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Total number of comments: 944 (since 2012-07-11 03:25:13)

Lived in the ME for six years.

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  • No Exit: 16,000 Palestinians who have applied to leave Gaza are waiting to hear from Israel
    • Brings to mind the phrase "mowing the lawn" used by Israel's leaders to describe its repeated monstrous and murderous attacks against essentially defenseless Palestinians in the occupied Gaza Strip as well as the words of Dov Weisglass, PM Ariel Sharon's senior adviser:

      "‘The significance of the [then proposed] disengagement plan [implemented in 2005] is the freezing of the peace process,’ Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's senior adviser Dov Weisglass has told Ha’aretz. ‘And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda....' Weisglass, who was one of the initiators of the disengagement plan, was speaking in an interview with Ha’aretz for the Friday Magazine. ‘The disengagement is actually formaldehyde,’ he said. ‘It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.’" (Top PM Aide: Gaza Plan Aims to Freeze the Peace Process, Ha’aretz, October 6, 2004)

  • Israeli forces target Palestinian schools, teachers in East Jerusalem and Hebron
  • 'American Jews are losing it bigtime' -- Netanyahu gov't official slams '80 percent' assimilation rate
  • Thousands march to UK parliament calling for justice on Balfour centenary
    • To be brief:
      Britain's illegal (i.e, in violation of the well established legal maxim, "nemo dat quod non habet" - nobody can give what he does not possess) Balfour Declaration laid the foundation for the eventual dispossession and expulsion of Palestine's indigenous Arab Muslim and Christian inhabitants. To quote Chaim Weizmann, "the Balfour Declaration of 1917 was built on air."

      The King-Crane Commission made it clear where it stood regarding the Zionist’s historical claim to Palestine: “…the initial claim, often submitted by Zionist representatives, that they have a `right’ to Palestine, based on an occupation of two thousand years ago, can hardly be seriously considered.” (“The American King-Crane Commission of Inquiry, 1919” quoted in From Haven to Conquest, p. 217, edited by Harvard Professor Walid Khalidi) Or as Lord Sydenham stated before the British House of Lords on 21 June 1922: “If we are going to admit claims on conquest thousands of years ago, the whole world will have to be turned upside down.” (Hansard)

      The Balfour Declaration was also opposed by Gertrude Bell, one of the era’s greatest Arabists, a colleague of T.E. Lawrence and a member of British intelligence in Cairo. Realizing what it could lead to, she wrote the British cabinet of PM Lloyd George advising it that “an independent Jewish Palestine” was impractical because “[Palestine]…is not Jewish; ” the native population would not “accept Jewish authority…. Jerusalem is equally sacred to three faiths and should not be put under the exclusive control of any one….” (Sanders, The High Walls of Jerusalem, p. 585)

      By incorporating the Balfour Declaration the 1922 League of Nations British Class A mandate for Palestine did facilitate Jewish immigration to “secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home,” but it did not call for the creation of a sovereign Jewish state or homeland in Palestine or any form of partition. This was made very clear in the Churchill Memorandum (1 July 1922) regarding the British Mandate: “[T]he status of all citizens of Palestine in the eyes of the law shall be Palestinian, and it has never been intended that they, or any section of them, should possess any other juridical status.”

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

      In May 1939, the British government issued the 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.

      Re the Partition Plan:

      ­­­­Palestinians rejected the Partition Plan (UNGA Res. 181, Nov. 29/47) for entirely justified reasons based on international law. While Jews made up just 31% of the population (90% of foreign origin, only 30% had become citizens, thousands were illegal immigrants) and privately owned only between 6% and 7% of the land, the Partition Plan (recommendatory only, no legal foundation, contrary to the British Class A Mandate and the Atlantic Charter, never adopted by the UNSC) outrageously recommended they receive 56% of Palestine (including its most fertile areas) in which Palestinians made up 45% of the population. (10% of Palestine’s Jewish population consisted of native Palestinian/Arab Jews who were anti-Zionist.)

      48% of the total land area of mandated Palestine was privately owned (‘mulk khaas’) by Palestinian Arabs. As noted above, total Jewish privately owned land was only between 6% and 7%. About 45% of the total land area was state owned, i.e., by citizens of Palestine, 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.)

      Although Palestinian Arab citizens made up at least 69% of the population and to repeat, privately owned 48% of the land, the Partition Plan recommended they receive only 42% as a state. (The 2% of Palestine comprised of Jerusalem and Bethlehem was to be placed under international control, a corpus separatum.)

      Land ownership by Sub-district in all of mandated Palestine, 1947:
      Acre: 87% Palestinian Arab owned, 3% Jewish owned, 10% state owned; Safed: 68% Palestinian Arab owned, 18% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Haifa: 42% Palestinian Arab owned, 35% Jewish owned, 23% state owned; Nazareth: 52% Palestinian Arab owned, 28% Jewish owned, 20% state owned; Tiberias: 51% Palestinian Arab owned, 38% Jewish owned, 11% state owned; Jenin: 84% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 16% state owned; Beisan: 44% Palestinian Arab owned, 34% Jewish owned, 22% state owned; Tulkarm: 78% Palestinan Arab owned; 17% Jewish owned, 5% state owned; Nablus: 87% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 13% state owned; Jaffa: 47% Palestinian Arab owned, 39% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Ramleh: 77% Palestinian Arab owned, 14% Jewish owned, 9% state owned; Ramallah: 99% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, less than 1% state owned; Jerusalem (West and East): 84% Palestinian Arab owned, 2% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Gaza: 75% Palestinian Arab owned, 4% Jewish owned, 21% state owned; Hebron: 96% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 4% state owned; Bersheeba (Negev): 15% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 85% state owned. (Village Statistics, Jerusalem: Palestine Government, 1945; subsequently published as United Nations Map no. 94b, August, 1950)

      Population of and land ownership in West and East Jerusalem in 1947: The total population of West Jerusalem (the New City) and East Jerusalem (the Old City) and their environs was about 200,000 with a slight Arab majority. (Professor Walid Khalidi, Harvard, "Plan Dalet," Journal of Palestine Studies, Autumn, 1988, p. 17)

      The total land area of West Jerusalem (the New City) in 1947 was 19,331 dunams (about 4,833 acres) of which 40 per cent was owned by Palestinian Muslims and Christians, 26.12 per cent by Jews and 13.86 per cent by others, including Christian communities. Government and municipal land made up 2.90 per cent and roads and railways 17.12 per cent.

      East Jerusalem (the Old City) consisted of 800 dunams (about 240 acres) of which five dunams (just over one acre) were Jewish owned and the remaining 795 dunams were owned by Palestinian Muslims and Christians. ("Assessing Palestinian Property in the City," by Dalia Habash and Terry Rempel, Jerusalem 1948: The Arab Neighbourhoods and their Fate in the War, edited by Salim Tamari, The Institute of Jerusalem Studies, 1999, map, pp. 184-85)

      In short, Palestinians were entirely justified and in full accordance with international law when they rejected the Partition Plan.

      Rubbing salt into the wound, the United States quashed a proposal based on international law put forth by Arab delegates at the UN that a referendum be conducted in Palestine to determine the wishes of the majority regarding the Partition Plan. The United States also thwarted their request to have the matter referred to the International Court of Justice.

  • Waking up to the horrors of Israeli militarization
    • The horrors the Rohingya are now experiencing are almost identical to those that befell the defenseless Palestinians when over 800,000 were dispossessed and expelled between late 1947 and the autumn of 1948 by Jewish militia and the IDF through force of arms, several massacres, mass rape and intimidation. About 500 Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed by Jewish forces. The same tactics were used by Israel before/during its first invasion/occupation of Egypt in 1956 (in collusion with Britain and France) and during/after Israel launched the June 1967 war when an additional total of about 300,000 Palestinians were driven out.

  • Jewish leaders seek to shut down anti-occupation movie in MA because it 'sniffs of Nazism'
  • Cartoon of Dershowitz mingled appropriate satire and anti-Semitic imagery
    • @Brewer

      A few relevant quotations:

      During an interview with the foreign editor of the London Sunday Times, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir declared that "it was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine...and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist." (Sunday Times, London, June 15, 1969)

      In the view of another prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Shamir, the Palestinians are of no more significance than insects when compared to Jews: "From this mountain top and from the vantage point of history I say that these people [the Palestinians] are like grasshoppers compared to us." (The Independent, April 1988, from Reuter, Tel Aviv; cited by Michael Rice, False Inheritance, Kegan Paul International, London and New York, 1994, p. 127).

      While delivering a televised address to his Likud party in 1989, Shamir further maligned Palestinians by describing them as "alien invaders of the Holy Land.... They are brutal, wild alien invaders in the land of Israel that belongs to the people of Israel, and only to them." (New York Post, February 6, 1989)

      During a speech to the Knesset, Menachem Begin, Israel's sixth prime minister, referred to Palestinians as "beasts walking on two legs." (New Statesman, 25 June 1982)

      Regarding Palestinians residing in the occupied West Bank, Raphael Eitan, then Israel's Chief of Staff, declared: "When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.... We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come crawling to us on all fours. "(New York Times, 14 April 1983)

      Fascists!!!

  • Gerard Butler, Gene Simmons, and Pee Wee Herman help raise $53.8 million for the IDF
    • Meanwhile:

      http://www.middleeasteye.net/in-depth/features/roger-waters-us-and-them-tour-packs-punch-183671791

      Middle East Eye, Nov. 1/17
      By Hadani Ditmars

      "Roger Waters comes out fighting for Palestine on North America tour"

      "Despite attempts to silence him, Roger Waters has not curbed his outspoken views in support of Palestinian rights"

      EXCERPTS:

      "VANCOUVER, Canada - During his marathon North American tour Us + Them, Roger Waters has been dogged by protests and a film was made about him accusing him of anti-Semitism. But the 74-year-old Pink Floyd co-founder has not curbed his outspoken views. Instead, he has been speaking about his support for Palestinian rights and refugees to audiences in Canada and the US."

      "Filmmaker Ian Halperin premiered his documentary Wish You Weren’t Here, accusing Waters of anti-Semitism, to coincide with the singer’s Canadian tour dates. The screenings were sponsored by Jewish advocacy group, B’nai Brith Canada.

      "Despite the many attempts to silence Waters, he continued to voice his support for Palestinian rights at a talk organised by activists at the St Andrew’s-Wesley United Church in Vancouver last week.

      “'The truth of what is happening in the Occupied Territories, it’s called ethnic cleansing. That’s what is happening and the regime there is called apartheid,' Waters said. He added that he continued to advocate for BDS because 'it’s the only thing that I’ve seen that’s had any effect at all.'”

  • Balfour Declaration's 100th birthday prompts calls on Britain to apologize and recognize Palestinian rights
    • Priceless cartoon:
      The Guardian, Nov. 1/17

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2017/nov/01/steve-bell-100th-anniversary-balfour-declaration-cartoon

      Steve Bell on 100th anniversary of Balfour declaration – cartoon

    • For the record:

      When the Balfour Declaration was issued, Palestine was still a province of the Ottoman Empire. Hence, by viewing “with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish peoples,” the Balfour Declaration violated the well established legal maxim, “Nemo dat quod non habet” (nobody can give what he does not possess.)

      In discussing the legal basis for the creation of Israel, the highly respected American lawyer and diplomat Sol Linowitz wrote: “…the [Balfour] Declaration was legally impotent. For Great Britain had no sovereign rights over Palestine; it had no proprietary interest; it had no authority to dispose of the land. The Declaration was merely a statement of British intentions and no more.” (Sol M. Linowitz, “Analysis of a Tinderbox: The Legal Basis for the State of Israel.” American Bar Association Journal XLlll l957, pp.522-3)

      Even Chaim Weizmann knew the Declaration had no legal status: “The Balfour Declaration of 1917 was built on air.” (Quoted by Mallison, “The Balfour Declaration,” in The transformation of Palestine: essays on the Origin and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, ed. by Abu-Lughold; Northwestern University Press, 1971 p. 85)

      For the record, it should be noted that in its report, the 1919 King Crane Commission pointed out that the Balfour Declaration did not call for a Jewish state in Palestine and it could not be achieved without denying the “civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities….” The commissioners also found “…that the Zionists looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants…by various forms of purchase…” and recommended that “Jewish immigration should be definitely limited”, that “the project for making Palestine a Jewish commonwealth should be given up…” (Howard, Harry N., The King Crane Commission, Beirut: Khayats, 1963; quoted by Sami Hadawi, Bitter Harvest, pp.17-18.)

      The King-Crane Commission also made it clear where it stood regarding the Zionist’s historical claim to Palestine: “…the initial claim, often submitted by Zionist representatives, that they have a `right’ to Palestine, based on an occupation of two thousand years ago, can hardly be seriously considered.” (“The American King-Crane Commission of Inquiry, 1919” quoted in From Haven to Conquest, p. 217, edited by Whalid Khalidi) Or as Lord Sydenham stated before the British House of Lords on 21 June 1922: “If we are going to admit claims on conquest thousands of years ago, the whole world will have to be turned upside down.” (Hansard)

      The Balfour Declaration was also opposed by Gertrude Bell, one of the era’s greatest Arabists, a colleague of T.E. Lawrence and a member of British intelligence in Cairo. Realizing what the Balfour Declaration could lead to, she wrote the British cabinet of PM Lloyd George advising it that “an independent Jewish Palestine” was impractical because “[Palestine]…is not Jewish; ” the native population would not “accept Jewish authority…. Jerusalem is equally sacred to three faiths and should not be put under the exclusive control of any one….” (Sanders, The High Walls of Jerusalem, p. 585, quoted by Donald Neff, Fallen Pillars, p. 14)

      It should also be noted that although the Allies managed to have the Balfour Declaration mentioned after World War 1 in the aborted Treaty of Sevres, there is no mention of it in the final treaty that was signed with the Turks at Lausanne on July 24, 1923. This is important in international law because Turkey did not agree to the idea of a “Jewish national home” in Palestine when it surrendered sovereignty to Britain.

      By incorporating the Balfour Declaration the 1922 League of Nations British Class A mandate for Palestine did facilitate Jewish immigration to “secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home,” but it did not call for the creation of a sovereign Jewish state or homeland in Palestine or any form of partition. This was made very clear in the Churchill Memorandum (1 July 1922) regarding the British Mandate: “[T]he status of all citizens of Palestine in the eyes of the law shall be Palestinian, and it has never been intended that they, or any section of them, should possess any other juridical status.”

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

    • Must read and watch:

      https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/.premium-1.820413

      Haaretz, Nov. 1/17

      EXCERPTS:
      "Banksy Throws Balfour 'Apologetic' Party for Palestinians at His West Bank Hotel"

      "The British street artist's message was centered around the ongoing impact of the declaration on the lives of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation."

      "BETHLEHEM - British street artist Banksy held an 'apologetic street party' outside his Walled Off Hotel in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Wednesday morning to mark the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

      "Banksy’s honorary guests were children from the nearby Palestinian refugee camps of Aida and Dahishe, who sported British military helmets and were seated at a long table just beneath the separation barrier. The table decorations consisted of burned-down British flags and a large British-themed cake."

      Videos:

  • 'Daily Californian' cartoon of Dershowitz dripping blood unleashes another furor over anti-Semitic canards
  • UN rapporteur urges sanctions on Israel for driving Palestinians 'back to the dark ages'
    • Greetings all!!

      Check out these just released photos. It will do you good and make you even more determined to stand shoulder to shoulder with the dispossessed and oppressed Palestinians, the indigenous inhabitants of historic Palestine.

      International Committee of the Red Cross  - October 17, 2017

      Young photographers from Gaza capture moments of joy

      A sneak peek into how young Gazans live their lives while waiting for long overdue political solutions

      https://www.icrc.org/en/document/competition-gaza-young-photographers

  • My journey away from Zionism
    • Stark raving, blatantly obvious reality:

      Zionism is racism; Zionism is theft; Zionism is fascism. Its spawn, the entity known as "Israel," is an historical anachronism, nearly 70 years of trying to pound a square peg into a round hole.

      When Zionism is inevitably relegated to history's dust bin, not only Arabs, but also Jews everywhere will finally be freed from its curse.

  • R.I.P., Shiksa
    • @Ms. Reality

      Reality:

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/why-jews-flee-to-europe-or-at-least-half-of-it/article15446274/

      Why Jews flee to Europe (or at least half of it)
      By Doug Saunders,
      Globe and Mail, November 16, 2013

      EXCERPTS:
      "Have you heard about Europe’s Jewish exodus? Amid growing tensions and tough economic conditions, tens of thousands of educated middle-class Jews are fleeing every year – not out of the continent, but rather from Israel into Europe, and especially to Germany, which has become the chief destination (after the United States) for the half-million Israelis who have left the country amid its much-discussed 'brain drain.'

      "This has taken both Israelis and many Europeans by surprise – and offended some Israeli leaders. Last month, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, during a visit to Budapest, took to Facebook to denounce the growing wave of Europe-bound Jews who have become known in the Israeli media as the New Yordim (emigrants, or literally, 'fallen')."

      "Yet for this generation of Israelis, the shift to Europe is surprisingly uncontroversial. Last year, I had a conversation with a successful Israeli historian who had taken up residency in Germany. 'That move must have shocked a lot of your friends in Israel,' I suggested. She looked askance, as if this was an unheard-of notion: 'No, of course not,' she said. 'My friends are all just jealous that I can get a visa to live here. Every Israeli academic of my generation wants to move to Europe.'

      "Much of this emigration has to do with Israel’s impossible economic conditions – writer Ruth Margalit recently noted that 87 per cent of Israelis over 25 are financially dependent on their parents.

      "But it is also political: European countries are seen by Israelis as stable, egalitarian and safe, while in an Israel governed by hard-line regimes, the zealots and the Orthodox seem destined to prevail. 'With all due respect,' Jerusalem Post columnist Susan Hatis Rolef recently wrote, 'I think it is physically safer for a Jew to live in Berlin these days than in Jerusalem, though I do not belittle the emotional difficulty involved for a Jew to do so, given the not-too-distant history.'

      "She listed the reasons for the exodus: 'loss of hope that peace will ever prevail … discomfort with the lack of determination of Israel’s leaders to make a serious effort to separate religion and state … and the feeling that life in Israel frequently feels like life in a pressure cooker.'

      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"
      Ines Ehrlich Published: 04.16.07, 11:32 / Israel News

      EXCERPT:
      "Documentary shows Israel the worst place for Holocaust survivors to live throughout Western world. Hundreds protest outside Knesset, demand government help survivors with financial difficulties

      "Holocaust survivors have left Israel to live out the rest of their days in Germany due to the better conditions they receive there, according to a documentary program broadcast Tuesday night by Israel's Channel 2 television."

      http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.806869
      EXCERPT:
      “More Israelis Left Israel Than Moved Back in Six Year Record. 16,700 left and 8,500 came back in 2015, in first year since 2009 that more Israelis exited than returned.” By Lior Dattel. Aug 15, 2017, Haaretz.

      Also, it seems that support for Israel is in decline in the U.S., especially among all important youth. No surprise!!

      “Support for Israel on Campus Drops by ‘Devastating’ 27%: Study” – The Forward, June 21/17

      "The Brand Israel Group, a coalition of volunteer advertising and marketing specialists, has released a survey that shows a significant decrease in Israel’s approval rating among Americans.

      “’The future of America no longer believe that Israel shares their values. This is huge! Devastating,’ Fern Oppenheim, a co-founder of BIG, told The Times of Israel. While approval of Israel among American college students dropped 27% between the group’s 2010 and 2016 surveys, Israel’s approval rating among all Americans dropped 14 points, from 76% to 62%.”

      Furthermore, regarding the USA: http://forward.com/news/ national/376097/study-israel- losing-support-among- democrats-minorities- millennials/ The Forward July 2, 2017
      ”Study: Israel Losing Support Among Democrats, Minorities, Millennials ‘It appears that the more Americans learn about Israel, the less they like it.’”

      Also, and very significantly, support for Israel among American Jewish college students is in decline:
      Times of Israel, June 21/17:
      http://www.timesofisrael.com/devastating-survey-shows-huge-loss-of-israel-support-among-jewish-college-students/

  • Leon Wieseltier on the Jewish people sounds a lot like Richard Spencer on white people
    • "6. In order to create a nation state, a national movement has to be created; "

      Setting aside the rest of his racist talking points, Wieseltier forgot to finish number 6.

      It should read:

      6. In order to create a nation state, a national movement has to be created and it must be prepared to dispossess and expel the native inhabitants using whatever means necessary, including force of arms, massacres, mass rape and intimidation.

  • Jewish news agency edits out editor's role as settler advocate
    • @DaBakr

      To be brief:

      "There is widespread agreement between pro Palestinian supporters that settlements are + illegal’ (their point being aided by former US President Obama)"

      Sigh. Not only "pro Palestinian supporters" and "US President Obama."

      To wit:

      (A) In the summer of 1967, “[t]he legal counsel of the Foreign Ministry, Theodor Meron, was asked [by then 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 UN Security Council in Resolution 476 (June 30, 1980): "all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the Occupying Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention."

      (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.”

      (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)

      (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..."

      And of course, UN Security Council Resolution 2334, December 23, 2016:
      “Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirming, inter alia, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

      “Reaffirming the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice,

      “Condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions,….”

      “1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;

      “2. Reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard;

  • Canadian columnist is latest to say, Israel is 'an apartheid state'
    • Another courageous Canadian:

      https://dimitrilascaris.org/2017/10/25/fraudulently-labeled-product-of-israel-wines-challenged-in-federal-court-of-canada/

      FRAUDULENTLY LABELED “PRODUCT OF ISRAEL” WINES CHALLENGED IN FEDERAL COURT OF CANADA
      MEDIA RELEASE
      October 25, 2017

      EXCERPTS:

      "Dr. David Kattenburg, a resident of Winnipeg, Manitoba, has launched a proceeding in the Federal Court of Canada challenging the importation and sale of fraudulently labeled 'Product of Israel' wines.

      "An application for judicial review was filed in Toronto on October 24 regarding a decision of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to permit the importation and sale in Canada of wines produced entirely within unlawful Jewish settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The respondents in this filing are Canada’s Minister of Health, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Minister of International Trade.

      "Dr. Kattenburg — the son of holocaust survivors — complained in late March to the CFIA about the sale of settlement wine products at outlets of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). In response to Kattenburg’s complaint, in early July, the CFIA instructed the LCBO to remove falsely labeled wine products from their shelves. Accordingly, on July 11, the LCBO directed its wine vendors to discontinue the sale of two wine products until further notice.

      "Within days of the LCBO’s directive — under intense pressure from the Israeli government and its Canadian lobbyists — the CFIA reversed itself. The rationale for the CFIA flip-flop, clearly originating from the highest levels of the Trudeau government, was that the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA) trumps both domestic consumer protection laws, and international laws the Canadian government is obligated to enforce, but opts not to.

      "On August 6, Dr. Kattenburg appealed the CFIA’s Reversal Decision. On September 28, the CFIA’s Complaints & Appeals Office informed Kattenburg that the CFIA stands by its decision to allow settlement wines to be sold on Canadian stores shelves."

      "Accordingly, Dr. Kattenburg is now taking the Canadian government to court. Although a wide variety of products produced in illegal Jewish settlements are available to Canadian consumers, the legality of their importation and sale — bearing the patently false label “Product of Israel” — has never been challenged in court."

  • American Jewry and Israel, unbound
    • You discuss the opinions of Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky regarding Palestinian refugees' Right of Return, but conspicuous by its absence is any reference to the views of the Palestinian leadership. 

      For the record:
      In 2002, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat declared he favoured a compromise on the Palestinian refugees’ Right of Return: “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)

      The PLO also agreed to the US/EU/UN supported 2002 Arab League Beirut Summit Peace Initiative, which offers Israel full recognition as a sovereign state (per UNSC Res. 242, i.e., within its June 4/67 boundaries with possible minor, equal and mutually agreed land swaps), 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. In accordance with Israel's pledge given to the UNGA in 1949 and by signing the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference Protocol to abide by UNGA Res. 194 (which is based on The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, binding on all UN members) regarding the then 800,000 Palestinian refugees as a precondition for admittance to the UN (after being rejected twice), the Arab League's Initiative "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..

      Along with all Arab states and the PLO, Hezbollah and Iran have also accepted the Arab League’s 2002 Beirut Summit Peace Initiative. (In its revised Charter, April, 2017, Hamas agreed to a Palestinian state based on the 4 June 1967 borders. Not surprisingly, Israel promptly rejected the Hamas overture instead of using it to open a dialogue.)

      Indeed, 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 occupied Palestinian (and other Arab) lands.

      It should also be noted that surveys of Palestinian refugees indicate (for what should be obvious reasons) that few desire to return to what is now Israel, i.e., west of the green line.   Indeed the vast majority, in accordance with Paragraph 11 of Resolution 194, would agree to accept financial compensation in lieu of return.  

      Resolution 194, Paragraph 11:
      "Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible;"

  • Balfour and Britain's broken promise
    • @Philip Weiss

      I just received this link to a superb just released Independent Jewish Voices video from a Canadian friend. Well worth watching.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2Y3Pllutjo&feature=youtu.be

      Independent Jewish Voices (IJV), Canada.

      "100 years after Balfour"

    • @DaBakr

      "The Arabs of mandate Palestine received over 70% of the land when the Jordan was split off from the West Bank."

      Nonsense.

      Reality:

      Today’s Jordan (referred to as Transjordan by the Allies after WWI) 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.

      Apart from the fact that what became known as Transjordan was not part of historical Palestine, the League of Nations and Britain never considered including it as part of the Palestine Mandate given the fact that its population was very much ethnically different from that of Palestine. Palestinians were primarily a settled people (800 villages and 24 towns) dependent on an agricultural economy. The inhabitants of Southern Syria/Transjordan (largely desert and steppe with a narrow strip of cultivable land and little urban development) were descended from the Arab tribes of the northwestern part of the Arabian Peninsula and were largely nomadic.

      BTW, it was reliably estimated at the time that the number of Jews living permanently in the Ottoman province that became know as Transjordan was three at most.

      In 1921, i.e., before the League of Nations British Class A Palestine Mandate was put in place, Britain agreed to recognize Abdullah ibn Hussein al Hashem as the ruler of Transjordan. Transjordan became an autonomous emirate under Abdullah in 1923

  • US Jews need to stop criticizing Israel if they want two-state solution -- Israeli liberal
    • William A. Eddy, an aide to Secretary of State George C. Marshall: The creation of a Jewish state in Palestine would result in “a theocratic racial Zionist state….” (The Passionate Attachment….”, George W. Ball and Douglas Ball, 1992, p. 316)

      How right he was!!

      The Zionist enterprise in Palestine is doomed.

  • New report details Israel’s ‘broad systemic abuse’ of East Jerusalem minors
    • This horror story is entirely consistent with statements made by past leaders of the entity known as "Israel" that dehumanized Palestine's native Arab inhabitants.

      A few examples:

      During an interview with the foreign editor of the London Sunday Times, Prime Minister Golda Meir declared that “it was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine…and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.” (Sunday Times, London, June 15, 1969)

      Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir: “From this mountain top and from the vantage point of history I say that these people [the Palestinians] are like grasshoppers compared to us.” (The Independent, April 1988, from Reuter, Tel Aviv; cited by Michael Rice, False Inheritance, Kegan Paul International, London and New York, 1994, p. 127).

      While delivering a televised address to his Likud party in 1989, Shamir further maligned Palestinians by describing them as “alien invaders of the Holy Land…. They are brutal, wild alien invaders in the land of Israel that belongs to the people of Israel, and only to them.” (New York Post, February 6, 1989)

      During a speech to the Knesset, Menachem Begin, Israel’s sixth prime minister, referred to Palestinians as “beasts walking on two legs.” (New Statesman, 25 June 1982)

      Regarding Palestinians residing in the occupied West Bank, Raphael Eitan, Israel’s IDF Chief of Staff declared: “When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle…. We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come crawling to us on all fours. “(New York Times, 14 April 1983)

  • Maryland governor's order against BDS is sure to backfire, boycott advocates say
    • I urge everyone to read this article.

      https://electronicintifada.net/content/how-israel-wins-media-war/22066

      "How Israel wins the media war"

      By Rod Such, The Electronic Intifada 25 October 2017

      A review of "Balcony Over Jerusalem: A Middle East Memoir" by John Lyons with Sylvie Le Clezio, Harper Collins (2017)

      EXCERPTS:

      "Of all the pillars that help hold up Israel’s special type of settler-colonialism and apartheid, one of the strongest remains the role of Western media in amplifying Israeli hasbara (propaganda). That pillar, however, is beginning to crack.

      "Nowhere is this more apparent than in the reflections of prominent Australian journalist John Lyons in his book Balcony Over Jerusalem, an account of his and his filmmaker wife Sylvie Le Clezio’s six-year stint in the city, from 2009 to 2015. There, Lyons was based as the Middle East correspondent of The Australian, one of the country’s leading newspapers."

      "But what ultimately stands out in Balcony Over Jerusalem is the author’s examination of how the media portray Israel and how the government and the lobby groups that shield it from accountability attempt to intimidate reporters and distort their coverage."

      "Lyons acknowledges that he had long sought an assignment as Middle East correspondent, ever since covering the signing of the Oslo accords by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in the mid-1990s. Israel lobby groups singled him out as a rising star in Australia’s media, and he was invited to a junket in Israel, much like the way apartheid South Africa courted Western reporters in that era.

      "He accepted one such 'study trip' but came away feeling he had not seen both sides. Although he admired much about Israel, he was determined to do his job as a journalist and provide balanced and accurate reporting.

      "Lyons was wined and dined by leaders of Australia’s Israel lobby before leaving his home country for Jerusalem. But, as he notes, the 'honeymoon was soon over.'

      "For one thing, there was that balcony: from there he could not help but notice the house of a nearby Palestinian family whose three children walked to school each morning.

      "One day the Israeli army demolished the house, leaving only a stairway. Lyons visited the family and found the owner sweeping the steps. 'It was one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen,' he writes. A broken man sweeping his stairway to nowhere.'

  • Video: 12-year old Palestinian recounts detention and abuse by Israeli soldiers
    • For the record:

      Just received from Canadian friend:
      http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/independent-jewish-voices-canada/2017/10/roger-waters-bds-activism-welcomed

      'Roger Waters' BDS activism welcomed by Independent Jewish Voices"
      Independent Jewish Voices Canada
      October 23, 2017

      EXCERPT:

      "Rock legend Roger Waters of Pink Floyd recently kicked off a cross-Canada tour in Toronto, where he was met by groups both supporting and opposing his activism in support of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement. Among the groups opposing Waters' message is the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), which has launched a campaign to mobilize its base in protest.

      "In a recent e-mail to supporters, CIJA opens by noting that although the Jewish community is 'remarkably diverse in its views,' one thing that 'unites us' is opposition to BDS, a movement they claim is 'tainted with antisemitism.'

      "Disunity among Jews on the question of BDS
      Readers who follow the work of Independent Jewish Voices Canada will know that CIJA's claim of Jewish unity on this issue is simply untrue. CIJA head Shimon Fogel should know this from IJV's repeated attempts to have him engage in a public discussion regarding BDS.

      "The fact is that Jews around the world are increasingly divided over the issue. According to a recent study by the Brand Israel Group, 2010-2016 showed an unprecedented 27 per cent drop in support for Israel and an 11 per cent spike in support for Palestinians among Jewish college students in the U.S. Meanwhile, Jewish Voice for Peace -- a leader in the BDS movement -- is experiencing rapid growth and is widely claimed to be among the fastest growing Jewish organizations in the States.

      "Canadian Jews are moving in that direction as well, led by IJV. An EKOS poll from earlier in the year showed widespread support for boycott and sanctions among Canadians surveyed, including those who identify as Jewish. Further proof of growing support for BDS, particularly among young Jews in Canada, was demonstrated at a recent Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) dinner held by IJV's campus chapter at McGill. The event, covered by the McGill Daily, attracted dozens of Jewish undergraduate students who were thrilled to have found a communal space that allows them to embrace their religion and culture while simultaneously supporting the Palestinians, including through BDS.

      "The antisemitism charge
      IJV as an organization stands vigilant against antisemitism and all forms of hatred and discrimination. As Jews active in BDS and the broader Palestine solidarity movement, we resent the claim that BDS and its supporters, including Roger Waters, are inherently antisemitic.

      "That there are, unfortunately, individuals out there who support BDS and hold antisemitic views cannot be contested, just as many antisemites out there ardently support Israel and its policies. In either case, antisemitism must be confronted for what it is, plain and simple. To brand an entire grassroots non-violent movement for human rights as antisemitic, however, amounts to nothing short of slander, and is clearly nothing more than an attempt to shut down debate on this important issue."

      "Enough already with the blanket charge of antisemitism against those around the world who support the BDS movement. Indeed, the more organizations like CIJA employ this strategy, the clearer it becomes that they cannot refute the actual facts on the ground regarding the unjust and discriminatory policies of the State of Israel toward the Palestinian people.

      "IJV applauds Roger Waters' courageous and principled stand in support of the Palestinian people and encourages other artists to join him. Together we will bring down The Wall."

    • Video: ‘Stone Cold Justice’ on Israel’s torture of Palestinian children

      "A film produced by a group of Australian journalists has sparked an international outcry against Israel after it explicitly detailed Tel Aviv's use of torture against Palestinian children.

      "The film, titled ‘Stone Cold Justice’ documents how Palestinian children, who have been arrested and detained by Israeli forces, are subjected to physical abuse, torture and forced into false confessions and pushed into gathering intelligence on Palestinian activists. Australia's foreign minister Julie Bishop has spoken out against Israeli's use of torture stating that ‘I am deeply concerned by allegations of the mistreatment of Palestinian children,’ Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor has described the human rights abuses documented in the film as 'intolerable.’ But rights groups have slammed this statement, saying that the Israelis are doing nothing to change Tel Aviv's policy to torture Palestinian children.

      "Last year a report by the United Nations International Emergency Children's Fund or UNICEF concluded that Palestinian children are often targeted in night arrests and raids of their homes, threatened with death and subjected to physical violence, solitary confinement and sexual assault. The film Stone Cold Justice has sparked an international outcry about Israel's treatment of children in Israeli jails. However, rights groups have criticized Tel Aviv for not doing anything to create a policy that protects Palestinian children against arbitrary arrest and torture."

      Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uDPeeD_RPk
      Precarious Childhood: Arrests of Jerusalemite Children
      "This film addresses the process of arrest, interrogation, and the policy of house arrest and their effects on children. The film provides accounts of children who were arrested in order to highlight a larger policy of persecution and targeting of Palestinian children in Jerusalem."

  • Balfour anniversary drives a wedge into British consensus on Israel
    • Face reality. You and your fellow Zionists are steadily losing ground in Britain (as well as Europe and America.) The entity known as "Israel" is increasingly seen for what it truly is, i.e., an historical anachronism, an abomination, racist, an illegal/brutal occupier, an ethnic cleanser, a serial violator of had won international law, a rogue and a pariah.

      Jewish News:
      http://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/government-acted-unlawfully-over-council-boycott-restrictions-high-court-rules/
      June 22/17
      “[British] Government acted unlawfully over council boycott restrictions, High Court rules”

      “Activists herald a ‘victory for Palestine’ after court rules that attempts to prevent local government ‘ethical’ boycotts of Israel are unlawful.”

      More From Britain re High Court’s decision:
      http://freespeechonisrael.org.uk/pensionregulationsillegal/

      "Judge tells Government: allow BDS" by Mike Cushman June 22/17

      "A High Court judge has ruled that the Government was exceeding its power in trying to direct Local Government Pension Funds to ignore calls for BDS and abandon ethical investing. The Government, he said: 'has acted for an unauthorised purpose and therefore unlawfully'.“

      "Jamie Potter, Partner in the Public Law and Human Rights team at Bindmans LLP said: 'This outcome is a reminder to the Government that it cannot improperly interfere in the exercise of freedom of conscience and protest in order to pursue its own agenda.' This goes beyond a welcome victory for BDS campaigners. All supporters of the right to free expression and the right to oppose Government policies will welcome this push back against executive over-reach."

  • Subscribe to 'Haaretz,' the Israeli paper that is more courageous and more accurate than the 'New York Times'
    • @DaBakr

      For your reading pleasure:

      https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.818606

      Haaretz  - Oct 23, 2017

      "In America, Self-declared Nazis Can Get State Aid. Israel Boycotters Increasingly Can't"

      "Our community’s obsession with stopping the BDS boogeyman has gone off the rails, and this is a taste of what's to come, if people of conscience don't stand up to this madness."

      By Simone Zimmerman  

  • Eight EU countries tell Israel to pay up after destroying solar panels donated to Bedouin village
    • To be brief:

      Founded by foreign thieves, racists, mass murderers and poseurs, the entity known as "Israel" is digging its own grave.

  • Alternative travel facts from 'the Tuscany of the Middle East'
    • @Nathan

      Sigh, more bafflegab.

      Reality:

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/israel-slippery-slope-1.4368018

      "Forget the 'slippery slope' — Israel already is an apartheid state" - by eminent Canadian journalist, Neil Macdonald, Canada's CBC News, Opinion, Oct. 24/17

      "The time has come to call the duck a duck. It's time to agree with a long list of Israeli political leaders, academics and public figures on both the political left and right, including three former prime ministers, a winner of the Israel prize, two former heads of the Israeli internal security service Shin Bet, and one of the country's principal newspapers, all of whom have warned that the Jewish state is becoming, or already is, an apartheid state. I would choose the latter characterization.    

      "It's interesting that within the Israeli discourse, the assertion seems to have become routine, while it remains radioactive in the West, where energetic pro-Israel activists scrutinize the media, the academy and the polity, ready to declare anti-Semitism or incitement at any use of the word.

      "Look at the outrage and venom poured upon former President Jimmy Carter, under whose brokerage the peace accord between Israel and Egypt was signed, when he titled a 2006 book Palestine: Peace not Apartheid.

      "Suddenly, Carter was transformed from a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and statesman to a dotty old man under the sway of terrorists, at least in the eyes of Israel's supporters, including a significant fraction of his own cohort, Evangelical American Christians.

      "But reality is reality, and a duck is a duck. As the late Yossi Sarid, longtime leader of Israel's Meretz party and former education minister once put it: 'What acts like apartheid, is run like apartheid and harasses like apartheid, is not a duck — it is apartheid.'

      "This past June, former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak re-stated a position he's held for years: 'If we keep controlling the whole area from the Mediterranean to the river Jordan where some 13 million people are living — eight million Israelis, five million Palestinians ... if only one entity reigned over this whole area, named Israel, it would become inevitably — that's the key word, inevitably – either non-Jewish or non-democratic.' The country is, he repeated, 'on a slippery slope' that ends in apartheid.

      "The dividing line between prominent Israelis who use the term in the here and now, rather than as a warning of what's coming, seems to be the continued existence of the 'peace process,' with its promise of a Palestinian state, and self-governance. And when I was posted in Jerusalem for CBC News, back in the late '90s, that actually did seem like a possibility, if an unlikely one.

      "Since then, the peace process — always half-hearted — has utterly collapsed. Expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank continued, and since the election of Donald Trump, colonization has surged with an invigorated enthusiasm.

      "Their existence is in fact currently being celebrated in a series of appearances by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

      "'We are here to stay, forever,' he declared two months ago in the settlement of Barkan, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Israel's occupation of the West Bank.

      "'There will be no more uprooting of settlements in the land of Israel.' (The 'Land of Israel,' as opposed to the State of Israel, is a term used by the Israeli right to describe all the territory between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, and sometimes even further).

      "Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett, respectively Israel's justice and education ministers, have said the Palestinians must understand they will never have a state. Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman, a settler, has said there is 'no hope' of a mutually agreed upon Palestinian state, but has warned Naftali Bennett against promoting outright annexation:

      "'What Bennett and his Jewish Home party are proposing is a classical bi-national state,' Liberman said two years ago. 'They need to decide if they're talking about a bi-national state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean … or whether they're talking about an apartheid state.'

      "Liberman's logic seems to be that as long as the Palestinians are simply occupied and governed by a different set of laws, with far fewer rights than Israelis (as opposed to denying them a state but giving them a vote in some expanded version of Israel, which the Israeli right considers national suicide), then it is not really apartheid.

      "But annexation at this point would merely amount to staging a home already sold. In the past decade, Ze'ev Jabotinsky's 'Iron Wall' doctrine has given rise to an actual wall, sometimes an iron one, running roughly along the 1967 borders of the West Bank and Gaza. The main roads from Jerusalem north to Ramallah and Nablus and south to Bethlehem and Hebron are now blocked by gigantic, fortified military barriers. The roughly three quarters of a million Jewish settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem have complete freedom of movement and their own set of roads, effectively forbidden to the disenfranchised Palestinian underclass.

      "Settlers suspected of crimes are entitled to full rights in Israeli courts; Palestinians endure military tribunals, indefinite imprisonment without charge ('administrative detention') and collective punishment. Settlers are entitled to carry arms and use them in self-defence; Palestinians are not. Settlers have property rights. Palestinians have property claims. Et cetera.

      "Netanyahu frames it all as a matter of national survival, warning that any land conceded will immediately be occupied by fundamentalist terrorists determined to destroy the State of Israel, with its nuclear weapons, tanks, fighter jets, layered missile defence systems and 600,000-plus active and reserve troops.

      "His definition of terrorism is a nuanced one; at an event a few years ago commemorating the 60th anniversary of the bombing of the King David Hotel by Irgun fighters, considered a terrorist act by the British government to this day, Netanyahu characterized the perpetrators as legitimate military fighters, and warned the outraged British government to watch its language.

      "But then, an elastic worldview is apparently necessary to maintain the status quo; when Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party signed a formal reconciliation recently with the 'terrorists' of Hamas, who rule Gaza, both Israel and the United States objected, saying such a union endangers, yes, the peace process. The fact that today's terrorists tend to become tomorrow's statesmen (the Irgun bombers later joined the nascent government of Israel, and former Irgun chief Menachem Begin became prime minister) is apparently irrelevant in this context.

      "At any rate, Ehud Barak's slippery slope is now in the rear view mirror. Yossi Sarid's duck has arrived. Let's accept that, drop the pretense, and move on."

  • In order to receive hurricane relief, Texas town requires residents to reject Israel boycott
    • Meanwhile:

      http://europalforum.org.uk/en/post/3052

      "Ken Loach donates Israel screening profits to BDS."

      "British director Ken Loach donated the proceeds from the screenings of his latest film in Israel to the anti-Zionist Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The film, I, Daniel Blake, was widely acclaimed and screened in front of audiences at packed theatres in Israel last spring. At the end of the week, the British branch of the boycott group published a statement revealing it had been the recipient of all proceeds from the film's screening in Israel donated by Loach. 'Ken Loach, thank you for the support and generosity, it gives us strength', the organisation's members told the British Director. They did not specify the amount they received from him. 

      "I, Daniel Blake came out last year and won the Golden Palm Award at the Cannes Film Festival and the Best British Film award at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA), as well as being nominated and named best film in many other prestigious festivals. 

      "The film tells the story of Daniel Blake, a working-class man who was crushed under the weight of bureaucracy after suffering a heart attack and being denied benefits despite his inability to work, forming a unique friendship with a single mother in the process. 

      "The film's director, Ken Loach, is considered to be one of the best directors working in Britain today. Alongside Roger Waters, Loach is also the most prominent supporter of BDS in Britain." 

    • The ACLU responds:

      https://www.aclu.org/news/texas-city-tells-people-no-hurricane-harvey-aid-unless-they-promise-not-boycott-israel

      October 19, 2017

      "HOUSTON — The city of Dickinson, Texas, is requiring applicants for Hurricane Harvey rebuilding funds to certify in writing that they will not take part in a boycott of Israel. The American Civil Liberties Union criticized the city’s condition as a violation of free speech rights.

      “'The First Amendment protects Americans’ right to boycott, and the government cannot condition hurricane relief or any other public benefit on a commitment to refrain from protected political expression,' said ACLU of Texas Legal Director Andre Segura. 'Dickinson’s requirement is an egregious violation of the First Amendment, reminiscent of McCarthy-era loyalty oaths requiring Americans to disavow membership in the Communist party and other forms of ‘subversive’ activity.'

      "The city’s website says that it is accepting applications from individuals and businesses for grants from money donated for hurricane relief. The application says that by signing it, 'the Applicant verifies that the Applicant: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.'

      "The city appears to be enforcing a recently passed Texas law that requires all state contractors to certify that they are not participating in boycotts of Israel. While the ACLU does not take a position on boycotts of foreign countries, the organization has long supported the right to participate in political boycotts and has voiced opposition to laws and bills that infringe on the right to boycott.

      "The Supreme Court ruled decades ago that political boycotts are protected by the First Amendment, and other decisions have established that the government may not require individuals to sign a certification regarding their political expression in order to obtain employment, contracts, or other benefits.

      "On October 11, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit challenging a Kansas law on behalf of a high school math teacher who is being required by the state to certify that she won’t boycott Israel if she wants to take part in a teacher training program.

      "In July, the ACLU sent a letter to members of Congress opposing a bill that would make it a felony to support certain boycotts of companies doing business in Israel and its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. As a result, Senate sponsors of the bill are considering changes."

      This will prove to be a really dumb move by the Zionists. Americans are waking up.

  • Pesspotimistic reflections from besieged Gaza
  • Who can save Israel now? Labor leader emulates Netanyahu
    • Beyond words:

      https://theintercept.com/2017/10/19/to-get-hurricane-rebuilding-money-in-texas-contractors-must-promise-they-wont-boycott-israel/

      "To get hurricane rebuilding money in Texas, contractors must promise they won’t boycott Israel"

      Zaid Jilani, The Intercept, Oct. 19/17

      EXCERPT:

      "IF YOU’RE A Texan looking to rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, you’d better not boycott Israel.

      "That’s the message being sent by the state, which has banned any contractor who supports the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, or BDS, campaign from receiving state funds.

      "If you’re confused why the two things are related, look to a bill that Texas’s Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law in July.

      "House Bill 89 prohibits the state from entering into contract with a business unless it 'does not boycott Israel; and will not boycott Israel during the term of the contract.' The law applies even to businesses that would refuse to buy products made in illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land — as it defines Israel as both Israel proper and 'Israeli-controlled territory.'”

  • Video: Gaza taking a 'wait and see' approach to Palestinian reconciliation
    • I just received this from a Canadian friend:

      P​ress Release - October 17, 2017

      "Roger Waters to talk human rights at Vancouver forum"

      "On Thursday, October 26, 2017, Roger Waters, the creative power and song writing force behind Pink Floyd,​ ​will discuss his evolution as a human rights activist and his support for Palestinian rights during his Vancouver concert visit.

      "Waters’ long-time political activism became focused on Israel/Palestine in 2006.  He is one of the most prominent celebrities to join the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement, speaking out against Israel as an apartheid state as well as its mistreatment of Palestinians living under Israeli military control in the Occupied Territories.

      "In 1965, Waters co-founded the progressive rock band Pink Floyd, often called 'the best band of all time.'  He performed his iconic album The Wall in 1990 to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall.  

      "Waters has been widely attacked for his views, and accused of being anti-Semitic because of his criticism of Israel.  But as Israeli journalist, Gideon Levy writes, when Waters 'talks about Israel, it’s with pain, criticism and anger, but not hatred, and anti-Semitism is not part of the picture here.'

      "Waters will appear at St. Andrew's Wesley Church,1022 Nelson St., Vancouver, on October 26 at 7pm, where he will be interviewed by Martha Roth, a member of Independent Jewish Voices Canada. The event will be chaired by Itrath Syed, an Instructor at Langara College and Simon Fraser University."

      GO ROGER, GO!!

    • @Nathan

      At least you're consistent, consistently WRONG!!!

      Reality:

      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.

      "‘The significance of the [then proposed] disengagement plan [implemented in 2005] is the freezing of the peace process,’ Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's senior adviser Dov Weisglass has told Ha’aretz. ‘And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda....' Weisglass, who was one of the initiators of the disengagement plan, was speaking in an interview with Ha’aretz for the Friday Magazine. ‘The disengagement is actually formaldehyde,’ he said. ‘It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.’" (Top PM Aide: Gaza Plan Aims to Freeze the Peace Process, Ha’aretz, October 6, 2004)

  • Israeli women march to 'wage peace' but refuse to challenge the occupation
    • PRESS RELEASE

      The Palestinian Liberation Organization
      Department of Culture & Information

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

      October 19, 2017

      PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi condemns recent Israeli raids on eight Palestinian media outlets and agencies

      “In the strongest terms, we condemn Israel’s storming of eight Palestinian media offices in Ramallah, Nablus, Bethlehem, and Hebron, the arrest of two Palestinian journalists, and the willful confiscation of equipment in the raids. In direct contravention of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that calls for the protection of the fundamental rights of freedom of expression and freedom of the press, these violations are part of Israel’s systematic policy that deliberately targets journalists and media institutions in Palestine.

      "Such unlawful acts that took place on Tuesday and Wednesday were carried out under the pretext that the media outlets and agencies were 'broadcasting incitement.' Undoubtedly, the root cause of incitement is Israel’s prolonged military occupation of Palestine and its persistent and flagrant suppression of the individual and collective rights of the Palestinian people. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing extremist government are responsible for generating systemic racism, injustice, violence, and a culture of hate against the Palestinian people, enabling its extremist settler population to commit acts of terror against the Palestinians. 

      "It is incumbent upon members of the international community, including the International Federation of Journalists, to take immediate action to curb Israel’s ongoing breach of international and humanitarian law and to safeguard Palestinian and foreign journalists from Israeli violations."

      "We also honor the courageous journalists in Palestine and abroad who have worked to report on Israel’s military occupation and its policies of apartheid and ethnic cleansing.”  

    • @Marnie

      BINGO!!!

    • @JeffB

      "Far easier than displacing 650k people."

      Bull crap!!

      These "650k people" are belligerent, illegal, brutal occupiers of Palestinian lands seized by the entity known as "Israel" during the war it launched on 5 June 1967. (Nor should it be forgotten that the entity known as "Israel" is also occupying Syria's Golan Heights and Lebanon's Shebaa Farms and Kfarshuba hills.) There is no special provision in international law, e.g., the UN Charter, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The Fourth Geneva Convention, the Rome Statute, which came about in large measure to the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis, that enables Zionist Jews to violate it with impunity.

    • @Nathan

      UN Security Council Resolution 2334, December 23, 2016: “Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirming, inter alia, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

      “Reaffirming the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice,

      “Condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions,….”

      “1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;

      “2. Reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard;..."

  • Occupation, in the details (Part II)
  • ‘Balfour’s Legacy: Confronting the Consequences’ to be held in Harvard Square
    • https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/david-cronin/racist-worldview-arthur-balfour?utm_source=EI+readers&utm_campaign=667ddd15a9-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e802a7602d-667ddd15a9-290675021
       
      The Electronic Intifada
       
      The racist worldview of Arthur Balfour

      David Cronin Rights and Accountability 18 October 2017

      EXCERPT:
      The Balfour Declaration led to the expulsion of Palestinians.

      "Arthur James Balfour will, no doubt, be praised effusively by supporters of Israel in the coming weeks for a brief document he signed 100 years ago.

      "As Britain’s foreign secretary in November 1917, Balfour declared his backing to the Zionist colonization project. Through his declaration, Britain became the imperial sponsor of a Jewish state – euphemistically called a 'Jewish national home' – that would be established in Palestine by expelling its indigenous people en masse.

      "An assurance in that document about protecting Palestinian rights proved worthless. Balfour himself was quite happy to negate that assurance.

      "In 1919, he argued that Zionist aspirations were 'of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land.'

      "Rather than being marked 'with pride,' as Theresa May, the current British prime minister, has promised, the centenary of the Balfour Declaration ought to be a time for sober reflection. One useful exercise would be to examine Balfour’s wider record of violence and racism."

  • 'The other side of the Siege' -- the IDF takes on the Jenin Freedom Theatre
    • @just

      "Lotan was till recently a spokesman for the Israeli army. He has argued that Israeli forces should kidnap 200 Palestinian militants for every Israeli soldier captured, so that Israel can have a 'full hand' during negotiations for release of prisoners."

      Lotan's statement brings to mind the following recent news release:

      https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/austrias-neo-nazis-find-friends-israel
       
      The Electronic Intifada
      October 16/17 

      "Austria’s neo-Nazis find friends in Israel"

      EXCERPTS:

      Photo: "Heinz-Christian Strache, the neo-Nazi leader of Austria’s Freedom Party, left, with Yehuda Glick, a leader of the Jewish extremist movement that aims to replace Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque with a Jewish temple, in Vienna in June."

      "Austria’s ambassador in Tel Aviv sees nothing wrong with Arab parties being excluded from Israel’s government."

      "As his own country looks set to put neo-Nazis in power in Vienna, this is yet another remarkable demonstration of the racist values shared by European and Israeli elites.
      Just as in Germany, there are clear indications of ties between Austria’s neo-Nazi far right and Israel’s right wing."

      "Last week Avi Gabbay, the leader of Israel’s ostensibly dovish Labor Party, declared that he would not join a coalition along with members of the Joint List, a grouping of parties made up predominantly of Palestinian citizens of Israel."

      "At the same time, Gabbay indicated he could team up with Yisrael Beiteinu, the far-right party led by Israel’s notoriously anti-Arab defense minister Avigdor Lieberman.
      Lieberman believes Palestinians like Odeh should eventually be stripped of their Israeli citizenship altogether.

      "Gabbay’s racism is unremarkable in the Israeli context. It has long been a consensus among Zionist parties that the fifth of the country’s citizens who are Palestinians should have no real role in decision-making.

      "Gabbay followed up with more belligerent comments on Sunday, declaring that 'the Arabs have to be afraid of us' and that Israel need never evacuate any of its settlements built on occupied Palestinian land in violation of international law."

  • The real reasons Trump is quitting Unesco
  • Danish pension fund blacklists four Israeli companies linked to settlements
    • @hophmi

      "Instead, they go after the Jews."

      Wrong!! They "go after" the racist Zionists and their lackeys.
      Palestinians have the momentum. In the long run, they will be victorious.
      Increasingly, around the world, including the U.S., the entity known as "Israel" is seen for what it is, fascistic, a rogue and a pariah.

      I just received this recent video from a Canadian.
      Check it out!!

  • Susan Rice calls 'BS' on AIPAC -- but she pandered to the lobby when she was in power
    • @PeaceThroughJustice

      Your comment brings to mind the words of Dick Cheney when he was secretary of defense:

      "Once you've got Baghdad, it's not clear what you will do with it. It's not clear what kind of government you would put in place of the one that's currently there now. Is it going to be a Shia regime, a Sunni regime or a Kurdish regime? Or one that tilts toward the Ba'athists, or one that tilts toward the Islamic fundamentalists. How much credibility is that government going to have if it's set up by the United States military when it's there? How long does the United States military have to stay to protect the people that sign on for the government, and what happens to it once we leave?" (New York Times, 13 April 1991)

    • @inbound39

      BINGO!! Israel is a millstone around America's neck and a big piece of "doo doo" on its shoe.
      The handwriting is on the wall.

  • Trump's speech on Iran deal is an orgy for Israel and its US friends
    • @hophmi

      Eminent Jewish Israeli journalist Bradley Burston aptly sums up the horrors Israel inflicts on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem:
      “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.” (Haaretz, Feb. 26/13)

      Video: ‘Stone Cold Justice’ on Israel’s torture of Palestinian children

      A film produced by a group of Australian journalists has sparked an international outcry against Israel after it explicitly detailed Tel Aviv's use of torture against Palestinian children.

      Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uDPeeD_RPk
      Precarious Childhood: Arrests of Jerusalemite Children
      This film addresses the process of arrest, interrogation, and the policy of house arrest and their effects on children. The film provides accounts of children who were arrested in order to highlight a larger policy of persecution and targeting of Palestinian children in Jerusalem.

      “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)

      Video: Israeli TV Host Implores Israelis: Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyyUvxHLYr4

      In its 2015 Country Report on Human Rights Practices for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor acknowledges the “institutional and societal discrimination against Arab citizens of Israel.” (U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor)

    • https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.817114?utm_content=%2Fus-news%2F1.817114&utm_medium=email&utm_source=smartfocus&utm_campaign=newsletter-breaking-news

      "EU's Mogherini: Trump Can't Unilaterally Cancel Iran Nuclear Deal"

      "France, Britain and Germany warned U.S. against re-imposing sanctions. Iran is under the world's 'most robust nuclear verification regime,' says UN atomic watchdog."
      Reuters. Oct 13, 2017 - Haaretz

      EXCERPTS:
      "The United States cannot unilaterally cancel the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Friday in reaction to President Donald Trump's decision not to certify the accord. 

      "'We cannot afford as the international community to dismantle a nuclear agreement that is working,' said Mogherini, who chaired the final stages of the landmark talks. 
      "'This deal is not a bilateral agreement ...The international community, and the European Union with it, has clearly indicated that the deal is, and will, continue to be in place,' Mogherini told reporters.

      "Mogherini said she spoke to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson immediately after Trump's speech on Friday. 

      "French President Emmanuel Macron assured Iranian President Hassan Rouhani of France's commitment to the nuclear deal, Macron's office said. 

      "Macron told Rouhani that the U.S. decision not to certify the agreement would not end it and that France and its European partners would keep carrying out their commitments in regard to the deal, a statement said.

      "The chief of the UN atomic watchdog reiterated on Friday that Iran was under the world's 'most robust nuclear verification regime' after Trump struck a blow against a 2015 Iran nuclear deal, in defiance of other world powers. 

      "'The nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under the JCPOA are being implemented,'" Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency said."

    • http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JA25Ak02.html
      "Crying (Iranian) wolf in Argentina
      By Gareth Porter, Asia Times Online, Jan. 25, 2008.
      EXCERPTS:
      "WASHINGTON - The Iranian defector who was the source of Argentina's allegation that Iranian officials began planning the July 18, 1994, terror bombing of a Jewish community center at a meeting nearly a year earlier had been dismissed as unreliable by US officials, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)agent who led the US team assisting the investigation in 1997-98.
      "The FBI agent, James Bernazzani, also says Argentine investigators had no real leads on an Iranian link to the bombing when his team was in Argentina. Three top officials in the US Embassy in Buenos Aires at the time - including ambassador James Cheek - have confirmed the absence of evidence linking Iran to the bombing, which killed 85 people and wounded another 300."
      "The investigation found no evidence, however, to link either Hezbollah or Iran to the bombing, according to Goddard [US deputy chief of mission, in Buenos Aires until late 1997]. 'The whole Iran thing seemed kind of flimsy,' he said."

      Jerusalem Post, 1 July 2013
      "Ex-Argentina Jewish gov’t official to be probed in bombing"
      EXCERPT:
      "The Jewish ex-interior minister of Argentina will be investigated for his ties to the AMIA Jewish center bombing.
      "The Buenos Aires Federal Appeals Court last week ordered the probe of Carlos Vladimir Corach in connection with an illegal payment of $400,000 to Carlos Telleldin, an auto mechanic who was among those charged in the 1994 attack that left 85 dead and hundreds wounded."

  • Wichita teacher sues Kansas for denying her work because she boycotts Israel
  • 'The Siege' gets US premiere at last, in blow to 'Israeli propaganda machine'
    • @hophmi

      You live in a Hasbara induced fantasy land ignoring the fact that the entity known as "Israel" is fascistic and racist. It also a belligerent/illegal/brutal occupier of Palestinian and other Arab lands, an ethnic cleanser and a well documented serial/escalating violator of hard won international law, e.g., the UN Charter, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statue, which came about in large measure due to the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis and are binding on all UN members.

      That Israelis** are "human beings" is utterly irrelevant!!!

      **Let's not forget that "Israeli" nationality does not exist, only Jews and non-Jews and each group carries appropriate identity cards. The racist implications are obvious and truly sickening.

  • In Ireland, a Palestinian is understood
    • @DaBakr

      For your much needed edification:

      In 638 CE Palestine fell to the Muslims under Caliph Omar (or Umar.)  To this day, many Jews refer to the arrival of the Muslims as a "liberation" for Omar gave them unfettered access to Jerusalem, which they had been denied under the Christian Byzantines. Omar was equally generous to the Christians. "Never in the sorry story of conquest up to that day, and rarely since, were such noble and generous sentiments displayed by a conqueror as those extended to Jerusalem by Omar." (Report by Sir William Fitzgerald on the Local Administration of Jerusalem, Jerusalem: Government Printer, 1945, p.4)

      After he cleared the location of the ancient Jewish Temple (used as a garbage dump under Christian rule), Omar built Jerusalem's first mosque, a simple wooden structure. Between 688 and 691, the Mosque of the Dome of the Rock was constructed by Caliph Abd al-Malik and behind it his son al-Walid built the Mosque of al-Aqsa during his caliphate (705-715.) Omar also granted Christians full religious freedom as well as unrestricted use of their churches and the right to build new ones and he encouraged European pilgrims to visit the holy places. In 638, Omar signed the Covenant of Omar or Al-Uhda al-Omariyya, a document little known outside of the Christian and Islamic communities in Palestine in which he pledged to Sophronius, Jerusalem's Christian patriarch, to protect Christians along with their properties and churches and right of worship.

      In 1187, Saladin liberated Jerusalem from brutal oppressors, i.e., the Crusaders who were slaughtering Muslims and Jews. He then invited the Jews who had been exiled, to return and practice their faith freely.

      The Arabic inscription over Jaffa Gate (the western entrance to Old Jerusalem) was instituted by Saladin. It reads: "There is no Lord but God and Abraham is his friend." Throughout the country there were Muslim mosques and shrines honouring the Hebrew patriarchs. Palestinian Muslims celebrated religious festivals honouring the Jewish prophets and often gave Hebrew first names to their children.  In order to quell inter-Christian rivalry over access to the Holy Sepulchre, Saladin initiated what is now a 800 year tradition of entrusting its keys to a Muslim family. (Harvard Professor, Walid Khalidi Before Their Diaspora, p. 32)    It is easy to understand why Palestine's indigenous Arab Jews were vehemently opposed to Zionism.       

      To quote Jewish historian, Professor Maxime Rodinson, of the Sorbonne: "A small contingent of Arabs from Arabia did indeed conquer the country in the seventh century.  But...the Palestinian population soon became Arabized...in a way that it was never to become Latinized or Ottomanized.  The invaded melted with the invaders.... [By the 20th century,] the Arab population of Palestine was native in all the usual senses of the word." ("Israel and the Arabs," 1968)         

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

      Israeli Rabbi Menachem Froman, a champion of inter-religious reconciliation: "[E]very Jew who learns the writings of the great sages - who, at the head of them all stands Maimonides - knows that our great thinkers wrote in the Arabic language, lived in Islamic states and participated with the great Muslim thinkers in the effort to explain the words of God, according to the paths of the sages and amidst the difficult bloody battles that we have had since the beginning of Zionism with the Muslims." (Haaretz, September 18, 2006)

      You state:  "Others came as recently as the late 19th/early 20th for economic opportunities not available to them in Egypt, Lebanon, Syriac Libya and more."

      Reality:

      It seems like many others, you have been duped by Joan Peters' long since debunked mountain of mendacity, "From Time Immemorial..."
      To wit:

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

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

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

      Enough said.

    • The Irish have a lot in common with Palestinians. They were both "screwed" by the British.

  • The low-rent bullying of the Zionist ideologue
    • Zionism is racism. Zionism is theft. Zionism is fascism.

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

  • Anti-blackness and the core logic of Zionism
    • Yes, Israel (i.e., west of the green line) is "diverse."  It is also racist and always has been.

      To wit: 

      Hendrik Verwoerd, then prime minister of South Africa and the architect of South Africa's apartheid policies, 1961: “Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.” (Rand Daily Mail, November 23, 1961)

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

      “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)

      Video: Israeli TV Host Implores Israelis: Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyyUvxHLYr4

      In its 2015 Country Report on Human Rights Practices for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor acknowledges the “institutional and societal discrimination against Arab citizens of Israel.” (U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor)

      “Construction, Not Destruction”
      “While Israeli Arabs constitute 20 percent of the population, Arab communities’ jurisdictions occupy just 2.5 percent of the state’s land area, and the process of approving new construction in Arab towns takes decades.”  (Haaretz Editorial, April 4, 2017)

      One example of apartheid within Israel:
      “Jewish town won’t let Arab build home on his own land ”
      Excerpt: “Aadel Suad first came to the planning and construction committee of the Misgav Local Council in 1997. Suad, an educator, was seeking a construction permit to build a home on a plot of land he owns in the community of Mitzpeh Kamon. The reply he got, from a senior official on the committee, was a memorable one. ‘Don’t waste your time,’ he reportedly told Suad. ‘We’ll keep you waiting for 30 years.’” (Haaretz, 14 December 2009)

      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)

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

      The effect of Israel’s blatantly racist “Citizenship Law” and more than fifty other restrictions Arab citizens have to endure is well expressed by writer and Knesset member, Ahmed Tibi, “…dutifully defining the state [of Israel] as ‘Jewish and democratic,’ ignores the fact that in practice ‘democratic’ refers to Jews, and the Arabs are nothing more than citizens without citizenship.” (Ma’ariv, 1.6.2005)

      Also:
      “Even in death, Ethiopian Jews face racism from other Jews”

      Middle East Monitor, December 28, 2010.                                                                                                               
      Excerpt: “An Israeli newspaper has claimed that the racism prevalent between Israeli Jews extends to Ethiopian Jews even after their death. According to Ma’ariv, graves in a Jewish cemetery are separated according to the colour of the corpses; a fence has been built between the graves of Ethiopian Jews and the others in the graveyard.”

      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.”

  • The 13 questions on life in Palestine that non-Palestinians always ask me
  • Jewish Historical Society channels Joe McCarthy, and cancels JVP event on Balfour
    • https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/11/arts/jewish-center-faces-backlash-after-canceling-play-criticized-as-anti-israel.html

      Jewish Center Faces Backlash After Canceling Play Criticized as Anti-Israel
      By JENNIFER SCHUESSLER
      OCT. 11, 2017

      The American Jewish Historical Society is facing a backlash over its decision to cancel two events, after a campaign by right-wing activists who had criticized them as anti-Israel.

      The society, which is based at the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan, announced on Tuesday that it was canceling a reading of “Rubble Rubble,” a play by Dan Fishback, and a panel about the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which was co-sponsored by the group Jewish Voice for Peace. Mr. Fishback is also a member of the group, which is part of the broader movement calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, known as BDS.

      The two events, planned months ago, came under criticism from right-wing activists in recent days, as the latest salvo in a wider campaign against the new executive director of the Center for Jewish History, David Myers, over his involvement in groups like New Israel Fund, which promotes human rights and social justice.

      And on Monday night, the board of the historical society voted to cancel them.

      “While the programs themselves may have merit, they do not align with the mission of the A.J.H.S.,” the board said in a statement posted online.

      The decision drew strong criticism from some in the arts, including the theater director Rachel Chavkin, who described it on Twitter as “right-wing censorship.” And on Wednesday morning, Ofri Cnaani, an Israeli-American artist, removed an installation exploring the life of Emma Goldman that she had created in the lobby of the group’s building.

      Ms. Cnaani, in a telephone interview, said while she was not a supporter of BDS, the cancellation of the events demanded a response, especially given that her installation, “For Her Own Good,” explores Goldman’s defense of freedom of speech.

      “When I heard about it, I was shocked,” Ms. Cnaani said. “I immediately thought that to not do anything would amount to supporting this decision.”

      Mr. Fishback’s play, which was to get its first full public reading at the historical society on Dec. 14, tells the dual stories of a settler family in modern-day Israel and a Jewish family caught up in revolutionary politics in early-20th-century Russia. While it explores “how Jewish families are broken over the politics of Israel-Palestine,” he said in an interview, the cancellation was not about the play’s substance.

      “The people who made this decision had no access to my script,” he said. “This was about my beliefs.”

      The American Jewish Historical Society, which holds about 40 million archival items, including the original manuscript of Emma Lazarus’s poem “The New Colossus,” is one of five scholarly organizations housed at the Center for Jewish History. While they share a space, each operates with significant autonomy.

      While the center has strongly supported Mr. Myers, formerly a professor of Jewish history at the University of California, Los Angeles, against his critics, the cancellation suggests disagreement over how to respond to those who have campaigned against him.

      Rachel Lithgow, the historical society’s executive director, who programmed the two events, emphasized that the cancellation was the board’s decision, which she disagreed with but accepted.

      “I don’t like this decision, nor have I liked other decisions that have been made,” she said in an interview. But, she added, “I answer to a board I respect.”

      Asked about the board’s description of the events as out of step with the society’s mission, Ms. Lithgow, who said she had received numerous threatening emails in recent days, said simply, “Our mission hasn’t changed.” (Bernard J. Michael, the board’s president, declined to elaborate on the statement or otherwise comment.)

      Mr. Fishback, the playwright, said he hoped to stage the reading elsewhere, and by Wednesday evening had already raised nearly $5,000 in an online appeal to finance it.

      “I want to use this as an opportunity to shed light on negative effects of silencing in the Jewish community,” he said. “This play will see the light of day one way or another.”

  • 'A blot on Judaism, Jewish history and ethics' -- British Jews regret the Balfour Declaration
    • It should not be forgotten that the Balfour Declaration was illegal.

      When it was issued, Palestine was still a province of the Ottoman Empire. Hence, by viewing “with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish peoples,” the Balfour Declaration violated the well established legal maxim, “Nemo dat quod non habet” (nobody can give what he does not possess.)

      To quote the highly respected American lawyer and diplomat, Sol Linowitz: “…the [Balfour] Declaration was legally impotent. For Great Britain had no sovereign rights over Palestine; it had no proprietary interest; it had no authority to dispose of the land. The Declaration was merely a statement of British intentions and no more.” (Sol M. Linowitz, “Analysis of a Tinderbox: The Legal Basis for the State of Israel.” American Bar Association Journal XLlll l957, pp.522-3)

      Even Chaim Weizmann knew the Declaration had no legal status: “The Balfour Declaration of 1917 was built on air.” (Quoted by Mallison, “The Balfour Declaration,” in The transformation of Palestine: essays on the Origin and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, ed. by Abu-Lughold; Northwestern University Press, 1971 p. 85)

    • The ugly truth:

      "In 1938, a thirty-one nation conference was held in Evian, France, on resettlement of the victims of Nazism. The World Zionist Organization refused to participate, fearing that resettlement of Jews in other states would reduce the number available for Palestine." (John Quigley, Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice, as quoted in "The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict," second edition, published by Jews for Justice in the Middle East, Berkeley, California, p. 21)

      The Jewish Agency in Palestine was very concerned about the implications of the Evian Conference. "It was summed up in the meeting [of the Jewish Agency's Executive on June 26, 1938] that the Zionist thing to do 'is belittle the [Evian] Conference as far as possible and to cause it to decide nothing.... We are particularly worried that it would move Jewish organizations to collect large sums of money for aid to Jewish refugees, and these collections could interfere with our collection efforts'.... Ben-Gurion's statement at the meeting: 'No rationalization can turn the conference from a harmful to a useful one. What can and should be done is to limit the damage as far as possible.'" (Boas Evron, Jewish State or Israeli Nation? as quoted in "The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict," by John Quigley, second edition, p. 21)

      On 7 December 1938, during a meeting of the Mapai Central Committee (precursor of the Labour Party), David Ben-Gurion revealed his true feelings regarding the plight of German Jews: "If I knew it was possible to save all the [Jewish] children in Germany by transporting them to England, but only half of them by transporting them to Palestine, I would choose the second..." He attempted to explain his twisted reasoning by adding that he would make such a choice "...because we face not only the reckoning of those children, but the historical reckoning of the Jewish people." Ben-Gurion also expressed his fear that "'the human conscience' might bring various countries to open their doors to Jewish refugees from Germany. He saw this as a threat and warned: 'Zionism is in danger!'" (Tom Segev, The Seventh Million, Hill and Wang, New York, 1994, p. 28.)

      During another speech to the Mapai Central Committee on 7 December 1938, Ben-Gurion admitted that "in these terrible days of the beginning of the disaster that threatens European Jewry, I am still more worried about the elections at the [Mapai] branch in Tel Aviv." (Segev, p. 105.)

      On 27 November 1942, the Yishuv newspaper Davar published an article that referred to the extermination of European Jews as "'punishment from heaven' for not having come to Palestine." (Tom Segev, p. 98). As Ben-Gurion so callously put it on 8 December 1942, during a Mapai meeting: "'They did not want to listen to us' ....in their deaths they had sabotaged the Zionist dream.’" (David Ben-Gurion at a gathering of Mapai workers, 8 Dec. 1942; quoted by Tom Segev)

    • @Annie

      I just received this news release re the Balfour Declaration, etc.

      https://wallwritings.me/2017/10/10/one-final-perilous-journey-for-gertrude-bell/

      "One Final Perilous Journey for Gertrude Bell" by James M. Wall

      "Queen of the Desert," finally released.

      For the record:
      While serving with British intelligence in Cairo, Ms. Bell wisely advised the cabinet of Prime Minister Lloyd George that "an independent Jewish Palestine" was impractical because "[Palestine]...is not Jewish;" the native population would not "accept Jewish authority.... Jerusalem, is equally sacred to three faiths, Jewish, Christian and Muslim, and should never, if it can be avoided, be put under the exclusive control of any one...." 

      Nicole Kidman portrays Gertrude Bell.

      "One Final Perilous Journey for Gertrude Bell"

      EXCERPT from Wall's article:
      "The film, Queen of the Desert, begins with a distant image of a small group of travelers moving across a vast desert. Two sentences flash across the screen, setting the stage for what is to follow:

      "The onset of the First World War hastened the demise of the Ottoman Empire, which had ruled the Middle East for five centuries. The colonial powers set their eyes on dividing the spoils. 

      "The film then moves to a small room in which British army officers gather around a table with a minister from the War office, the future British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill." 

  • Israeli Supreme Court rules to keep public in the dark about police open-fire regulations
    • https://www.haaretz.com/ opinion/.premium-1.622711

      Haaretz  - Oct 26, 2014

      "The Palestinians’ Right and Duty to Resist" by Gideon Levy.

      "Faced with a reality in which Israel is strong and the United States is in its pocket, it is the duty of Palestinians to resist the occupation. The only question relates to the means."

      "Imagine you’re the Palestinians. Perhaps residents of East Jerusalem. Forty-seven difficult years are behind you; a big, depressing darkness lies ahead. The Israeli tyranny that dooms your fate declares arrogantly that everything will stay like this forever. Your city will remain under occupation 'for ever and ever.' The defense minister, second in importance in the government that subjugates you, says a Palestinian state will never be established.

      "Imagine you’re Palestinian and your children are in danger. Two days ago, the occupation forces killed another child because 'he lit a firebomb.' The words 'Death to Arabs' were sprayed near your home. Everywhere you turn, a soldier or Border Police officer may shout at you. Every night, your home may be invaded brutally. You will never be treated like human beings. They’ll destroy, humiliate, intimidate, perhaps even arrest you, possibly without trial.

      "There are close to 500 administrative detainees, a record number in recent years. If one of your dear ones is arrested, you will have difficulty visiting him. If you succeed, you’ll get half an hour’s conversation through a glass window. If your dear one is an administrative detainee, you will never know when he’ll be released. But these are trivia you grew accustomed to long ago.

      "Maybe you’ve also grown accustomed to the land theft. At every moment a settler can invade your land, burn your plantation or torch your fields. He will not be brought to trial for this; the soldiers who are supposed to protect you will stand idly by. At any moment, a demolition order or random eviction order may appear. There’s nothing you can do.

      "Imagine you’re the Palestinians. You can’t leave Gaza and it’s not easy to leave the West Bank, either. The beach, less than an hour’s drive from your West Bank home, is beyond the mountains of darkness. An Israeli can go to Tierra del Fuego, between Argentina and Chile, much more easily than you can go to the beach at Ajami.

      "There are no dreams, no wishes. Your children have a slim chance of accomplishing anything in life, even if they go to university. All they can look forward to is a life of humiliation and unemployment.

      "There’s no chance that this situation is about to change anytime soon. Israel is strong, the United States is in its pocket, your leadership is weak (the Palestinian Authority) and isolated (Hamas), and the world is losing interest in your fate. What do you do?

      "There are two possibilities. The first is to accept, give in, give up. The second is to resist. Whom have we respected more in history? Those who passed their days under the occupation and collaborated with it, or those who struggled for their freedom?

      "Imagine you’re a Palestinian. You have every right to resist. In fact, it’s your civil duty. No argument there. The occupied people’s right to resist occupation is secured in natural justice, in the morals of history and in international law.

      "The only restrictions are on the means of resistance. The Palestinians have tried almost all of them, for better and worse – negotiations and terror; with a carrot and with a stick; with a stone and with bombs; in demonstrations and in suicide. All in vain. Are they to despair and give up? This has almost never happened in history, so they’ll continue. Sometimes they’ll use legitimate means, sometimes vile ones. It’s their right to resist.

      "Now they’re resisting in Jerusalem. They don’t want Israeli rule, or people who set live children on fire. They don’t want armed settlers who invade their apartments in the middle of the night, under the Israeli law’s protection, and evict them. They don’t want a municipality that grants its services according to national affiliation, or judges that sentence their children according to their origin. They also go nuts when the house of a Jewish terrorist is not demolished, while the house of a Palestinian will be torn down.

      "They don’t want Israel to continue tyrannizing them, so they resist. They hurl stones and firebombs. That’s what resistance looks like. Sometimes they act with heinous murderousness, but even that is not as bad as their occupier’s built-in violence.

      "It’s their right; it’s their duty."

        

  • From Greta Gerwig to NYU, Israel has deep reservoir of cultural support in U.S.
    • @JeffB

      To be brief:
      By late March 1948, the superiority of Israeli forces and the territorial objectives of the Jewish Agency were known to British and American officials. “Harold Beeley, a British representative at the United Nations (specializing in Palestinian affairs), reported to Loy Henderson, the State Department official responsible for the Middle East, that the Israeli forces were markedly superior and that it was their plan to exploit that advantage in an effort to expand beyond the territory allotted to them in the [Partition Plan].” (George and Douglas Ball, The Passionate Attachment, p. 24)

      George Marshall, the United States Secretary of State and author of the Marshall Plan for Europe, assessed the Arab states’ degree of military preparedness.  (As a former United States Army Chief of Staff he was certainly qualified to do so.)  On May 12, he stated that “internal weaknesses in various Arab countries make it difficult for them to act. [Iraq can] send only a handful of troops; [Egypt has] insufficient equipment [which in any case is needed] for police duty at home.”  He described Syria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia as militarily unimportant and pointed out that “jealousies between Saudi Arabia and the Syrians, on one hand, and… Transjordan and Iraq, on the other, prevent the Arabs from making best use of existing forces.”  (Foreign Relations of the United States  Documents  1948, vol. 5,part 2, p. 1158)

      General John Bagot Glubb (Glubb Pasha), the British commander of Transjordan’s Legion, calculated that the total number of troops committed by the Arabs on 15 May 1948 was 21,500 and those of the Jews numbered 65,000 (i.e. Haganah plus others).  (Simah Flapan, The Birth of Israel….p. 195-96)

      Just how unprepared for war the Arab regular armies were (other than Jordan’s experienced, but poorly armed small Arab Legion), is well revealed by the comments of Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, Egypt’s foremost journalist and political commentator: “[On May 15] I went to Gaza….There I found that the Egyptian army had entered Palestine.  But no one seemed to realize that they were entering a war, nor were there enough maps of Palestine for the troops.  Worse, the troops were transported in old and broken tourist cars provided by a travel agency.  They did not know the directions, so they were forced to follow the railroad track.  The Egyptian army entered the war without really knowing what it was facing.” (“Interview with Mohamed Hassanein Heikal: Reflections on a Nation in Crisis, 1948;” Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. XVlll, Autumn, 1988, p. 117)     

      On May 15, a total of just under 14,000 soldiers from Egypt (2800), Syria (1876), Jordan (4500), Iraq (4000) and Lebanon (700) along with a token contingent from Saudi Arabia under Egyptian command entered Palestine to join forces with poorly armed ALA volunteers and nearly 2500 Palestinian irregulars, bringing the total number of Arab troops in the country to slightly more than 20,000. 

      Waiting for the Arab forces were at least 27,000 well armed first-line Haganah troops (including 8000 in the Palmach). The Jewish Agency also had under its command an additional 90,000 fighters made up of some 55,000 second-line reserves in the Settlement Police, Youth Battalions and Garrisons along with about 35,000 in the Home Guard, the Irgun and the Stern Gang.

      Except for a minor defensive bridgehead established and held by Syrian forces in the upper Jordan valley, the Arab state armies never managed to successfully carry the battle into the Partition Plan’s designated Jewish state throughout the entire war.  (Jon and David Kimche, Both Sides of the Hill; London Secker & Warburg, 1960, pp. 172-73;  Balls, The Passionate Attachment, p. 318)  

      On 5 December 1947, Ben-Gurion, leader of the Yishuv (the Jewish community in Palestine), ordered "immediate action to expand Jewish settlement in three areas assigned to the Arab state: the South West (Negev), the South-East (Etzion bloc) and Western Galilee." (Political and Diplomatic Documents of the Jewish Agency, 1947- 48, no. 12).  Thus, Ben-Gurion revealed that the Jewish Agency had no intention of abiding by the terms of the Partition Plan and was preparing for the conquest of Palestine.

      In his 13 December 1947 dispatch to London, Sir Alan Cunningham, the British High Commissioner to Palestine blamed the Yishuv for the deteriorating situation, including loss of life: "The initial Arab outbreaks were spontaneous and unorganized and were more demonstrations of displeasures at the UN decision than determined attacks on Jews. The weapons initially employed [by Palestinians] were sticks and stones and had it not been for Jewish resource to firearms, it is not impossible that the excitement would have subsided and little loss of life caused.... [T]here is reliable evidence that the Arab Higher Committee as a whole and the Mufti in particular, were not in favour of serious outbreaks." (MEC: Cunningham Papers, box 2, file 3)

      Ben-Gurion agreed with Cunningham. In a letter dated 15 December 1947 to Moshe Sharett, head of the political department of the Jewish Agency, he stated: "The [Palestinian] peasant masses are not taking part in the riots." Three months later [i.e. March, 1948], in a letter to Sharett and Golda Meir he observed: "The [Palestinian] Arabs in their great majority are not seeking war with us."

      In December 1947, shortly after Britain's announcement that it intended to withdraw from Palestine beginning 15 May 1948, Ben-Gurion directed the Irgunists, Sternists and Palmach to increase the ferocity of their strikes against Palestinian Arabs.  He ordered that "in each attack, a decisive blow should be struck, resulting in the destruction of homes and the expulsion of the population." (Ben-Gurion's Diary-in Hebrew, vol. 1, 19 December 1947) The Zionists were implementing what they called Plans A, B and C or Tochnit May (Plan May), more commonly known as Plan Gimmel.  Its objectives were to buy time for the mobilization of Jewish forces by seizing strategic points the British vacated and to terrorize the Palestinian population into submission. (Harvard Professor Walid Khalidi, Haven to Conquest, p.lxxix)

      Haifa, April, 1948: Aware of the atrocities Jewish forces had committed elsewhere, Haifa’s Arabs feared massacre and rape if they fell into the hands of the invaders. Thus, panic stricken and screaming “Deir Yassin” (as Irgun leader, Menachem Begin proudly recalled in his memoirs), thousands of men, women, and children in “whatever transport they could find, many of them on foot – men, women, and children – moved in a mass exodus toward the port area….” (John Quigley, Palestine and Israel…, p. 60)

      As well as Davidka mortars with sixty-pound shells, the Carmeli Brigade used Barrel bombs (nicknamed Barak Bullets) which were “converted oil barrels and spherical sea mines filled with explosives [that were] rolled down onto the Arab quarters from the higher Jewish areas.” (Khalidi, pp. 87 & 89)

      Tens of thousands of horrified Arabs, choked by the smoke from burning buildings ran to the harbour in order to escape by sea. A British officer, Colonel John Waddy was there at the time and he later recalled that “As the Jewish action against the Haifa Old Town stepped up from acts of terrorism to mortaring, many of the Arabs started to evacuate the town, as indeed the Jews wanted them to do.” (David Palumbo, The Palestine Catastrophe, p. 65)

      British officials who were in Haifa at the time, later testified that as Palestinians fled down the narrow alleys towards the docks the Haganah opened fire on them with “indiscriminate and revolting machine gun fire…on women and children [which] led to considerable congestion [of] hysterical and terrified Arab women and children and old people on whom the Jews opened up mercilessly with fire.” (John Quigley, Palestine and Israel…, p. 60)

      Israeli historian Benny Morris: “The 3-inch mortars ‘opened up on the market square [where there was] a great crowd…a great panic took hold. The multitude burst into the port, pushed aside the policemen, charged the boats and began fleeing the town.’ British observers noted that ‘during the morning they [i.e. the Haganah] were continually shooting down on all Arabs who moved both in Wadi Nisnas and the Old City. This included completely indiscriminate and revolting machinegun fire and sniping on women and children…attempting to get out of Haifa through the gates into the docks…. There was considerable congestion outside the East Gate [of the port] of hysterical and terrified Arab women and children and old people on whom the Jews opened up mercilessly with fire.'” (Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Problem, 1947-1949, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988, p. 85f. 

      By the first week of May, between 175,000 and 200,000 Palestinians had fled from Zionist forces into the West Bank or other Arab countries (Professor Walid Khalidi, Harvard, Before Their Diaspora, p. 319)

      April: With Jaffa (part of UNGA Res. 181's proposed Palestinian state) cut off from the rest of Palestine by advancing Jewish forces who controlled the Jerusalem highway, civilians could only escape the relentless mortar barrage by sea. Shell-shocked and panic stricken, thousands of them jammed the port looking for any type of craft (even row boats) that could take them to Gaza or Lebanon and while they waited, many were cold-bloodedly murdered by Irgun snipers. 

      While Jaffa was under attack Zionist forces were also assaulting other cities and driving out the Arab populations.  At the end of April, Haganah and Irgun troops began a siege of the ancient Crusader fortified city of Acre (which along with western Galilee was to be within the Partition Plan's proposed Palestinian state).  As well as its normal population of about 16,000 (including 3,000 Jews), Acre was packed with thousands of refugees from Haifa and elsewhere, bringing the total number in the city to over 40,000. 

      According to Lieutenant Petite, a United Nations observer who visited Acre some time later, the Israeli army engaged in wanton looting of Arab homes which was part of "a Jewish plan to prevent the return of refugees."  (Palumbo, The Palestinian Catastrophe, p.119).  He also reported that at least 100 of the Arabs remaining in Acre were murdered by Israeli soldiers because they refused to voluntarily move out of their homes into what would become an Arab ghetto in the old part of the city. (ibid)  

      By the first week of May, between 175,000 and 200,000 Palestinians had fled from Zionist forces into the West Bank or other Arab countries. (Professor Walid Khalidi, Harvard, Before Their Diaspora, p. 319)  

      It was Jewish forces in Palestine who expelled the native Palestinians.  Palestinian Arabs had no role whatsoever in the departure, for whatever reasons, of Arab Jews from their countries to Israel and elsewhere. For you to in essence, rationalize the dispossession and expulsion by Jewish armed forces of what would be well over one million Palestinians by 1967 by comparing it to the departure of Arab Jews from their countries of birth is absurd. To repeat, apples and oranges.

      Yes, Palestinian refugees who would have returned to Israel per Res. 194 would have had to agree to live in peace.  However, this outcome was utterly thwarted by Israel's refusal to live up to its commitment to comply with the precondition for gaining UN admittance, i.e., adherence to Res. 194. To state the obvious, Israel should have long since had its UN membership suspended. 

    • @Betty

      To be brief:
      When Polish born David Ben-Gurion (nee, David Gruen) et al. declared the “Jewish State” of Israel effective 15 May 1948, Jewish forces had already dispossessed and expelled 400,000 Palestinians through overwhelming armed might, several massacres, mass rape and intimidation – e.g., 30,000 from West Jerusalem in March (and a further 30,000 in May), 60,000 from Haifa in April, 75,000 from Jaffa in late April and early May.)  As  result, the UNGA was in the process of shelving the Partition Plan in favor of a UN Trusteeship.

      When war erupted due to necessary intervention by reluctant outnumbered/outgunned Arab state armies to stem the accelerating expulsion of Palestinians, a US proposed cease-fire was accepted by the Arab League but rejected by Israel.

      During the war Israel's forces seized 78% of Palestine (22% more than the Partition Plan recommended, including large portions of the proposed Palestinian state, e.g., Jaffa), expelled 400,000 more Palestinians for a total of about 800,000 and went on to destroy over 500 of their towns and villages, including churches, mosques and cemeteries. 

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

      It was only the beginning of the Zionist's conquest of Palestine and the expulsion of its indigenous Arab inhabitants.  Just prior to and during Israel's first invasion of Egypt in 1956 in collusion with Britain and France, about 25,000 Palestinians were driven out as were  a further 250,000 during and after the war Israel launched on 5 June 1967.

      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.” (Ha'aretz, 8 October 2004.)

      Also:
      Historian, Avi Shlaim, born into an affluent and influential family in Baghdad: "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, August 11, 2005) 

      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."

      During a Knesset hearing into the matter, 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, October 8, 2004)

      It should not be forgotten that after being rejected twice, Israel signed the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference Protocol and also declared before the UN General Assembly that it would comply with UN Resolution 194 (which calls for the repatriation of and/or compensation for the then near 800,000 Palestinian refugees dispossessed and expelled before and during the 1948 war) as a precondition for gaining UN admittance (see UNGA Resolution 273, 11 May 1949.) Israel is the only country admitted to the UN subject to a precondition.  It has since refused to comply with its pledge.

      The bottom line is that while well over one million Palestinians were brutally expelled from their homeland by Jewish militias and the IDF, they played no role whatsoever in the emigration of or any ill treatment and or loss of assets that Jews of Arab origin may have experienced in their former homelands.  In short, apples and oranges.

  • Leading journalists call 2nd Amendment an anachronism -- but spare Zionism
    • @Alfred Glueksmann

      Well and truly stated!!

      Also:

      The British Cabinet’s endorsement of the 1917 Balfour Declaration paid no heed to the wishes of Arab Jews living in Palestine. Like their Muslim and Christian compatriots, they saw Zionism as a threat. Ronald Storrs, the first British military governor of Jerusalem, understood this well: “The religious Jews of Jerusalem and Hebron and the Sephardim were strongly opposed to political Zionism…” (Storrs, Ronald, "Orientations," Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1945, p. 340)

    • The reference to CNN's Wolf Blitzer in Philip Weiss's article brings to mind this old video of a debate between Blitzer and Dr. Norman Finkelstein:

    • Recent comments by Professor Lawrence Davidson are well worth noting:

      http://www.tothepointanalyses.com/

      "War Culture – Gun Culture: They’re Related – An Analysis" (8 October 2017) by Professor Lawrence Davidson

      EXCERPT:

      "Part II – A Gun Culture to Complement the War Culture

      "America’s propensity to violence in other lands is but one side of a two-sided coin. Callous disregard for civilian lives abroad is matched by a willful promotion of violence at home. That willful promotion is the product of a right-wing ideological orientation (stemming from a misreading of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution) that demands a nearly open-ended right of all Americans to own an almost unlimited number and types of fire arms. The result is gun regulation laws that are embarrassingly ineffective.

      "Again, the consequences of this position are much more profound than any claim that its supporters’ intentions are to defend citizens rights to own guns. Since 1968 about as many Americans have been killed in-country by gun violence (1.53 million) as have died in all of America’s wars put together (1.20 million). The numbers are too close to be dismissed as coincidence. Both reflect a culture of exceptionalism that grants at once the United States government, and its citizens, extensive rights to act in disregard of the safety and security of others.

      "You would think Americans would recognize an obvious contradiction here. You cannot maintain a safe population and, at the same time, allow citizens the right to own and, largely at their own discretion, use firearms. Nonetheless, some Americans imagine that they have squared this circle by claiming that their guns are for “self defense” and therefore do make for a safer society. This is just like the U.S. government’s constant exposition that all its violence is committed in the name of civilization and freedom. In both cases we have a dangerous delusion. Ubiquitous gun ownership makes us unsafe, just as does the endless waging of war.

      "The inability to see straight is not the sort of failing that can be restricted to one dimension. If you can’t grasp reality due to ideological blinkers or historical ignorance, you are going to end up in trouble both at home and abroad – not just one place, but both. And, the more weaponized you are, both as a state and as a citizen, the greater the potential for disaster. In the end the United States cannot stop killing civilians abroad unless it finds the wisdom to stop killing its own citizens at home – and vice versa. That is the U.S. conundrum, whether America’s 320 million citizens realize it or not."

  • Occupation, in the details
    • PRESS RELEASE

      The Palestine Liberation Organization
      Department of Culture & Information

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

      October 9, 2017

      "In her meeting with Norwegian Representative Hilde Haraldstad, Dr. Ashrawi condemns Israel’s plans to build 3,829 illegal settlement units in the Occupied West Bank

      “'We strongly condemn Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approval of the construction of 3,829 illegal settlement units in the Occupied West Bank, including 300 units in Beit El, 206 in Tekoa, 158 in Kfar Etzion, 129 in Avnei Hefetz, 102 in Negohot, 97 in Rehelim, 48 housing units in Ma'ale Mikhmas, and 30 units in Jewish settlement in Hebron. It should be mentioned that permits will be granted for areas where unlawful construction has not taken place in years; these include settlements in and around Hebron, Beit El, Tekoa, and Giv’at Ze’ev.' 

      "'Clearly, Israel is bent on entrenching the military occupation and its illegal settlement enterprise, further reaffirming its intentions of displacing Palestine and replacing it with 'Greater Israel.'

      "'Rather than becoming party to Israel’s unlawful breach of international law and conventions, the global community should hold Israel accountable for acting outside the law before it destroys the prospects of a viable Palestinian state, peace and stability indefinitely.'

      "PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi made these comments during her meeting with Norwegian Representative Hilde Haraldstad at the PLO Headquarters in Ramallah.

      "In the context of discussing bilateral relations and future cooperation between Palestine and Norway, Dr. Ashrawi expressed her appreciation to the Norwegian government for its consistent and positive position towards Palestine and its dedication to peace and justice.  She also urged Norway to affirm its commitment to ending the occupation and achieving the two-state solution by recognizing the state of Palestine in the immediate future.

      "Dr. Ashrawi provided a critical assessment of the latest political and regional developments, including Israel’s deliberate and systematic efforts to impose the one-state solution with its persistent violations and illegal settlement activities.

      "In that view, Dr. Ashrawi stated, 'It is vital that European countries exhibit the political will necessary to take decisive action to end the occupation and to remove all of its manifestations from Palestinian soil.'

      "Both parties also reviewed the internal situation and agreed that genuine reconciliation and legislative and governmental elections are in the best interest of peace in Palestine." 

  • Israeli plan to 'transfer' 300,000 Palestinians to West Bank is new normal -- Zoabi
    • @Brewer

      Mabruk!!
      Concisely and truly stated!!

      Nathan and JeffB are thoroughly indoctrinated Zionist zealots. The good news is that they and their ilk are hastening the inevitable demise of Zionism.

  • As battle rages in UK Labour Party, Moshe Machover expelled after asserting 'Anti-Zionism does not equal anti-Semitism'
    • "Jews have been quite clear for 130 years the goal is Israel is Jewish the way France is French."

      "Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. The mandates have no sanction but that of the last war. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home. The nobler course would be to insist on a just treatment of the Jews wherever they are born and bred. The Jews born in France are French in precisely the same sense that Christians born in France are French." (On Jews & the Middle-East by Mohandas K. Gandhi
      November 20, 1938)

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

    • I urge everyone to read this just released interview with Roger Waters. It is enlightening and uplifting.

      https://stepfeed.com/we-talked-to-roger-waters-about-bds-trump-israel-lebanon-and-palestine-1973

      Step Feed, Sept. 4/17
      "We talked to Roger Waters about BDS, Trump, Israel, Lebanon and Palestine"

      “'We need education more than we’ve ever needed anything.'”

      By Nadine Mazloum

      EXCERPT:
      "50 years ago Israel invaded the West Bank and Gaza, and a young English musician named Roger Waters started a career in music with the rock group Pink Floyd. For 50 years the Palestinians have remained prisoners in their own land, while the band played on.

      "Waters left Pink Floyd in 1985 to pursue a solo career. It was a thorny path to choose. Twenty years later, in June of 2006, he was booked to perform in Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park. 

      "As word spread, he was approached by Palestinian civil society activists who told him about a new protest movement that they had recently launched. A movement that reached out to foreign artists asking them to protest the occupation by joining BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions). After engaging in a dialogue with the leaders of BDS, Waters was persuaded to cancel the Hayarkon Park show and moved it to Neve Shalom (Peace Village) where he played in front of some 60,000 Israelis. 

      "Towards the end of that concert, he told the crowd, 'You are the generation of young Israelis who must make peace with your neighbors.' The crowd fell silent; this was not in the script."

    • Sigh

      More bafflegab!!

      I've searched far and wide and have not found a special provision in international law (e.g., the UN Charter, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Rome Statute, etc., binding on all UN members) that enables Israel to violate it with impunity.

      I remind you that such international law came about in large measure due to the monstrous crimes of the Nazis, including the systematic slaughter of six million Jews.

      You choose to ignore the fact that Israel is belligerently, illegally and brutally occupying Palestinian and other Arab lands it seized during the war it launched on 5 June 1967.

      To wit:
      (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 [my emphasis] 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 [my emphasis] 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 [my emphasis] 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 UN Security Council in Resolution 476 (June 30, 1980): "all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the OCCUPYING [my emphasis] Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention."

      (D) 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.”

      (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 [my emphasis]" 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 [my emphasis] Territories, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: "Israel OCCUPIED [my emphasis] 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 [my emphasis] territories.”

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

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

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

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

      (K) UN Security Council Resolution 2334, December 23, 2016: “Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirming, inter alia, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,
      “Reaffirming the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice,

      “Condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions,….”

      “1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;

      “2. Reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard;

      “3. Underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations;..”

      In short, you and Israel have no case whatsoever.

  • Media criticism of gun lobby after Vegas massacre would make the Israel lobby blush
    • Another key factor that will lead to the end of the "special relationship" is that Israel will correctly be seen seen for what it is - a major geopolitical liability for America and a millstone around its neck.

  • Feel-good Gaza poster in NY window draws feel-bad response from neighbor
    • Furthermore:

      During its 2008/09 "Operation Cast Lead" assault on the Gaza Strip, Israel illegally used white phosphorous, which burns flesh to the bone, in attacks against civilians along with flechettes, i.e., 4-cm metal darts fired from missiles, planes or tanks "that penetrate straight through human bone and can cause serious, often fatal, injuries." (It has also used cluster bombs during its attacks against and invasions of Lebanon.)

      In response to Israel's "Operation Cast Lead," the United Nations Goldstone Report charged Israel with using phosphorous incendiary shells on a UN compound sheltering more than 600 civilians, using phosphorous and high explosive artillery shells on Al-Quds hospital and it rejected Israel’s assertion that Hamas or other militants were using the hospital. Israel was also accused of attacking a crowded mosque during evening prayers (the panel rejected the contention that armed militants were inside), using flechettes and of using Palestinians as human shields during house searches, a "war crime under the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court." No evidence was found that Hamas had used Palestinians as human shields.

      In a report issued on 2 July 2009, Amnesty International states that “more than 3,000 homes were destroyed and some 20,000 damaged in Israeli attacks which reduced entire neighborhoods of Gaza to rubble and left an already dire economic situation in ruins. Much of the destruction was wanton and could not be justified on grounds of ‘military necessity.’" Amnesty also noted that “During Operation ‘Cast Lead’ Israeli forces made extensive use of white phosphorus, often launched from 155mm artillery shells, in residential areas, causing death and injuries to civilians. Homes, schools, medical facilities and UN buildings – all civilian objects – took direct hits.”

      Neither Amnesty nor Human Rights Watch accused Hamas of using "human shields." Amnesty, however, accused Israel.

    • Briefly:

      In response to Hamas’s victory over Fatah (132 seats to 43) in the January 2006 election – certified as honest and democratic by international observers - for representation in the Palestinian Legislative Council (i.e. to govern both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip), Israel and the Quartet (the U.S., Russia, the European Union and the U.N., established in 2002) imposed economic sanctions, including customs duties, against the Palestinian Authority throughout the occupied territories. The United States had ignored warnings from Fatah that Hamas may win the election.

      Through various means, including Israel’s arrest of 34 elected West Bank members of Hamas, Washington and Israel installed a “moderate” (i.e., anti-Hamas, “pro-western” and relatively compliant) Fatah government led by Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) in the occupied West Bank. The U.S. Congress also thwarted an attempt by Fatah and Hamas to work together by holding back funding to the Palestinian authority.

      In June 2007, Hamas retained control of the Gaza Strip by carrying out a preventative counter-coup or counter-putsch against a U.S. orchestrated attempt by Fatah, known as the Dayton Plan, to take control by military means. In an article for the April 2008 issue of Vanity Fair, investigative journalist Peter Rose reveals the details: “Vanity Fair has obtained confidential documents, since corroborated by sources in the U.S. and Palestine, which lay bare a covert initiative, approved by Bush and implemented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, to provoke a Palestinian civil war. The plan was for forces led by [Fatah’s Mohammed] Dahlan and armed with new weapons at America’s behest, to give Fatah the muscle it needed to remove the democratically elected Hamas-led government from power. (The State Department declined to comment.) But the secret plan backfired, resulting in a further setback for American foreign policy under Bush. Instead of driving its enemies out of power, the U.S. backed Fatah fighters inadvertently provoked Hamas to seize total control of Gaza.” (Peter Rose, “The Gaza Bombshell,” Vanity Fair, April 2008)

      Following the Hamas government’s defeat of Fatah, Israel and the Quartet along with Canada, imposed a crippling and inhumane blockade against the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip that denied them sufficient amounts of food, water, medicines, fuel and electricity. Previously imposed sanctions against the Fatah controlled West Bank were lifted. In violation of the terms of the 17 June 2008 cease-fire agreement with Hamas, Israel permitted only 20% of the amount of essentials agreed to into the Gaza Strip which led to sporadic rocket fire into Israel (causing no casualties) by Islamic Jihad and Fatah’s Al Aqsa Brigades, not Hamas, which attempted to stop the rockets. On November 4 – significantly, the day of the U.S. presidential election - Israel crossed the border and killed six Palestinians. As Middle East scholar Sara Roy put it, this attack by Israel was "no doubt designed finally to undermine the truce." (Sara Roy - "If Gaza Falls", London Review of Books, 1 January 2009) Hamas responded with rocket fire but at the same time offered to extend the June 17 truce if Israel would end the siege. Israel refused. Hamas rocket fire resumed and although no Israeli was killed, it was used by Israel as a justification for its murderous rampage that started on December 27.

    • Sigh. Pure bilge.

      A brief look at reality:

      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.

      To quote Dov Weisglass, PM Ariel Sharon's senior adviser:
      "‘The significance of the [then proposed] disengagement plan [implemented in 2005] is the freezing of the peace process,’ Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's senior adviser Dov Weisglass has told Ha’aretz. ‘And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda....' Weisglass, who was one of the initiators of the disengagement plan, was speaking in an interview with Ha’aretz for the Friday Magazine. ‘The disengagement is actually formaldehyde,’ he said. ‘It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.’" (Top PM Aide: Gaza Plan Aims to Freeze the Peace Process, Ha’aretz, October 6, 2004)

      Video: http://obliteratedfamilies.com/en/story/shuheibar/

  • On empathy, Yom Kippur, and the NFL
    • For the record:

      "In 1938, a thirty-one nation conference was held in Evian, France, on resettlement of the victims of Nazism. The World Zionist Organization refused to participate, fearing that resettlement of Jews in other states would reduce the number available for Palestine." (John Quigley, Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice, as quoted in "The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict," second edition, published by Jews for Justice in the Middle East, Berkeley, California, p. 21.)

      The Jewish Agency in Palestine was very concerned about the implications of the Evian Conference. "It was summed up in the meeting [of the Jewish Agency's Executive on June 26, 1938] that the Zionist thing to do 'is belittle the [Evian] Conference as far as possible and to cause it to decide nothing.... We are particularly worried that it would move Jewish organizations to collect large sums of money for aid to Jewish refugees, and these collections could interfere with our collection efforts'.... Ben-Gurion's statement at the meeting: 'No rationalization can turn the conference from a harmful to a useful one. What can and should be done is to limit the damage as far as possible.'" (Boas Evron, Jewish State or Israeli Nation? as quoted in "The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict," by John Quigley, second edition, p. 21.)

      On 7 December 1938, during a meeting of the Mapai Central Committee (precursor of the Labour Party), David Ben-Gurion revealed his true feelings regarding the plight of German Jews: "If I knew it was possible to save all the [Jewish] children in Germany by transporting them to England, but only half of them by transporting them to Palestine, I would choose the second..." He attempted to explain his twisted reasoning by adding that he would make such a choice "...because we face not only the reckoning of those children, but the historical reckoning of the Jewish people." Ben-Gurion also expressed his fear that "'the human conscience' might bring various countries to open their doors to Jewish refugees from Germany. He saw this as a threat and warned: 'Zionism is in danger!'" (Tom Segev, The Seventh Million, Hill and Wang, New York, 1994, p. 28.)

      During another speech to the Mapai Central Committee on 7 December 1938, Ben-Gurion admitted that "in these terrible days of the beginning of the disaster that threatens European Jewry, I am still more worried about the elections at the [Mapai] branch in Tel Aviv." (Segev, p. 105.)

      On 27 November 1942, the Yishuv newspaper Davar published an article that referred to the extermination of European Jews as "'punishment from heaven' for not having come to Palestine." (Tom Segev, p. 98). As Ben-Gurion so callously put it on 8 December 1942, during a Mapai meeting: "'They did not want to listen to us' ....in their deaths they had sabotaged the Zionist dream.’" (David Ben-Gurion at a gathering of Mapai workers, 8 Dec. 1942; quoted by Tom Segev)

      That saving Jews from the Nazis was not the priority of American Zionists was clearly shown during the war. When President Roosevelt became aware of the dire circumstances of European Jews (who were thought at the time to be about 80% of the total number of refugees), he sent his close friend Morris Ernst (a key member of the Democratic party and leader of the New York Jewish community) to London during the middle of the war to see if England and the Commonwealth would join the United States and other countries in taking in a half million Jewish refugees through a generous worldwide policy of political asylum once Hitler was defeated. (Roosevelt felt he could sell the plan to the American Congress if Britain agreed.) Ernst returned home jubilant and advised the President that Britain agreed to "match the United States up to 150,000." Roosevelt replied:"150,000 to England - 150,000 to match that in the United States - pick up 200,000 or 300,000 elsewhere, and we can start with half a million of these oppressed people." One week later, however, the President informed Ernst that the program had to be abandoned because "...the dominant vocal Jewish leadership of America won't stand for it...the Zionist movement knows [that it] can raise vast sums for Palestine by saying to donors, `There is no other place this poor Jew can go.'"

      Ernst refused to believe Roosevelt and went about seeking the support of American Jews for the plan. Their response shocked him: "I was thrown out of parlours of friends of mine who very frankly said, `Morris, this is treason. You are undermining the Zionist movement'. [I found] a deep genuine, often fanatically emotional vested interest in putting over the [movement in men] who are little concerned about human blood if it is not their own." (Lilienthal, TZC, pp.35-36 and Morris Ernst, So Far So Good, Harper & Brothers: New York, 1948, pp. 172-177)

      Enough said!!

  • Video: Senator Chris Van Hollen announces opposition to Israel Anti-Boycott Act
  • Malak Mattar dreamed of studying art abroad, now she is stuck in Gaza
    • I don't know if it would be feasible, but perhaps it could be arranged for Ms. Mattar to contact the Emily Carr University of Art + Design, in Vancouver, Canada. I have a friend who attended the university and she raves about it.

      Here's the link: http://www.ecuad.ca/

  • My congressman, Ted Lieu, supports human rights everywhere but Palestine
    • Israel differentiates between citizenship and nationality, i.e., “Israeli” nationality does not exist, only Jews and non-Jews, and each citizen carries an appropriate identity card. While the implications of this absurdity for discrimination and racism against non-Jews are obvious, it has been upheld by Israel’s Supreme Court.

      “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)

      Video: Israeli TV Host Implores Israelis: Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyyUvxHLYr4

      In its 2015 Country Report on Human Rights Practices for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor acknowledges the “institutional and societal discrimination against Arab citizens of Israel.” (U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor)

      “Construction, Not Destruction”
      “While Israeli Arabs constitute 20 percent of the population, Arab communities’ jurisdictions occupy just 2.5 percent of the state’s land area, and the process of approving new construction in Arab towns takes decades.” (Haaretz Editorial, April 4, 2017)

      “Jewish town won’t let Arab build home on his own land ”
      Excerpt: “Aadel Suad first came to the planning and construction committee of the Misgav Local Council in 1997. uad, an educator, was seeking a construction permit to build a home on a plot of land he owns in the community of Mitzpeh Kamon. The reply he got, from a senior official on the committee, was a memorable one. ‘Don’t waste your time,’ he reportedly told Suad. ‘We’ll keep you waiting for 30 years.’” (Haaretz, 14 December 2009)

      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 effect of Israel’s blatantly racist “Citizenship Law” and more than fifty other restrictions Arab citizens have to endure is well expressed by writer and Knesset member, Ahmed Tibi, “…dutifully defining the state [of Israel] as ‘Jewish and democratic,’ ignores the fact that in practice ‘democratic’ refers to Jews, and the Arabs are nothing more than citizens without citizenship.” (Ma’ariv, 1.6.2005)

  • Do not turn the Balfour Declaration into a holy Jewish text
    • When the Balfour Declaration was issued, Palestine was still a province of the Ottoman Empire. Hence, by viewing “with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish peoples,” the Balfour Declaration violated the well established legal maxim, “Nemo dat quod non habet” (nobody can give what he does not possess.)

      In discussing the legal basis for the creation of Israel, the highly respected American lawyer and diplomat Sol Linowitz wrote: “…the [Balfour] Declaration was legally impotent. For Great Britain had no sovereign rights over Palestine; it had no proprietary interest; it had no authority to dispose of the land. The Declaration was merely a statement of British intentions and no more.” (Sol M. Linowitz, “Analysis of a Tinderbox: The Legal Basis for the State of Israel.” American Bar Association Journal XLlll l957, pp.522-3)

      Even Chaim Weizmann knew the Declaration had no legal status: “The Balfour Declaration of 1917 was built on air.” (Quoted by Mallison, “The Balfour Declaration,” in The transformation of Palestine: essays on the Origin and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, ed. by Abu-Lughold; Northwestern University Press, 1971 p. 85)

      It should be noted that In its report, the 1919 King Crane Commission pointed out that the Balfour Declaration did not call for a Jewish state in Palestine and it could not be achieved without denying the “civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities….” The commissioners also found “…that the Zionists looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants…by various forms of purchase…” and recommended that “Jewish immigration should be definitely limited”, that “the project for making Palestine a Jewish commonwealth should be given up…” (Howard, Harry N., The King Crane Commission, Beirut: Khayats, 1963; quoted by Sami Hadawi, Bitter Harvest, pp.17-18.)

      The King-Crane Commission also made it clear where it stood regarding the Zionist’s historical claim to Palestine: “…the initial claim, often submitted by Zionist representatives, that they have a `right’ to Palestine, based on an occupation of two thousand years ago, can hardly be seriously considered.” (“The American King-Crane Commission of Inquiry, 1919” quoted in From Haven to Conquest, p. 217, edited by Whalid Khalidi) Or as Lord Sydenham stated before the British House of Lords on 21 June 1922: “If we are going to admit claims on conquest thousands of years ago, the whole world will have to be turned upside down.” (Hansard)

    • And what did it lead to?

      William A. Eddy, an aide to Secretary of State George C. Marshall nailed it: The creation of a Jewish state in Palestine would result in "a theocratic racial Zionist state...." (The Passionate Attachment....", George W. Ball and Douglas Ball, 1992, p. 316)

      How right he was!!

      A recent example:
      https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.815169

      Haaretz, Oct. 2, 2017
       
      "Israel, partner in genocides"

      "Sending weapons to a government that’s guilty of genocide is very similar to sending weapons to Germany during the Holocaust"

      By Yair Auron

      EXCERPT:
      "The State of Israel is sending weapons to a country that’s carrying out ethnic cleansing. Once one couldn’t even imagine such a thing, but then it turned out that during the 1990s the Rabin-Peres-Meretz government was selling weapons to the genocidal governments of Rwanda and Serbia.
       
      "To send weapons to a government that’s guilty of genocide is very similar to (excuse the comparison) sending weapons to Nazi Germany during the Holocaust. Our leaders nevertheless did this knowingly and desecrated the memory of the Holocaust in the process. It’s important to stress that they turned both you and me into criminals, into accessories to a crime and to abettors of genocide.
       
      "In Myanmar there is now a 'textbook example of ethnic cleansing' going on, as per the United Nations. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman can equivocate and lie, but the bitter reality is sad. Israel is the only democratic country, at least according to press reports, that is still sending weapons to Myanmar. European and North American countries have stopped doing so, even though there is no official embargo."

  • Support for Israel is tumbling-- even among young Orthodox Jews
    • https://israelpalestinenews.org/adl-campus-guide-describes-block-events-palestine/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=fd5bda1e-1826-4917-a48c-6c0c22d9058a

      "ADL Campus guide describes how to block events about Palestine"

      Sept. 13/17

      EXCERPT:
      "The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) has just launched a new initiative for college students called 'ADL CAMPUS: Tools for Dealing with Anti-Semitic and Anti-Israel Incidents on Campus.'

      "This resource contains much useful information about addressing anti-Semitism, endorses such valuable principles as freedom of speech and non-violence, and recommends that students talk to others who may hold different perspectives.

      "It also, however, contains some deeply problematic components for anyone who believes that human rights and justice should apply to all people without exception.

      "Unfortunately, the ADL does not share this belief.  While it announces prominently, 'We protect the Jewish people and secure justice and fair treatment to all,' in reality the ADL supports Israeli injustice against Palestinians."

  • Liberal Zionist hero Barak brags that Israeli left 'liberated' the occupied territories for Jews
    • http://www.dci.plo.ps/en/article/6703/Incitement-Report-for-September-2017-Examples-of-recent-inflammatory-comments-and-incitement-by-Israeli-officials-and-leaders

      A shocking, but edifying read:

      Palestine Liberation Organization.
      Department of Culture & Information

      "Incitement Report for September 2017: Examples of recent inflammatory comments and incitement by Israeli officials and leaders"

      PLO Executive Committee Member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi:
      “The real incitement stems from Israel’s military occupation of Palestine and its enslavement of an entire nation.  The Israeli hardline extremist government led by Benjamin Netanyahu is responsible for generating a culture of hate and racism in Israel, inciting violence and feeding extremism.  Updated monthly, this report includes samples of recent derogatory and inflammatory comments and incitement by Israeli government officials and leaders specifically meant to distort reality and mislead public opinion.”

  • An Atheist in the Yeshiva: The education of Yossi Zvi Gurvitz
    • More news about Israel, "a light unto nations [not]"

      https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/tamara-nassar/israel-doing-nothing-stop-attacks-churches-and-mosques

      Sept. 29/17

      "Israel doing nothing to stop attacks on churches and mosques"

      EXCERPT:

      "Since 2009, at least 53 churches and mosques have been vandalized in present-day Israel and the occupied West Bank.

      "The vast majority of those cases – 45 – have been closed without any charges against perpetrators.

      "In all, there have been just nine indictments and seven convictions, according to Israeli government data reported by the newspaper Haaretz. Only eight of the cases remain under investigation. They were usually dismissed on the grounds of unknown perpetrators.

      "A lawmaker raised the matter in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, at the request of Tag Meir, an organization that monitors racially motivated crimes.

      "According to Haaretz, public security minister Gilad Erdan wrote to the lawmaker that the attacks 'were perpetrated from various motives, ranging from negligence through mental illness and, in extreme cases, incidents of arson that appear deliberate.'

      "The newspaper noted that Erdan’s assertion 'seems to contradict the fact that most of the cases were closed on the grounds of ‘perpetrator unknown.’ Moreover, according to Haaretz, all the cases involved arson.

      "The name of the organization Tag Meir is a play on the Hebrew words tag mehir – or price tag – the term Israeli settlers and extremists have adopted to describe their sometimes lethal attacks on non-Jews and their property, especially Palestinians."

  • A Jewish atonement for Zionism
    • https://www.wrmea.org/2017-may/viewing-israel-palestine-through-the-lens-of-settler-colonialism.html

      Ilan Pappé: The Value of Viewing Israel-Palestine Through the Lens of Settler-Colonialism

      EXCERPT:

      "Dale Sprusansky: Our final keynote is a man who is well known to all of you, Ilan Pappé.  As Hanan Ashrawi mentioned earlier today, in an age of alternative facts, I think we can all agree on the importance of being able to discern truth from fiction.  While alternative facts may be a new term in American politics, the idea behind it is far from original.  As we all know, for decades colonial powers have developed and propagated false narratives to legitimize the subjugation of indigenous peoples.

      "Like colonists before them, Israel has relied on alt history, a false or distorted account of history, to justify its policy toward the Palestinians.  If the so-called conflict is ever going to be resolved, the events that led to the creation of Israel—namely the Nakba—must be reckoned with.  This reality, that an honest understanding of the past is necessary to pave a better tomorrow, is the reason we invited historian Ilan Pappé to today’s conference.

      "Ilan Pappé has written prolifically and with honesty and courage on the history of Israel and the events that facilitated its creation.  His 2006 book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, with its painfully honest title, created controversy, but it’s nonetheless a seminal book on this issue.  Professor Pappé chose the title knowing that it would be provocative, but that it was also true to the research presented in his book.  As I told him at dinner last night, one can say that, in choosing the title, Professor Pappé was being more timeless than timely.

      "I’m sure as the West slowly comes to better grips with the reckoning of the history of Israel, future generations will find the title of his book progressively less controversial—at least I hope.  Ethnic Cleaning, of course, is just one of many books Professor Pappé has written.  He has an upcoming book entitled Ten Myths about Israel, which will be released shortly and will surely be a valuable resource to those looking for a critical and honest assessment of pro-Israel narratives.

      "Professor Pappé is currently a professor of history and director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter in the UK.  He was born in Haifa.  Prior to coming to the UK, he was a senior lecturer in political science at the University of Haifa.  His keynote today will focus on how an honest assessment of history is necessary in order to resolve the seemingly intractable conflict.  Professor Pappé."

  • Three megadonors (who just happen to love Israel) are pushing Trump against Iran deal
    • @Kay24

      Surely, with all of his $billions, Adelson can afford a decent hair dye job.

    • @Annie

      I agree as well.

      Also:

      http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/235466

      Israel National News, Sept. 13/17

      Report: [US National Security Adviser], H.R. McMaster says Hezbollah not a terror group

      "August meeting with US officials grew heated when H.R. McMaster rejected Israel's Hezbollah concerns, denied it was a terror group."

      EXCERPT:
      "A new bombshell report alleges that a meeting between high-level Israeli officials and their American counterparts last month deteriorated when National Security Adviser H.R McMaster brushed off Israel's concerns about Hezbollah, at one point backing up an aide who denied that Hezbollah is a terror organization.

      "According to the report on Channel 10 and PJ Media, McMaster yelled at Israeli officials, and denied that the Iran-backed militia is a terrorist group."

  • A plea to Israel: Don't start the third Lebanon War
    • Just received:

      http://www.palestinephotoproject.org/Gallery-Folder

      Palestine Photo Project

      Well worth viewing!!

    • @JeffB

      The obvious implication of my response is that if Israel truly wanted to diminish the possibility of war, it would end its belligerent/illegal 50 year occupation of Lebanon's Shebba Farms/Kfarshuba hills and Syria's Golan Heights.

      I also remind you of the 2002 Arab League Beirut Summit Peace Initiative, which offers Israel full recognition as a sovereign state (per UNSC Res. 242, i.e., within its June 4/67 boundaries with possible minor and mutually agreed land swaps), 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. In accordance with Israel’s pledge given to the UNGA in 1949 and by signing the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference Protocol to abide by UNGA Res. 194 regarding the then 800,000 Palestinian refugees as a precondition for admittance to the UN (after being rejected twice), the Arab League’s Initiative “calls upon Israel to affirm” that it agrees to help pursue the “achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem…”

      Also:
      "[Hezbollah's Sheikh] Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has made it clear that Hezbollah would not disrupt such an agreement if it is accepted by Palestinians and Hamas has repeatedly indicated its willingness to negotiate in these terms.” (“On the US-Israeli Invasion of Lebanon” by Noam Chomsky, Znet, August 23, 2006 - http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=22&ItemID=10811)

      Notably, the Beirut Arab Summit Initiative has also been adopted by the Organization of Islamic States which includes Iran. (Akiva Eldar, “What will happen if Israel ‘defeats’ Obama?” - Haaretz, 1 June 2009)

      “...in May 2003, a conference of the member states’ foreign ministers [of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation] in Tehran ‘reaffirmed its support to, and adoption of, the Arab peace initiative for resolving the issue of Palestine and the Middle-East.’ Indeed, an information leaflet about the peace initiative posted on the Arab League’s official website shows the flags of all countries that endorse the proposal, including those of Libya, Syria — and Iran.” (“Why is Israel so afraid of the Arab Peace Initiative?, by Raphael Ahren, The Times of Israel, 18 June 2013)

      Also, In its revised Charter, April, 2017, Hamas agreed to a Palestinian state based on the 4 June 1967 borders. Regrettably, but not surprisingly, Israel promptly rejected the Hamas overture instead of using it to open a dialogue.

      Enough said.

    • http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-terrified-corbyn-and-will-try-stop-him-becoming-pm-says-israeli-activist-1232006492

      Middle East Eye, by Joe Gill, Monday 25 September 2017

      "Israel 'terrified' of Corbyn as PM, Israeli activist tells Labour audience."

      "Miko Peled tells meeting at Labour Party conference Israel will do everything it can to stop Jeremy Corbyn becoming PM"

      EXCERPT:
      Peled said the Israelis 'are terrified of the possibility of Jeremy Corbyn being prime minister. They are going to pull all the stops, they are going to smear, they are going to try anything they can to stop Corbyn from being prime minister.'

      He said it was up to Labour members to stop that happening. 'Jeremy Corbyn is an opportunity for Britain that, if it gets lost, won’t come back for a very long time.'

      "The meeting exposed cracks within the ranks of Labour’s Jewish membership with one audience member calling for the Jewish Labour Movement, which has traditionally supported Israel, to be expelled from the party."

    • More for the record:

      The Palestine Liberation Organization, Department of Culture & Information.

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

      September 29, 2017

      "Dr. Ashrawi meets with British Labour Party Parliamentarians: 'The Balfour Declaration and its colonial legacy should not dictate the policies of the twenty-first century.'"

      "PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi met yesterday with a visiting delegation of British Labour Party Parliamentarians which was organized by The Council for Advancing Arab-British Understanding (Caabu) and Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) at the PLO Headquarters in Ramallah.  The delegation consisted of Parliamentarians Graham Jones, Julie Elliott, Holly Lynch, Chris Elmore, and Lilian Greenwood, and Caabu Parliamentary and Events Officer Joseph Willits and MAP’s Advocacy and Campaigns Manager Rohan Talbot.

      "Dr. Ashrawi expressed her appreciation for the work of both Caabu and MAP and noted their longstanding and valuable efforts in exposing Israeli violations of international law and promoting the rights and freedoms of the Palestinian people.

      "She provided a comprehensive overview of Israel’s unlawful unilateralism and draconian measures, in particular its latest expansion of illegal settlements, home demolitions and acts of collective punishment: 'Such flagrant violations are part of a deliberate policy to destroy the two-state solution and the chances for peace.'

      Both parties discussed the most recent political and regional developments, as well as 'the need for the British government to play a constructive and distinctive role in working to end the military occupation and achieving Palestinian statehood.' They also reviewed the ongoing process of reconciliation as a means for international Palestinian empowerment.

      Dr. Ashrawi affirmed the importance of multilateral engagement based on international law and the involvement of the P5+1 Plus: 'What is required from the international community is the political will to intervene and to undertake an effective course of action with concrete and specific steps to guarantee freedom and sovereignty for Palestine within a specific and binding timeframe to end the occupation and mechanisms for arbitration, monitoring and evaluation.'”

      In the context of the upcoming 100-year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration on November 2, Dr. Ashrawi stressed: 'The Balfour Declaration presents a painful tragedy for the Palestinian people; the ramifications are still being felt throughout the region.  The colonial past should not dictate the policies of the twenty-first century, and the Israeli occupation remains one of its most repugnant expressions.  It is time for the British government to apologize for the injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people and to carry out a process of rectification, beginning with the recognition of the independent state of Palestine on 1967 boundaries.'”

    • For the record:

      The Palestine Liberation Organization, Department of Culture & Information.

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

      September 29, 2017

      PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi on the blatant bias of the US Ambassador to Israel

      “The US Ambassador to Israel has proved once again that he is completely removed from reality. In addition to his long-standing support for Israeli settlements, and after referring to the 'alleged occupation' of Palestinian land, he has the audacity to maintain that Israel occupies only 2% of the West Bank and that illegal settlements that carve, annex and steal Palestinian land are part of Israel. This Ambassador has continued to visit illegal settlements and even joined the Israeli celebrations in June marking the occupation of Palestinian land in 1967.
       
      "Not only does the Ambassador break from long-standing US policy, he is also at odds with the international legal, political and moral consensus. His positions are a mirror reflection of the settlers' ideology in Israel’s right-wing coalition government rather than that of successive Administrations that have claimed to be invested in peace.
       
      "The US Ambassador to Israel cannot impose his alternative facts or realities on an entire people that has been held captive under a brutal occupation for half a century. The occupation exists. Settlements are illegal under international law and constitute a war crime. These facts and realities are not in question.
       
      "If the US Administration is truly committed to peace, it will hold its Ambassador accountable for his consistently outrageous and morally repugnant attitude, actions and statements. Ultimately a decision needs to be made: Is he the US Ambassador to Israel or is he part of the Israeli settlement enterprise?”

    • You neglected to note that after seizing them during the war it launched on 5 June 1967, Israel is still belligerently and illegally occupying Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms and Kfarshuba hills as well as Syria's Golan Heights from which it expelled 150,000 Syrians.

  • Seeing 'tranquillity' on West Bank, 'New York Times' whitewashes the occupation
    • @DaBakr

      Reality:

      Eminent Jewish Israeli journalist, Bradley Burston, aptly sums up the horrors Israel inflicts on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem:
      “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.” (Haaretz, Feb. 26/13)

      The reverend Allan Boesak , 2011: “Israeli apartheid is worse, not in the sense that apartheid was not an absolutely terrifying system in South Africa, but in the ways in which the Israelis have taken the apartheid system and perfected it, so to speak; sharpened it. For instance, we had the Bantustans and we had the Group Areas Act and we had the separate schools and all of that but I don’t think it ever even entered the mind of any apartheid planner to design a town in such a way that there is a physical wall that separates people and that that wall denotes your freedom of movement, your freedom of economic gain, of employment, and at the same time is a tool of intimidation and dehumanisation.”
      https://craignielsen.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/israeli-apartheid-worse-than-south-african-apatheid-allan-boesak/

      Re: The Gaza Strip:
      Video: http://obliteratedfamilies.com/en/story/shuheibar/

      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.

  • 'NYT' leaves out Dennis Ross's charge to US Jews: 'We need to be advocates for Israel'
    • @Jabberwocky

      Re David Niles, a dedicated advocate for Zionism in the Truman White House:

      From the very beginning of his presidency Truman was pushed into the Zionist camp by David Niles who had retained his position as chief advisor to the Roosevelt White House on Zionist concerns. Niles (and later, special presidential counsel and ardent gentile Zionist, Clark Clifford) worked in tandem with Eliahu Epstein, head of the Zionist Organization's Washington office to keep the president on course by constantly emphasizing the importance of the Jewish vote and reminding him that he could only be assured of it by supporting Zionism. (Epstein later adopted the Hebrew name Elath and became Israel's first ambassador to the United States).

      According to James Forrestal, Truman's future secretary of defense, Niles and Clifford were "the principal architects of Truman's pro-Zionist policy that was based on 'squalid political purposes [even though] United States policy should be based on United States national interests and not on domestic political considerations.'" ("Diary Entry for October 21, 1948, by the Secretary of Defense Forrestal)," FRUS 1948, p. 1501; cited by Neff Fallen Pillars, p. 29)

      Niles managed to minimize the influence of the State Department on formulating the U.S. position in the debate over the Partition Plan: "...David Niles was able to have Truman appoint a pro-Zionist, General John Hilldring, to the United Nations' American delegation to offset the views of the appointees from the State Department. Through Hilldring, Niles established a direct liaison between the United Nations and Truman; indeed, U.S. positions were occasionally relayed directly from the White House without the State Department's having been consulted. Thus, for example, after a private conversation with Chaim Weizmann, Truman phoned the U.N. delegation and told them to reverse American backing for the Arab claim that the Negev (southern Palestine) should be part of an Arab state; the United States would support its inclusion in the Jewish state as recommended in UNSCOP's majority proposal." (Charles D. Smith, Palestine and the Arab/Israeli Conflict, p. 139)

      In 1962, Niles declared: "there are serious doubts in my mind that Israel would have come into being if Roosevelt had lived." (Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab, Jews and the New American Scene, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, 1995 p. 121)

    • @eljay

      Meanwhile, some sunshine on the horizon:

      The Palestine Liberation Organization.

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

      September 28, 2017

      "In response to three positive developments, PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi affirmed: 'We are encouraged by such strong support for justice in Palestine.'

      “Three recent positive developments are proof of the ongoing strong support for the Palestinian struggle for justice and freedom.

      "'We welcome efforts by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in particular its High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein’s implementation of Human Rights Council Resolution 31/36 on the illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territory, as expressed in his letters to 150 Israeli and international companies warning them of being listed in a UN database of 'all business enterprises' that operate in settlements.  Israel’s illegal settlement policies and practices are a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and in direct contravention of international law.  Such a development is an indication of the United Nations attempt to curb Israeli violations and to begin a process of legal accountability for those who are complicit in illegal settlements.

      "'Yesterday, in his keynote speech at the Labour party conference, leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn stated, ‘And let’s give real support to end the oppression of the Palestinian people, the 50-year occupation and illegal settlement expansion and move to a genuine two-state solution of the Israel-Palestine conflict.’ We are grateful to Jeremy Corbyn for adopting a principled and courageous stand on behalf of the Palestinian people. His extremely encouraging words help restore our faith that there are politicians of integrity who are willing to deal with Palestine in ways that are consistent with justice, international law and the service of peace.'

      "'Again, we express our appreciation to the seventy-five countries that voted yesterday in favor of Palestine becoming a member of Interpol; their support is real proof that this organization is committed to its mandate to ensure the global rule of law and that any criminal around the world will not be allowed to escape justice.'”

    • A BRIEF LOOK AT CAMP DAVID 2000 AND DENNIS ROSS ETAL

      There can be no doubt that President Clinton’s pro-Israel bias was mainly responsible for the failure of the 2000 Camp David Summit. It is also important to remember that by blaming him for its failure, Clinton broke a solemn promise to Arafat prior to the summit not to do so.

      According to Palestinian negotiator Abu Ala'a (Ahmed Qurei), as quoted by New York Times columnist Deborah Sontag, "[w]e told [Barak that] without preparation it would be a catastrophe, and now we are living the catastrophe. Two weeks before Camp David, Arafat and I saw Clinton at the White House. Arafat told Clinton he needed more time. Clinton said, 'Chairman Arafat, come try your best. If it fails, I will not blame you.' But that is exactly what he did." ("Quest for Mideast Peace: How and Why It Failed," Deborah Sontag, New York Times, 26 July 2001)

      Clinton’s Special Middle East Coordinator, Dennis Ross, repeatedly intervened during negotiations on Israel’s behalf. (Hardly surprising, given the fact that prior to joining the Clinton administration, Ross was an executive with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a pro-Israel “think tank.” )

      According to Clayton Swisher, who interviewed many of the officials present at Camp David, “Arafat was horrified that Barak had persuaded Dennis Ross – who spent 90% of his private time at Camp David with Barak – to alter the wording on Jerusalem. Instead of stating: ‘The Jerusalem municipal area will host the national capitals of both Israel and the Palestinian state,’ Ross crossed out ‘municipal area’ and wrote in: ‘The expanded area of Jerusalem will host the national capitals of both Israel and the Palestinian state.’ ‘Expanded area,’ of course, meant giving the Palestinians a capital in the suburbs.” (The Truth about Camp David: The Untold Story about the Collapse of the Middle East Peace Process, Nation Books, 2004)

      “Swisher’s story…is a tale of an incredibly ham-handed diplomatic effort. Clinton and his negotiating team come across as a kind of gang that couldn’t shoot straight. Swisher describes turf squabbles between Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and National Security Adviser Sandy Berger and most particularly, between an egotistical Dennis Ross and, at one time or another, virtually everyone else. Albright, it comes clear repeatedly, knew virtually nothing about the issues…. The U.S. mediators made little effort to narrow positions before the summits, and there was little of the give-and-take essential in negotiations. One State Department official tells Swisher that at Camp David everything was ‘very loosy-goosy,’ with no prepared texts and no detailed position papers, because ‘that’s the way Dennis liked to run things.’…” ((Kathleen Christison, “Camp David Redux,” Counterpunch) “

      At Camp David, Swisher notes, even after seven years, ‘ [Dennis] Ross was still nowhere near the most basic understanding of what the Palestinians would consider minimally acceptable regarding territory.’ Fundamentally, as Swisher points out, but Ross has apparently never grasped, as the occupying power with total control over ‘the very thing the Palestinians wanted — a state — the Israelis would naturally have to be more forthcoming [than the Palestinian side]; this could only occur if the central mediator stood between both parties and demonstrated a willingness to ‘swing elbows’.’ But neither Ross nor any of his colleagues, including Clinton, saw the need to do this.” (Kathleen Christison, Camp David Redux)

      With Clinton’s approval, Dennis Ross, a loyal servant of Israel, did a real hatchet job on Arafat. “[He] actually worked with an Israeli negotiator in the middle of the night before the summit collapsed to draft Clinton’s ‘blame speech,’ casting Arafat as the bad guy and Barak as the courageous risk-taker…. [Ross also] spent four hours with [Colin] Powell during the transition and reportedly told the incoming secretary of state not to believe a word Arafat said because he was ‘a con man’.” (Kathleen Christison) “

      “In voluminous interviews (including with Swisher) and commentaries over the last several years, as well as in his own memoirs, Arafat always figures as the culprit and as Ross’s central obsession. The obsession — fed by Barak, shared to a great degree by Clinton, and magnified by an Israel-centric media in the U.S. — became a comfortable retreat for Americans who could not acknowledge U.S. responsibility and would not acknowledge Israel’s responsibility, so closely bound was the U.S. to Israel. Swisher ends his account with a semi-apology from [Aaron David] Miller, who participated in Ross’s four-hour briefing of Powell. ‘You don’t want to give centrality to how you fucked up,’ Miller confessed. ‘Dennis [Ross] could have never brought himself to do it, and neither could I.’ ” (Kathleen Christison)

      To quote Shlomo Ben-Ami, Israel’s foreign minister and chief negotiator at Camp David 2000: “...Camp David was not the missed opportunity for the Palestinians, and if I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David, as well” (Debate with Dr. Norman Finkelstein, National Public Radio, 14 February 2006.)

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