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Total number of comments: 11 (since 2009-09-01 03:29:37)


Seeking justice in Israel-Palestine.

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  • 'Washington Post' editorial says settlements don't matter
    • Both sides insist that the other can make do with a road corridor.

      So, unlike everything else, Ma'ale Adumim is not supposed to be subject to negotiations? Israel gets that part of the West Bank automatically?

      I guess the Palestinians have already waived their claim to that land... or the Washington Post just annexed Ma'ale Adumim to Israel.

  • Rudoren is a step in the right direction
    • I agree and, given what we've come to expect, I actually find it amazing that she a) read something on Mondoweiss b) admitted to it publicly and c) thought about it and responded. Even though her response took a mostly defensive tone, I think engaging with the criticism inevitably leads to some reevaluation. And indeed her response seemed to hint that she was reexamining her initial "natural" reaction to the Palestinians she saw--hopefully also reflecting on why she was able to dehumanize them so casually.

  • Israeli hasbara cartoon features white man fighting jungle animals
    • Good point. This cartoon is revealing in a lot of ways. Notice also that the clearing is surrounded by jungle, not on the edge. Not a natural occurrence but clearly conquered and colonized.

      And the constricting action of the snake seems like a great representation of Israeli fears. Though Israel largely manages to avoid the sharp pain of a bloody attack (in the cartoon, a bite), Israelis increasingly feel threatened with sudden extinction. Iran is one example of that, but the representation here seems more related to the Palestinian "demographic threat": a tightening noose, in their minds, threatening to abruptly end the life of "Israel" defined as an apartheid state. (Israelis show that they define their state that way by describing Palestinian political inclusion as "the destruction of Israel".) And to many of them (though perhaps not to people who recognize Palestinians as normal human beings), that development implies physical violence and death on a large scale.

    • The bunny must be Jordan.

  • Israel supporters (and IDF officials) proudly display their bigotry on Twitter (UPDATED)
  • Adelson says Obama dislikes Israel and will 'act on his true feelings' in a second term
    • Of course a lot of these critiques amount to really tiresome nitpicking, even if you accept a pro-Israel reference point. But some of this is pretty smart (I guess I had imagined Adelson as a neanderthal in every way). Pro-Israel types are absolutely right to worry about leaders having personal relationships with Palestinians, because of course it's harder to support crushing a nation when you know some of its people personally.

      If this is was the only issue you cared about, these would be good reasons to pick Romney. He certainly projects as at least having fewer qualms about backing Israel comprehensively, as well as a more rabidly pro-Israel political base.

      Where I think Adelson misses the mark in a basic way, is that he overestimates the political space that comes along with a second term. The political forces that have forced Obama's hands on this issue thus far (if you subscribe to that interpretation, and I basically do) should operate pretty much as effectively in a potential second term.

  • Walt, Munayyer, and Mearsheimer offer one state scenarios, and my response
    • The question is, if they were ever forced to choose, which would Israeli Jews give up first: supremacy (apartheid), or land?

      Land has importance to Israeli Jews as a concept (symbol of Jewish history, redemption), as a resource (economic, military), and as a place of residence. With 600,000 settlers in the West Bank and E Jerusalem (10% of Israel's Jewish population), Israelis are entrenching themselves on the land they would need to surrender for a two-state peace. The idea of supremacy, meanwhile, remains as fragile as it always has been.

      Overturning the idea of supremacy would be hard, but in this world we have seen it done. Relinquishing that land would take changing minds too (giving up the idea of a Jewish right to the land - to control it and even to be able to live there), but also uprooting huge numbers of people. It would involve enormous tangible pain and expense. I think they avoid that prospect above all else. In my view, the attachment to land and home are far more real, and certainly more honorable, than the drive to dominate or cage other human beings. (Even if, in this case, the two require some disentangling.)

      But that view could reflect my own idealism more than reality.

  • Occupy Wall Street and the struggle over Israel/Palestine
    • Isn't there a risk that the movement will fail from not being consistent?

      I thought Occupy Wall Street was about fairness, empowerment, and freedom. The name itself ("Occupy" + "Wall Street") appears to telegraph a denunciation of two interrelated forms of domination: military and economic. Wait, military and economic domination, isn't that Palestine's predicament? And isn't Palestine an American issue, with United States power serving as the backbone to Israeli apartheid? What makes this a "niche" issue -- that white people are not afflicted?

      On what grounds do you exclude Palestine from a movement calling for justice and people power?

      The separation between issues ("economic" vs. "foreign policy") is artificial. The opponents of OWS understand that, and therefore from the beginning defined the movement as anti-Israel despite no official OWS position on the matter. The connection is as simple as: an attack on concentrated power somewhere is a threat to concentrated power everywhere (though of course there are defined interests and specific links involved, as well).

  • Occupy Wall Street responds to controversy over Gaza flotilla
  • Could Goldstone's logic in defense of Israel have saved apartheid in South Africa?
    • South Africa’s enforced racial separation was intended to permanently benefit the white minority, to the detriment of other races. By contrast, Israel has agreed in concept to the existence of a Palestinian state

      So his argument boils down to: 'Israel hasn't admitted to racial supremacist goals [whereas South Africa did], therefore it's not apartheid'. The argument is ridiculous of course.

      But Goldstone, more than most, should know the premise is also ridiculous. South Africa did not publicly proclaim an intent to "benefit" Whites and "harm" Blacks, but, like Israelis, framed their apartheid system as an issue of constructive 'separation' and mutual 'self-determination' (because 'we can't live together'). It also "agreed in concept to the existence of" Black "states", in fact, SA promoted them as an integral component of its apartheid system.

      And the assertion that Israeli leaders don't proclaim the intent to maintain Jewish racial supremacy is only partially true, depending on which of their statements you listen to. They deny practicing apartheid and discrimination, but those denials are belied by their other statements about the "demographic threat" to the "state of the Jewish people" which would "cease to exist" if rightful (non-Jewish) residents returned to their lands. These statements can only be read to mean that Jewish control is an essential feature of the state.

      Goldstone is allowing Israel to absolve it's own responsibility for apartheid simply by employing euphemism, while amazingly pretending that South Africa did not try to do the same.

  • Money for nothing and occupation for free: The 1994 Paris protocols on economic relations between Israel and the PLO

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