Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 212 (since 2012-04-24 08:05:09)

Showing comments 200 - 101

  • US to differentiate between 'personally displaced' Palestinian refugees and their descendants
    • playforpalestine May 31, 2012 at 7:25 am

      "No, they attacked Israeli forces based in Palestine. The forces were stationed around the settlements."

      I'm sorry, in what way does your statement differ from what I wrote? The Jewish forces were generally within the settlements when they were attacked by Arab armies, and the settlements were in both Palestine and Israel proper. Whatever, you at least agree that those Arab armies attacked Jewish forces, yes?

      To be more specific... As Arab forces invaded Israel, the Egyptian Air Force bombed Tel Aviv. On 18 May, the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station was bombed, killing over a hundred people. For the first few weeks of the war, Egyptian warplanes bombed Tel Aviv without risk to themselves.

      Kibbutzes Kfar Darom, Nirim, and Yad Mordechai were all attacked. At Yad Mordechai, 100 Israelis armed with rifles, a single machine gun and one anti-tank weapon, famously held up a column of 2,500 Egyptians, (despite their having armor, artillery and air units), for five days. The Egyptians suffered 300–400 casualties while only 26 Israelis were killed there.

      Are you able to agree that this stuff happened?

      "Youve become a joke here PFP."

      To whom? You? That's sweet. I'm not going to insult you back btw, until you are able to come up with an insult worth a response. (I have faith in you. Good luck!!!) In the interim, please try and focus on answering my questions. There's just one or two, but you've been somewhat less than straightforward lately.

    • playforpalestine May 31, 2012 at 6:10 am

      "Max Abrahms / Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Is not a neutral organization.
      Your UN Link is to a letter containing accusations. Accusations are not evidence nor are they a UNSC resolution."

      Do you refute the content of either link? Both are easily verifiable elsewhere.

      "Show how you reach this conclusion "

      Example: "agreed to relinquish its role to Israel in the ISRAEL-JORDAN PEACE TREATY" The peace treaty said nothing about relinquishing its role to Israel re: palestinians.

    • playforpalestine May 31, 2012 at 6:00 am

      "Stop fillibustering. I asked you for anything that proves the annexation was illegal, be it UN resolution, ICJ ruling or any ruling by an equally legitimate legal body."

      Hahahaha! Awesome. So you're just retreating to demanding an absurdly specific benchmark before you'll recognize any violation of law. Yeah, no one will figure that one out. The UN isn't even a legal body, you're just picking qualifications based on who is most biased against Israel.

      "It’s only clear and obvious once it’s been established by a legal body, so who ruled that Jordan had no right?

      It’s not incumbent upon me to prove legality. You’re the one claiming it was illegal. So where is your proof?"

      Thank you. By resorting to such blatantly dishonest debate you're making this very easy. If Israel were actually in the wrong here I imagine you would not have to resort to such ridiculous tactics.

      "They were based on customary law, which was in place in 1948."

      I'm sorry, but no. You have zero evidence because you are wrong.

      "What are you babbling about? Refugee law is a law."

      Actually, you are just saying "refugee law" over and over again. There isn't an actual law like you are describing.

      "Dayton was based on refugee and customary international law"

      No, Dayton is a treaty. The "refugee and customary international law" you're mentioning is non-existent. Which is why you spent so much time describing Dayton... because the supposed actual law that it's based on is imaginary.

      "Perhaps, but that is not evidence that the annexations was illegal. "

      Well, unless you believe that any nation can legally invade, ethnically cleanse and then unilaterally annex territory outside of its own borders, whenever it wants, then you have to admit that Jordan's annexation of EJ is illegal.

      "Rubbish. The massacre took place AFTER Jordan has lost control of the territory."

      So? It still happened as I described.

    • playforpalestine May 31, 2012 at 3:55 am

      "The Arab States didn’t invade Israel according to this web site… they invaded “Palestine”…. don’t you trust it?"

      Semantics. You admit that they attacked Jewish settlements, whether they were within the land allocated to Israel or not, it did happen, correct?

      "You want the UNSC to pass a resolution on the Arab States for something they didn’t do?"

      The UNSC is meaningless. I don't care if they pass a resolution about this or not. The UNSC does not dictate reality.

    • playforpalestine May 30, 2012 at 10:48 pm


      Look at what I wrote. I am discussing loan guarantees. NOT US military loans, but US loan GUARANTEES. Those are loans given by someone other than the US.

      Do you understand the difference?

    • playforpalestine May 30, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      "when I simply asked you to produce a legal ruling or UN resolution supporting your repeated allegation that Jordan’s annexation of the West Bank and EJ was illegal, you came up empty."

      Since when do UN rulings determine the legality of anything? You aren't seriously going to take the stand that anything that the UN refrained from condemning is de facto legal, are you? Clearly Jordan had no right to annex any land taken by force, which EJ obviously qualifies as. Under whose authority do you find that this act could have possibly been legal?

      "The right of return is also a customary norm of international human rights law and can be found in a plethora of international conventions, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights"

      The treaties you mentioned don't guarantee an unlimited right of return. Neither even mention the phrase. Additionally, neither gained any semblance of legal authority until decades after the war we're discussing, so they clearly wouldn't apply here anyway.

      They would apply though WRT Palestinians who desired to return to Jordan, wouldn't they?

      "Finally the right of return is also a very important element of refugee law."

      And yet it is not a law.

      "According to UNHCR Executive Conclusion No. 40..."

      Not a law.

      "The US-sponsored Dayton Accords is a very good example of a treaty..."

      Treaty regarding a specific conflict. aka: not a law.

      "Putting aside the fact that Israel has leg to stand on (given it destroyed hundreds) of villages, then burrows them in pine Forrest plantations."

      Why'd you change the subject so abruptly to a completely unrelated topic? Does it have anything to do with the fact that what I wrote was 100% correct regarding the Arab's failure to uphold even a single aspect of their Declaration on the Invasion of Palestine?

      "Jews and Christians were barred from entering East Jerusalem, the ban applied to citizens and residents of Israel, including Muslims"

      Ah good. So then you admit that Jordan stood in violation of the Armistice Agreement.

      "First you criticized the Jordanians for cutting the Palestinians lose when it dissolved the joint union, now you’re alleging the denied them self-determination for offering the Jordanian citizenship."

      Which makes me a pathological liar how?

      "FYI. Self determination can be exercised by a minority group within a state – if that state permits it."

      Except that Jordan responded by massacring tens of thousands of Palestinians.

      " Is there anything you’re not prepared to lie about?"

      Disagreeing with you is not the same thing as lying. For the record, I don't think that you are lying about anything. I think you are just greatly misinformed.

    • playforpalestine May 30, 2012 at 9:28 pm

      "we could make a shit pot more with no US taxpayer money spent by selling to Iran."

      Hell, why not just sell Iran some nukes while we're at it?

    • playforpalestine May 30, 2012 at 9:25 pm

      "The Arab States didn’t invade Israel according to this web site… they invaded “Palestine”…. don’t you trust it?"

      Your link was to a statement from the Arab League. No I don't trust it, almost nothing they said in that document ended up being true at all.

      "You want the UNSC to pass a resolution on the Arab States for something they didn’t do?"

      I don't care personally. Just be aware that a lack of a UNSC condemnation is not evidence supporting the legality of Arab state actions.

    • playforpalestine May 30, 2012 at 10:36 am

      Seriously dude? Fine.

      Feel free to elucidate for me.

    • playforpalestine May 30, 2012 at 9:45 am

      "The Arabs fought a defensive war in 1948."

      You realize that the Arab states attacked Israeli settlements within what was the Mandate Palestine area, right? Israel never invaded those states. IOW they were not fighting a defensive war.

    • "Yet, culpable though the Lebanese govt undoubtedly is, the real culprit is the Israeli govt, which by refusing to come to a settlement with the Palestinians, is directly & horrendously responsible for the plight of those immured in the camps [in Lebanon]."

      Nooooo. Really. Lebanon is who is directly responsible.
      In no way is Israel forcing Lebanon to treat those Palestinians so horribly. Do you actually agree with this guy?

    • playforpalestine May 30, 2012 at 9:24 am

      That's lovely. All countries should strive for such goals.

      Now, where does it say that Israel had to "automatically transfer it’s nationality to all citizens of Palestine habitually residing inside Israel’s territory before 15 may 1948" by which I assume you mean all of the Palestinians who were expelled or fled during the war?

    • playforpalestine May 30, 2012 at 9:18 am

      Feel free to elucidate me.
      Do you believe that no Arab state has ever initiated an attack on Israel.

    • playforpalestine May 30, 2012 at 6:13 am

      "Where did all those grants, forgiven loans and loan gurantees (loans Israel has never repaid) gone PFP?"

      Which one?
      And who says the loan guarantees aren't repaid? Who would have been paying them?

    • playforpalestine May 30, 2012 at 6:11 am

      "Can you cite any UNSC resolution condemning any Arab UN Member State for invading or attacking ‘Jewish’ land or Israeli territory?"

      Aren't you proving his point here? Why isn't there any resolution?

    • playforpalestine May 30, 2012 at 6:00 am

      "But Israel is obliged under international law and human rights law (and even Resolution 181) to automatically transfer it’s nationality to all citizens of Palestine habitually residing inside Israel’s territory before 15 may 1948. "

      Haha. No it wasn't. By all means, show me.

    • playforpalestine May 30, 2012 at 5:54 am

      "I was ruminating yesterday on how the world was trending into splitting into self protecting tribes and since there is currently no more well known or recongized or resented political tribal group than Israel and the Zios, how they think they will escape what they have sowed and helped sow is beyond me. Maybe the tribes will confine it to fighting it out in their own countries…..however if it gets big enough they could chose up sides like countries did in WWI and make it a world war….come to think of it, isn’t that the Zios wanted wanted all along?…a world wide clash of cultures war."

      Except this article had nothing at all to do with Israel or Zionism. It was about Jews and anti-semitism. Do you really think that you can just replace the word "Jew" with "Zionist" in ANY situation and no one will ever notice?

    • playforpalestine May 30, 2012 at 4:58 am

      "if you are an israel firster. but as an american firster how is it beneficial?"

      How does it hurt us?

    • playforpalestine May 30, 2012 at 4:57 am

      "False again. The majority support the settlements."

      I'm sorry, what you wrote here is absurd. Do you have anything at all to back it up with? Netenyahu was elected on a platform opposing a Palestinian state? OK, so show me.

    • ahadhaadam,

      Based on your argument does that mean that you also support the rights of settlers to repopulate formerly Jewish areas within the OPT?

    • playforpalestine May 30, 2012 at 3:09 am

      "First of all, none of your links discuss the fact that the whole people’s old thing was invented in the 1800. Secondly, Kazars themselves iroginated from Turkey, so they would be considered Middle Eastern.

      Shingo, you're using a book published in 2004 that relies on data from 1997 to try and refute new studies using techniques that are far more precise than the ones you are citing. These newer studies determined the explicit differences between these similar sects.

      And if you look up Sand, there is no lack of prominent researchers who reject his work as ridiculous while there are very few who are willing to support it.

      Nor does anything he says weaken any aspect of modern Zionism anyway.

      "In any event, the dispossession of the native Palestinians by Ashkenazi immigrants from Europe cannot be justified by population genetics."

      Which has nothing at all to do with what we are talking about.

    • playforpalestine May 30, 2012 at 2:50 am

      "There are only two legitimate ways to define a distinct people for ”world purposes”, legal purposes, etc.,etc.,…those are by race or country/nationality."

      That is so untrue it's laughable. Seriously, how could you have thought that this absurdity would just be accepted on its face? What do you think a "world purpose" is anyway? Where'd you come up with that?

    • playforpalestine May 30, 2012 at 1:30 am

      "well, here’s what i think takes chutzpah..thinking you can speak for all jews in the very same comment you make abundantly clear all jews are not in agreement about it themselves."

      When did I do anything like that?

      My entire post was spent refuting American's offensive belief that imbued him with the qualifications to determine the definitive answer to thorny questions that are intrinsic to Judaism and ultimately, without any easily described explanations. He clearly approached the question with an agenda that he worked backwards from, building an "answer" based on what would fit his existing, offensive ideology.

      "you’re opinion about it is no more valid than anyone elses just because you’re jewish. "

      No, you're wrong there. My opinion is far more valid than American's. Not merely because I know what I'm talking about while he has no idea. But because I'm right, and his belief is absurd.

      "maybe it’s you who should check your chutzpa at the door before you start speaking on behalf what and who jews are wrt this whole ‘nation’ concept because there are lots of jews who are still jews and not part of your ‘nation’."

      Can you please point out where in my post I insinuated anything like what you are going on about here? I have my own opinion, which I express and back up with historical evidence. American posits an objective truth and accuses those who disagree of being in denial. Considering his lack of expertise in this subject I feel entitled to the argument I wrote. Not necessarily the one you imagined I wrote.

    • playforpalestine May 30, 2012 at 1:16 am

      "Shlomo Sand has already reveled that the whole people’s old thing was invented in the 1800s, as a means of resuscitating what was otherwise a dying religion."

      And his research has since been debunked.

      link to

      link to

      link to

    • playforpalestine May 30, 2012 at 12:46 am

      "I guess no Jewish folk had a right of return to the Arab States then and; Germany’s legislation giving RoR for Jewish folk even though they are no longer refugees, AND their lineal descendants, is meaningless."

      Correct, they did not. Especially since they have since become Israeli citizens. Germany's RoR is a decision they made, it doesn't indicate mandatory international law, so yes, it is meaningless.

      "Meanwhile the UN disagrees with your unsourced opinion"

      From your link:"They do not, in particular, enjoy the right to return to their homes, as other nationals would do."

      "Israel signed Armistice Agreements and; Peace Treaties with Jordan and Egypt and; Israel is a UN Member State… No?"


      "As such Jordan offered temporary citizenship whilst it was the trustee"

      I'm sorry, "temporary citizenship?" Where does anything regarding this event mention "temporary citizenship? Jordan rejiggered its Parliment, nothing about it was intended to be temporary. And the whole "trustee" thing came after the annexation as part of a deal Iraq brokered because the Arab League wanted to expel Jordan for its behavior. Jordan certainly never intended for its annexation to be temporary nor did it do anything to advance the cause of Palestinian nationalism. The PLO in its original charter even relinquished any claim to the West Bank, (presumably as per Jordan's instructions.) Does that sound "temporary" to you?

      "agreed to relinquish its role to Israel in the ISRAEL-JORDAN PEACE TREATY"

      What are you saying here? Relinquish what role?

      "UNRWA ‘s mandate doesn’t extend to such matters"

      That was just a link to UNRWA's website. At any rate, do the math. UNRWA counts previous Jordanian citizens as refugees. It counted them as refugees even while they were citizens. If you look at the mandate it does not disqualify Palestinians from claiming their refugee status merely because they gain alternative citizenship, putting their standard of "refugee" at odds with the generally accepted UN definition.

      "Are these neutral polls? Put them up…. thx … I’ll wait …"

      Excuse me, I recalled the poll incorrectly. The poll I thought of supported the idea that most Palestinians would not be truly interested in an Israeli RoR but would rather have a Palestinian state with Palestinian citizenship. This is borne out by the fact that so few East Jerusalem Palestinian permanent residents have applied for Israeli citizenship even though they have the right to do so.

      link to

      "The US, the UK, Australia deported or interred Japanese, Germans during the war. It’s quite common, those countries either released or allowed their return after the war."

      In this case they were not.

      "Meanwhile under Plan Dalet, Jewish forces ethnically cleansed in the weeks BEFORE Israel was declared..."

      There was ethnic cleansing on both sides. In the case of Hebron, for instance, the entire native Jewish population was either killer or expelled in 1929, far before the war or any violent acts perpetrated against Palestinians.

      "... and Israeli/Jewish forces PERMANENTLY ethnically cleansed areas “outside of the State of Israel” after Israel was declared."

      "Outside of the State of Israel?" How so? No borders to the state were declared at that point. Regardless, I'd like to point out that again, this occurred on both sides, and more importantly that only Israel still has a significant population of the "other side's" ethnicity/nationality/whatever you want to call it living as citizens within its state.

      "None fled the violence to the safety of Israel of their own volition? AMAZING!!"

      Of course they did. Most of the Palestinian refugees left under identical circumstances. Are you actually implying that this somehow makes them less qualified to be regarded as refugees, because they merely fled out of fear for their lives and not at the point of a gun barrel?

      "How much was actually destroyed in the normal course of warfare? How much was partially destroyed and a danger and as a consequence was demolished? "

      I don't have exact percentages. However, whatever was not destroyed out of wanton shelling during the actual war was then systematically dismantled afterwards. Here is an excerpt from a letter from the permanent representative of Israel to the UN secretary general:

      "Colonel Abdullah el-Tal, one-time commandant of the Jordanian Arab Legion, in describing the destruction of the Jewish Quarter, wrote in the volume of his Memoirs (Cairo, 1959):
      "... The operations of calculated destruction were set in motion.... I knew that the Jewish Quarter was densely populated with Jews who caused their fighters a good deal of interference and difficulty.... I embarked, therefore, on the shelling of the Quarter with mortars, creating harassment and destruction.... Only four days after our entry into Jerusalem the Jewish Quarter had become their graveyard. Death and destruction reigned over it...."

      "As the dawn of Friday, May 28, 1948, was about to break, the Jewish Quarter emerged convulsed in a black cloud - a cloud of death and agony."

      After the cease-fire had entered into force and normal civilian administration had been restored in Jerusalem last June, a shocking picture was unfolded of the results of this policy of wanton vandalism, desecration and violation perpetrated during the period of Jordan occupation from 1948 onwards. In the Jewish Quarter all but one of the thirty-five Jewish houses of worship that graced the Old City of Jerusalem were found to have been wantonly destroyed. The synagogues had been razed or pillaged and stripped and their interiors used as hen-houses and stables. In the ancient historic Jewish graveyard on the Mount of Olives, tens of thousands of tombstones had been torn up, broken into pieces or used as flagstones, steps and building materials in Jordanian military installations and civilian constructions. Large areas of the cemetery had been levelled and converted into parking places and petrol-filling stations."

      link to

      "How many Japanese were allowed to enter the US in WWII? Germans allowed to enter Britain were they? A common occurrence in war. "

      The 1949 Armistice Agreement Jordan signed supposedly allowed "free access to the holy sites and cultural institutions and use of the cemeteries on the Mount of Olives." Not only were all Israelis barred from entering Jordan, but Jews from any country were also barred.

      "The West Bank as it is now known, was legally annexed"

      What about Jordan's siege and eventual annexation of East Jerusalem would you consider legal? IOW, why is it legal for Jordan to invade EJ, kill or expel all of the Jews there, erase almost all of their religious and cultural sites (some dating from 2000 years ago), BUT it is considered illegal for Israel to allow Jews to return to that area some 20 years later?

      "They didn’t invade to form a state. "

      According to the Arab League all Arab states were supposed to immediately leave all Palestinian territory once the war with Israel was completed. Jordan's refusal to do so almost got them expelled from the Arab League and only after negotiating this "temporary trustee" thing were they allowed to stay. If the Palestinians wanted them there so badly they probably wouldn't have assassinated their King, or continuously fought them for independence.

      "They invaded to protect and restore order in what remained of Palestine after Israel was declared independent of Palestine."

      And they kept the Palestinians in fetid refugee camps out of respect? Or did the Palestinians also request those?

      "There is no UNSC resolution condemning the Arab States invasion of Palestine BTW."

      Is that supposed to mean something? The UN is ultimately a political organization. Please don't pretend that they make their decisions according to some sort of ethical guidelines that are evenly applied to all member states. Just one example: in 2006-2007 the UNGA passed 22 resolutions condemning Israel. They passed none that even mentioned Darfur. Since its inception, the Human Rights Council has passed more resolutions condemning Israel than it has all other states combined.

      "Uh huh .. I’ve actually ‘cited’ and provided sources. "

      Yes, but none of your citations or links actually directly proved any of your assertions. At least one of them offered evidence refuting what you wrote.

    • playforpalestine May 29, 2012 at 10:30 pm

      "The loan guarantees save Israel considerable money in the form of reduced commercial interest rates, since the US loan guarantee greatly reduces the risk of default on the loan. "

      Very true. (That's the whole point of doing it.) As is the rest of your post, I don't dispute any of the facts you mentioned here. My earlier point was in regards to loan guarantees made by the US to Israel for non-US loans. If it was a US loan then there would be no reason for a loan guarantee, obviously. Whatever tricky accounting was utilized to lessen oversight of how Israel used US loan money, those loans were, for all practical purposes, grants, not loans. Obviously that's not what I'm talking about when I reference non-US loans to Israel that the US effectively co-signed for.

    • Citizen,

      All refugees, by definition are stateless. Once a refugee becomes a citizen of a state they lose their status as a "refugee." Right now many, if not most UNRWA workers are themselves Palestinian, which would violate the rules were they cared for by the UNHCR instead. There are excellent reasons that the UNHCR doesn't allow members of refugee groups to administer aid to themselves, and they have everything to do with preventing the distribution of aid and resources from becoming tied up in regional political conflicts.

      Most Israelis would welcome the creation of a Palestinian state provided that its existence brought more stability and security to the region. Few Israelis support the settlers or their goals and would be delighted to engage in some kind of land for peace deal, provided that they actually got some peace in exchange for their concessions.

    • playforpalestine May 25, 2012 at 10:48 pm


      Where did you get this revisionist history from? I'm not being rude, I'm genuinely curious. It is just SO wildly different than anything I have ever read about the conflict, and I've read a fair amount of books and articles on the subject from both sides of the conflict.

      "if they take up citizenship in any country other than the country of return, as Jewish refugees did in Israel and many other countries around the planet, people are no longer considered refugees and they lose their Right of Return."

      Well, first of all, there is no such thing as an actual RIGHT of return. They lose their refugee status, true. But Israel is under no obligation to allow them a right of return. That said, a large amount of the refugees in question were Jordanian citizens between 1950 and 1988. They should have lost their refugee status then, but the UNRWA allows Palestinians to become citizens of another state while retaining their refugee status.

      "They have changed their legislature to accommodate the Palestine refugees desire to maintain RoR."

      The Palestinians don't want to keep the status quo in the hopes of one day attaining RoR. Polls suggest they would be very happy to have citizenship wherever they are currently.

      "Even on the 15th May 1948 in the Declaration on the Invasion of Palestine, the Arab States guaranteed democracy and freedom of religion almost word for word with the LoN Mandate for Palestine, esp Article 7 "

      While I think it's great that they said these things, when they actually invaded they immediately ethnically cleansed all of the Jews from territory they held on to. Jordan expelled all of the Jews and then got to work demolishing the Jewish Quarter and all of the ancient synagogues and the cemetery at the mount of Olives, which was mined for raw materials (gravestones.) Jews and Christians were barred from entering East Jerusalem and having access to any of the holy sites under Jordan's control.

      That document also said this: "The Governments of the Arab States recognise that the independence of Palestine, which has so far been suppressed by the British Mandate, has become an accomplished fact for the lawful inhabitants of Palestine. They alone, by virtue of their absolute sovereignty, have the right to provide their country with laws and governmental institutions. They alone should exercise the attributes of their independence, through their own means and without any kind of foreign interference, immediately after peace, security, and the rule of law have been restored to the country."

      Obviously we know that Jordan remained and annexed the WB and EJ for itself, denying the Palestinians the self-determination it had assured them of.

      Basically nothing you cited here has any validity.

    • Hostage,

      I thought you were arguing that Palestine is now its own nation, as it was recognized by several dozen nations in 1988? If that's the case, that Palestine gained independence when Jordan dissolved their union, then why would any of its inhabitants still be considered refugees? Isn't the generally accepted rule that one ceases to be a refugee once citizenship and residency in a new state is obtained?

    • playforpalestine May 25, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      "There are no racial, cultural, ethnic or national ‘peoplehood’ ties between a African Jew or Asian Jew or Caucasian European Jew and so on.
      The only legitmate connection is religion."

      I'm interested in what makes you feel qualified to determine the answer to convoluted questions of identity politics, especially those regarding a sect of people who have self-identified as a nation for several thousand years; especially considering that you do not belong to it or even know much about it.

      The fact of the matter is that there are no bright lines distinguishing one race from another or any ethnicity from any other. These are ultimately social constructs lacking any objective benchmark, (outside of PERHAPS the arcane science of genetic mapping.) Would you be able to describe the categories that Arab people fall into that qualifies them to be defined as "a people" that Jews somehow fail to meet? Or are the Arabs not a people either?

      It's actually pretty funny. The ancient question of "Who is a Jew?" has been argued for millenia amongst the most learned of Hebrew scholars without anyone ever reaching a satisfactory conclusion that defied further debate. Yet, here comes you, at long last, with the answer. You know, I gotta tell you... it takes a LOT of chutzpah to tell the members of a group (that you do not even belong to), who and what they are, which of their beliefs are not legitimate, and how to go about defining themselves from now on.

      I get the feeling that the process was made significantly easier for you by virtue of the fact that you were not hampered by too much complicated knowledge of the subject you were ruling on. Which is where that chutzpah really comes in handy.

    • "Imagine loan guarantees were actually called in"

      What do you mean? The US gives Israel loan guarantees, sure. But the loans are taken out and repaid by Israel. Not the US.

    • "Mr. Kirk, don’t you think your time would be better spent in demanding a transparent accounting for what has done with nearly 200 billion in US taxpayer financed aid to Israel. "

      What do you mean? We know exactly where all of the aid to Israel went. It's almost all used to buy American goods and weapons. It's as much a form of corporate welfare as it is foreign aid.

  • Senate fight today over the number of Palestinian refugees
    • playforpalestine May 31, 2012 at 2:52 am

      "UNRWA was created for Arab AND Jewish Palestinian refugees."


      Among the 21,555 persons of Palestinian citizenship properly speaking who are neither Jews or Arabs, there must be some Moslems and some Christians of various origins (Turkish, Greek, Armenian, etc.) of whom 7,902 are natives of Palestine. These persons, who at the time of the census were placed in the general category of “Others”, cannot be considered as refugees even if they left Palestinian territory after 29 November 1947. They should be covered by the provisions laid down on that date by the General Assembly concerning religious and minority rights in Israel. Moreover, the Arab States could not be required to accept in their territories refugees not of Arab origin.

      link to

    • playforpalestine May 30, 2012 at 10:52 am

      "Israel didn’t make them Israelis allthough required by international and human right law and resolution 181 chapter 3.1."

      What international law is that? And res 181 never went into effect on any count.

      "Jewish terrorism pre 1948 and Jewish occupation post 1967 prevented/prevents a Palestinian state."

      Really? Well, Israel seemed able to accomplish it despite terrorism, international boycotts, trade embargoes, 2 back to back wars, an occupation, a ban on Jewish immigration and property sales to Jews, the Holocaust, and so on. Israel lost a full 1% of its entire population during their war of independence. Yet they managed to build a state.

      BTW, what was preventing the state from getting built during those 19 years between the 1948 war and the 1967 one?

      "They became Israelis and lost refugee status."

      Yet somehow none of the Palestinians who gained Jordanian citizenship lost their refugee status.

    • playforpalestine May 30, 2012 at 4:24 am

      "Then imagine how morally bankrupt Israel is which made them refugees and denationalized them."

      Israel didn't denationalize them. Read the UNRWA requirements. They refer to Palestine refugees. The fact that Palestine never came into existence is not Israel's fault. According to Hostage, the Palestinians willingly joined forces with Jordan instead, making most of them Jordanian. Then it was Jordan who denationalized them in 1988.

      "UNRWA was created for Arab AND Jewish Palestinian refugees."

      REALLY? So how much of their resources have gone to help Jewish refugees?

    • Sure. The big difference is that nowhere else are there states so morally bankrupt as the Arab states who refuse to allow any Palestinian refugees to become citizens of any of their states (except for Jordan, which later reneged anyway).

      Not only that but they created a separate UN organization dedicated JUST to the Palestinians. So instead of focusing on the best interests of the Palestinian people like the normal UN refugee org would do, the UNRWA concerns itself primarily with politics. For example, it has refuse on many occasions prevented states like Israel from building modern brick structures in Gaza refugee camps to replace the horrible accommodations that existed with the rationale that it would give the refugees a sense of permanence when they should be focused on their goal of one day returning to their homes in Israel. (Despite the fact that those homes are long gone and there is no chance of them ever going back there.)

    • playforpalestine May 25, 2012 at 7:45 am

      "Right. And since the country is Israel, the law should apply to all Israelis and their descendants, equally."

      Why? That makes no sense, there are no Israeli refugees. Some of the Jews it allowed to emigrate were refugees from other countries. But the term "Right of Return" references an end to the ancient Jewish diaspora.

      "- Categorize all Palestinians and their descendants as refugees from their lands since 1948.
      - Categorize all ancient Jews and their descendants as refugees from the LoI."

      You're funny. Why would Israel want to rejigger their return law so as to neuter its key national objective while simultaneously fulfilling the goals of the Palestinians, (ie: the people Israel has essentially been at war with for the past 80 years.)

      Not to mention, most Palestinians aren't even actually refugees from the land Israel now sits on. Why would ALL Palestinians be granted this status anyway?

      "And since the country is Israel, the law should apply to all Israelis and their descendants, equally."

      It's not really Israel though, it's Palestine. A lot of these people were never refugees to begin with, they were internally displaced. At any rate, in East Jerusalem, where Palestinian residents are allowed to apply for citizenship, fewer than 5% chose to do so.

  • Why 'Brand Israel' is failing
    • playforpalestine May 24, 2012 at 9:39 am

      "The New York Times is famous for its obituaries, which is part of its boast of being “The Newspaper of Record.” This piece may be the obituary for Israel’s official ideology, according to which Israel developed without hurting anybody or pushing anybody out of the way. "

      That is seriously weak, dude. The NYT is famous for a lot of things, it's widely considered to be the best paper in the US, along with the wash post. The "paper of record" term comes from librarians who named it that because of its index, a novelty back in 1916 or whenever it began, not because of its obits.

  • The Messiah's Donkey: Settlers fire on Palestinian villagers as the Israeli military watches
    • playforpalestine May 24, 2012 at 12:07 am

      "Simha Flapan and other historians have noted that 60 percent of those Jewish casualties occurred in fighting beyond the borders of the Jewish state. Those were aggressive operations that were initiated by the Jews themselves, not defensive ones needed for independence."

      How do you know that? Let's assume that you're right, that only 40% were killed within what the partition had allocated to the Jewish state. Obviously that 60% includes any Jews from Jerusalem and any other settlement that existed outside of those borders. Are we honestly supposed to believe that all of the Jews who were killed in places like East Jerusalem died during aggressive attacks they initiated and none were killed while resisting the ethnic cleansing that succeeded in expelling 100% of the Jewish population in these areas?

    • playforpalestine May 22, 2012 at 10:09 am

      "And according to the new Israeli historians, Jews killed over 35,000 Arabs "

      In the independence war? That's absurd. Perhaps you mean from 1947 till NOW? Because even then it's around twice what the generally accepted count is.

  • A portrait of a former Zionist (Part 1)
    • playforpalestine May 25, 2012 at 10:19 am

      "Interesting. I wait to see if pfp will be booted."

      Is there a reason that I would be? I'm not pretending to be someone that I am not. Is pfp a false identity you knew from before or something?

    • playforpalestine May 25, 2012 at 10:17 am

      "It stipulates that: “No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.”"

      This is very true. But the acquisitions we are discussing would not stem from use of force; the case of setting the final boundary between Israel and Palestine in the west bank would be achieved through negotiations. The security council was not waiving anything, rather it was purposefully ruling on the matter in a way that was so ambiguous as to require future negotiations between I and P. This was about the UN not having the authority to determine where said border should lie.

      Regarding East Jerusalem... this matter differs significantly from the West Bank in that it currently belongs to neither Palestine nor Israel. Arguing that Palestine is the de facto owner by virtue of Jordan's turning over EJ and the WB to the PA in 1988 is problematic owing to the fact that Jordan acquired EJ itself through war. Moreover, both Palestinians and Jews own property there, (and have for hundreds of years at least.)

      The ambiguous wording of 242 does not mean Israel can do whatever it wants regarding this land. All it does is free both parties up to be able to meet the other requirements in the resolution, namely forming agreed-upon, defensible borders for everyone involved.

    • playforpalestine May 25, 2012 at 9:23 am

      "The fact is that you can’t cite any reason that a political union between Transjordan and Arab Palestine would have been illegal under the circumstances. "

      You know what, you're right. I have to admit, I find it odd that the PLO officially sought the emancipation of Palestine while it and Jordan were entered into this joint union. Although I realize they primarily meant the land that was now Israel, I could not shake the suspicion that this union was somewhat less than fully accepted as evidenced by the many attempts at overthrowing Jordan, staging a coup, assassinating the King (successfully!), and so on.

      However, the annexing of East Jerusalem, and the subsequent ethnic cleansing of its entire Jewish population, total destruction of dozens of synagogues and an ancient cemetery (which was ransacked for building materials), clearly violates many of the laws of war as well as huge chunks of the partition agreement. (Which is only important if you want to argue for its legal relevance.)

      "The General Assembly has adopted resolutions which acknowledged that both Israel and Palestine have issued declarations in line with the requirements of the plan contained in resolution 181(II). "

      Really? When? Because these two articles from the 1964 PLO charter suggest otherwise.

      "Article 17: The partitioning of Palestine, which took place in 1947, and the establishment of Israel are illegal and null and void, regardless of the loss of time, because they were contrary to the will of the Palestinian people and its natural right to its homeland, and were in violation of the basic principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations, foremost among which is the right to self-determination.

      Article 18: The Balfour Declaration, the Palestine Mandate System, and all that has been based on them are considered null and void. The claims of historic and spiritual ties between Jews and Palestine are not in agreement with the facts of history or with the true basis of sound statehood. Judaism, because it is a divine religion, is not a nationality with independent existence. Furthermore, the Jews are not one people with an independent personality because they are citizens to their states."

      "He also acknowledged that the undertaking was an obligation that was capable of acceptance by Israel alone, and was not at all affected by the attempt by the Arab States to alter the resolution by force. "

      Did you actually read the pdf file you linked to, in its entirety? Because your bolded quotation is NOT what it says at all. It says that "the provisions to which the representative of Cuba calls attention were, for the most part, capable of acceptance by the SoI alone, and were not all affected by the attempt of the Arab States to alter that resolution by force. " Meaning that SPECIFIC provisions... were not ALL affected...etc. The rest of the paper goes into significantly more detail. Needless to say, it is not at all what you imply here.

      "So you see: 1) both sides have accepted the resolution"

      Actually, it looks like neither have accepted it as it stands. And one (Arabs) rejected it entirely.

      "the foreign minister of Israel, Mr Shertok, testified that this particular resolution is legally binding"

      Until it was changed, as per that pdf you gave.

      "Mr. Eban declared that Israel’s acceptance of the terms and undertakings was not at all affected by the attitude of the Palestinians."

      Flat out untrue. The reverse of what your evidence said.

    • playforpalestine May 25, 2012 at 7:21 am

      "On the contrary, your post here contains a discussion about two IDF soldiers who were arrested in Ramallah in October of 2000. That’s not 10 years before the 2nd intifada:"

      I'm sorry, Hostage you misunderstood me. I was referring to this comment of yours (linked to below), not the two reservists butchered in Ramallah.

      link to

    • playforpalestine May 25, 2012 at 7:06 am

      "why we’re you banned?"

      I don't actually know that I was banned. My name didn't stop working, it just seemed like my posts stopped appearing at a certain point, though I'm not sure when. I didn't get a notice or anything like that. Nor did I receive an email, so assuming I was banned, I don't know why.

      "What name was that"

      Well, you guys all seemed to think highly of your abilities to identify me by my writing style, let's see if you can do it. I'll give you three tries, so you're down to two. (Strike one was a swing and a miss on Werdine.)

    • playforpalestine May 25, 2012 at 3:47 am

      "I’ve supplied links to official reports made by the Israeli government which say that they are not responsible for obeying human rights conventions in the territories because they are “part and parcel” of an international armed conflict. At one and the same time, Israel claims that the Geneva Conventions relative to the treatment of Prisoners of War do not apply to members of the uniformed Palestinian militias, even though Palestine is recognized by about 130 other countries."

      War crimes like this are illegal even when committed by non-signatories to Geneva. That said, I did not see the links you mentioned.

      "According to Article 29 of the Hague Convention of 1907, that constitutes the legal basis to treat him as a spy."

      No, it doesn't. He would have to be actually spying for that.

      "The Wikipedia article says that word quickly spread that undercover Israeli agents were in the building, but as usual, fails to mention that Israel had routinely employed undercover hit squads in Ramallah and elsewhere in the West Bank. Those squads conducted a campaign of equally brutal nature and similarly killed people without giving them the benefit of trial."

      I am actually OK with that, on either side. After all, this IS a war. Especially since Hamas high level militants often hide amongst civilians and dress the same as them. These hit squads probably provide the best chance of eliminating these militants with the lowest risk of killing innocent bystanders. Killing POWs though, that's different. And torturing them to death, that's even worse.

    • playforpalestine May 25, 2012 at 3:23 am

      "Now if Israel had received all those assurances from Caradon and Rostow, why were they in such a panic?"

      I explained this. Both sides wanted concrete language that benefitted their POV. Neither got it. The language was couched in such a way as to leave the exact terms open ended and determinate on negotiating mutually agreed upon borders. (Which would have been impossible had the UN imposed a definitive position.)

      "If 242 calls for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the 1967 conflict, without specifying the extent of the withdrawal, the default assumption would be all of the territories. "

      Not when language specifying that meaning was purposefully stricken from the document. Once you resort to "assuming" anything on a resolution, you are imposing your own judgements on it. Nothing should be assumed. The language they used was very precise.

      "they are only elligivle to apply for Israeli citizenship is they meet certain criteria. This is not the same as being offerd citizenship as even after meeting those criteria, Israel can refuse them."

      Just like everyone else. The requirements are minimal, no one said that they were guaranteed citizenship.

      "And why is that? Think hard now Werdine. Is is not because Israel agreed to certain terms as a condition of it’s memebership at the UN, and then violated those terms once it received membership?"

      No. It's because the Asian regional group refuses to admit Israel on account of it's high number of Arab and Muslim members who blocked Israel's eligibility.

      "And the fact that there as so many resolutions against Israel doesn’t suggest that Israel is actualyl guilty of violations under the UN Charter?"

      No, it suggests that Israel is held to a different standard. Otherwise investigations into Israeli crimes would not specifically disallow researching crimes committed by Israel's opponents. When only Israel is investigated, only Israel will be found guilty.

      "The Jordan that exists, does not include the West Bank, so it’s grossly dohonest to simply suggest that it just lacks many of its Palestinian citizens now. "

      So would it be ok for Israel to exclude areas of Israel where Arab-Israelis tend to cluster, thereby revoking their Israeli citizenship?

    • playforpalestine May 25, 2012 at 2:03 am


      This event happened 10 years before the second intifada began.

    • playforpalestine May 25, 2012 at 1:37 am

      "Was your first post on Mondoweiss on April 26, 2012?"

      Nope. I belonged here last year under a different name.

      "Have you posted anywhere else on the Internet before that date?"

      Of course.

    • playforpalestine May 25, 2012 at 12:54 am

      "Taxpayers’ money handed over by bribed politicians was not freely given by the taxpayers."

      Actually, by virtue of the fact that we live in a republic, you're wrong. Or rather, you're right, but it doesn't matter. That money was as freely given as any money that Washington distributes/spends.

      When were all the presidents bribed, btw?

    • playforpalestine May 24, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      "This wasn’t a war crime, so your question is meaningless."

      Really? According to The Law Relating to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, war crimes include... murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas! So, yes, it is very much a war crime, and a particularly grisly one at that.

      "Being part of the theft and occupation of Palestine."

      They weren't doing anything that violated the terms of the treaty that was still in effect at the time. Nor is the occupation in itself a crime. And aside from all of that these were soldiers who became POWs once they were arrested. You can't just kill POWs because you oppose the policies of their government, especially if they haven't done anything wrong at all themselves. The crimes you mentioned are either imaginary or aren't applicable to these two soldiers in any way.

      But that's kind of besides the point... I want to know how on earth you can possibly defend this kind of brutality? Being a soldier is not a crime, and these two were not even fighting anyone. They willingly allowed themselves to be arrested. And they were tortured in such hideous ways until they died. Yeah, and you think they "should have gotten a trial"... before they brought in the mob to tear them apart... yeah right.

      Seriously, how can you actually defend the kind of deep-seated, widespread embrace of psychopathic violence that would have rated amongst the most evil of serial killer acts in the West? (Except there perpetrated by a crowd of 1000.)

      Do you just reject the premise of the Geneva Accords and rules of war in general, for everyone? Or just for Israel? You don't seem to care if those soldiers were guilty of any crime at all, was being Israeli enough for them to deserve their fate? What about the teenage Israeli victims of suicide bombers, do they equally deserve their deaths? If not, what is the difference?

    • playforpalestine May 24, 2012 at 11:14 am

      French one doesn't matter. The one voted on is the official one and that one was the English version in this case. Everyone was aware of the phrasing and the arguments that preceded the completion of the document. The phrasing was meant to be ambiguous, not saying either specifically because most felt it was not the UN's position to determine issues such as border positions.

      Additionally, Oslo stated that the borders are to be determined by negotiations TK.

    • playforpalestine May 24, 2012 at 10:04 am

      Interesting. So do you find all war crimes justified when committed against Israelis? And if there WAS a trial, what crime do you think these guys would have been guilty of?

    • playforpalestine May 24, 2012 at 8:42 am

      "What utter nonsense! Surely you cannot be that stupid. "

      Regarding the verbiage of Israeli withdrawal from "territories" and not "all territories":

      However, speaking to Henry Kissinger, President Richard Nixon said "You and I both know they can’t go back to the other [1967] borders. But we must not, on the other hand, say that because the Israelis win this war, as they won the '67 War, that we just go on with status quo. It can't be done." Kissinger replied "I couldn't agree more" [49]

      Moreover, President Gerald Ford said: "The U.S. further supports the position that a just and lasting peace, which remains our objective, must be acceptable to both sides. The U.S. has not developed a final position on the borders. Should it do so it will give great weight to Israel's position that any peace agreement with Syria must be predicated on Israel remaining on the Golan Heights." [50]

      Furthermore, Secretary of State George Shultz declared: "Israel will never negotiate from, or return to, the lines of partition or to the 1967 borders." Secretary of State Christopher's letter to Netanyahu states: "I would like to reiterate our position that Israel is entitled to secure and defensible borders, which should be directly negotiated and agreed with its neighbors."[51]

      A key part of the case in favour of a "some territories" reading is the claim that British and American officials involved in the drafting of the Resolution omitted the definite article deliberately in order to make it less demanding on the Israelis. As George Brown, British Foreign Secretary in 1967, said:

      The Israelis had by now anexed de facto, if not formally, large new areas of Arab land, and there were now very many more Arab refugees. It was clear that what Israel or at least many of her leaders, really wanted was permanently to colonize much of this newly annexed Arab territory, particularly the Jordan valley, Jerusalem, and other sensitive areas. This led me into a flurry of activity at the United Nations, which resulted in the near miracle of getting the famous resolution - Resolution 242 - unanimously adopted by the Security Council. It declares "the inadmissibility of territory by war" and it also affirms the necessity "for guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every state in the area". It calls for "withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories occupied during the recent conflict." It does not call for Israeli withdrawal from “the” territories recently occupied, nor does it use the word “all”. It would have been impossible to get the resolution through if either of these words had been included, but it does set out the lines on which negotiations for a settlement must take place. Each side must be prepared to give up something: the resolution doesn’t attempt to say precisely what, because that is what negotiations for a peace-treaty must be about.[52]

      Lord Caradon, chief author of the resolution, takes a subtly different slant. His focus seems to be that the lack of a definite article is intended to deny permanence to the "unsatisfactory" pre-1967 border, rather than to allow Israel to retain land taken by force. Such a view would appear to allow for the possibility that the borders could be varied through negotiation:

      Knowing as I did the unsatisfactory nature of the 1967 line I was not prepared to use wording in the Resolution which would have made that line permanent. Nevertheless it is necessary to say again that the overriding principle was the "inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war" and that meant that there could be no justification for annexation of territory on the Arab side of the 1967 line merely because it had been conquered in the 1967 war. The sensible way to decide permanent "secure and recognized" boundaries would be to set up a Boundary Commission and hear both sides and then to make impartial recommendations for a new frontier line, bearing in mind, of course, the "inadmissibility" principle.[24] The purposes are perfectly clear, the principle is stated in the preamble, the necessity for withdrawal is stated in the operative section. And then the essential phrase which is not sufficiently recognized is that withdrawal should take place to secure and recognized boundaries, and these words were very carefully chosen: they have to be secure and they have to be recognized. They will not be secure unless they are recognized. And that is why one has to work for agreement. This is essential. I would defend absolutely what we did. It was not for us to lay down exactly where the border should be. I know the 1967 border very well. It is not a satisfactory border, it is where troops had to stop in 1948, just where they happened to be that night, that is not a permanent boundary...[53]

      Arthur J. Goldberg, another of the resolution's drafters, concurred that Resolution 242 does not dictate the extent of the withdrawal, and added that this matter should be negotiated between the parties:

      Does Resolution 242 as unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council require the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from all of the territories occupied by Israel during the 1967 war? The answer is no. In the resolution, the words the and all are omitted. Resolution 242 calls for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the 1967 conflict, without specifying the extent of the withdrawal. The resolution, therefore, neither commands nor prohibits total withdrawal. If the resolution is ambiguous, and purposely so, on this crucial issue, how is the withdrawal issue to be settled? By direct negotiations between the concerned parties. Resolution 242 calls for agreement between them to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement. Agreement and acceptance necessarily require negotiations.[54]

      Mr. Michael Stewart, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, in a reply to a question in Parliament, 9 December 1969: "As I have explained before, there is reference, in the vital United Nations Security Council Resolution, both to withdrawal from territories and to secure and recognized boundaries. As I have told the House previously, we believe that these two things should be read concurrently and that the omission of the word 'all' before the word 'territories' is deliberate."

      Mr. Joseph J. Sisco, Assistant Secretary of State, 12 July 1970 (NBC "Meet the Press"): "That Resolution did not say 'withdrawal to the pre-June 5 lines'. The Resolution said that the parties must negotiate to achieve agreement on the so-called final secure and recognized borders. In other words, the question of the final borders is a matter of negotiations between the parties." Mr. Sisco was actively involved in drafting the Resolution in his capacity as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs in 1967.

      President Lyndon B. Johnson:

      Fifth, the crisis underlines the importance of respect for political independence and territorial integrity of all the states of the area. We reaffirmed that principle at the height of this crisis. We reaffirm it again today on behalf of all.

      This principle can be effective in the Middle East only on the basis of peace between the parties. The nations of the region have had only fragile and violated truce lines for 20 years. What they now need are recognized boundaries and other arrangements that will give them security against terror, destruction, and war.
      There are some who have urged, as a single, simple solution, an immediate return to the situation as it was on June 4. As our distinguished and able Ambassador, Mr. Arthur Goldberg, has already said, this is not a prescription for peace but for renewed hostilities. Certainly troops must be withdrawn, but there must also be recognized rights of national life, progress in solving the refugee problem, freedom of innocent maritime passage, limitation of the arms race, and respect for political independence and territorial integrity." [55]

      link to

      "The territory wasn’t disputed at the time Israel submitted it’s letter to the UN declaring it’s state along the agreed frontiers as stipulated by UNGA181. It wasn’t disputed between 1949 and 1967, when the territory was under Jordanian annexation, so what reason is there to regard it as disputed after 1967?"

      But it was disputed between 49 and 67, just as Israel's annexation of west jerusalem was. Remember, the green line was very specifically defined as NOT being a border. Both sides hoped to alter it to their benefit at a later date. Additionally, almost all international Embassies in Israel refuse to accept Jerusalem as the capital, instead locating themselves in Tel Aviv. This is because the only existing document that cites Jerusalem's parent nation would be UNGA181, which names the UN as "owning" Jerusalem. In other words, barring a negotiated settlement Jerusalem does not officially belong to either state. Simply, there is no legal reason to consider East Jerusalem to be a part of Palestine at this point.

      "False, they were only offered residency, and you won’t find any evidence to the contrary."

      You should really know this. Did you even attempt to look it up before making that statement?

      "Permanent residents are permitted, if they wish and meet certain conditions, to receive Israeli citizenship. These conditions include swearing allegiance to the State, proving that they are not citizens of any other country, and showing some knowledge of Hebrew. For political reasons, most of the residents do not request Israeli citizenship."

      link to

      "Yawn, in which case, you don’t have a point, because there is is no evidence of that."

      No evidence that the UN has a double standard regarding Israel? Do you seriously believe that or are you just toeing the party line here, repeating the talking points? Just off the top of my head, Israel remains the sole member state that is ineligible to sit on the Security Council. And committees like the UNHRC (and its predecessor, the UNCHR), though supposedly dedicated to human rights, functions far more as a forum for Israel-bashing.

      "As of 2010, Israel had been condemned in 32 resolutions by the Council since its creation in 2006. The 32 resolutions comprised 48.1% of all country-specific resolutions passed by the Council.[42] By April 2007, the Council had passed nine resolutions condemning Israel, the only country which it had specifically condemned.[43] Toward Sudan, a country with human rights abuses as documented by the Council's working groups, it has expressed "deep concern."

      link to

      "The West Nank/Palestine had nothing to do with Transjordan changing it’s name, but it had everything to do with the the union being dissolved and West Bank/Palestine being recognized by 93 states."

      "Union being dissolved" and "West Bank Palestinians stripped of their Jordanian citizenship rights" are merely two ways of describing the same situation. Jordan still exists, it just lacks many of its Palestinian citizens now. That said, you seem to be implying that those former Jordanians are now Palestinian citizens, and are not stateless at all, correct? I ask because I thought that you were one of the people here who thought that Israel should grant the WB Palestinians citizenship, or at least allow the refugees from the Nakba a full right of return. But as citizens of an existing state, Palestine, Israel would have no right to assign them Israeli citizenship. That would violate Palestinian sovereignty. Nor would Israel have to allow any right of return, as refugees lose that special status once they become citizens of another state. These people were both Jordanian for several decades before then becoming Palestinian. Even if Israel should have considered them Israeli refugees at one point (and I disagree with this interpretation), you can not reasonably expect a group's refugee status to remain unaltered over countless generations and despite citizenship to several nations since the Nakba occurred.

    • playforpalestine May 24, 2012 at 2:21 am

      "The soldiers just took a wrong turn? Do you mean they didn’t realize what side of the border they were on, or that it never occured to them that they were part of an occupation, trespassing on someone else’s land?"

      That's exactly what I mean? Why, is it hard to imagine that two soldiers could make a wrong turn leaving Jerusalem and end up in Ramallah, 5 minutes away? Besides, being part of an occupation is not the same as trespassing. The soldiers were acting within the terms of their treaty with the PLO. But even if they were, how does that in any way justify what happened?

      "Like I said, you’ve gone to great pains to detail the graphic natue of their murders, but a child who’s head is blown off by an IDF sniper having fun doesn’t rate a mention."

      Interesting example you gave, considering that I DID mention that a protester was shot in the face even before I spoke about the events in Ramallah. That said, was a child's head blown off by an IDF sniper having fun during the start of the second intifada?

      "Didn’t the Irgun and Stern murder and disembowel British soliders and then boobie trap their corpses?"

      Not that I know of. Why, did they?

      "Didn’t the Irgun/Stern mutilate bodies and throw them down wells in Deir Yassin?"

      They did FAR worse things than that. They shot a pregnant woman in the stomach. They beat a 104 year old woman to death. They raped and murdered several young women. They committed a veritable laundry list of atrocities in Deir Yassin. But here is the difference...

      I am not defending a single one of their actions. Nor did the Haganah or most Israelis, even during the war in question. And the massacre was cut short by the arrival of Haredi Jews from the neighboring town who intervened by shaming the soldiers into stopping. While in Ramallah, out of 1000 Palestinians, not a single one of them is on record as attempting to stop the violence. And even now, when the full extent of what happened is know, you continue to defend their monstrous actions.

      "As opposed to an IDF guard ant a check point emtying 2 clips fo rounds into the body of a 14 year old girl. Is that what you had in mind?

      I guess decapitated remains of children, or human remains burnt beyond recognition doesn’t quiote do it for you right?"

      What are you talking about? My comment was regarding your defense of any Palestinian attacks that took place over the green line, even if they occurred during a planned joint patrol; a fact which would cause many people to reconsider their reasoning.

      Generally though, I'm discussing the shockingly brutal level of violence in the early days of the first intifada, not listing awful acts from the entire conflict. I don't know what events you are talking about here, what the details of them were, when they happened, and I am certainly not defending them at this point.

      "No, it’s violence on every level. There’s nothing metaphorical about it. It beings violenve every day."

      I firmly disagree with your belief that the occupation justifies any act of terror or war crime the Palestinians choose to commit.

      "Golstein said the same thing about what he saw in Gaza during his investigation. So think your 2 hapless IDF victims and multiply that by a couple of hundred, and then we can start comparing."

      Where did Goldstone say that? And no, there were not hundreds of examples in Gaza of such horrific violence as occurred in Ramallah. When did the IDF torture to death POWs from Gaza?

      "Whereas uou will defend even the most horrific, brutal acts that you could ever imagine a human being taking part in, as long as your tribe is doing the killing."

      Oh no. Don't for a second assume that I am like you. I am NOT like you, I have never done such a thing. Whereas you seem to do it all the time. Without guilt or remorse. No no no... I know many Israelis, including soldiers from several generations. I have yet to hear any of them make comments that are anywhere near as hateful as those I have seen from you.

      "Why do you need someoen to explai it to you?"

      Well, yes. That's the point. Have you identified the flaw in your reasoning yet; now that you know it exists?

      "In all seriiousness, there’s nothgin serious about anything you’ve posted here. "

      Well, I find your knee-jerk defense of hideous war crimes to be quite serious. Perhaps you find it humerous, I don't know. But you should take the massacre of helpless prisoners seriously, no matter what their nationality.

      "You’re a parody of Zionist anti-intellectualism and self entitlement."

      Do you mean paragon? "Parody" doesn't make much sense. And since when are Zionists known for being anti-intellectual? If anything they are known for being intellectual to a fault. It's kind of a joke, regarding the early kibbutz movement in particular.

      Are you trying to say that Zionists are dumb? Really? I have heard a lot of criticisms against Zionists, but that one's truly a first.

    • playforpalestine May 22, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      "You hear that folks? The numbers are irrelevant, because the overwhleming majority of victims weer Palestinians. The violence was no joke because there were Jewish casualties."

      Again, it seems pretty evident that you wouldn't have to invent false statements if you had anything legit to complain about. Pretending that the person you're arguing with is a racist by making up false dialogue is really disgusting.

      "Notice how PFP goes into such detail to illistrate the murder of Israeli reservists who ended up in….Ramallah. Yes that’s right, the Palestiians were inflciting violence on Israeli occupation forces."

      And that matters... why? This was during the Oslo years. Those soldiers just took a wrong turn, they were not breaking any law. After they were arrested 1,000 Palestinians stormed the police station to kill them. The soldiers were beaten, stabbed, had their eyes gouged out, and were disemboweled. At this point, a Palestinian appeared at the police station window, displaying his blood-stained hands to the crowd, which erupted into cheers. The crowd clapped and cheered as one of the soldier's bodies was then thrown out the window and stamped and beaten by the frenzied mob. One of the bodies was set on fire. Soon after, the mob dragged the two mutilated bodies to Al-Manara Square in the city center as the crowd began an impromptu victory celebration. Palestinian policeman did not prevent, and in some cases actually took part in, the lynching. The fact that you could justify such monstrous behavior is pretty unbelievable.

      "Notice how the murder of Palestinians is described as “incidents”, while the 2 Israeli reservists, were “bludgeoned, stabbed, disemboweled”."

      I'm sorry, can you point to an example of Israelis EVER doing anything like this? You guys tear out your hair and rend your clothes over a few olive trees getting uprooted, yet you defend the criminals who committed these acts against two completely helpless people.

      "Please remind us where the violence was taking place? Was is it in Israel or the occupier territories."

      It was in both, of course. Do you not recall the second intifada? Let's see, oh, one Palestinian police officer opened fire on Israelis during a joint patrol. Is that the kind of example you mean when you defend these murders?

      " The occupation is itself an act of violence."

      Metaphorical violence, sure. 1000 Palestinians gouging the eyes out of a helpless human being before disemboweling him and setting him on fire? An experienced British War photographer who was there said he'll have nightmares for the rest of his life from seeing that.

      "Not so long as there is an Israeli occupation."

      And your true colors are finally shown. You will defend even the most horrific, brutal acts that you could ever imagine a human being taking part in, as long as it is a Palestinian doing it. How does someone develop such hatred?

      "Israel fired 7,700 shells into Gaza between September 2005 (pullout completion) and May 2006, so it’s not technically possible for the Gazans to have initiated violence by firing mortars and rockets into Israel."

      Well, at least you ended on a light note. I'm going to let you try and figure out why this statement of yours OBVIOUSLY doesn't make any sense.

      In all seriousness, this post of yours was truly chilling.

    • playforpalestine May 22, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      So money that was freely given becomes re-categorized as stolen. I guess that makes sense, it's sort of like how you refer to Arab land that was legally purchased as stolen.

      And the USS Liberty? More people died building the Hoover Dam. Is America a victim of the Hoover Dam?

    • playforpalestine May 22, 2012 at 9:45 am


      I'm honestly not sure which side you support here, but I just want to say that any post which insults me, only to go on and spout racist invectives, makes my point for me.

      My favorite part is when you insult the Khazars and Berbers by calling them stupid, only to then cluelessly offer them vapid condolence compliments, like true and proud.

    • playforpalestine May 22, 2012 at 9:27 am


      No, I have read the book. Unlike Oleg I am American, and I have quite a few of Roth's books. (Why you would chastise him for being unaware of an American author, even a famous one, I don't know.)

      I wasn't asking for a summary. I just disagreed with you. Or rather, I fail to see how the book in any way “is a veritable guide to the perplexed in fighting deligitimatisation of Israel.” Would you care to defend your statement?

      "But since you are, apparently, completely incapable of even the most simple deconstruction, the chapter which tells us (“now you know the worst thing I ever did”) about his family’s liver dinner is a metaphoric parable."

      Maybe it's pretentious, but a pet peeve of mine is when people use the word "deconstruct" when they actually mean "analyze." It tends to speak of insecurity IMO when people are intentionally abstruse just for the sake of showing off.

    • playforpalestine May 22, 2012 at 9:11 am

      "Yes, ever heard of UN242?"

      Not only that, I actually read it. If you had as well you would have noticed the language stating: "Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:
      (i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;"

      Note this part: "from territories occupied in the recent conflict" This does not say "from ALL territories..." This was not an oversight. This language was argued over for something like two days and was ultimately left out because Israel wasn't expected to withdraw from ALL the territory. The notes that accompany the document are quite specific.

      "It does if:

      1. They are doing so without the permission of the PA
      2. They are doing so whule being enabled by the ISraeli military occupation."

      Why? It's disputed territory. No one has agreed that this is land that belongs to either side exclusively. Remember, Jerusalem was mostly Jewish before the war in 48.

      "No, it offered residency to those it had not expelled, but at least you’ve stepped backfrom you baselss claim that they were offered citizenship. They have always been able to apply for Israeli citizenship, but as we know, most get denied."

      No, they were offered citizenship and most are not denied. They just have to be willing to meet the requirements. Point being, the rules for Palestinian residents of Jerusalem applying for Israeli citizenship is far more lax than it is for other Palestinians.

      Sorry, are yo trying to make a point ot just fillibustering?

      My point is that the UNGA routinely judges Israel via a different, far harsher standard than it does any other state, especially Arab or Muslim ones.

      "And has been explained to you, they didn’t decide to evoke anyone’s citizenship rights."

      So this is interesting. When I last wrote here I cut my post short because I was going to a party. It happened that this party was being hosted by my two friends, a couple who are from Lebanon and Jordan. (But the party was mostly Lebanese... they have a well-earned reputation for being a lot of fun. It was a killer party.) Anyway, I spent about an hour talking to Romy (Jordanian) about this subject and he had some illuminating things to say. Long story short, when Jordan took over the west bank and jerusalem everyone hated them for it and thought it was illegal, especially the Arab League and Egypt. Everyone EXCEPT the Palestinians, for the most part. He stressed that this was extremely complicated and while everyone was looking towards their own interests, they were also trying to do the right thing. Palestinians initially did not dislike the idea of Jordan coming in and taking over. But they were very much second class citizens, (I think officially so.) When Jordan withdrew their claim in '88, it was following many Palestinian attempts at gaining independence, and was generally welcomed by them.

      "Oh really? So how did the joint entity called Jordan manage to be a UN member state?"

      Really dude? Transjordan was accepted by the UN in '46,a few years earlier. It changed its name to Jordan in '50 or '51 I think... a few years later. The west bank/Palestine had nothing to do with it.

      "More evience that your knowledge is servely lacking."

      After that previous answer of yours I would hold back on making statements like that, if I were you.

      "The legitimacy of Jordan’s claim was in accordance with the 1948 Jericho Congress, which declared Abdullah the King of the Arab portions of Palestine and called for a joint kingdom. "

      Oooohhhh! The Jericho Conference! Remind me, where did that draw IT'S legitimacy from? (Seeing as how no one seemed to recognize it.)

    • playforpalestine May 22, 2012 at 12:00 am

      "playforpalestine, you would do well to remember that “Robert Werdine”s comments are still in the archives, and any interested person could do word-string and phrase comparisons."

      Knock yourselves out. It won't change the fact that I'm actually not him.

      So what did this guy say exactly that got him banned, in any case?

    • playforpalestine May 18, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      I don't have much time but I wanted to address one or two points while I could.

      "The Israeli annexation was illegal, hence the UN resolution condemning it and demanding Israel’s withdrawal."

      We're talking about East Jerusalem, right? Israel's unilateral annexation is illegal, I agree with you there. But to demand their withdrawal...? (Did a UNGA resolution actually demand that Israel withdraws from EJ? That would be out of character for a GA resolution.) Here's my problem with that: While Israel might not have the right to just up and annex EJ merely because it has the military strength to do so, that does not mean Israeli Jews are necessarily breaking the law by living/moving there.

      In the original Partition Plan all of Jerusalem was supposed to be administered by the UN. It's pretty obvious by now that such a thing is never going to even be attempted (thank God.) Point being that sovereignty over East Jerusalem will have to be established via negotiations. Both Arabs and Jews have viable claims to it, there's no more reason to automatically consider East Jerusalem a part of Palestine than to assume that it's a part of Israel.

      "If the Jordanian annexation was illegal, then surely the UN would have similarly condemned it."

      Why? Are you seriously suggesting that the UN makes resolutions with total impartiality and a blind eye with regards to regional political considerations? Ha!

      I can tell you this... With the exception of a single state, Britain, Jordan's annexation of east Jerusalem was not recognized by the international community. Its sovereignty there was the result of a war of aggression, which are widely cited illegitimate means by which to acquire land.

      "It only offered residency (not citizenship) to those Arab Jerusalemites present at the time of the census Israel held after the 1967 war"

      No... it ASSIGNED residency to the people you described above. The residency status was freely given; Palestinians did not have to apply for it via a painstaking and needlessly onerous bureaucratic process or anything. HOWEVER, those same Palestinians, by virtue of their having Jerusalem residency cards, were also eligible to petition for FULL Israeli citizenship.

      "You can ‘t have it both ways Werdine. "

      You have to admit, it's actually pretty funny that you're addressing me with someone else's name while making THAT specific statement.

      "You argued that the Jordanians gave up any claim to the territory, as if to suggest Israel could have it, but that argument would be meaningless if the Jordanian annexation was illegal."

      You misunderstood me. i meant that Jordan had ceased to claim a right to the territory, not that they were relinquishing a legitimate right of theirs. Nor did I take it to mean that they were giving it to Israel; in fact they pretty clearly stated otherwise at the time.

      No, MY issue with Jordan's actions at the time has nothing to do with any claims regarding the land. My problem with Jordan is regarding their decision to unilaterally revoke the citizenship rights of all of the ethnic Palestinians then living in the West Bank and EJ.

      "Again, as Hostage explained, Jordan was formed by a political union between two countries, Arab Palestine and Transjordan."

      That's absurd, there WAS NO Arab Palestinian country! To the best of my knowledge, the Arab Palestinians didn't even have an interim government up and running at that time, let alone an independent nation-state.

      "Simply put, Palestinians could not continue to be citizens of an entity that no longer existed."

      And precisely what entity, pray tell, "ceased to exist" as a result of Jordan's decision to FINALLY abandon its project of annexing land it hadn't set foot on in decades anyway and for which it appeared to have no legitimate claim to anyway?

      The only meaningful consequence of Jordan's declaration was the callous disenfranchisement of the many thousands of Palestinian-Jordanians who suddenly found themselves without passports and stateless... identical to refugees in every way, except instead of a state throwing them off their land, the state abandoned the land as well. ("Abandoned" in a purely symbolic sense, as Jordan obviously wasn't allowed to be on the land themselves.

      "That argument applies only to member states."

      Really? Says who? Since when?

      I have to go. I'll pick the rest of this up later.

    • playforpalestine May 18, 2012 at 3:11 am

      "Actually, the second intifada started as a Palestinian protest on the day following Sharon’s visit."

      I was starting from the day of Sharon's visit because that's the day the rioting began. Arab protesters threw rocks, bins, chairs, etc, injuring 25 cops. The cops used tear gas and rubber bullets, shooting one protester in the face! Dozens of people were injured that first day.

      "Israel then proceeded to violently invade every Palestinian city with troops, tanks and helicopters, and firing, by their own admission, over 1 million bullets in the month of October."

      Sure. There was widespread rioting by both Arabs and Jews with petrol bombs and looting and car tire fires and everything. Of course the response was severe.

      "At the end of 2000, over 275 Palestinians had been killed, and just 24 Israelis, with only 5 of those being Israeli civilians."

      The numbers I saw were different, but that's besides the point. The violence we're discussing was no joke. In early October there were 2 lost Israeli reservists who ended up in Ramallah where they were arrested... remember them? A mob broke into the jail, bludgeoned, stabbed, disemboweled and then set them on fire. There was that famous photo of one of the perpetrators proudly holding up his blood soaked hands. One Israeli was killed while driving, when his car was hit with stones and he lost control and crashed. The Palestinians were killed during incidents with the police; not from being tortured to death.

      "Apparently 275 Palestinians killed by Israel in 3 months means nothing to you. "

      Why? Because I correctly cited the Palestinians as being the instigators of the violence? Are you seriously going to make such odious accusations about me just to deflect from the fact that I was right? OK, I see how it is now... The Palestinians aren't ever guilty of instigating any violence, ever. Anyone who says otherwise is clearly a racist who considers them lower than ants.

      "Short form is, the Jewish settlers were amply remunerated by Bill Gates, not Israel, for the greenhouses"

      You're right, I forgot about that. My bad.

      Regardless, I stand by the rest of that statement; that the Gazans initiated violence by firing mortars and rockets into Israel immediately following the pull-out's completion.

    • playforpalestine May 17, 2012 at 10:44 pm

      "It is a veritable guide to the perplexed in fighting deligitimatisation of Israel."

      Really? How so?

    • playforpalestine May 17, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      "Illegal did you say? Please cite a UN Resolution condemning the occupation and annexation."

      Why? What does that have to do with the illegality of Jordan's annexation?

      "As for Israel, it never offered the Palestinians living there the option to become Israeli citizens."

      In the land it annexed (also illegally) it sure did.

      "Jordan hand control of the West Bank to the PLO. You forgot that part."

      What part? That Jordan handed imaginary control over to the PLO? Who cares? Jordan's control over the West Bank was illegal even when it did actually possess it. Now, handing off power is entirely meaningless. The only meaningful thing that changed is that Jordan stripped the West Bank Palestinians of their citizenship. Would you be OK if Israel did something like that... abandoning any property that has Arab Israelis on it so they can revoke their citizenship?

      "The creation of an designated Arab state area: ...did not require the Arabs in question to accept it"

      Of course it did. The resolution had requirements for both sides. If only one side is willing to fulfill the requirements then the agreement is meaningless. UNGA resolutions in particular NEED this agreement to occur because the resolutions themselves aren't legally binding. They are just suggestions. The designated Arab state area would have only gained legitimacy via the fact that both sides agreed to it.

      "was not rejected by the Arabs in question...There is no evidence that the Palestinian people rejected the principle of partition, much less that they supported or were represented by the Arab League and the Mufti."

      That's a more interesting question. If the Palestinians had no one authorized to represent their interests at the UN then how could they even participate in these negotiations?

      "the very next day, Ben Gurion declared the agreement was only temporary and issued orders for the expulsion of the Palestinians"

      So what is your source for this sort of information?

      "Oh I know this song. I though I could smell somethign fishy."

      Is it the truth? Does the truth smell fishy to you? That's weird.

      "How are you doing Mr Werdine? Weren’t you banned for Nakba denial?"

      I'm doing fine. But I'm sorry to say that your assumption is incorrect. (Though had I been him, your statement there would have been really impressive.)

    • playforpalestine May 17, 2012 at 6:36 am

      "In Jordan, all West Bank Palestinians were given full citizenship rights and were not only allowed to vote but had direct representation in the Jordanian Parliament."

      Wow! You're defending Jordan's illegal annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem merely because it made the people living there citizens?! Does that mean you support Israel's illegal annexation of East Jerusalem since it offered the Palestinians living there the option to become Israeli citizens?

      How do you feel about the fact that Jordan decided to drop its claim to the West Bank and stripped the Palestinians of citizenship?

      "You seem to have a knack for missing the point. Israel had already attacked and claimed territory OUTSIDE of the area set aside to be the UN Partition Plan’s Jewish State. "

      No, actually I know what I'm talking about here. There was no "designated Arab state area" because the Arabs in question rejected the Partition Plan. The Plan was a GA resolution, it only had legal weight in the event both sides agreed to it.

      "The aggressor was Israel."

      How so? The Yishuv accepted the agreement and the Jews began throwing parties. The Arabs rejected it and went on strike. The first instances of violence were from the Arab Palestinians against the Jewish ones. And the first half of that civil war was being lost in a big way by the Jews, until they initiated Plan Dalet.

      That said, it was a civil war between two non-state parties. Comparisons to the Nazis invading Poland don't make sense. Poland was an actual state with set borders that wasn't engaged in a prior conflict with Germany. Israel merely won the civil war, it wasn't trying to take over the middle east or threatening any of the other states in any way whatsoever.

      The key point here is that those Arab states waged a war of choice against Israel. See what I'm saying? THAT'S the important difference between attacking and defending in a war. What you are saying is that those Arab states were justified in attacking Israel. (They were not, and they were even less justified in taking over Gaza and the WB but that's besides the point.)

      They could have just as easily NOT attacked Israel. But they chose to because THEY were the ones who "perpetuated a war of expansion" by attacking for no other reason than to gain control of the land that Palestine was too weak and disorganized to hold onto itself!

      Israel, on the other hand, never had a choice about fighting this war (or the civil war for that matter.) Had they lost the civil war they would have had nowhere to retreat to. By the time they finally went on the offensive, Jerusalem had already been cut off from all supply routes for weeks and their other Northern settlements were not doing much better.

      Similarly, they never had the option of refusing to fight against the Arab states either. Had they not fought they would have been overrun. Claiming land within the borders of the Partition Plan's "Arab state land" did not necessitate the Arab states' invasion. They had WAY less of a right to occupy/annex/invade said land than Israel did anyway.

      Israel was not expanding its held territory at that point; the Palestinians were in no immediate danger of being slaughtered wholesale or anything like that. If their problem was the state of affairs re: borders or something like that they could have at least attempted negotiating with Israel first. Better yet, they could have let Palestine do it. The Palestinians could still talk, couldn't they? What right did Jordan have to come rolling in, scoop up all the remaining land left for the Palestinian state, ethnically cleanse any non-Arabs left there, destroy every synagogue and ancient Jewish cemetery in sight, and force all the Palestinian refugees to live in squalid camps and obey their king?

      If Jordan had just stayed put then the Palestinians wouldn't have ever even BEEN refugees... they would've been living in their own state in the West Bank, like they are only now negotiating for, 64+ years later! (Good thing Jordan/Egypt/etc attacked Israel back then, huh?!!)

    • playforpalestine May 16, 2012 at 9:14 pm

      "Please explain how Italy is an “ethnically based state” in any way resembling the “Jewish state”."

      It offers citizenship to blood descendents of former Italian citizens, ie: jure sanguinis. So it has a law that favors repatriating members of the Italian diaspora as opposed to other ethnic groups.

      "I could go on and on."

      You don't have to. I just have to prove one in order to make my case definitively. Italian policies don't have to mimic Israel's perfectly. I'm just here to show you that those policies favor one ethnicity over others regarding citizenship. That is more than enough to demonstrate ethnic nationalism.

    • playforpalestine May 16, 2012 at 8:46 pm

      "Many Americans take some interest in their ethnic identity in a low-key way but they are NOT overexcited ethnic nationalists."

      Many Americans strongly identify with some kind of group whether it is ethnic, religious, gender-based or whatever. You are singling Judaism out by highlighting meaningless differences. Identity politics is not something that's unique to Jews.

      "They do not push their ethnic nationalism on their fellow Americans in an aggressive way."

      Now you sound like people who criticize the Pride Parade because they are "throwing their sexuality in your face." The reality is that nothing is being aggressively foisted on anyone else.

      "Most Americans and American ethnic groups rank low on these indices."

      So what. They aren't real indices, after all. You just made up some categories that are custom-tailored to highlight perceived differences between Judaism and other groups.

      "compare the writings of Jeffrey Goldberg and Andrew Sullivan"

      Goldberg specifically writes about Israel though, which is why you chose him. So what in the world is this supposed to prove? You made up your own category, then chose one journalist who fits it perfectly and one who doesn't. Then you list the predetermined results and proclaim, "wow." All this tells me is that you must not respect the intelligence of anyone you try to sell this hysterically warped data-set to. You must REALLY think I'm dumb to try something this blatant.

      More interestingly, if you loosen the parameters just a bit to include other identity groups like LGBT we see that Andrew Sullivan suddenly doesn't seem so different. (I'm not going to bother using your blatantly loaded indices here if that's OK with you.)

      "Jewish pro-Israel activists are getting weirdly out of sync with their fellow Americans in terms of basic values and cultural orientation."

      I don't think so. The fact that you were able to make these lists of yours so easily points to the fact that a lot of press space is being devoted to the subject. This is because people are interested in it, not because Jews are "forcing" it on an unwilling American public. To compare it to the lack of a German (for example) counterpart is to draw a false comparison. Obviously no German counterpart exists because Germany isn't embroiled in a conflict.

    • playforpalestine May 16, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      So why exactly IS Jordan allowed to strip its Palestinian citizens of their citizenship and leave them stateless without censure?

      Why can they put Palestinian refugees in squalid camps without facing criticism?

      Why is Deir Yassin mentioned every 5 minutes while the Jordanian massacre of tens of thousands of Palestinians has faded into unspoken history?

      In short, why is it apples and oranges? Why does Jordan get a pass on acts that are far worse than anything Israel has ever perpetrated?

    • playforpalestine May 16, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      "The main motive for the suicide bombings was vengeance for people that the Israelis had killed."

      Is it? Where are you getting this information from?

      "Snide remarks about “bad bad occupation” don’t make it any less a fact that Israel was the primary instigator and contributor of violence, the one most likely to restart it after things had calmed down, and the Palestinians were primarily reacting to Israeli violence."

      I disagree strongly with this. I can think of several instances right off the top of my head where the violence was initiated by the Palestinians without question. For example, the second intifada began as a violent reaction to Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount. And the resumption of Qassam fire immediately following Israel's pull out from Gaza. At that point Israel had just made a fairly large concession and the Palestinian reaction was rioting within Gaza itself (destroying the greenhouses that Israel left at their own expense), and rocket and mortar attacks aimed at Israeli civilians.

      "It hasn’t save single Palestinian life or helped a single Palestinian living under occupation which would be the only legitimate reason an occupying power might have for building it."

      The claim is that it saves Israeli lives, which is an entirely legitimate reason for an occupying power to build such a thing. The rules are outlined in the geneva conventions.

      "You can claim it saves lives if your only concern is solely Israeli lives – that’s racist in my book"

      Why is it racist to be concerned about saving Israeli lives? Does the barrier somehow kill Palestinians? No, of course not. It is primarily a huge inconvenience. Why is preferring the inconveniencing of Palestinians over the deaths of Israelis racist?

      "while the Palestinians (however random their aim) still managed to kill more guilty people than innocent"

      Suicide bombs were aimed very accurately and they specifically targeted civilians. The idea that such terrorism managed to kill more guilty than innocent seems counter-intuitive. Guilty of what? And where are you getting that info, anyway?

    • playforpalestine May 16, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      "And why does “ethnicity” matter to you? Why do you give a [moderated] about the “ethnicity” or “nationality” of your fellow citizens or your fellow human beings?"

      Well, they are ultimately just words that are used to describe the way identity politics work. You seem to me to be leaning towards implying that my use of these words and my insistence upon accuracy is rooted in some kind of racist ideology. That is not the case. We are having a discussion that requires articulating the differences between these terms. To describe an identity like Judaism it is important to have a grasp on the finer meanings and dual definitions of some of these concepts.

      My interest in it springs from my interest in learning about the world around me and how it works. How different groups interact with one another, how they define themselves and the consequences these relationships have on politics and history is an interesting subject.

      Nor am I in any way removed from the issue myself. I am Jewish, and a Zionist as well as being a liberal American of Ashkenazi German heritage. I have family members in Israel as well as Africa, England and a few other places.

      The IP conflict is a personal issue for me. I have close friends and family members who have fought to defend Israel in all its major wars. I also have family that refused to serve on ethical grounds, and know victims of terrorism and related violence both inside Israel and here in NYC. (The Empire State building attack, for example.)

      Ethnicity and nationality are part of the language that we've developed to see and talk about ourselves; our histories, our identities, our cultures... how could anyone NOT be interested in it?

    • playforpalestine May 16, 2012 at 11:47 am


      If the Arab armies took action out of concern for the welfare of the Palestinians, then wouldn't they have refrained from attempting to annex the land outside of the green line? The Arab states happily disenfranchised the Palestinians and either ruled over them in a colonial fashion (Egypt in Gaza) or actively tried to take the land for themselves (Jordan in the West Bank.)

      In the decades that followed the Arab states oppressed, massacred and expelled the Palestinians living in the OPT and in the greater Arab world to a degree far greater than any crime Israel has yet perpetuated against them.

      The Arab states attacked Israel in 1948 out of their own interests. Concern for the Palestinians seems like it was all but non-existent. That said, even assuming that everything you said here is accurate, you are offering a justification for the war, not refuting the fact that the Arab states attacked Israel.

      In other words, "Israeli actions in 1948, immediately following the declaration of independence" were not to perpetuate a war of expansion but to defend itself against an attack initiated by the Arabs. Land was taken during the war, certainly. But you simply can't label any state's actions "a war solely for territorial expansion" if the other side attacked it first.

    • playforpalestine May 16, 2012 at 11:29 am

      "¿Why do more Zionists turn into anti-Zionists than vice versa?"

      Do they? What';s your basis for this?

    • playforpalestine May 16, 2012 at 11:26 am

      "Of course it doesn’t define itself as a “Jewish-supremacist” state. That would be bad for optics."

      Beyond the fact that saying that might look bad, it simply isn't a part of the philosophy. In my experience, nations don't generally base their Declarations of Independence on what they think sounds good in an attempt to hide some kind of secret, nefarious agenda. Ideology is usually put right out there.

      "It does not define itself as an Israeli state, a state of and for all its citizens, equally."

      That is completely wrong. Of course it defines itself as a state for all of its people equally. This is from their Declaration of Independence...

      "WE APPEAL - in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months - to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions. "

      "True, a state can do that. Israel doesn’t."

      I think that Israel seeks true equality as an attainable goal. Few nations have actual equality, I won't patronize you by pretending that Israel does. There is obviously a lot of institutional discrimination in Israel. But in their defense, this is largely the result of a century long conflict that is split down ethnic lines. Of course racism is going to occur. Bearing that in mind I think Israel has done better than almost any other nation under similar circumstances. I think there is far more anti-semitism in Arab states than there is anti-Arab sentiments in Israel for instance. (Compare laws that require equal treatment for the Arabs and Druze in Israel with laws in Palestine that mandate the death penalty for selling land to an Israeli.) That said, I think Israel could do a lot better and lately it has been getting worse. Eradicating discrimination is, unfortunately, one of those things that is easy to pay lip service to, but much harder to address on a logistical level.

    • playforpalestine May 16, 2012 at 11:10 am

      "So now Judaism is a nationality first, and a religion second. Interesting."

      It's not a first, second, third kind of thing. It is all of those things; it is just not exclusively any of those things. I'm just using these terms to try and define Judaism as accurately as possible, with the understanding that none of these categories are really a perfect fit.

      "It is defined fundamentally by that religion."

      I'm sorry? What do you mean by that exactly? The religion IS an integral aspect of the culture, but it's in no way the MAIN thing in that around half of all Jews don't practice it and that the different sects of Judaism practice very different forms of the religion. It is probably the key that enabled Judaism to persist as long as it has, so in that respect it's fundamental.

      Think of the Arabs; it's not a terrible parallel as another example of a pan-ethnic group. There the language is the key thread.

    • playforpalestine May 16, 2012 at 5:38 am

      "roha, pfp is wrong. an American born person of Japanese decent who is raised in america is ethnically american whether he/she speaks japanese or not. that person would also be ethnically japanese therefore an american/japanese ethnicity. only if the person is completly cut off from japanese culture (for example, adopted by non japanese parents) would that person be considered solely of american ethnicity. but primarily american either way."

      I disagree. Identity politics and issues like ethnicity do not follow any hard and fast rules nor can anyone objectively determine whether someone qualifies for a specific ethnicity based on a list of "arbitrary" rules. Using the term colloquially, it is rare for anyone describe themselves as exclusively "American" while in America. (Which is why seanmcbride described his as: "ethnicity: Anglo-Irish." without mentioning the US at all.)

      Nor is race entirely excluded from the process, if for no other reason than the fact that there is no singular "American" ethnic group. Forming an identity often has as much to do with how someone is treated by others in their community as it does with how they are raised within their home. To say that a black American who is raised by white people in an exclusively white suburb won't have develop any kind of relationship with the black ethnicity is naive. A Japanese American who found himself interned during WWII, or a non-practicing Jew in Auchwitz would probably agree with me. Nor do I agree with your assertion that an ethnicity can be chosen and installed, no matter how much someone might feel that they relate to a specific culture. (Not that this point is critical to our discussion though.)

    • playforpalestine May 16, 2012 at 5:17 am

      "MHughes, Bumblebye, please explain to PFP exactly how white, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant the UK is. You can do it in Urdu or Yoruba, if you like."

      Less than 80%? Israel is around 20% non-Jewish. Please also state how many non-Protestants are guaranteed legislative seats while you're at it.

      All that aside, the UK/England doesn't need to perfectly mimic Israel for my point to be made. Let's say England is 25% Muslim/Pakistani, (ie: has a greater percentage of minority citizens than Israel). Does that mean its having a state sanctioned church is ethically preferable to Israel's defining itself around an ethno-religious group? Who cares? Realistically these are not meaningful issues, nor are they objective enough categorically for anyone to compare honestly.

      Which is my point in the end. You invented a hypothetical nation (WASP America), to try and prove Israel's moral bankruptcy. When I pointed out "acceptable" states that did meet the basic requirements you posited, you responded by listing ways that those states DID differ from Israel, implying that the comparisons were invalid. Supposedly then, the only realistic parallel for us to use would be the one you imagined... a WASP-centric USA that mimics Israel in every negative way that you ever heard, read or hallucinated once in a fever-dream. (That these examples mimic actual Israeli policies is optional, of course. Non-citizen WASPs enjoy more rights than US citizens of other ethnicities, for example; a law thus far unheard of anywhere on the planet.)

    • playforpalestine May 16, 2012 at 2:22 am

      "Did you just admit that Israeli actions in 1948, immediately following your declaration of independence, was solely a war of territorial expansion?"

      You mean the war when several Arab states attacked Israel? How could it be solely a war of Israeli expansion if it was initiated by the other side?

    • playforpalestine May 16, 2012 at 2:18 am

      "If the United States defined itself officially (and aggressively) as a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) state, do you think that Japanese Americans, Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans, Italian Catholic Americas, etc. would enjoy equal opportunities and status with white Anglo-Saxon Protestants in that state?"

      We should ask someone from England. That's fairly close to what you described here. House of Lords and all that.

    • playforpalestine May 16, 2012 at 2:03 am

      they were palestinians

    • playforpalestine May 15, 2012 at 8:36 pm

      "If the United States defined itself officially (and aggressively) as a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) state, do you think that Japanese Americans, Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans, Italian Catholic Americas, etc. would enjoy equal opportunities and status with white Anglo-Saxon Protestants in that state?"

      I don't see why that definition would be necessary for the US to marginalize certain groups. There has never been equal opportunities or status in America between ethnic and religious groups ever.

      That said, why make an analogy that requires some made up ethnic-nationalist form of America when you can use any modern ethnically based state instead? Use Italy or Thailand or wherever. It doesn't matter. Tribal affiliations exist. That's the world we live in. Israel wasn't formed because of some innate desire for Jews to express feeling of superiority. It was formed as a means of protection from a tribally affiliated world.

      "Are you going to fill in the profile here?"

      Probably not. What's the point?

    • playforpalestine May 15, 2012 at 8:19 pm

      Ethnicity is a part of that famously fluid subject known as identity politics. The shape of your eyes is far less important than the concept of a shared culture or history. Someone might be raised in America but that doesn't mean they were insulated from all forms of the culture they came from. American culture isn't its own, unique thing as much as it is an amalgamation of cultures that make it up.

      This topic has many different answers and descriptions, none of them definitively right or wrong. You're just using a specific interpretation to try and portray Judaism and/or Zionism as something exclusively different than other groups of this sort.

    • playforpalestine May 13, 2012 at 10:27 pm

      "Advocating for Israel as a Jewish state rather than as a secular, democratic and egalitarian state of and for all Israelis, equally, is to advocate for a religion-supremacist state."

      Not at all. Judaism is a nationality that has a religion attached to it, but it is not defined exclusively by that religion. Think about language. Is an American born Japanese person still ethnically Japanese even if he or she doesn't speak the language? Of course. Just as secular Jews who have nothing to do with the religion are still considered Jewish.

      And just as states like Germany or Italy or Japan (which exist as ethnic nations similar to Israel), allow for minorities to have equal rights within the same state, defining your state along ethnic lines does not necessarily imply supremacist dogma.

    • playforpalestine May 13, 2012 at 10:18 pm

      "For the record, I would hate to see a future state of Palestine follow in the steps of the religion-supremacist “Jewish state” and be defined as either an Arab-supremacist, an ethnic-Palestinian-supremacist, or a Muslim-supremacist state."

      Defined by whom? Israel certainly doesn't define itself as a Jewish-supremacist state at all. A state can originate on the basis of a single nationality while still offering equal status to its minority citizens.

    • playforpalestine May 13, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      "And then you further mix up the religion with the ethnicity in describing Judaism, which is purely a religion, not an ethnicity OR a nation."

      Nope, I'm not mixing anything up. Judaism fits into a lot of different categories but isn't perfectly defined by any one. It's a religion, sure, but it is not "purely" a religion as you stated. If that were the case then being Jewish would be contingent upon practicing/believing in the tenets of the religion, which it isn't. It's perfectly acceptable for someone who has never set foot inside of a synagogue. Roughly half of Jews worldwide consider themselves secular.

      The traditional view, ie: the one described in the Torah, is that Judaism is a nation. Nowadays the word "nation" has two distinct definitions, so it can be confusing. Nation is also frequently used to mean "nation-state" which is not the definition I am implying here.

      Using the traditional definition "nationality" is similar to the term "ethnicity." Judaism doesn't fit perfectly into any of these categories, but there's no reason it has to. Having an argument over semantics will not offer much in the way of justifying the right of self-determination or in decrying it. Judaism is a little different than other ethnic nationalities, it's a little different than other religions, and so on. None of them serve as mitigating distinctions that would make the idea of Jewish nationalism less ethical than any other.

      "Jewishness disrupts the very categories of identity, because it is not national, not genealogical, not religious, but all of these, in dialectical tension with one another. "

      link to

    • playforpalestine May 13, 2012 at 6:07 am

      Eljay, you're confusing the concept of citizenship with that of nationality. For example, consider what it means to be Japanese. It can mean either being a citizen of the state or a member of the ethnicity. Judaism IS a religion. But it is not defined exclusively by that. It is a nation in the classic sense of the word.

    • playforpalestine May 11, 2012 at 11:45 pm

      "And if Jews in New York had wiped hundreds of towns in New Jersey off the map and set put thousands of people into prison camps and destroyed thousands of acres of farmland so that they could build Jews-only government subsidized condos, Oleg?"

      We NYers wish we could wipe out hundreds of towns in Jersey. Would anyone really oppose this? We've wiped out tons of Indians, does that count?

      We HAVE put thousands of people in prison btw. Not in prison "camps" but then, neither has Israel. No one uses prison camps except for Arizona and other third world countries. For the record, I'd MUCH rather go to jail in Israel than NYC OR Jersey.

      NYers HAVE destroyed millions of acres of farmland. What do you think used to be here before the buildings? And those condos ARE subsidized by local government and while they aren't Jew only, they are exclusively for the wealthy, which is pretty much the religion of NY anyway. (BTW, settlements aren't actually Jew only, but that's kind of besides the point.)

      In all seriousness, if any of the countries that the US has invaded ever tried something like launching a rocket at us and it killed someone do you really think that we would respond with restraint? Look at what we did to Afghanistan over 9/11. Look at what we did to Iraq, and they didn't even DO anything to us.

    • playforpalestine May 11, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      "moral people weren’t silent about Iraq and Vietnam. Just as people, Americans or Israelis or whoever, aren’t silent about I/P and other horrors"

      So, do Israelis who oppose the occupation and fight for the establishment of a Palestinian state (like the members of PeaceNow or B'tselem for example), qualify as ethical or liberal or etc.? I'm curious if you still think that Zionism and liberalism are mutually exclusive given your above statement.

    • playforpalestine May 10, 2012 at 11:26 pm

      what do you think they were referencing?

    • playforpalestine May 10, 2012 at 6:08 pm

      I live in NYC. What piotr's describing is a misleading half-truth. The police sometimes take condoms from prostitutes they arrest as potential evidence. (A woman with nothing in her bag but pepper spray and 24 condoms MIGHT seem suspicious in court, after all.) The practice is discouraged by sex worker advocates because the city needs to be encouraging sex workers to use condoms, not taking them away, a fair criticism.

      But it's not a police fad to frisk random women and take their condoms. The police aren't randomly stealing from passersby.

    • playforpalestine May 10, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      Because if you don't want to raise your family there Oleg, then that means it is exactly like the Warsaw ghetto. What a clever rhetorical trap.

      And presumably if you don't want your children shot by an Israeli border guard then the Israelis are 1,000 times worse than a cross between Godzilla and Dr. No. Also they're Nazis. Also they're Communists.

  • Who's the anti-Semite?
    • playforpalestine May 18, 2012 at 4:15 am

      "Germany and Italy are ethnic, without a doubt, but their governments are not ethnic nationalist governments, they are civic nationalist. the laws do not support your theories."

      Then why do both countries have ANY examples of ethnic-nationalist policies in their law books whatsoever? Here's a good one... if Germany is exclusively defined as having a civic national character, then why did East and West Germany favor reunification despite all of the associated risks?

    • "There is that peculiar evasiveness and shiftiness again that one runs into all the time with many pro-Israel activists."

      Still, try and weather my inherent shiftiness for long enough to actually answer my question if you can. Are you asking whether I agree with the specific policies of these organizations or whether I think that they should have the right to exist within our political framework? For example, I disagree with AIPAC's major policy platforms. But I think that it has as much of a right to leverage its viewpoint as any other lobbyist group. And I think that lobbying is protected by the first amendment.

      Or #44. targeted assassinations. I don't LIKE targeted assassinations. I have no idea if they are actually legal or not. But I think that using them is often preferable to some of the other available options.

      So what are you asking? These are complex issues. Is it whether I "like" them? Support them? Or believe they DO exist at all? Or SHOULD exist?

      If it's all simple stuff then just explain it.

    • playforpalestine May 16, 2012 at 9:44 pm

      "(The rise of messianic ethnic nationalism in modern Germany, for instance, led to the Holocaust.)"

      What do you mean by messianic ethnic nationalism anyway?

    • playforpalestine May 16, 2012 at 9:40 pm


      If it makes you feel any better I was totally wrong about France. Civic nationalism, all the way.
      But Germany and Italy are ethnic, without a doubt.

      "i gave him the link earlier after he eluded to the idea ethnic nationalist governments were countries made up of ethnicities"

      Not "made up of" but rather "based on."

    • playforpalestine May 16, 2012 at 6:18 am

      "Is it antisemitic to point out that militant Jewish nationalists like Pamela Geller, Caroline Glick, David Horowitz, Daniel Pipes, William Kristol and many others, who have been stridently attacking Americans and Europeans (not to mention many other groups, including Muslims) in the name of “the Jews” and “the Jewish people,” are probably provoking hostility towards themselves and their cause?"

      Not necessarily. But the fact that it is untrue might cause someone to investigate it as a possible motive, given the language and labels used in the statement.

    • playforpalestine May 16, 2012 at 6:14 am

      "I agree with you it seems absurd to believe everyone decided “Let’s hate the Jews for no particular reason”. Yet Bibi thinks so, it seems."

      It does? When I've heard him speak about the subject that's not what he said at all. Do you have a source?

    • playforpalestine May 15, 2012 at 10:29 pm

      "And no pro-Israel activist here has yet been able to explain why Jewish ethnic or religious nationalism should enjoy any more legitimacy than white nationalism, black nationalism, Christian nationalism, European ethnic nationalism, etc."

      Well, in all honesty, it shouldn't. People are free to make their own associations and form their own common ethnic/religious identities as they see fit. Just because Judaism is older doesn't make it more legitimate than any other nation of people that defines itself by an association with one another. Look at the Palestinians. As a nation they formed primarily in response to Zionism and Jewish emigration to Palestine. This makes them a newer nationality but by no means does it delegitimise their quest for self-determination.

    • Sean,

      I don't even understand what you are asking. For example... AIPAC, you wrote CON. Does this mean that you disagree with the agenda AIPAC has, the power they wield, the fact that they exist, or do you oppose their very right to exist?

      How could one oppose a lobby like AIPAC whose existence is guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, while supporting the Bill of Rights itself? I don't really understand this list.

    • playforpalestine May 15, 2012 at 9:20 pm

      ""Most Americans have no clue what “zionism” is."

      Zionism is support of israel as a Jewish state. They know that, and are in favor of it.

      "Deep at its core, when all the layers are peeled off, Zionsim is about exclusion and exclusivity."

      All nationalism is.

      "Go to israel if you like, and see for yourself what zionism has wrought – one of the most bigoted, cliquish, arrogant, querrelous, corrupt-to-the-bones places on earth. "

      No it's not. I have been there, have you?

      It's not even close to any of those things, I've been to MANY countries FAR worse than Israel. Israel remains one of the better states I've been to re those qualities.

      "Yes, I know it appears lively enough to the average jewish American visitor who is quick to mistake rudeness for warmth."

      What? Why?

      "And one thing I’ve never heard said is that Jewish people are “great Americans”."

      Do you really travel out to the heartland just to ask people questions about Jews? Try listing some Jews who were great Americans and see what they say then.

      "It is not any anti-semitism burning under the ground."

      What you just described is a perfect example of anti-semitism. Saying that their reasons for having bigotry towards Jews does not mean that their bigotry doesn't exist.

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