Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 899 (since 2012-07-11 03:25:13)

Lived in the ME for six years.

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  • Hanan Al Hroub's 'Global Teacher award' is a victory for all Palestinian educators over Israeli occupation and PA corruption
    • Whether living in their homeland, resisting a brutal military occupation and caring for their families or advocating for their people while abroad, I never cease to be amazed by the courage and accomplishments of Palestinian women.
      BRAVA Hanan Al Hroub!!

    • Michaela

      "...international law granted large portions of Palestine to Israel."

      I presume you are referring to the UNGA Partition Plan, Res. 181, Nov. 29/47, which was in fact contrary to "international law," i.e., recommendatory only, in violation of the League of Nations British Class A Mandate and the Atlantic Charter, never adopted by the UNSC and of course, by recommending that the proposed Jewish state consist of 56% of Palestine even though despite massive immigration, Jews made up only about 31% of the population and owned only about 6.5% of the land, was grossly unfair to the indigenous Palestinian Arab inhabitants.

      For your edification:
      Land ownership in all of mandated Palestine on Nov. 29, 1947:
      By Sub district - 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. (Village Statitistics, Jerusalem: Palestine Government, 1945; subsequently published as United Nations Map no. 94b, August, 1950)

      48% of the total land area of mandated Palestine was privately owned ('mulk khaas') by Palestinian Arabs. Total Jewish privately owned land was between 6% and 7%. About 45% of the total land area was state owned (i.e., by its citizens)* and it was comprised of Communal Property ('mashaa'), Endowment Property, ('waqf'), and Government Property, ('miri'.) The British Mandate kept an extensive land registry and the UN used the registry during its early deliberations. It has in its archives 453,000 records of individual Palestinian owners defined by name, location & area.

      *Only 30% of Jewish immigrants had taken our citizenship and tens of thousands were illegal immigrants.

      Although the Philippines initially opposed Res. 181 and Liberia and Haiti wanted to abstain, the United States and the Zionists pressured these countries to vote in favour, thereby gaining the necessary two-thirds approval. "Under threat of a Jewish boycott of Firestone rubber and tire products, Harvey Firestone told Liberia that he would recommend suspension of plans for the expansion of development there if Liberia voted against partition." (Michael Cohen, Palestine and the Great Powers, 1945-1948, 1982)

      These bullying tactics were aptly described by James Forrestal, then U.S. Secretary of Defence: "The methods that had been used...to bring coercion and duress on other nations in the General Assembly bordered closely onto scandal." (Millis, Walter, ed., The Forrestal Diaries, New York: the Viking Press, 1951)

  • In bid for Florida, Rubio says Trump is 'anti-Israeli' and a peace deal must wait 30 years
    • http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/u-s-election-2016/1.708340

      Trump Confirmed to Speak at AIPAC Conference

      Republican front runner to join Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden in addressing major Jewish lobby group.

      Haaretz. Mar 11, 2016 10:36 PM

      Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference which is to take place in Washington between March 20-22.

      Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will also speak at the event, as will Vice President Joe Biden, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will deliver comments via satellite.

      Trump has faced sharped criticism from his Republican opponents over his Israel policy and statements that he would remain "neutral" in an attempt to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

      The AIPAC conference itself has also been at the center of controversy over the past week, as Netanyahu planned to speak in person at the event as well as visit the White House, but instead cancelled his trip.

  • Waters: It is dangerous for US and Canada to criminalize a nonviolent form of protest against a foreign regime, BDS
  • BDS Victory: Security company G4S announces plans to exit Israeli market
    • Related:

      Patrick Martin, Canada’s Globe and Mail correspondent in Israel:

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/parliament-votes-to-reject-campaign-to-boycott-israel/article28863810/

      Globe and Mail, Feb. 23/16

      EXCERPTS:

      “Israel is increasingly concerned with the successes of the boycott and divestment efforts. In 2014, foreign direct investment in Israel dropped 46 per cent from the previous year, in part, a United Nations report said, because of BDS efforts.

      “These initiatives are taking hold at North American universities, churches and trade unions, where many institutions are dropping investments in Israel or Israel-connected companies. In Europe where hundreds of academics and entertainers are personally boycotting Israel, major companies such as telecom Orange and water company Veolia are pulling out of Israeli ventures, and some EU governments are putting warning labels on products produced in Israeli West Bank settlements.”

      “Yes, the BDS campaign singles out Israel, quite naturally. It was started by a group of Palestinians, including Mr. Barghouti, to elicit help in dealing with Palestinians’ biggest problems. It was not intended to solve all the problems of the world. Just as the worldwide campaign against apartheid in South Africa did not address the ills of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia, or the dictatorship in Somalia, this BDS movement is uniquely tailored to safeguarding Palestinian rights.”

  • The occupation is over, isn't it?
    • No matter how you slice and dice it, Zionism is racism, Zionism is theft.

      As for the entity know as "Israel," within 10 years it will be in a state of severe decline, because of what it is, i.e., a major strategic liability for the West and a millstone around America's neck. It is a useless "ally" that only makes enemies for the West and the US. Palestine has known many conquerors and occupiers over the millennia. The Zionist project will be one of the very shortest.

      Time, international law, morality, and most importantly, demographics, are with the Palestinians and their fellow dispossessed, occupied, oppressed and brutalized Arabs. There are currently 1.75 billion Muslims worldwide. In 10-20 years there will be 3 billion. There will also be about 600 million Arabs, including around 10 million Palestinians between the River and the Sea, about 150 million Iranians and 150 million Turks. (Meanwhile, Jewish emigration from Israel is increasing with more and more Jews planning to leave and immigration is in free fall.) Where do the Western world and America's geopolitical and economic interests lie? Certainly not with Israel, an historical anachronism. The handwriting is on the wall. Read it!!! One state with an Arab majority is inevitable. Have your kids learn Arabic.

    • Regarding demographics:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alon-benmeir/a-plea-for-reason-an-open_b_9299400.html

      "Dear Netanyahu: Radical Zionists Like You Cannot Survive"
      Huffington Post, Feb. 24/16,
      by Alon Ben-Meir, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Affairs, NYU

      "A Plea For Reason: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu"

      EXCERPT:

      "Demographically, the country is facing a grave danger. The number of Israelis emigrating from Israel is roughly equal to the number of those who immigrate to Israel. Nearly one million Israelis, representing 13 percent of the population, emigrated from Israel in the past 20 years. Several polls consistently show that given the opportunity, 30 percent of Israelis would consider leaving the country, mainly for economic reasons and the lack of a prospect of ending the debilitating conflict with the Palestinians.

      "In particular, the immigration of young American and European Jews to Israel is consistently trending downward. Many of them have lost the sense of pioneering spirit and excitement that gripped their earlier counterparts who wanted to be a part of a historic enterprise unmatched by any in contemporary human experience."

  • In Canada, BDS loses in the House of Commons but wins on university campuses (Updated)
    • Juan R.

      You state: "The occupied territory of the West Bank' is not occupied."

      If, as the old adage goes, "ignorance is bliss," you must be a very happy man.

      To wit:

      (A) 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)

      (B) 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;.."

      (C) 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..."

      (D) Israel's 1980 annexation of East Jerusalem was unanimously rejected by the UNSC in Resolutions 476 and 478, i.e., in accordance with the UN Charter and the preamble of UNSC Resolution 242, which governs all that follows and emphasizes “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war….”

      (E) On 17 December 1981, the UNSC unanimously passed Resolution 497, which declared Israel’s 14 December 1981 annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights “null and void,” i.e., in accordance with the UN Charter and the preamble of UNSC Resolution 242, which governs all that follows and emphasizes “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war….”

      (F) 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.

      (G) 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."

      (H) 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.

      (I) US Secretary of State, John Kerry: "The US views all of the settlements as illegitimate." (13 August 2013, Reuters Video)
      (http://uk.reuters.com/video/2013/08/13/kerry-the-us-views-all-of-the-settlement?videoId=247087988&videoChannel=1)

      (J) 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..."

    • Worth noting:

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/parliament-votes-to-reject-campaign-to-boycott-israel/article28863810/

      Canada's Globe and Mail, Feb. 23/16

      "Parliament votes to reject Israel boycott campaign"
      By Patrick Martin

      EXCERPTS:

      "Israel is increasingly concerned with the successes of the boycott and divestment efforts. In 2014, foreign direct investment in Israel dropped 46 per cent from the previous year, in part, a United Nations report said, because of BDS efforts.

      "These initiatives are taking hold at North American universities, churches and trade unions, where many institutions are dropping investments in Israel or Israel-connected companies. In Europe where hundreds of academics and entertainers are personally boycotting Israel, major companies such as telecom Orange and water company Veolia are pulling out of Israeli ventures, and some EU governments are putting warning labels on products produced in Israeli West Bank settlements."

      "Specifically, the non-violent punitive measures are to be maintained until Israel ends 'its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and [dismantles] the Wall' (a reference to the security barrier erected to cut off Palestinian communities from Israel); recognizes 'the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality,' and protects 'the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.'

      "These goals are not dissimilar from Canada’s official positions on Israeli occupation, settlements and human rights, and are not, on the face of it, what most people would consider anti-Semitic.

      "Israel’s reaction has been to launch a worldwide campaign by its overseas missions and supporters to discredit the BDS movement."

      "The important thing to note about the reference to UN Resolution 194 is that this resolution calls for “negotiations” with Israel over the terms by which the Palestinian rights to return would be implemented. The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative also refers to Resolution 194, even as it offers full recognition of Israel."

      "This was another popular refrain in Parliament – that the BDS movement’s singling out Israel from among all nations is proof of its anti-Semitic nature.

      "Yes, the BDS campaign singles out Israel, quite naturally. It was started by a group of Palestinians, including Mr. Barghouti, to elicit help in dealing with Palestinians’ biggest problems. It was not intended to solve all the problems of the world. Just as the worldwide campaign against apartheid in South Africa did not address the ills of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia, or the dictatorship in Somalia, this BDS movement is uniquely tailored to safeguarding Palestinian rights.

      "The fact that this anti-BDS parliamentary motion passed is ridiculous, says Diana Buttu, a Canadian-born Arab Israeli and former adviser to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.

      "'Canada follows international law and correctly labels Israel’s colonization of the West Bank as illegal,' she notes. 'BDS aims to hold Israel accountable for its illegal acts,' she points out, 'yet the government passes a resolution condemning those who aim to uphold international law and Canadian foreign policy?'

      “'It’s nuts,'” Ms. Buttu said."

    • Juan R.

      Utter nonsense. I can't believe you are trotting out this long since debunked canard.

      To be brief:
      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."

      Regarding the 1922 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)

      Furthermore, In May 1939, the British government issued the MacDonald White Paper, which in accordance with its Mandate, declared Great Britain "could not have intended Palestine should be converted into a Jewish state against the will of the Arab population of the country." The White Paper called for a Palestinian state in which Jews and Arabs would govern jointly based on a constitution to be drafted by their representatives and those of Britain. The constitution would safeguard the "Jewish National Home" in Palestine and if good relations developed between Jews and Arabs, the country would be granted independence in ten years. (Land sales to Jews were to be restricted and the annual level of Jewish immigration was to be limited to 15,000 for five years, following which, Palestinian Arab acquiescence would be required.)

      Hence, consistent with the terms of its Class A Mandate, Britain abstained on the UNGA vote regarding the recommendatory only Oct. 29/47 Partition Plan (UNGA Res. 181)

  • All eyes are on Sheldon Adelson, and even Trump courts him with Israel rant
    • Meanwhile:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alon-benmeir/a-plea-for-reason-an-open_b_9299400.html

      "Dear Netanyahu: Radical Zionists Like You Cannot Survive"

      Huffington Post, Feb. 24/16, by Alon Ben-Meir, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Affairs, NYU

      "A Plea For Reason: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu"

      EXCERPT:

      "Demographically, the country is facing a grave danger. The number of Israelis emigrating from Israel is roughly equal to the number of those who immigrate to Israel. Nearly one million Israelis, representing 13 percent of the population, emigrated from Israel in the past 20 years. Several polls consistently show that given the opportunity, 30 percent of Israelis would consider leaving the country, mainly for economic reasons and the lack of a prospect of ending the debilitating conflict with the Palestinians.

      "In particular, the immigration of young American and European Jews to Israel is consistently trending downward. Many of them have lost the sense of pioneering spirit and excitement that gripped their earlier counterparts who wanted to be a part of a historic enterprise unmatched by any in contemporary human experience."

  • Jews aren't special
    • For the record:

      To quote Polish born David Ben-Gurion (nee, David Gruen): "'race' does not unite Jewry since the ancient people dissipated after so much dispersion." (Philippe de Saint Robert, Le Jeu de la France en Mediteranee , 1970, p.182)

  • Israel detains Washington Post bureau chief in Jerusalem accusing him of ‘incitement’ --updated
    • More evidence that Israel is descending ever faster into the hell hole of fascism.
      Given Zionism's objectives and Israel's history, it could only be thus.
      It will only get worse, much worse.

  • The list of foreign policy experts Bernie Sanders should be consulting
    • Walid Khalidi, Professor emeritus, Middle East Studies, Harvard,
      a brilliant world renowned scholar and author of many scrupulously researched books on the history of the Israel-Palestinian conflict - I have most of them. An indispensable source for learning the truth, he is one of my heroes.

      Lawrence Davidson, Professor emeritus, West Chester University in West Chester PA. His academic research focuses on the history of American foreign relations with the Middle East. Quite a man, smart as hell and truly dedicated. He regularly writes commentaries on the subject and related matters. Check them out here:
      http://www.tothepointanalyses.com/

  • In yet another effort to revive dream of Jewish sovereignty, 'NYT' cites Thai restaurants in Tel Aviv
    • Bottom line:

      Foreign Jews had the same right to Palestine as Irish Catholics and Mexican atheists, i.e., none whatsoever. Therein lies the crux of the matter and why Israel was and is an historical anachronism - 67 years of trying to pound a square peg into a round hole.

      Zionism is an absurd and blatantly racist 19th century ideology based on the violent dispossession and expulsion of Palestine's indigenous Arab inhabitants. The good news is that Israel is rotting from within and with each passing day, increasingly viewed by more and more people around the world, including righteous Jews, as a brutal/rogue/pariah/fascistic entity. It could only be thus.

  • 'Barbarism by an educated and cultured people' -- Dawayima massacre was worse than Deir Yassin
    • It seems Benny Morris's memory is faulty.

      For the record:

      Benny Morris (an avowed Zionist) describes Plan D as "a strategic-ideological anchor and basis for expulsions by front, district, brigade and battalion commanders... and it gave commanders, post facto, a formal, persuasive covering note to explain their actions .... [It] was understood by all concerned that, militarily, the less Arabs remaining behind and along the front lines, the better and, politically, the less Arabs remaining in the Jewish State, the better." (Benny Morris, Birth Of The Palestinian Problem 1947-1949, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988, p. 289)

      In 2004, when asked by Ha'aretz journalist Ari Shavit what new information his just completed revised version of The Birth of the Palestinian Problem 1947-1949 would provide, Benny Morris replied: "It is based on many documents that were not available to me when I wrote the original book, most of them from the Israel Defense Forces Archives. What the new material shows is that there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought. To my surprise, there were also many cases of rape. In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them and destroy the villages themselves." (Ha'aretz, January 9, 2004)

      The IDF Intelligence Branch issued a 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 Benny Morris stated 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 Eastern Studies, Vol. XXII, no. 1, January 1986)

  • The irreconcilable differences of liberal Zionism
  • 'New York Times' picks up Bernie Sanders's 'socialist' kibbutz but leaves out the ethnic cleansing
    • The kibbutzim were/are also a huge financial disaster.

    • Some relevant facts apropos the first wave of ethnic cleansing of Arab Palestinians by Jewish militia and the IDF (late 1947 to late 1948):

      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 stated 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 Eastern Studies, Vol. XXII, no. 1, January, 1986)

      For the record: In 2004, when asked by Ha'aretz journalist Ari Shavit what new information his just completed revised version of The Birth of the Palestinian Problem 1947-1949 would provide, Benny Morris replied: "It is based on many documents that were not available to me when I wrote the original book, most of them from the Israel Defense Forces Archives. What the new material shows is that there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought. To my surprise, there were also many cases of rape. In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them and destroy the villages themselves." (Ha'aretz, January 9, 2004)

  • Sanders should declare a foreign policy of working with Iran in a 'post-hegemonic' world -- Pampinella
  • Pro-Israel group wants to send army colonel to your campus to explain battle for west's 'way of life'
    • "Israel is not an ally of the West. It is a burden."

      BINGO!!!

      For the US to be joined at the hip with Israel, a useless "ally," a major geopolitical liability & a millstone around its neck, is foolhardy, self-destructive and utterly immoral. As the US Senate 9/11 Committee and the Pentagon declared, Israel is the principle reason enmity and terror are directed against America.

      In his Farewell Address, George Washington 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.” When it comes to Israel, the US will inevitably have no option other than to abide by the wisdom of its founding father. The sooner, the better for all concerned.

      The world is increasingly disgusted with Israel's well documented litany of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against Palestinians & other Arabs & shocked that we allow it to lead America around by the nose.

  • Israeli designer eroticizes the Palestinian keffiyeh
  • Parody New York Times 'supplement' criticizing paper's coverage of Israel/Palestine distributed on streets of NYC
  • Cultural Zionism good, political Zionism bad
    • For the record:

      PALESTINE BEFORE ZIONISM

      Europeans visited the Holy Land regularly and their diaries provide a portrait of Palestine before the arrival of the Zionists. As far back as 1615, the English poet George Sandys found it "a land that flowed with milk and honey; in the midst as it were of the habitable world, and under a temperate clime; adorned with beautiful mountains and luxurious valleys; the rocks producing excellent waters; and no part empty of delight or profit."

      According to Englishwoman Lady Hester Stanhope who was in Palestine in 1810, "The luxuriance of vegetation is not to be described.... Fruits of all sorts from the banana to the blackberry are abundant. The banks of the rivers are clothed naturally with oleander and flowering shrubs.... [The Arab orchards near Jaffa] contained lemon, orange, almond, peach, apple, pomegranate and other trees."

      In 1859, a British missionary described the southern coast of Palestine as "a very ocean of wheat...the fields would do credit to British farming." (James Reilly, "The Peasantry of Late Ottoman Palestine")

      While visiting Palestine in 1883, Englishman Laurence Oliphant described the Plain of Esdraelon at Acre as being "...in a high state of cultivation. It looks today like a huge green lake of waving wheat, with its village-crowned mounds rising from it like islands and it presents one of the most striking pictures of luxurious fertility which it is possible to conceive." (ibid)

      The Palestinian wheat fields Oliphant described had contributed a great deal to keeping France's population from starvation. According to the French economic historian Paul Masson, "wheat shipments from the Palestinian port of Acre had helped to save southern France from famine on numerous occasions in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries." (Quoted by Marwan R. Beheiry, "The Agricultural Exports of Southern Palestine, 1885-1914")

      Research by Middle East scholar Dr. Alexander Scholch reveals that between 1865 and 1882 "Palestine produced a relatively large agricultural surplus which was marketed in neighbouring countries, such as Egypt and Lebanon, and increasingly exported to Europe. These exports included wheat, barley, durra, maize, sesame, olive oil, soap, oranges, vegetables and cotton. Among the European importers of Palestinian produce were France, England, Turkey, Greece, Italy and Malta." (Alexander Scholch, "The Economic Development of Palestine, 1856-1882")

      Most Palestinians made their living directly or indirectly from farming. Those residing in towns, villages and cities mainly engaged in business and the crafts or served as government workers and professionals. Many of the wealthy were landlords and/or members of older families who held positions in the civil service, the judiciary and associated professions.

      The main source of wealth for all Palestinians was the abundance of food produced on the fertile coastal plain that stretched from Gaza in the south to Acre in the north. For centuries, the country's principle export was its enormous crop of world famous citrus and other fruits from the orchards near Jaffa. The legendary Jaffa orange resulted from an innovated grafting technique devised by Palestinian orchardists. Jaffa oranges were of such high quality that in 1856, Henry Gillman, the American consul in Jerusalem, suggested that Florida citrus growers would improve their crops by studying and adopting Palestinian grafting techniques. "The volume of the 1880 harvest was 36 million oranges." (British report on Palestinian agriculture, Parliamentary Papers, 1881/xc Beyrout, 19.3 1881)

  • Jewish West Bank settlers are as smug as white South Africans in 1980
  • After 'tepid' welcome at Israeli Embassy, Obama's pro-Israel speech brought down the house
    • JWaters

      Re Debbie Wasserman-Schultz who fears "her children may be subjected to an uprising against Jews in America. So Israel is an essential backup country for her."

      She and her ilk better wake up and smell the coffee. If Jews lose America, they lose Israel.

    • Annie

      Excellent response. I agree with you.

      Call me the eternal optimist, but I think Obama will come down hard on Israel before his presidency ends. The madness cannot continue. The consequences would be horrific.

      I suggest we keep our eyes on the UN. If sanity prevails, the US will not veto a UNSC resolution condemning Israel. Fingers crossed.

  • Cut the Gordian Knot -- a response to Ban Ki-moon's landmark speech
  • Israeli mayors initiate boycott of Sweden over foreign minister's criticism
    • BINGO!!

    • No "possibly illegal" about it. Israel's occupation of Palestinian and other Arab lands it seized during the war it launched on 5 June 1967, is belligerent, utterly brutal and illegal, e.g., in gross violation of the UN Charter and the Fourth Geneva.

  • Kerry and Shapiro bring the one-state news the NYT failed to deliver
    • Israel’s emigration/immigration:

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/bye-the-beloved-country-why-almost-40-percent-of-israelis-are-thinking-of-emigrating.premium-1.484945#

      Haaretz | Dec.15, 2012

      "Bye, the beloved country - why almost 40 percent of Israelis are thinking of emigrating"

      "According to a new survey, more than a third of Israelis would leave the country if they could, citing economic opportunities as the main reason. Who are the wannabe leavers, and what can be done to induce them to stay?"

      http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20071224/wl_mideast_afp/israelimmigration;_ylt=AlaFpS34FCiOTTYACR3b_e4UewgF
      EXCERPT: "Zeev Bielsky, the head of the Jewish Agency in charge of bringing in immigrants to the Jewish state, expressed concern over the falling numbers. Diaspora Jews today 'have fewer reasons to leave their countries of origin' as Israel has become 'less attractive as a land of immigration,' he told army radio."

      JERUSALEM (AFP) - "Jewish immigration to Israel continued to slide in 2007 with the number of newcomers at just 19,700, the lowest level in 20 years, according to figures published on Monday. "

      "Immigration was down six percent from 2006, the immigrant absorption ministry said.

      "The number of immigrants from former Soviet countries, which made up 30 percent of all newcomers, dropped 15 percent from 2006.

      "Zeev Bielsky, the head of the Jewish Agency in charge of bringing in immigrants to the Jewish state, expressed concern over the falling numbers.

      "Diaspora Jews today 'have fewer reasons to leave their countries of origin' as Israel has become 'less attractive as a land of immigration,' he told army radio.

      "Numbers from former Soviet countries have declined because the economic situation in Russia has improved and Jewish communities there are flourishing, he added.

      "Immigration from France has also fallen following the election as president of Nicolas Sarkozy, whose 'popularity in the Jewish community gives it a better sense of security.' One of Sarkozy's grandparents was Jewish.

      "Israel's Law of Return allows anyone who is Jewish or has a Jewish spouse, a Jewish parent or a Jewish grandparent, to obtain Israeli citizenship."

      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3388445,00.html
      "Shoah survivors forced back to Germany due to Israel's lack of restitution laws"

      "Documentary shows Israel worst place for Holocaust survivors to live throughout Western world. Hundreds protest outside Knesset, demand government help survivors with financial difficulties." By Ines Ehrlich Published: 04.16.07, 11:32 / Israel News

      http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/week-s-end/why-are-israelis-moving-to-germany-1.384831
      Haaretz - 16.09.11

      "Why are Israelis moving to Germany?"

      "Thousands of Israelis, among them many artists, have chosen to live in Berlin because of its relaxed atmosphere and relatively low cost of living, even if it means living in a country with a fraught history."

  • 'NYT's next Jerusalem chief routinely offers Israel as a model for American conduct
    • lysias

      Some American Jews publicly criticized the Zionists for using their influence to prevent the admission of Jewish refugees into the United States following WWII. Among them was Arthur Sulzberger, publisher of the New York Times who called for a reversal of Zionist policy that put statehood first, refugees last: "Admitting that the Jews of Europe have suffered beyond expression, why in God's name should the fate of all these unhappy people be subordinated to the single cry of Statehood? I cannot rid myself of the feeling that the unfortunate Jews of Europe's D.P. [Displaced Persons] camps are helpless hostages for whom statehood has been made the only ransom." (New York Times, October 27, 1946)

  • Israeli forces kill 10 Palestinians, wound 21, in the past week
    • Mayhem

      A reminder:

      http://www.countthekids.org/
      Counting the kids from 2000 until today.

      As of Oct. 24/15, for every Jewish Israeli child killed by Palestinians, 15.8 Palestinian children had been killed by Jewish Israelis since the year 2000.

  • African asylum seekers fear for safety with racism on the rise in Israeli society
  • Sick of Zionism’s stranglehold on Jewish culture? There is an alternative.
    • Hi gamal

      Thanks for the added information. All in all, an incredible era. Too bad it is not taught in high school history in the West. But we know why. I also remember reading that when the Christian monks from northern Europe visited Al-Andalus, they thought they had gone to heaven. If they ever invent a time machine, Al-Andalus would be number one on my list of places to visit.

    • Some history:

      Perhaps the most outstanding example of the harmony that existed in the past 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.

      "In principle, all Islamic polities were (and are) required by Quaranic injunction not to harm the dhimmi [religious minorities in a Muslim state], to tolerate the Christians and Jews living in their midst. But beyond that fundamental prescribed posture, al-Andalus was, from these beginnings, the site of memorable and distinctive interfaith relations. 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. Fruitful intermarriage among the various cultures and the quality of cultural relations with the dhimmi were vital aspects of Andalusian identity as it was cultivated over these first centuries." (Maria Rosa Menocal, Ornament of the World; Little, Brown and Company, 2002, pp. 11 and 30)

  • New Jersey teenager threatened with legal action by high school over pro-Palestine activism (Update)
    • Marnie

      The enemy camp is scared to death. Israel is rotting from the inside and along with their political puppets, loony Christian, Jewish and Leon Uris indoctrinated non-Jewish Zionists are dying off. Meanwhile, at an ever increasing rate, youth everywhere, including righteous Jews, are identifying with and supporting the Palestinians.

    • Me too.

      Zionists take heed!! Knowledgeable, courageous and moral, Ms. Koval represents the future. of the pro-Palestinian/Arab struggle. You will be defeated.

  • Nate Silver should stop calling Israel a democracy
    • 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)

      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)

      "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 [my emphasis] 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." (Times of Israel, February 21, 2013)

      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)

      "...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 Independent, Dec. 27/2011)

      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."

  • Suddenly, comparing Jewish state to ISIS is OK
  • Israeli ambassador flings Nazi label at Israeli leaders, after latest authoritarian step
    • 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.”

      To quote Yehouda Shenhav, of Iraqi Jewish heritage and professor of sociology and anthropology at Tel Aviv University: “Any reasonable person, Zionist or non-Zionist, must acknowledge that the analogy drawn between Palestinians and Mizrahi [Arab] Jews is unfounded. Palestinian refugees did not want to leave Palestine….Those who left did not do so of their own volition. In contrast, Jews from Arab lands came to this country under the initiative of the State of Israel and Jewish organizations.” (Haaretz, 8 October 2004.)

      Renowned Jewish Israeli historian, Avi Shlaim, born in Baghdad, concurs: “We are not refugees, nobody expelled us from Iraq, nobody told us that we were unwanted. But we are the victims of the Israeli-Arab conflict.” (Ha’aretz, 11 August 2005)

      The late Yisrael Yeshayahu, speaker of the Knesset: “We are not refugees…. We had messianic aspirations.”

      Shlomo Hillel, former minister and speaker of the Knesset: “I don’t regard the departure of Jews from Arab lands as that of refugees. They came here because they wanted to, as Zionists.”

      Ran Cohen, member of the Knesset: “I am not a refugee….I came at the behest of Zionism, due to the pull that this land exerts, and due to the idea of redemption. Nobody is going to define me as a refugee.” (Ha’aretz, 8/10/04)

      It must also be noted that whereas the expulsion of well over one million Palestinian Arabs from their homeland between late 1947 and 1967, was carried out by Jewish forces/militias and the IDF. Palestinians played no role whatsoever in the departure of Jews from Arab countries.

    • Excellent article by Miko Peled:

      http://ahtribune.com/world/north-africa-south-west-asia/third-intifada/294-what-is-israel-supposed-to-do.html

      “What is Israel supposed to do?” by Miko Peled

      American Herald Tribute, December 28/15

  • Seething with anger and fear
    • "The descent of Israel into a state of the nation gripped by self propelling and self propagating psychosis is fast and its relentless on its path. And there is nothing to stop it."

      How could it have been otherwise?

      The racist, fascistic entity known as "Israel" was brought into being through overwhelming armed might, several massacres, intimidation, mass rape (see Benny Morris) and the carefully planned ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian Arabs by alien thieves, thugs, mass murderers, liars, and poseurs in collusion with their political friends abroad. It is an historical anachronism and will prove to be a blip. The good news is that people around the world, including Americans and righteous Jews everywhere, are quickly wising up to Zionism's Frankenstein and the monstrous crimes it has committed and continues to commit.

      There are currently 1.75 billion Muslims worldwide and in 25 years there will be three billion. There will be about 600 million Arabs, including around ten million Palestinians between the River and the Sea, as well as about 150 million Turks and the same number of Iranians. Where do America's long term geopolitical and economic interests lie? Certainly not with the entity known as "Israel," an increasingly heavy millstone around America's neck and a useless "ally."

  • Merry Christmas and get out of Israel, you blood-drinking Christian vampires
  • Adam Sandler says he's devoted to Israel because of his parents
    • "Today, Israel is becoming a wedge issue in U.S. politics. The liberal base hates Israel."

      Well and truly stated. And increasingly so within America's youth and elsewhere around the world. The truth is now easily accessible and thinking Zionists are scared to death. Hence, their panic re BDS. Israel's "special relationship" with the US is deteriorating. It could only be thus.

  • Palestinians took over in the afternoon, at the Haaretz NIF conference
    • http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.692161?utm_content=Jerusalem+approves+plan+to+build+891+housing+units+in+contentious+neighborhood&utm_medium=Daily&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

      Jerusalem Approves Plan to Build 891 Housing Units in Contentious Neighborhood

      Plan to build homes in Gilo was pulled three weeks due to fears over sharp American reaction during Netanyahu's U.S. visit.

      Nir Hasson. Dec 16, 2015 2:36 PM , Haaretz.

      "The Jerusalem building and planning board on Wednesday approved a plan to construct 891 housing units in Gilo, a neighborhood located outside Israel’s June 1967 borders.

      "Three weeks ago, the plan was pulled at the last minute, fearing a sharp American reaction during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to the United States. The plan for the southern slope of Gilo, in East Jerusalem, was given initial approval in late 2012. The plan involves private land.

      "Ir Amim, an organization advocating Jewish-Arab equality in the capital, condemned the step.

      “ 'The behavior of Netanyahu and his government concerning approval of the plan on the slopes of Gilo is another example of the cat and mouse games the Israeli government plays with the Americans regarding building in East Jerusalem,' the group said. 'Continued unilateral steps, such as this, will only deepen the crisis that Israel is descending toward in lieu of a diplomatic agreement and will destroy any chance of reaching a real and just solution in Jerusalem.' ”

    • eljay

      "Israel is the ultimate golden calf."
      Precisely!! I reached the same conclusion decades ago.
      What amazes me is that so many Jews are still unable to see the utter folly of Zionism.

    • Well and truly stated!!

    • hophmi

      Some perspective:

      http://www.countthekids.org/
      Counting the kids from 2000 until today.
      For every Jewish Israeli child killed by Palestinians, 15.8 Palestinian children have been killed by Jewish Israelis since the year 2000.

  • Obama's ISIS czar says we can't defeat extremism without resolving Palestinian issue
  • Israel should give back the Golan
    • Palikari

      For the record:

      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.”

      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.

      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."

      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.

      US Secretary of State, John Kerry: "The US views all of the settlements as illegitimate."
      (13 August 2013, Reuters Video)

    • Bobdon:

      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.”

      To quote Yehouda Shenhav, of Iraqi Jewish heritage and professor of sociology and anthropology at Tel Aviv University: “Any reasonable person, Zionist or non-Zionist, must acknowledge that the analogy drawn between Palestinians and Mizrahi [Arab] Jews is unfounded. Palestinian refugees did not want to leave Palestine....Those who left did not do so of their own volition. In contrast, Jews from Arab lands came to this country under the initiative of the State of Israel and Jewish organizations.” (Haaretz, 8 October 2004.)

      Renowned Jewish Israeli historian Avi Shlaim, born in Baghdad, concurs: "We are not refugees, nobody expelled us from Iraq, nobody told us that we were unwanted. But we are the victims of the Israeli-Arab conflict." (Ha'aretz, 11 August 2005)

      The late Yisrael Yeshayahu, speaker of the Knesset: "We are not refugees.... We had messianic aspirations."

      Shlomo Hillel, former minister and speaker of the Knesset: "I don't regard the departure of Jews from Arab lands as that of refugees. They came here because they wanted to, as Zionists."

      Ran Cohen, member of the Knesset: "I am not a refugee....I came at the behest of Zionism, due to the pull that this land exerts, and due to the idea of redemption. Nobody is going to define me as a refugee." (Ha'aretz, 8/10/04)

      It must also be noted that whereas the expulsion of well over one million Palestinian Arabs from their homeland between late 1947 and 1967, was carried out by Jewish forces (e.g., the Irgun, Sternists, Haganah) and the IDF. Palestinians played no role whatsoever in the departure of Jews from Arab countries.

  • It is becoming ordinary for writers to speak about Palestine
    • MaxNarr

      Israel is neither a "state" nor a country, i.e., it has yet to formally declare its borders and have them accepted as such by the international community.

  • Debunking the 3 D's of Israeli hasbara – distortions, diversions and defamations
    • "[....] this proposition is preposterous..."

      Precisely!!! Right on!!! No more need be said. Zionism is patently racist and utterly fraudulent.

    • Hanna Kawas

      Well said!!

      Bottom line: Foreign Jews had the same right to historic Palestine as Irish Catholics or Mexican atheists, i.e., none whatsoever. Therein lies the root of the conflict.

  • Even as Clinton opposes sanctions over Israeli settlements, new poll shows her Democratic base is for them
    • The decline of America continues: Rather than cause Bibi trouble at home, Trump has rescheduled his trip to Israel until after he "becomes president."

  • Elliott Abrams wants John Kerry to STFU about Palestine
    • For the record:

      Abrams: "Ten years ago, in the Camp David talks, Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat approximately 94 percent of the West Bank...."

      In fact, working in tandem, Barak and Clinton tried to shove a very bad deal down Arafat's throat during the 2000 Camp David Summit. 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.)

      Abrams: "According to news reports, just three months ago, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered 93 percent..." More nonsense.

      The "offer" made in 2008 by Ehud Olmert was never seen as serious, since he was under indictment with only a few weeks left in office, had a 6% favorable rating, and, therefore, couldn't have closed the deal, even if the Palestinians had accepted it.

      “Netanyahu's speech of lies”
      By Akiva Eldar, Haaretz, Sept. 26, 2011

      “Netanyahu certainly read Olmert's op-ed in The New York Times last week, asserting that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas never rejected his offer: ‘The parameters of a peace deal are well known and they have already been put on the table. I put them there in September 2008 when I presented a far-reaching offer to Mr. Abbas, Olmert wrote.

      “Netanyahu, who is so concerned about our security that he is even demanding the creation of military bases in the West Bank, claimed the Palestinians are refusing to talk about security arrangements. Really? Let him try to deny that the Palestinians submitted a detailed security proposal, via U.S. envoy George Mitchell. How many times must Abbas repeat, in speeches and interviews, that he is willing to demilitarize the territories and even to permit an international force like the Multinational Force and Observers in Sinai, or even U.S. troops, to deploy in the Palestinian state. “

    • Interesting:

      http://bigstory.ap.org/article/22d6e5ab832d44b880cac1acb568cc27/kerrys-one-state-comments-cause-consternation-israel
      Associated Press - Dec. 6, 2015

      Kerry's 'one state' comments cause consternation in Israel

      By Dan Perry and Josef Federman

      JERUSALEM (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry set off an uproar in Israel on Sunday after warning that the country, through its continued West Bank occupation, will become a "binational state."

      Kerry's words describe a scenario that would mark a failure of U.S. policy and end to Israel's existence as a country that is both Jewish and democratic. The U.S., the international community and many Israelis have endorsed the "two-state solution" — establishing a Palestinian state and ending Israel's control over millions of Palestinians in territories occupied in the 1967 war.

      Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Sunday that "Israel will not be a binational state" and blamed the Palestinians for the failure of peace efforts. But despite Netanyahu's pledges, Jewish settlement of the West Bank continues apace, while confusion over his true intentions grows by the day.

      Meanwhile, Israel seems unable to stem a wave of stabbings and other attacks by Palestinian individuals, now in its third month, that has killed 19 Israelis and left over 100 Palestinians, most said by Israel to be attackers, dead.

      This situation has sharpened the country's half-century-old debate over the Palestinians. Opposition politicians, intellectuals and retired military commanders are issuing increasingly strident warnings that never-ending violence awaits if Israel continues to occupy millions of angry Palestinians who cannot vote in its national elections.

      "If Israel were the Titanic and the binational apartheid state its iceberg ... then the collision with the iceberg has already occurred," wrote columnist Rogel Alpher in the Haaretz daily. "Without a diplomatic solution, we will continue to slowly sink into an existence of knifings, hatred and fear."

      Here's a look at the potential "one-state" outcome:

      THE ARGUMENT FOR PULLING OUT OF THE WEST BANK

      Ever since Israel seized the West Bank and Gaza from Jordan and Egypt in 1967, the question of the territories' fate has hung in the air.

      Israel's more dovish left wing has favored a pullout from most of the areas, hoping this will bring Israel recognition and peace in the region. But over two decades of failed peace talks have convinced many a deal is not possible.

      The left still favors a pullout, but the rationale has shifted to something more like nationalism: without a pullout, Israel would no longer be a Jewish-majority democracy because half of its population in effect will be Palestinians, most of them without true democratic rights.

      That's because while Israel proper — the area defined by 1949 cease-fire lines that ended the war surrounding Israel's establishment — has roughly 6.3 million Jews and 1.7 million Palestinian citizens of Israel. Adding the West Bank and Gaza, demographers believe, would make the Arab and Jewish populations essentially equal.

      A pullout from the West Bank is complicated by the presence of Jewish settlers, numbering 400,000 and growing. Eventually the situation may become irreversible, with the Palestinians abandoning efforts to set up their own state and instead demanding annexation and voting rights as citizens of a single "binational" state. Israelis who fear this scenario and see a future of internecine conflict, global economic boycotts and increasing isolation want a pullout now, from at least most of the West Bank, even without an agreement with the Palestinians.

      "If the Israelis don't hurry up to implement the two-state solution on the ground, they will lose," said Ahmed Qurei, a long time Palestinian negotiator.

      THE ARGUMENT FOR NOT PULLING OUT OF THE WEST BANK

      For some Jewish Israelis, the West Bank is literally the Promised Land — full of biblical places like Hebron, Jericho, Bethlehem and Shilo that must be kept as a birthright, whatever the consequences.

      But this is a minority opinion, even among proponents of the occupation. The more common argument is rooted in security.

      Without the West Bank, Israel would be about 10 miles (about 15 kilometers) wide at its narrowest point, with the West Bank looming over population centers and surrounding Jerusalem on three sides. Meanwhile, Islamic radicals are on the march across the region. Such Israelis imagine a future in which some version of the Islamic State group seizes control of the West Bank and launches daily attacks at Israel. They conclude that prudence requires holding onto the West Bank; the Palestinians must be satisfied with their autonomy zones set up under interim agreements in the 1990s.

      THE IMPACT OF GAZA

      Israel pulled troops and settlers out of the Gaza Strip in 2005 as part of a simple calculation: With the small but crowded territory neatly removed from the demographic equation, Jews still have a majority of some 60 percent. But the Islamic militants of Hamas seized control of Gaza, periodically firing rockets at Israel and leading the sides to three mini-wars to date. Many Israelis fear the West Bank will face a similar fate if Israeli withdraws. Meanwhile, the Palestinians and much of the world consider Gaza to still be occupied, since Israel blockades it and controls the airspace and sea access in an effort to minimize Hamas' ability to arm itself.

      KEEP THE ARMY, REMOVE THE SETTLERS?

      A paper published two weeks ago by a major Israeli think tank proposed a new unilateral solution in which settlers would be pulled out of most of the West Bank to create a situation more amenable to partition. The army would maintain its current positions until a better alternative emerged. The authors — economist Avner Halevi and Gilead Sher, a former chief negotiator with the Palestinians — said this would require removing about 100,000 settlers, while others living close to Israel's de facto border would remain pending a future negotiation. "The purpose of such a withdrawal would be to implement a temporary border that would create a reality of two nation-states," Sher and Halevi wrote.

  • Video: Undercover Israeli soldiers kill one, arrest one inside Hebron hospital
  • Obama friends Netanyahu with one-sided statement
    • YoniFalic

      The examples you cite were, as you noted, "Empires," not countries. The USSR was also a form of empire - the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

      Citizens of America, a country, are "Americans;" citizens of Canada a country, are "Canadians;" citizens of France, a country, are "French;" citizens of Italy, a country, are "Italians;" citizens of Russia are "Russians," etc. Citizens of Israel, however, are not "Israelis."

      Yes, given that they are descendants of first arrivals and own vast areas of land through treaty rights, the first nations of the US and Canada do have "special national status."
      They are often referred to as "native Americans" and "native Canadians."

      The "issue" is not a "distraction." It further illustrates the racist nature of Zionism.

      I do agree, however, with every thing else you wrote.

    • Israel, i.e., west of the green line, is not a "Jewish state." At least 25% of its citizens is comprised of non-Jews and they are steadily increasing in numbers.

    • In fact, there is no such person as an "Israeli." Israel is the only country in the world that differentiates between citizenship and nationality.

      "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" (Times of Israel, October 4, 2013)

  • Actions planned to protest Netanyahu's visit to Washington
    • Palikari

      I'm sure Bibi will enjoy his stay given the fact that due to pressure from and the bribing of American politicians by the pro-Israel lobby , he will leave with between $4 and $5 billion US taxpayer dollars to maintain Israel's belligerent/illegal/brutal occupation of Palestinian and other Arab lands.

      Nor should we forget the $millions upon millions given to Israel in the form of tax deductible contributions by American individuals and organizations.

      However:

      Haaretz, Nov. 8/15
      http://www.haaretz.com/.premium-1.684744

      "When the White House Starts Talking About One State, Netanyahu Should Worry" by Barak Ravid

      EXCERPTS:
      "Senior U.S. officials believe that the U.S. must formulate a policy for a situation in which the two-state solution dies, and think about how this will mold ties with Israel."

      "For the first time, the White House and the State Department in Washington have begun to state publicly that the reality in the West Bank is becoming that of one state for two peoples.

      "The bombshell was dropped by Obama’s senior adviser on the Middle East, Robert Malley. He stated that a new reality has been created in which not only is there no chance of reaching an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement but that even the possibility of renewing negotiations between the parties seems very slim.

      “'The president is going to want to hear from PM Netanyahu, given that reality, which is a new one, how does he see Israel going forward in preventing the emergence of a one-state solution,'“ he said."

      "Malley, a veteran diplomat who has been accompanying the Israeli-Palesti nian peace process almost since its first day, is just one of a growing group of senior officials in the U.S. administration who believe that the United States must formulate a policy for a situation in which the two-state solution will die and think about how this will mold future relations with Israel...."

  • The idea that people living under violent military occupation must be instructed in nonviolence is problematic
    • ivri

      "[...] there are no settlements there anymore and it only got MORE violent"

      True, there are no longer any Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip. However, the Gaza Strip is still belligerently and illegally occupied by Israel and its inhabitants' resistance is justified.

      To wit:

      Human Rights Watch, 2005: "...Israel will continue to be an Occupying Power [of the Gaza Strip] under international law and bound by the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention because it will retain effective control over the territory and over crucial aspects of civilian life. Israel will not be withdrawing and handing power over to a sovereign authority - indeed, the word 'withdrawal' does not appear in the [2005 disengagement] document at all… The IDF will retain control over Gaza's borders, coastline, and airspace, and will reserve the right to enter Gaza at will. According to the Hague Regulations, 'A territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised'. International jurisprudence has clarified that the mere repositioning of troops is not sufficient to relieve an occupier of its responsibilities if it retains its overall authority and the ability to reassert direct control at will."

      The International Committee of the Red Cross: "The whole of Gaza's civilian population is being punished for acts for which they bear no responsibility. The closure therefore constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel's obligations under international humanitarian law. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, ratified by Israel, bans collective punishment of a civilian population."

      “In practice, Gaza has become a huge, let me be blunt, concentration camp for right now
      1, 800,000 people” - Amira Hass, correspondent for Haaretz, speaking at the Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke University in 2015. Hass an Israeli who has won numerous awards for her reporting, has been covering the region since the early 90s.

  • Bloomberg's int'l editor to host event on 'incredible courage' of Israeli soldiers (including Netanyahu)
  • Antipodean Update
    • Shimon Peres offered to supply apartheid South Africa with nuclear warheads.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/23/israel-south-africa-nuclear-weapons

      EXCERPT: "According to documents obtained by the newspaper, a secret [1975] meeting between then-Israeli defence minister, Shimon Peres, and his South African counterpart, PW Botha, ended with an offer by Jerusalem for the sale of warheads 'in three sizes'. The Guardian claimed on Sunday that those 'sizes' referred to conventional, chemical and nuclear weapons."

      During Israel's 1996 "Grapes of Wrath" invasion of Lebanon under PM Peres, 800 Lebanese civilians sought refuge at a U.N. compound near the village of Qana. With utter disregard for both the U.N. personnel and the civilians it sheltered, the IDF shelled the compound, killing 106 civilians and injuring over 100.

      A U.N. investigation concluded it was unlikely that the shelling was due to errors, as Israel first claimed. Peres then justified the attack by blaming Hezbollah, using the tired and discredited "human shield" excuse. Other investigations were more forthright: An Amnesty International inquiry found that the attack was "intentional and is condemned." Human Rights Watch's report stated, "We have declared this a massacre that was intentional using very highly accurate missiles and explosives."

  • 'Why I am a Zionist'
    • MaxNar

      "Most Americans support Israel, not only Jews."

      Reality:

      A brief sampling.

      http://www­.israeltod­ay.co.il/d­efault.asp­x?tabid=17­8&nid=1039­5
      November 22/06
      "As if Israel’s position in the world in not bad enough, a new survey published in the US Wednesday says that Israel is suffering from the worst public image among all countries of the world.

      "The study, called the National Brands Index, conducted by government advisor Simon Anholt and powered by global market intelligence solutions provider GMI (Global Market Insite, Inc.), shows that Israel is at the bottom of the list by a considerable margin in the public’s perception of its image."

      "And there was one more unpleasant surprise: Whoever thought that the United States is Israel’s best friend and Israel is loved in the US, the index indicated that Americans ranked Israel just slightly above China in terms of its conduct in the areas of international peace and security."

      http://www.worldbulletin.net/t...
      World Bulletin November 20, 2014
      News Desk
      Support for Palestine soaring on US campuses
      Students for Justice in Palestine expand their support base in US colleges following Israel's recent offensive in Gaza.

      A student-led movement taking shape on U.S. college campuses have seen a growing number of young activists organizing around solidarity with Palestine.

      http://forward.com/articles/18...
      Jewish Daily Forward October 14, 2013
      Pew Findings on Israel Show Criticism Has Entered Jewish Mainstream

  • Palling Around with Nazis: Netanyahu's political ancestors are also guilty by association
    • For the record:

      After WWII, a memorandum dated January 11, 1941, was discovered in Ankara. Prepared by the German Naval Attaché in Turkey, it revealed that Naftali Lubentschik, a representative of the Stern Gang (one of the Yishuv's terrorist organizations), 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 Stern Gang was 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;" Lenny Brenner, Zionism in the Age of Dictators, Westport, Conn., Lawrence Hill & Co., 1983, p. 267; and Yediot Aharnot, February 4/1983).

      The Nazis considered the Stern Gang's proposal to be sheer lunacy and rejected it out of hand.

      Following Avraham Stern's death at the hands of the British in 1942, three of his lieutenants (one of whom was Yitzhak Shamir) took over leadership of the Gang.

      It is revealing to note that despite Abraham Stern's ignominious record and his flirtation with the Nazis, Ben-Gurion later referred to him as "one of the finest and most outstanding figures of the era."

      Uri Avnery, renowned Jewish Israeli journalist:
      "Adolf Hitler, who took his racism seriously, applied it to all Semites. He could not stand Arabs either. Contrary to legend, he disliked the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who had fled to Germany. After meeting him once for a photo-opportunity arranged by the Nazi propaganda machine, he never agreed to meet him again."
      (http://zope.gush shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1424446157)

  • Despite global disgust, Netanyahu doubles down on claim that Hitler got idea of Final Solution from a Palestinian
    • For the record:

      After WWII, a memorandum dated January 11, 1941, was discovered in Ankara. Prepared by the German Naval Attaché in Turkey, it revealed that Naftali Lubentschik, one of the Yishuv's terrorist Stern Gang'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," Lenny Brenner, Zionism in the Age of Dictators, and Yediot Aharnot, February 4/1983). Fortunately, the Nazis considered the Stern Gang's proposal to be sheer lunacy and rejected it out of hand.

      Following Stern's death at the hands of the British in 1942, three of his lieutenants (one of whom was Yitzhak Shamir) took over leadership of the Stern Gang.

      It is revealing to note that despite Abraham Stern's ignominious record and his flirtation with the Nazis, Ben-Gurion later referred to him as "one of the finest and most outstanding figures of the era."

  • In Israel/Palestine, Jewish attackers are arrested, Palestinian suspects are shot
  • Inflammatory rhetoric and the volcano of occupation
    • Palikari

      Sigh. A classic example of blaming the victims.

      As any reasonably informed person knows full well, Palestinians are the occupied, Israel is their occupier; Palestinians are the oppressed, Israel is their oppressor; Palestinians are the dispossessed, Israel is the ethnic cleanser; Palestinians have hard won international humanitarian law on their side, Israel is a thoroughly documented serial violator of international law

      For your edification:
      Bradley Burston, esteemed Jewish Israeli journalist:
      "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." (Haaretz, Feb. 26/13)

      Regarding the Gaza Strip:
      Human Rights Watch, 2005: "...Israel will continue to be an Occupying Power [of the Gaza Strip] under international law and bound by the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention because it will retain effective control over the territory and over crucial aspects of civilian life. Israel will not be withdrawing and handing power over to a sovereign authority - indeed, the word 'withdrawal' does not appear in the [2005 disengagement] document at all [….] The IDF will retain control over Gaza's borders, coastline, and airspace, and will reserve the right to enter Gaza at will. According to the Hague Regulations, 'A territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised'. International jurisprudence has clarified that the mere repositioning of troops is not sufficient to relieve an occupier of its responsibilities if it retains its overall authority and the ability to reassert direct control at will."

      The International Committee of the Red Cross: "The whole of Gaza's civilian population is being punished for acts for which they bear no responsibility. The closure therefore constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel's obligations under international humanitarian law. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, ratified by Israel, bans collective punishment of a civilian population."

      “In practice, Gaza has become a huge, let me be blunt, concentration camp for right now
      1, 800,000 people” - Amira Hass, 2015 correspondent for Haaretz, speaking at the Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke University. Hass, an Israeli who has won numerous awards for her reporting, has been covering the region since the early 90s.

  • Hectored by Zionist wannabe archaeologists, 'NYT' recasts article on Jewish temples
    • Bottom line:

      Foreign Jews had as much right to Palestine as Irish Catholics or Mexican atheists, i.e., none whatsoever.

  • In Bethlehem, community rallies to support protests, each helping however they can
    • BINGO!!

    • diaspOra

      Well and truly stated!!!

    • Mayhem

      You assert that "The Palestinians are in their dismal situation by their own making and unwillingness to accept the existence of Israel and normalize relations with the Jews who live there."

      Utter nonsense!!

      To wit:

      In 1988, the Palestine National Council (PNC) met in Algiers and ratified UN Resolution 181, the 1947 Partition Plan, in its Palestinian Declaration of Independence. The declaration stated "Despite the historical injustice inflicted on the Palestinian Arab people resulting in their dispersion and depriving them of their right to self-determination, following upon U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181 (1947), which partitioned Palestine into two states, one Arab, one Jewish, yet it is this Resolution that still provides those conditions of international legitimacy that ensure the right of the Palestinian Arab people to sovereignty.... The State of Palestine herewith declares that it believes in the settlement of regional and international disputes by peaceful means, in accordance with the U.N. Charter and resolutions."

      Hoping to achieve a peace agreement based on a two state formula, the Palestinian leadership signed the Oslo accords in 1993, thereby agreeing as part of a final settlement, to concur with the terms of UNSC Resolution 242 and recognize Israel as a sovereign state within the area it controlled on 4 June 1967. By so doing, the Palestinians abandoned the 1947 Partition Plan (which had recommended they receive just 42% of their homeland) and agreed to accept a state comprised of a mere 22% of their homeland with East Jerusalem as its capital. Soon thereafter, the Palestinian leadership indicated it was willing to share East Jerusalem as a capital with Israel. Despite all the optimism that accompanied the signing of the Oslo accords, thanks to Israel's intransigence, they achieved nothing of consequence for Palestinians.

      The PLO also agreed to the US supported 2002 Arab League Beirut Summit Peace Initiative which offers Israel full recognition as a sovereign state, exchange of ambassadors, trade, tourism, etc., if Israel complies with international law and its previous commitments. Fully aware of Israel's demographic concerns, the Beirut initiative does not demand the return of all Palestinian refugees. It "calls upon Israel to affirm" that it agrees to help pursue the "achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem..."

      PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat had already declared he favoured a compromise on the Palestinian refugees’ Right of Return in a New York Times op-ed:

      “In addition, we seek a fair and just solution to the plight of Palestinian refugees who for 54 years have not been permitted to return to their homes. We understand Israel’s demographic concerns and understand that the right of return of Palestinian refugees, a right guaranteed under international law and United Nations Resolution 194, must be implemented in a way that takes into account such concerns.” (New York Times, February 3, 2002)

      Regrettably, then Israeli PM Ariel Sharon summarily dismissed the Arab League's peace overture, as did Israel's government when it was again put on the table in 2008.

      For the record, other peace initiatives that Israeli governments have rebuffed include: U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers’ The Rogers Plan (1969); The Scranton Mission on behalf of President Nixon (1970); Egyptian President Sadat's land for peace and mutual recognition proposal (1971); U.S. President Jimmy Carter's call for a Geneva international conference (1977); Saudi Arabian King Fahd's peace offer (1981); U.S. President, Ronald Reagan’s Reagan Plan (1982); U.S. Secretary of State, George Shultz’s Schultz Plan (1988); U.S. Secretary of State, James Baker’s Baker Plan (1989); and the previously noted 1993 Oslo accords signed by Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin that unravelled following the latter's assassination and subsequent return to power of the Likud party from 1996-1999 under Benjamin Netanyahu; continuation of the Taba II negotiations (2001); the unofficial Geneva Peace Initiative of November/December 2003; and the 2014 Kerry Initiative.

      As for the much touted 2000 Camp David Summit, 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.)

      Unfortunately, Israel's response to every peace overture from the Palestinians and Arab states has been an escalation in collective punishments, confiscation of Palestinian land and the illegal construction of Jewish settlements in belligerently/illegally/brutally occupied Palestinian and other Arab lands.

      It is blatantly obvious that Israel has no intention of achieving a peace agreement based on the creation of a sovereign, contiguous Palestinian state. The whole world, including a rapidly increasing number of all important Americans, knows this and is growing increasingly disgusted with and enraged at rogue/pariah Israel. The handwriting is on the wall, but you and your ilk refuse to read it.

  • Netanyahu did everything but use the 'n-word' against Obama to stop the Iran Deal -- Susan Rice
    • Apart from being utterly irrelevant to the subject at hand, your comment is inane.

      Regarding your observation that "The obama worshipper neglects to mention obama bombing a hospital in kunduz," I wasn't aware that Obama was flying the plane or that he ordered it to attack the hospital in Kunduz.

  • In Israel/Palestine we are witnessing the end of a colonial regime
    • MitchC

      You write: "If, just once, the Palestinian leadership came to Israel and said 'We want peace', rather than 'We want our demands met,' things would look a lot different."

      For your edification:
      In 1988, the PLO accepted Israel as a sovereign state within the borders of the 1947 recommendatory only UNGA Partition Plan, Res. 181 (which, for the record, violated the terms of the Class A British Mandate for Palestine and was never adopted by the UNSC.) By signing the 1993 Oslo Accords, the PLO agreed to UNSC Res. 242 and thereby agreed to recognize a sovereign Israel within its boundaries as of 4 June 1967. The PLO also agreed to the US supported 2002 Arab League Beirut Summit Peace Initiative which offers Israel full recognition as a sovereign state, exchange of ambassadors, trade, tourism, etc., if Israel complies with international law and its previous commitments. Fully aware of Israel's demographic concerns, the Beirut initiative does not demand the return of all Palestinian refugees. It "calls upon Israel to affirm" that it agrees to help pursue the "achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem..." Regrettably, then Israeli PM Ariel Sharon summarily dismissed the Arab League's peace overture, as did Israel's govt. in 2008.

      For the record, other peace initiatives that Israeli governments have rebuffed include: U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers’ The Rogers Plan (1969); The Scranton Mission on behalf of President Nixon (1970); Egyptian President Sadat's land for peace and mutual recognition proposal (1971); U.S. President Jimmy Carter's call for a Geneva international conference (1977); Saudi Arabian King Fahd's peace offer (1981); U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s Reagan Plan (1982); U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz’s Schultz Plan (1988); U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s Baker Plan (1989); and the previously noted 1993 Oslo accords signed by Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin that unravelled following the latter's assassination and subsequent return to power of the Likud party from 1996-1999 under Benjamin Netanyahu; continuation of the Taba II negotiations (2001); the unofficial Geneva Peace Initiative of November/December 2003; and the 2014 Kerry Initiative.

      As for the 2000 Camp David Summit, 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.)

      Regrettably, Israel's response to every peace overture from the Palestinians and Arab states, has been an escalation of illegal settlement construction in belligerently/illegally/brutally occupied Palestinian and other Arab lands.

  • Netanyahu's 44 seconds of silence at UN are being widely mocked -- 'pathetic,' 'creepy'
    • For the record:

      PRESS RELEASE

      For Immediate Release

      PLO Executive Committee
      Department of Culture and Information

      October 1, 2015

      Dr. Ashrawi: Netanyahu should have checked his dishonesty and deception at the door

      In response to media inquiries regarding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly, PLO Executive Committee member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi commented:

      “Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should have checked his dishonesty and deception at the door. Netanyahu came to the United Nations to pontificate as a global savior and to instruct the world on where it went wrong and how it should behave. When it came to Palestine, rather than dealing with reality, Netanyahu presented figments of his own imagination.

      In his diatribe against Iran, Netanyahu accused it of being a “dark theocracy,” a dangerous nuclear threat and a source of violence and terrorism; ironically, he is pressing for Israel to be recognized as a Jewish state, and with his extremist government, he is insisting on turning it into an ideological theocratic state. Israel is an unaccountable nuclear power, and as a matter of policy, it continues to use violence and terror against a captive Palestinian population. With its deliberate assaults on Al-Haram Al-Sharif and Palestinian worshipers, Israel is also provoking a religious confrontation and a holy war.

      True to form, Netanyahu blames the victim and disingenuously claims to support unconditional negotiations, while simultaneously conditioning peace on the recognition of the “Jewishness of the state” and the demilitarization of Palestine; abiding by international law and honoring signed agreements are seen as pre-conditions. On the ground, Netanyahu has used the “negotiations process” for further unilateralism and as an opportunity to destroy the prospects for peace; such actions and policies constitute real “incitement” and “provocation” and feed extremism and violence.

      Netanyahu conveniently omitted the military occupation of Palestine and the enslavement of an entire nation, as well as the theft of Palestinian land and resources. When it comes to Israeli violations and culpability, Netanyahu once again engages in an act of grand deception; he is not only deflecting accountability and criticism, but also destroying the imperatives of peace.”

    • Netanyahu's real fear of the deal signed with Iran by the U.S. (along with Britain, France, Germany, Russia and Japan) stems from his realization that it marks the beginning of the beginning of the end of Israel's "special relationship" with America.

      America's shift has been apparent for some time.
      To wit:

      "'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.” (Ha’aretz, 8 May 2009)

      Israeli Minister of Trade, Industry and Labor, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, says the world is tired of Israel and that Israel, rather than the Gaza Strip, is actually blockaded.
      "We're not the ones maintaining a blockade. We're blockaded, utterly isolated. We're in a situation where the world is tired of us."

      "They're tired of hearing our explanations, of showing empathy for our troubles, even if they're real troubles. [The world is] Tired of understanding us. This business just isn't working anymore. After 43 years, nobody wants to hear any more explanations about why this occupation is continuing and how we have nobody to talk to." (Yediot Ahronot, July 1/10)

      “‘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.’ ” (Haaretz, January 13, 2012)

      "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) YNet News.com Sept. 3, 2012

      Israel losing America - YNet
      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) - (YNet, June 9, 2013)

      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_sembarrassment_is_not_the_whole_story)

      "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)

      Jeff Steinberg, editor of Executive Intelligence Review, 2012: “In the past five years, the dam has burst in the long-taboo subject of the strategic benefits and liabilities of the U.S. ‘special relationship’ with Israel.... And I can tell you that behind the curtains in national security circles the debate is even more intense.” (“Geopolitical Dynamics: The Palestinian Future” panel discussion, October 25, 2012)

      http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/campus-today-capitol-hill-tomorrow-israel-is-losing-future-democratic-leaders.premium-1.504371#
      "Campus today, Capitol Hill tomorrow: Israel is losing future Democratic leaders" by Tom Dan
      Haaretz, February 19/13
      EXCERPT:
      "Will, an American Harvard student, looked up as we were eating dinner and said in a trembling voice, as if the 200-year-old ceiling would cave in the second he opened his mouth: 'I cannot see one good reason we should continue supporting you guys over there.'

      "Over the course of my three-and-a -half years at Harvard I have become used to anti-Israel remarks from some of my European (overwhelmingly pro-Palestinian) friends. But this voice of doubt, if not disengagement, about Israel came from an American and a devout Democrat, who has participated in two campaigns for seats in the Senate and the House, and is well on his way to becoming a leading figure on tomorrow’s Capitol Hill. Like Will, more and more Harvard students are criticizing Israel. You might be thinking: The elitist liberals of Harvard are no indicator of what is going on in the United States or the Democratic Party today. And you would be absolutely right. Unfortunately, it just happens to be the perfect litmus test for what is going to happen in the Democratic Party – tomorrow." (Haaretz, February 19/13)

      .

  • Everyone's kicking AIPAC now that it's down
    • hophmi

      You live in a fantasy world. The "special relationship" between Israel and the US is deteriorating and will continue to do so, faster and faster. No surprise, given the fact that Israel is America's number one geopolitical liability, an increasingly heavy millstone around its neck, a useless "ally," and a major cause of justifiable worldwide animosity towards us and not just from Muslims and Arabs.

      As history attests, all great powers eventually act in their own best interests and America will be no exception. Israel is excess baggage. The handwriting is on the wall. Regrettably, Israel and its supporters refuse to read it.

    • To quote one of our greatest comedians: "How sweet it is."

      Hopefully, JStreet, aka, AIPAC LIGHT, will soon be next.

  • Bernie Sanders is 'radical' on economic policy but a pussycat for Israel
    • Bernie Sanders has failed a major test that disqualifies him from leading the US in today's world.

      It is glaringly obvious that Israel is an increasingly heavy millstone around America's neck, a useless "ally" and a constant source of justifiable animosity towards us.

      In order to end the Israel/Palestinian/Arab conflict, the next president must have the courage and moral integrity to do whatever is necessary, including cutting off all US aid, applying economic and trade sanctions, diplomatic isolation, etc., to pressure Israel to fully comply with hard won international humanitarian law, e.g., the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statutes, which are binding on all UN members.

      Bottom line: Israel is belligerently, illegally and brutally occupying the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Syria's Golan Heights and Lebanon's Shebba Farms. Also, under international law (e.g., the Fourth Geneva Convention) Israel is still belligerently and illegally occupying the Gaza Strip. All of these occupations must end and a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem must be achieved. There is no special provision in international law that enables Israel to violate it with impunity.

      The world is growing increasingly angry at and disgusted with Israel. The US must take the lead and do what is right for America, the region, the world and in the long run, for Jews everywhere.

  • 'New Yorker' says anti-Zionism is 'firmly rooted' in British left, and it's anti-Semitic
    • Les: “I read this in a collection of Einstein’s speeches from the 1920’s and 1930’s published by Soncino Press with the profits dedicated to the zionist cause which he asumedly supported at the time.”

      Mooser: "Thanks Les. Yes, everybody wanted Einstein to endorse a cause, and certainly Zionism was one! "

      In 1929, Albert Einstein responded as follows to his friend Chaim Weizmann (then president of the British Zionist Federation) who had written to him about the Jewish Zionist question:

      “Should we be unable to find a way to honest cooperation and honest pacts with the Arabs, then we have learned absolutely nothing during our 2,000 years of suffering and deserve all that will come to us,” he wrote, adding, “Should the Jews not learn to live in peace with the Arabs, the struggle against them will follow them for decades in the future.” (“When Albert Einstein was a Holy Land Ladies’ Man,” Haaretz, February 3, 2015, by Gili Izkovitch)

      In 1939, he prophetically wrote: “There could be no greater calamity than a permanent discord between us and the Arab people....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.” (Einstein and Zionism by Banesh Hoffmann)

      To quote Albert Einstein from his testimony before the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry in January 1946 when he was asked whether refugee settlement in Palestine demanded a Jewish state, he replied: "The State idea is not according to my heart. I cannot understand why it is needed. It is connected with narrow-mindedness and economic obstacles. I believe it is bad. I have always been against it."

      In his Out of My Later Years, Einstein restated his views on partition, which was then a reality: "I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. Apart from the practical consideration, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain - especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state." (Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years, Citadel Press, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1956; p. 263)

      “[Einstein] formulated his fascinating insights after he returned to his home in Berlin, and many years later, when he immigrated to the United States, and when he had to turn down Ben-Gurion’s offer to be the first president of Israel.

      “In a letter to his friend Ezriel Carlebach, he wrote that he would not be able to perform the duties of the office according to his conscience, and that he would have to tell the Israeli people things they ‘would not like to hear.’ ” (“When Albert Einstein was a Holy Land Ladies’ Man,” Haaretz, February 3, 2015, by Gili Izkovitch)

      In his What Price Israel?, Dr. Alfred M. Lilienthal recounts that on April 1, 1952, in a message to the Children of Palestine, Inc., Einstein "spoke of the necessity to curb 'a kind of nationalism' which has arisen in Israel 'if only to permit a friendly and fruitful co-existence with the Arabs.'"

      Lilienthal also relates a personal conversation with Einstein: "Dr. Einstein told me that, strangely enough, he had never been a Zionist and had never favored the creation of the State of Israel. Also, he told me of a significant conversation with [Chaim] Weizmann [then leader of the World Zionist Organization.] Einstein had asked him: 'What about the Arabs if Palestine were given to the Jews?' And Weizmann said: 'What Arabs? They are hardly of any consequence.'" (What Price Israel? p. 131)

  • Why did a Jewish Day School student cry hysterically when she learned about the Deir Yassin massacre?
    • Hophimi

      For your further edification:

      In 2004, when asked by Ha'aretz journalist Ari Shavit what new information his just completed revised version of The Birth of the Palestinian Problem 1947-1949 would provide, Israeli historian Benny Morris (an avowed Zionist) replied: "It is based on many documents that were not available to me when I wrote the original book, most of them from the Israel Defense Forces Archives. What the new material shows is that there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought. To my surprise, there were also many cases of rape. In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them and destroy the villages themselves." (Ha'aretz, January 9, 2004)

    • For the record:

      According to historian Rosemarie M. Esber, by 15 May, Jewish forces had already expelled about 400,000 Palestinians. (Under the Cover of War: The Zionist Expulsion of the Palestinians, Arabicus Books & Media, LLC, 2009)

  • Beinart's fear of 'Israstine'
    • Hophmi

      "Palestinians living within Israel’s 1967 lines are not living in anything like Jim Crow conditions."

      Sigh.

      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 [my emphasis] 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 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)

      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."

      Israel is the only country in the world that differentiates between citizenship and nationality.

      To familiarize yourself with the more than fifty other discriminatory restrictions Palestinian citizens of Israel endure: (http://adalah.org/eng/Israeli-Discriminatory-Law-DatabaseIsrael's)

  • Can Holocaust compensation agreements be a model for Nakba reparations?
    • For the record:

      The financial losses incurred by the 800,000 Palestinians made refugees as a consequence of the 1948 war (al Nakba) and events leading to it, including the expulsion of about 400,000 Palestinians during the previous five plus months following passage of the recommendatory UNGA Partition Plan (Res. 181, 29 November 1947), have been carefully arrived at as follows: In 1994, during a conference on refugees held at Georgetown University, Professor Atif Kubursi of the Economics Department at Ontario's McMaster University announced that through diligent research he had determined the total financial losses to be $199 billion in 1994 U.S. dollars. In 1996, after including an adjustment for inflation since 1948 and a modest 4% rate of return, he revised the figure to $235 billion. ("Compensation for Palestinian Refugees," by Terry Rempel, Journal of Palestinian Studies, Vol. XXIX, Autumn 1999.) On 8 April 2000, at a conference on refugees held at Boston University Law School, Professor Kubursi declared that after amending the total to include loss of income and psychological stress, he determined the losses incurred to be: property losses – $146 billion; lost income – $300 billion; and psychological losses - $281 billion. (ADC [American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee] Times, April/May 2000, p. 5)

  • Schumer defection raises fears about firewall on Jewish support for Iran Deal
    • https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/08/09/upchuck-senator-schumers-disingenuous-iran-deal-argument/

      Foreign Policy - August 9/15

      Chuck Schumer’s Disingenuous Iran Deal Argument - by Jeffrey Lewis

      The good senator from New York may be voting his conscience, but he’s got the facts all wrong.

      What can be said of the role that the U.S. Congress has tried to establish for itself when it comes to foreign policy? At the risk of out-Dicking former Vice President Cheney himself on the subject of executive authority, Congress is a “branch of government” in precisely the same way that college basketball fans are a “sixth man.” We don’t let fans call plays, other than as some kind of preseason stunt. I am not particularly interested in congressional views about the Iran deal.

      Could the debate in Congress be less dignified if the members removed their shirts, painted themselves red or blue, and started screaming like the Cameron Crazies?

      Which brings us to New York Sen. Chuck Schumer.

      Schumer is one of the most powerful members of the Senate, which is not quite the same thing as saying he’s dignified. Back in the 1990s, when he was a congressman, his House colleagues had a phrase for waking up to find he’d upstaged them in the media: to be “Schumed.” Washingtonians have long joked that the most dangerous place in town is between New York’s senior senator and a microphone. The Washington Post’s Emily Heil has suggested we retire that hackneyed cliché, replacing it instead with this bon mot from former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine:

      “Sharing a media market with Chuck Schumer is like sharing a banana with a monkey,” Corzine was quoted as saying in New York magazine. “Take a little bite of it, and he will throw his own feces at you.”

      On Thursday evening, right in the middle of the first GOP debate, Schumer reached back, took aim, and heaved a large one. He penned a long piece for Medium that some anonymous hack described as “thoughtful and deliberate.” Uh, ok. Maybe compared to Mike Huckabee’s outrage about “oven doors,” but good grief our standards for political discourse have fallen.

      Schumer’s missive came across a bit like your crazy uncle who gets his opinions from talk radio and wants to set you straight at Thanksgiving.

      (I’m probably not the only one who thinks so. But then, I don’t have to pretend Schumer is some great statesman lest he put a hold on some future appointment or nomination.)

      Consider how Schumer describes the inspections regime in the Iran deal.

      Schumer starts by repeating the claim that “inspections are not ‘anywhere, anytime’; the 24-day delay before we can inspect is troubling.” This would be very troubling if it were true. It isn’t. The claim that inspections occur with a 24-day delay is the equivalent of Obamacare “death panels.” Remember those? A minor detail has been twisted into a bizarre caricature and repeated over and over until it becomes “true.”

      Let’s get this straight. The agreement calls for continuous monitoring at all of Iran’s declared sites — that means all of the time — including centrifuge workshops, which are not safeguarded anywhere else in the world. Inspectors have immediate access to these sites.

      That leaves the problem of possible undeclared sites. What happens when the International Atomic Energy Agency suspects that prohibited work is occurring at an undeclared site? This is the problem known as the “Ayatollah’s toilet.” It emerged from the challenge of inspecting presidential palaces in Iraq in the 1990s, which — despite the U.N. Special Commission’s demands for immediate access — the Iraqis argued were off-limits.

      Far from giving Iran 24 days, the IAEA will need to give only 24 hours’ notice before showing up at a suspicious site to take samples. Access could even be requested with as little as two hours’ notice, something that will be much more feasible now that Iran has agreed to let inspectors stay in-country for the long term. Iran is obligated to provide the IAEA access to all such sites — including, if it comes down to it, the Ayatollah’s porcelain throne.

      But that’s not all. The Iran deal has a further safeguard for inspections at undeclared sites, the very provision that Schumer and other opponents are twisting. What happens if Iran tries to stall and refuses to provide access, on whatever grounds? There is a strict time limit on stalling. Iran must provide access within two weeks. If Iran refuses, the Joint Commission set up under the deal must decide within seven days whether to force access. Following a majority vote in the Joint Commission — where the United States and its allies constitute a majority bloc — Iran has three days to comply. If it doesn’t, it’s openly violating the deal, which would be grounds for the swift return of the international sanctions regime, known colloquially as the “snap back.”

      This arrangement is much, much stronger than the normal safeguards agreement, which requires prompt access in theory but does not place time limits on dickering.

      What opponents of the deal have done is add up all the time limits and claim that inspections will occur only after a 24-day pause. This is simply not true. Should the U.S. intelligence community catch the Iranians red-handed, it might be that the Iranians would drag things out as long as possible. But in such a case, the game would be over. Either the Iranians would never let the inspectors into the site, or its efforts to truck out documents or equipment, wash down the site, or bulldoze buildings, etc., would be highly visible. These tactics would crater the deal, with predictable consequences. (Schumer also takes a shot at the snap back. Say what you will about the probability of getting all parties to agree to reimpose sanctions, but agreements like this have never had such an enforcement provision before.)

      Even if nefarious Iranian runarounds could be hidden, these efforts, over the course of a few weeks, would not suffice to hide environmental evidence of covert uranium enrichment. Schumer even admits as much. But, he insists, other weapons-related work, like high explosive testing without any nuclear materials, might go undetected.

      This, too, is a specious objection. For comparison, opponents of this deal have spent enormous amounts of time demanding access to Iran’s Parchin facility, where precisely this sort of weaponization work appears to have taken place between 1996 and 2002. That was more than a decade ago. There is a certain tension between the claim that a few weeks is much too long and that access to a site 13 years after the fact is absolutely necessary. A person might get suspicious that these arguments aren’t to be taken at face value.

      The simple truth is, some aspects of weapons work are hard to detect — no matter what. So what’s the alternative? To not prohibit that work? To permit Iran to do things like paper studies on nuclear weapons development because it’s hard to verify the prohibition? Again, that’s crazy. The Iran deal defines weapons work in far more detail than any previous agreement. That’s a good thing — and those of us who are skeptical of Iranian intentions should welcome it, not use it to attack the deal. The law insists that drug dealers pay their taxes. They don’t, but every now and again the feds put a gangster away for tax evasion. (Ask Al Capone.) Western intelligence services have shown considerable ingenuity in acquiring documents from Iran’s nuclear program. Even if it’s not guaranteed they would do so in the future, the prohibitions in the deal create additional opportunities to stop an illicit weapons program.

      Some of us might think it’s good that the agreement puts defined limits on how much Iran can stall and explicitly prohibits a long list of weaponization activities. Opponents, like Schumer — apparently for want of anything better — have seized on these details to spin them into objections. A weaker, less detailed agreement might have been easier to defend against this sort of attack, perhaps.

      But let’s not be too critical of Schumer’s insincerity. Despite having repeated these and other arguments against the Iran deal, Schumer, although a member of the Democratic leadership, has gone out of his way to signal that other caucus members should vote their conscience.

      Congress has a long history of members voting against agreements while working to pass them. Sen. Mitch McConnell, when he was minority leader, openly opposed the New START agreement, while paving the way for a small number of Republican senators to cross party lines to secure its ratification. Schumer appears to be doing something similar in this case, stating his personal opposition but not whipping votes against the deal.

      That might be something less than a profile in courage, but it’s how Congress works. And I think it’s a pretty good reason not to let these characters anywhere near foreign policy. But then again, I would have advised the president to veto the Cardin-Corker bill that established this farce of a process. But Obama signed it and here we are.

  • Iran Deal Latest: AIPAC lies and, in a first, Schumer runs from the cameras
    • To quote a Jewish friend of mine: "Real anti-Semites love Sheldon Adelson, he makes it so easy for them."

  • California students resist authorities’ attempt to conflate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism
    • Actually, I believe anti-Semites are quite pleased with Israel's behavior as it feeds the fires of anti-Semitism. What is patently obvious is that an ever-increasing number of people around the world, including Jews (especially, their all important youth), rightfully demand that Israel comply with hard won international humanitarian law and end its belligerent/illegal/brutal occupation of Palestinian and other Arab lands and its ongoing/accelerating dispossession and oppression of the native inhabitants.

    • Hi Giles

      "No other group of any type in the world devotes so much time (any time really) to claiming people hate them and creating groups to sniff out anyone who may hate them and to dwelling on events from hundreds and thousands of years ago that enforce this worldview. This is pure cultural sickness."

      Well said. I have often thought the same thing - a constant search to find past and present examples of Jewish suffering in order to cover up Zionist crimes against Palestinians and other Arabs.

      Ignoring historical reality such as the magnificent civilization created by Muslims, Jews and Christians in Al Andalus, Zionists trot out the canard that Jews suffered terribly and regularly under Muslim/Arab rule.

      The following quotations come to mind;

      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.”

      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."

      Lecture by 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."

  • United Church of Christ votes to boycott & divest from companies profiting from Israel's occupation
    • DoubleStandard

      "The Mandate originally provided for Jordan too until the British went back on it."

      Utter nonsense.

      The 1922 League of Nations British Class A Mandate did not include what was then Transjordan and the League never contemplated that it would. I also remind you that by definition, the Class A mandate prohibited the creation in whole or in part of a Jewish state or homeland in Palestine. (A Jewish "national home" in Palestine as referred to in the then illegal 1917 Balfour Declaration, which was incorporated into the British Mandate, is neither a state nor a homeland.

      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)

      This was further confirmed in the 1939 MacDonald White Paper, which in accordance with the Mandate, ruled out any possibility of a Jewish state, and declared Great Britain "could not have intended Palestine should be converted into a Jewish state against the will of the Arab population of the country." It called for a Palestinian state in which Jews and Arabs would govern jointly based on a constitution to be drafted by their representatives and those of Britain. The constitution would safeguard the "Jewish National Home" in Palestine and if good relations developed between Jews and Arabs, the country would be granted independence in ten years. Land sales to Jews were to be restricted and the annual level of Jewish immigration was to be limited to 15,000 for five years, following which, Palestinian Arab acquiescence would be required.

      Also, Transjordan (today's Jordan) was not part of Palestine. As Ottoman maps attest, it 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.

      in 1921, Britain agreed to recognize Abdullah ibn Hussein al Hashem as the ruler of Transjordan. Transjordan became an autonomous emirate under Abdullah in 1923,

      "In any event, Israel acquired it [i.e., its June 1967 conquests] in a defensive war."

      More nonsense.

      To wit:
      At 7:45 AM on 5 June 1967, Israel attacked Egypt and thereby, Jordan and Syria who each shared a mutual defense pact with Egypt. The attack took place just hours before Egypt's VP was to fly to Washington for a prearranged June 7th meeting with the Johnson administration to defuse the crisis between Egypt and Israel based on an agreement worked out in Cairo between Nasser and Johnson's envoy, Robert Anderson. In a cable sent to Johnson on May 30, Israel’s PM Levi Eshkol promised not to attack Egypt until June 11 to give diplomacy a chance to succeed. However, on June 4, when it heard about the June 7th meeting and the distinct possibility that it would rule out war, Israel’s cabinet ordered its armed forces to attack Egypt the next day. In short, the war was another massive land grab by Israel.

      Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Minister without portfolio in Eshkol's cabinet, while addressing Israel's National Defence College on 8 August 1982: "In June, 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him." (New York Times, 21 August 1982)

      Meir Amit, chief of Israel's Mossad: "Egypt was not ready for a war and Nasser did not want a war."

      "No security council resolution has ever called for unconditional withdrawal from all of the ’67 lands."

      Given the UN Charter and the fact it is binding on all UN members, such a resolution is not necessary. I refer you to the Preamble of UNSC Resolution 242, which governs all that follows: "Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war...."

      Furthermore:
      (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.

  • Israeli forces shoot 14-year-old Palestinian with live ammo during West Bank march
    • For the record;

      Human Rights Watch, 2005: "...Israel will continue to be an Occupying Power [of the Gaza Strip] under international law and bound by the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention because it will retain effective control over the territory and over crucial aspects of civilian life. Israel will not be withdrawing and handing power over to a sovereign authority - indeed, the word 'withdrawal' does not appear in the [2005 disengagement] document at all… The IDF will retain control over Gaza's borders, coastline, and airspace, and will reserve the right to enter Gaza at will. According to the Hague Regulations, 'A territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised'. International jurisprudence has clarified that the mere repositioning of troops is not sufficient to relieve an occupier of its responsibilities if it retains its overall authority and the ability to reassert direct control at will."

      The International Committee of the Red Cross: "The whole of Gaza's civilian population is being punished for acts for which they bear no responsibility. The closure therefore constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel's obligations under international humanitarian law. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, ratified by Israel, bans collective punishment of a civilian population."

  • Israel's race to economic (and moral) bankruptcy
    • benedict

      "Because, as an Israeli living in Israel, I don’t think what’s going on in Israel can be honestly described as segregation."

      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.”

      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."

      To familiarize yourself with the more than fifty other discriminatory restrictions Palestinian citizens of Israel endure: (http://adalah.org/eng/Israeli-Discriminatory-Law-DatabaseIsrael's)

      Eminent Jewish Israeli journalist Bradley Burston aptly sums up the racist horrors Israel inflicts on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem:
      Ha'aretz, Feb. 26/13
      "Occupation is Slavery"
      EXCERPT:
      ""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."

  • 48 Years Ago: Commemorating the ’67 War
    • Talknic

      It seems my memory was somewhat faulty.

      However, to be brief, according to my records:

      Immediately after taking control of the West Bank in 1948, Abdullah ordered all Palestinians therein to turn over what few weapons they had to the Arab Legion. In 1950, contrary to the wishes of the vast majority of the Palestinian inhabitants, but with the approval of many Palestinian notables, King Abdullah fulfilled his dream by annexing the West Bank (which then included East Jerusalem) to become part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. He expunged the word Palestine from all sources referring to his kingdom. The Arab League, however, promptly and declared the annexation an illegal act. Only Britain and Pakistan ever recognized the West Bank as part of Abdullah's kingdom. The United States chose not to take a public position on the issue. As a whole, Palestinians viewed Abdullah as a traitor, a lackey of the British.

      The Jordanian parliament did, however, acknowledge the right of Palestinians to self-determination by stating that Jordan's annexation of the West Bank was done "without prejudicing the final settlement of Palestine's just case within the sphere of national aspirations, inter-Arab cooperation and international justice." (New York Times, April 25, 1950, p. A1; quoted by Prof. John Quigley, p. 153)

      To enable Palestinians living under its rule to travel to other countries, Jordan granted them passports, but not citizenship, thereby not jeopardizing their rights as refugees set forth in U.N. Resolution 194.

      In July, 1951, King Abdullah was assassinated by a nineteen year old Palestinian man. The king was seen by the Arab masses as a traitor for colluding with the Jewish Agency, refusing to fully commit his Arab Legion to battle during the 1948 war and incorporating Palestine's West Bank into Jordan.

      I am familiar with Israel's invasion of Jordan in 1966 and as luck would have it, I have a summary of the event and its consequences:

      Managing to evade both Jordanian and Israeli soldiers, Palestinian guerrillas operating from the West Bank carried out attacks during October and early November 1966 that resulted in the death of three Israelis. Israel responded on 13 November, six days after the Syrian-Egyptian mutual defence pact was concluded and the day before a state visit to Jordan by Pakistan’s President Mohammed Ayub Khan, by launching its largest military action since the 1956 war. "... [A] brigade of over 3,000 men and forty tanks, with cover from two Mirage squadrons, invaded Jordan on a five-mile front and smashed the undefended West Bank village of Samu in the Hebron hills." (Seal, Asad:...p. 126) The Israeli forces then "...routed the population of five thousand from their homes and then calmly spent the next four hours planting charges and blowing up 125 homes, the village clinic, a school and a workshop. Damaged were twenty-eight other houses and a village mosque. A force of twenty trucks filled with Jordanian troops rushed to the village but ran into an Israeli ambush. None of the trucks got through. Four Jordanian Hunter Hawk airplanes also rose to the battle. One was shot down by Israeli planes. When U.N. observers arrived at the site later that day, they found a scene of desolation. Fifteen soldiers and three Jordanian civilians had been killed and fifty-four persons wounded, including seventeen civilians.... The observers reported they counted twenty domestic animals that had been killed 'either by explosions or by small arms fire.... In the nearby village of Khirbet Jinba, they found fifteen stone houses destroyed, seven damaged and one water well blown up. The police post at Rujm Jadfaa was completely destroyed. Israeli losses were one killed and ten wounded." (Donald Neff, Warriors for Jerusalem, p. 40)

      Shocked by the brutality of the attack on Samu, the UN Security Council passed a resolution censuring Israel "for this large-scale military action in violation of the U.N. Charter and the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan." The resolution also made it clear to Israel "that actions of military reprisal cannot be tolerated and that if they are repeated, the Security Council will have to consider further and more effective steps as envisaged in the Charter to ensure against the repetition of such acts." (Quoted by Charles W. Yost in "The Arab-Israeli War, How It Began," Foreign Affairs, January, 1968, p. 305)

      The raid was so barbaric that even the United States representative at the United Nations did not mince words in condemning it. "[Ambassador Arthur Goldberg] noted that the toll it took 'in human lives and in destruction far surpasses the cumulative total of the various acts of terrorism conducted against the frontiers of Israel.' 'I wish to make it absolutely clear', he pronounced, 'that this large-scale military action cannot be justified, explained away or excused by the incidents which preceded it and in which the Government of Jordan has not been implicated." (Norman Finkelstein, Image and... p. 125)

    • Walid

      No argument.

    • Reality:

      At 8:30 A.M. - 45 minutes after Israel launched its assault against Egypt on 6 June 1967, General Odd Bull ( head of the U.N. Truce Supervision Organization) received a phone call from Israel's Foreign Ministry requesting his immediate presence. Upon arriving at the ministry, Odd Bull was met by Deputy Director-General Arthur Lourie, who falsely informed him that the war had begun with an attack on Israel by Egyptian aircraft that were intercepted by Israel’s air force.

      Lourie then asked Odd Bull to pass on a message to King Hussein: "We shall not initiate any action whatsoever against Jordan. However, should Jordan open hostilities, we shall react with all our might, and the King will have to bear the full responsibility for all the consequences."

      As far as Odd Bull was concerned, "[the message] was a threat, pure and simple and it is not the normal practice of the U.N. to pass on threats from one government to another." However, as "...this message seemed so important... we quickly sent it...and King Hussein received the message before 10:30 the same morning."

      It is reasonable to conclude that Odd Bull agreed to deliver Israel's "threat" to King Hussein because Lourie misled him into believing Egypt had started the war. Odd Bull would thus be of the view that Jordan was not obligated under the terms of its mutual defense pact with Egypt to enter the conflict. If Odd Bull had known then that Israel initiated the war, it is entirely possible that he would not have forwarded the message.

      Knowing that Israel had attacked first, and he was hence bound to his defense pact with Egypt, King Hussein responded to Israel’s ultimatum by declaring: "They started the battle. Well, they are receiving our reply by air."

      Jordan’s air force, comprised of a few old British Hawker Hunters, attacked a small Israeli airfield near Kfar Sirkin and its artillery shelled Tel Aviv, West Jerusalem and other areas. Israel now had reason to order a full scale land and air onslaught against East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, beginning with its destruction of Jordan’s puny air force.

      To state the obvious, if the Eshkol government really wanted Jordan to stay out of the war it would have communicated directly with King Hussein. At the same time of course, given the fact that it had started the war, Israel knew Jordan was bound by their mutual defense pact to come to Egypt's aid.

      Israel's purpose in deceiving General Odd Bull regarding who started the war and convincing him to deliver the ultimatum to King Hussein was to create the illusion that it had made a sincere effort to keep Jordan out of the conflict. Without Jordan’s entry into the war Israel would have had no reason to invade East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

      For the record: Even if Jordan had not participated in the war, the Eshkol government would have probably found some pretext to invade East Jerusalem and the West Bank as a whole. To quote American historian, Cheryl Rubenberg: "...it seems apparent that Israel would have attacked Jordan [i.e., given the fact that King Abdullah's annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem had been declared illegal by all other Arab states, the UNSC and the U.S., the Jordanian controlled West Bank, which included East Jerusalem] even if Hussein had refrained from joining the fighting, after the Egyptians and Syrians were crushed: the temptation to seize the remainder of Jerusalem and the rest of historic Palestine would have been overwhelming. Indeed, a series of events during the war clearly suggests such premeditation....”

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