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Ron Fox

From my blog - Why do I, a 78 year old American Jewish person, get so upset and sad about what is happening in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza? For the last nearly 45 years, my analysis of the actions of the Israeli government vis-a-vis the Palestinians has been that they are very often irreconcilable with and inconsistent with the morals, values, laws, principles and teachings of Judaism that I hold most dear. I also believe the key to peace in this conflict is the pursuit of justice by the Israeli government. - At the moment I am working to defeat an anti-BDS bill up for consideration in the Massachusetts legislature and will be at a planning meeting this June 10, the exact 50th anniversary of the beginning of the occupation.

Website: http://judaismandisrael.blogspot.com/

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  • Dershowitz's game
    • This May 1 is the 10th anniversary of my blog post

      Dershowitz's Despicable Smear of Jimmy Carter

      http://judaismandisrael.blogspot.com/2008/05/dershowitzs-despiciable-smear-of-jimmy.html

      I cannot even begin to figure out how best to express my outrage as I read the article below, “Jimmy Carter for Sale” by Alan Dershowitz.

      Alan Dershowitz is, by all accounts, a brilliant lawyer and an extraordinarily effective advocate for many individuals, organizations and causes – one of them being the Government of Israel.

      Here is his conclusion about Jimmy Carter, “He is no better than so many former American politicians who, after leaving public life, sell themselves to the highest bidder and become lobbyists for despicable causes.”

      “Anti-semite”, “dirty money”, “honor Nazi academics”, “complicit in evil”, “anti-Israel”, “evil influence of Zionism”, “Holocaust was a fable”, “deception bordering on corruption”, “integrity … extraordinarily low.” Has Alan Dershowitz missed smearing Jimmy Carter with any of the words and phrases traditionally applied to someone who is a critic of the Government of Israel?

      What has Jimmy Carter done to merit the venom, hate and vilification contained in this detailed “swiftboating”?

      What would justify Alan Dershowitz devoting such time and effort to personally attaching Jimmy Carter?

      What “despicable cause” has Jimmy Carter been lobbying for?

      Not his work in “Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to negotiate with the Communist dictator Mengistou Haile Mariam, to Liberia to induce warlord Charles Taylor to let democratic elections be held, and to Pyongyang, North Korea, to convince Kim Il Sung to give up his nuclear program” … to Haiti to induce General Raoul Cedras to leave the country and permit the elected president to return … to Havana so that I could speak directly to the Cuban people about democracy and human rights. The Center has monitored almost seventy elections, often at the invitation of such people as Manuel Noriega, the Sandinistas, and Hugo Chavez.” Page 250, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid”

      I cannot imagine Alan Dershowitz unleashing this nuclear attack on Jimmy Carter for his speaking to the Cuban people about human rights.

      Here’s a clue “Three of the most honest, fair and peaceful of our elections have been in Palestine.” Page 250

      Here is what he has done to incur the wrath of Alan Dershowitz:

      Jimmy Carter has become the most respected prominent individual openly critical of the policies of the Government of Israel vis-à-vis the Palestinians;

      He has put in decades working for a “just” peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians;

      He has even been talking to everyone about “the terrible plight of the Palestinians” Page 251;

      He talks about three options available to the Government of Israel – one of them being “A system of apartheid, with two peoples occupying the same land but completely separated from each other, with Israelis totally dominant and suppressing violence by depriving Palestinians of their basic human rights. This is the policy now being followed.” Page 215; and

      Recently, he has been talking to representatives of Hamas, the group that was elected by the Palestinians in one of those honest, fair and peaceful elections – the results of which were immediately effectively nullified by the Governments of Israel and the United States – Hamas, the organization which a few days ago proposed a six-month truce which was immediately rejected by the Government of Israel.

      Alan Dershowitz is a symbol of those who support peace, justice, love, fairness, human rights, and dignity and equality for all unless they are Palestinians. Here’s a few values of Judaism embodied by the work of Jimmy Carter and opposed by Alan Dershowitz when the subject is the Palestinians:

      Exodus 22:20-21 - You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

      Rabbi Akiva - “‘Love your neighbor as yourself’(Leviticus 19:18) - this is the major principle of the Torah.”

      Deuteronomy XVI, 18:20 – “Justice, Justice shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” And the footnote in the Hertz edition “(T)here is international justice, which demands respect for the personality of every national group, and proclaims that no people can of right be robbed of its national life or territory, its language or spiritual heritage.”

      Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do well – seek justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow” and 1:27 “Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and they that return of her with righteousness.”

      HILLEL “If I am not for myself, who will be for me, and if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?” and his definition of Judaism “What is hateful unto you, do not do unto your neighbor”

      Someone just sent me an “Eyewitness Letter from the Gaza Strip” by Kashi Halford in Occupation Magazine http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=26557. In it Halford notes:

      1.5 million people live in the Gaza strip, over a million of these are refugees. Over 80% live below the poverty line, with 1.2 million people in Gaza are dependent on food handouts. Only 41% of Gaza’s food import needs are currently being met. The Palestinian Health Ministry says there are no stocks left of 85 essential medicines, including chemotherapy drugs, strong antibiotics and several psychiatric drugs. For a further 138 drugs there are only stocks for three months at most. Supplies of nitrous oxide for surgical anaesthesia will run out in two weeks. 17.5% of patients who have requested access to East Jerusalem, Israel or abroad for emergency or chronic medical treatment have been denied permits since June 2007. In October 2007, the public provider of water and sanitation services received 50% of the amount of fuel it need to operate its wells, pumping stations and treatment plants. As a result 210,000 people are able to access drinking water supplies for only 1-2 hours a day.

      Do I know if all of this is accurate? No

      Then again, do I know if all that Alan Dershowitz has written is correct? No

      But I do think that his article is symbolic of what is happening in what is fortunately an increasing smaller segment of the Jewish community - those who agree with any action taken by the Government of Israel. As more and more people in this country and around the world become aware of the injustices and human rights violations being carried out by that government, these tribal nationalistic oriented individuals and their organizations are likely to ramp up the volume and intensity of their personal attacks on, and verbal persecution of, those who criticize the Government of Israel.

      Alan Dershowitz hopes that we will read what he says and not read about what is happening to the Palestinians in the occupied territories. He also hopes to divert our attention from any recommendations Jimmy Carter proposes that might bring appropriate pressure on the Government of Israel to negotiate in good faith for a “just” peace.

      Here are my two conclusions:

      First, this article by Alan Dershowitz is a gross misrepresentation and an incredibly biased attempt to discredit a good person, Jimmy Carter, and the good works that he has done since leaving the White House and establishing the Carter Center.

      Second, while Alan Dershowitz is not a public official who, after leaving public life, sold himself to the highest bidder, he is, in my opinion, actually the one who is a “lobbyist for a despicable cause” – support for the Government of Israel as it continues the occupation and deprives millions of Palestinians of their basic rights and freedoms.

  • Massachusetts lawmakers to vote on anti-BDS bill after going on free trip to Israel and West Bank settlements
    • Nancy,

      As usual, excellent analysis.

      As my reason to be a strong supporter of the BDS movement, I do want to add what I think is worth reviewing - a compilation of the violations by Israel of the international human and civil rights of Palestinians (an excerpt from my testimony submitted to the Massachusetts SARO committee last July) starting with some history about

      THE OCCUPATION
      The occupation of the West Bank began in 1967. On November 22, 1967, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 242 noting its charter commits states to renounce the acquisition of territories and then saying compliance requires “Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” Israel has been in violation of the United Nations Charter Article 2 and Resolution 242 for 50 years as of this past June 10.

      THE SETTLEMENTS
      In early September 1967, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol approved the first settlement in the West Bank by Jewish Israelis, Kfar Etzion , despite the opinion of Legal Counsel to the Foreign Ministry, Theodor Meron, who wrote unequivocally, "My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention"; i.e., “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”. Recently, Judge Meron, now on an International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague, wrote recently that his opinion has not changed.
      Since then, each successive Israeli government encouraged and often gave financial incentives to encourage Jewish Israelis to move to the West Bank. In a conversation in 1973 with Winston Churchill III, Ariel Sharon said “We’ll make a pastrami sandwich of them. We’ll insert a strip of Jewish settlement in between the Palestinians, and then another strip of Jewish settlement right across the West Bank, so that in 25 years time, neither the UN nor the US, nobody will be able to tear it apart”. In July, 1977, Menachem Begin refused President Jimmy Carter’s request to freeze settlement activity. In September, 1977, Ariel Sharon, as minister of agriculture, unveiled “A vision of Israel at Century’s End” calling for the settlement of 2 million Jews in the occupied territories. In an April 21, 1978 opinion, the Legal Adviser of the Department of State in the administration of President Carter, reporting to Congress on the legal status of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, stated, “the establishment of the civilian settlements in those territories is inconsistent with international law.”
      By 1980 there were 53 settlements with approximately 12,500 Jewish Israelis squatters.
      Also in 1980 the UN Security Council passed Resolution 465 stating, "Settlements and International Law – 5. Israel's policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention … a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace”
      By 1988 there were 110 settlements with approximately 63,600 Jewish Israeli squatters
      As of 2017, there are now 123 settlements where approximately 350,000 Jewish Israeli squatters live in government subsidized or privately financed settlements built on confiscated Palestinian land plus 200,000 squatters in East Jerusalem under Israel’s unrecognized claim of annexation. West Bank’s squatters are citizens of Israel, live under its civil code, and have full Israeli voting rights while its 2.5 million West Bank Palestinians live in 100% segregated communities under military law.

      INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS CAUSED BY SETTLEMENTS
      In addition, the existence and support of the settlements has led Israel to violate many other human rights laws in its treatment of Palestinians, including:

      killing and injuring over 100,000 Palestinians;

      torturing over 10,000 Palestinians;

      unequal access to water, restricting the availability of water for the Palestinian population while providing ample water to squatters for irrigation and pools;.

      theft of Palestinian land, - using extrajudicial process to now control 60% of the West Bank;

      destruction of homes/other structures, about 27,000 since 1967 (2% for security reasons);

      building a wall 85% in the West Bank, separating Palestinians from lands and schools;

      destroying 800,000 olive trees (equal to destroying all the trees in Central Park 33 times), the source of income for many Palestinians;

      establishing two separate legal systems - one (military) law for Palestinians and another (Israeli) law for squatters as well as failing to enforce criminal laws against squatters for killing Palestinians while punishing Palestinians for minor infractions;

      restricting movement by creating numerous checkpoints, most not for security purpose but simply to harass and humiliate Palestinians by waiting in long lines to enter Israel for work or medical treatment or to get from one West Bank town to another for family or business reasons;

      placing in administrative detention thousands of Palestinians for prolonged periods of time, without informing them of charges and/or without trial, 446 as of July 2014.

      In addition, on four occasions since 2006, Israel has chosen to invade Gaza through wars of choice, using excessive force (which some believe amounts to war crimes), including in 2014 in which over 2000 Palestinians, mostly women and children and two-thirds civilians, were killed and over 96,000 houses and structures were destroyed or damaged.

      B’Tselem has documented such acts in frequent reports. I have 42 of them issued from 2001 to 2014 containing over 2000 pages of testimony of witnesses to, and victims of, the brutality of Israel’s illegal occupation. These actions would be abhorrent and illegal in the United State (substitute Native Americans and Blacks for Palestinians) and yet the US not only fails to pressure Israel in the UN but has now passed a 10 year $38 billion military aid deal.

  • Israeli government to celebrate 50 years of 'return to Judea and Samaria for eternity' at a settlement
    • Nathan. Here is an excerpt from an article that seems to make sense and is responsive to what you wrote:

      It's now clear: the Oslo peace accords were wrecked by Netanyahu's bad faith
      Avi Shlaim September 12, 2013

      In 2000 the Oslo peace process broke down following the failure of the Camp David summit and the outbreak of the second intifada. … The fundamental reason was that Israel reneged on its side of the deal.

      In 1996 the rightwing Likud returned to power under the leadership of Binyamin Netanyahu. He made no effort to conceal his deep antagonism to Oslo, denouncing it as incompatible with Israel's right to security and with the historic right of the Jewish people to the whole land of Israel. And he spent his first three years as PM in a largely successful attempt to arrest, undermine, and subvert the accords concluded by his Labour predecessors.

      Particularly destructive of the peace project was the policy of expanding Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory. These settlements are illegal under international law and constitute a huge obstacle to peace. Building civilian settlements beyond the Green Line does not violate the letter of the Oslo accords but it most decidedly violates its spirit. As a result of settlement expansion the area available for a Palestinian state has been steadily shrinking to the point where a two-state solution is barely conceivable.

      The so-called security barrier that Israel has been building on the West Bank since 2002 further encroaches on Palestinian land. Land-grabbing and peace-making do not go together: it is one or the other. Oslo is essentially a land-for-peace deal. By expanding settlements all Israeli governments, Labour as well as Likud, contributed massively to its breakdown.
      The rate of settlement growth in the West Bank and Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem is staggering. At the end of 1993 there were 115,700 Israeli settlers in the occupied territories. Their number doubled during the following decade.

      Today the number of Israeli settlers on the West Bank exceeds 350,000. There are an additional 300,000 Jews living in settlements across the pre-1967 border in East Jerusalem. Thousands more settlement homes are planned or under construction. Despite his best efforts, John Kerry, the US secretary of state, failed to get the Netanyahu government to accept a settlement freeze as a precondition for renewing the peace talks suspended in 2010.

      As long as Netanyahu remains in power, it is a safe bet that no breakthrough will be achieved in the new round of talks. He is the procrastinator par excellence, the double-faced prime minister who pretends to negotiate the partition of the pizza while continuing to gobble it up.

      The Oslo accords had many faults, chief of which was the failure to proscribe settlement expansion while peace talks were in progress. But the agreement was not doomed to failure from the start, as its critics allege. Oslo faltered and eventually broke down because Likud-led governments negotiated in bad faith. This turned the much-vaunted peace process into a charade. In fact, it was worse than a charade: it provided Israel with just the cover it was looking for to continue to pursue with impunity its illegal and aggressive colonial project on the West Bank.

    • In early September 1967, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol approved the first settlement in the West Bank by Jewish Israelis, Kfar Etzion , despite the opinion of Legal Counsel to the Foreign Ministry, Theodor Meron, who wrote unequivocally, "My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention"; i.e., “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”. Recently, Judge Meron, now on an International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague, wrote recently that his opinion has not changed.

      As Israel celebrates a 50 year event, it might also want to read Leviticus 25:8-24 which decrees that every fiftieth year shall be declared a special year during which there is to be no agricultural work; all landed property shall revert to its original owner; and slaves were to be set free.

  • Dershowitz defames Gertrude Stein, Daniel Berrigan and Omar Barghouti
    • Hi David Samel,

      What an excellent description of the anti-Judaic tirades of Alan Dershowitz.

      You may have already received a link to my post.

      As you say, none of this is new.

      I posted an article, “Dershowitz's Despicable Smear of Jimmy Carter”

      http://judaismandisrael.blogspot.com/2008/05/dershowitzs-despiciable-smear-of-jimmy.html

      on my blog on May 1, 2008. Here is an excerpt:

      Alan Dershowitz is a symbol of those who support peace, justice, love, fairness, human rights, and dignity and equality for all unless they are Palestinians. Here’s a few values of Judaism embodied by the work of Jimmy Carter and opposed by Alan Dershowitz when the subject is the Palestinians: Exodus 22:20-21 - You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Rabbi Akiva - “‘Love your neighbor as yourself’(Leviticus 19:18) - this is the major principle of the Torah.” Deuteronomy XVI, 18:20 – “Justice, Justice shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” And the footnote in the Hertz edition “(T)here is international justice, which demands respect for the personality of every national group, and proclaims that no people can of right be robbed of its national life or territory, its language or spiritual heritage.”

      Ron Fox

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