article in the New York Times Sunday Book Review, Sept. 27/08
      (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/28/books/review/Segev-t.html?_r=1&oref=slogin):

      "The mufti’s support for Nazi Germany definitely demonstrated the evils of extremist nationalism. However, the Arabs were not the only chauvinists in Palestine looking to make a deal with the Nazis. At the end of 1940 and again at the end of 1941, a small Zionist terrorist organization known as the Stern Gang made contact with Nazi representatives in Beirut, seeking support for its struggle against the British. One of the Sternists, in a British jail at the time, was Yitzhak Shamir, a future Israeli prime minister. "

      Furthermore:
      After the war, a memorandum dated January 11, 1941, was discovered in Ankara that disclosed how far Stern and his thugs were prepared to go. Prepared by the German Naval Attaché in Turkey, it revealed that Naftali Lubentschik, one of Stern's representatives, had met with German Nazis, Otto Von Hentig and Rudolph Rosen in Vichy controlled Beirut and proposed that in exchange for military aid and freedom to recruit European Jews for Palestine, the Sternists were prepared "...to take an active part in the war on Germany's side...and [this cooperation] would also be in line with one [of Hitler's recent speeches, which] stressed that any alliance would be entered into in order to isolate England and defeat it." The proposition presented to the Nazis pointed out that "the establishment of the historical Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis and bound by a treaty with the German Reich would be in the interest of maintaining and strengthening the future German position of power in the Near East." (Quoted by Klaus Polkehn, "The Secret Contacts: Zionist-Nazi Relations, 1933-1941," Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. V, Nos. 3 & 4, Spring/Summer 1976; see also Lenny Brenner, Zionism in the Age of Dictators, Westport, Conn., Lawrence Hill & Co., 1983, p. 267 and Yediot Aharnot, February 4/1983). Fortunately, the Nazis considered the Sternist proposal to be sheer lunacy and rejected it out of hand.

    • Good News!!!

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/13/vatican-recognizes-state-of-palestine_n_7274096.html

      Vatican Officially Recognizes 'State Of Palestine' In New Treaty

      Huffington Post, May 13/15

      VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican has officially recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty.

      The treaty, which was finalized Wednesday but still has to be signed, makes clear that the Holy See has switched its diplomatic relations from the Palestinian Liberation Organization to the state of Palestine.

      The Vatican had welcomed the decision by the U.N. General Assembly in 2012 to recognize a Palestinian state. But the treaty is the first legal document negotiated between the Holy See and the Palestinian state and constitutes an official recognition.

      Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is due to see Pope Francis on Saturday before the canonization of two new saints from the Holy Land a day later.

  • 'Israel should extend the right of return to all Palestinian refugees' -- Jebreal in 'The Nation'
    • DoubleStandard

      Patent nonsense. Get to the history books!!

      To be brief:

      1) Resolution 194, based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ("Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and return to his country."), which along with the UN Charter and the Fourth Geneva is binding on all UN members), calls for the repatriation of or financial compensation for the 700,000 Palestinian refugees of 1947-48 AND THEIR DESCENDANTS. (Subsequent UNSC resolutions call for the return of a further approximately 250,000 Palestinians who were expelled just prior to and during Israel's first invasion of Egypt in conjunction with Britain and France in 1956 and during and after the war it launched on 5 June 1967.)

      2.) "Every other refugee group in the world has been resettled. That’s just the way the world works." Really? Then why were tens upon tens of thousands of primarily Russian, Polish and European Jews allowed to "return" to what was then historic Palestine and dispossess/expel the native Arab Christians and Muslims in the 20th century based on Zionism, a 19th century racist ideology that promotes the absurdity that before most were driven out by subsequent invaders, ancient Hebrews had a very brief United Kingdom there over 2000 years ago? Your hypocrisy is beyond words.

      3) Between passage of the 1947 Partition Plan (Res. 181), and the declaration of the state of Israel effective 15 May 1948, by Polish born David Ben-Gurion (real name, David Gruen) et al, Jewish forces had already expelled 400,000 Palestinians through force of arms, mass rape, several massacres and intimidation and a further 400,000 met the same fate by the end of 1948.

      As a precondition for being admitted to the UN after being twice refused, Israel declared it would comply with Res. 194.

      In order to be considered for admittance, Israel formally agreed at the United Nations to obey the UN Charter, comply with General Assembly Resolution 194 and to also accept Resolution 181, the Partition Plan, as a basis for negotiations. (The Arab states also agreed as did Palestinian representatives attached to the Syrian delegation.) Israel also signed the Lausanne Protocol at the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference and thereby reaffirmed its commitment to Resolutions 194 and 181. (By signing the 1993 Oslo Accords, the PLO under Arafat agreed to UNSC Res. 242 and thereby rendered the Res. 181, the Partition Plan irrelevant.)

      Israel’s pledge to abide by the terms of Resolution 194 and the UN Charter was made legally binding by including it in General Assembly Resolution 273 (11 May 1949) granting it UN membership. The full text of Resolution 273 is as follows:

      “Having received the report of the Security Council on the application of Israel for membership in the United Nations,

      “Noting that, in the judgment of the Security Council, Israel is a peace-loving State and is able and willing to carry out the obligations contained in the Charter,

      “Noting that the Security Council has recommended to the General Assembly that it admit Israel to membership in the United Nations,

      “Noting furthermore the declaration by the State of Israel that it ‘unreservedly accepts the obligations of the United Nations Charter and undertakes to honour them from the day when it becomes a Member of the United Nations,

      “Recalling its resolutions of 29 November 1947 [UNGA Resolution 181, the Partition Plan] 3/ and 11 December 1948 (UNGA Resolution 194 regarding repatriation of Palestinian refugees] and taking note of the declarations and explanations made by the representative of the Government of Israel before the ad hoc Political Committee in respect of the implementation of the said resolutions,

      “The General Assembly,
      “Acting in discharge of its functions under Article 4 of the Charter and rule 125 of its rules of procedure,

      “1. Decides that Israel is a peace-loving State which accepts the obligations contained in the Charter and is able and willing to carry out those obligations;

      “2. Decides to admit Israel to membership in the United Nations.”

      Israel is the only state admitted to the UN on the condition that specific resolutions would be obeyed.

      Shortly after gaining UN membership Israel reneged on its commitment to abide by the terms of Resolution 194 as well as the Partition Plan.

      There is no question whatsoever that Israel is legally bound to abide by the terms of Resolution 194. Indeed, its failure to do so caused the General Assembly to conclude that the Israel no longer qualifies for UN membership. Only Washington’s protection has prevented Israel from having its credentials rejected, as happened to apartheid South Africa.

      I also remind you that Israel has twice rejected the US supported 2002 Arab League Beirut Summit Peace Initiative, which offers Israel full recognition as a sovereign state, exchange of ambassadors, trade, tourism, open borders etc., if Israel complies with international law and its previous commitments. Fully aware of Israel's demographic concerns, the Initiative does not call for the return of all Palestinian refugees, only that Israel participate in negotiating a "just" solution to the refugee problem based on international law, i.e., the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and UNGA Res. 194. The Beirut Initiative has been agreed to by all Arab states, the PA, Hezbollah, non-Arab Iran and even Hamas has signed on subject to a Palestinian plebiscite and a corridor connecting the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

      As any reasonably informed person understands full well, Israel has no intention of complying with binding hard won international humanitarian law, preferring to maintain its belligerent/illegal/brutal occupation of Palestinian and other Arab lands and to continue dispossessing and oppressing the indigenous inhabitants. The good news is that with each passing day, more and more people around the world, including Americans and Jews everywhere (especially youth), are becoming disgusted with and enraged at Israel. The handwriting is on the wall, but Israel refuses to read it. It's only a matter of time.

      Enough said.

  • Needing a 'crash course in foreign policy,' Scott Walker heads to [Guess which country]
    • Meanwhile:

      https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/articles/europe/18511-the-scottish-lions-roar-will-be-heard-and-felt-in-tel-aviv

      The Scottish lions' roar will be heard and felt in Tel Aviv
      Middle East Monitor

      By Yvonne Ridley - 09 May 2015

      Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was labelled "Britain's most dangerous woman" by some sections of the tabloid media during the run up to the General Election. Some people fear that she's on a mission to break up the United Kingdom in a bid to fulfil her independence ambitions. That may well be the case, but that soubriquet was also used by some of Britain's most committed members of the pro-Israel lobby whose main national interests lie well beyond these shores. They saw some of their biggest political supporters fall in an astonishing electoral performance by Sturgeon's Scottish National Party (SNP).

      When the polls closed, the dramatic count that followed saw the emergence of a new political landscape. The leader of the Scottish Labour Party, and Israel's biggest cheerleader next to former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, lost his seat by 3,000 votes. A former chair of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), Jim Murphy was ousted by the SNP's Kirsten Oswald in Renfrewshire East

      As the polling dust settled, the SNP had won an unprecedented 56 of the 59 constituencies across Scotland, turning them into Zionist lobby-free zones for the first time in decades. Indeed, the Westminster lobby groups of various political Friends of Israel were heavily depleted following high profile departures from the ranks of MPs which left the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats with just one representative in Scotland each. To add to their woes, none of those left standing from the political blitz in Scotland are active supporters of the State of Israel.

      A 20-year-old student, Mhairi Black, toppled Labour's campaign chief Douglas Alexander in Paisley and Renfrewshire South to become the youngest British MP since 1667. Alexander, who has visited Israel with the LFI, was first elected in 1997 in Tony Blair's landslide victory. He went on to become Minister for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs in 2004, until promoted to International Development Secretary by Gordon Brown in 2007 and ending up as Shadow Foreign Secretary under Ed Miliband.

      Back in January 2011, LFI chair David Cairns MP said of Alexander's appointment: "We look forward to working with him and engaging with him on supporting the UK's close relationship with Israel, promoting a negotiated two state solution, and confronting the threats to regional stability posed by Iran's illegal nuclear programme and Hamas's and Hezbollah's violent militias."

      Former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy, who has also addressed Friends of Israel meetings, lost his seat to the SNP in Ross, Skye and Lochaber after representing the constituency for 32 years. Under pressure from the pro-Israel lobby 10 years ago he moved to sack one of his own frontbench MPs, Jenny Tonge, for saying that she could understand why some Palestinians became suicide bombers.

      Dr Tonge had said repeatedly that she understood why militant Palestinians were driven to carry out the attacks in the face of the brutality of the Israeli occupation. And she insisted that living in the Middle East might have driven her to do the same. Kennedy "asked" her to stand down as the party's spokeswoman for children.

      "I was just trying to say how, having seen the violence, humiliation and provocation Palestinians live under every day, and have done now for decades," explained the now Baroness Tonge. "I could understand, I was trying to understand, where they come from. If I had been a mother and a grandmother in Palestine living for decades in that situation, I don't know, I may very well have become one myself."

      Kennedy had been under predictable and mounting pressure from pro-Israel groups in 2004 to act and his attempts to distance the Lib Dems from her views did not pacify the Zionist groups. Lord Greville Janner, who now faces accusations that he abused children when he was an MP, was at that time a vice-chair of the British-Israel parliamentary group. "The decision of the Liberal Democrats to sack Jenny Tonge is admirable and appropriate," he said.

      Other big hitters who lost their seats in the election included the President of Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel, Sir Alan Beith, MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed. He was the longest-serving Liberal Democrat in the House of Commons, and while Berwick is perched on the English side of the border it was affected directly by the seismic changes in neighbouring Scotland, bringing an end to his 40-year political career in Westminster.

      The SNP's results, which saw the party win 1,454,436 votes, and the perception that there will be calls for a second independence referendum are set to cause David Cameron a major headache as a second term prime minister. Moreover, the arrival of the new Scottish MPs is ringing alarm bells among some of the pro-Israel lobby groups in Westminster and Tel Aviv.

      To add to the woes of the lobbyists, just hours after her party's victory, Nicola Sturgeon's office sent a message of goodwill to the organisers of a landmark conference in Glasgow this weekend. The "Ending the Scottish Arms Trade with Israel" conference received not only the first minister's "best wishes" but also heard that although she is "understandably unavailable to speak", she "hopes that the event will be a success." That wasn't all. "As you may be aware," added Sturgeon, "during the recent conflict in Gaza the Scottish Government wrote to the UK Government urging an embargo on arms sales to Israel. The Scottish Government is a firm friend of Palestine and we will continue to press this issue after the election."

      The Scottish lions' roar will continue to be heard, and felt, from Westminster to Tel Aviv. With the most pro-Israel British prime minister of all time back in 10 Downing Street, the SNP's presence in such numbers has got to be positive for the people of Palestine.

  • Spanish Jews resisted oppression in tunnels and, exiled, clutched their keys
    • Dream on.

      Israel's "star" is setting. People all over the world, including the all important U.S. and Jews everywhere (especially youth), are growing evermore disgusted and enraged at Israel.
      Israel is America's number one geopolitical liability, a millstone around its neck. The ugly truth of Zionism, both past and present, will no longer be ignored or tolerated.

    • Such appalling and inexcusable ignorance!!

      To wit:

      Perhaps the most outstanding example of the harmony that existed between Muslims, Christians and Jews was the magnificent and legendary kingdom known as al-Andalus (Andalusia) established in the southern two-thirds of the Iberian Peninsula (part of present day Spain) by Arab Muslims following their defeat of the Visigoths and conquest of the city of Cordova (which became their capital) in circa 711. They treated the defeated Christians with clemency and were welcomed as liberators by the Jews of Spain. Although the Muslims made no concerted effort to convert Christians and Jews, by the tenth century Islam became the dominant faith.

      The Golden Age of this province of the Islamic Empire (established in 756 by the exiled Syrian Prince Abd al-Rahman) lasted for well over 400 years. During these centuries under Muslim rule the three Abrahamic faiths lived in friendship and developed the world's most advanced centre of learning and the arts, challenged only by Baghdad.

      "[By] laying the foundations of their power in a system of wise and equitable laws, diligently cultivating the arts and sciences, and promoting agriculture, manufactures and commerce, [the Muslim Arabs] gradually formed an empire unrivalled for its prosperity by any of the empires of Christendom.... The cities of Arabian Spain became the resort of Christian artisans, to instruct themselves in the useful art. The Universities of Toledo, Cordova, Seville, and Granada, were sought by the pale student from other lands to acquaint himself with the sciences of the Arabs and the treasure lore of antiquity." (Washington Irving, Tales of the Alhambra.)

      Andalusia's first caliph, Abd al-Rahman III, who ruled Andalusia from 912-961, appointed Hasdai ibn Shabrut, leader of the kingdom's Jewish community and one of history's most outstanding Jews as his foreign secretary, chief advisor, and closest confidant. In this tradition, Samuel Hanagid, a Jew, who later commanded a great army in the mid-eleventh century, was made a prince under the Arab caliphate.

      Jewish business people, artists and intellectuals thrived in Andalusia (and elsewhere in the Arab world). Among them were the poet Judah Halevi, the influential philosopher Moses Maimonides, and writers Rebi Isaac Hacohen and Sayed Alfassi, who was published under the nom de plume Harif.

      It was in Andalusia (known in Hebrew as Sefarad) "that the profoundly Arabized Jews rediscovered and reinvented Hebrew; there that Christians embraced nearly every aspect of Arabic style – from the intellectual of philosophy to the architectural styles of mosques…."

      "Here the Jewish community rose from the ashes of an abysmal existence under the Visigoths to the point that the emir who proclaimed himself caliph in the tenth century had a Jew as his foreign minister...." (." (Maria Rosa Menocal, Ornament of the World, 2002)

  • Israeli army can't stop patting itself on the back for helping Nepal victims
  • David Horowitz to OSU: 'Jews didn't expel the Arabs in 1948' and 'the occupation is a huge lie'
    • Re Horowitz's bizarre and entirely inaccurate assertions (i.e., blatant lies) that "Jews didn't expel the Arabs in 1948" and "the occupation is a huge lie."

      (A) To quote John H. Davis, who served as Commission-General of UNRWA at the time:
      "An exhaustive examination of the minutes, resolutions, and press releases of the Arab League, of the files of leading Arabic newspapers, of day-to-day monitoring of broadcasts from Arab capitals and secret Arab radio stations, failed to reveal a single reference, direct or indirect, to an order given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave. All the evidence is to the contrary; that the Arab authorities continuously exhorted the Palestinian Arabs not to leave the country.... Panic and bewilderment played decisive parts in the flight. But the extent to which the refugees were savagely driven out by the Israelis as part of a deliberate master-plan has been insufficiently recognized." (John H. Davis, The Evasive Peace, London: Murray, 1968)

      Mr. Davis’s observations are confirmed by the IDF Intelligence Branch Report, dated 30 June 1948, entitled "The Arab Exodus from Palestine in the Period 1 December 1947 to 1 June 1948." After studying the document, Israeli Jewish historian Benny Morris (an avowed Zionist) declared that "the Intelligence Branch report...goes out of its way to stress that the [Palestinian] exodus was contrary to the political-strategic desires of both the Arab Higher Committee and the governments of the neighboring Arab states. These, according to the report, struggled against the exodus - threatening, cajoling, and imposing punishments, all to no avail." (Benny Morris, "The Causes and Character of the Arab Exodus from Palestine: The Israel Defense Force Intelligence Board Analysis of June 1948,: Middle Easter Studies, Vol. XXII, no. 1, January 1986)

      (B) UNSC Res. 446: "...the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity..."

      UNSC Res. 465: "...all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and... Israel's policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention..."

      Israel is a signatory to the Rome Statute of the International Court (1998) of which Part 2, Article 8, section B, paragraph viii defines "the transfer directly or indirectly by the Occupying power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies" as a War Crime, indictable by the International Criminal Court.

      In the summer of 1967, "[t]he legal counsel of the Foreign Ministry, Theodor Meron, was asked [by Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol] whether international law allowed settlement in the newly conquered land. In a memo marked 'Top Secret,' Meron wrote unequivocally: 'My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.'” (New York Times, 10 March 2006)

      Israel's 1980 annexation of East Jerusalem was unanimously rejected by the UNSC in Resolutions 476 and 478.

      Israel's 1981 annexation of Syria's Golan Heights was unanimously declared "null and void" by the UNSC in Resolution 497.

      The U.S. State Department:
      "Israel occupied the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights after the 1967 War.... The international community does not recognize Israel's sovereignty over any part..."

      In 2004, the International Court of Justice , the only legal body with the authority to decide, unanimously ruled that “no territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.” It denoted this principle a “corollary” of the U.N. Charter and as such, “customary international law” and a “customary rule” binding on all UN member States.

  • Netanyahu's victory ‐ what is the cost?
    • Yes, I am familiar with the Zionists' grand strategy of one great mass transfer of Palestinians from their homeland.

      However, as you appear to agree, it's too late. Israel's star is fading. The entire world is enraged at and disgusted with Israel. Netanyahu's electoral victory will only increase Jewish emigration from Israel and further decrease Jewish immigration, which is already less than a trickle. Zionism is moribund. No surprise. It was not only racist, but also a ludicrous concept from its inception. Some day, not so distant, the region, the world and Jews everywhere will be free of its tentacles.

    • Well said Eva. I concur.

      I also believe that for some time Obama's strategy has been to give Israel enough rope to hang itself. Of course, it became relatively easy with arrogant, megalomaniacal, racist, deceitful, thuggish Netanyahu at Israel's helm. Needless to say, in order to win a second term in office, Obama had to bite his tongue and appear to be under Israel's boot during his first term.

      The bottom line is that Israel is America's number one geopolitical liability, a millstone around its neck. We gain nothing other than well-deserved international enmity by supporting Israel. Sooner or later it will have to comply with international law or be cast adrift by America, and the rest of the world. The thrust of 21st century geopolitics, international economics, international law, morality and demographics are with the Palestinians.

    • A good sign.

      I just received the following article by esteemed CBC journalist, Neil Macdonald, from a Canadian friend:

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/white-house-rethinking-israel-ties-peace-process-rules-1.3002385

      CBC News Mar 20, 2015

      White House 'rethinking' Israel ties, peace process rules

      Military alliance still intact, peace-process backing at UN another matter

      By Neil Macdonald

      Almost certainly, what happened yesterday in the White House briefing room is provoking joy among Palestinians, concern if not fear in Israel, and urgent "taking of views," as the British put it, in foreign ministries worldwide.

      For the first time in decades, Washington is not reflexively and unconditionally standing with Israel.

      As a matter of fact, the Obama administration is explicitly doing the opposite.

      Repeatedly, President Obama's aptly-named spokesman, Josh Earnest, told reporters Thursday the U.S. is "rethinking" and "re-evaluating," and "reconsidering" its decades-long, unwavering support of a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

      The days of Washington automatically supporting Israel at the UN, striving to protect it from international isolation may be over:

      "That foundation has been eroded," said Earnest. "It means that our policy decisions need to be reconsidered."

      And the president's spokesman was happy to provide everyone with the reason for America's change of heart: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's pre-election declaration earlier this week that shattered, finally, the idea of "the peace process."

      I use those quotation marks deliberately. The peace process has been a fiction for many years, if it was ever real at all.

      But it was a fiction nearly everyone had an interest in perpetuating: negotiations leading to "two states, living side by side in peace and security."

      'Our ally'
      For the record, Earnest repeated America's abiding support for that ultimate objective Thursday.

      But, he added, "now our ally in these talks has said that they are no longer committed to that solution."

      Notice the "our ally" reference. An open admission that America supported one side in those talks, and that that has changed.

      White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Thursday that the Obama administration is reassessing how it wants to proceed on the Middle East peace process. (The Associated Press)

      For nearly a quarter of a century, the states-living-side-by-side-in-peace-and-security trope has been sacred diplomatic script.

      It's enshrined in the foreign policies of the most important nations. It soothed liberals, and held out promise to Palestinians.

      But it was most fiercely cherished and defended by Israel itself, and its supporters worldwide.

      There is a simple reason for that: the alternative to a two-state solution is a one-state solution, and everybody knows what that means: Israel inherits, in perpetuity, millions of disenfranchised Arab subjects, people who procreate at a faster rate than Israelis, creating an ever-uglier and more asymmetrical version of democracy.

      As former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak has said, if the status quo continues, the nation between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River will either be Jewish, or a democracy, but not both.

      Shattered the fiction
      On Monday, campaigning hard for re-election, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally shattered the fiction of compromise and negotiation.

      He would never allow the establishment of a Palestinian state, he promised.

      He also invoked the shibboleth of an Arab fifth column inside Israel, warning that Arab-Israeli citizens, who are permitted a vote, would come out "in droves" to influence the outcome of the election.

      It was a remarkable statement. And, politically at least, it worked; Netanyahu won a decisive re-election.

      But in dispensing with the fiction, Netanyahu handed the Palestinian leadership a remarkable gift.

      In the past, when Palestinian leaders claimed Israel was negotiating in bad faith, and lobbied world leaders to support a unilateral declaration of independence, the Palestinians were patted on the head and pointed back to the non-existent negotiating table.

      The U.S. worked hard to block full Palestinian membership at the UN.

      And the Obama administration has warned the Palestinians against any effort to take Israel to the International Criminal Court for its vigorous settlement-building, which violates the laws of war.

      Everything, the Palestinians have been instructed, must be negotiated. Unilateral action is intolerable. Statehood is only possible with Israeli consent.

      Now, of course, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas can (and almost certainly will) rightly claim that negotiation is no longer possible; that by the Israeli prime minister's own admission, the Palestinians have no one with whom to negotiate.

      Walk it back
      Netanyahu, realizing that, is now trying to "walk back" his unequivocal declaration.

      No, no, no, he told MSNBC Thursday. Everyone misunderstood his meaning.

      "I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution, but for that, circumstances have to change," he said. "To make it achievable, then you have to have real negotiations with people who are committed to peace."

      In other words, the Palestinians are the barrier, not him.

      In the past, the White House has almost always fallen into line on such occasions, supporting Israel. Not this time.

      Earnest was careful to tell reporters right off the bat that he'd read the transcript of Netanyahu's hasty climb down on MSNBC, and then carefully made it clear the White House doesn't believe a word of it.

      Will Israel be more internationally isolated as a result of Netanyahu's remarks? Hard to predict, said Earnest.

      Can Israel still count on American support at the UN? We're rethinking that.

      In reference to Netanyahu's remarks about Arab-Israeli voters, Earnest called it a "cynical election day tactic [that] was a pretty transparent effort to marginalize Arab-Israeli citizens and their right to participate in their democracy."

      It was a remarkable, abrupt reversal of attitude by Israel's powerful friend and patron. (Canada, no doubt, is sticking with Netanyahu, but Canada has no Security Council veto.)

      Actually, there is lots of blame to go around for the failed peace process. Both the Palestinian and Israeli leaderships have shown blatant bad faith over the years.

      But the Israelis, of course, have been the ones in charge, and their stalling has moved in step with the simultaneous expansion of settlements on occupied land.

      In 2003, the renowned Jewish thinker and historian Tony Judt published an article declaring that the two-state solution would not happen; that Israel had created too many "facts on the ground," meaning settlers in the occupied territories, and that Israel's citizens must prepare for the "unthinkable" one-state solution with all its implications.

      "The Middle East peace process is finished. It did not die: it was killed," he wrote.

      Judt was instantly pilloried as a self-hating Jew who advocated the annihilation of Israel.

      Unfortunately, he did not live to hear Benjamin Netanyahu validate his thesis.

  • Netanyahu won. Now what?
    • What now?

      Apart from increasing alienation of American Jews, Israel is on a collision course with the E.U. and the U.S.

  • Netanyahu's accomplishment: Consolidating support for negotiations with Iran
    • Do not despair. The wheels are turning. Zionism is rotting from within and with each passing day more and more people around the world, including Americans and Jews everywhere, are seeing Israel for what it is - an abomination. While it may yet be preceded by two states, in the long run, one state between the River and the Sea brought about by peaceful means is inevitable.

  • Two-state-solution is at last disputed in Israeli elections (though not 'nation state of the Jewish people')
    • If I remember international law correctly, Israel should not be referred to as a "state" because it has yet to declare its borders and have them accepted as such by the international community.

  • It was a bad week for the Israel lobby
    • With respect, "[t] idea of 'Israel' could have been a good one,..."
      Au contraire. It was a bad idea from the very beginning, regardless of its location.

    • The US/Israel "special relationship" is a mile wide, but an eighth of an inch thick and very brittle.
      The handwriting is on the wall, but Israel refuses to read.

      Zionists: short term smart, long term stupid, real stupid.

  • Canadian activists call for global boycott of Air Canada over its outsourcing to Israel Aerospace Industries
    • A somewhat related matter.

      Despite not having contributed anything to their research and development, Israel has the contract for constructing the wings for the jinxed and grossly over-priced F35 jets that the Harper government is trying to shove down Canadian throats. The scuttlebutt is that because Herr Harper and his gang (known as the Texas North Neo-con Yahoo Party) are joined at the hip with Israel and serve as its apologist/protector, they are eager to guarantee that Canada purchases these lemons from the US. In short, Canadian taxpayers' money will end up in Israel's coffers while Canada's economy continues to plummet.

  • The New England Patriots and Israel
    • Hendrik Verwoerd, then prime minister of South Africa and the architect of South Africa’s apartheid policies, 1961: “The Jews took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.” (Rand Daily Mail, November 23, 1961)

      Jacobus Johannes Fouché, South African Minister of Defence during the apartheid era, compared the two states and said that Israel also practiced apartheid.
      (Gideon Shimoni (1980). Jews and Z!onism: The South African Experience 1910-1967. Cape Town: Oxford UP. pp. 310–336. ISBN 0195701798.

      Ynet, April 20, 2013
      “US report: Israel discriminates against Arabs, women and migrants”
      By Yitzhak Benhorin
      EXCERPTS:
      “Discrimination of women, Arabs and Ethiopians, mistreatment of refugees and asylum seekers and violations of migrants' rights – Israel is guilty of all these charges, according to a State Department report on human rights practices around the world.”

      “One of the most pressing problems, according to the report, is ‘the institutional and societal discrimination against Arab citizens, in particular in access to equal education and employment opportunities.’"

      The Independent, Dec. 27/2011
      "...EU broadside over plight of Israel's Arabs"
      Excerpt:
      "The confidential 27-page draft prepared by European diplomats...[shows] that Israeli Arabs suffer 'economic disparities...unequal access to land and housing...discriminatory draft legislation and a political climate in which discriminatory rhetoric and practice go unsanctioned.'“

      Times of Israel February 21, 2013

      "Former Foreign Ministry director-general invokes South Africa comparisons.
      ‘Joint Israel-West Bank’ reality is an apartheid state"
      EXCERPT: "Similarities between the 'original apartheid' as it was practiced in South Africa and the situation in Israel and the West Bank today 'scream to the heavens,' added [Alon] Liel, who was Israel’s ambassador in Pretoria from 1992 to 1994. There can be little doubt that the suffering of Palestinians is not less intense than that of blacks during apartheid-era South Africa, he asserted."

      Shlomo Gazit, retired IDF Major General: "[Israel's] legal system that enforces the law in a discriminatory way on the basis of national identity, is actually maintaining an apartheid regime." (Ha'aretz, July 19, 2011)

  • 'NYT' perpetuates myth Israel was 'fighting for its very survival' during 1967 war
    • Utter nonsense.

      You're repeating an often stated myth.

      After Israel launched the 1967 war it DID NOT offer to withdraw from occupied Palestinian lands, i.e., the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) or the Gaza Strip. It did, however, offer to withdraw from Syria's Golan Heights, Egypt's Sinai and Lebanon's Shebaa Farms, only to promptly reverse itself weeks before the Arab League's Khartoum Conference. Israel then commenced construction of illegal settlements in the Golan and West Bank and illegally annexed East Jerusalem and illegally extended its city limits. Hence, the Arab League's entirely justified so-called "three no's" accompanied by a declaration to pursue Israel's withdrawal through diplomatic means.

  • Netanyahu speech scandal blows up, and 'soiled' Dermer looks like the fall guy
    • Setting aside the fact that Iran has never threatened to attack Israel (Israel, however, has frequently threatened to attack Iran) and the lack of credible evidence that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, why would Iran attack Israel if it had them? Apart from the horrific massive nuclear retaliation it would suffer, if Iran were to launch a nuclear strike on Israel, it would also result in the deaths of tens if not hundreds of thousands of Palestinians as well as Israeli Jews and given the resulting radioactivity and prevailing winds off the Med., tens of thousands of Lebanese, including Shiite Muslims, as well as Jordanians, etc., would perish. In short, for Iran to attack Israel with nuclear weapons would be self-defeating in the extreme.

      Most relevant is the fact that Israel possesses between 200 and 300 nuclear warheads with missiles capable of delivering them throughout the region and far beyond. Furthermore, it will not sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty or allow international inspections of its nuclear facilities. Iran has long since agreed with Saudi Arabia and declared the entire ME should be nuclear weapons free. This is also in accordance with the Pentagon which has declared that the best way to deal with the issue is to have Israel rid its self of nuclear weapons. Of course, Israel has refused to cooperate because it wants to remain the invincible bully of the ME and hence, able to maintain its belligerent, illegal/brutal occupation of Palestinian and other Arab lands, continue stealing their water resources and building illegal Jewish settlement/colonies.

      About two years ago, the respected Brookings Institute released extensive polling results regarding what Arabs think about Iran. Contrary to the spin being put out by Israel and its lobbies, the polls revealed that 80% of the "Arab street" views Israel as the major threat to the region, not Iran. 77% of Arabs view the US as the second major threat and only 10% see Iran as a threat. When it comes to nuclear weapons, a majority of Arabs (57%) believe that if Iran had nuclear weapons it would have a positive effect on the region.

      We should also keep in mind the bombshell briefing presented by senior military officers to former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen. The team, dispatched by then Commander General David Petraeus informed the Pentagon that Israeli intransigence in the peace process was jeopardizing American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and that America was perceived as weak, ineffectual, and unable to stand up to Israel.

  • Finkelstein on Joan Peters's legacy (and Dershowitz's legal troubles)
    • This superb article contains an error.

      I am referring to the sentence, "There was also Maxime Robinson in France, ..."

      His correct name is Maxime Rodinson. He was an eminent French scholar at the Sorbonne, who among other important scholarly accomplishments relevant to the Israel-Palestinian/Arab conflict, wrote "Israel and The Arabs," (Pelican, 1968) and "Israel, A Colonial-Settler State?," (A Pathfinder Book, Anchor Foundation/New York, 1973)

  • Sadness and anger as 4 Jewish victims of Paris attack are buried in Jerusalem
    • Pope Francis on Charlie Hebdo: There are limits to free expression:

      http://www.dawn.com/news/1157202/pope-on-charlie-hebdo-there-are-limits-to-free-expression

      Pope Francis said on Thursday there are limits to freedom of expression, especially when it insults or ridicules someone's faith.

      Francis spoke about the Paris terror attacks while en route to the Philippines, defending free speech as not only a fundamental human right but a duty to speak one's mind for the sake of the common good.

      But he said there were limits. By way of example, he referred to Alberto Gasparri, who organizes papal trips and was standing by his side aboard the papal plane.

      “If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch,” Francis said, throwing a pretend punch his way.

      "It's normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others."

      Many people around the world have defended the right of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to publish inflammatory cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) in the wake of the massacre by Islamic extremists at its Paris offices and subsequent attack on a kosher supermarket in which three gunmen killed 17 people.

      But recently the Vatican and four prominent French imams issued a joint declaration that denounced the attacks but also urged the media to treat religions with respect.

      Francis, who has urged Muslim leaders in particular to speak out against Islamic extremism, went a step further when asked by a French journalist about whether there were limits when freedom of expression meets freedom of religion.

      Francis insisted that it was an “aberration” to kill in the name of God and said religion can never be used to justify violence. But he said there was a limit to free speech when it concerned offending someone's religious beliefs.

      “There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others,” he said.

      "They are provocateurs. And what happens to them is what would happen to Dr. Gasparri if he says a curse word against my mother. There is a limit."

      In the wake of the Paris attacks, the Vatican has sought to downplay reports that it is a potential target for Islamic extremists, saying it is being vigilant but has received no specific threat.

      Francis said he was concerned primarily for the faithful, and said he had spoken to Vatican security officials who are taking “prudent and secure measures."

      “I am worried, but you know I have a defect: a good dose of carelessness. I'm careless about these things,” he said.

      But he admitted that in his prayers, he had asked that if something were to happen to him that "it doesn't hurt, because I'm not very courageous when it comes to pain. I'm very timid." He added, “I'm in God's hands. "

  • 'It is time to make it costly for Palestinians,' Ross warns in NYT; and readers reject his argument
    • For the record:

      Israel's mouthpiece Dennis Ross criticizes Arafat for rejecting Israel's peace offer at Camp David in 2000.

      Reality:

      Working in tandem, Barak and Clinton tried to shove a very bad deal down Arafat's throat.
      It could only be rejected. Suffice to quote Shlomo Ben-Ami, then Israel’s foreign minister and lead negotiator at Camp David: "Camp David was not the missed opportunity for the Palestinians, and if I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David, as well." (National Public Radio, 14 February 2006.)

  • Obama reported to be looking into settler attack on State Dep't officials, even as NYT buries the story
    • For the record:

      Apart from the attack on the USS Liberty and the resulting deaths of 34 American sailors, Israel also killed several soldiers serving with the UNEF during the war it launched on 5 June 1967.

      On the first day of its invasion of the Sinai, the Israeli army twice attacked the 1st Sikh Light Infantry Battalion serving with the UN Emergency Force, cold-bloodedly murdering 14 of its soldiers and wounding 16 more. An article published in Canada's Globe and Mail on 16 June 1967 describes the deplorable and supressed incident:

      "On the first day of the Israeli-Egyptian fighting an Indian convoy was en route from Camp Rafah to Gaza flying the UN flag from each jeep and truck. The convoy met an Israeli tank column on the road. It pulled over to the side of the road and stopped to let the Israelis pass. Three Israeli tanks went by. The fourth tank stopped, swiveled its turret on the convoy and opened fire from a range of a few feet. The Israeli tank rammed its gun through the windshield of an Indian jeep and decapitated the two men inside. When other Indians went to the assistance of their comrades they were mowed down by machine-gun fire. Another Israeli tank thrust its gun into a UN truck, lifted it up and smashed it down on the ground killing or wounding the occupants. Meanwhile, in Gaza [City], Israeli tanks put six rounds into the UN headquarters, which was flying the UN flag. Three more Indian soldiers were killed.... In Cyprus there is mounting fury among members of the UNEF at what happened to the Sikhs, to the point where some officers say Israel should be expelled from the UN." (Globe and Mail, 16 June 1967)

  • AIPAC celebrates Congress for laws that will 'dramatically strengthen bond between US and Israel'
    • This news brings to mind the Farewell Address of America's founding father, George Washington, in which he admonished his fellow citizens to steer clear of a “passionate attachment” to another nation, as it could create “the illusion of a common interest...where no common interest exists.”

  • Caroline Glick says there were no Palestinian refugees
    • In 1949, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) conducted a methodical survey that determined at least 726,000 Palestinians were made refugees prior to and during the 1948 Arab/Israeli war. As this figure did not include several thousand unregistered refugees, the total was revised to 750,000.

      "Walter Eytan, then Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, referred to the UNRWA registration of 726,000 [refugees] as 'meticulous' and believed that the 'real number was close to 800,000'." (Norman Finkelstein, "Debate on the 1948 Exodus" Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. XXI, number 1, autumn, 1991, footnote #4, p. 86.) (Benny Morris concurs with this figure.)

      Per the Jewish Agency's Plan Dalet, about 400,000 Palestinians were expelled between passage of the UNGA Partition Plan (Resolution 181, 29 November 1947), and the declaration of the state of Israel effective 15 May 1948, e.g., 60,000 from Haifa in late April; 30,000 from West Jerusalem in March and 75,000 from Jaffa in late April and early May. During the ensuing war precipitated by necessary intervention by reluctant, outmanned/outgunned Arab state armies to stem the accelerating expulsion of Palestinians, the IDF captured 78% of mandated Palestine, drove out a further approximately 400,000 Palestinians and destroyed over 500 of their towns and villages, including churches, mosques and cemeteries.

      Apropos Joan Peters mountain of mendacity, From Time Immemorial.... :
      Dr. Porath, one of Israel's leading demographic historians, called Peters’ book a "forgery... [that] was almost universally dismissed [in Israel] as sheer rubbish except maybe as a propaganda weapon."(New York Times, Nov.28, 1985)

      Rabbi Arthur Herzberg, vice-president of the WJC, agreed: "I think that she's cooked the statistics.... The scholarship is phony and tendentious. I do not believe that she has read the Arabic sources that she quotes."(ibid)

      To further quote Professor Porath: “The precise demographic history of modern Palestine cannot be summed up briefly, but its main features are clear enough and they are very different from the fanciful description Mrs. Peters gives.... [S]he has apparently searched through documents for any statement to the effect that Arabs entered Palestine. But even if we put together all the cases she cites, one cannot escape the conclusion that most of the growth of the Palestinian Arab community resulted from a process of natural increase.” (“Mrs. Peters’ Palestine” New York Review of Books, 16 January 1986.)

  • Next U.S. elections threaten Israel's 'total isolation' -- and the Israeli public is worried
    • On the way home from his meeting with King Abd al-Aziz Ibn Saud, Roosevelt confided to Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius that he "must have a conference with Congressional leaders and re-examine our entire policy in Palestine" and later, while addressing Congress he declared: "I learned more about that whole problem, the Muslim problem, the Jewish problem, by talking with Ibn Saud for five minutes than I could have learned in the exchange of two or three dozen letters." (Peter Grose, Israel in the Mind of America, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1983 pp.154-155)

      Roosevelt's comments at the time indicate he was greatly influenced by the king and acquired a thorough understanding of the Arab point of view and the issues at stake. He told Ibn Saud that he wished "to assure His Majesty that he would do nothing to assist the Jews against the Arabs and would make no move hostile to the Arab people. He reminded His Majesty that it is impossible to prevent speeches and resolutions in Congress or in the press which may be made on any subject. His reassurance concerned his own future policy as Chief Executive of the United States government."(FR: 1945, Vol. Vlll, p. 679)

      On the way home Roosevelt confided to Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius that he "must have a conference with Congressional leaders and re-examine our entire policy in Palestine" and later, while addressing Congress he declared: "I learned more about that whole problem, the Muslim problem, the Jewish problem, by talking with Ibn Saud for five minutes than I could have learned in the exchange of two or three dozen letters." (Peter Grose, Israel in the Mind of America, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1983 pp.154-155)

      King Ibn Saud received a letter from Roosevelt dated April 5, 1945, which stated he wished to make it clear to his "great and good friend" that as per previous communications, it was the desire of the American government that "...no decision be taken with respect to the basic situation in [Palestine] without full consultation with both Arabs and Jews." He went on to say: "Your Majesty will no doubt recall that during our recent conversation I assured you that I would take no action...which might prove hostile to the Arab people. It gives me pleasure to renew to Your Majesty the assurances which you have received...with regard to the question of Palestine and to inform you that the policy of this Government in this respect is unchanged." (Foreign Relations of the United States, 1945, Vol. Vlll, p. 698)

      Tragically and unexpectedly, President Roosevelt died one week after reaffirming his pledge to Ibn Saud. On the last day of his life, 12 April 1945, Roosevelt sent telegrams to the leaders of Iraq and Syria repeating the pledge he had given to Ibn Saud and his secretary of state sent a similar message to Lebanon. Three hours after his last telegram was cabled, Roosevelt died.

      In 1962, David Niles, a pro-Zionist naturalized Polish Jew who served as the advisor to the White House regarding Zionist concerns declared: "there are serious doubts in my mind that Israel would have come into being if Roosevelt had lived." (Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab, Jews and the New American Scene, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, 1995 p. 121)

      President Truman's decision to grant Israel immediate de facto recognition following its declaration of a state on 15 May 1948, (as pressed for by Clark Clifford and David Niles) was opposed by the State Department, including Secretary of State George Marshall who wisely wanted to place all of Palestine under an international trusteeship. Under Secretary of State Robert Lovett feared that the creation of Israel and the resulting influx of Europeans would provide "a unique opportunity for Soviet penetration into a highly strategic area." (Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, Dangerous Liaison, p. 24)

      On May 12, during a meeting in the White House to discuss America's options Lovett told the president that "'premature' recognition would be 'buying a pig in a poke. How do we know what kind of Jewish state would be set up?' Clifford's recommendation, he charged, 'was a very transparent attempt to win the Jewish vote....'"

      Marshall agreed with Lovett. He told Truman that if he followed Clifford's advice and immediately recognized Israel "the great dignity of the office of President would be seriously diminished. The counsel offered by Mr. Clifford was based on domestic political considerations, while the problem which confronted us was international. I said bluntly that if the President were to follow Mr. Clifford's advice and if in the elections I were to vote, I would vote against the President." ("Memorandum of Conversation by Secretary of State," Top Secret, Washington, May 12, 1948, FRUS 1948, pp. 972-76)

      Like Secretary of Defense James Forrestal, Dean Acheson of the State Department (who would succeed George Marshall as Secretary of State) also opposed Truman's pro-Zionist policy on Palestine from its inception: "I did not share the President's views on the Palestine solution to the pressing and desperate plight of great numbers of displaced Jews in Eastern Europe....[T]o transform the country into a Jewish state capable of receiving a million or more immigrants would vastly exacerbate the political problem and imperil not only American, but all Western interests in the Near East".

      Acheson was also critical of American Jewish leaders who advocated a Jewish state in Palestine: "In urging Zionism as an American Government policy, they had allowed, so I thought, their emotion to obscure the totality of American interests." (Dean Acheson, Present at the Creation: My Years in the State Department, Norton, New York, 1969, p. 169)

  • Mamdani's 'holistic' challenge: Anti-Zionists must persuade Jews they can only be safe by dismantling the Jewish state
    • @DoubleStandard

      Zionism is racism. Zionism is theft. Zionism is fascism.

      Reality: Foreign Jews had the same right to Palestine as Irish Catholics and Mexican atheists, i.e., none whatsoever!! Therein lies the root of the conflict.

      Israel: 69 years of trying to pound a square peg into a round hole.

      Prophetic comments by five eminent Jews:

      Then Secretary of State for India and the British cabinet's only Jewish member, Lord Edwin Montagu's response to Prime Minister Lloyd George following issuance of the illegal 1917 Balfour Declaration: "All my life I have been trying to get  out of the ghetto. You want to force me back there."

      Henry Morgenthau Sr., renowned Jewish American and former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, 1919: "Zionism is the most stupendous fallacy in Jewish history....The very fervour of my feeling for the oppressed of every race and every land, especially for the Jews, those of my own blood and faith, to whom I am bound by every tender tie, impels me to fight with all the greater force against this scheme, which my intelligence tells me can only lead them deeper into the mire of the past, while it professes to be leading them to the heights.  Zionism is... a retrogression into the blackest error, and not progress toward the light." (Quoted by Frank Epp, Whose Land is Palestine?, p. 261)                                                                                  

      Asked to sign a petition supporting settlement of Jews in Palestine, Sigmund Freud declined: "I cannot...I do not think that Palestine could ever become a Jewish state....It would have seemed more sensible to me to establish a Jewish homeland on a less historically-burdened land....I can raise no sympathy at all for the  misdirected piety which transforms a piece of a Herodian wall into a national relic, thereby offending the feelings of the natives." (Letter to Dr. Chaim Koffler Keren HaYassod, Vienna: 2/26/30)

      Albert Einstein, 1939: “There could be no greater calamity than a permanent discord between us and the Arab people…. Let us recall that in former times no people lived in greater friendship with us than the ancestors of these Arabs.”

      Lessing J. Rosenwald, president of the American Council for Judaism, 1944:  “The concept of a racial state – the Hitlerian concept- is repugnant to the civilized world, as witness the fearful global war in which we are involved. . . , I urge that we do nothing to set us back on the road to the past. To project at this time the creation of a Jewish state or commonwealth is to launch a singular innovation in world affairs which might well have incalculable consequences.”

  • 'My friends, with us tonight is the face of the Holocaust': Boteach talks Israel, Palestine, and genocide with Wiesel and Power
    • For the record:

      From November 1947 to January 1949, Elie Wiesel worked as a journalist for Zion in Kamf, the terrorist Irgun newspaper.

  • Ilan Pappe offers a reminder that the 'ongoing Nakba' implicates many of us in Israel's history
    • NormanF

      You are utterly clueless.

      To quote Rabbi Sassoon Kehdouri, Iraq's Chief Rabbi for 48 years, from a speech he gave before the 1946 Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry on Palestine: "Iraqi Jews will be forever against Zionism. Jews and Arabs have enjoyed the same rights and privileges for a thousand years and do not regard themselves as a distinctive separate part of this nation."

      Israel's first president, Chaim Weizmann, while speaking before the Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry: "I would not like to do any injustice. The Muslim world has treated the Jews with considerable tolerance. The Ottoman Empire [of which the Arabs were a major part] received the Jews with open arms when they were driven out of Spain and Europe, and the Jews should never forget that." The accuracy of Weizmann's statement is well illustrated by the fact that Palestine's indigenous Arab Jews were vehemently opposed to Zionism.

    • Dream on NormanF.

      As predicted, Zionism and Israel are rotting from within.

      Prophetic comments by 4 eminent Jews:

      Senator Henry Morgenthau Sr., renowned Jewish American and former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, 1919: "Zionism is the most stupendous fallacy in Jewish history....The very fervour of my feeling for the oppressed of every race and every land, especially for the Jews, those of my own blood and faith, to whom I am bound by every tender tie, impels me to fight with all the greater force against this scheme, which my intelligence tells me can only lead them deeper into the mire of the past, while it professes to be leading them to the heights. Zionism is... a retrogression into the blackest error, and not progress toward the light."

      Asked to sign a petition supporting settlement of Jews in Palestine, Sigmund Freud declined: "I cannot...I do not think that Palestine could ever become a Jewish state....It would have seemed more sensible to me to establish a Jewish homeland on a less historically-burdened land....I can raise no sympathy at all for the misdirected piety which transforms a piece of a Herodian wall into a national relic, thereby offending the feelings of the natives." (Letter to Dr. Chaim Koffler Keren HaYassod, Vienna: 2/26/30)

      Albert Einstein, 1939: “There could be no greater calamity than a permanent discord between us and the Arab people…. Let us recall that in former times no people lived in greater friendship with us than the ancestors of these Arabs.”

      Lessing J. Rosenwald, president of the American Council for Judaism, 1944: “The concept of a racial state – the Hitlerian concept- is repugnant to the civilized world, as witness the fearful global war in which we are involved. . . , I urge that we do nothing to set us back on the road to the past. To project at this time the creation of a Jewish state or commonwealth is to launch a singular innovation in world affairs which might well have incalculable consequences.”

  • British Parliament to vote on recognition of Palestinian state on Monday
    • To be brief, Cameron's statement is ludicrous. Pure pandering to Britain's Zionists.

    • Well and truly stated.

    • In my view, one state is inevitable in the long run as it would be the most viable and advantageous for all concerned. However, for it to come about in a peaceful manner, i.e., mutual consent, it must be preceded by two states based on the 4 June 1967 borders per UNSC Resolution 242 with a joint capital in East Jerusalem. Needless to say, as stipulated in the Arab League's 2002 Beirut Summit Peace Initiative, there must be a "just solution" for Palestinian refugees as well.

  • Fineman and Robinson blast Sam Harris and HBO for promoting ignorance about Islam
    • PLEASE FORWARD THE FOLLOWING TO BILL MAHER AND SAM HARRIS AND THEIR ILK, I.E., MUSLIM/ARAB BASHERS AND HATEMONGERS.

      THE JEWISH CHRONICLE ONLINE, May 24, 2012.

      Audio of lecture: http://www.soas.ac.uk/religions/events/jordan-lectures-in-comparative-religion/14may2012-opening-lecture-how-islam-saved-the-jews.html

      So, what did the Muslims do for the Jews? - How Islam Saved the Jews.
      Professor David J Wasserstein.

      David J Wasserstein is the Eugene Greener Jr. Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University. This article is adapted from last week's [May, 2012] Jordan Lectures in Comparative Religion at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

      EXCERPT:
      Islam saved Jewry. This is an unpopular, discomforting claim in the modern world. But it is a historical truth. The argument for it is double. First, in 570 CE, when the Prophet Mohammad was born, the Jews and Judaism were on the way to oblivion. And second, the coming of Islam saved them, providing a new context in which they not only survived, but flourished, laying foundations for subsequent Jewish cultural prosperity - also in Christendom - through the medieval period into the modern world.

      By the fourth century, Christianity had become the dominant religion in the Roman Empire. One aspect of this success was opposition to rival faiths, including Judaism, along with massive conversion of members of such faiths, sometimes by force, to Christianity. Much of our testimony about Jewish existence in the Roman Empire from this time on consists of accounts of conversions.

      Great and permanent reductions in numbers through conversion, between the fourth and the seventh centuries, brought with them a gradual but relentless whittling away of the status, rights, social and economic existence, and religious and cultural life of Jews all over the Roman Empire.

      A long series of enactments deprived Jewish people of their rights as citizens, prevented them from fulfilling their religious obligations, and excluded them from the society of their fellows.

      Had Islam not come along, Jewry in the west would have declined to disappearance and Jewry in the east would have become just another oriental cult. This went along with the centuries-long military and political struggle with Persia. As a tiny element in the Christian world, the Jews should not have been affected much by this broad, political issue. Yet it affected them critically, because the Persian Empire at this time included Babylon - now Iraq - at the time home to the world's greatest concentration of Jews.

      Here also were the greatest centres of Jewish intellectual life. The most important single work of Jewish cultural creativity in over 3,000 years, apart from the Bible itself - the Talmud - came into being in Babylon. The struggle between Persia and Byzantium, in our period, led increasingly to a separation between Jews under Byzantine, Christian rule and Jews under Persian rule. Beyond all this, the Jews who lived under Christian rule seemed to have lost the knowledge of their own culturally specific languages - Hebrew and Aramaic - and to have taken on the use of Latin or Greek or other non-Jewish, local, languages. This in turn must have meant that they also lost access to the central literary works of Jewish culture - the Torah, Mishnah, poetry, midrash, even liturgy.

      The loss of the unifying force represented by language - and of the associated literature - was a major step towards assimilation and disappearance. In these circumstances, with contact with the one place where Jewish cultural life continued to prosper - Babylon - cut off by conflict with Persia, Jewish life in the! Christian world of late antiquity was not simply a pale shadow of what it had been three or four centuries earlier. It was doomed.
      Had Islam not come along, the conflict with Persia would have continued. The separation between western Judaism, that of Christendom, and Babylonian Judaism, that of Mesopotamia, would have intensified. Jewry in the west would have declined to disappearance in many areas. And Jewry in the east would have become just another oriental cult.

      But this was all prevented by the rise of Islam. The Islamic conquests of the seventh century changed the world, and did so with dramatic, wide-ranging and permanent effect for the Jews.

      Within a century of the death of Mohammad, in 632, Muslim armies had conquered almost the whole of the world where Jews lived, from Spain eastward across North Africa and the Middle East as far as the eastern frontier of Iran and beyond. Almost all the Jews in the world were now ruled by Islam. This new situation transformed Jewish existence. Their fortunes changed in legal, demographic, social, religious, political, geographical, economic, linguistic and cultural terms - all for the better.

      First, things improved politically. Almost everywhere in Christendom where Jews had lived now formed part of the same political space as Babylon - Cordoba and Basra lay in the same political world. The old frontier between the vital centre in Babylonia and the Jews of the Mediterranean basin was swept away, forever. Political change was partnered by change in the legal status of the Jewish population: although it is not always clear what happened during the Muslim conquests, one thing is certain. The result of the conquests was, by and large, to make the Jews second-class citizens.

      This should not be misunderstood: to be a second-class citizen was a far better thing to be than not to be a citizen at all. For most of these Jews, second-class citizenship represented a major advance. In Visigothic Spain, for example, shortly before the Muslim conquest in 711, the Jews had seen their children removed from them and forcibly converted to Christianity and had themselves been enslaved.

      In the developing Islamic societies of the classical and medieval periods, being a Jew meant belonging to a category defined under law, enjoying certain rights and protections, alongside various obligations. These rights and protections were not as extensive or as generous as those enjoyed by Muslims, and the obligations were greater but, for the first few centuries, the Muslims themselves were a minority, and the practical differences were not all that great.
      Along with legal near-equality came social and economic equality. Jews were not confined to ghettos, either literally or in terms of economic activity. The societies of Islam were, in effect, open societies. In religious terms, too, Jews enjoyed virtually full freedom. They might not build many new synagogues - in theory - and they might not make too public their profession of their faith, but there was no really significant restriction on the practice of their religion. Along with internal legal autonomy, they also enjoyed formal representation, through leaders of their own, before the authorities of the state. Imperfect and often not quite as rosy as this might sound, it was at least the broad norm.

      The political unity brought by the new Islamic world-empire did not last, but it created a vast Islamic world civilisation, similar to the older Christian civilisation that it replaced. Within this huge area, Jews lived and enjoyed broadly similar status and rights everywhere. They could move around, maintain contacts, and develop their identity as Jews. A great new expansion of trade from the ninth century onwards brought the Spanish Jews - like the Muslims - into touch with the Jews and the Muslims even of India.

      All this was encouraged by a further, critical development. Huge numbers of people in the new world of Islam adopted the language of the Muslim Arabs. Arabic gradually became the principal language of this vast area, excluding almost all the rest: Greek and Syriac, Aramaic and Coptic and Latin all died out, replaced by Arabic. Persian, too, went into a long retreat, to reappear later heavily influenced by Arabic.

      The Jews moved over to Arabic very rapidly. By the early 10th century, only 300 years after the conquests, Sa'adya Gaon was translating the Bible into Arabic. Bible translation is a massive task - it is not undertaken unless there is a need for it. By about the year 900, the Jews had largely abandoned other languages and taken on Arabic.

      The change of language in its turn brought the Jews into direct contact with broader cultural developments. The result from the 10th century on was a striking pairing of two cultures. The Jews of the Islamic world developed an entirely new culture, which differed from their culture before Islam in terms of language, cultural forms, influences, and uses. Instead of being concerned primarily with religion, the new Jewish culture of the Islamic world, like that of its neighbours, mixed the religious and the secular to a high degree. The contrast, both with the past and with medieval Christian Europe, was enormous.

      Like their neighbours, these Jews wrote in Arabic in part, and in a Jewish form of that language. The use of Arabic brought them close to the Arabs. But the use of a specific Jewish form of that language maintained the barriers between Jew and Muslim. The subjects that Jews wrote about, and the literary forms in which they wrote about them, were largely new ones, borrowed from the Muslims and developed in tandem with developments in Arabic Islam.

      Also at this time, Hebrew was revived as a language of high literature, parallel to the use among the Muslims of a high form of Arabic for similar purposes. Along with its use for poetry and artistic prose, secular writing of all forms in Hebrew and in (Judeo-) Arabic came into being, some of it of high quality.

      Much of the greatest poetry in Hebrew written since the Bible comes from this period. Sa'adya Gaon, Solomon Ibn Gabirol, Ibn Ezra (Moses and Abraham), Maimonides, Yehuda Halevi, Yehudah al-Harizi, Samuel ha-Nagid, and many more - all of these names, well known today, belong in the first rank of Jewish literary and cultural endeavour.

      Where did these Jews produce all this? When did they and their neighbours achieve this symbiosis, this mode of living together? The Jews did it in a number of centres of excellence. The most outstanding of these was Islamic Spain, where there was a true Jewish Golden Age, alongside a wave of cultural achievement among the Muslim population. The Spanish case illustrates a more general pattern, too.

      What happened in Islamic Spain - waves of Jewish cultural prosperity paralleling waves of cultural prosperity among the Muslims - exemplifies a larger pattern in Arab Islam. In Baghdad, between the ninth and the twelfth centuries; in Qayrawan (in north Africa), between the ninth and the 11th centuries; in Cairo, between the 10th and the 12th centuries, and elsewhere, the rise and fall of cultural centres of Islam tended to be reflected in the rise and fall of Jewish cultural activity in the same places.

      This was not coincidence, and nor was it the product of particularly enlightened liberal patronage by Muslim rulers. It was the product of a number of deeper features of these societies, social and cultural, legal and economic, linguistic and political, which together enabled and indeed encouraged the Jews of the Islamic world to create a novel sub-culture within the high civilisation of the time.

      This did not last forever; the period of culturally successful symbiosis between Jew and Arab Muslim in the middle ages came to a close by about 1300. In reality, it had reached this point even earlier, with the overall relative decline in the importance and vitality of Arabic culture, both in relation to western European cultures and in relation to other cultural forms within Islam itself; Persian and Turkish.

      Jewish cultural prosperity in the middle ages operated in large part as a function of Muslim, Arabic cultural (and to some degree political) prosperity: when Muslim Arabic culture thrived, so did that of the Jews; when Muslim Arabic culture declined, so did that of the Jews.

      In the case of the Jews, however, the cultural capital thus created also served as the seed-bed of further growth elsewhere - in Christian Spain and in the Christian world more generally.

      The Islamic world was not the only source of inspiration for the Jewish cultural revival that came later in Christian Europe, but it certainly was a major contributor to that development. Its significance cannot be overestimated.

  • Sign of the times, in a Brooklyn window
    • For the record:

      During the entire duration of the League of Nations British mandate Zionists succeeded in purchasing only 100,000 acres from resident Palestinians. (Sami Hadawi, Bitter Harvest, p. 50) and from 1937 to 1948 the sale of land by local and absentee landowners was negligible. (Harvard Professor Emeritus, Walid Khalidi, From Haven to Conquest, p. xli)

    • Thank you and likewise. I am a great fan of this site, but lack the time to keep on top of it.

    • To quote a dear departed Palestinian friend of mine who was born in Jaffa in 1922:

      "Unfortunately, there were some unscrupulous Palestinians who betrayed their people for financial gain. Up until 1929, at least ninety per cent of the land acquired by Jewish immigrants was sold by absentee Arab landowners (such as the Sursuq family living in Beirut), but soon thereafter some was being purchased from greedy resident landlords. There were also wealthy Palestinian usurers loaning money to small land owners, who because of the crushing debt, were forced to sell their land to Zionists. These profiteers, known as samasra, came from a corrupt few within the privileged class and were seen as traitors.

      "I remember one of the samasra very well, but I will not refer to him or his village by name out of respect for his family. After selling land to Zionists he used his ill-gotten gains to purchase a brand new beautiful jet black Packard convertible touring car with continental side-wheels that he had ordered from America. It was just like those in American movies and probably the only one in Palestine. Being very young and impressionable at the time, my friends and I loved to just sit and admire that elegant automobile as it was driven through downtown Jaffa by its infamous owner. Then suddenly, one day he disappeared, never to be seen again and that magnificent Packard was found smashed and burned almost beyond recognition."

      Bottom line: By 29 November 1947, when the recommendatory only/illegal Partition Plan was passed, which outrageously suggested they be given 56% of mandated Palestine, Jews (including anti-Zionist native Arab/Palestinian Jews who made up about 10% of the total Jewish population) owned a mere 6% of mandated Palestine.

    • Yes. And by 1947 - when the recommendatory only, contrary to the terms of the League of Nations British Class A Mandate, never passed by the UNSC UNGA - Partition Plan (Res. 181) was passed, Jews (including native anti-Zionist Jewish Arab/Palestinians) owned a mere 6% of mandated Palestine. Nonetheless, the Partition Plan recommended they receive 56% of Palestine.
      Unjust and absurd in the extreme and as subsequent events attest, entirely unworkable. So much so that when Polish born David Ben-Gurion (nee, David Gruen) et al declared the state of Israel effective 15 May 1948, the UNGA was in the process of shelving the Partition Plan (as requested by the Truman administration) in favor of a UN Trusteeship for mandated Palestine.

    • The statement in question by Nathan Chofshi was first quoted in the Jewish Newsletter, February 9, 1959. It is also quoted by Harvard Professor Emeritus, Walid Khalidi in his "From Haven to Conquest," and as already noted, by Erskine Childers in his "The Other Exodus."

      BTW, What actually happened in Palestine in 1947 and 1948 was described by eye-witness Nathan Chofshi (a Jewish immigrant from Russia who arrived in Palestine in 1908 in the same group as David Ben-Gurion ,nee, David Gruen): "...we old Jewish settlers in Palestine who witnessed the flight [know] how and in what manner we, Jews, forced the Arabs to leave cities and villages...some of them were driven out by force of arms; others were made to leave by deceit, lying and false promises. It is enough to cite the cities of Jaffa, Lydda, Ramle, Beersheba, Acre from among numberless others." (Quoted in the Jewish Newsletter, New York, February 9, 1959)

  • Rania Masri gives Barack Obama a lesson on the meaning of 'barbaric'
    • Breaking news.

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/11/amal-alamuddin-george-clooney-fiancee-gaza-inquiry

      Lawyer Alamuddin will serve on three-member commission of inquiry looking into possibility of war crimes in Gaza

      The Guardian, August 11/14

      British Lebanese lawyer Amal Alamuddin, who is engaged to George Clooney, has been chosen for the UN’s three-member commission of inquiry looking into possible violations of the rules of war in Gaza.

      Alamuddin is a London-based international law specialist and former legal adviser to the prosecutor of the special tribunal for Lebanon.

      The UN’s top human rights body says she will serve alongside Doudou Diene of Senegal, a lawyer who has filled UN posts on racism and human rights in Ivory Coast, and Canada’s William Schabas, an international law professor at Middlesex University in London, who will chair the commission.

      The appointments were announced Monday by Gabon ambassador Baudelaire Ndong Ella, who is president of the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council.

    • Check out this video: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/08/thrills-ancestors-palestinian.html

      19 year old Barnaby Raine, Jewish Bloc, speaking at rally in London: End Siege On Gaza.

  • Video: If you voted for Hamas, Israel has a right to kill you, says president of NY Board of Rabbis
    • http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/21/hospital-hamas-isreal-hiding-among-civilians

      The Guardian - 21 July 2014

      In a hospital. At the beach. Hamas, Israel tells us, is hiding among civilians

      According to Israel, Hamas is cowardly and cynical

      Richard Seymour

      Two Palestinian girls run past a damaged ambulance in Gaza on Sunday. Photograph: Oliver Weiken/EPA

      They hid at the El-Wafa hospital

      They hid at the Al-Aqsa hospital.

      They hid at the beach, where children played football.

      They hid at the yard of 75-year-old Muhammad Hamad.......con't..

    • Prophetic words by renowned American Jew, Senator Henry Morgenthau Sr., former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, 1919: "Zionism is the most stupendous fallacy in Jewish history....The very fervour of my feeling for the oppressed of every race and every land, especially for the Jews, those of my own blood and faith, to whom I am bound by every tender tie, impels me to fight with all the greater force against this scheme, which my intelligence tells me can only lead them deeper into the mire of the past, while it professes to be leading them to the heights. Zionism is... a retrogression into the blackest error, and not progress toward the light."

  • White House says US can't stop 'tsunami' of boycott and isolation if Israel won't end 'occupations'
    • Regarding the "special relationship" between Israel and the U.S., the winds of change have been blowing for some time.

      To wit:

      "Preparing For A Post Israel Middle East," is an 82 page analysis that argues America's national interest is fundamentally at odds with that of Israel. The authors conclude that Israel is currently the greatest threat to US national interests because its nature and actions prevent normal US relations with Arab and Muslim countries and, to a growing degree, the wider international community.

      The study was commissioned by the US Intelligence Community comprising 16 American intelligence agencies with an annual budget of more than $ 70 billion. The IC includes the Departments of the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Defense Intelligence Agency, Departments of Energy, Homeland Security, State, Treasury, Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency commissioned the study.

      According to a high official with Israel’s coalition government, the Obama administration “no longer seems to see Israel as a ‘special’ or ‘extraordinary’ state in the Middle East, with which the U.S. must maintain a different dialogue than with other states. ‘The feeling is that the dialogue and coordination with the Arab states and with Europe is today no less important to the U.S. and perhaps more so than with Israel,’ the official said.” (Ha’aretz, 8 May 2009)

      “‘Israel is supposed to be working with us, not against us,’ ” Foreign Policy quoted an [American] intelligence officer as saying. ‘If they want to shed blood, it would help a lot if it was their blood and not ours. You know, they’re supposed to be a strategic asset. Well, guess what? There are a lot of people now, important people, who just don’t think that’s true.’” (Ha'aretz, January 13, 2012)

      YNet News.com Sept. 3, 2012: EXCERPT: "The United States has indirectly informed Iran, via two European nations, that it would not back an Israeli strike against the country's nuclear facilities, as long as Tehran refrains from attacking American interests in the Persian Gulf, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday." (YNet News.com., Sept. 3,2012 http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4276276,00.html)

      Israel losing America, YNet, June 9, 2013:
      Op-ed: As US map of interests in Middle East changes, White House getting increasingly tired of our conduct
      By Eitan Haber
      Excerpt:
      “In recent years, the US map of interests in the Middle East is changing. The American interest in our region is decreasing, not to mention the fact that the US is getting rid of the dependence on Middle Eastern oil. We are losing the special status of the eldest and spoilt child in the eyes of the White House. To put it explicitly, the current president (and the next president, whoever that may be) no longer "works for us" and is increasingly returning to the format of the "problem child." To put it in our words, it seems that we have burnt our dish in the kitchens of the White House and Capitol Hill. They are getting increasingly tired of our conduct.

      “We always have good answers to the American conduct: Look, listen, they're unfazed. What can you do, that's how our friends overseas are: Unfazed. But we receive the small answers from Washington both in leaks from the White House, including the president's statements, and in appointments of senior officials who directly influence the US policy.

      “Many of those recent appointments are not fond of us, to put it mildly. Even US Jews, especially the young ones, no longer obey every single command coming from Jerusalem. And so we are slowly losing hold of the source of our life, thousands of miles from home. That may not be so crucial at the moment, but if and when it becomes crucial, it will be too late to wake up.” (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4390166,00.html)

      In 2010, Join Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen received a bombshell briefing from senior military officers. The team was dispatched by Commander General David Petraeus to brief the Pentagon on intelligence that Israeli intransigence in the peace process was jeopardizing American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and America was perceived as weak, ineffectual, and unable to stand up to Israel. (http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/03/14/the_petraeus_briefing_bidens_embarrassment_is_not_the_whole_story)

      In its 2004 report, the U.S. Senate 9/11 Commission declared that "mastermind of the 9/11 attacks," Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's "animus toward the United States stemmed not from his experiences there as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel."

      In its analysis of terrorism, the Pentagon's Defense Science Board concluded that "Muslims do not hate our freedom,...they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority [object] to what they see as one-sided support in favour of Israel and against Palestinian rights...."

      Ha’aretz, July 28, 2012:
      "Former U.S. officials say CIA considers Israel to be Mideast's biggest spy threat"
      EXCERPT:
      "...despite statements from U.S. politicians trumpeting the friendship, U.S. national security officials consider Israel to be, at times, a frustrating ally and a genuine counterintelligence threat.

      "In addition to what the former U.S. officials described to AP as intrusions in homes in the past decade, Israel has been implicated in U.S. criminal espionage cases and disciplinary proceedings against CIA officers and blamed in the presumed death of an important spy in Syria for the CIA during the administration of President George W. Bush.

      "The CIA considers Israel its No. 1 counterintelligence threat in the agency's Near East Division, the group that oversees spying across the Middle East, according to current and former officials." (http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/former-u-s-officials-say-cia-considers-israel-to-be-mideast-s-biggest-spy-threat-1.454189

  • Israeli government tries to undo image of Pope at the wall
    • If we pronounce the words "Allah" in Arabic and "Elahh (pronounced as 'El-aw')" in Aramaic, listeners would hear virtually the same word. The essential point is that Jesus's native tongue was Aramaic, not Hebrew.

    • For the record:

      Jesus was probably a Canaanite/Palestinian whose Galilean ancestors were forcibly converted to Judaism by the Maccabees about 150 years before he was born.
      BTW, the Arabic word for God, Allah, is derived from the Aramaic word for God, Allaha, as spoken by Jesus.

  • 'FT' blast on settlements will strike fear at Hasbara Central (if not among liberal Zionists and 'glitzy blondes')
    • FYI: Natalie Portman and Dershowitz.

      http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/111297/natalie-portman-and-scarlett-johansson-at-dnc

      "Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson at DNC"

      September 5, 2012

      "Will the two Jewish Hollywood stars outshine RNC highlight Clint Eastwood?"

      "Though tomorrow’s DNC schedule hasn’t been released yet, there’s been word three surprise guests will headline the evening: actresses Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, and Kerry Washington. While some commentators have already suggested that these picks are a clear attempt to appeal to young women voters, they’ve neglected another demographic being pandered to: Jews.

      "After all, Portman and Johansson are two of Hollywood’s most prominent Jewish starlets. And both are renowned for their Jewish literacy and commitment. While an undergraduate, Portman served as a research assistant on Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz’s bestseller, The Case for Israel (she is credited under her real name, Natalie Hershlag). And Johansson is famed for her wide knowledge of Jewish ethnic foods and willingness to sing the Dreidel Song on MTV.

      "The actresses will have their work cut out for them. New polling by the Pew Research Center indicates that the RNC’s surprise Hollywood guest, Clint Eastwood, was deemed the “highlight” of the convention by most Republican viewers—even more so than the speech from nominee Mitt Romney. Can Portman and Johansson measure up? Stay tuned."

  • An open letter to Stephen Harper, agent of colonialism, injustice and hypocrisy
    • http://www.timesofisrael.com/ex-australian-fm-slams-successor-for-pro-settlement-stance/?utm_source=The+Times+of+Israel+Daily+Edition&utm_campaign=2a7650c608-2014_01_21&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_adb46cec92-2a7650c608-54479733

      Times of Israel, January 20/14:
      "Ex-Australian FM slams successor for pro-settlement stance

      "Julie Bishop’s comments to The Times of Israel show ‘an ignorance of international law,’ says her immediate predecessor, Bob Carr."

      By Raphael Ahren January 20, 2014

      "Australia’s former foreign minister Bob Carr on Monday criticized his successor’s disinclination to condemn Israeli settlements as illegal, saying that holding such a position 'was to show an ignorance of international law.'”

      "In an interview with The Times of Israel last week, Julie Bishop (Liberal Party), who succeeded Carr (Labor) in September 2013, said the settlements may not be illegal under international law and warned against proclaiming them illegal until their status is formally negotiated as part of the ongoing peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

      "But Carr said Bishop’s stance was mistaken and beyond the pale of standard opinions.

      “ 'Julie Bishop should speak to [UK Foreign Secretary] William Hague or to the foreign minister of any conservative government in Europe, who will simply repeat what is a commonplace and commonsense opinion,' Carr told the Sydney Morning Herald.

      "Bishop was traveling in the US on Monday and unavailable for comment, the paper reported.

      "The paper also quoted the head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, Izzat Abdulhadi, saying he asked for 'urgent meetings' with senior Australian Foreign Ministry officials after Ms. Bishop’s interview was published.

      "PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi on Sunday called Bishop’s comments 'willful defiance of international consensus.' ”

      "Bishop had told The Times of Israel in an exclusive interview that settlements should be decided via negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

      “ 'I don’t want to prejudge the fundamental issues in the peace negotiations,' she said. 'The issue of settlements is absolutely and utterly fundamental to the negotiations that are under way and I think it’s appropriate that we give those negotiations every chance of succeeding.' ”

      "Asked whether she agrees or disagrees with the near-universal view that Israeli settlements anywhere beyond the 1967 lines are illegal under international law, she replied: 'I would like to see which international law has declared them illegal.' ”

      "Ashrawi panned Bishop’s comments, saying they represented 'dangerous shifts in Australian foreign policy' and called for an official clarification of Australian policy on the issue.

      “ 'I would like to remind the Australian government that, in accordance with international human rights law and international humanitarian law, all settlements are illegal,' Ashrawi wrote in a statement on Sunday, citing Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Article 43 of the Hague Regulations.

      "The position that settlements breach international law — adopted by the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and many other states and international bodies, but rejected by Israel — is based on an interpretation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Article 49, paragraph 6, states that an occupying power 'shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.' Violations of the convention are considered war crimes under international law. Israel is a party to the convention and therefore bound by it.

      "However, Bishop said it was not helpful to 'prejudge the settlement issue if you’re going to get a negotiated solution.' ”

      Rather than supporting a peace agreement with the Palestinians, Ashrawi said, Bishop backs continued Israeli governance of the West Bank.

      Her remarks 'send a clear message to both the international community and to the Palestinians that Australia is more committed to supporting Israel’s annexation of Palestinian land than backing any peace resolution that ends the military occupation of Palestine and calls for the creation of an independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,' Ashrawi wrote.

      "Ashrawi also issued a call to Australia to clarify their position vis-à-vis Israel and the Palestinians.

      "In a vote on a resolution demanding that Israel cease 'all Israeli settlement activities in all of the occupied territories' last November, Australia was one of eight countries to abstain while nearly 160 nations supported the resolution. In December, Australia was one of 13 countries that did not vote in favor of a resolution calling on Israel to 'comply scrupulously' with the Geneva Convention. 169 countries voted yes on the measure.

    • "...Israel is not an apartheid state, but [a] free and democratic state."
      Utter nonsense.

      Setting aside its belligerent, illegal and brutal occupation of Palestinian and other Arab lands seized during the war it launched on June 5, 1967, Israel (i.e., west of the green line) is most certainly not a democracy. At best, Israel is an ethnocracy under which its citizens’ access to democracy and human rights is determined by religion, race or ethnicity.

      To wit:
      Times of Israel, February 21, 2013:
      "Former Foreign Ministry director-general invokes South Africa comparisons. ‘Joint Israel-West Bank’ reality is an apartheid state"
      EXCERPT: "Similarities between the 'original apartheid' as it was practiced in South Africa and the situation in Israel and the West Bank today 'scream to the heavens,' added [Alon] Liel, who was Israel’s ambassador in Pretoria from 1992 to 1994. There can be little doubt that the suffering of Palestinians is not less intense than that of blacks during apartheid-era South Africa, he asserted."

      Ronnie Kasrils, a key player in the struggle against the former South African apartheid regime, minister for intelligence in the current government and a devout Jew: "The Palestinian minority in Israel has for decades been denied basic equality in health, education, housing and land possession, solely because it is not Jewish. The fact that this minority is allowed to vote hardly redresses the rampant injustice in all other basic human rights. They are excluded from the very definition of the 'Jewish state', and have virtually no influence on the laws, or political, social and economic policies. Hence, their similarity to the black South Africans [under apartheid]¬." (The Guardian, 25 May 2005)

      Adi Ophir, professor of philosophy, Tel Aviv University: "...the adoption of the political forms of an ethnocentric and racist nation-state in general, are turning Israel into the most dangerous place in the world for the humanity and morality of the Jewish community, for the continuity of Jewish cultures and perhaps for Jewish existence itself." (1998 issue of "Theory and Criticism," published in Israel)

      The Independent, Dec. 27/2011:
      "...EU broadside over plight of Israel's Arabs"
      EXCERPT: "The confidential 27-page draft prepared by European diplomats... [shows] that Israeli Arabs suffer 'economic disparities... unequal access to land and housing... discriminatory draft legislation and a political climate in which discriminatory rhetoric and practice go unsanctioned.'"

      The U.S. State Department's report on International Religious Freedom: "Arabs in Israel...are subject to various forms of discrimination [and the government] does not provide Israeli Arabs...with the same quality of education, housing, employment opportunities as Jews."

      Ynet, April 20, 2013:
      “US report: Israel discriminates against Arabs, women and migrants”
      By Yitzhak Benhorin
      EXCERPTS:
      “Discrimination of women, Arabs and Ethiopians, mistreatment of refugees and asylum seekers and violations of migrants' rights – Israel is guilty of all these charges, according to a State Department report on human rights practices around the world.”

      “One of the most pressing problems, according to the report, is ‘the institutional and societal discrimination against Arab citizens, in particular in access to equal education and employment opportunities.’"

      Jewish Voice for Peace, Washington D.C. January 19, 2013:
      "...what is meant by [Israeli] 'apartheid?' "
      "What we are talking about is a system that is similar to the oppression of South Africa, but also unique.... We believe that in law and in spirit, the term ‘Israeli Apartheid’ is fair...'”

      Shlomo Gazit, retired IDF Major General: "[Israel's] legal system that enforces the law in a discriminatory way on the basis of national identity, is actually maintaining an apartheid regime." (Haaretz, July 19, 2011)

      Israel’s Jewish citizens of Ethiopian origin/ancestry also suffer from discrimination and human rights violations:
      Haaretz, January 27, 2013 - “Israel admits Ethiopian women were given birth control shots.”
      EXCERPTS: “A government official has for the first time acknowledged the practice of injecting women of Ethiopian origin with the long-acting contraceptive Depo-Provera.”
      “The women’s testimony could help explain the almost 50-percent decline over the past 10 years in the birth rate of Israel’s Ethiopian community.”

      Attacks against Israel’s Christian citizens are tolerated by the government:
      Ynet, June 13, 2013: “Christian cemetery in Jaffa desecrated. Graffiti reading 'revenge' and 'price tag' found on tombstones in Christian Orthodox cemetery. Jaffa's Arab residents outraged over government inaction”
      EXCERPTS: “Unknown vandals desecrated the Christian Orthodox cemetery in Jaffa and spray-painted the words ‘revenge’ and ‘price tag’ on several tombstones. ‘Price tag’ graffiti was also found on a residential building near the cemetery where Tel Aviv District Judge Khaled Kaboub resides.”
      “Jaffa's Arab residents were outraged after learning of the vandalism and criticized the government and the police for failing to curb the phenomenon.”
      “Jaffa resident Mahmoud Aghabria said, ‘This is a criminal act that mustn't be ignored. Racism in Jaffa is spreading and we fear that the government and the police are not doing anything to those who are behind the 'price tag' acts. If Arabs had desecrated a Jewish cemetery I'm sure arrests would have been made within hours.’ "

      Israel is the only country in the world that differentiates between citizenship and nationality, i.e., “Israeli” nationality does not exist, only Jews and non-Jews, and each citizen carries an appropriate identity card. While the implications of this absurdity for discrimination and racism against non-Jews are obvious, it has just been upheld by Israel's Supreme Court.

      Times of Israel, October 4, 2013:
      "Supreme Court rejects ‘Israeli’ nationality status'"
      EXCERPT: "Allowing citizens to relinquish ethnic or religious identity in the population registry would undermine Israel’s Jewishness, ruling says.
      "Israel’s population registry lists a slew of 'nationalities' and ethnicities, among them Jew, Arab, Druse and more. But one word is conspicuously absent from the list: Israeli.
      "Residents cannot identify themselves as Israelis in the national registry because the move could have far-reaching consequences for the country’s Jewish character, the Israeli Supreme Court wrote in documents obtained Thursday"

      Furthermore, a few years ago, the Knesset passed the "Citizenship Law," which denies Israel's Arab citizens the right to bring a spouse from the occupied Palestinian territories or any Arab or other country to live in Israel. Jews, however, can immigrate to Israel from anywhere in the world and automatically become citizens with full rights.

      The effect of this blatantly racist law and more than fifty other restrictions (http://adalah.org/eng/Israeli-Discriminatory-Law-DatabaseIsrael's) Arab citizens have to endure is well expressed by writer and Knesset member, Ahmed Tibi, Palestinian/Arab citizen of Israel: "...dutifully defining the state [of Israel] as 'Jewish and democratic,' ignores the fact that in practice 'democratic' refers to Jews, and the Arabs are nothing more than citizens without citizenship." (Ma'ariv, 1.6.2005)

      Setting aside the horrors imprisoned Gaza Strip Palestinians are forced to endure at the hands of Israel, eminent Jewish Israeli journalist, Bradley Burston, aptly sums up the crimes perpetrated against Palestinians in the belligerently/illegally and brutally occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem:

      "Occupation is Slavery"
      Bradley Burston
      "In the name of occupation, generation after generation of Palestinians have been treated as property. They can be moved at will, shackled at will, tortured at will, have their families separated at will. They can be denied the right to vote, to own property, to meet or speak to family and friends. They can be hounded or even shot dead by their masters, who claim their position by biblical right, and also use them to build and work on the plantations the toilers cannot themselves ever hope to own. The masters dehumanize them, call them by the names of beasts."
      (Ha'aretz, Feb. 26/13)

      Ynet, April 20, 2013:
      “US report: Israel discriminates against Arabs, women and migrants”
      By Yitzhak Benhorin

      “Referring to Israel's treatment of the Palestinians [under occupation], the report accuses Israel of ‘excessive use of force against civilians, including killings; abuse of Palestinian detainees, particularly during arrest and interrogation; austere and overcrowded detention facilities; improper use of security detention procedures; demolition and confiscation of Palestinian property.’ "
      "The State Department further criticized Israel for ‘limitations on freedom of expression, assembly, and association; and severe restrictions on Palestinians’ internal and external freedom of movement.’"

  • Liberal Zionism ends with a pinch
    • With respect.

      To be precise:

      The Balfour 1917 Declaration (incorporated into the 1922 League of Nations British Mandate) did not give Jews the right to establish a "homeland" in Palestine. It referred to a Jewish "national home," which as Chaim Weizmann understood fully, was not a state or homeland ("the Balfour declaration was built on air.")

      Also, the mandate was a class A Mandate, i.e., Palestine was to be governed by Britain as a whole until its citizens could assume democratic self-rule. There was no call for a Jewish homeland/state or any form of partition.

      This was made very clear in the Churchill Memorandum (1 July 1922) regarding the British Mandate: "[T]he status of all citizens of Palestine in the eyes of the law shall be Palestinian, and it has never been intended that they, or any section of them, should possess any other juridical status."

      For the record, regarding the British Mandate: As approved by the Council of the League of Nations, the British government declared: "His Majesty’s Government therefore now declare unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State." (Command Paper, 1922)

      The League of Nations British mandate did, however, facilitate massive immigration of Zionist Jews into Palestine, mainly from Poland, Russia and Europe who intended to create an expansionary/exclusionary Jewish state through whatever means necessary.

    • Bottom line:

      While Britain laid the ground work, the United States, with assistance from other countries has created a monster in the Middle East that has perpetrated endless horrors against the idigenous inhabitants prior to, during and after its inception and is now increasingly viewed by its enablers as a geopolitical liablity, a millstone around their necks. The next five years will be eventful.

  • AIPAC's 'unlimited' funds are greatest obstacle to peace, former British foreign sec'y says
    • This development brings to mind the petition signed by 31 prominent American Jews that was presented to US President Woodrow Wilson at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference.

      The petitioners included among others, Senator Henry Morgenthau Sr., former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey; Simon Rosendale, ex-Attorney General of New York; E.M. Baker, President of the Stock Exchange; New York Times publisher, Adlolph S. Ochs and Congressman Julius Kahn. These learned Jews feared that Zionist influence at the peace conference might lay the foundation for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine which they opposed. The petitioners warned against any commitment "now or in the future to Jewish territorial sovereignty in Palestine" and predicted that given the Arab presence in Palestine, Zionist objectives would inevitably lead to a violent struggle between the two groups. In conclusion, they asked the president to argue at the Peace Conference that "...Palestine be constituted as a free and independent state, to be governed under a democratic form of government, recognizing no distinctions of creed or race or ethnic descent...."

      To quote Senator Henry Morgenthau Sr.: "Zionism is the most stupendous fallacy in Jewish history....The very fervour of my feeling for the oppressed of every race and every land, especially for the Jews, those of my own blood and faith, to whom I am bound by every tender tie, impels me to fight with all the greater force against this scheme, which my intelligence tells me can only lead them deeper into the mire of the past, while it professes to be leading them to the heights. Zionism is... a retrogression into the blackest error, and not progress toward the light."

  • 'We need to remove all the posters from the system' -- Boston censors the Palestinian narrative (Updated: The ads are going back up)
    • Au contraire. They are right on the money.

    • Reality: In 1946, by far, most of the land in Mandate Palestine was privately owned by Palestinians.

      By Subdistrict - Acre: 87% Palestinian owned, 3% Jewish owned, 10% state owned; Safed: 68% Palestinian owned, 18% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Haifa: 42% Palestinian owned, 35% Jewish owned, 23% state owned; Nazareth: 52% Palestinian owned, 28% Jewish owned, 20% state owned; Tiberias: 51% Palestinian owned, 38% Jewish owned, 11% state owned; Jenin: 84% Palestinian owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 16% state owned; Beisnan: 44% Palestinian owned, 34% Jewish owned, 22% state owned; Tulkarm: 78% PalestinIan owned; 17% Jewish owned, 5% state owned; Nablus: 87% Palestinian owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 13% state owned; Jaffa: 47% Palestinian owned, 39% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Ramleh: 77% Palestinian owned, 14% Jewish owned, 9% state owned; Ramallah: 99% Palestinian owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, less than 1% state owned; Jerusalem (West and East): 84% Palestinian owned, 2% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Gaza: 75% Palestinian owned, 4% Jewish owned, 21% state owned; Hebron: 96% Palestinian owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 4% state owned; Bersheeba: 15% Palestinian owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 85% state owned.

  • Israel lobby group counters Palestinian dispossession with-- Jewish creationism
    • The illegal (i.e., in violation of the established legal maxim Nemo dat quod non habet - nobody can give what he does not possess) Balfour Declaration did not call for a Jewish state or "homeland" in Palestine. It recommended the founding of a Jewish "national home," which is neither a "homeland" nor a state. No one understood this better than Chaim Weizmann: "The Balfour Declaration of 1917 was built on air."

      You also ignore the all important fact that the 1922 League of Nations British Mandate for Palestine was a Class A Mandate, i.e, Palestine was to be administered by Britain AS A WHOLE until its citizens could assume democratic self-rule. There was no call for a Jewish state/homeland or any form of partition.

      Regarding the the 1947 Partition Plan:
      Palestinians rejected the Partition Plan for good reasons founded in international law. While Jews made up just 31% of the population (90% were of foreign origin, only 30% had taken out citizenship, tens of thousands were illegal immigrants) and owned less that 6% of the land, the Partition Plan (recommendatory only, illegal, contrary to the terms of the British Class A Mandate, never adopted by the UNSC) outrageously recommended they be given 56% of Palestine (including its most fertile areas) in which Palestinians made up 45% of the population. (10% of Palestine's total Jewish population consisted of native anti-Zionist Palestinian/Arab Jews).

      Although native Palestinian citizens made up at least 69% of the population and owned over 94% of the land, the Partition Plan recommended they have a mere 42% as a state. (The 2% of Palestine comprised of Jerusalem, East and West, and Bethlehem was to be a corpus separatum under international control). No wonder the utterly unjust and illegal Partition Plan was rejected by Palestinians. Indeed, it proved so unworkable that when Polish born David Ben-Gurion (nee, David Gruen) et al. declared the "Jewish State" of Israel effective 15 May 1948 (after Jewish forces had already expelled and dispossessed 400,000 Palestinians per the Jewish Agency's Plan Dalet), the UNGA, as requested by the Truman administration, was in the process of shelving the Partition Plan in favor of a UN Trusteeship for Palestine. When war erupted due to the necessity of intervention by the outnumbered and outgunned Arab state armies to stem the accelerating expulsion of Palestinians, a US proposed cease-fire was accepted by the Arab League but rejected by Israel.

      During the ensuing war Israel seized 78% of Palestine, expelled a further 400,000 Palestinians and destroyed over 500 of their towns and villages, including churches, mosques and cemeteries.

      BTW, just before and during Israel's first invasion of Egypt in 1956, the IDF drove out about 25,000 more Palestinians and during and after the war it launched on 5 June 1967, Israel expelled a further approximately 250,000 Palestinians and tens of thousands later.

    • Let's not forget that the United Kingdom of Israel lasted a mere 73 years, less than a blip in the history of Canaan/Palestine. BTW, thus far, there is no archaeological proof (or more importantly in the writings of contemporaneous civilizations) that David or Solomon ever existed.

    • This pathetic attempt by the Zionists to invent history is unbelievable, nonsensical, and so easy to refute.

      Just a few facts:
      Jordan (referred to as Transjordan by the Allies after WWI) was not part of Palestine. As Ottoman maps attest, today's Jordan was administered separately from Palestine, the dividing line being the Jordan River. Known to locals as Al Baqa, the area east of the Jordan River, which became the Emirate of Transjordan in 1923 (as partial fulfillment of Britain’s pledge in the July 1915 to March 1916 Hussein/McMahon correspondence to grant the Arabs independence – including Palestine – in exchange for what proved to be their invaluable assistance in defeating the Turks during WWI) was part of the Turkish vilayet (province) of Syria. The area west of the river was governed by the Ottomans as three sanjaks (sub provinces), two of which (Acre and Nablus) formed part of the vilayet of Beirut, while the third was the independent sanjak of Jerusalem.

      The 1922 League of Nations British Mandate for Palestine was a Class A Mandate,
      i. e, Palestine was to be administered by Britain AS A WHOLE until its citizens were able to assume democratic self-rule. By incorporating the Balfour Declaration the mandate did facilitate Jewish immigration to "secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home," but it did not call for the creation of a sovereign Jewish state or homeland in Palestine or any form of partition. This was made very clear in the Churchill Memorandum (1 July 1922) regarding the British Mandate: "[T]he status of all citizens of Palestine in the eyes of the law shall be Palestinian, and it has never been intended that they, or any section of them, should possess any other juridical status."

      Furthermore, regarding the British Mandate, as approved by the Council of the League of Nations, the British government declared: "His Majesty’s Government therefore now declare unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State." (Command Paper, 1922)

  • Obama's greatest achievement-- blinking on Syria
    • We are witnessing the beginning of the end of the "special relationship." All nations must eventually act in their own best interests. It is abundantly clear that Israel's belligerent/illegal/brutal occupations of Palestinian and other Arab lands and its accelerating serial violations of international humanitarian law are doing great harm to America's best interests both economically and geopolitically. In 20-25 years there will be 3 billion Muslims worldwide, over 600 million Arabs and about 10 million Palestinians between the River and the Sea. Can there be any doubt as to where America's interests lie? Certainly not with Israel.

  • Pro-Israel efforts on US campuses have failed, Jewish Agency fundraiser says
    • The hand writing is on the wall. Israel and its supporters still refuse to read it.

      To wit:

      Ha’aretz, 8 May 2009: According to a high official with Israel’s current coalition government, the Obama administration “no longer seems to see Israel as a ‘special’ or ‘extraordinary’ state in the Middle East, with which the U.S. must maintain a different dialogue than with other states. ‘The feeling is that the dialogue and coordination with the Arab states and with Europe is today no less important to the U.S. and perhaps more so than with Israel,’ the official said.”

      In 2010, Join Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen received a bombshell briefing from senior military officers. The team was dispatched by Commander General David Petraeus to brief the Pentagon on intelligence that Israeli intransigence in the peace process was jeopardizing American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and America was perceived as weak, ineffectual, and unable to stand up to Israel. (http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/03/14/the_petraeus_briefing_biden_s_embarrassment_is_not_the_whole_story)

      Ha'aretz, January 13, 2012: “‘Israel is supposed to be working with us, not against us,’ ” Foreign Policy quoted an [American] intelligence officer as saying. ‘If they want to shed blood, it would help a lot if it was their blood and not ours. You know, they’re supposed to be a strategic asset. Well, guess what? There are a lot of people now, important people, who just don’t think that’s true.’”

      Ha’aretz, July 28, 2012: "Former U.S. officials say CIA considers Israel to be Mideast's biggest spy threat"
      EXCERPT: "...despite statements from U.S. politicians trumpeting the friendship, U.S. national security officials consider Israel to be, at times, a frustrating ally and a genuine counterintelligence threat.

      "In addition to what the former U.S. officials described to AP as intrusions in homes in the past decade, Israel has been implicated in U.S. criminal espionage cases and disciplinary proceedings against CIA officers and blamed in the presumed death of an important spy in Syria for the CIA during the administration of President George W. Bush.

      "The CIA considers Israel its No. 1 counterintelligence threat in the agency's Near East Division, the group that oversees spying across the Middle East, according to current and former officials."

      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4276276,00.html YNet News.com
      Sept. 3, 2012
      EXCERPT:
      "The United States has indirectly informed Iran, via two European nations, that it would not back an Israeli strike against the country's nuclear facilities, as long as Tehran refrains from attacking American interests in the Persian Gulf, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday."

      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4390166,00.html
      Ynet , June 9, 2013
      Israel losing America

      Op-ed: "As US map of interests in Middle East changes, White House getting increasingly tired of our conduct."

      By Eitan Haber
      Excerpt:
      “In recent years, the US map of interests in the Middle East is changing. The American interest in our region is decreasing, not to mention the fact that the US is getting rid of the dependence on Middle Eastern oil. We are losing the special status of the eldest and spoilt child in the eyes of the White House. To put it explicitly, the current president (and the next president, whoever that may be) no longer "works for us" and is increasingly returning to the format of the "problem child." To put it in our words, it seems that we have burnt our dish in the kitchens of the White House and Capitol Hill. They are getting increasingly tired of our conduct.

      “We always have good answers to the American conduct: Look, listen, they're unfazed. What can you do, that's how our friends overseas are: Unfazed. But we receive the small answers from Washington both in leaks from the White House, including the president's statements, and in appointments of senior officials who directly influence the US policy.

      “Many of those recent appointments are not fond of us, to put it mildly. Even US Jews, especially the young ones, no longer obey every single command coming from Jerusalem. And so we are slowly losing hold of the source of our life, thousands of miles from home. That may not be so crucial at the moment, but if and when it becomes crucial, it will be too late to wake up.”

      In its 2004 report, the U.S. Senate 9/11 Commission declared that "mastermind of the 9/11 attacks," Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's "animus toward the United States stemmed not from his experiences there as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel."

      In its analysis of terrorism, the Pentagon's Defense Science Board concluded that "Muslims do not hate our freedom,...they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority [object] to what they see as one-sided support in favour of Israel and against Palestinian rights...."

  • EU stance on settlements threatens Israeli participation in bonanza called 'Horizon 2020'
    • For the record:

      "Israel annexed Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, and will not sign a clause saying those areas are not part of Israel."

      Reality:
      Israel's 1980 annexation of East Jerusalem was unanimously rejected by the UNSC in Resolutions 476 and 478.

      Israel's 1981 annexation of Syria's Golan Heights was unanimously declared "null and void" by the UNSC in Resolution 497.

  • Leading American Jewish group announces plan to ramp up campaign against BDS movement
    • 2013 GLOBSCAN POLL FOR THE BBC
      • On average, in the 22 tracking countries surveyed both in 2012 and 2013, 52 percent of respondents had negative views of Israel’s influence in the world, an increase of two points from last year.
      • Out of the 25 countries polled in 2013, 20 lean negative, three lean positive, and two are divided.
      • The United States is the only Western country surveyed holding favorable views of Israel, and the only country in the survey with a majority of positive ratings (51 percent, stable).
      • Views of Israel in Canada and in Australia remain entrenched in negative territory with respectively 57 and 69 percent of unfavourable views.
      • In the EU countries surveyed, views of Israeli influence are all strongly negative and have either hardened further or remained stable.
      • The United Kingdom is the most unfavorable country towards Israel in the EU with 72 percent of Britons holding negative ratings.
      • The UK is followed by Spain (70% negative) where views have deteriorated due to a loss of positive ratings, now at just 4 percent (down from 12 percent).
      • Positive views have dropped eight points in Germany over the past year, down to 8 percent in 2013 while negative inclinations have remained stable at 67 percent.
      • In France, the picture is stable with 21 percent giving positive views (vs. 63 percent negative) France is the EU country with the highest proportion of favorable ratings.
      • Newly asked countries Poland and Greece have negative pluralities of 44 and 46 percent respectively, while just 15 percent lean positively towards Israel in both countries.

    • BREAKING NEWS RE BDS:

      http://www.jpost.com/National-News/Report-Golden-Arches-refuses-to-open-in-West-Bank-city-of-Ariel-317757

      Jerusalem Post 06/26/2013

      Report: McDonald's refuses to open branch in Ariel "Golden Arches" says move is consistent with its policy, worried about potential for negative international response.

      By JPOST.COM STAFF

      McDonald's Israel has refused an offer to open a branch of its restaurant chain in a mall slated to be built in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, according to a report in the Calcalist newspaper.

      Tzahi Nahmias, the realtor who is marketing the mall's commercial space, told the paper that McDonald's refused to open a branch because Ariel is located beyond the Green Line.

      McDonald's confirmed that it did not intend to open in Ariel and said that its refusal to operate in the West Bank "had always been the restaurant chain's policy," according to the report. Nahmias said that there were other companies besides McDonald's, that he refused to name, that expressed concerns that opening in the mall would negatively impact their international business.

      Rami Levy, Israeli supermarket magnate and one of the entrepreneurs behind the Ariel mall, did not refer specifically to McDonald's decision but he did tell the paper that businesses that refuse to open in the West Bank also harm the Arab population there. "I do not accept that companies make business decisions that are informed by political considerations.

      The mall in Ariel is expected to employ Arab and Jewish workers from the area and to provide services for these populations" Levy said. "This boycott is superfluous, and it harms the Arab population that it is supposedly trying to protect," he added. Israeli artists as well as academics have boycotted the city because of its location beyond the Green Line.

      In March, during US President Barack Obama's visit to Israel students from Ariel University were not invited to a speech that he gave in Jerusalem to Israeli university students.

  • Fear of democracy in the Jewish community
    • I recommend that all of you take the time to listen to this lecture:
      Audio file:
      http://www.soas.ac.uk/religions/events/jordan-lectures-in-comparative-religion/14may2012-opening-lecture-how-islam-saved-the-jews.html

      "How Islam Saved the Jews" - Professor David J. Wasserstein (Vanderbilt University, U.S.A) University of London, 14 May 2012.

      "In the early seventh century C.E. Judaism was in crisis. In the Mediterranean basin it was battered by legal, social, and religious pressure, weak in numbers and culturally almost non-existent. It was also largely cut off from the Jewry of the Persian Empire, in Babylon, present-day Iraq. The future seemed clear: extinction in the West, decline to obscurity in the East. Salvation came from Arabia. Islam conquered the entire Persian Empire and most of the Mediterranean world. Uniting virtually all the world’s Jews in a single state, it gave them legal and religious respectability, economic and social freedoms, and linguistic and cultural conditions that made possible a major renaissance of Judaism and the Jews. The significance of Islam for Jewry has been interpreted very variously since the middle ages and is a source of controversy to this day.

      "David J. Wasserstein is professor of history, classics and Jewish Studies and inaugural holder of the Eugene Greener, Jr. Chair in Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he has taught since 2004. Between 1990 and 2004 he was a professor of Islamic history at Tel Aviv University. He teaches medieval Islamic and Jewish history. With a background in classical studies, he is especially interested in the ways in which Judaism, Islam and the classical world intersect culturally, linguistically and politically. He is the author of The Rise and Fall of the Party-Kings, Politics and Society in Islamic Spain, 1002-1086 (Princeton 1985); The Caliphate in the West. An Islamic Political Institution in the Iberian Peninsula (Oxford 1993); and, with his late father Abraham Wasserstein, The Legend of the Septuagint, From Classical Antiquity to Today (Cambridge 2006)."

      Also, here are three memorable statements by eminent Jews:
      Rabbi Sassoon Kehdouri, Iraq's Chief Rabbi for 48 years, speaking before the 1946 Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry on Palestine: "Iraqi Jews will be forever against Zionism. Jews and Arabs have enjoyed the same rights and privileges for a thousand years and do not regard themselves as a distinctive separate part of this nation."

      Chaim Weizmann, Israel's first president, also addressing the 1946 Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry: "I would not like to do any injustice. The Muslim world has treated the Jews with considerable tolerance. The Ottoman Empire [of which the Arabs were a major part] received the Jews with open arms when they were driven out of Spain and Europe, and the Jews should never forget that."

      Albert Einstein, 1939: “There could be no greater calamity than a permanent discord between us and the Arab people.... Let us recall that in former times no people lived in greater friendship with us than the ancestors of these Arabs.”

      Prof. Wasserstein is also the editor and co-editor of several books, including Dhimmis and Others: Jews and Christians and the World of Classical Islam (1997); Daghestan and the World of Islam (2006); Language of Religion - Language of the People: Medieval Judaism, Christianity and Islam (2006); and From Hellenism to Islam: Cultural and Linguistic Change in the Roman Near East (2009).

      He has been a Lady Davis Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a visiting Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin, and a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Asiatic Society. In 2008-2009 he was a Visiting Fellow at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University.

  • My 72 depressing hours on Obama's trail
    • "In this dangerous world the US must have some real allies..."

      Your comment is comparable to praising the arsonist for allegedly helping put out the fire.

      Emerging reality:

      The bombshell briefing by senior military officers presented to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen in 2010. The team was dispatched by Commander General David Petraeus to brief the Pentagon on intelligence that Israeli intransigence in the peace process was jeopardizing American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and America was perceived as weak, ineffectual, and unable to stand up to Israel.

      Ha'aretz, January 13, 2012:
      “‘Israel is supposed to be working with us, not against us,’ ” Foreign Policy quoted an [American] intelligence officer as saying. ‘If they want to shed blood, it would help a lot if it was their blood and not ours. You know, they’re supposed to be a strategic asset. Well, guess what? There are a lot of people now, important people, who just don’t think that’s true.’”

      In its 2004 report, the U.S. Senate 9/11 Commission declared that "mastermind of the 9/11 attacks," Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's "animus toward the United States stemmed not from his experiences there as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel."

      In its analysis of terrorism, the Pentagon's Defense Science Board concluded that "Muslims do not hate our freedom,...they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority [object] to what they see as one-sided support in favour of Israel and against Palestinian rights...."

      Ha’aretz, July 28, 2012
      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/former-u-s-officials-say-cia-considers-israel-to-be-mideast-s-biggest-spy-threat-1.454189
      "Former U.S. officials say CIA considers Israel to be Mideast's biggest spy threat"

      EXCERPT:
      "...despite statements from U.S. politicians trumpeting the friendship, U.S. national security officials consider Israel to be, at times, a frustrating ally and a genuine counterintelligence threat.

      "In addition to what the former U.S. officials described to AP as intrusions in homes in the past decade, Israel has been implicated in U.S. criminal espionage cases and disciplinary proceedings against CIA officers and blamed in the presumed death of an important spy in Syria for the CIA during the administration of President George W. Bush.

      "The CIA considers Israel its No. 1 counterintelligence threat in the agency's Near East Division, the group that oversees spying across the Middle East, according to current and former officials."

  • 'You’re not allowed to use public transportation at all': A report from Israel's segregated buses
    • Ha'aretz, Feb. 26/13
      "As Lincoln abolished slavery, Israel must abolish occupation"
      by Bradley Burston

      Excerpts:
      "Occupation is Slavery"
      "In the name of occupation, generation after generation of Palestinians have been treated as property. They can be moved at will, shackled at will, tortured at will, have their families separated at will. They can be denied the right to vote, to own property, to meet or speak to family and friends. They can be hounded or even shot dead by their masters, who claim their position by biblical right, and also use them to build and work on the plantations the toilers cannot themselves ever hope to own. The masters dehumanize them, call them by the names of beasts."

      "The day we went to see ‘Lincoln,’ headlines spoke of 15 Jewish youths nearly killing an Arab Israeli in Jaffa, bloodying his head and one eye with bottles and glass shards, sending him to hospital in serious condition. The victim was attacked as he re-filled his vehicle with water, in order to continue to clean their streets. His wife quoted the attackers as saying as they beat him, that Arabs were 'trying to take over the country.' "

      http://www.timesofisrael.com/joint-israel-west-bank-reality-is-an-apartheid-state

      Times of Israel February 21, 2013

      "Former Foreign Ministry director-general invokes South Africa comparisons.
      ‘Joint Israel-West Bank’ reality is an apartheid state"

      EXCERPT:

      "Similarities between the 'original apartheid' as it was practiced in South Africa and the situation in ISRAEL AND THE WEST BANK [my emphasis] today 'scream to the heavens,' added Liel, who was Israel’s ambassador in Pretoria from 1992 to 1994. There can be little doubt that the suffering of Palestinians is not less intense than that of blacks during apartheid-era South Africa, he asserted."

  • Anatomy of a Falsehood: Roger Cohen recycles pro-Israel attack against Omar Barghouti
    • Cohen states:
      "For any liberal Zionist — and I am one — convinced of the need for the two-state outcome envisaged in the United Nations resolution of 1947 [Res. 181, the Partition Plan] establishing the modern state of Israel...."

      For the record: When Polish born David Ben-Gurion (nee David Gruen) et al. declared the "Jewish state" of Israel effective 15 May 1948, the UNGA was in the process of shelving the Partition Plan (recommendatory only, contrary to the terms of the British Mandate, never endorsed by the UNSC, grossly unfair to the Palestinians who were the great majority - despite massive Jewish immigration - and also owned about 94% of the land) in favour of a United Nations Trusteeship for Palestine. (BTW, Israel's declaration of statehood also violated the Partition Plan itself, which stipulated that its recommended creation of Jewish and Arab states in Palestine should not occur until two months after the end of the British Mandate).

      Israel’s first and second attempts to join the United Nations following the signing of the 1949 armistice agreements were unsuccessful because the General Assembly considered it to be in contravention of the UN Charter. This was due to the fact that in violation of the Partition Plan, Israel was occupying the international zone of West Jerusalem and more than half of the territory assigned to the proposed Palestinian state.

      Apart from its violation of the UN Charter and the Partition Plan, Israel’s first attempts to join the UN were rebuffed by the General Assembly because of deep concern regarding the plight of the 750,000 (800,000, according to Walter Eytan, then Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry) Palestinian refugees living in abject misery in over crowded camps in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and poor neighbouring Arab countries. Winter had set in and with only flimsy tents and little or heat, their situation was becoming increasingly desperate. With the Arab host countries only able to contribute the limited amount they could spare their own needy citizens, the refugees were dependent on rations provided by the UN.

      Israel again sought UN membership in 1949. This time, however, in order to be considered for admittance, Israel formally agreed at the United Nations to obey the UN Charter, comply with General Assembly Resolution 194 and to accept Resolution 181, the Partition Plan, as a basis for negotiations. Israel also signed the Lausanne Protocol at the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference and thereby reaffirmed its commitment to Resolutions 194 and 181.

      Israel’s pledge to abide by the terms of Resolution 194 (as well as the Partition Plan as a basis for negotiations) and the UN Charter was made legally binding by including it in General Assembly Resolution 273 (11 May 1949) granting Israel UN membership.

      Israel is the only state admitted to the UN on the condition that specific resolutions would be obeyed.

      Shortly after gaining UN membership Israel reneged on its commitment to abide by Resolution 194 along as well as the Partition Plan, which the Arab delegation, including Palestinian representatives, had accepted as a basis for peace negotiations at the Lausanne Peace Conference.

  • They Can't Hide the Sun: An interview with Omar Barghouti
    • Although two states may yet precede it, one state is inevitable between the River and the Sea. Why? Because in the long run both peoples will realize that it will best serve their common interests. Zionism is moribund.

    • Bingo!!!

    • The U.S. State Department's report on International Religious Freedom: "Arabs in Israel...are subject to various forms of discrimination [and the government] does not provide Israeli Arabs...with the same quality of education, housing, employment opportunities as Jews."

      The Independent, Dec. 27/2011
      "...EU broadside over plight of Israel's Arabs"
      Excerpt: "The confidential 27-page draft prepared by European diplomats...[shows] that Israeli Arabs suffer 'economic disparities...unequal access to land and housing...discriminatory draft legislation and a political climate in which discriminatory rhetoric and practice go unsanctioned.'“

      Baruch Kimmerling, George S. Wise Professor of Sociology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem: The laws of Israel have become the laws of a master people and the morality that of lords of the land.” ("Politicide: The real legacy of Ariel Sharon")

      Ronnie Kasrils, a key player in the struggle against apartheid, minister for intelligence in the current South African government and a devout Jew: "The Palestinian minority in Israel has for decades been denied basic equality in health, education, housing and land possession, solely because it is not Jewish. The fact that this minority is allowed to vote hardly redresses the rampant injustice in all other basic human rights. They are excluded from the very definition of the 'Jewish state', and have virtually no influence on the laws, or political, social and economic policies. Hence, their similarity to the black South Africans [under apartheid]." (The Guardian, 25 May 2005)

      Adi Ophir, philosophy professor at Tel Aviv University: "...the adoption of the political forms of an ethnocentric and racist nation-state in general, are turning Israel into the most dangerous place in the world for the humanity and morality of the Jewish community, for the continuity of Jewish cultures and perhaps for Jewish existence itself." (1998 issue of the Israeli journal “Theory and Criticism”).

      Ilan Pappe, professor of political science at Haifa University: "[Israel's] political system [is] exclusionary, a pro forma democracy - going through the motions of democratic rule but essentially being akin to apartheid or Herenvolk ('master race') democracy."

      BTW, Israel is the only country in the world that differentiates between citizenship and nationality, i.e., an “Israeli” nationality does not exist. Identity cards designate Israel's citizens as Jews and non-Jews.

      On a related matter, I recommend you view this short video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiOJ6lrX0zY&feature=youtu.be

      For the record, Israel’s Jewish citizens of Ethiopian ancestry also suffer from discrimination:
      http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/israel-admits-ethiopian-women-were-given-birth-control-shots.premium-1.496519

      “Israel admits Ethiopian women were given birth control shots” Ha,aretz, January 27/13.
      Excerpt: “A government official has for the first time acknowledged the practice of injecting women of Ethiopian origin with the long-acting contraceptive Depo-Provera.“

      “The women’s testimony could help explain the almost 50-percent decline over the past 10 years in the birth rate of Israel’s Ethiopian community.”

      http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/1890-even-in-death-ethiopian-jews-face-racism-from-other-jews
      “Even in death, Ethiopian Jews face racism from other Jews” Middle East Monitor, December 28/2010.

      Excerpt: “An Israeli newspaper has claimed that the racism prevalent between Israeli Jews extends to Ethiopian Jews even after their death. According to Maariv, graves in a Jewish cemetery are separated according to the colour of the corpses; a fence has been built between the graves of Ethiopian Jews and the others in the graveyard.”

  • In backing Hagel, mainstream news organizations call out the Israel lobby
    • Not should we forget that its leaders insist that Palestinians and the rest of us recognize Israel as the "Jewish state." Hence, the term "Jewish lobby" is entirely appropriate.

  • Abrams and Ross blame Palestinians for failure of peace process-- and never say the word 'settlements'
    • Les

      I was just about to post the same link.
      Here's another one that is related to yours:

      http://www.haaretz.com/business/growing-economic-disparity-puts-israel-at-top-end-of-inequality-scale.premium-1.484009

      Ha'aretz | Dec.11, 2012

      "Growing economic disparity puts Israel at top end of inequality scale"

      "Contrary to conventional wisdom, the problem doesn't stem from erosion of the middle class."

      By Zvi Zrahiya

      "The growing economic disparity among Israel's income groups places the country, along with the United States, at the top end of the inequality scale. But contrary to conventional wisdom, the problem doesn't stem from erosion of the middle class.

      "Rather, says economist Momi Dahan, the widening gaps are the result of ballooning wealth among the rich and the declining earning power of the poor.

      " 'Israel's problem isn't about the middle class, rather the condtions of the weakest population,' he says. 'The most dramatic change of the last decade was the break out higher of the top decile and collapse downward of the bottom fifth.'

      "The Gini coefficient, a measure used to gauage inequality, stands at 0.38 for Israel on a scale of zero to one. That is the same level of inequality as in the U.S. By comparison income-equakty leaders Sweden and Finland have a Gini Coefficient is 0.23.

      "In Israel, the growing inequality reflects the increasing large slice of the national pie since 1979 going to the wealthiest 10% and a drastic drop in that of the lowest 20%, says Dahan, head of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Federmann School of Public Policy and Government and a senior fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute.

      "According to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development figures, more than 20% of Israeli families are poor, while the average for OECD countries is less than 12%, Dahan says. 'From 1997 to 2012 the price for the basket of consumer goods bought by the middle quintile increased 44% while the basket of the lowest quintile increased 48%. In other words, the hardest hit has been the lowest quintile,' he says.

      "Dahan argues that policy makers should focus on the two ends of the scale that have been moving further to the extremes, as this is what is generating the inequality, choking economic growth and hurting the middle class in the long run.

      " 'Some people blame inequality on the fact that the ultra-Orthodox and Arabs are largely outside the workforce,' Dahan says. 'But even if we take them out of the equation, Israel remains one of the world's least egalitarian countries. The problem crosses all sectors of the population and encompasses all parts of Israeli society.'

      "When asked if Israel's inequality might be less than official figures indicate due to the prevalence of its black market economy, Dahan said 'there is no doubt that people conceal their real income, but this is true for the bottom rungs of the income ladder as well as the top rungs, so its impact isn't straightforward.'

      " 'Also, Israel leads the world, for example, in the divergence of educational achievements between advantaged and disadvantaged pupils, and in education you can't say inequality stems from the black market.'

  • 'J Street' and 'Peace Now' say it's now or never for Obama to bring Netanyahu to heel
    • An interesting and hopefully, a sign of imminent change:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/9722259/Israel-accuses-US-of-backing-European-settlement-backlash.html

      "Israel accuses US of backing European settlement backlash"
      The Telegraph, 5 December, 2012

      EXCERPT:

      "Britain, France, Sweden, Spain and Denmark all summoned Israeli envoys on Tuesday to protest over the settlement plans, while Germany and the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon, denounced it.

      "The newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, quoted unnamed Israeli diplomats as saying the outcry could not have occurred without the complicity of the Obama administration, which has profound differences with Mr Netanyahu over settlements.

      “ 'We would not be mistaken to say that Europe was acting with Washington’s encouragement,' the paper’s commentator, Shimon Shiffer wrote. 'The White House authorised Europe to pounce on the Netanyahu government and to punish it.' "

  • Avigdor Lieberman: 'When it comes down to the choice between Jewish or Democratic Israel it has to be Jewish'
    • Israel: 64 years of trying to pound a square peg into a round hole.

      Israel Ranked World's Most Militarized Nation:
      http://www.ipsnews.net/2012/11/israel-ranked-as-worlds-most-militarised-nation/

      Latest from Uri Avnery, eminent Israeli journalist and former member of Knesset,
      (courtesy of Adam Keller, Gush Shalom):

      "Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak have decided - for the second time in a row the State of Israel will conduct general elections under the shadow of war in the Gaza Strip. The cease-fire which already started to stabilize has been broken deliberately and shattered to pieces. The inhabitants of the communities of southern Israel, who just started to breathe freely, are sent right back to air raid alarms and to running to shelters."

      "At the price of great suffering on both sides of the border, the government's aim has been accomplished: the social issues, which threatened to assume prominence in these elections, have been pushed aside and removed from the agenda of the elections campaign. Forgotten, too, is the brave attempt of Mahmoud Abbas to address the Israeli public opinion. In the coming weeks, the headlines will be filled with constant war and death, destruction and bloodshed. When it ends at last, it will be revealed that no goal has been achieved and that the problems remain the same, or perhaps exacerbated."

  • Exile and the Prophetic: People have been predicting a 'game change' in Israel/Palestine since the early 80s. Why hasn't it happened?
    • Here's another perspective:

      http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/1419

      "Zionist Lobby in US Takes a Hit in Latest National Election"
      by David Lindorff - 11/09/2012

      EXCERPTS:

      "One little-noted but important result of the November election in the US that returned President Barack Obama to the White House for another four years is that the right-wing Israeli government and the Zionist lobbying organization AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) took a surprising drubbing and emerged a much weaker political influence going forward in US politics."

      "A major loss for the pro-Israel lobby in the US was the replacement of arch-Zionist Joe Lieberman, a neoconservative senator from Connecticut...."

      "Obama won re-election despite his blunt refusal to kowtow to Netanyahu, despite his refusal to approve an Israeli strike on Iran, and despite overt Zionist backing for his opponent Mitt Romney. The election of a number of new members of Congress who defeated AIPAC-backed candidates, some of them incumbents, further weakens the Zionist lobby. And now that the threat has been shown to be essentially empty, it will be hard to revive it."

      "Now that not just Obama but also other candidates opposed by AIPAC have won, it seems clear that Zionist political influence, and public support for unquestioning US backing of Israel, has been seriously set back and will probably never recover."

  • New ad describing Palestinian dispossession hits Metro-North, NY
    • Here's another relevant observation made by Einstein in 1939:

      “There could be no greater calamity than a permanent discord between us and the Arab people. Despite the great wrong that has been done us [in the western world], we must strive for a just and lasting compromise with the Arab people…. Let us recall that in former times no people lived in greater friendship with us than the ancestors of these Arabs.”

  • Israeli celebration of winners at int'l science fair cites 'Jewish mind'-- and leaves out Palestinians!
    • The U.S. State Department's report on International Religious Freedom: "Arabs in Israel...are subject to various forms of discrimination [and the government] does not provide Israeli Arabs...with the same quality of education, housing, employment opportunities as Jews."

      The Independent, Dec. 27/2011
      "...EU broadside over plight of Israel's Arabs"

      "The confidential 27-page draft prepared by European diplomats...[shows] that Israeli Arabs suffer 'economic disparities...unequal access to land and housing...discriminatory draft legislation and a political climate in which discriminatory rhetoric and practice go unsanctioned.'“

    • Marc b.
      In fact, there is no such person as an "Israeli." Israel is the only country in the world that differentiates between citizenship and nationality. All citizens of Israel carry an identity card that designates them as "Jewish" or non-Jewish. Needless to say, this odious practice further confirms the racist nature of Israel and Zionism.

  • Obama threatens 'significant negative consequences' to Palestinians if they seek higher UN status
    • To the best of my knowledge, Palestinians are the only people in modern history suffering under the boot of a belligerent, illegal and brutal occupation who have been forced to "negotiate" an end to the occupation with their occupier/oppressor.

  • Welcome to colonized Jerusalem -- the capital of Israel
    • For the record:
      Regarding Jerusalem on October 29, 1947, the day the Partition Plan (UNGA Res. 181) was passed:

      The total population of West Jerusalem (the New City) and East Jerusalem (the Old City) and their environs was about 200,000 with a slight Arab majority. (Walid Khalidi, "Plan Dalet," Journal of Palestine Studies, Autumn, 1988, p. 17) The total land area of West Jerusalem was 19,331 dunams (about 4,833 acres) of which 40 per cent was owned by Palestinian Muslims and Christians, 26.12 per cent by Jews and 13.86 per cent by others (e.g., Christian communities.) Government and municipal land made up 2.90 per cent and roads and railways 17.12 per cent. East Jerusalem (the Old City) consisted of 800 dunams (about 200 acres) of which five dunams (just over one acre, i.e., one half of one percent) were Jewish owned and the remaining 795 dunams were owned by Palestinian Muslims and Christians. ("Assessing Palestinian Property in the City," by Dalia Habash and Terry Rempel, Jerusalem 1948: The Arab Neighbourhoods and their Fate in the War, edited by Salim Tamari, The Institute of Jerusalem Studies, 1999, pp. 184-85)

  • American Jews who choose 'humanitarian values' over Zionism are tempting another Holocaust --Gordis's blackmail
    • Winds of change:

      Ha’aretz, 8 May 2009:
      According to a high official with Israel’s current coalition government, the Obama administration “no longer seems to see Israel as a ‘special’ or ‘extraordinary’ state in the Middle East, with which the U.S. must maintain a different dialogue than with other states. ‘The feeling is that the dialogue and coordination with the Arab states and with Europe is today no less important to the U.S. and perhaps more so than with Israel,’ the official said.”

      The bombshell briefing by senior military officers to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen in 2010: The team was dispatched by Commander General David Petraeus to brief the Pentagon on intelligence that Israeli intransigence in the peace process was jeopardizing American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and America was perceived as weak, ineffectual, and unable to stand up to Israel.

      Ha'aretz, January 13, 2012:
      “‘Israel is supposed to be working with us, not against us,’ ” Foreign Policy quoted an [American] intelligence officer as saying. ‘If they want to shed blood, it would help a lot if it was their blood and not ours. You know, they’re supposed to be a strategic asset. Well, guess what? There are a lot of people now, important people, who just don’t think that’s true.’”

      Ha’aretz, July 28, 2012:
      "Former U.S. officials say CIA considers Israel to be Mideast's biggest spy threat"
      EXCERPT:
      "...despite statements from U.S. politicians trumpeting the friendship, U.S. national security officials consider Israel to be, at times, a frustrating ally and a genuine counterintelligence threat.

      "In addition to what the former U.S. officials described to AP as intrusions in homes in the past decade, Israel has been implicated in U.S. criminal espionage cases and disciplinary proceedings against CIA officers and blamed in the presumed death of an important spy in Syria for the CIA during the administration of President George W. Bush.

      "The CIA considers Israel its No. 1 counterintelligence threat in the agency's Near East Division, the group that oversees spying across the Middle East, according to current and former officials."

      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4276276,00.html
      YNet News.com
      Sept. 3, 2012
      EXCERPT:
      "The United States has indirectly informed Iran, via two European nations, that it would not back an Israeli strike against the country's nuclear facilities, as long as Tehran refrains from attacking American interests in the Persian Gulf, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday."

  • Israel demands statement from Obama about Iran attack by Yom Kippur
    • Bottom line:
      Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, the U.S., Russia, France, Britain, China, Japan, India, Canada, Australia, the E.U., etc., DO NOT WANT A WAR AGAINST IRAN. Apart from the horrors that would engulf the entire region, an attack on Iran would also have a devastating effect on an already deteriorating international economy. Continuous and secure shipments of oil through the Straits of Hormuz are absolutely essential. Also, the dispute between Israel and the US over this matter will prove to be a pivotal event in what is an inevitable end to their "special relationship." Israel is arguably America's number one and ever-increasing geopolitical liability.

  • The blatancy of apartheid
    • As I see it:

      (1) Israel, i.e., west of the green line is an apartheid state.

      The U.S. State Department's report on International Religious Freedom: "Arabs in Israel...are subject to various forms of discrimination [and the government] does not provide Israeli Arabs...with the same quality of education, housing, employment opportunities as Jews."

      The Independent, Dec. 27/2011
      "...EU broadside over plight of Israel's Arabs"

      "The confidential 27-page draft prepared by European diplomats...[shows] that Israeli Arabs suffer 'economic disparities...unequal access to land and housing...discriminatory draft legislation and a political climate in which discriminatory rhetoric and practice go unsanctioned.'"

      Ronnie Kasrils, a key player in the defeat of apartheid in South Africa, currently minister for intelligence in the government and a devout Jew: "The Palestinian minority in Israel has for decades been denied basic equality in health, education, housing and land possession, solely because it is not Jewish. The fact that this minority is allowed to vote hardly redresses the rampant injustice in all other basic human rights. They are excluded from the very definition of the 'Jewish state', and have virtually no influence on the laws, or political, social and economic policies. Hence, their similarity to the black South Africans [under apartheid]." (The Guardian, 25 May 2005)

      Professor Ilan Pappe, eminent historian and a Jewish citizen of Israel. (Remember, an "Israeli" does not exist): "[Israel's] political system [is] exclusionary, a pro forma democracy - going through the motions of democratic rule but essentially being akin to apartheid or Herenvolk ('master race') democracy."

      Adi Ophir, philosophy professor at Tel Aviv University: "...the adoption of the political forms of an ethnocentric and racist nation-state in general, are turning Israel into the most dangerous place in the world for the humanity and morality of the Jewish community, for the continuity of Jewish cultures and perhaps for Jewish existence itself."

      (2) The West Bank, East Jerusalem and according to international law, the Gaza Strip as well, are under a belligerent, illegal and brutal occupation. The multitude of horrors that the native inhabitants experience each and every day are those of all such illegal military occupations.

      BTW, we should not forget that Lebanon's Shebaa Farms and Syria's Golan Heights have also been occupied by Israel since June 1967 and about 150,000 Syrians were expelled.

  • Susan Abulhawa demolishes Itamar Marcus
    • Once America's "special relationship" with or "passionate attachment" to Israel ends, as it surely will, no other country will fill the void as Israel's protector and source of funding. Israel is America's number one geopolitical liability, a millstone around its neck. China is never going to pick up America's garbage. Nor will any other country. In 25 years: 3 billion Muslims (currently 1.75 billion); 600 million Arabs, including 10-12 million Palestinians between the River and the Sea. Can there be any doubt where America's and the rest of the western world's interests lie?

    • In 1893, the total population of Palestine was 479,000 with Jews making up 2% and Arabs 98%. By 1912, Jews comprised 6%. By 1920, the total population of Palestine was 603,000. Arab Palestinians comprised 542,000 (90%) and Jews 61,000 (10%)

      By 1925, increased immigration faciliated by the League of Nations British Mandate increased the number of Jews to 17% of the population and by 1930 to 18%; by 1935 to 29%; by 1940 to 31%. By 1946 the total population of Palestine was about 1,845,ooo with Jews making up just over 30%. Only 30% of the Jews had taken out citizenship and 10% of them consisted of anti-Zionist Arab/Palestinian Jews. Also, by 1946, Jews owned about 5.7% of the total land area.

    • The root of the Zionist argument that by 1948 Palestine's Arab population had increased dramatically due to immigration from neighboring Arab countries is of course, Joan Peters' long since debunked book "From Time Immemorial...."

      For the record:
      Dr. Porath, one of Israel's leading demographic historians, called Peters’ book a "forgery... [that] was almost universally dismissed [in Israel] as sheer rubbish except maybe as a propaganda weapon."(New York Times, Nov.28, 1985)

      Rabbi Arthur Herzberg, vice-president of the WJC, agreed: "I think that she's cooked the statistics.... The scholarship is phony and tendentious. I do not believe that she has read the Arabic sources that she quotes."(ibid)

      To again quote Professor Porath: “The precise demographic history of modern Palestine cannot be summed up briefly, but its main features are clear enough and they are very different from the fanciful description Mrs. Peters gives.... [S]he has apparently searched through documents for any statement to the effect that Arabs entered Palestine. But even if we put together all the cases she cites, one cannot escape the conclusion that most of the growth of the Palestinian Arab community resulted from a process of natural increase.” (“Mrs. Peters’ Palestine” New York Review of Books, 16 January 1986.)

      In his article entitled “Joan Peters and the Perversion of History,” Dr. Bill Farrell delivers a scathing review of From Time Immemorial: “After investigating Peters’ claims, this just becomes another badly written book with a premeditated bias. It will convince no scholars, or change the historiography of the Middle East. In the future, it will only be remembered by those who already believed its fraudulent assertions before its publication, who desired pulp instead of fact.” (Journal of Palestine Studies, Fall, 1984)

      Peters ignored the population figures for Palestine carefully calculated by expert demographers during the 19th century as well as censuses taken by British officials during the British mandate. Her thesis is also riddled with contradictions, easily detected misrepresentations of documented history and invalid data plagiarized from a long since discredited source. Many scholars are convinced Ms. Peters did not write the book herself, but served as a front for others whose motives are obvious.

    • For the record, the total Arab immigration into Palestine between 1922 and 1945 amounted to only 40,500 people. (Edward Hagopian and A.B. Zahlan, "Palestine's Arab Population: the Demography of the Palestinians," Journal of Palestine Studies, III, 4, Summer, 1974).

  • Israel lobby groups acknowledge that occupation is 'delegitimizing'/'killing' Israel
    • As I understand it, the key argument of the Levy Commission is that the principles of belligerent occupation, including Article 49, paragraph 6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, do not apply to the West Bank and East Jerusalem because prior to June 1967, Jordan was not their legitimate sovereign. In fact, the Levy Commission is legally out to lunch. This argument is not new and was dealt with by the Legal Adviser of the Department of State years ago when it advised the Congress that in its opinion "…those principles [of belligerent occupation] appear applicable whether or not Jordan and Egypt possessed legitimate sovereign rights in respect of those territories. [At the time, Israel still had thousands of settlers and its armed forces inside the Gaza Strip which had been adminstered by Egypt prior to the 1967 war]. Protecting the reversionary interest of an ousted sovereign is not their sole or essential purpose; the paramount purposes are protecting the civilian population of an occupied territory and reserving permanent territorial changes, if any, until settlement of the conflict."

  • Attack on historical maps ad says Israelis have only gained land thru 'defensive wars'
    • To be precise, the 1917 Balfour Declaration did not call for either a "homeland" or a "state" for Jews in Palestine. It called for a "national home" which is neither a state nor a homeland. Bearing in mind that at the time Palestine was a province of the Ottoman Empire, the Balfour Declaration was also illegal, i.e., in violation of the established legal maxim Nemo dat quod non habet (nobody can give what he does not possess). Chaim Weizmann knew this full well: "The Balfour Decalaration of 1917 was built on air."

      Furthermore, the resulting League of Nations Mandate for Palestine was a Class A Mandate, i.e., Palestine was to be administered by Britain as a whole until its citizens were able to assume democratic self-rule. There was no reference whatsoever to a Jewish state or homeland or any form of partition.

      This was made very clear in the Churchill Memorandum (1 July 1922) regarding the British Mandate: "[T]he status of all citizens of Palestine in the eyes of the law shall be Palestinian, and it has never been intended that they, or any section of them, should possess any other juridical status."

      Also, regarding the British Mandate, as approved by the Council of the League of nations, the British government declared: "His Majesty’s Government therefore now declare unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should
      become a Jewish State." (Command Paper, 1922)

  • Backer of NY ads exposing Palestinian land-loss says response has been 'astounding' and news 'coverage is pouring in'
    • Well and truly stated!!!

    • These Zionist mouthpieces such as Dershowitz keep trotting out the myth that UNSC Resolution 242 does not mean total withdrawal from all Arab lands Israel invaded and occupied during the war it launched on 5 June 1967. To state the obvious, the UNSC cannot pass a resolution that violates the UN Charter which prohibits the acquistion of territory by war under any circumstances.

      As then Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban later revealed, he understood full well that Resolution 242 calls for Israel’s complete withdrawal: “The words ‘in the recent conflict’ convert the principle of eliminating occupation into a mathematically precise formula for restoring the June 4 Map.”

      During negotiations to determine Resolution 242’s wording, Abba Eban failed in his attempt to have the phrase “in the recent conflict” deleted. (Comment by Foreign Minister of Israel and Telegram 3164, UK Mission in New York to Foreign Office, 12 Nov 1967. FO961/24, quoted by McHugo “Resolution 242: A Legal Reappraisal...,” pp. 874-85).

    • Winnaca
      Re: THE 1947 PARTITION PLAN, UNGA Res. 181
      Palestinians and their fellow Arabs did not agree to the Partition Plan because although Jews (90% of whom were of foreign origin), made up just 31% of the population (only 30% had taken out citizenship, thousands were illegal immigrants) and owned less that 6% of the land, the Partition Plan (recommendatory only, no legal status, contrary to the terms of the British Class A Mandate, never adopted by the UNSC) outrageously recommended they be given 56% of Palestine (including its most fertile areas) in which Palestinians made up 45% of the population. (10% of Palestine's total Jewish population consisted of native anti-Zionist Palestinian/Arab Jews).

      Although native Palestinian citizens made up at least 69% of the population and owned over 94% of the land, the Partition Plan recommended they receive a mere 42% as a state. The 2% of Palestine comprised of Jerusalem, East and West, and Bethlehem was to be a corpus separatum under international control. No wonder the utterly unjust and illegal Partition Plan was rejected by Palestinians. Indeed, it proved so unworkable that when Polish born David Ben-Gurion (nee, David Gruen) et al. declared the "Jewish State" of Israel effective 15 May 1948 (after Jewish forces had already expelled and dispossessed 400,000 Palestinians as per the Jewish Agency's Plan Dalet), the UNGA was in the process of shelving the Partition Plan in favor of a UN Trusteeship for Palestine. When war erupted due to the necessity of intervention by outnumbered and outgunned Arab state armies in order to stem the accelerating expulsion of Palestinians (e.g., 60,000 driven out of Haifa in late April; 70,000 out of Jaffa in late April and early May; 60,000 from West Jerusalem in March and early May) a US proposed cease-fire was accepted by the Arab League but rejected by Israel.

      During the ensuing war Israel seized 78% of Palestine, expelled a further 400,000 Palestinians and bulldozed nearly 500 of their towns and villages, including churches, mosques and cemeteries.

    • Prophetic comments by two eminent Jews:

      Lessing J. Rosenwald, president of the American Council for Judaism, 1944: “The concept of a racial state – the Hitlerian concept- is repugnant to the civilized world, as witness the fearful global war in which we are involved. . . , I urge that we do nothing to set us back on the road to the past. To project at this time the creation of a Jewish state or commonwealth is to launch a singular innovation in world affairs which might well have incalculable consequences.”

      Albert Einstein, 1939: “There could be no greater calamity than a permanent discord between us and the Arab people. Despite the great wrong that has been done us, we must strive for a just and lasting compromise with the Arab people…. Let us recall that in former times no people lived in greater friendship with us than the ancestors of these Arabs.”

  • NY ads depicting Palestinian dispossession are termed anti-Semitic by 'Jewish community'
    • Jonah:

      The Levy Committee's rulings have rightfully been dismissed around the world, including the US State Dept.

      Reality:
      UNSC Res. 446: "...the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity..."

      UNSC Res. 465: "...all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and...Israel's policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention..."

      The U.S. State Department: "Israel occupied the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights after the 1967 War.... The international community does not recognize Israel's sovereignty over any part of the occupied territories."

      In 2004, the International Court of Justice, the only legal body with the authority to decide, unanimously ruled that “no territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.” The Court denoted this principle a “corollary” of the U.N. Charter and as such “customary international law” and a “customary rule” binding on all member States of the United Nations.

      British Foreign Secretary William Hague regarding Jewish settlements in the West Bank (5 April 2011): "This is not disputed territory. It is occupied Palestinian territory and ongoing settlement expansion is illegal under international law..."

      Contrary to what the Levy Committee and apparently, you would have us believe, there is no special provision in hard-won international law (e.g., the UN Charter, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Fourth Geneva Convention) - which came about in large measure due to the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis, including the systematic slaughter of 6 million Jews - that renders it inapplicable to Israel.

    • Fredblogs
      Utter nonsense. The British mandatory government did not own land in Palestine.
      The 1922 League of Nations British Mandate for Palestine was a Class A Mandate,
      i. e, Palestine was to be administered by Britain AS A WHOLE until its citizens were able to assume democratic self-rule. By incorporating the Balfour Declaration, the mandate did facilitate Jewish immigration to "secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home," but it did not call for the creation of a sovereign Jewish state or homeland in Palestine or any form of partition. This was made very clear in the Churchill Memorandum (1 July 1922) regarding the British Mandate: "[T]he status of all citizens of Palestine in the eyes of the law shall be Palestinian, and it has never been intended that they, or any section of them, should possess any other juridical status."

      Furthermore, regarding the British Mandate, as approved by the Council of the League of nations, the British government declared: "His Majesty’s Government therefore now declare unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State." (Command Paper, 1922)

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