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Total number of comments: 41 (since 2010-04-21 21:18:43)

Parity

Check out my website for an innovative peace plan.

Website: http://www.parityforpeace.org

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  • Dershowitz approves Clinton's 'muscular foreign policy,' and Sen. Warren is a 'surprising Israel hawk'
    • What a depressing article! I'm totally disillusioned with Warren, and Tom Friedman is even more tribal than I had realized. Add to that Barbara Lee's No vote on the pro-Palestinian amendments as a member of the Democratic Platform Committee. The Green Party is the only party we can rely on.

      Note to Elizabeth Warren: Why doesn't your concern about big money's influence on our economy extend to big money's influence on our foreign policy?

  • In long obit for Hedy Epstein, 'NYT' buries Palestinian solidarity
    • The dramatic incident featured at the beginning of the Times obituary of Hedy Einstein was significant because of her age: 90. The photo above the article was enough to draw the reader into wanting to learn about her Palestinian activism as well.

      All New York Times readers should subscribe to Barbara Erickson's excellent critiques of New York Times bias in her blog link to timeswarp.org

  • Sanders will not attend AIPAC, offers to share remarks
  • What Bernie Sanders should say at AIPAC (and cause a political revolution)
    • “Sound like Bernie”? How can it sound like “Bernie”, when the guy’s whole life has been against that. - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

      It sounded like Bernie because it had themes Bernie often brings up and uses phrases he often uses, such as "I believe" and "let me be clear."

      I suppose it would be the kiss of death for him to give this speech now, but I believe that his belief in justice is strong enough that when he gets the full facts (if he ever does--and it will depend on his adivsors), he will give this speech.

    • Phil, this is fantastic! You even managed to make the speech sound like Bernie, as any good speech writer would. What a game changer this speech would be!

  • Netanyahu feels complete impunity because all US politicians need 'support of Jewish community' -- former Israeli diplomat
    • I believe it was John Whitmore who suggested that Western countries should refuse to grant visas to Israeli settlers. That action might discourage people from living in the settlements, and it would underscore the illegality of the settlements. It would punish the people who need punishing.

  • Why Rabbi Susan Talve was called a 'real terrorist' by St Louis activists
    • This article and the accompanying open letter from Saint Louis Jewish Voice for Peace are watershed articles, two of the most powerful articles I've read. Send them to every Jew you know who is progressive except for Palestine. Send the articles also to the heads of the Interfaith Councils and to Christian leaders who give Zionists a pass.

      The problem with PEPs is their inability to see go back far enough, to understand how the decision to establish a Jewish-majority state by force, on as much land as possible, set forth endless violence, just as the State Department predicted it would. To justify the expulsion of the Palestinians and the appropriation of their lands on the basis of our having done the same to the American Indians is like saying it's OK to have slavery in this day and age, since the U.S. was once a slave state.

      The only way out of the mess we have created is to focus on equality and justice.

  • The Case for Parallel States: Excerpt from 'One Land, Two States: Israel and Palestine as Parallel States'
    • Parity for Peace was conceived and written ten years ago. At that point, persuasion by stressing the advantages for each side seemed possible. Now pressure against the dominant power is necessary.

    • Sure, in theory the government is supposed to protect all its citizens equally, but where wealth disparities exist, rich people get to hire better lawyers, make bigger contributions to politicians, and so on. Actual power is different from constitutional power, as we can well see.

      If you read the above article and/or Parity for Peace, you would see that parallel states doesn't mean side by side. It's more like "overlapping." It's like looking at a computer screen and switching from one window to the other, yet looking at the same screen. This is the analogy made by Israeli peace activist Deb Reich, who coined the term "parallel sovereignty."

    • Two states on the same land in this case means two states with identical borders and no territorial division--something never tried before. It is a new concept. Refugees could return to any part of the shared territory. Please read the above article or http://www.parityforpeace.org before commenting further.

    • Annie, I think your criticism of Parity for Peace's not proposing enough incentives to make Israel give up power is valid. The site badly needs updating. It has not been touched since August 24, 2009 (if you look at the end of the website). The writer (me) is computer-challenged, has forgotten how to edit and upload, and is focusing on trying to change public opinion in the United States to the point where Israel will have to give up power or land.

    • Israelis do not "control" more wealth; they already have it. The Israelis would not be able to contribute to the elections of Palestinians (and the reverse would also be true). Israelis, with their wealth, might dominate the media, but there would also be a free and fair Palestinian media and Palestinians don't need the media to tell them what they are experiencing. They are assured that 50 percent of the power in the condominium government will be Palestinian so that Palestinian rights are protected.

      How would the South or South Africa be different if black people had enough actual power to protect their interests?

    • Look at the United States. We have one-person one-vote. Then look at the role that wealth plays in supporting candidates that reflect their positions and hurting candidates that do not. Look at the role that wealth plays in shaping public discourse that in turns shapes elections. When there are great disparities in wealth, the wealthy have more power than their numbers would suggest. That's why Parity for Peace stipulates a 50-50 power relationship from the outset.

    • Parity for Peace differs from "the blueprint Zio-supremacists advocate" by having a different power structure: Zionists would no longer have supreme control of the land, not even the 51 percent that Jabotinsky envisioned as the possible end result, once the Palestinians were willing to accept a Jewish state. The power structure between the two states would be 50-50. This would take away the demographic concerns that prompt Israel to get rid of the Palestinians and replace them with Jews so that Israel can be at the same time Jewish and "democratic." In fact, under Parity for Peace, Arab Israelis would belong to the Palestinian state, because that is the state that would best represent them and their culture and aspirations. They would not have to move to be part of the Palestinian state, because the entire land would be "Palestine" or "Israel," depending on how one wanted to identify it.

      There are variations on this concept. You can read about some of them on the website Approaches to Coexistence.

      Although a one-person one-vote solution may seem more democratic, in the case of Israel/Palestine, one must now also consider the relative wealth of the Israeli Jews and the Palestinians. A power structure of 50-50 from the onset would mitigate the corrupting influence of wealth. Dividing power this way would be, at least, a good place to begin. Parity for Peace enables changes to be made if both nations agree to these changes in separate plebescites.

    • If the national governments each have control over cultural events and areas of life, like marriage, that will at least give each national group the right to have these events, which is not the case now. Each government could have its own laws on matters that do not pertain to the other national group, such as marriage (interfaith marriages could be handled by the condominium government. But the most important thing is that each government would have equal power on matters affecting both populations. Thus equal rights by individuals to resources could be enforced. Sure, there may be gridlock; we also have gridlock, so a condominium government may not be worse. A mechanism could be created for breaking gridlocks.

      Will the Israelis give up power for peace? Not likely without tremendous international pressure. But if both sides get most of what they want (Israel: land and security; Palestinians: land, freedom, self-determination, security, the right to return) and the sacrifice of sharing the land is equal between the two national groups, this may be the best deal.

      Those people not willing to live with this kind of government, whether Israeli or Palestinian, should be allowed to move to, and become citizens of, other countries as long as they give up irredentism.

      Do read Parity for Peace (www.parityforpeace.org). It is not long.

    • And if a plan like that didn’t exist, somebody would have to invent it.
      Reply
      - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net
      Mooser, what point are you trying to make? I don't understand.

    • The idea of parallel states as a solution to the current predicament has been conceived independently by at least four people, two of them Israelis. See http://www.parityforpeace.org for a detailed plan calling for two states on the same land with equal rights for all individuals, regardless of nationality, and bilateral governance on all matters of mutual concern. This plan has been up on the Web since 2005.

  • 'Why I am a Zionist'
  • Roundtable on the Palestinian solidarity movement and Alison Weir
    • Thanks to all for your good insights.

    • Stephen Shenfield,

      I want to thank you in particular for helping me understand what anti-Semitism is, but I would like to ask you another question. Do you think Clay Douglas is a white supremacist? As far as I can see, his issue is more about control than about race. His reason for being attracted to a worldview that blames Jews for many of our problems seems to me to arise from not wanting to be controlled. Please look at his website and let me know what you think (www.freeamerican.com). I am just tried to retrieve the Spencer Sunshine article that discussed Clay Douglas and white supremacy, but I can't get it anymore. It seems to me that if someone is really concerned about anti-Semitism and Jew hatred when classical anti-Semitism no longer exists might prefer to couch conspiracy theorists as white supremacists rather than as anti-Semites. Basically, depicting Clay Douglas as a white supremacist is important to the logic that is being presented by JVP and the Campaign that you have to keep the movement strictly focused on human rights and the power structure that supports racism and human rights abuses. The irony is that Clay Douglas is very much focused on the power structure--he just has a different version of it. I don't think his view that Jews have too much control translates into wanting to harm them. It translates into wanting to find ways to set up independent banking systems, Liberty Villages, etc. Please comment before we end this discussion. Thanks.

    • It's awfully late, so I can't formulate an answer to your three points. Tomorrow we will probably be starting with a clean slate. I basically agree with you. I tried to answer your earlier post by hitting the Reply button right after that post so that you could see what I was referring to.

    • Irishmoses,
      I did not answer your questions, because I thought you had misunderstood me. I was not arguing that all three examples were examples of anti-Semitism. All three examples were given by a JVP rabbi. The first was of criticism, which the rabbi thought was OK. The second was an example that reflected anti-Semitism, but wasn't anti-Semitism, according to the rabbi. The third was an example of real anti-Semitism, according to the rabbi. I neither agreed nor disagreed with these examples so did not feel the need to answer your questions. However, I think you offered good ideas for making statements not seem anti-Semitic.

    • Stephen,

      You have answered my first question. What about the next two questions from my post?
      The second question would be, is Alison’s willingness to be interviewed on a show where the interviewer has this worldview but doesn’t seem hateful amplifying hate? Third question: is she required to attack his worldview at every turn? - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net
      Perhaps the 2nd question should be: If the interviewer is anti-Semitic, does appearing on the show in order to talk about the Palestinians and Zionism amplify the interviewer's worldview?

    • Those examples were not mine. They were given by Rabbi Alissa Wise, as indicated in my comment. Sorry that wasn't clear. The question I would ask is, if you have a worldview that Jews have long considered to be anti-Semitic, but you don't hate or harm Jews, are you anti-Semitic? The second question would be, is Alison's willingness to be interviewed on a show where the interviewer has this worldview but doesn't seem hateful amplifying hate? Third question: is she required to attack his worldview at every turn?

      I agree that the charge of anti-Semitism is often used to silence discussion on topics that should be freely discussed.

    • Rabbi Alissa Wise, of the JVP Rabinnical Council, gave a talk about anti-Semitism at a conference in Vancouver, Canada, in which she tried to differentiate between criticism, reflecting anti-Semitism, and anti-Semitism itself. Here is one of the topics for which she tried to give a distinction:

      – A clear criticism: “In this issue, as in so many, the corporate media provide one-dimensional, sensationalized coverage, usually biased toward whatever side the US government is backing – when they cover it at all.”

      – A way to say this same idea in a way that reflects anti-semitic sentiment, even unwittingly would be to say: “The media, controlled by Zionists, never talks about the plight of Palestinians.”

      – A way that anti-Semitic organizations or people say the same idea: “Zionist control of the media is part of a vast web of Zionist power over banks and world governments in their conspiracy to rule over humanity.”

      You can read the whole speech here: link to palestiniantalmud.com

      I will say that Clay Douglas's worldview is in the third category, so by this definition he is anti-Semitic. However, he doesn't appear to me to hate Jews or want to harm them.

      You can read the entire August 25, 2010, interview on Clay Douglas' radio show here: link to ifamericansknewalisonweir.com

    • I wish JVP, ETO, and Alison could all get together and try to mend the rift. Alison, in particular, I think needs an apology for the way her herem was handled.

    • I've looked at the Free American website, which has changed over a period of time, but the main issue of Clay Douglas, the owner, is not white supremacy (racial), as far as I can tell, but being controlled, which he applies to a number of issues, including government mandates for vaccinating children. He does believe that Jews have too much control over banks, the media, etc., and in that respect he amplifies long-standing ideas of what is considered anti-Semitic. I think Zionist control is something to be explored and debated, not dismissed out of hand, and that you can believe that Zionists exert too much control over our government and media without having an irrational hatred of Jews as a collective, which is how I would define anti-Semitism. Douglas does care about the Palestinians and even had Ali Abunimah listed for an August 3 interview about the West Bank toddler who was burned in his home, and alongside the announcement was a link to the Electronic Intifada's account of the incident. Abunimah must have refused to be interviewed or asked that the interview be withdrawn, because nothing comes up when you press the link. Still, I'm wondering whether Abunimah missed a good opportunity to educate the truck drivers who might have been listening to the radio broadcast.

      I'm sorry about the way Alison's ouster was handled by both JVP (to which I belong) and ETO (to which many of the organizations I work with belong). I know that Alison asked to meet with JVP but was instead directed to JVP's lawyer. ETO said she had until August 3 to respond to their charges, but they jumped the gun and ousted her before that date.

      My guess is that JVP and ETO have concerns that Alison's message will increase the hatred of Jews. If so, JVP and ETO should have been honest and to the point. Instead, they have come up with a high-sounding framework that wants to position the I-P movement into a movement that brings down all the oppressive power structures in our country. That sounds like a task for every generation.

      A more focused goal, which would more quickly end the suffering of the Palestinians, would be to educate as many people as possible about the plight of the Palestinians and what we need to do to help them. Education needs to includes facts about the Zionists' role in our government and media, something Alison does well.

    • As a former history teacher, I found Alison's book fascinating, informative and well-researched. Did I end up hating Jews as a result of reading it? No. That's partly because I know so many Jews whom I admire and love, and I don't assign collective blame. Do I think we can learn from the book? Yes.

      Think about it. The Zionists had a formidable task. Most Americans, including most American Jews, had no interest in establishing a Jewish state. Many Jewish leaders were dead set against the idea, having experienced the advantages of the separation of church and state, being concerned about possible accusations of dual loyalty should a Jewish state come into being, and expressing concerns about Palestinian rights as well as the violence that was taking place. Nevertheless, the Zionists persevered. The results are evident today.

      One of their techniques was to figure out how best to win support from various segments of the U.S. population. Different groups were approached in different ways. Why don't we in the movement for Palestinian rights do likewise and support each other in what we do best? JVP's approach may be the best for winning over Jews and guilt-ridden Christians. The U.S. Campaign's plans to join Palestinian solidarity work with solidarity for other oppressed groups can help benefit all oppressed groups. Friends of Sabeel could work with churches. If American Knew could do what it does so well--inform people about media bias and Zionist pressure, in addition to highlighting the plight of the Palestinians.

      In fact, Alison already uses different hooks for different populations. For veterans, the USS Liberty is a good entry point. For members of the Tea Party, it may be the amount of money we give to Israel. For Libertarians, it can be issues of control. If people go to Alison's website and then learn more about the Palestinians, she will have accomplished something. Pro-Palestinian groups don't all have to work together, but from their various vantage points they can help to break up the Israel lobby's grip on America. It is our money and diplomatic support that keeps the Palestinians under occupation.

      Jennifer seems to think that certain topics are definitely anti-Semitic. Words like "control" and "conspiracy" in reference to Zionism are buttons you are not supposed to push. But is it a sin to explore these topics? What if there really was a conspiracy? What if Zionists really do control the media? If these "tropes" turn out to be true, is it legitimate to call them anti-Semitic?

      Everybody should read Alison's book, "Against Our Better Judgment." It is unfair to criticize it without having read it.

  • Episcopal Church rejects BDS resolutions citing fears divestment would hamper church in Jerusalem
    • "Bishop Suheil Dawani, Anglican," signed the Kairos Palestine document of December 15, 2009, calling on Christians around the world to engage in BDS against the Israeli occupation. Now, apparently, he is Archbishop. He must have changed his mind after becoming Archbishop and receiving pressure from the Israeli government.

  • Journey through a fractured landscape
    • Sandy Tolan's account of conditions in the West Bank is heartbreaking. I hope the United Church of Christ has the guts to pass not only the BDS resolution but also the apartheid resolution that has been presented for consideration at the General Synod taking place the last week of June.

  • Tutu endorses UCC divestment: 'It is unconscionable to remain silent'
  • Once again, 'NYT' fails to tell its readers that many Jews support BDS
    • I recommend timeswarp.org to readers. This website is dedicated to detecting bias in the New York Times. See the current article on BDS coverage, which provides additional information about Orange and gives further indications of bias.

  • Surprise-- 'NYT' publishes straightforward report on Israeli human rights violations in Gaza
  • Wall around Bethlehem is Christmas billboard in Atlanta
    • The Israeli government does not allow Israelis to go to Bethlehem, so Mary and Joseph coming from Nazareth, Israel, would have a hard time today getting into this Palestinian city, wall or no wall. The main problem with the wall is that the Palestinians inside Bethlehem cannot get out without a special permit from Israel.

  • TX congressman who expressed concern about Gaza deaths undergoes 'healing process' and will fly El Al to Israel
    • As soon as I read about O'Rourke's vote, in The New Yorker, I sent him a check. If enough of us did that while saying it was because he voted against the $225,000, he would not feel so threatened by the lack of Jewish donations. If we all pledged donate to time and money to Elizabeth Warren in a presidential campaign in which she distanced herself from AIPAC, perhaps it would give her the courage to chart an independent course.

  • The elephant in the room, in Marin County
    • Pabelmont, we do have debate in Congress and the media on climate change, and there is some debate in the media on corporations. But on Israel there appears to be no debate. Imagine Congress considering what might have caused an increase in rocket attacks from Gaza before unanimously voting to give Israel the right to "defend itself" from "unprovoked" rocket attacks. No one questions the spin. In an article on AIPAC in the September 1 issue of the New Yorker, freshman Congressman Beto O'Rourke, one of four Democrats to vote against AIPAC's request for more money for Iron Dome, is quoted as saying, "I could not in good conscience vote for borrowing $225 million more to send to Israel without debate and without discussion, in the midst of a war that has cost more than a thousand civilian lives already, too many of them children." If there had been debate, might he have been able to influence members of Congress to vote against the bill?

  • Our new look
    • I liked being able to see all the articles at once and being able to hover my cursor over the titles to get some text giving the gist of the article. This was particularly useful on days when I did not have time to read each article.

  • And now a word from our Democratic Party standard bearer
    • At least Elizabeth Warren did not cosponsor H.Res.498 expressing "support for the State of Israel as it defends itself against unprovoked rocket attacks." Neither did Patrick Leahy or Dianne Feinstein. We should thank them and the handful of other senators who did not vote for this resolution giving Israel the green light to attack Gaza. You can see the long list of cosponsors here: link to beta.congress.gov{%22search%22%3A[%22support+for+Israel%22]}

      I think "unanimous consent" can represent only a handful of senators, depending on who shows up for the voice vote. However, this resolution did have overwhelming support, judging from the number of cosponsors.

  • Chomsky supports portions of BDS agenda, but faults others, citing realism and int'l consensus
    • On the signature page of Resolution 194 is written "Recognizing the difficulty of implementation." Israel seems to think that gets them off the hook.

  • What Comes Next: Five Palestine futures
    • Another, out-of-the-box possibility exists besides those listed by Richard Falk for resolving the conflict. That possibility is Parity for Peace, a different kind of two-state solution, in which Israel and Palestine have identical borders; within these borders, one would simultaneously be in two states at the same time. Statehood for each of the two nationalities would enable each to have representation as a state in the United Nations and provide additional guarantees. For example, a coup in one state would not translate to a coup in the other state. Statehood immediately sets up a situation of equality between the two states, so that decisions regarding the shared territory would be made as equals. Israel could remain Jewish but in a context where it could not exploit the Palestinians. Palestinians could return to live at or near their former homes if they wished to without affecting the power structure. Each state would have enough power to protect its own interests but not enough power to dominate the other. Each state would govern its own population on personal and cultural matters, such as marriage, but on matters concerning the shared territory, decisions would be made jointly. See http://www.parityforpeace.org for more details.

      Although this proposal meets core needs expressed by each side, nothing is going to happen until Israel is willing to give up power, and that will take concerted international pressure to the sanctions level.

  • From Mississippi to Gaza -- Dorothy Zellner reflects on 50 years of struggle
    • With respect to the Zionist elite, a very interesting book by Alison Weir has come out that examines how the Zionists amassed support for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. The book is "Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel." It is available from Amazon. It is short and well documented. Among the techniques used to support Zionism was to see that fellow Zionists were highly placed. Justice Louis Brandeis, the leading Zionist in the U.S., got a wealthy Jew to endow a chair at Harvard that enabled Felix Frankfurter to secure a position there. From that position, Frankfurter moved on to the Supreme Court. When, as a Supreme Court Justice, Brandeis could not be overtly Zionist, he used influential Harvard professor Frankfurter to carry out Zionist missions for him.

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