Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 1012 (since 2012-06-23 07:13:37)

Showing comments 1012 - 1001

  • Your support today determines: How much truth?
    • Tova:but that increase was intended to cover exciting new directions. If we have to spend $15,000 or $20,000 next year just on keeping all our current data properly housed for reader access, we won’t be able to step up our performance as much as we have been strategizing to do. But we’ll do what we have to; we understand that the discussions on Mondoweiss are part of the movement’s history and valuable for a whole raft of reasons.

      I hope this gives you some reassurance.

      Frankly, I'd like a bit more reassurance than that. Retention of the archives is far more important to me than than any strategies to "step up of performance" or move in "exciting new directions", and the idea that the former could have been sacrificed for the latter, even for the short term, is deeply disheartening.

  • The iron law of institutions versus Bernie Sanders
    • Daily Kos: But suggestions that she is "a liberal republican or a conservative dem," to take one example of a quotation I read today, should stop here. By her voting record in Congress, Hillary Clinton is squarely in the mainstream of the national Democratic party in America.

      This, to put it mildly, is nonsense-- given the fact that the "mainstream of the nationial Democratic party" IS in fact "liberal Republican" or " conservative democratic". Which is to say NEOLIBERAL.

      Democratic neoliberalism combines traditional liberalism on social/cultural issues with global militarism+predatory transnational capitalism. (Republican "conservatism" combines traditional conservatism on social/cultural issues with the same militarism/predatory capitalism.)

      Hillary Clinton's record demonstrates her neoliberalism in spades. Evidence of her liberalism on social/cultural issues alone provides no evidence whatsoever against her characterization as a neoliberal.

      Her neoliberalism is anathema to most Sanders supporters, i.e., old-style liberals and progressives. Rightly so.

  • Remembering Elie Wiesel, who inspired me to write about Palestine
    • @Henry Norr

      Here's a long quote from Peter Novick, "The Holocaust in American Life" (emphasis added):


      Six million is an instantly recognizable number, the generally accepted estimate of the Jews killed by Nazi Germany in its murderous crusade.23 The phrase "the six million" is a rhetorical stand-in for "the Holocaust." But nowadays, for a great many people, the real number of Holocaust victims is eleven million: six million Jews and five million non-Jews. What's at stake, of course, is not numbers as such, but what we mean, what we're referring to, when we talk of "the Holocaust." As we'll see, the question came to be hotly and angrily disputed in official American commemorations. More broadly, the various ways in which "six" and "eleven" have been used shed light on the uses of the Holocaust in American life.

      The eleven million figure—or, rather, the notion of five million "other victims" of Nazism, added to six million Jews—makes no historical sense. Five million is either much too low (for all non-Jewish civilians killed by the Third Reich) or much too high (for non-Jewish groups targeted, like Jews, for murder). Where did the number come from? Although there is no detailed paper trail, it's generally agreed that the figure of eleven million originated with Simon Wiesenthal, the renowned pursuer of Nazi criminals.

      How did he arrive at this figure? The Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer reports that Wiesenthal acknowledged to him in a private conversation that he simply invented it.24 He was, he once told a reporter, against "dividing the victims": "Since 1948," Wiesenthal said, "I have sought with Jewish leaders not to talk about six million Jewish dead, but rather about eleven million civilians dead, including six million Jews.... We reduced the problem to one between Nazis and Jews. Because of this we lost many friends who suffered with us, whose families share common graves."25

      The date in Wiesenthal's remark is worth noting. In postwar Europe, as in postwar America, while everyone realized that the fate of the Jews was "special," there was an inclination, even among many Jews, to include that fate under the larger heading of "crimes of Nazism." Wiesenthal—all the more so because of his lifetime mission of ferreting out Nazi criminals, and enlisting the help of European governments in that task—was sympathetic to the inclusion.

      Biography was also important. Many survivors of the Holocaust were stricüy observant Jews who were swept as children from the shtetl to camps where all their fellow prisoners were Jews. Nothing could have been more natural than for them to frame their experience as a solely Jewish one. Wiesenthal—in this he resembled survivors like Primo Levi—was not religious and had a relatively cosmopolitan background. For four years he survived camps like Mauthausen, where many of his fellow prisoners were not Jewish. Wiesenthal's invention of "eleven million" was bizarre, but given his experiences and the context in which he worked, there was nothing unusual or unnatural in his interpreting Nazi crimes in an "ecumenical" way. 26 In any event, it was with reference to those crimes in general, not "the Holocaust," that he spoke of eleven million.

      Before the late seventies, few in the United States had ever heard the figure "eleven million." Wiesenthal's fame in this country had to do with his exploits as a Nazi hunter, not as an interpreter of the Holocaust. This changed in 1977 when, in return for a subsidy for his program of tracking down war criminals, a California rabbi obtained the use of his name for what became a highly visible Holocaust institution, the Simon Wiesenthal Center.27 "Eleven million" was part of the baggage that came with the name.28 Inscribed at the entrance to the center's museum was a tribute to "six million Jews and to five million of other faiths"; center publications came to speak of "The Holocaust—six million Jews and five million non-Jews."29

      Though not originally advanced as such, "eleven million" had become a new description of the parameters of the Holocaust. By itself, the use of "eleven million" by the Wiesenthal Center might not have given wide currency to the figure. What put it on the agenda—what made "eleven million" a slogan for some and fighting words for others—was the setting in motion, in the spring of 1978, of the process that ultimately led to the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

      That process began with the conventional understanding of the Holocaust. At a ceremony on the White House lawn in honor of Israel's thirtieth birthday, President Jimmy Carter announced that he was setting up a commission to explore creating a national memorial to "the six million who were killed in the Holocaust."30 On this occasion no other definition would have been appropriate, for, as is well known, Carter's initiative was an attempt to placate American Jews, who were increasingly alienated by what they saw as the president's "excessive evenhandedness" in dealing with Israelis and Palestinians.31 If the estrangement continued, it could be devastating for Carter's prospects for reelection, in part because of Jewish votes in key states, and even more because Jews traditionally contributed a substantial portion of national Democratic campaign funds.32

      Jewish White House staffers who developed the proposal for the memorial weren't moved solely by political calculations; several seem to have had a genuine commitment to Holocaust commemoration.33 But the potential political payoff was paramount. The final staff discussions of the proposed memorial were conducted amid all the hoopla over NBC's Holocaust. This led one of the aides of domestic policy chief Stuart Eizenstadt to worry that it might look like "a tacky effort to ride the coattails of the show." So it might, replied another, but "our relations with Jewish community need every little boost possible."34

      On the day after Carter's announcement of a proposal to commemorate "the six million," one of Eizenstadt's aides suggested to her boss that the new commission might "consider expanding this to eleven million," following the example of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.35 There were various reasons to move in this direction. Carter's initiative had preempted a bill recently introduced in the Senate (with twenty cosponsors) to establish a memorial to the Holocaust's "eleven million innocent victims, of all faiths."36 In congressional discussions after Carter's announcement, senators and representatives who lauded the proposal—Jews and gentiles alike—referred as often to "eleven" or "six plus five" or "six plus millions of others" as they did to "six."37

      When the President's Commission on the Holocaust was formally established some months later, with Elie Wiesel as its chairman, it solicited suggestions from numerous sources, including representatives of ethnic groups. The director of the Ukrainian National Information Service wrote that Ukrainians also "met Hitler's criteria for extermination" and were "numerically the second largest group to be destroyed in ... Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Dachau." He asked that whatever was done "reflect the various nationalities and the numerical proportions of the victims of the Nazi Holocaust."38 Aloysius Mazewski, the president of the Polish-American Congress, insisted that it was Poles, not Ukrainians, who deserved second place to Jews: his total of ten million Holocaust victims was made up of six million Jews, three million Catholic Poles, and one million "other nationalities."39 On the other hand, the president of the Alliance of Poles of America claimed that "more than six million Christians [mostly Poles]...lost their lives"; he spoke of "the need to memorialize the sufferings and death of our Polish Catholic brothers and sisters—and not only those of Jewish tradition. To do otherwise would make their suffering and death meaningless."40

      In April 1979, while the commission was deliberating, the first "Days of Remembrance" of the Holocaust were held in the Capitol Rotunda.41 By this time, for whatever reasons, the White House had changed its definition of "the Holocaust." President Carter spoke of "eleven million innocent victims exterminated—six million of them Jews." Vice President Walter Mondale spoke of bearing witness "to the unanswered cries of the eleven million." 42

      This redefinition was, of course, deeply offensive to Wiesel. His commission's report, delivered to the president in September 1979, was, above all, a rejoinder to Carter's new characterization. It insisted on the Jewish specificity—the Jewish essence—of the Holocaust: "any attempt to dilute or deny this reality would be to falsify it in the name of misguided universalism."

      The report contained phrases that Wiesel was to repeat frequently over subsequent years—acknowledging that Nazism had other targets, but insisting on the temporal as well as the conceptual priority of Jewish victimhood: "as night descended, millions of other peoples were swept into this net of death"; "Jews might not have remained the final victims of Nazi genocide but they were certainly its first"; "as always, they began with Jews[;] as always they did not stop with Jews alone." There were indeed "other victims," whose existence should be recognized in the museum being recommended, but, the report strongly implied—without quite saying so—they were not victims of "the Holocaust."43

      The following months saw an intense struggle between Wiesel and Jewish staffers in the White House over how the Holocaust should be described—who would be included. It was "morally repugnant," said one presidential aide, "to create a category of second-class victims of the Holocaust as Mr. Wiesel would have us do."44 Stuart Eizenstadt urged Carter that in the executive order creating the Holocaust Memorial Council (successor to the presidential commission) he should "make clear the memorial is to honor the memory of all victims of the Holocaust—six million Jews and some five million other peoples."45 This definition, one staff member pointed out, was that of Simon Wiesenthal, "whose Holocaust credentials are as good as anyone else I know."46

      At the eleventh hour there was an ingenious proposal from Wiesel and the commission's new director, Monroe Freedman, to resolve the question through punctuation. The White House draft spoke of commemorating "The Holocaust, the systematic, state-sponsored extermination of six million Jews and millions of other victims of Nazism during World War II." The proposed alternative would make a conceptual separation through the use of dashes: "The Holocaust—the systematic state-sponsored extermination of six million Jews—and the millions of other Nazi victims."47

      Eizenstadt, in the end, was willing to give in. "For better or worse," he said, Wiesel had become the symbol of the Holocaust, and if he resigned over the issue, "we simply would not be able to get another prominent Jewish leader to serve as Chairman." While Eastern European ethnic groups would prefer the original wording, the definitional issue was not, for them, "a live or die matter as it is with Wiesel." 48 But an exasperated Carter refused to accept the dashes, and the executive order creating the Holocaust Memorial Council referred to eleven million victims. Wiesel did not re-sign, and the museum he was charged with creating was officially committed to memorializing "eleven million."

      This was clearly unacceptable to Wiesel and others for whom the "big truth" about the Holocaust was its Jewish specificity. They responded to the expansion of the victims of the Holocaust to eleven million the way devout Christians would respond to the expansion of the victims of the Crucifixion to three—the Son of God and two thieves. Weisel's forces mobilized, both inside and outside the Holocaust Council, to ensure that, despite the executive order, their definition would prevail.

      Though Jewish survivors of the Holocaust had no role in the initiative that created the museum, they came, under the leadership of Wiesel, to dominate the counci—morally, if not numerically. When one survivor, Sigmund Strochlitz, was sworn in as a council member, he announced that it was "unreasonable and inappropriate to ask survivors to share the term Holocaust ... to equate our suffering ... with others."49 At one council meeting, another survivor, Kalman Sultanik, was asked whether Daniel Trocme, murdered at Maidanek for rescuing Jews and honored at Yad Vashem as a Righteous Gentile, could be remembered in the museum's Hall of Remembrance. "No," said Sultanik, because "he didn't die as a Jew.... The six million Jews ... died differently."50

      There were also attempts to mobilize Jewish opinion at large against blurring the distinction between the victimhood of Jews and that of others. Survivor Henryk Grynberg even objected to the ancillary role accorded to gentiles in Wiesel's phrase about others being, "as night descended ... swept into this net of death." This was, Grynberg said, "absolutely false": "Those millions of others would have perished in the war even if the Holocaust had never taken place."51

      Children of survivors were often among those who insisted on the distinction between the deaths of gentiles and of Jews. Gentiles, said one, "died a death invented for the Jews ... victims of a 'solution' designed for others."52

      For another child of survivors, dismayed by what he saw as the museum's blurring of the issue,the deaths of gentile victims "were of a different, non-theological order, untouched by the mysteries that reign at the heart of... the 'Tremendum.'" 53

      Yehuda Bauer enlisted in the battle against what he called the "Wiesenthal-Carter definition." It reflected, he wrote, gentile "envy" of the Jews' experience in the Holocaust, which "would seem to be an unconscious reflection of anti-Semitic attitudes."

      The Holocaust created a pro-Jewish reaction among large numbers of non-Jews.... A reversion back to "normalcy" regarding Jews requires the destruction of the Holocaust-caused attitude of sympathy.... This is achieved by claiming that the Holocaust was ... something that happened to many millions of others.... The Holocaust then becomes lost, flattened out ... and a "normal" attitude of anti-Jewishness becomes possible again.54

      Wiesel and his allies no doubt feared that the logic of the museum's "eleven million" mandate foreshadowed "other victims" receiving five elevenths of the space. In the end, largely as a result of the influence of survivors on the council, "other victims" wound up receiving little more than perfunctory mention in the museum's permanent exhibition.55 Thus, though he had lost in the preliminary skirmish with Carter over the museum's mandate, Wiesel won the war over its content. Carter's "eleven million" never became operational doctrine at the museum, yet there remained a vague commitment to a principle of inclusion, producing endless wrangling over the definition of the Holocaust at meetings of the council.

      Council member Hyman Bookbinder—the long-time Washington representative of the American Jewish Committee—was frustrated, and after reviewing the various elusive aphoristic formulas that were trotted out, tried to get Wiesel to answer a straightforward question: "Are the 'other millions' victims of the Holocaust, or in addition to the Holocaust?"56 Wiesel never gave a direct answer, and neither has the museum.57 Clarity was undesirable and imprudent; much better to leave the matter ambiguous.

  • 'NY Jewish Week' speaks bluntly of 'Israel firsters' in US politics
    • Raphael: Herzl, wanted a multicultural, and multilingual state.


      Cf. Hostage:

      A letter in the Financial Times Feb. 22nd raised some interesting issues regarding Shavit’s book, as to what Herzl was planning for the existing population of Palestine, in 1895.

      The Charter of Herzl’s Jewish-Ottoman Land Company (JOLC) contained an article which reserved the right of the Zionists to involuntarily transfer or deport the non-Jewish population of Palestine to other parts of the Ottoman Empire.

      link to


      Note: The above comment by Hostage has been erased from the archive. No link available, except to the article with missing comments:
      link to

    • Raphael: Herzl, wanted a multicultural, and multilingual state. He was much more “liberal” then today’s right wingers. [...] “The new national home would not be ‘Jewish’ but a multicultural, multilingual state like Switzerland, even though most citizens would probably continue to speak German.” .


      In any case, the creation of such a fanciful multicultural Switzerland-like, German-speaking state/Jewish home in overwhelmingly Arab Palestine would perforce have required the negation of the native inhabitants right to self-determination, since they were strongly opposed to any such plans.

      (The First Zionist Congress in Basel was in 1897, not 1887. It declared:

      Zionism aims at establishing for the Jewish people a publicly and legally assured home in Palestine. For the attainment of this purpose, the Congress considers the following means serviceable:

      1. The promotion of the settlement of Jewish agriculturists, artisans, and tradesmen in Palestine.

      2. The federation of all Jews into local or general groups, according to the laws of the various countries.

      3. The strengthening of the Jewish feeling and consciousness.

      4. Preparatory steps for the attainment of those governmental grants which are necessary to the achievement of the Zionist purpose.)

      link to

    • Another thing to read is, Etan Bloom, Arthur Ruppin and the Production of the Modern Hebrew Culture, 2008.

      pdf thesis version available here:

      link to

      Critical review here:
      link to

  • Clinton marshals African-American surrogates against BDS to stop pro-Palestinian influence 'in the public narrative'
    • This amounts to Israel’s “African Americans for apartheid” PR campaign.


  • Clinton to Palestine: Drop dead
    • yonah fredman: If pinsker preached antigentilism, which he did, then I excuse him [..] anyone who preached antigentilism, i.e. as in- one of these goys is going to murder your asses, then he was preaching a course in life saving, in swimming, a mitzva, common sense.

      Fine, that's debatable. But what possible excuse is there for Pinsker-style antigentilism today in the 21st century ?

      Pinsker adopted racialist concepts drawn from his 19th century medical training and developed the notion that antisemitimism, or as he called it “Judeophobia”, was, literally, an incurable inherited disease afflicting practically all non-Jews everywhere.

      [Pinsker:]Along with a number of other subconscious and superstitious ideas, instincts, and idiosyncrasies, Judeophobia, too, has become rooted and naturalized among all the peoples of the earth with whom the Jews have had intercourse. Judeophobia is a form of demonopathy, with the distinction that the Jewish ghost has become known to the whole race of mankind, not merely to certain races, and that it is not disembodied, like other ghosts, but is a being of flesh and blood, and suffers the most excruciating pain from the wounds inflicted upon it by the fearful mob who imagine it threatens them.

      Judeophobia is a psychic aberration. As a psychic aberration, it is hereditary; as a disease transmitted for two thousand years, it is incurable.

      * * * * *

      Like the Jewish people, it seems, the real “Wandering Jew,” anti-Semitism, too, can never die. He must be blind indeed who will assert that the Jews are not the chosen people, the people chosen for universal hatred.

      […]Having analyzed Judeophobia as an hereditary form of demonopathy, peculiar to the human race, and having represented anti-Semitism as based upon an inherited aberration of the human mind, we must draw the important conclusion: the fight against this hatred, like any fight against inherited predispositions, can only be in vain. [emphasis added]

      Arthur Hertzberg, “The Zionist Idea: A Historical Analysis and Reader

      Both history and science have proven Pinsker’s pseudo-scientific racist doctrines to be false and pernicious. As Hostage wrote:

      Pinsker, Herzl, Ruppin, and Jabotinsky wrote racist tracts and pamphlets. They held the same bigoted European views regarding the immiscibility of the races, the mystical connection between blood and soil, hereditary anti-semitism, and the need of us racially inferior Diaspora Jews for genetic improvement through Eugenics programs they intended to carry-out in Palestine to create "the New Jew", i.e. link to

      Even if the preaching of such racist anti-Gentile doctrines, apart from the damage they did, may have had the positive consequence of encouraging some few Jews to get out of Europe before the Nazi genocide, what possible justification is there TODAY for the continued propagation of such discredited racist, anti-gentile, mythological conceptions of antisemtitism--typified by the Seattle Times editorial-- and their cynical use in demonizing the BDS movement?

      The debate you want to have about who was worse off in Tsarist Russia—Jews or non-Jewish peasants—however interesting it might be, is clearly a distraction from that critical question.

    • @yonah fredman

      Your argument, if it can be called one, is based on a blatant false dichotomy .

      Keith criticized an ahistorical, mythological conception of antisemitism and its use in demonizing the BDS movement, a conception exemplified by this quote from the article he linked to:

      “In truth, despite the veneer of rationality attached to BDS and delegitimization, these tactics are not new — they are a continuation of what seems like an eternal campaign against the Jewish people.” (Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL)

      link to

      The notion that the BDS campaign is just the latest manifestation of an eternal, irrational, inexplicable, undifferentiated, autonomous, transhistorical, demonic power that forced Jews from their homeland, compelled them to practice their faith in secret, and was the root of the worst genocide the world has ever seen" --that is a mythological notion that has nothing to do with real fact-based history, and it is a despicable and disgraceful misrepresentation of the BDS movement.

      But you would have us believe that anyone who rejects that mythological conception of antisemitism necessarily rejects the reality of antisemitism entirely.

      That's false. Genuine history, in fact, requires the rejection of such mythological thinking.

      If you wish to argue specific historical points with Keith, that would be great. But to reply to his arguments with a completely spurious false dichotomy is not enlightening whatsoever.

    • yonah fredman: .... jews ruled by the czars and the only thing mother Russia could figure out how to do was to pass laws to repress them and here you are 130 years later denying history.

      Where does Keith deny that there was discrimination and repression against Jews in late 19th/early 20th century Czarist Russia?

      If you can't answer that question with a direct quote, you are engaging in blatant dishonesty.

      [yonah fredman] Between 1881 and 1917, one third of all jews left czarist russia for other locations. Historians attribute this migration to antisemitism, but according to you, keith, life was beautiful or what?

      Where does Keith say anything like "life was beautiful' for Jews (or the peasant masses, industrial workers etc.) under Czarist rule?

      What's the point of such a gross misrepresentation of his views? Do you think such obvious straw man arguments are persuasive?

    • @Keith

      Excellent, well-written Letter to the Editor.

      (In case you use it elsewhere--there's a typo in this line "This occupation continues today with no end in site" ).

    • The U.S. turns to Israel for help in the fight against the non-existent Russian threat.

      Reuters: The United States has tested the short-range interceptor missile used by Israel’s Iron Dome system with a view to incorporating it for a future American counterpart in European-based air defenses against Russia, a U.S. Army general said Monday. Developed with funding help from Washington, Iron Dome has had a 90 percent shoot-down rate against Palestinian rockets, Israeli and U.S. officials say.

      But the system’s $50 million unit price and limited reach have dampened its export appeal.

      Visiting Israel, Maj. Gen. Glenn Bramhall of the U.S. Army’s Air and Missile Defense Command said he saw a new need to complement his unit’s midrange Patriot and THAAD interceptors with a thrifty system for less powerful missile threats.

      To that end, he said, U.S. assessors have test-launched Iron Dome’s interceptor missile, “Tamir,” which is jointly manufactured by Massachusetts firm Raytheon Co. and Israel’s state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.

      “With all that is happening in Europe, especially the fact that Russia has really awakened itself and has really decided to rebuild its military and is really posing a threat, we are looking at how we can do the multtiered defense,” Bramhall told Reuters at a conference hosted by the Israeli security organization iHLS.

      link to

    • Page: 10
    • Aspire on this:

      In a move that is virtually unprecedented in US politics, top Donald Trump adviser on Israel David M. Friedman gave an interview to Israel’s Channel 2 urging the nation not to accept any military aid deal from President Obama, and rather to wait until after the election.

      Friedman argued that Trump would “in all likelihood” increase Israel’s military aid “dramatically.”

      link to

  • Media accusations of blood libels -- against Abbas and Sanders -- amplify a Jewish tribal fantasy
    • Mikhael: ..there is a moral difference between collateral damage [...]and people being deliberately targeted for annihilation.

      So, the millions that a died as "collateral damage" to the Nazi onslaught are in a different moral category than the direct targets of the Nazi onslaught?

      How so?

      I'm not buying that distinction.

    • Mikhael: But when it comes to the many millions of Allied soldiers who gave their lives fighting Nazism (including many Jews in their ranks) we don’t count them as the victims who were singled out for annihilation.


      1)The Nazis categorized people for extermination in various ways-- in terms of ethnicity/race, political views, sexual orientation, physical and mental status etc. Slavs, for example, were declared to be subhuman and the majority of Slavic people were slated for extermination. So were communists, socialists, homosexuals, and people with physical and mental disabilities.
      Everyone in those those groups were "singled- out", not just Jews (or the Roma you mentioned).

      2) As Annie Robbins has repeatedly pointed out, you have presented no argument whatsoever why the murder of a person solely"because of their ethnicity or perceived race " is any more "tragic" than murder for any other reason (or slaughter in an immoral war). A life unnecessarily and immorally cut short is a life unnecessarily and immorally cut short, no matter what the motive of the killers.

  • Israel should be deeply disturbed by the Brexit vote
    • Speaking truth to power? From Nigel Farage's speech to the European Parliament:

      Isn’t it funny? When I came here 17 years ago and I said that I wanted to lead a campaign go get Britain out of the European Union, you all laughed at me. Well, I have to say, you’re not laughing now, are you?

      And the reason you’re so upset, the reason you’re so angry, has been perfectly clear from all the angry exchanges this morning. You, as a political project, are in denial. You are in denial that your currency is failing.

      [At this point Farage was jeered. He went on:]

      Well, just look at the Mediterranean. As a policy to impose poverty and the rest of the Mediterranean, you’ve done very well. And you are in denial over Mrs Merkel’s call last year for as many people as possible to cross the Mediterranean into the European Union. [It] has led to massive divisions within countries and between countries.

      But the biggest problem you’ve got, and the main reason the United Kingdom voted the way that it did, is that you have, by stealth, by deception, without ever telling the truth to the British or the rest of the people’s of Europe, you have imposed upon them a political union.

      And when the people in 2005 in the Netherlands and France voted against the political union, when they rejected the constitution, you simply ignored them and brought the Lisbon treaty in through the back door.

      * * *

      What happened last Thursday was a remarkable result. It was a seismic result, not just for British politics, but for European politics [and] perhaps even for global politics too. Because what the little people did, what the ordinary people did, what the people who have been oppressed over the last few years and who have seen their living standards go down [did], they rejected the multinationals, they rejected the merchant banks, they rejected big politics. And they said, actually, we want our country back. We want our fishing waters back. We want our borders back. And we want to be an independent, self-governing, normal nation and that is what we have done and that is what must happen.

      And in doing so we offer a beacon of hope to democrats across the rest of the European continent. I will make one prediction this morning; the United Kingdom will not be the last member state to leave the European Union.

      link to

  • BDS campaign hopes to take Israeli goods off Palestinian dinner tables during Ramadan
    • yonah fredman: Zaid, I hope readers will read the link and realize how misleading your presentation is.

      I agree. I don't see how a crazy revenge plan hatched by a few mentally unbalanced holocaust survivors in 1945 ,which included poisoning bread at a bakery, constitutes a "Zionist tradition" to poison civilian water supplies.

  • Letters to Hillary
    • OT:

      The head of NATO called for ramped up ties with Israel Tuesday, as President Rueven Rivlin visited the alliance’s headquarters ahead of the creation of a mission for the Jewish state there.

      The new mission had been discussed for several years but was held up by opposition from Turkey, a key NATO member which is reportedly on the verge of normalizing ties with Israel, once its close regional ally, top officials said Tuesday.

      NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Israel had been an active alliance partner for 20 years and now it was “essential” to step up cooperation and go a step further.

      “Violence in North Africa and in the Middle East is a clear threat to all our nations…. It is vital that countries which share the same values … stand together against hate and terrorism,” Stoltenberg told reporters ... [emphasis added]

      link to


      In a speech at the Herzliya Conference, Israel’s military intelligence chief, Major General Herzi Halevy, took Israel’s long-standing position that it “prefers ISIS” over the Syrian government to a whole ‘nother level, declaring openly that Israel does not want to see ISIS defeated in the war.

      Quoted in the Hebrew-language NRG site, linked to Maariv, Maj. Gen. Halevy expressed concern about the recent offensives against ISIS territory, saying that in the last three months the Islamist group was facing the “most difficult” situation since its inception and declaration of a caliphate.

      Israeli officials have regularly expressed comfort with the idea of ISIS conquering the whole of Syria, saying they find it preferable to the Iran-allied government surviving the war. At the same time, they were never so overtly supportive of ISIS and its survival.
      [emphasis added]

      link to

  • Post Orlando, a Muslim's comment on homophobia within the Muslim community
    • silamcuz: we all know who the actual hateful savages are....

      "Hateful savages"? A revealing slip. Not surprising, though, that you employ the fallacious colonialist civilized/savage dichotomy. Your true ideological colors are showing through your fake MW persona.

  • The naked racism of 'Save Jewish Jerusalem'
    • Talkback: So what term would you use to describe hatred/bias etc. towards Nonjews AS SUCH?


      While you're at it..... what term would you use to describe hatred/ bias etc. toward non-Muslims AS SUCH? Or non-Christians AS SUCH? Or non-Americans? Or non-Japanese? ETC. ETC.

  • American Jewish identity: Moving beyond 'love for Israel' and the Holocaust
    • silamcuz: Zionism is a fascist movement... Young Turks ...Nazis... White Christian Republicans... nationalistic blights....Westphalian Nation state doctrines...

      The (de-)white(d) man doth protest too much, methinks.

  • 'Boycott' Israel over J'lem prayer rules, but 'work' against occupation -- Forward's double standard
    • It seems like all comments for everyone before June 1 2014 are gone. At least that's what a few searches show for me at this point.

    • Many great posts gone. Hostage's archive barely exists anymore. That's a huge loss--along with many others-- if it can't be retrieved.

  • Michael Lerner brings down the house at Muhammad Ali funeral by standing up for Palestinians and against Netanyahu
    • ritzl: ... advocating her signature policies of destabilization and death abroad and the effects of free trade here at home.

      The structure and content of the speech suggests otherwise. Lerner first calls for "speaking truth to power":

      That means us, everyone here and everyone listening. It’s up to us to continue that ability to speak truth to power. We must speak out...

      He then goes down a list of powerful folks that need to be subjected to popular pressure:

      Tell the politicians...

      Tell judges...

      Tell our elected officials...

      Tell the leaders of Turkey...

      Tell Israeli prime minister Netanyahu....


      That list of the powerful that need to be pressured culminates with the next president of the United States:

      Tell her that the way to achieve homeland security is not for us to try new ways of domination , the strategy of domination of the world of the other to get security has been tried for the last 10,000 years and it doesn’t work. The way to get security is for the United States to become known as the most generous and caring country in the world, not the most powerful. [applause]

      We could start with a global and domestic Marshall plan to once and for all end global and domestic poverty, homelessness — hunger, inadequate education, inadequate health care. [emphasis added]


      Lerner is calling for a progressive foreign policy that replaces domination with generosity -- the opposite of "policies of destabilization and death abroad"; and he is calling for a global and domestic Marshall plan to end poverty, hunger etc.-- the opposite of the Clintonite neoliberal " free trade" scam.

  • Activists descend on Cuomo NYC office to defend right to boycott
    • Joe Catron: , it concerns investments by public agencies. No contracts; no grants; and absolutely nothing else.


      Every investment by a public agency involves a financial contract as well as "funds [made] available" and "financial benefit" to the receiving entity.

      So I don't see what's inaccurate about the statement:

      It deprives Americans and New Yorkers who are constituents of Governor Cuomo from financial benefits, governmental financial contracts and funds available to them, based on their political views.

  • Another Israeli leader says Netanyahu misuses the Holocaust for political gain, but no one in the U.S. can say so
    • eljay: y.f. now:

      yonah fredman never advocated "conversation" or "dialogue" with Holocaust deniers.

      Besides, such a "conversation" would be a violation of the Mondoweiss comments policy:

      2. No Nakba or Holocaust denial. We’re not going to tolerate any discussion of the Jewish role in the rise of the Nazis which is used as a pretext for blaming Jews for the Nazi rise, a form of Holocaust denial we want no part of. Similarly, this policy includes Nakba denial as well, and efforts to blame the expulsion of Palestinians in 1948 on Palestinian actions. [emphasis added]

      link to

  • Huffpo writer expresses bigotry against Palestinians by equating battle for equal rights and anti-Semitism
    • echinococcus: ...often plain impossible restrictions to post-67 area products, as set by the official movement.

      Where do you find such "post-67 area" restrictions set by the official BDS movement? Link? Thanks.

  • Front-page play for Israel battle shows that Israel has lost the Democratic Party base
    • MHughes976 : Wouldn’t you think that invasion, occupation and illegal annexation – or the sham and forced election of a new sovereign – amounts to conquest?

      If "conquest", in your use of the term, implies either necessary permanence or international recognition, then no.

      But if "conquest" means simply the taking control of territory by force, yes.

      In the case of Palestine, the taking of territory by force in the West Bank has led to an illegal occupation. (Gaza is "occupied" as well, according to international legal terminology.)

    • MHughes976: The idea of occupation lasting 50 years with no end in sight is repugnant to common sense, as IM has mentioned. In common parlance this is conquest.

      Practically, it's conquest; legally it's still occupation. The situation is not unlike that of the Baltic states under Soviet domination.

      The occupation of the Baltic states refers to the military occupation of the three Baltic states—Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania—by the Soviet Union under the auspices of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact on 14 June 1940 followed by their incorporation into the USSR as constituent republics, unrecognised internationally by most countries.

      On 22 June 1941 Nazi Germany attacked the USSR and within weeks occupied the Baltic territories. In July 1941, the Baltic territory was incorporated into the Reichskommissariat Ostland of the Third Reich. As a result of the Baltic Offensive of 1944, the Soviet Union recaptured most of the Baltic states and trapped the remaining German forces in the Courland pocket until their formal surrender in May 1945.

      The Soviet "annexation occupation" (Annexionsbesetzung or occupation sui generis) of the Baltic states lasted until August 1991, when the Baltic states regained independence.

      The Baltic states,the United States and its courts of law, the European Parliament, the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations Human Rights Council have all stated that these three countries were invaded, occupied and illegally incorporated into the Soviet Union under provisions of the 1939 Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, first by the Soviet Union, then by Nazi Germany from 1941 to 1944, and again by the Soviet Union from 1944 to 1991.

      This policy of non-recognition has given rise to the principle of legal continuity , which holds that de jure, or as a matter of law, the Baltic states had remained independent states under illegal occupation throughout the period from 1940 to 1991. [emphasis added]

      link to


      The Baltic states were illegally occupied and suffered alien determination for some 51 years. There is no time limit, however, on the right of self-determination of peoples. (A right I'm well aware you do not recognize.)

  • French premier says 'loathing of Jews' is behind BDS
    • loathing of the State of Israel, the loathing of a Jewish home, and therefore of Jews as a whole. [emphasis added]


      It's interesting--the alleged antisemitism cannot be directly observed ; it can only be deduced (fallaciously) from anti-Israel and anti-Zionist sentiment.

  • Thank you, Chief Rabbi. Now I know: Judaism is to blame for the Nakba
    • talknic: AFTER the Armistice Agreements were signed Israel was still trying on the 31st Aug 1949 to convince the UN to allow it the territories it had acquired by war. [emphasis added]

      Talknic repeats that "31st Aug" argument over and over, even though it's been refuted over and over.

      See: link to

      He is referring to a 1949 letter from the Palestine Conciliation Commission (PCC) which was established by the UN to promote a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem. It consisted of just three representatives, from France, Turkey and the U.S. Pace talknic, its purpose was conciliation, not making definitive judgments of international law!

      This is a classic case of making a mountain out of a molehill. As Hostage pointed out (see link above), that three-member commission had a very weak mandate and most certainly had zero power to allow or disallow any territorial arrangement.

      [Hostage:] The General Assembly eventually replaced that subsidiary organ with yet another one, the Palestine Conciliation Commission with a much weaker mandate.

      I don’t see how anything it said “rebuffed” Israel’s new territorial claims, since the text of Article 40 of the UN Charter itself doesn’t even allow the Security Council to do that under the terms of a Chapter 7 “provisional measure” – and that was the Article it had cited in its resolutions on the cease fire and armistice line...[emphasis added]

      The 1949 Armistice lines could only be changed by mutual agreement. In the absence of such an agreement, they were unchallengeable. Very quickly hopes for any final agreement faded, and the "Green Line" became solidified, politically and legally, as the border between Israeli and Jordanian territory.

    • talknic: Israel has never reached an agreement with the Palestinians.

      1) In terms of the "Green Line" (pre-1967 border), that is a completely moot point.

      **Palestine has already recognized Israel within pre-1967 borders--prior to any future negotiations, not as an outcome of them.

      **In its application to the UN, Palestine has declared it's borders--"the Green Line", NOT UN res 181 recommended partition borders.

      **Some 133 UN members states have recognized the "Green Line" as the border between Palestinian and Israeli territory.

      2) You are once again trying to have it both ways. You've claimed repeatedly that the union of the West Bank with Jordan was a legitimate act of Palestinian self-determination. (but see: link to

      If so, Jordan's King Abdullah was legitimately representing the West Bank Palestinians in the negotiations with Israel that led to the 1949 Armistice Agreement. That has been your position. But now you contradict yourself trying to argue that there never was an agreement with West Bank Palestinians.

      [Mensch:] b) Why should the Palestinians not demand the 1948 borders?

      [Hostage:] After Israel withdrew from Gaza, the Security Council adopted resolution Resolution 1860 (2009) which says that territory will be part of any Palestinian state. So, Gaza is no longer negotiable.

      The Palestinians asserted a claim to the 1948 borders through a safeguarding clause in the 1949 Armistice agreement.

      However, the West Bank Palestinians were represented in the Jordanian government that signed the agreement.

      It permits Israel to govern the territory until any changes are mutually agreed upon. Resolution 242 does not give Israel the right to violate that agreement. King Abdullah of Jordan did conclude a special agreement that would have provided for a corridor between the West Bank and Gaza and access to Israeli ports, but when the details became public, his Cabinet resigned. See Foreign relations of the United States, 1950. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa, page1095

      Bear in mind that the UN Mediator and nearly every Arab leader who had dealt with Israel in the Armistice negotiations was assassinated – Nokrashy in Egypt, Zaim in Syria, Riad Solh in Lebanon, and Abdullah in Jordan. The diplomatic history of the agreements shows that they were intended to be permanent settlements that would only be subject to minor revisions. The safeguarding clauses simply provided the negotiators with a plausible alibi. In any event, most of the negotiators ended-up being charged by their own Arab and Jewish citizens with permanently ceding away parts of the Arab or Jewish homeland.

      Under international law, an armistice agreement allows the belligerents the same rights and duties as those of an ordinary state. Those rights are not limited to the rules contained in the Hague regulations or the Geneva Conventions. Both Israel and Jordan extended their municipal jurisdiction to the new territories. Despite complaints from the Arab League, that was perfectly legal under the terms of their agreements. [emphasis added]

      link to

      Please read closely: "Both Israel and Jordan extended their municipal jurisdiction to the new territories. ...,that was perfectly legal . Extending municipal jurisdiction over a territory legally defines annexation; that extension of Israeli law was legal, therefore, that territory was legally annexed. (Israel can of course cede territory back to Palestine--but it can not be forced to do that. There is no legal requirement that a final agreement ever be concluded.)

      BOTH Israel and Jordan were non-members of the UN when they annexed territory following the 1949 Armistice Agreement. Israel continued to annex territory outside res 181 recommended borders/inside the Green Line and to transfer Jewish settlers into the area AFTER it became a UN member. None of these Israeli actions within the Green Line , before or after Israel became a UN member, have ever been condemned by the UN or held to be illegal by the ICJ.


      TALKNIC: Were it [Jordanian annexation of the West Bank] illegal, the UNSC would be bound by the UN Charter to condemn it, like they did the unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem by Israel.

      Likewise, were Israeli annexation of territory inside the Green Line after the 1949 agreement illegal, the UN would have condemned it, and the ICJ would have affirmed it's illegality. THAT HAS NEVER HAPPENED.

    • talknic: Not the “Green Line” ‘border’, but the Armistice Line

      No, the "Green Line" is an internationally recognized border, and has been officially an explicitly labeled as such:

      [Hostage:] The fact that the Armistice lines serve as the legal boundaries of Israel's civil and military jurisdiction has been driven home repeatedly by the members of the Security Council, General Assembly, and the ICJ.

      See for example:

      *Tripartite Declaration Regarding the Armistice Borders : Statement by the Governments of the United States, The United Kingdom, and France, May 25, 1950

      -- link to

      * The General Assembly resolutions which say the credentials of the delegation of Israel do not apply to the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, and the verbatim record of the General Assembly discussion of the matter in resolution 58/292 which indicates the words “pre-1967 borders" had intentionally been adopted to replace the words “Armistice Line of 1949”.


      Please read that carefully: " the words “pre-1967 borders" had intentionally been adopted to replace the words “Armistice Line of 1949”.

      The Green Line is an internationally recognized provisional border, dividing Israeli territory from Palestinian territory. It is provisional only in the sense that it can be modified in a final agreement. Otherwise it has all the legal characteristics of a permanent border.

      Most importantly, if there is no final agreement--and there never may be one!--the Green Line remains the legal border. The ICJ made that fact crystal clear. Israel has full sovereign power within the Green Line; outside the Green Line it is a belligerent Occupying Power. Israeli settlement and the extension of Israeli civil law anywhere within the Green Line is completely legal; Israeli settlement and the extension of Israeli civil law outside the Green Line is completely illegal.

      [Hostage: ] [...] international armistice lines of demarcation are legal boundaries under customary international law, .especially ones that were adopted under the terms of Chapter VII Security Council resolutions

      While they are open to modification by mutual consent, the same thing can be said for every other border on the planet.

      Neither the 1949 Armistice agreements, nor any subsequent ones, require either party to agree to any changes.


      [Hostage:] The armistice lines are legally recognized frontiers just like many other internationally recognized boundaries. In fact, the Tripartite Declaration referred to them as "Armistice Borders". link to

      Like every other international border, they can only be altered by mutual consent, but that doesn't mean that they ever will be legally modified.
      [emphasis added]


      Again , please read carefully:

      ** "Like every other international border, [the 1949 armistice line] can only be altered by mutual consent, but that doesn't mean that they ever will be legally modified. "

      **"While they are open to modification by mutual consent, the same thing can be said for every other border on the planet."

      So the fact that the "Green Line" can possibly be modified in the future via mutual consent does NOT mean it isn't a legally binding , international border NOW.

      It is precisely because the "Green Line" is a legal, internationally recognized border NOW that Israeli occupation and settlement in the West Bank is illegal and a denial of the Palestinian right of self-determination.

      Being "provisional"--i.e. open to change via future negotiation--does not change that fact. There is NO legal requirement that there be a new final agreement. In the meantime, the "Green Line" is the legal border.

    • [Sibiriak:]” The second point you are failing to grasp is that the exercise of self-determination does NOT require a plebiscite or referendum , nor does it require democracy at all”

      [talknic:] It requires ” mutual consent”. An agreement between representatives recognized by both parties [emphasis added]

      Absolute, unadulterated nonsense. Self-determination does NOT require "mutual consent." As a matter of law, the Palestinians' right to self-determination, for example, does not require consent from Israeli representatives. The same for any other qualifying people.

      You are making things up out of whole cloth. Just as there is no rule prohibiting the UN from condemning non-member states, there is no rule that self-determination requires "mutual consent". It simply does not exist in international law.

      Please cite any reference to such a rule in any UN declaration or any or other text of international law.

    • talknic: @ Sibiriak: “The ICJ, for example, relied specifically on the right to self-determination….” ;-)

      Yes, that's absolutely true. But there's two points you are failing to grasp:

      1) According the ICJ, the Palestinian people have a right to self-determination only in their own territory, which the ICJ specifically defines in terms of 1949 Armistice "Green Line" border--NOT United Nations res. 181 recommended partition lines.

      **The ICJ affirmed that the Construction of the wall was illegal wherever it departed from the 1949 armistice line and went into Palestinian territory.

      **Territory OUTSIDE U.N. res 181 recommended partition borders but INSIDE the Green Line was designated by the ICJ as "Israeli territory", and if the "Wall" had been built there, it would have been perfectly legal.

      **The General Assembly adopted resolution ES-10/13 which:"Demands that Israel stop and reverse the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, which is in departure of the Armistice Line of 1949 and is in contradiction to relevant provisions of international law...

      **The General Assembly adopted resolution ES-10/14: "Affirming the necessity of ending the conflict on the basis of the two-State solution of Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security based on the Armistice Line of 1949, in accordance with relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.

      **Although the ICJ was not specifically asked to address the validity of the "Green Line" border, the ICJ in fact did just that.

      From the ICJ “Wall” opinion:

      68. The question put by the General Assembly concerns the legal consequences of the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. However, in order to indicate those consequences to the General Assembly the Court must first determine whether or not the construction of that wall breaches international law (see paragraph 39 above). It will therefore make this determination before dealing with the consequences of the construction.

      69. To do so, the Court will first make a brief analysis of the status of the territory concerned, and will then describe the works already constructed or in course of construction in that territory. It will then indicate the applicable law before seeking to establish whether that law has been breached. [emphasis added]

      In completing that analysis, the ICJ looked into the political and legal history going all the way back to the mandate period, long before Israel became a UN member.

      [HOSTAGE:] [The ICJ] had to review all of these arguments about the Mandate instrument and the equally silly arguments about the Oslo Accords that had been advanced by the Israeli Foreign Ministry Chief Legal Counsel, Dr. Alan Baker (also a member of the Levy Commission). The Court had to do that as part of its analysis of the legal status of the territory in the Wall case. [emphasis added]

      Moreover, the ICJ specifically cited the UN resolutions sponsoring the Armistice Agreements in determining that the Armistice “Green Line” –not res 181 recommended partition borders--was the dividing line between Israeli and Palestinian territory:

      [Annie Robbins:] i would support two states if israel would start by defining those borders. it won’t.

      [HOSTAGE:] Israel did that when it signed the Armistice Agreements as a provisional measure under Article 40, Chapter VII of the UN Charter. The ICJ cited Security Council resolution 62 and the other relevant resolutions in determining the legal status of the territory. I’ve noted elsewhere that Israel admitted the status of the territory is unchallengeable in the absence of a new round of negotiations and mutual consent. [emphasis added]

      link to


      2) The second point you are failing to grasp is that the exercise of self-determination does NOT require a plebiscite or referendum, nor does it require democracy at all. Besides, annexation and self-determination are separate concepts; Israel's and Jordan's legal annexation of territory sanctioned by a UN- sponsored, internationally recognized armistice agreement, did NOT require a plebiscite or referendum.

      The attitude toward plebiscites has varied enormously since the principle of self-determination was first promulgated, and in most all cases plebiscites have been used by existing powers to legitimize sovereignty arrangements only after the fact .

      Both the first period of decolonization in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in the Americas and the second global period of decolonization after 1945 had very little to do with democracy. In both cases, the basis for decolonization was a principle of natural law according to whichoverseas rule and therefore colonial rule was illegitimate and ultimately illegal. This was not an empirical, but rather an axiomatic principle.

      Decolonization was primarily and increasingly a question of justice, not of majority decisions. Only in relatively few cases was the independence of a country decided by a plebiscite.

      The division of colonial territories into sovereign states had even less to do with democracy. Normally, it was carried out according to the principle of uti possidetis, by simply adopting the external and sometimes also the internal colonial borders as the international frontiers of the new independent states.

      Plebiscites were held only in rare cases, and these frequently had the character of confirmations of independence, and not of decisions for independence.

      It is thus unsurprising that many states created by decolonization did not become democracies, but rather often degenerated into dictatorships and despotisms: Decolonization was no act of democratization , and democracy first had to contend with other forms of government. [emphasis added]

      Jörg Fisch, “The Right of Self-Determination of Peoples: The Domestication of an Illusion" Cambridge University Press 2015

      Basically, you seem to be confusing morality with legality (not legality in theory, but as actually established by UN declarations, the ICJ etc.)

      Israel's annexation of territory outside of UN res. 181 partition lines, and the violence, terror, and ethnic cleansing that led up to it, are a moral abomination. But the annexation was legal, and the "Green Line" is the legal border in the absence of a final agreement and mutual consent.

    • Mooser: And you can get the right of “self-determination” by assembling people from all over the globe on an invented ‘peoplehood’ and colonizing a place?

      No. There's no basis for that in international law.

      The creation of a Jewish State in Palestine was in direct contradiction to the principle of self-determination--and that was explicitly recognized at the time. The United Nations Special Committee on Palestine's report of September 1947, in appraising the Arab case against partition, concluded:

      With regard to the principle of self-determination, although international recognition was extended to this principle at the end of the First World War and it was adhered to with regard to the other Arab territories, at the time of the creation of the "A" Mandates, it was not applied to Palestine, obviously because of the intention to make possible the creation of the Jewish National Home there.

      Actually, it may well be said that the Jewish National Home and the sui generis Mandate for Palestine run counter to that principle. [emphasis added]

      link to


      The rights of the conqueror?

      No, the principle of self-determination was formulated to negate any rights of conquest.

      Divine Right?

      Nope, does not exist in international law.

      Just because Zionist ideologues misconstrue and misrepresent the right to self-determination in defense of Israeli policies does not mean that that right should be automatically denigrated by anti-Zionists.

      In fact, it's central to the defense of Palestinian rights. The ICJ, for example, relied specifically on the right to self-determination in its judgment that the "Wall" and regime of occupation in the West Bank were illegal under international law.

    • MHughes976: There is already complete confusion over the alleged right of s-d even if you consider only the inhabitants of areas.

      But international law, pace Talkback, does NOT "consider only inhabitants of areas". So while the "complete confusion" you describe may exist in some imagined philosophical realm, it does not exist in the actual practice of international law.

      In the realm of international law, self-determination is a tightly circumscribed right which in almost all instances is balanced by other competing rights, and usually subordinated to them (eg. to states' right to territorial integrity.)

      I'm not a saying there are not major complexities and contradictions involved with the right of self-determination-- but that's true of most rights. Most have difficult definitional issues and most compete with other rights.

    • …one can no more separate it from Judaism than separate the City of London from Great Britain.”

      Radically off topic (or symbolic): as a matter of fact the City of London IS in some critical respects separate from the rest of Great Britain:

      On the face of it, the Corporation of London, as it is sometimes known, is merely the municipal authority for City of London, a 1.22 square mile of prime financial real estate located at the geographical center of the physical, sprawling metropolis of greater London.

      But the Corporation of London is far more than a municipal authority. It is a lobbying organization for the financial sector that is so deeply embedded in the fabric of the British nation-state that it has become impossible in Britain, even after the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression, to confront or even seriously check the power of finance. Without understanding the Corporation of London, one cannot properly understand how Wall Street has become so powerful in the United States.

      [...]London hosts more foreign banks than any other financial center. In 2008 the city accounted for half of all international trade in equities, nearly 45 percent of over-the-counter derivatives turnover, 70 percent of Eurobond turnover, 35 percent of global currency trading, and 55 percent of all international public offerings. 24 New York is bigger in areas like securitization, insurance, mergers and acquisitions, and asset management, but much of its business is domestic, making London easily the world's biggest international and offshore financial hub. The head of the Corporation of London is the Lord Mayor of London, not to be confused with the mayor of London, who runs the much larger greater London municipality that contains the City, geographically speaking, but has no jurisdiction over its nonmunicipal affairs. And this separation of powers matters.

      [...]The City's nine thousand odd human residents have one vote each in municipal elections here. But businesses in the City vote too, as if they were human, with thirty-two thousand corporate votes. 25 In effect, Goldman Sachs, the Bank of China, Moscow Narodny Bank, and KPMG can vote in a hugely important British election. The strangeness goes deeper and deeper. In fact the Corporation is so ancient and mystifying that barely any outsiders understand it.

      [...]The City's special privileges stem ultimately from the power of financial capital. Britain's rulers have needed the City's money and have given the City what it wants in exchange.

      Over the centuries the City has used this magic formula to carve out for itself privilege after privilege, exempting itself from laws it dislikes and turning itself into a state within a state: a true offshore island partly separate from Britain and protected from tides of history that have swept the British nation-state over the centuries.

      Monarchs, firebrands, and demagogues who tried to roll back the City's special rights and privileges had occasional successes, but most came to a sticky end, and the City vigorously reasserted its rights.

      It was, one nineteenth-century reformer said, "like some prehistoric monster which had mysteriously survived into the modern world."


      Nicholas Shaxson, "Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens " [emphasis added]

  • 'NYT' blames Hamas for civilian deaths in front-page article that sounds like Hillary Clinton
    • shakur 420: ... right now journalists, commentators and gen pop are safe from prosecution

      Yeah. The worst might be you end up on the NO FLY list.

      The No Fly List has been variously described as Orwellian and Kafkaesque. Individuals usually do not know they have been put on the list until they attempt to board a plane. Efforts to discover the reasons for being barred from flying meet with indeterminate responses from the authorities, which would neither confirm nor deny that a name is on the List.

      link to

    • shakur: lol not sure what the problem is with being called a supporter of Hamas. I support Hamas, fully, in the case of their resistance to the illegal occupation

      No problem. Unless you are under U.S. jurisdiction and that support involves "material support or resources". The U.S. has designated Hamas a "Foreign Terrorist Organization" (FTO).

      It is unlawful for a person in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to knowingly provide "material support or resources" to a designated FTO.[2] (The term "material support or resources" is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2339A(b) as "currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel, transportation, and other physical assets, except medicine or religious materials.")


      In April 2014, Noam Chomsky criticized the list, saying:

      Why should we even take the terrorist list seriously? What's the terrorist list? The executive branch of the government simply determines you're a terrorist. I put you on the list. No review. No judicial review. No defense. It's just an executive act of an authoritarian state. Why should the state have the right to determine unilaterally who's a terrorist? Do they have that right? No, they don't.

      link to

  • Clinton campaign is 'nervous' Sanders will push 'divisive' battle over Democratic platform on Israel
  • How Eli Lake tricks readers so as to cast realists Walt, Mearsheimer and Freeman as anti-semites
    • "...some of the academy’s most virulent foes of Israel."


      It's worth noting that in "The Israel Lobby" Walt and Mearsheimer staked out a quintessentially "Liberal Zionist" position:

      We are not challenging Israel’s right to exist or questioning the legitimacy of the Jewish state. There are those who maintain that Israel should never have been created, or who want to see Israel transformed from a Jewish state into a binational democracy. We do not. On the contrary, we believe the history of the Jewish people and the norm of national self-determination provide ample justification for a Jewish state.

      We think the United States should stand willing to come to Israel’s assistance if its survival were in jeopardy. And though our primary focus is on the Israel lobby’s negative impact on U.S. foreign policy, we are also convinced that its influence has become harmful to Israel as well. In our view, both effects are regrettable. [emphasis added]

      “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” (p.12)


      There is no question that Jews suffered greatly from the despicable legacy of anti-Semitism and that Israel’s creation was an appropriate response to a long record of crimes. This history provides a strong moral case for supporting Israel’s founding and continued existence. This backing is also consistent with America’s general commitment to national self-determination.

      But one cannot ignore the fact that the creation of Israel involved additional crimes against a largely innocent third party: the Palestinians. Crimes against Jews justify backing Israel’s existence, but its crimes against Palestinians undermine its claim to special treatment. [emphasis added]

      “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” (p. 92)

  • The Making of Israel: Zionist settler colonialism in historic Palestine
    • talknic: [Sibiriak quoting:]the Council condemned the failure of the authorities” in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.”

      The authorities are not a UN Member State.


      Exactly. I was giving examples of the UN condemning non-members .Yugoslavia was a non-member at the time of the UN condemnation.

      Nothing prevented the UN from condemning Israel annexation (or settlement, as Dan pointed out) of territory within the Green line before or after it became a UN member.

      It's never happened.


      talknic: The examples you gave show condemnation of the actions by “forces from North Korea” under the control of “the authorities”. No such condemnation against “the authorities” or Jordan the State, has been issued by the UNSC re the annexation of the West Bank


      Exactly. There was no condemnation of non-member Jordan in any way, shape or form re annexation of the West Bank, and there has been no condemnation of Israel in any way, shape or form re annexing territory up to the Green Line. Both have been viewed as legal actions.

      Put a fork in it.

    • “talknic: B) I was asked to show how Jordan’s annexation of the West Bank was legal.

      Not by me.

      You took up the point

      No, I did not. I wrote " I’m not arguing that [Jordan's annexation of the West Bank] wasn’t legal."

      Please, stop strawmanning.

      If you wish to stage an argument with yourself, have at it.

    • Dan: Important point – adding my two cents –

      Please, add more! In fact, please take over the argument! I've about had it. Of course, you're quite right about Israeli settlements inside the Green Line. They are legal. Across the Green Line, they are illegal. It's not that complicated. "Legal", of course, does not mean right, just, or moral.

    • talknic: (1) Israel simply didn’t annex territories it had acquired by war before UN Membership , knowing full well non-members cannot be censured.

      Israel DID annex territories up to the Green Line (1949 Armistice Line), as Hostage, Ilan Pappe et al. have explained, and there IS NO prohibition on UN censure of non-members.

      You have now entered a state of complete denial of reality.

    • talknic: the Armistice Agreement doesn’t mention any annexation.

      How could they? They allowed annexation; they did not require it.

      As Hostage wrote:

      Under international law, an armistice agreement allows the belligerents the same rights and duties as those of an ordinary state. Those rights are not limited to the rules contained in the Hague regulations or the Geneva Conventions.

      Both Israel and Jordan extended their municipal jurisdiction to the new territories.

      Despite complaints from the Arab League, that was perfectly legal under the terms of their agreements. [emphasis added]


      talknic: . There’s no annexation agreement with the majority representatives of any Palestinian territories

      So what? Annexation is simply a state's extension of civil law over a territory it controls.

      As Hostage pointed out, the armistice agreements allowed Israel and Jordan to do that LEGALLY up to the Green Line.

      On the other hand, when Israel did that in East Jersusalem, on the Palestinian side of the Green Line, it was ILLEGAL. The ICJ made that distinction perfectly clear in the 2004 "Wall" opinion.

      There is no requirement for an "agreement with the majority representatives".

      Once again, you are making things up. You haven't cited a single source that mentions such a requirement.

    • While talknic cannot cite a single source to back the nonsensical idea that the UN cannot condemn non-member states, one can easily consult any basic textbook on international law to find the opposite view.

      For example:

      Benedetto Conforti “ The Law and Practice of the United Nations,” 2005 Third Revised Edition, pp.126-129

      There is no mention of a prohibition on censure of non-members. On the contrary, the author outlines quite a number of actions the UN General Assembly and Security Council can take in relation to non-members.


      “[The problem of the relations between the United Nations and non-Member States which was strongly felt particularly in the early years of the post-war period] still deserves some observations. This is because it may occur that a newly formed State goes through a period of time while waiting to be admitted and in the meantime there is the problem of its relations with the United Nations. Such event occurred, for instance, in the case of the Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia-Montenegro) which was admitted to the United Nations (see § 18) in November 2000, but ceased to have formal links with the former Yugoslavia in September 1992.

      […] para. 6 of Article 2 [of the Charter] provides: “The Organization shall ensure that states that are not members of the United Nations act in accordance with these Principles so far as may be necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security”.

      What are the kinds of pressure that the United Nations may use with regard to a third State in order to reach the aim set in Article 2, para. 6? As the provision is silent on the matter, the answer must be found in the specific rules of the Charter on the powers of the organs, especially of the General Assembly and of the Security Council, concerning maintenance of the peace.

      Article 2, para. 6, must be linked, first of all, to the use of those kinds of pressure that have no mandatory effect. Both the General Assembly and the Council have the power to make recommendations to the States, that is, resolutions that do not bind the States (see § 89)).

      Worthy of mention from this point of view are the provisions of Article 11, para. 2 (“The General Assembly may discuss any questions relating to the maintenance of international peace and security... and... may make recommendations with regard to any such questions to the State or States concerned”) and the various provisions of Chapter VI, particularly Article 33, para. 2, Article 36, and Article 37, para. 2, which give the Security Council the power to recommend settlement of disputes likely to endanger the peace.

      All the provisions cited, in indicating the addressees of the recommendations with expressions such as “States concerned” or “parties to a dispute” and thereby avoiding, unlike a number of other provisions, reference to only the Member States, clearly intend to apply also to third States.

      [...]Article 2, para. 6, must then be connected to Chapter VII of the Charter, specifically with regard to Articles 39, 4l, and 42 which authorise the Security Council, for purposes of maintenance of the peace, to take enforcement measures against States. Under the procedures governed by these articles, the Council shall “determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression” (Article 39).

      Then, it may order the so-called measures not involving the use of armed force, such as interruption of economic relations by the UN Member States with the country responsible for the threat or aggression (Article 41), or undertake military action, if it believes that the measures not involving the use of armed force are or have proved to be inadequate (Article 42).

      Also the provisions of Articles 39, 41 and 42 are formulated in such a way as to be interpreted in the sense that any country, member or non-Member, may be the object of enforcement measures. .

      […]In authorising the United Nations to take action with regard to countries outside the Organization, it does not seem that Article 2, para. 6, or, rather, the various provisions of the Charter which have been cited here, involve a serious departure from customary international law, particularly from the rule that treaties cannot create obligations for third States.

      A departure of this kind cannot be seen in the power of the Assembly and the Security Council to address recommendations to third parties, since they are acts that, by definition, are not binding on the addressees.

      No issue arises, then, if the Council addresses recommendations to a non-Member State. Nor is the conclusion different with regard to enforcement measures that the Council may adopt against a State on the basis of Chapter VII of the Charter.”

      [...] hardly ever in practice have non-Member States (or their supporters in the United Nations) raised the objection of non-membership whenever the Council or the Assembly have made them the object of measures such as those governed by Chapter VII. "

      I've given examples above of UN condemnation of non-member states. The text just quoted provides the basis in the UN Charter for that power.

      "Any country, member or non-Member, may be the object of enforcement measures", and obviously UN enforcement actions-- whether sanctions, military intervention, etc.-- are necessarily preceded by UN condemnation. To argue otherwise, as talknic has done, is absurd.

    • talnic: [Sibiriak:]“despite repeated requests you’ve never told us where such a prohibition on censure can be found”

      I’ve already shown there are no UN/UNSC resolutions directly censuring a state by name before they have become UN Member...

      In other words, you still cannot tell us were such a prohibition can be found. Surely, it must be mentioned SOMEWHERE???

      And out of the thousands of legal scholars that have ever existed on the planet, you cannot cite a SINGLE one who supports your view. NOT ONE.

      Surely, if what you say is true, there must be at least one legal scholar somewhere in the whole world who agrees with you??

      In fact, you are spouting nonsense: there is no prohibition on UN condemnation of non-members.

      A few examples:


      “United Nations Security Council Resolution 4, adopted on April 29, 1946, condemned the Franco regime in Spain and formed a sub-committee to decide whether or not his rule was leading to international friction, and if so, what to do about it.”

      Spain became a UN member only in 1955.

      UN General Assembly Res 39 (1) Condemns the Franco regime.

      North Korea

      “[…] Security Council adopted two resolutions, respectively, no. 83 of June 27, 1950 and no. 84 of July 7, 1950, which accused North Korea of aggression and recommended that the Member States intervene with military means in the defence of South Korea”.

      Benedetto Conforti “ The Law and Practice of the United Nations” p.128, emphasis added.

      North Korea became a UN member in 1991.

      UNSC Res. 82 against a non-member North Korea:

      Noting with grave concern the armed attack on the Republic of Korea by forces from North Korea,

      Determines that this action constitutes a breach of the peace; and

      Calls for the immediate cessation of hostilities;

      Calls upon the authorities in North Korea to withdraw forthwith their armed forces to the 38th parallel; [emphasis added]

      Southern Rhodesia

      “United Nations Security Council Resolution 216 was adopted by the United Nations Security Council on 12 November 1965, the day after the British Dependency of Southern Rhodesia’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the British Empire as the state of Rhodesia. The vote was ten to none, with one member, France, abstaining. In the resolution’s two operative paragraphs, the Security Council:

      1. Condemned the unilateral declaration of independence “made by a racist minority” in Southern Rhodesia.

      2. Called upon all states to refuse the “illegal racist minority régime” in Southern Rhodesia recognition and to refrain from rendering any assistance to it.

      Resolution 216 was followed on 20 November by United Nations Security Council Resolution 217, in which the Security Council further elaborated on its condemnation of the UDI regime and proposed steps to be taken to address the crisis.”


      “United Nations Security Council resolution 757, adopted on 30 May 1992, after reaffirming resolutions 713 (1991), 721 (1991), 724 (1991), 727 (1992), 740 (1992) 743 (1992), 749 (1992) and 752 (1992), the Council condemned the failure of the authorities in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) to implement Resolution 752.” (Wikipedia, emphasis added)

      The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia-Montenegro) was not a UN member between 1992 and 2000.

      All links here:
      link to

    • talknic: Although International Law applies to states the UN/UNSC cannot directly censure non-Members and cannot directly censure Members retrospectively for their actions prior to membership.

      The Green Line was agreed on 30 November 1948 between Jordan and Israel, prior to Israel’s UN Membership on 11th May 1949... [emphasis added]

      As I wrote above, despite repeated requests you've never told us where such a prohibition on censure can be found. By all appearances, it is a figment of your imagination. Show us where it can be found, and I will gladly stand corrected.

      But you also overlook the fact that Israel annexed territory AFTER 11 May 1949.

      Historian Ilan Pappe writes:

      ...certain regions of the Galilee, the Negev and Wadi Ara (the last region was annexed to Israel in June 1949 as a result of the armistice agreement with Jordan signed in April that year). [emphasis added]

      Ilan Pappe, " The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of the Palestinians in Israel" (p. 36).

      So, even according to your own self-created theory, nothing prevented the UN from condemning Israel annexation of territory AFTER becoming a UN member. (And it did exactly that when Israel illegally annexed East Jerusalem.)

      No such UN condemnation exists of Israeli annexation of territory within the Green Line-- of course. Israeli and Jordanian annexation of territory was seen as perfectly legal because it was sanctioned by the 1949 UN-sponsored armistice agreement.

      Your argument simply does not hold water.

    • talknic: A) That’s not the point being argued. UNSC res 252 and its eight reminders tell us a “state’s extension of civil law (aka sovereignty) over territory” is NOT “the very definition of annexation”

      No. Res 252 reminds us that any Israeli annexation across the Green Line is ILLEGAL.

      [Hostage:]The parties concerned entered into international armistice agreements which granted the belligerents civil jurisdiction to apply their municipal laws up to the “Green Lines”. That is the normal definition of annexation. [emphasis added]

      Up to the Green Line --LEGAL. Beyond that--ILLEGAL. That's the point. All UN resolutions and the ICJ "Wall" opinion confirm that.

      [Hostage:] The fact that the Armistice lines serve as the legal boundaries of Israel’s civil and military jurisdiction as been driven home repeatedly by the members of the Security Council, General Assembly, and the ICJ [emphasis added]


      talknic: B) I was asked to show how Jordan’s annexation of the West Bank was legal.

      Not by me. I've argued, following Hostage, that BOTH Jordan's and Israel's annexation of territory on their respective sides of the Green Line were LEGAL.


      talknic: ...the UN/UNSC cannot directly censure non-Members and cannot directly censure Members retrospectively for their actions prior to membership.

      1)False. You've been asked multiple times to provide evidence to back that up. But you never do. Please quote the UN charter or any legal scholar that supports that theory.

      2) You wrote:

      Were it [Jordanian annexation of the West Bank] illegal, the UNSC would be bound by the UN Charter to condemn it

      You contradict yourself!

      Jordan formally annexed the West Bank on 24 April 1950

      Jordan did not become a full UN member until 1955

      You tell us on one hand that that UNSC would be bound to condemn Jordan if the annexation of the West Bank had been illegal--but on the other hand you tell us that UNSC would be prohibited from condemning Jordan for actions when a non-member.

      Total contradiction.

    • The significance of the "Green Line" today cannot be understood just by pulling one or two lines from documents from 1949. You need to look at the complete set of political and legal facts.

      [Hostage:] The fact that the Armistice lines serve as the legal boundaries of Israel's civil and military jurisdiction has been driven home repeatedly by the members of the Security Council, General Assembly, and the ICJ.

      See for example:

      *Tripartite Declaration Regarding the Armistice Borders : Statement by the Governments of the United States, The United Kingdom, and France, May 25, 1950
      -- link to

      * The General Assembly resolutions which say the credentials of the delegation of Israel do not apply to the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, and the verbatim record of the General Assembly discussion of the matter in resolution 58/292 which indicates the words “pre-1967 borders" had intentionally been adopted to replace the words “Armistice Line of 1949”. link to

      *The conclusion of the Secretary General's Memorandum on the Preparatory Study Concerning a Draft Declaration on the Rights and Duties of States that: "The manifestation of sovereignty in tangible form is jurisdiction." See UN Document A/CN.4/2 pdf page 49.

      *Abba Eban admitted the Armistice agreements are a legally binding settlement that can only be replaced by a peace agreement during the Security Council’s 433rd meeting. He also said that:

      "The armistice lines do not merely separate armed forces. They mark the clearly defined areas of full civil jurisdiction. The Government, the courts, the legislatures, the security authorities of each respective State operate smoothly and unchallenged up to the appropriate armistice line.

      These lines thus have the normal characteristics of provisional frontiers until such time as a new process of negotiation and agreement determines the final territorial settlement. They are also stabilized by the mutual undertakings of the parties and by the fullest international sanction for as long as the Armistice Agreements are valid." link to

      Mr Eban was correct. There have always been international boundaries or borders that are comprised of provisional demarcation lines. In the "North Sea Continental Shelf case (1968), the ICJ noted that:

      "There is no rule that the land frontiers of a State must be fully delimited and defined, and often in various places and for long periods they are not, as is shown by the case of the entry of Albania into the League of Nations (Monastery of Saint Naoum, Advisor): Opinion, 1924, P.C.I.J., Series B, No. 9, at p. 10)." See pdf file page 60 of 109) link to

      Israel is another example of a state which was admitted to the UN before its boundaries were fully delimited.

      But the credentials committee has determined that the 1967 borders are the legal extent of its national jurisdiction pending the conclusion of some other settlement. [emphasis added]

      link to

    • talknic: “2) A state’s extension of civil law (aka sovereignty) over territory is the very definition of “annexation”. “

      UNSC res 252 and eight reminders point to unilateral annexation and the extension of a state’s civil law as illegal on Israel’s part link to

      They also tell us that GC IV applies


      Those UNSC resolutions DO NOT apply to Israeli territory inside the Green Line-- which is the issue here. They apply only to territory occupied in 1967. Same with GC IV. Per all UN resolutions and the ICJ, the Green Line divides Israeli territory from Occupied Palestinian territory.

      Israel's extension of civil law to territory (annexation) inside the Green Line under the UN sponsored armistice agreements was LEGAL.

      Israel's extension of civil law to territory (annexation) acquired in 1967 was ILLEGAL.

      Thank you for confirming that distinction.

    • talknic: ...citing the Armistice Agreements, specifically the Armistice Demarcation Line is not to “be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary”

      Actually, in regards to the "Armistice Agreement with the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom" ( as opposed to the agreements with Egypt and Syria), the Palestine Conciliation Commission cited Art. 6, paragraph 9, which states:

      The Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in articles V and VI of this Agreement are agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto. [emphasis added]

      link to

      No one is arguing that the Green Line must be the permanent border in any final agreement. However, the phrase “without prejudice to future settlement or boundary lines” in no way precludes the Green Line from being an enforceable international border until such a future agreement materializes—and it may never materialize.

      [Hostage: ] [...] international armistice lines of demarcation are legal boundaries under customary international law, especially ones that were adopted under the terms of Chapter VII Security Council resolutions.

      While they are open to modification by mutual consent, the same thing can be said for every other border on the planet. Neither the 1949 Armistice agreements, nor any subsequent ones, require either party to agree to any changes.

      link to

      [Hostage:] The armistice lines are legally recognized frontiers just like many other internationally recognized boundaries. In fact, the Tripartite Declaration referred to them as "Armistice Borders". link to

      Like every other international border, they can only be altered by mutual consent, but that doesn't mean that they ever will be legally modified. The UN Mediator negotiated and accepted the agreements under the auspices of UN Security Council resolution 62, which required the delineation of permanent armistice demarcation lines. The Security Council endorsed the agreements in its resolution 73 and ordered the parties concerned to implement and observe the agreements pending a final negotiated settlement. Both resolutions were adopted as provisional Article 40 measures under the terms of Chapter VII of the UN Charter and are legally binding on all UN member states.

      [emphasis added]


      Beyond that, Hostage has explained that such “safeguarding clauses” are not a valid basis for denigrating the significance of the “Green Line” border.

      [Hostage:] The safeguarding provisions only preserved the right of the parties to present claims in the future regarding boundaries. It did not permit either side to treat the existing lines as anything other than the legal international boundaries.

      [talknic:] This is reflected in the 1949 Armistice Agreements (common): “The Armistice Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary, and is delineated without prejudice to rights, claims and positions of either Party to the Armistice as regards ultimate settlement of the Palestine question”

      [Hostage:] Yes the Arabs insisted on the addition of that language, but it is a distinction without any meaningful difference. Under customary international law, permanent armistice lines of demarcation have the very same legal effects and consequences as political or territorial boundaries.

      The parties have treaty, customary, and UN Charter obligations that require them to implement and observe those lines of demarcation pending any possible alterations that might be made through a mutually agreed upon final settlement.

      link to

      [Hostage:] […]The diplomatic history of the agreements shows that they were intended to be permanent settlements that would only be subject to minor revisions. The safeguarding clauses simply provided the negotiators with a plausible alibi.

      […]Under international law, an armistice agreement allows the belligerents the same rights and duties as those of an ordinary state. Those rights are not limited to the rules contained in the Hague regulations or the Geneva Conventions. Both Israel and Jordan extended their municipal jurisdiction to the new territories. Despite complaints from the Arab League, that was perfectly legal under the terms of their agreements.

      [emphasis added]


      The Green Line is an internationally recognized provisional border, dividing Israeli territory from Palestinian territory. It is provisional only in the sense that it can be modified in a final agreement. Otherwise it has all the legal characteristics of a permanent border. Most importantly, if there is no final agreement--and there never may be one!--the Green Line remains the legal border. The ICJ made that fact crystal clear. Israel has full sovereign power within the Green Line; outside the Green Line it is a belligerent Occupying Power. Israeli settlement and the extension of Israeli civil law anywhere within the Green Line is completely legal; Israeli settlement and the extension of Israeli civil law outside the Green Line is completely illegal.

      Hostage has proven this in dozens and dozens of posts. And the reason he has spent so much time and energy doing so is that denigrating the significance of the Green Line has been a crucial Zionist talking point used to justify Israel expansion into the West Bank.

    • Talknic: 31st Aug 1949 Israel made an attempt to claim territories beyond the extent of its sovereign frontiers. The claim was rebuffed,

      When you tried to make that argument last year, Hostage quickly batted it down:

      [Talknic:][August 2015] As late as 31st Aug 1949 Israel was still attempting to claim territories beyond the extent of those in its plea for recognition Israel’s claim was rebuffed citing the Armistice Agreements

      [Hostage:] Bear in mind that the General Assembly was called back into session by the Security Council to reconsider the Plan - and that it had adopted a resolution on 14 May suspending the work of its Palestine Commission. The same resolution created yet another subsidiary organ, the Office of the UN Mediator for Palestine. The new organ had a legal mandate which amounted to a blank check to revise the plan, i.e. "Promote a peaceful adjustment of the future situation of Palestine;” See A/RES/186 (S2) link to

      The General Assembly eventually replaced that subsidiary organ with yet another one, the Palestine Conciliation Commission with a much weaker mandate.

      I don't see how anything it said "rebuffed" Israel's new territorial claims, since the text of Article 40 of the UN Charter itself doesn't even allow the Security Council to do that under the terms of a Chapter 7 "provisional measure" - and that was the Article it had cited in its resolutions on the cease fire and armistice lines. It says:

      "In order to prevent an aggravation of the situation, the Security Council may, before making the recommendations or deciding upon the measures provided for in Article 39, call upon the parties concerned to comply with such provisional measures as it deems necessary or desirable. Such provisional measures shall be without prejudice to the rights, claims, or position of the parties concerned. The Security Council shall duly take account of failure to comply with such provisional measures. […] [emphasis added]

      link to

      At that time you accepted Hostage’s clear reasoning. But now you are resurrecting the discredited argument.

      The Palestine Conciliation Commission was established by the UN to promote a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem (link to It consisted of just three representatives, from France, Turkey and the U.S. As Hostage pointed out, that three-member commission with a weak mandate had zero power to “rebuff” claims by any of the involved states, let alone make definitive interpretations of international law.

      Ironically, Zionist Hasbarists, with their own reasons to denigrate the significance of the “Green Line,” also promote the notion that the Armistice lines cannot be legal international boundaries.

      Of course, anybody can manufacture a legal theory that suits their ideological objectives. The bottom line, as already pointed out above, is that to date neither the UN or nor the ICJ have ever condemned the Jordanian annexation of the West Bank or Israeli annexation of territory inside the Green Line (Jerusalem being a special case).

      If the lack of UN condemnation proves the legality of the Jordanian annexation—as you have repeatedly claimed-- then it must prove the legality of Israeli annexation as well.

    • Talknic: Jordan annexed the West Bank by agreement with the majority of the legitimate inhabitants, thereby it was legal to extend their municipal jurisdiction to the West Bank.

      (Trans)Jordan's annexation of the West Bank was an orchestrated land grab, not a genuine exercise in self-determination. I'm not arguing that it wasn't legal, but let's not confuse legality with morality-- sometimes they overlap; often they do not.

      It was the armistice agreements originally imposed by the Security Council as a "provisional measure" under Article 40 of the UN Charter that determined the exact border between Israeli territory and (Trans) Jordanian territory and constituted the legal basis for Jordan’s subsequent extension of Jordanian law over that defined territory.

      Following the 1948 War, Abdallah moved quickly to translate his ambitions into reality by taking several steps to annex the east-central part of Palestine. The initial preparatory step was accomplished on October 1, 1948, when many Palestinian "notables," who were invited to Amman by King Abdallah, declared that no Palestinian government would be formed until all of Palestine was liberated.9

      The second step occurred on December 1, 1948, when a large number of the Hashemite supporters in the West Bank gathered in Jericho and called for unity between the West Bank and Transjordan under the leadership of King Abdallah. Abdallah, who attended the meeting, declared himself "King of Palestine."10

      On April 24, 1950, a Jordanian parliament composed of East and West Bankers ratified the union of the two banks.

      It is important to note here that neither a plebiscite nor a referendum was employed before the Jericho Meeting or after it to involve the Palestinians of the West Bank in determining their future.

      King Abdallah had no intention of affording the Palestinians such an opportunity. In fact, the formation of an "all-Palestine government" and a Palestinian National Council in Egyptian-administered Gaza might have prompted Abdallah to hasten the annexation of the West Bank. [emphasis added]

      Ali Jalal Abed, “Israel’s Policies in the West Bank and Gaza” p.23

      So there was no plebiscite on annexation. What there was were rigged national “elections” after which representatives followed the dictates of King Abdallah and approved the annexation.

      John Glubb, commanding general of the Arab Legion (later the Jordan Royal Army) described the nature of Jordanian elections in that period:

      It is scarcely possible to arrange an election in Jordan in which there will not be foul play. The cheating takes place either at the ballot boxes or during the count. The officials at the ballot boxes can work from several methods. Some of the electors are illiterate, and the officials in charge of the boxes fill in their papers for them. At times, officials on the ballot boxes provide themselves with several thousand papers filled up in favour of the candidates whom they support. An opportunity will most certainly occur to slip these into the box. Some voters are undecided and pleased to accept the advice of the official. The procedure for counting also provides opportunity for cheating.

      Quoted in Roger Dietrich, “Factionalism and the Traditional Palestinian Arab Leadership’s Resistance to British and Jordanian Political Policy, 1920-1967”, p.47.


      Many Palestinians believed that Abdullah had been responsible for the humiliating defeat which the Israelis had inflicted on the Palestinian people. The Hashemite King was faced with the task of establishing some semblance of legitimacy for his regime in the eyes of the Palestinian community. He accomplished this task by using a loyal element of the traditional Palestinian Arab leadership. Abdullah recognized that the urban notable families still remained the recognized leaders of the population. Just as they had been integral players in the British Mandate, the “mediating” influence of the notables between the local population and the central government became indispensable to the government in Amman.

      Abdullah’s ideas on the annexation of the West Bank were in direct opposition to that of the Husayni supporters. The Hashemite King was determined to prevent the creation of an independent state that would thwart his expansionist objectives.

      To accomplish this task Abdullah could not allow the formation of a united front on the part of the urban notables.

      Jordanian strategy was aimed specifically at fracturing the Palestinian leadership so as to insure an impotent nationalist movement. The Husaynis had to be eliminated as a political force.

      […] the most significant wrongdoing which Abdullah could perpetrate in the eyes of the Husaynis was the King’s forceful lobby for partition in 1937. The Husaynis quickly realized that the Zionists were not the only imperialists who sought to occupy their territory. The Hashemites, with the Arab League, were a credible threat towards a Husayni dominated Palestinian state.

      […]The Husaynis remained the dominant faction of the Palestinian nationalist movement and were unwilling to relinquish control of this movement or to subordinate themselves to Jordanian interests. Any attempt to co-opt the Husayni side represented “plenty of danger” to the new Jordanian regime. As a result, Abdullah worked to exclude the Husaynis from Jordanian government.

      In order to do this Abdullah needed the support of some element of the urban notables. He found this element in the Nashashibis and their supporters. [….]Jordanian policy was directed mainly at exploiting the Nashashibi/Husayni split.

      […]At all levels of government the Jordanians excluded Husayni supporters from positions of power. The Jordanian system of government resembled a western democracy. Their existed a two house representative assembly with an Executive Body led by a Prime Minister.

      In reality these bodies were little more than window-dressing as all legislative power emanated from the King. The function of the Cabinet was to carry out the will of the King…

      [...]In conclusion, the Jordanian Kings were successful in co-opting one element of the Palestinian leadership into their regime. The Nashashibis and their supporters willingly acted as collaborators, irrevocably fracturing the unity of the Palestinian national movement. The Husaynis were excluded from all positions of power…The Palestinian leaders allowed the Jordanian Kings to exploit the Husayni/Nashashibi split. The result was the Palestinian leaders put up no credible resistance to the Jordanian occupier. In this way factionalism had destroyed the Palestinian leaders’ ability to effect change.

      However, to say that the Palestinian leaders must assume the bulk of responsibility for not achieving Palestinian independence is to ignore the context in which they found themselves after 1948. Jordanian policies overcame the strengths and abilities of the Palestinian leaders.

      After 1948 the Palestinian leadership had no choice but to turn to the Jordanians. The Jordanians physically occupied the West Bank with a military force the Palestinians could not defeat. Moreover, in the absence of a superior military force the Palestinian leaders were tied to Jordan whether they liked it or not.

      This weakness made the Palestinian leaders susceptible to Jordanian policy. This policy was aimed at co-opting a section of the Palestinian leadership and ensuring that an all-West Bank leadership did not emerge. The control of Cabinet portfolios, stifling the West Bank political organization, marginalization of Jerusalem as a center of power and the encouragement of local interests kept the national leadership in disarray. [emphasis added]

      Roger Dietrich, “Factionalism and the Traditional Palestinian Arab Leadership’s Resistance to British and Jordanian Political Policy, 1920-1967” p.41-52

      King Abdallah’s orchestrated Jericho conference and subsequent rigged elections may have provided a plausible justification for some states to recognize Jordan’s annexation of the West Bank--but they are not what made it legal.

      Don’t delude yourself. Jordan was not a democracy. Annexation of the West Bank was not Palestinian genuine self-determination. Despite the facade of elections and a parliament, Hashemite King Abdallah was an autocratic ruler bent on expanding his Kingdom and preventing at all costs the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

    • @talknic The main point of my post was this:

      You have repeatedly claimed that a lack of UN condemnation proves that Jordan’s annexation of the West Bank was legal.

      It follows then that the lack of UN condemnation of Israel’s annexation of territory within Green Line/outside UN res 181 recommended partition borders proves that that annexation was also legal.

      You can't have it both ways.


      [talknic:] I’m at odds with Hostage’s assertion re

      “Under international law, an armistice agreement allows the belligerents the same rights and duties as those of an ordinary state. Those rights are not limited to the rules contained in the Hague regulations or the Geneva Conventions.

      Both Israel and Jordan extended their municipal jurisdiction to the new territories. Despite complaints from the Arab League, that was perfectly legal under the terms of their agreements. [emphasis added]

      Hostage has documented those assertions in many posts. What legal sources can you cite that contradict them?

      The argument is clear and logical:

      1) The UN sponsored Armistice agreements allowed Israel to legally extend its civil law over territory on its side of the Green line.

      2) A state’s extension of civil law (aka sovereignty) over territory is the very definition of “annexation”.

      3) Therefore, the Armistice agreements allowed Israel to legally annex that territory.

      A plebiscite is not required for an annexation to be legal. Nor does a plebiscite automatically make an annexation legal. If it did, all instances of annexation following a secessionist plebiscite, for example, would be legal. That’s not the case, as any review of the literature on secession/annexation will reveal.

    • talknic: Were it [Jordanian annexation of the West Bank] illegal, the UNSC would be bound by the UN Charter to condemn it, like they did the unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem by Israel.

      Likewise, if Israel's annexation of territory inside the "Green Line" /outside UN res. 181 recommended borders were illegal, the UN would have condemned that illegality (or at least recognized it). That never happened.

      As Hostage described it:

      Under international law, an armistice agreement allows the belligerents the same rights and duties as those of an ordinary state. Those rights are not limited to the rules contained in the Hague regulations or the Geneva Conventions. Both Israel and Jordan extended their municipal jurisdiction to the new territories. Despite complaints from the Arab League,that was perfectly legal under the terms of their agreements. [emphasis added]

      link to
      The parties concerned entered into international armistice agreements which granted the belligerents civil jurisdiction to apply their municipal laws up to the “Green Lines”. That is the normal definition of annexation. [emphasis added]

      link to
      Neither Jordan nor Israel were ever treated as “belligerent occupying powers” under the terms of the 1949 UN Armistice Agreements. Full Stop. Both countries extended the jurisdictions of their municipal laws and courts right up to the Green Line.

      link to

      Jordan became a full member of the United Nations on December 14, 1955.

  • Resolution 242 does not mean what you may think it means
    • David Gerald Fincham : @sibiriak in particular I showed, by considering carefully the words of Resolution 242, that it does not specify that the permanent borders of Israel with the combatant states Egypt, Syria and Jordan must be based on the 1949 Green Line.

      It's has never been my contention that res.242 specifies that permanent borders must be based on the Green Line.

      Frankly, that's a straw man.

      The international consensus expressed in various resolutions and statements is that the Green Line is be the basis for negotiations for a final agreement. In those negotiations, anything is theorectically possible. Different boundaries, land swaps etc.

      But the issue you are not addressing is this: there is no legal imperative for negotiations or for a final agreement. There may never be a final agreement. Or it may come far, far in the future.

      In the meantime, until such a final agreement is reached, if it ever is, the Green Line is the legal, internationally recognized border dividing Israeli territory from Palestinian territory. The ICJ made that fact crystal clear. Israel has full sovereign power within the Green Line; outside the Green Line it is a belligerent Occupying Power. That is a legal distinction, not simply a de facto one. Israeli settlement and the extension of Israeli civil law anywhere within the Green Line is completely legal; Israeli settlement and the extension of Israeli civil law outside the Green Line, in the West Bank, is completely illegal.

      In the absence of a final agreement, the Green Line retains all its full legal significance.

      If the Green Line was not a legal boundary, how could the ICJ possible hold that the Wall was being built, not on "disputed territory" but unquestionably on Palestinian territory ?

    • David Gerald Fincham: Can you see the Palestinian people accepting 22% of their original homeland?

      Yes. The Palestinian leadership already has. See Dan's and others' comments above.

      Do you think if Israel was forced by BDS etc--as difficult as that will be--. into ending the occupation, the Palestinian people, faced with that huge, almost unimaginable political victory, would then turn around and 1)reject a settlement based on 1967 lines?? And if they did that, 2) would they be able to thwart the will of the virtually the entire international community that supports the Green Line consensus?

      In fact they have already rejected it when they voted for Hamas.

      Hamas officials as well have publicly declared acceptance of pre-1967 borders, though they have apparently rejected land swaps.

      “The whole world knows what Hamas thinks and what our principles are,” Mr. Meshal said in an interview in his Cairo hotel suite. “But we are talking now about a common national agenda. The world should deal with what we are working toward now, the national political program.”

      He defined that as “ a Palestinian state in the 1967 lines with Jerusalem as its capital, without any settlements or settlers, not an inch of land swaps and respecting the right of return” of Palestinian refugees to Israel itself. [emphasis added]

      link to


      "Ghazi Hamad: Hamas Agrees to Accept State Within '67 Borders

      link to

    • DGF: Some of you seem to believe that there is a mysterious “legal consensus” that forbids the states from agreeing a border that involves a transfer of a substantial amount of territory [emphasis added]

      That's never been my view. In fact, I just wrote above: "there is no legal impediment to Palestine requesting/demanding more territory."

      do not make a big effort on my account,

      Of course, not for you personally--for anyone who is reading this thread, now or in the future.

    • David Gerald Fincham: That does not mean the Green Line IS the border now;

      The Green Line is an internationally recognized provisional border, dividing Israeli territory from Palestinian territory. It is provisional only in the sense that it can be modified in a final agreement. Otherwise it has all the legal characteristics of a permanent border.

      Most importantly, if there is no final agreement--and there never may be one!--the Green Line remains the legal border.

      I will shortly post a number of detailed comments in this thread to support that contention.

      I will rely heavily on the analysis of well-known Mondoweiss commenter, Hostage.

      Over years, he posted dozens of comments on this issue-- precisely to refute your notion of the Green Line--which shares the basic approach of the post-1967 Zionist legal analysis.

    • David Gerald Fincham: But it is still a horrible idea.

      By all means, explain why, in detail. And please, consider the reality we are dealing with. You yourself wrote:

      The fact that Palestine has already defined its border according to the Green Line will make it more difficult to persuade Israel to enter into serious negotiations over the border issue [emphasis added]

      That, imo, is not only true-- it is a gross understatement.

      The pre-1967 border (aka "Green Line") - not UN res. 181 recommended "partition borders" -- is the de jure provisional border between Israeli territory and occupied Palestinian territory.

      That's the position taken by the UNGA, the UNSC, the International Court of Justice, the state of Palestine in its UN application, the 193 UN member states which have recognized Palestine , the PLO, the Arab League, the BDS movement, etc.

      There will be little if any pressure put on Israel to make concessions beyond those required by the international consensus.

      The international community will only back tough, painful sanctions that attempt to enforce the international "Green Line" consensus. BDS calls for the end of Israeli occupations of lands acquired in 1967 , i.e. BDS adopts the legal consensus that the "Green Line" divides Israel territory for Occupied Palestinian Territory.

      I agree there is no legal impediment to Palestine requesting/demanding more territory --but in previous negotiations (2000, 2008) the Palestinian leadership has already accepted the principle that Gaza and the West Bank be connected via a corridor (or tunnel).

      All those facts suggest that proposals to connect Gaza with the West Bank must be carefully considered--not rejected out of hand, as you seem to be doing.

      What I'm sensing on your part is an extreme--and completely understandable--moral revulsion to the idea of Palestine getting only 22% of mandatory Palestine, and that that moral revulsion is compelling you to reach out for legal, political and practical arguments to bolster the case that Palestine not only should have more territory, but that it must have more territory if it is to be a viable state.

      Your moral position is unassailable, imo, but I don't find the "viability" argument at all compelling as you have presented it. You have presented no empirical evidence that 22% precludes a "viable" state--you haven't even defined what "viability" means-- nor have you given any reasons why some sort of corridor between Gaza and the West Bank could not work, and you have dismissed the detailed proposals I linked with nothing more than epithets. That's hardly persuasive.

    • David Gerald Fincham: It is a horrible hateful idea: apartheid in steel and concrete.


      Your are sounding irrational. Building railways, rapid bus-lines, new roads, walkways, parks , along electrical, natural gas, telecommunications, and water connections, in order to link together Palestinian cities and towns within a sovereign Palestinian state--how is that apartheid? Please, explain. (Or is two states be definition for you "apartheid"?)

      In any case, get used to it. Palestine WILL develop economically--it's going to happen-- freely, democratically, imaginatively-- roads, railways, infrastructure WILL be built--and yes, some steel and concrete may be used, believe it or not.

      (None of that would prevent myriad types of links to Israel, Jordan Egypt etc.)

    • David Gerald Fincham: Sibiriak: you talk of a legal consensus which recognizes the Green Line as the basis for a final settlement. But that legal consensus is based on a Zionistic interpretation of 242 that is not supported by the actual words of the resolution.

      1) The international legal and political consensus is NOT based solely on an interpretation of res. 242; it's based on legal and political ideas that have evolved over many decades and which are reflected in multiple UN resolutions and the ICJ "Wall Decision", not just res.242.

      2) The international legal-political consensus is most decidedly NOT a Zionist interpretation. The legal consensus holds that the Green Line divides Israeli territory from Palestinian territory--in fact, Israel from Palestine; Israel entirely rejects that. The legal consensus holds that the West Bank and Gaza are Occupied Palestinian Territory; Israel entirely rejects that, instead labeling the West Bank "disputed territory." The legal consensus holds that Israeli settlements across the Green Line are entirely ILLEGAL-- full stop; Israel entirely rejects that.

      In sum, the idea that the international consensus reflects a Zionist legal interpretation is simple not true.

    • David Gerald Fincham: the Green Line leaves Palestine with only the West Bank and Gaza, a long way from contiguity.

      To repeat from my comment above: as far as contiguity is concerned, Gaza and the West Bank can be connected by a corridor (various proposals have been made.)

      Are you familiar with those proposals?

      "How to Connect the West Bank and Gaza Strip"

      During the past negotiations, the parties agreed in principle to create a link between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. (Bill Clinton referred to it as "permanent safe passage" in the 2000 Clinton Parameters.) According to discussions with those involved in previous negotiations, this territorial-transportational link will likely be a corridor consisting of newly-created infrastructure, 100 to 200 meters in width, and include a road, a railway, and means for running utilities such as pipes and cables.

      The Aix Group has offered proposals for routes and design of such a link. This RAND-sponsored report, titled The Arc, views the Gaza-West Bank link as part of a greater backbone of Palestinian contiguity and viability. ("Friends of the Arc," a non-profit devoted to publicizing the project, offers more information and an impressive video.) This 2004 Palestinian memo lays out their thinking on the corridor at the time (notably, under the title "Decidable Issues for Borders.")

      link to

      One proposal. Check out the graphics.

      "The Rand Palestinian Initiative"

      A major part of RAND’s project is a landmark, award-winning proposal, produced in partnership with Suisman Urban Design, for a Palestinian national transportation and infrastructure corridor called the Arc. The Arc proposes a framework for connecting existing Palestinian urban centers, within and between the West Bank and Gaza, via inter-city rail, road, energy and telecommunications lines, and other infrastructure.

      The Arc also constitutes a parallel urban planning framework to accommodate, in economically and environmentally sustainable ways, the significant Palestinian population growth, including from immigration, that is likely in the coming decade and beyond.

      The Arc envisions the West Bank and Gaza as an integrated region of connected cities. One key feature of the Arc is an interurban rail line linking the main cities within the West Bank, and the West Bank and Gaza - including a stop at the international airport - in a journey of just over 90 minutes. Each major city would have a rail station on this main line, located several miles from the historic urban center.

      The second key feature of the Arc is a series of transit boulevards linking these new stations to the historic urban centers, via an advanced form of bus rapid transit, creating a focus for new economic and residential development along the length of each boulevard.

      Along each boulevard, new commercial and residential neighborhoods would be developed — largely by private-sector investment — to accommodate population growth. Housing and jobs would be created within walking distance of the transit system.

      New building design would incorporate sustainable systems using solar energy and recaptured water. Development along each boulevard would pump economic activity into the historic centers of Palestinian cities and assure their preservation and revitalization — an essential strategy for creating a much-needed tourism industry.

      Although the core of the Arc is interurban rail, the Arc design provides for many types of infrastructure. Construction of the transportation line invites concurrent, cost efficient, parallel construction of electricity, natural gas, telecommunications, and water connections.

      A national park following the line of the Arc would provide needed recreation space within each city, and a path for hiking and biking between urban areas. A toll road parallel to the rail line would provide access for vehicles, particularly trucking, linking all urban and rural areas to air and seaports.

      link to

      It's all doable. Palestine can be built and made beautiful. There will be a lot of help. Only expansionist Israel and her enablers stand in the way.

    • irishmoses: ...the international community [...] imposed severe sanctions on Iran to create leverage for an agreement whereby Iran would stop its nuclear program. That approach worked and could also work for the I-P conflict given similar unanimity of goals and sufficient resolve by the major powers. [emphasis added]

      To be effective, the severity of sanctions must be commensurate to the national resistance to their attached conditions.. The more powerful the national resistance, the more severe the sanctions need to be.

      In the case of Iran, agreeing to some limitations on its nuclear program hardly represented a major national capitulation or challenge the legitimacy of the Islamic revolutionary state. There certainly has been no popular nationalist rebellion against the concessions to the West.

      In the case of Russia, moderately severe sanctions might be effective in getting Russia to accept some aspects of an agreement on Eastern Ukraine that it might otherwise oppose. However regarding Crimea, sanctions would have to be an order of magnitude more severe, producing widespread social catastrophe, before Russia could possibly be induced to give the island back. And even then, who knows.

      In the case of Israel, demands (per DGF's proposal) that it not only give up the entire West Bank and all the settlements and the dream of an undivided Israeli Jerusalem, but also a large portion of the Negev, significantly reducing its overall territorial extent, would represent a far greater, far more painful, far more divisive and far more explosive national capitulation, than Iran's nuclear concessions, or even Russia giving up Crimea. Therefore, the sanctions would have to be of cataclysmic severity to compel such a capitulation.

      The third factor, of course, is the "unity of goals" you mentioned. IMO, the only possible unity can be around the enforcement of the international legal and political consensus, which, like it or not, recognizes the Green Line as the basis for a final settlement, allowing for mutually agreed land swaps.

      The idea that a unified international community would put drastically severe, potentially catastrophic sanctions on Israel to force a major violation of its territorial integrity -- to give up (not swap) a substantial amount of Israeli territory inside the Green Line is-- to put it bluntly, a complete and utter fantasy.

    • David Gerald Fincham:

      1) Confining the Palestinians within 22% of their homeland would be manifestly unjust, and could not possibly lead to a lasting peace, or a viable contiguous Palestinian state. [emphasis added]

      2) I haven’t any empirical evidence that a Palestinian state on 22% of historical Palestine would not be viable.

      How can you state that 22% of their homeland "cannot possibly lead" to a "viable" Palestinian state, when you can provide no definition of viability nor any empirical evidence about it.

      Shouldn't you assess the empirical evidence before making a categorical statement of impossibility?

    • David Gerald Fincham: The Palestinian people will not...

      The Palestinian people don't have a unified position, and what would be acceptable in an agreement cannot, imo, be predicted in such a categorical manner.

      and [the Palestinian people] should not accept a settlement that does not compensate them with sufficient territory to make a contiguous and viable state.


      Can you please define "viable"--it's a central term in your argument. What evidence do you have that a Palestinian state in 22% of mandatory absolutely cannot be "viable"? Can you cite any studies to that effect?

      Currently, it is the Israeli occupation and blockade which are the major obstacles to economic development in Palestine. This has been shown in detail in various UN and EU economic analyses.

      Once the occupation ends, the Palestinian entrepreneurial spirit would be unleashed, foreign capital and aid would flow in, and Palestine would be free to form various kinds of special regional economic agreements, with Israel, Jordan, Egypt, the EU, the U.S. etc.

      On the other hand, you argue that that Palestine could never be "viable" without the addition of a small bit of Negev desert? On what empirical basis do you base that categorical assertion?

      It's not clear to me why you are attaching such critical importance to such a border change--especially since it is a major departure from the international legal and political consensus, as Shakur has cogently argued

      And as far as contiguity is concerned, Gaza and the West Bank can be connected by a corridor (various proposals have been made.) On what empirical basis do you argue that such an arrangement would make Palestine "unviable"?


      You cannot get peace unless you have justice.

      The demand for the full measure of justice rarely leads to peace, especially apart from total military victory. History is full of unjust peace agreements; many have lasted, for a very long time-- others have not. It's a matter of the degree of justice, balanced against the power differentials of the groups involved. Take Crimea, for example (no parallel to I/P implied). Russia took it. Many Ukrainians consider that a great injustice. The demand for full justice would lead to war, not peace. Acceptance of the injustice will lead to peace.

      "No justice no peace" may be a good slogan, but its still only a slogan. The issue of exactly how much injustice is acceptable to avoid worse injustices, worse evils, still remains.

    • @shakur420.

      Excellent, well-reasoned post. Your position, which I agree with almost entirely, is not very popular here at MW for the reason you indicate: it seems so deeply unjust and unfair to allow Zionists to get away with so many crimes.

      I hope you stick around to follow this thread.

  • Calling Israel a 'modern day miracle' and 'vibrant bloom in desert,' Clinton says BDS is anti-Semitic
  • Israel announces yet another new settlement, as U.S. plans to join Europe in fresh criticism
    • JWalters: Unfortunately the west will not harm its financial master.

      And what's truly amazing is how such a tiny country as Israel, ranking an unimpressive 55th in GDP (below Ukraine!), can be the unchallengeable Master of the entire "Western" economic, financial and military behemoth. And yet...

  • A new proposal for confederated states (without any idea of how to get Israel to comply)
    • Stephen Shenfield: This imaginative new idea (first raised just 70 years ago, as David Fincham notes below) opens up exciting vistas. More conferences, workshops, frameworks..

      Actually the single-state idea is quite old as well, and probably has even greater conference/workshop potential. 1S1P1V. T.I.N.A. (Unless the future is open.)

  • If it had been up to Hillary Clinton, there would be no Iran Deal
    • More foreign policy brilliance from Trump:

      Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump says he's in favor of Israel's controversial construction of new settlements in the West Bank.

      "I think Israel, they really have to keep going, they have to keep moving forward," Trump told the Daily Mail in a story published Tuesday. "I don't think there should be a pause.

      "You have hundreds and even, I guess, thousands, of missiles being launched into Israel — who would put up with that? Who would stand for it?"

      link to

  • Advice to British leftwingers on kicking racism out of their anti-Israel rhetoric
    • silamcuz: So you admit that you do not know who I am referring to....

      No, it was a rhetorical question (see my previous comments).

      But you are still free to answer it-- if you can muster the honesty.

    • silamcuz: So it boils down to you having problem with me, as a person and not my political or ideological stance.

      No, nothing personal: it is precisely your stance that is objectionable-- a fake, deceptive Zionism-serving "intersectional whataboutery" and faux-racialized- ludicrously -PC- progressivism.

      If others wish to play along with you, fine. I have no intention of doing so.

      Silamcuz writes:

      I reserve all my love and energy to my people, and my people only.

      That's quite an ideological stance. Bravo!!

      What is the name of your people?

      Why do you love ONLY them, and give your energy ONLY to them?

    • silamcuz: Are you suggesting we be colorblind...

      No, I'm merely suggesting that you, as a white Jewish Zionist playing a deceptive "intersectional whataboutery" game, who says he reserves all his love and energy to his people, and his people only , yet spends tons of energy pretending to fight for other peoples--you have a huge credibility-- or should I say laughability-- problem. Huge!

    • “silamcuz” uses so much circular logic

      Mooser, you are a formidable logician (and, of course, a brilliantly incisive humorist), let me ask you--could any conclusions might be drawn from these facts:

      1) Silamcuz tells us: "I reserve all my love and energy to my people, and my people only "

      2) Silamcuz repeatedly refuses to explicitly name his beloved People (unless I missed it), but at the same time repeatedly declines to contradict assertions that he is in fact Jewish (white, or de-whited).

      3)Silamcuz spends a huge amount of time and loving energy here at MW, ostensibly fighting Zionism in the name of POC, anti-White Supremacy, and a racialized version of progressive politics--not in the name of his own beloved People.

    • Remember, one person’s Settler Colonial project of land appropriation is another person’s expression of national self-determination.

      And both are correct.

      Both cannot be correct, since the right of self-determination in no way licenses the expropriation of another peoples' territory nor the denial of another peoples' right to self-determination.

      The creation of a Jewish State in Palestine was in direct contradiction to the principle of self-determination--and that was explicitly recognized at the time.

      The United Nations Special Committee on Palestine's report of September 1947, in appraising the Arab case against partition, concluded:

      With regard to the principle of self-determination, although international recognition was extended to this principle at the end of the First World War and it was adhered to with regard to the other Arab territories, at the time of the creation of the "A" Mandates, it was not applied to Palestine, obviously because of the intention to make possible the creation of the Jewish National Home there.

      Actually, it may well be said that the Jewish National Home and the sui generis Mandate for Palestine run counter to that principle. [emphasis added]

      link to

      The UNSCOP nevertheless recommended partition on the basis, in large part, of the validity of the "sui generis Mandate for Palestine."

      And what was the basis of the validity of the "sui generis Mandate"?

      The UNSCOP explains, quoting Balfour:

      The spirit which prevailed at the creation of the Mandate for Palestine was explained by Lord Balfour at the opening of the eighteenth session of the Council of the League of Nations as follows:

      "The mandates are not our creation. The mandates are neither made by the League, nor can they, in substance, be altered by the League. . . .

      "Remember that a mandate is a self-imposed limitation by the conquerors on the sovereignty which they obtained over conquered territories. It is imposed by the Allied and Associated Powers themselves in the interests of what they conceived to be the general welfare of mankind and they have asked the League of Nations to assist them in seeing that this policy should be carried into effect. [emphasis added]

      link to

      Thus, the legitimacy of the "sui generis Mandate of Palestine" was ultimately derived from the British Empire's supposed dedication to the "general welfare of mankind", a highly dubious proposition, to put it mildly.

      Cf. "Balfour and Palestine, a legacy of deceit"-- Anthony Nutting

      [...] the British Government never intended to allow the Arab majority any voice in shaping the future of their own country. ‘The weak point of our position’, Balfour wrote to Lloyd George in February 1919, ‘is of course that in the case of Palestine we deliberately and rightly decline to accept the principle of self-determination’.[ 14] If the existing population were consulted, he added, they would ‘unquestionably’ return an anti-Zionist verdict. And in reply to Curzon, Balfour stated quite categorically that

      in Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country …. The Four Great Powers are committed to Zionism. And Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long traditions, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land’.

      [emphasis added]

      link to

  • Trump and the war for 'Western Values'
    • Susan Sarandon: "I'm more afraid actually of Hillary Clinton's war record and her hawkishness than I am of building a wall...

      link to


      GOP frontrunner Donald Trump lambasted the permanent political class for supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade deal [...]

      “The deal is insanity,” he said. “That deal should not be supported and it should not be allowed to happen.”

      [...]"The only people that are supporting it politically are people that are controlled by the lobbyists for certain companies that want this to happen because it’s to their advantage, not to the country’s advantage. So the lobbyists and the special interests are supporting it, and certain politicians are supporting it because they’re totally controlled by the lobbyists and the special interests."

      link to


      'Today Marks the End of TTIP': Greenpeace Leak Exposes Corporate Takeover

      The secret documents represent roughly two-thirds of the latest negotiating text, and in several cases expose for the first time the position of the U.S.

      Confirming that the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) amounts to "a huge transfer of power from people to big business," Greenpeace Netherlands on Monday leaked 248 secret pages of the controversial trade deal between the U.S. and EU, exposing how environmental regulations, climate protections, and consumer rights are being "bartered away behind closed doors.

      link to


      In First, Trump Ekes Ahead of Clinton in New National Poll

      Latest Rasmussen survey finds that in Clinton-Trump matchup, GOP candidate would claim 15 percent of Democratic voters

      link to

  • It is time to stop celebrating Jewish dissent in the Palestine solidarity movement
    • @echinococcus:

      You made another false charge previously--that the BDS movement restricted the boycott to post-1967 area products:

      [echinoococcus:] ...the official “BDS Movement” is a subfraction of some subgroup: most people who boycott Zionist entity products and relationships just boycott as much as they can of it, without set endpoints. Without much regard for the ridiculous, often plain impossible restrictions to post-67 area products, as set by the official movement.

      link to

      That's false. There are no such restrictions set by the official BDS movement.

      Or do you have evidence to the contrary?

    • echinococcus: overtly tribal Jewish organization supporting BDS had not watered down the definition of occupation

      What Jewish organization are you claiming is responsible for watering down the BDS movement's definition of occupation? How did they do it, allegedly?

      Evidence please.

      You keep making this false charge, but never provide any facts to back it up.

    • Annie Robbins: f the elite. they already know what we think.

      Strongly disagree. Elite opinion is not fixed on I/P. It's changing as we speak. It's essential that it changes. It's not either/or.

    • Annie Robbins: we need to reach the masses. we do that by engaging the masses

      Heretical thought: "we need to reach the elites (as well). we do that by engaging the elites."

    • ritzl : I get the feeling that way too often (not always but enough to hurt) the intersectionality is primarily about curing Judaism and THEN dealing with Palestinian justice. That blunts the Palestinian message especially, as Annie so deftly pointed out upthread, to us non-Palestinian, non-Jews. Palestinian activists seem to accept that ordering of things and the blunted message.

      * * * * * * *
      The minimum threshold good-faith response (especially of an ally) to this article has to be a silent note-to-self to guard against “privilege."[emphasis added]


      Great series of comments, Ritzl. You make some very compelling remarks about "privilege" .

      I think some further specificity would make them even stronger. Some questions that come to mind:

      1) You refer to "the Palestinian message"-- but is there actually a singular Palestinian message? If so, where is it most authentically stated? Who are its most authentic spokespersons?

      2) You refer to a "blunted Palestinian message"-- can you give specific examples? Which Jewish/non-Palestinian groups or individuals are responsible for the "blunting"?

      3)"Guard against privilege"-- can you specify exactly what is to be guarded against?

      You gave what you consider to be a "quintessential example":

      it’s amazing that Jewish sensitivity is assumed to be so overriding that excluding the Palestinian voice from the Occupy* agenda would somehow NOT be “divisive.” [emphasis added]

      I think most people in the pro-Palestinian movement would agree that excluding Palestinian voices is wrong and unacceptable. However, the reference to exclusion suggests a binary, and as you stated later, "it's not binary at all."

      Take for instance an example Nada presented:

      Chabon’s interview circulated amongst Palestinian-rights activists like brush fire on a scorching day, most often prefaced with an explanation that he is a “Jewish-American writer.” This information, certainly offered with the best intentions, is nevertheless treacherous, in that it can uphold an oppressive dynamic. [emphasis added]

      Is simply mentioning/highlighting Chabon's Jewish identity an instance of "privileging" a Jewish voice?

      Or is the problem that Chabon's interview was not accompanied by a Palestinian statement of some sort?

      Or is the problem that Chabon's interview gets distributed, while other Palestinian voices are excluded?

      This is an example where I believe the concept of "privilege" needs to be spelled out in greater detail, which leads to my next question.

      4) How do you distinguish privileging Jewish voices from strategically utilizing Jewish voices in order to further the Palestinian cause?

      To repeat, I'm not challenging your general points, I'm just seek greater specificity and clarity.

    • silamcuz: How about just listening to Palestinians, which can be easily done from a safe distance?

      "Just listening"-- but not helping? Not working in solidarity with Palestinians? Everyone just "policing their own communities", guarding their "own backyards", staying in their own reserved internal spaces?

      Listening from " a safe distance" from Palestinians? WTF? How close is too close???

      This isn't "intersectionality". This is tribal segregation. This is pro-Israel Zionist operatives trying to twist "intersectionality" into its opposite. This is an attempt to normalize Zionist tribalism and neutralize authentic solidarity.

    • silamcuz: ... we in the movement...

      YOU are not in the movement. You are a fake -progressive infiltrator with a ludicrously fake "intersectionality" shtick.

      Your continued intrusion is not welcome, although it does, admittedly, provide some comic relief now and then.

      [silamcuz:]I reserve all my love and energy to my people, and my people only

      Okay, Mr. anti-progressive tribalist--could you tell us the name of "your people"? Surely, you've had enough time to calculate a response. Were your cohorts of no help?

  • Norman Finkelstein on Sanders, the first intifada, BDS, and ten years of unemployment
    • MRW: I had downloaded the original vid in 2009

      And you've been mentally clinging to it ever since?

      Why would anyone give a FF about some little snippet of a nutty rant by some guy " best known for his association with the early cyberpunk culture", who "spent several years exploring Judaism as a primer for media literacy, going so far as to publish a book inviting Jews to restore the religion to its "open source" roots", who "founded a movement for progressive Judaism called Reboot, but subsequently left when he felt its funders had become more concerned with marketing and publicity of Judaism than its actual improvement and evolution" and who became "disillusioned by the failure of the open source model to challenge entrenched and institutional hierarchies from religion to finance."

      link to

      I mean, is this Rushkoff character your go-to-guy when it comes to deep insights into Judaism??

    • MRW: I searched for a copy on youtube in a hurry this AM.

      Why were you hurriedly searching for this nutty Rushkoff vid???

    • Shmuel: that is precisely where I disagree.

      Yep. I agree that's your point of disagreement.

      Political solutions are, at present, not realistic.

      At present, no. For the future, yes. Finkelstein argues that Israel can be pressured into accepting a settlement based on the international consensus. I think that's a realistic goal. Nothing guaranteed, of course. But realistic enough.

      Let’s shift focus and try to accomplish other, more realistic things

      Like what???

      Ending the occupation-- requires a political agreement.
      RoR and /or compensation-- requires a political agreement.
      Full equality for all Israeli citizens-- requires political changes within Israel.

      So, outside of BDS's three stated goals, all of which require political solutions, what goals are you suggesting?

      nor do I consider ending the occupation a pragmatic goal

      What significant improvements in Palestinian life can be made without, at a minimum, ending the occupation? Do you mean BDS /the Palestinian solidarity movement should aim for something less? Aim for a "kindler, gentler occupation" not an end to it?

    • Shmuel: Except that I don’t [consider a political solution a pragmatic goal (nor do I consider ending the occupation a pragmatic goal). It is worth striving for, but it is no more pragmatic than BDS.

      **The first stated goal of the BDS movement is to end Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory occupied in 1967.

      **Ending the occupation requires a political solution.

      **Therefore, a political solution is inherent in the first goal of BDS.

      That fact is the heart of the contradiction that Finkelstein identifies in the BDS movement. It's goals demand a political solution, but BDS claims to be "agnostic" in that regard.

      [Finkelstein is] no less of a dreamer if he thinks that a political solution of any kind is somehow reasonable or practical.

      Political solutions are inherent in both Finkelstein's and BDS's agenda. None of the BDS goals can be achieved without political solutions. Finkelstein is open about that, and he claims a two state solution is the only realistically achievable one. BDS tries to avoid the issue for strategic reasons. That avoidance strategy has its pluses and minuses.

    • Shmuel: “Ending the occupation” requires a political solution.

      No doubt. Good for Finkelstein that he considers ending the occupation a pragmatic goal.


      Good for Shmuel that he considers a political solution a pragmatic goal.

    • @Shmuel

      I have claimed that there is an international consensus on the general framework for a settlement.

      You point out that there is no consensus on every single detail of a settlement.

      That's true, as well.

      A general framework by definition leaves out many details. On the other hand, it sets clear parameters within which the variation in details is confined.

    • Shmuel: at doesn’t mean that they cannot be improved significantly until such time as a political solution becomes feasible

      Slightly better, maybe. How can thing be made significantly better without a political solution to Palestinian statelessness and Israeli occupation?

      They most likely will continue to get worse without a political solution. At best, their can be a period of temporary "calm", as the dispossession continues. Not only can there be no realization of Palestinian civil and human rights without a political solution; there can be no economic development as well.

      Finkelstein wrote:

      What should I tell him—that he might get to see the ocean when he’s 55? Isn’t it more sensible, isn’t it more humane, to try to end the occupation , so that he can experience a little of life’s offerings before he’s an old man, if even then? [emphasis added]

      "Ending the occupation" requires a political solution. In fact, ending the occupation effectively means two states: Palestine already exists de jure; without the occupation it would exist de facto.

    • Shmuel: The last three articles are indeed vague

      If you say so. They seem perfectly clear to me. Absolutely clear: no effective right of return, (perhaps a symbolic number) +compensation. Absolutely clear: large settlement blocs annexed to Israel. Absolutely clear: East Jerusalem the capital of Palestine. We are talking about a framework for a settlement, not a final text of a settlement.

    • Shmuel: 1) Rights-based means not waiting for a political solution to make things better

      The only problem with that idea is that stateless persons' effective rights will be severely llimited as long as they remain stateless, and ending statelessness requires a political solution.

      I would also disagree that the international two-state consensus is vague. What's vague about it? Two states; pre-1967 borders; mutually agreed land swaps; West/East Jerusalem the capitals; limited implementation of right of return w/ compensation etc. Sure, there are details, but the basic framework is clear as day.

      The real objection, imo, is not that such proposals are vague, it's that they are manifestly unjust.

      I do agree entirely that BDS (which doesn't rule out two states) is essential to put pressure on Israel. Finkelstein appears to be allowing personal bitterness to cloud his moral-pragmatic vision in that regard.

    • MRW: Jews wants to destroy other people’s states and gods and traditions

      Great. Douglas Rushkoff speaks for Jews and Judaism

      link to

      snippet provided by a " white now"- labeled video.


      link to

      Paul Craig Cobb (born circa 1951),[2] better known as Craig Cobb, is an American-Canadian[1] white nationalist, white separatist, Neo-Nazi, antisemite, and Holocaust denier who operates the video sharing website Podblanc. He claims "my race is my religion,"[3] and advocates "racial holy war" in accordance with the tenets of the Creativity religion.[4] Cobb gained notoriety within anti-racist and anti-fascist movements, and legal advocacy organizations that investigate hate speech and hate crimes, for his "celebration of violence and murder committed against minorities,"[5] as documented in his video recordings, online activities, and disruptions at public events


      Confirmation needed.

  • Donna Edwards ends insurgent campaign by taking on Democratic Party orthodoxy, and supporters vow to continue the fight
    • silamcuz:

      1) "Those who threaten the wellbeing of our children....must be fought."

      2) "I reserve all my love and energy to my people, and my people only "

      A person whose love and energy goes--emphatically and vehemently-- to "his people" ONLY can hardly be trusted to be genuinely concerned about--let alone fight for-- "our children".

      Your brand of extreme tribalism does not represent enlightened progressive values-- at all. Stop posing, please.

  • Two more young Palestinians are shot dead -- this time after one allegedly throws a knife
  • 'NYT' manages to make childhood detention story work for Israel
    • hophmi:’s always amazing to me that people who oppose a Jewish state because of the Naqba oppose the presence of Jews in Hebron [emphasis added]

      It's not the mere presence of Jews in Hebron that arouses opposition; it's the despicable actions of a group of racist settlers.

      You know that, of course, but you have to falsify things in order to conjure up the specter of anti-Semitism.

    • Annie Robbins: hops, you are really taxing our imaginations. violent jewish extremists set up a fortress in hebron and the zionist regime surrounded them with thousands of soldiers and made apartheid streets blocking stores and entrances and checkpoints.

      This picture symbolizes for me the evil that is going on in Hebron:

      link to

      For some reason, its very very emotional, I think that woman could be my mother...I want to defend her...

  • Chabon calls occupation 'the most grievous injustice I have ever seen in my life' and says he is 'culpable'
    • silamcuz: ....who is the author to make this comparison? Is [Jewish author Michael Chabon] a black person...?

      Well looking at the picture right in front of you, you might guess "no"--but then again, you can never be sure, given the rules...

      ...any biological or social ties to the black community?

      Some social ties would not be at all surprising. As far as biological ties, perhaps he could be given a DNA test, and if he "passes", he could be allowed to say a word about slavery.

    • silamcuz: Okay, first of all, who is the author to make this comparison? Is he a black person...

      Okay, is this silamcuz blind? An idiot? A racist? Just pretending to be a racist?

      In any case, more diversion.

      (Here it comes: "It's not racist to..." And we're off! )

    • hophmi: I cannot fathom any reason you would make this offensive comparison
      Diversionary tactics. Instead of focusing on the substance of the Forward article " Michael Chabon Talks Occupation, Injustice and Literature After Visit to West Bank" , i.e. on the Occupation, the injustice of it, and the moral reaction of writers like Chabon, Hophmi &Co. would like us to focus solely on a "comparison" which, whatever one might think of it, is just a fraction of the interview.

      link to

      And the idea that Hophmi is actually offended by this comparison, rather than thrilled and delighted that it gives him an opening to divert the conversation, is, of course, absurd.

  • Donna Edwards's campaign unsettles the Israel lobby inside the Democratic Party
    • silamcuz: . Sounds to me you are describing the human population of Earth.

      No, I'm describing the American people, a subset of the human population. Those two sets of people share certain characteristics, such as multi-ethnicity, but differ in other respects (which I'm sure you are bright enough to identify if you put your mind to it.)

      Oh, btw, what's the name of your people? Is that too tough question for you?

    • silamcuz: What American people? To be part of a people would mean to be part of a big family where everyone love and support each other.

      A people is not the same as a family, but in any case, families are not exactly paradises of love and support--they are often full of discord and violence. Your metaphor doesn't work. If you want to say that love and support should be the ideal , great. The goal then should be to bring the American people together, to work together for something better, not to split them apart, to sow rancor and racism as you are striving to do (however disingenuously).

      Are you saying black Americans are more of a family to white Americans compared to their comrades in Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica

      I'm saying black Americans and white Americans and all other Americans are part of a single complex, multicultural, multi-ethnic American people--if they want to be--and I've seen no evidence that Donna Edwards has renounced her membership in the American people.

      It's quite amusing indeed (and many would say highly offensive) when a person of white Jewish ethnicity (or any other of America's ethnicities) stands up and tries to deny African-Americans membership in the American people.

    • silamacuz: What American people?

      So YOU say there is no American people.

      Okay, what different peoples, according to you, reside in the U.S.? How many are there? Can you name them?

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