Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2926 (since 2012-06-23 07:13:37)

Showing comments 2926 - 2901

  • High holidays? Meh
    • Mooser: Not an easy row to hoe...

      Well, as Keith has pointed out several times, Jews have traditionally eschewed hoeing, .

  • Jews have religious commandment to support Israel and fight BDS -- American Jewish Committee
    • Talkback: And which one is the product of displacement or genocide after this was finally condemned in the Nuremberg Trials against the Nazis?

      Displacement or genocide were legitimate before the Nuremberg trials?

  • Israeli rightist Smotrich lays out the vision for apartheid
    • RoHa: 2. This point is much more important. It doesn’t matter what sort of nation, if any, the Jews are. What the Zionists did was wrong.


      The debate about whether some or all Jews constitute a "nation" or "people" is a major distraction, imo, and it favors the Zionists since it puts a heavy burden on anti-Zionists to prove that Jews are not a nation/people. That is not any easy task given the slippery definitions of the terms and the long history of Jews being perceived as such by themselves and others. ("People" is actually the key term in international law regarding the right of self-determination, not "nation", and the meaning of that term has been deliberately left undefined, but nevertheless loosely established via precedent and legal tradition.)

      It's a completely unnecessary burden to take on because Jews' status as a people/nation, valid or not, in no way gave/gives Zionists the right to displace the indigenous Palestinian population nor the right to deny the Palestinian people their right to self-determination in their own territory, a right fully backed by international law and institutions.

    • Citizen: Are you implying Jews in the US, for example, or UK, or Canada, or EU, or Australia have no national rights now?

      What national rights do Jews have in the U.S.? They only have individual rights, like everyone else (apart from Native American nations, which have special forms of national sovereignty.)

  • Rightwing campaign against Jewish exec who called for exposing Nakba seems likely to fail
    • Those who don't read the Bible can easily feel isolated these days:

      Insiders—many of whom are afraid to come forward—say [CIA Director] Pompeo’s religious beliefs are becoming part of CIA dogma to the dismay of longtime employees.

      “According to four sources familiar with the matter, Pompeo, who attends weekly Bible studies held in government buildings, referenced God and Christianity repeatedly in his first all-hands speech and in a recent trip report while traveling overseas,” the report states, adding that since taking over, Pompeo has also set about establishing a chaplaincy on the CIA campus.

      A spokesperson for the CIA defended the move, saying, “Director Pompeo is a man of faith. The idea that he should not practice his faith because he is Director of CIA is absurd.”

      According to Michael Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, he is being flooded with complaints about the creeping evangelical Christianity that is beginning to pervade the intelligence agency.

      Weinstein notes that insiders are afraid to speak up, stating, “They don’t typically file formal complaints within the government. But certain things are making them especially uncomfortable, such as officials signing off with the phrase ‘have a blessed day.’ That’s something “straight out of The Handmaid’s Tale.”

      “In the intelligence community, we see supervisors wanting to hold Bible studies during duty hours [and] inviting lower-ranking individuals to their homes for Bible studies,” Weinstein continued. “Our clients at CIA feel extremely isolated in a way they have not felt before.”

      The CIA dismissed complaints about the Christian influence at the agency, saying they are staying true to their mission.

  • Israeli support for Myanmar is the natural alliance of regimes based on ethnic supremacy
  • The United State of Israel and Palestine
    • Talkback: But “Jewish” is not a nationality. Nobody can become “Jewish” by acquiring a citizenship. Therefore they are not a nation AS citizenship and therefore a “Jewish state” of Israel is inherently racist, if only Jews are considered to be nationals.


      Doesn't make sense. If you define "nationality" as citizenship, as you have, then non-Jews can be "nationals" in Israel as well, since non-Jews can be citizens in Israel. Again, that's using your definitions, not Israel's.

      That doesn't negate any of your other valid points, of course.

  • As many as 1 million Israelis have left for the U.S.
    • Circular migration--good for Israel. Wikipedia:

      According to public opinion polls, the main motives for leaving Israel have not been the political and security situation, but include desire for higher living standards, pursuit of work opportunities and/or professional advancement, and higher education. Many Israelis with degrees in scientific or engineering fields have emigrated abroad, largely due to lack of job opportunities. From Israel's establishment in May 1948 to December 2006, about 400,000 doctors and academics left Israel. In 2009, Israel's Council for Higher Education informed the Knesset's Education Committee that 25% of Israel's academics were living overseas, and that Israel had the highest human capital flight rate in the world.

      However, an OECD estimate put the highly educated Israeli emigrant rate at 5.3 per 1,000 highly educated Israelis, meaning that Israel actually retains more of its highly educated population than many other developed countries.

      In addition, the majority of Israelis who emigrate eventually return after extended periods abroad . In 2007, the Israeli government began a programme to encourage Israelis living abroad to return; since then, the number of returning Israelis has doubled, and in 2010, Israeli expatriates, including academics, researchers, technical professionals, and business managers, began returning in record numbers. Israel launched additional programmes to open new opportunities in scientific fields to encourage Israeli scientists and researchers living abroad to return home.

      These programmes have since succeeded in luring many Israeli scientists back home. [emphasis added]


      According to demographer Pini Herman, this circular migration has been an economic boon to Israel. Israel does not have the technological, academic, and other infrastructural resources to absorb its disproportionate number of highly trained and skilled population, second only to the United States.

      As a result, many Israelis have worked overseas for extended periods of time. Upon their return, they have often attracted or repatriated with them to Israel new infrastructure, such as that provided by companies like as Intel, Google, Microsoft, and IBM. [42] [emphasis added]

    • Israel Net migration rate


      Net migration rate: 2.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)

      Definition: This entry includes the figure for the difference between the number of persons entering and leaving a country during the year per 1,000 persons (based on midyear population). An excess of persons entering the country is referred to as net immigration (e.g., 3.56 migrants/1,000 population); an excess of persons leaving the country as net emigration (e.g., -9.26 migrants/1,000 population). The net migration rate indicates the contribution of migration to the overall level of population change.

    • "Israel’s demographic future: Crowded and very religious"

      “Israel will have the highest population density in the Western world,” Sergio DellaPergola, a preeminent Israeli demographer and member of the report’s steering committee, told JTA. “Interestingly, haredim will overtake Arabs as the largest minority.”

      The Central Bureau of Statistics revised upward its previous projection, made in 2012, that the population will reach 15.5 million in 2059, with 4.5 million haredim. DellaPergola said the bureau had wrongly assumed Israel’s fertility rate would continue to decline.

      [...}Israel is growing rapidly mostly because of its birth rate, which DellaPergola said is the highest of the world’s 100 most developed countries...

    • "Israel's population to surge to 20 million by 2065

      Study shows Jewish population to grow to 81% of Israel's total, with massive growth in haredi community, which will make up 32% of Israel

      [...]According to data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel’s population will continue to grow at a fairly steady rate, with the overall growth rate averaging 1.8% over the next half a century, compared to 1.82% from 2006-2015.

      Unlike most industrialized countries, Israel’s birth rate has remained well above the replacement rate, with a total fertility rate (the average number of children a woman has) of 3.1, compared to 1.85 for the US, 1.58 for the European Union, 1.39 in Japan, and 2.35 worldwide.

      Israel will grow to 9 million citizens next year, hitting 10 million 2024, 11 million by 2030, 12 million by 2035, and 13 million by 2039. By 2065, Israel will likely be home to 19.954 million citizens, 23 and a half times the number at the time of Israel’s birth in 1948.

      [...]Haredi Jews, who currently constitute about 12% of the population, at present have a growth rate of 3.92%, more than double the national rate.

      [...]Between 2017 and 2065, the haredi rate of growth is expected to average 3.89%, compared to 1.03% for non-haredi Jews and 1.55% for Israeli Arabs, not including residents of the Palestinian Authority. Israel’s Arab population is expected to remain stable at 21% through 2051, then decline gradually to 19% by 2063.

      [...]By 2043, the haredi population will surpass Israel’s Arab population, and by 2065 haredim are expected to number nearly 6.5 million, or 32% of Israel’s total population, compared to 3.8 million Arabs and 9.66 million non-haredi Jews.

  • 'We came to school and found the school destroyed': Israeli forces demolish West Bank school hours before children's first day
    • Mooser : [Sibiriak:]“Oh, and btw, who are you claiming imposes the “white” “delineation” on “whites”

      I didn’t include “white”, did I?

      Yes, you most certainly did.

      I wrote: Thinking of yourself as “black” ( “white”, “Latino”, “Asian” etc.) is also a choice.

      You replied: Don’t be stupid. Those delineations are imposed from the outside...

      "Those delineations" obviously refers to the ones I listed-- including "white."

    • Mooser: " Those delineations are imposed from the outside"

      Oh, and btw, who are you claiming imposes the "white" "delineation" on "whites"?

    • Mooser: Don’t be stupid. Those delineations are imposed from the outside...

      Don't be stupid. From the outside--in part. You may not be able to prevent that, at present, but you don't have to accept it, let alone embrace it.

      And again, don't be stupid. Identities like "Latino" etc. are not simply imposed--they are embraced as well. You know that.

    • RoHa: Thinking of yourself as a Jew is a choice.

      Thinking of yourself as "black" ( "white", "Latino", "Asian" etc.) is also a choice. Just sayin'....

  • Chomsky on what 'everyone knows'
    • Danaa: ...if people did not care so much for Chomsky’s opinion,s they surely would not take the time to run every sentence through a grinder, would they?

      And yet in your own long, expanded, specially--commissioned anti-Chomsky article you couldn't manage to quote even a single sentence of Chomsky's--not a single one! But thanks for sharing your personal perceptions (projections). And thanks for telling us how Chomsky's advanced age explains his mental rigidity, and how he can't see reality because he's "wearing rose-colored glasses"--thanks for those great insights. And thanks for putting all those thoughts into Chomsky's head (the one's he's never put on paper.) That was beautiful. Really.

    • Citizen, I read both. Keith's points stand.

    • Of course, "everybody knows" does not constitute any kind of logical/factual argument, and it's an easy comment to single out and jump all over.

      Chomsky, however, is certainly not trying to foreclose discussion.

      Just the opposite--as exemplified by his two books co-written with Ilan Pappe: "Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on the US-Israeli War Against the Palestinians " (2013) and "On Palestine" (2015).

      You won't find any "garbage arguments" by either author in those excellent works.

  • White Jews: deal with your privilege and call out Jewish support for white supremacy
  • On Charlottesville and Jewish memory
    • Nathan: So how could it be that Professor Ellis didn’t remind us of the stolen land on which he lives? Well, it’s quite simple. It didn’t even occur to him.

      Nonsense. Of course Ellis is fully aware of America's dark colonialist history. In fact, the omission of Native American victimization and the omission of Palestinian victimization are part and parcel of the same ideological project, not contradictory elements.

      In another piece about the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Ellis writes:

      The national advertising campaign accompanying the museum’s anniversary is fascinating in and of itself. The campaign focuses on the ‘extraordinary brand’ the museum – and the Holocaust – represents.

      That’s according to Lorna Miles, chief marketing officer for the museum. In her words: ‘I do feel that the museum has an extraordinary brand, and that its reputation is impeccable. And my job as the chief marketing officer is not just to protect the brand, but also to promote it.’

      When Miles promotes the museum she promotes the Holocaust, too. The museum’s ‘extraordinary brand’ is the Holocaust. Or is the Holocaust the museum’s product to sell?

      If the Holocaust is a commodity, it must be marketed like any other commodity. Like, for example, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream or DisneyWorld.

      It’s interesting to speculate what Miles thinks ‘protecting’ the museum/Holocaust brand entails. No doubt, this has to do with protecting the museum’s Holocaust narrative – making sure what’s allowed into that narrative and what must, at all costs, be kept out.

      The most obvious narrative intruders are the Palestinians. They’ve been symbolically knocking on the museum’s doors since its opening. If Palestinians were let in, if only as the victims of the victims, what would that portend for the museum and the Holocaust brand?

      Including the Palestinians would certainly sully the Holocaust brand – from a certain perspective. From another point of view it might revive the Holocaust brand by investing it with honesty. I doubt the museum will take that risk.

      The Times article contains interesting nuggets about the future of Holocaust consciousness itself. First off, the amazing attendance figures of the Holocaust museum. As of last July, 34 million people have come to the museum – more than 1.5 million a year. That’s a huge number to be sure.

      The breakdown along religious/ethnic lines: about 90% of the museum visitors were non-Jewish. I assume that the great majority of them are Christian in background. This raises the issue of what the museum’s primary function is. Is it to commemorate the Holocaust or inculcate the majority Christian population with Holocaust memory for political reasons?

      The Times article doesn’t provide a breakdown of where the museum-goers come from. The international component is important, though. Exporting the Holocaust beyond Jewish and American shores is an important – and political – goal of Holocaust consciousness.

      34% of the museum visitors were school children. This means that a significant proportion of the children’s visits were organized through schools they attend. Thus the Holocaust museum, funded by the national government, is likewise recognized and officially sanctioned by the American education industry.

      The Americanization of the Holocaust continues apace. The museum-goers are educated about the Holocaust in America’s capital. The museum carries the implicit – and sometimes explicit – sense that America saved Jews from annihilation. If it didn’t then, it should have and would today, another tip of the hat to Israel as a beacon of light besieged by those who would do it harm.

      The museum’s corollary message is important.The Holocaust could only have happened in Europe because, in America, our protected freedoms and history of tolerance, prohibits events such as these. The museum doesn’t get into the messy historical details of the history of Native Americans and African slaves. The story line of American innocence, now buoyed by the Holocaust, remains.

  • Trump response to Charlottesville sugarcoats a rotten morality
    • Annie Robbins: check out this quotation from the @nytimes

      “i see both the social justice alt-left and the white supremacist alt-right as two sides of the same coin.”

      Btw, the actual quote refers to "the social-justice warrior alt left" not simply the "social justice alt-left."

      Perhaps a small difference, but not entirely insignificant.

      The quote goes on to say:

      Both would punish others for wrong think. Both see the other side not as opponents, but as evil that can justifiably be silenced.

      There's a good deal of truth on that narrow point of anti-free-speech advocacy, although it is obviously being seized upon and manipulated for ideological reasons. (The remark about the "crumbling of Western civilization's certainties" is worthless tripe.)

      Cf Glenn Greenwald, "The Misguided Attacks on ACLU for Defending Neo-Nazis’ Free Speech Rights in Charlottesville ":

  • Lessons from Finkelstein: International Law and equal rights should be the focus for Palestine solidarity
    • Nathan: I wonder why you are living in alternative reality.

      When there is a really horrible situation with no obvious solution in sight, many people become inclined to wishful thinking.

    • yonah fredman: The vast majority of Jews ind america have their roots in ancestors who cursed Mother Russia as a Jew hating place...

      And no doubt an abiding, ineradicable, seething Jewish hatred towards "Mother Russia" has played and continues to play a big role in the ongoing anti-Russian demonization project.

    • Annie Robbins: if “the occupation, the siege, the annexation, are illegal under International Law. The settlements are illegal under International Law. The wall is illegal under International Law“ what difference, practically speaking, has a vote on that illegality made?

      Well, for one thing, it's contributed significantly to the legitimacy and therefore to the POWER of the BDS movement.

      The BDS movement has deliberately aligned itself with international law. I think that's a smart move. Without that alignment, I believe BDS would be less powerful.

      International law is one weapon to be grasped and used. It's not enough, but one needs all the weapons one can get a hold of.

      Finkelstein's take on international law isn't the only possible one, btw.

    • Annie Robbins: now, if your goal is to end up with a totally free region where everyone has equal rights and lives in total harmony, where do you stand? because i would stand at 1.


      IF that were my goal, I would stand very close to 50 --arm and arm with international law and institutions--and pull in my direction. Because international law is a powerful FORCE, not just a an ideological norm, and I would want that force squarely on my side. I would be very hesitant to put a great distance between myself and that FORCE, unless I was quite confident the cause I supported could manage without it--or against it.

  • American Jews have a right to resist Israel as Jews
    • JoeSmack: But if Ofir is arguing that American Jews have some sort of special qualification to speak, such as over Palestinian natives or simply other people with an opinion....

      That's a monumentally huge "if".

    • Page: 29
  • Israel would use nuclear weapons to keep refugees from returning -- Noam Chomsky
    • Good points, Yonah.

    • Ossinev: Israel sticks its middle finger up to the world community and simple acceptance = appeasement would on the face of it appear to be Chomsky`s response.

      No, acceptance has been the world community's response (led by the U.S. & co. of course, but including Arab states as well). Chomsky simply acknowledges that fact. Your anger is valid, but misdirected, imo.

    • Tom Suarez on Chomsky's RoR position:

      Professor Chomsky argues that Resolution 194 (specifically regarding Right of Return) is a non-binding “recommendation” since it is from the General Assembly, not the Security Council. This is a straw issue. Right of Return is international law, above and beyond Resolution 194. 194 merely restates it in context of the aftermath of the 1948 war. Right of Return is an individual right that cannot be bargained away on someone’s behalf. Further, abiding by UN Resolutions (including 194) was a specific condition to which Israel agreed for admission to the UN. That was binding. Moreover, Right of Return is simply the antidote to ethnic cleansing. Ethnic cleansing, in this case Plan Dalet, is a war crime, and undoing it not merely a “recommendation”. (Ironically, it is UNGA Resolution 181, the Resolution upon which Israel claims statehood, that exists solely as a General Assembly “recommendation”, yet in that case the Jewish Agency argued that it carried binding force.)


    • Tom Suarez: [Chomsky]“… return of the refugees, in accord with international law. Well, first of all, it’s not in accord with international law…”


      Chomsky explains his position on that issue:

      The opening call of the BDS movement, by a group of Palestinian intellectuals in 2005, demanded that Israel fully comply with international law by “(1) Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall; (2) Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and (3) Respecting, protecting, and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.”

      This call received considerable attention, and deservedly so. But if we’re concerned about the fate of the victims, BD and other tactics have to be carefully thought through and evaluated in terms of their likely consequences. The pursuit of (1) in the above list makes good sense: it has a clear objective and is readily understood by its target audience in the West, which is why the many initiatives guided by (1) have been quite successful—not only in “punishing” Israel, but also in stimulating other forms of opposition to the occupation and US support for it.

      However, this is not the case for (3). While there is near-universal international support for (1), there is virtually no meaningful support for (3) beyond the BDS movement itself. Nor is (3) dictated by international law. The text of UN General Assembly Resolution 194 is conditional, and in any event it is a recommendation, without the legal force of the Security Council resolutions that Israel regularly violates. Insistence on (3) is a virtual guarantee of failure. [emphasis added]

    • MHughes976: Until there is [a peace proposal with an obvious prospect of acceptance] I think that it is more helpful than dangerous to keep the requirements of morality in mind.

      There is nothing wrong with keeping the requirements of morality in mind. But one of the requirements is to take reality into consideration when making moral calculations.

    • Ossinev: [Chomsky:] ” But return of the refugees. You can think whatever you like about the morality of that, but everyone knows it is not going to happen.”

      To put it mildly extremely disappointed by this comment in particular.

      You should be disappointed by reality, not Chomsky's assessment of it.

      It's quite reasonable to argue that any kind of massive return of millions of Palestinian refugees/descendants to Israel is extremely unlikely, to put it mildly.

      Walid, one of MW's most eloquent and informed Arab commenters put it this way:

      ... ROR is an abandoned cause by Palestinian and other Arab leaders; even tbe UN is now hesitant to bring it up.. This was confirmed by the leaked Palestinian Papers, which provoked not much more than the usual bogus threat of resignation by the chief Palestinian negotiator. After a cooling-off period of a few months, the man was back in the saddle and to business as usual, negotiating nothing with ardent Zionists like Indyk or Ross.

      The Palestinian president has himself admitted to having no further claim to his natal village from which he was evicted so what to expect from the man as to the ROR of others. ROR is dead in the water. In any event, the jailed Barghouti is not much different than what the Palestinians currently have, he’s from the same school. [Dec. 28, 2014]


      Legal scholar Hostage also makes some important points on the RoR issue:

      All of the Palestinian refugees have an unqualified personal right to opt-out of the so-called “right of return” and accept compensation instead in accordance with the explicit terms of UN General Assembly resolution 194(III).

      Opinion polls indicate that the majority of refugees desire compensation, not residency inside the borders of the State of Israel. That may not set too well with some activists, but it really isn’t a communal decision.

      The resolution [194] used the term final “settlement” and did not establish a completely unqualified right of return. A good faith interpretation requires as a minimum a clear relinquishment of any belligerent rights on the part of the repatriated individuals as a condition of return.

      The General Assembly established a new subsidiary organ, the PCC, charged with facilitating 1) repatriation; 2) resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of refugees; and 3) the payment of compensation.

      People who are repatriated are no longer refugees. Any arrangement regarding compensation for citizens is a matter essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of the State. People who are resettled elsewhere and provided with economic and social rehabilitation are still considered refugees. Any arrangement for compensation of refugees is essentially an international matter that has to be addressed in a settlement.

      Resolution 194 (III) does not address the subject of subsequent generations. While they remain refugees and are entitled to opt for resettlement and compensation, it isn’t clear if family unification remains a determining factor for purposes of right of return after displaced parents have passed away or in cases where no other close family members remain in Palestine.

      Finkelstein uses Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International as examples of the “limit of opinion”. Both organizations are discussing return to the territory of Israel and stressing cases of refugees or descendants who have “maintained links with the territory”. In Demopoulos and Others v. Turkey et al, decision of 1 March 2010, — ECHR 2010 the EU Human rights Court rejected a petition based upon the right of return to occupied areas of northern Cyprus. The Court’s decision was based upon the passage of time, the arrival of new generations, and the lack of any remaining links to the territory. The Court instructed the victims to present their claims to the compensation commissions of the de facto government:


      *[link to no longer working]

  • Palestinian-American denied entry to West Bank for summer skateboard program
    • Talkback: ... Israel considers only (all) Jews to be THE nation (THE nationality) of Israel...


      Talkback: ...after it created an artificial differentiation between nationality (as citizenship) and citizenship.

      Israel didn't create the distinction between citizenship and nationality, and that distinction is not artificial. Many other states make the same distinction.

      The problem is not the distinction between citizenship and nationality per se, it is the complete identification of a multi-national state with only one of its nationalities ("Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people and only the Jewish people" ) and its institutionalized discrimination against the others.

    • Talkback; A country has one nationality, one citizenship.


      No, a number of countries have one citizenship and multiple nationalities. See above examples: Spain, Russia, China.
      Thus the term "nationality" isn't always equivalent to "citizenship", though the term can be used that way, of course.

      There is nothing wrong with having multiple nationalities within a single country; the problem is when one nationality in a multi-national country is given special rights and privileges and other nationalities face institutionalized discrimination or oppression.

      . It doesn’t consider Israelis to be the nation of Israel, but instead all Jews in the world.

      Yes, that is the point. One nationality is privileged over others. That is why eljay calls Israel a "supremacist" state.

    • Columbia Law School, "Readings on Citizenship and Nationality in Israel/Palestine":

      16 Tamarin v. State of Israel , C.A. 630/70 (1972) Tamarin, an Jewish citizen of Israel requested that his nationality on his Israeli registration identification card be changed from ‘Jewish’ to ‘Israeli’. The Israeli Ministry of Interior denied his request. He appealed to the Israeli courts and ultimately took his case to the Supreme Court of Israel, which supported the decision of the Ministry of the Interior.). Israeli ID cards no longer explicitly list nationality as a field so the remedy the petitioners sought wasn’t about the identity card exactly.

      Of course there are still clues that give nationality away – aside from a person’s name, Jews have birthdates listed in the Jewish calendar, and for non-Jews only the paternal grandfather’s name is given. [emphasis added]


      "Tamarin v. State of Israel (CA 630/70)"

      The Nakba Files presents an original English translation of key excerpts from Georges Raphael Tamarin v. The state of Israel. In this landmark case, the Israeli Supreme Court refused to recognize the legal category of Israeli nationality. The Court upheld the state’s commitment to the category of Jewish nationality, a classification that would include Jews from everywhere around the world while precluding any common nationality between Jews and non-Jews within Israel/Palestine. The Tamarin case was upheld as recently as 2013 in Uzi Ornan v. Minister of the Interior.

    • Wikipedia (emphasis added):

      The [Israeli idenity] card is laminated and held in one of the two inner compartments of its plastic cover, and includes the following personal details:

      unique Identity Number
      full name (surname/last name, given name)
      name of father
      name of mother
      date of birth (both civil and, unless otherwise requested, Hebrew date as well)
      ethnicity (only in cards issued before 2005)
      place and date of issue (both Gregorian and Hebrew date)
      portrait photo (in color)

      * * * *

      As of 2005, the ethnicity has not been printed; a line of eight asterisks appears instead. The bearer's ethnic identity can nevertheless be inferred by other data: the Hebrew calendar's date of birth is often used for Jews, and each community has its own typical first and last names.

      An amendment to the Israeli registration law approved by the Knesset in 2007 determines that a Jew may ask to remove the Hebrew date from his entry and consequently from his Identity Card. That is due to errors that often occur in the registration of the Hebrew date because the Hebrew calendar day starts at sunset, not at midnight. The amendment also introduces an explicit definition for the term "a day according to the Hebrew calendar".

    • Talkback: ... “Israeli” doesn’t even exist according to Israel’s Supremacist Court of Justice.

      To be precise, "Israeli" continues to exist as a designation of citizenship . The court did, however, reject the idea of an Israeli nationality.

    • Misterioso: To the best of my knowledge, Israel is the only country in the world that differentiates between citizenship and nationality,

      Actually, there are many multi-national states that differentiate between citizenship and nationality.

      Just a few examples:


      "Nationalities and regions of Spain"

      Russian Federation

      "Russia is a multi-national state with over 185 ethnic groups designated as nationalities"

      (N.b. the Russian language has two different words for "Russian", one designating Russian Federation citizenship , the other designating Russian nationality.)


      " The Chinese government officially says there are 56 nationalities. They are called 族 zú or 民族 mínzú in China. "

  • 'Pummeled' at town hall, Sen. Wyden says Israel Anti Boycott law is needed because 'movement has grown'
    • hophmi: [...]BDS community would restrict the First Amendment rights of Israel supporters if they could. So they lack all credibility to raise First Amendment concerns here.

      Even if that were true--and it isn't-- the validity of any First Amendment concerns is completely independent of the "credibility" of those raising the concerns. (Two wrongs don't make a right.)

  • If you can't say 'equal rights,' I can't work with you
    • Talkback: Question of clarification. Is the following statement true?

      Zionism is about Jews creating a state in Palestine.

      No, that statement is not true; it is incomplete, inadequate and fundamentally misleading.

      Zionism was never about Jews simply "creating a state in Palestine".

      It was about creating a very specific kind of state, a state in which Jews were a super-majority, in which Jews dominated, in which Jews would deny the local inhabitants their right to collective self-determination, if not expel them.

      To believe otherwise is to believe Zionism is compatible with liberal, secular democracy. It is not.

    • Robert Cohen: Equal rights recognises that there is no pre-Zionist Palestine to return to.

      Nada Elia puts it this way:

      Anti-Zionist Jews, especially Israelis, who understood the need to engage in co-resistance before “co-existence” will need to continue to support self-determination for the indigenous people.

      Palestinians will need to come to terms with the reality that “post Zionism” does not mean a return to 1947, before Israel came into being, or even 1916, before the Balfour Declaration. Because, just as there is no return to a “pre-colonial past” for any country that has been colonized, there can be no return to a “pre-Zionist” past for Palestine. This is the reality of the world today.

      [emphasis added]

  • Debunking the 2 claims: anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism, and BDS unfairly singles out Israel
    • JustJessetr: Ultimately, who is the final judge? Everyone can read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but who has the ultimate deciding authority?


      The ultimate authority is human reason , which transcends any particular group.

      Therefore it’s of course up to the oppressed group, in the end, to decide what is oppression

      That is a self-defeating proposition since you need a definition of oppression before you can identify which groups qualify for the "oppressed group" designation. A valid definition of oppression cannot presuppose the very thing it is meant to define.

    • JustJessetr: ... giving people the benefit of the doubt that they are being discriminated against, and not speaking for them, is part of the bedrock of social justice.

      In a secular-liberal democracy based on the rule of law, all charges of discrimination must be substantiated with evidence.

      Requiring that substantiation is not a matter of "speaking for them"--it's a basic principle of democracy and justice.

      Why don’t you support Blacks, Jews, and Asians when they speak out against bigotry?

      I do support speaking out against bigotry. But you claimed something quite different, namely that each possible separate identity group--e.g. "Blacks" and "Asians" and "Jews" according to your identity group categorization scheme-- get to "define what is racism" . That is a completely illogical, invalid and unworkable notion.

      Human rights are for everyone.

      Yes, indeed--human rights are universal. And separate identity groups don't get to define for themselves what human rights are any more than they get to define for themselves what racism is.

    • JustJessetr: ... just like one must let Blacks and Asians define what is racism...

      Are you out of your mind?

  • 'Transferring' Palestinian citizens of Israel to a Palestinian state goes from outrage to Netanyahu policy
    • Cf.

      Hostage February 22, 2014, 9:27 pm:

      [James Canning :] 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.

  • Israel is losing the battle for public opinion thanks to honest journalists, and platforms like Mondoweiss
    • Talkback: Sibiriak: “Please explain how Israel could be Zionist and at one and the same time be a secular and democratic state for all of it’s citizens.”

      ROFL. Please explain the need for a state of Israel in historic Palestine without using Zionist arguments.

      I never claimed there was a need for a state of Israel in historic Palestine, so I have no more reason to explain that idea than you do.

      Back to my question: If Israel became a secular and democratic state for all of its citizens, and met all other conditions Eljay spelled out, you would agree then that it would no longer be a Zionist state?

      So, Eljay is in fact calling for the end of Zionism in Israel/Palestine, right?

    • @Annie Robbins

      Very clear, insightful, nuanced analysis.

      the fact bds supporting anti zionists jews are (sometimes) not allowed into the country doesn’t dismiss the reality Jewish people are privileged in Israel.

      That's a critical point, and it’s a very simple one: Jewish people are privileged in Israel. (And, of course, Israel is ever-expanding, practicing apartheid, and engaging in ethnic cleansing, war crimes etc.)

      There can be endless arguments about who is a Jew, whether Jewishness is based on religion, culture, ethnicity, shared history or some combination of objective and subjective elements, or whether or not a Jewish people actually exists and so on and so forth--but none of that debate is directly relevant to the institutionalized discriminatory system in Israel/Palestine.

      All that matters is that the state of Israel has recognized a Jewish people and has legally enshrined it. Jewishness has been explicitly defined in Israeli law and elaborated on by Israeli courts—it’s not a vague or subjective concept at all. And that concept is used to systematically privilege Jews, so defined, over non-Jews.

    • echinococcus: . Invaders are goddam invaders and you are advocating for them to stay without permission from the sole owners of sovereignty

      The invaders can’t be made to leave—that’s the reality you think you are somehow free to ignore.

      Your two proposals -- a regional war or reeducation of Trump voters to anti-Zionism-- are beyond ludicrous. They are idiotic.

      Of course, you are entitled to your personal views, which are completely unauthorized by any Palestinians. Nevertheless, a relentlessly repeated damaging opinion such as yours is a thing to be shot down at its every iteration.

      It's extraordinarily damaging because it reinforces a cardinal Zionist talking point-- that anti-Zionists aim to empower Palestinians to rid Israel/Palestine of most of its current Jewish population.

      Your constantly reinforcing that Zioinist talking point is not doing the Palestinians one bit of good.

    • talkback: the thing is that eljay can’t explain why Jewish settler should even have a right to settle in Palestine and create a state

      AFAIK, Eljay has never suggested that Jewish settlers had/have a right to settle in Palestine and create a state.

      But perhaps I am wrong. Can you quote him on that point?

    • Talkback: Where is eljay calling for the “annihilation of Zionism”? He’s just calling for reformations of the state that resulted from Zionism and the “illegal recognition by the colonialist powers of the Zionist invasion.”


      This is the crux of it.

      "Reformations of the state that resulted from Zionism" --if they involve the complete dismantling of the structures and institutions of Jewish supremacism -- certainly would result in the annihilation of Zionism.

      In Eljay's opinion:

      Israel exists but must reform from a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” primarily of and for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews into a secular and democratic state of and for all of its Israeli citizens , immigrants, expats and refugees, equally. [emphasis added]

      Please explain how Israel could be Zionist and at one and the same time be a secular and democratic state for all of it's citizens.

      How would that be possible??

      A Zionist state could be completely secular and democratic and non-discriminatory?

      Is that your contention?

    • talkback: you DON’T address his accusation at all.

      Echinococcus' accusation is completely groundless and inane. Eljay has never defended Zionism and has never bestowed any legitimacy on any manifestation of Zionism, ever.

      So let’s hear it: what makes the illegal recognition by the colonialist powers of the Zionist invasion suddenly acceptable?

      Is Eljay on record affirming such acceptability? Quotation please.

      Eljay states:

      Israel exists but must reform from a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” primarily of and for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews into a secular and democratic state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally.

      If that were to happen, then Zionism would effectively cease to exist in Israel/Palestine. Calling for the annihilation of Zionism is the exact opposite of accepting the "illegal recognition by the colonialist powers of the Zionist invasion."


      [ Echinococcus: ] Recognizing (and repepatedly, relentlessly affirming) the legitimacy of **any** illegally imported Zionist presence in Palestine (or other already inhabited territory) IS a Zionist argument.

      Eljay has consistently argued that any presence of Zionism in Israel/Palestine is immoral, illegitimate and unacceptable. Period.

      Eljay's calling for the annihilation of Zionism in Israel/Palestine is most certainly not a Zionist argument.

    • echinococcus: Eljay, As long as you defend the Zionist colonial settlement...

      I've had my disagreements with Eljay, but it can't recall a single instance of his defending Zionist colonial settlement or Zionism in any other shape or form.

      Eljay has consistently held the position that Zionism is an immoral form of supremacy that never has and never will have any kind of legitimacy. True, he characterizes Zionist Jewish-supremacism as "fundamentally religious-based", and there can be reasonable argument on that point. But the fact remains --Eljay has unwaveringly condemned Zionism.

      [echinococcus:] But you [Eljay] never even bothered to present argument or proof that any Zionist presence in Palestine is legitimate in any way or wise.

      Why would he? He has repeated ad infinitum that Zionism is irredeemably and inalterably immoral and that any manifestation of Zionism in Palestine is completely illegitimate. If Jewish supremacism were completely eliminated in Israel/Palestine-- as Eljay tirelessly advocates-- there would be no effective presence of Zionism remaining. By definition Zionism cannot exist without Jewish supremacism.

  • NYT, Reuters, Economist journalists self-censor reports from Israel so as not to be 'savagely targeted' -- John Lyons
    • CitizenC: Dropping the pretence of “Jewish peoplehood”....


      Don't hold your breath.

  • Sorry, American Jews, you don't have a birthright
    • Emory Riddle: In a letter to Eric Gutkind dated 3 January 1954, Einstein wrote in German...

      For the sake of completeness, here is the full section of the Wikipedia article from which you pulled and juxtaposed quotations:

      Jewish identity

      In a letter to Eric Gutkind dated 3 January 1954, Einstein wrote in German, "For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them."[15][16][17]

      In an interview published by Time magazine with George Sylvester Viereck, Einstein spoke of his feelings about Christianity.[29] Born in Germany, Viereck supported National Socialism but he was not anti-semitic.[49] And like Einstein he was a pacifist.[50][51] At the time of the interview Einstein was informed that Viereck was not Jewish,[52] but stated that Viereck had "the psychic adaptability of the Jew," making it possible for Einstein to talk to him "without barrier."[52] Viereck began by asking Einstein if he considered himself a German or a Jew, to which Einstein responded, "It's possible to be both." Viereck moved along in the interview to ask Einstein if Jews should try to assimilate, to which Einstein replied "We Jews have been too eager to sacrifice our idiosyncrasies in order to conform."[29] Einstein was then asked to what extent he was influenced by Christianity. "As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene."[29] Einstein was then asked if he accepted the historical existence of Jesus, to which he replied, "Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life."[29]

      In a conversation with the Dutch poet Willem Frederik Hermans Einstein stressed that, "I seriously doubt that Jesus himself said that he was God, for he was too much a Jew to violate that great commandment: Hear O Israel, the Eternal is our God and He is one!' and not two or three."[53] Einstein lamented, "Sometimes I think it would have been better if Jesus had never lived. No name was so abused for the sake of power!"[53] In his 1934 book The World as I See It he expressed his belief that "if one purges the Judaism of the Prophets and Christianity as Jesus Christ taught it of all subsequent additions, especially those of the priests, one is left with a teaching which is capable of curing all the social ills of humanity."[54] Later in a 1943 interview Einstein added, "It is quite possible that we can do greater things than Jesus, for what is written in the Bible about him is poetically embellished."[55]

      Einstein interpreted the concept of a Kingdom of God as referring to the best people. "I have always believed that Jesus meant by the Kingdom of God the small group scattered all through time of intellectually and ethically valuable people."[citation needed]

      In the last year of his life he said "If I were not a Jew I would be a Quaker."[56]

      There are quite a number of interesting quotes in that long Wiki article, but, of course, one must be selective if one wishes to make a point.

  • Israeli minister says Palestinians are bringing a 'third Nakba' upon themselves
    • @Mooser

      No ethnic cleansing = No land = no United States = no U.S. "democracy".

      Therefore, the actually-existing American "democracy" absolutely depended on ethnically cleansing the Native Americans.

    • JWalters: Regarding Morris’s claim that American democracy depended on ethnically cleansing the Native Americans, this claim is utterly unfounded....

      True, Native Americans voluntarily gave up their lands to the new democratic state. Manifestly, it was their destiny.

  • 'Irreplaceable bedrock' of U.S. backing for Israel is threatened by -- intermarriage
    • "Lawmakers Seek to Prohibit Criticism of Israel"
      July 19, 2017

      Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Grim write in The Intercept today in “U.S. Lawmakers Seek to Criminally Outlaw Support for Boycott Campaign Against Israel” that: “The criminalization of political speech and activism against Israel has become one of the gravest threats to free speech in the west.

      In France, activists have been arrested and prosecuted for wearing t-shirts advocating a boycott of Israel. The U.K. has enacted a series of measures designed to outlaw such activism.

      In the U.S., governors compete with one another over who can implement the most extreme regulations to bar businesses from participating in any boycotts aimed even at Israeli settlements, which the world regards as illegal.

      On U.S. campuses, punishment of pro-Palestinian students for expressing criticisms of Israel is so commonplace that the Center for Constitutional Rights refers to it as ‘the Palestine Exception’ to free speech.

      “But now, a group of 45 Senators — 30 Republicans and 15 Democrats — want to implement a law that would make it a felony for Americans to support the international boycott against Israel, which was launched in protest of that country’s decades-old occupation of Palestine. …

      “Perhaps most stunning is our interview with the primary sponsor of the bill, Democratic Senator Benjamin Cardin, who seemed to have no idea what was in his bill, particularly insisting that it contains no criminal penalties. But as the ACLU put it, ‘violations would be subject to a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $ 1 million and 20 years in prison.’

    • [Haaretz:] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched a blistering attack against the European Union...


      Netanyahu has also launched blistering attacks on exploding European anti-Semitism.

      I'm not sure I'd believe him in either case.

    • Citizen, who are the major non-Jewish anti-Zionist billionaires?

  • 'We need to cut their heads off,' Bush said of anti-western demonstrators in Syria in '06 -- Tzipi Livni
    • Bont Eastlake asserts that Muslims are entitled to react to offensive cartoons with violence, terror, mayhem and murder.

      We strongly disagree.

    • Jon66: I agree that speech should not be limited just because it offends someone.
      But where were you mighty defenders when Nada Elia wrote this on MW.


      Where? Look at the comments. You'll find some very strong disagreement with Nada Elia.

    • eljay: Once again, you deliberately distort my words...

      Best not to feed a dissembling Zionist troll.

    • Bont Eastlake: You would rightly expect violence when you call a tensed black guy the N-word…but Muslims are supposed to adhere to a different standard?

      @Eastlake: Please, stop trolling.

      @Everyone: Please, don't feed the troll.

  • 'You are thieves of history!' Hotovely tells Palestinians, waving books at them
    • I thought you were making some clever reference to aliyah .

    • Jonathan Ofir: they are just Israeli illegal settlements.


      Nevertheless, they are Israeli settlements in Palestine, not "Palestinian settlements".

    • echinococcus: Yeah, some authorities on international law you have now.

      I made no reference to international law. I was referring to actual linguistic usage, whether right or wrong legally, morally or whatever.

    • Jonathan Ofir: Is Al-Khalil in Palestine? Yes, says most of the world community. Is it then a Palestinian city? Yes. That’s not really complicated.

      Actually it is a bit complicated. The word "Palestinian" can refer to geographical location, but it can also refer to ethno-national identity or de facto sovereignty.

      Thus a Palestinian city could be in Israel, or in Lebanon or elsewhere, not necessarily in Palestine.

      Ma'ale Adumim is in Palestine. But is it a "Palestinian city"?

      Wikipedia has it on its list of Israeli cities , along with four others that are located in the West Bank.

      Israeli cities in this list are the cities in Israel, and Israeli settlements with city status in the occupied West Bank; [emphasis in the original]

  • NBC plays up gruesome crashes in Tour de France-- then blames the riders
    • NBC plays up gruesome crashes in Tour de France– then blames the riders" ETC.

      Brilliant allegory. Israeli violence, ethnic cleansing, apartheid... the Palestinians... the Zionist media..."terrorism". Blame the victims.

  • Nadia Hijab on Palestinian options, Jewish allies, and the Zionist crisis
    • Mooser: ... I believe those nice Russians helped the Poles with their sovereignty up til recently.

      You are conflating the Soviet Union with Russia, as you effectively did in your previous neatly bookended historical survey:

      [Mooser:]... don't let these people talk bad about Russia. 70 years of Communist rule, WW2, the arms race, the planned economy, and then the collapse of Communism into anarchy has left Russia in fine shape...

      But that's okay, Sen. McCain has a tendency to conflate Russia with the Evil Soviet Empire as well.

      Of course, he has his personal motivations for doing that. As you do, no doubt. Although the emotional roots of your anti-Russianism , like Yonah Fredman's, might naturally reach down into an even more distant imagined past.

  • 'LA Times' calls BDS a 'classic tool of peaceful political expression'
    • The 50-year occupation of the Palestinian territories seized during the Six-Day War has gone on for too long and must eventually be brought to an end. (emphasis added)

      "Eventually"? Revealing choice of words.

  • Wonder Woman is a hero only the military-industrial complex could create
    • goldmarx: Proyect is on record as opposing a no-fly-zone.

      Proyect's position is either utterly incoherent or disingenuous: to maintain an anti-imperialist image he claims he doesn't support a U.S. imposed no-fly zone--but he calls for Syrian rebels to be supplied with MANPADS (surface-to-air missiles) so they can establish a no-fly zone, and he strongly supports groups like The Syria Campaign that lobby for a no-fly zone.

      Inside the Shadowy PR Firm That’s Lobbying for Regime Change in Syria

      Max Blumenthal

      [...]By partnering with local groups like the Syrian civil defense workers popularly known as the White Helmets, and through a vast network of connections in media and centers of political influence, The Syria Campaign has played a crucial role in disseminating images and stories of the horrors visited this month on eastern Aleppo. The group is able to operate within the halls of power in Washington and has the power to mobilize thousands of demonstrators into the streets. Despite its outsized role in shaping how the West sees Syria’s civil war, which is now in its sixth year and entering one of its grisliest phases, this outfit remains virtually unknown to the general public.

      The Syria Campaign presents itself as an impartial, non-political voice for ordinary Syrian citizens that is dedicated to civilian protection. “We see ourselves as a solidarity organization,” The Syria Campaign strategy director James Sadri told me. “We’re not being paid by anybody to pursue a particular line. We feel like we’ve done a really good job about finding out who the frontline activists, doctors, humanitarians are and trying to get their word out to the international community.”

      Yet behind the lofty rhetoric about solidarity and the images of heroic rescuers rushing in to save lives is an agenda that aligns closely with the forces from Riyadh to Washington clamoring for regime change. Indeed, The Syria Campaign has been pushing for a no-fly zone in Syria that would require at least “70,000 American servicemen” to enforce, according to a Pentagon assessment, along with the destruction of government infrastructure and military installations. There is no record of a no-fly zone being imposed without regime change following —which seems to be exactly what The Syria Campaign and its partners want.

  • Clinton lost because PA, WI, and MI have high casualty rates and saw her as pro-war, study says
    • Keith: MOOSER- “Don’t worry, Vladimir Putin will keep Trump on the straight and narrow.”

      So, who is going to keep you on the straight and narrow? Clearly, your heart belongs to Hillary and the Dems. The empire too?

      Keep in mind that in Jewish demonology, among the supreme devils are the Nazis, the Tsar and the Soviets, as Mooser recently indicated in this comment in another thread:

      [Mooser: ]“Nathan” nobody can break a Jewish home. Not the Nazis, not the Czar, not the Soviets, not nothin’.

      Tsar Putin, of course, is right up there in the pantheon of anti-Jewish demons, being the evil offspring his Tsar/Soviet progenitors.

      (Cf. Yonah Fredman: " I am biased against Russian dictatorship, whether czar, leninist or putin. ")

    • @Keith

      Cohen had a pretty good line about the recent Trump-Putin meeting:

      The first thing you notice is just how much the press is rooting for this meeting between our president and the Russian President to fail.

      It's a kind of pornography. Just as there's no love in pornography, there's no American national interest in this bashing of Trump and Putin.

    • Mooser: A very troubled place.

      Far less troubled than your ignorant (sensu stricto), propagandized mind imagines. I invite you to come see for yourself.

    • echinococcus: No proof and not even any probable cause shown, except the word of the gallows bait criminal Harpy and her Neocons and CIANSAFBIetc.


      True, not a speck of proof of Russian government-directed hacking was ever presented. (But that proof may exist, somewhere, in classified documents, locked up forever.) [note comma usage.]

      Nevertheless, the January 6, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence did contain some extraordinarily damning information about nefarious Russian media efforts to undermine U.S. democracy, in particular the relentless propaganda campaign carried out by RT News.

      I quote verbatim from that report:


      In an effort to highlight the alleged "lack of democracy" in the United States, RT broadcast, hosted, and advertised third-party candidate debates and ran reporting supportive of the political agenda of these candidates. The RT hosts asserted that the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a "sham."

      * * *

      RT aired a documentary about the Occupy Wall Street movement on 1, 2, and 4 November. RT framed the movement as a fight against "the ruling class" and described the current US political system as corrupt and dominated by corporations. RT advertising for the documentary featured Occupy movement calls to "take back" the government.

      * * *

      "RT's reports often characterize the United States as a "surveillance state" and allege widespread infringements of civil liberties, police brutality, and drone use (RT, 24, 28 October, 1-10 November).

      * * *
      RT has also focused on criticism of the US economic system, US currency policy, alleged Wall Street greed, and the US national debt. Some of RT's hosts have compared the United States to Imperial Rome and have predicted that government corruption and "corporate greed" will lead to US financial collapse (RT, 31 October, 4 November). "

      * * *

      RT runs anti-fracking programming, highlighting environmental issues and the impacts on public health. "

      * * *

      RT is a leading media voice opposing Western intervention in the Syrian conflict and blaming the West for waging "information wars" against the Syrian Government (RT, 10 October-9 November).


      Those are serious allegations! With RT news flooding America with such pernicious propaganda, no wonder KAY 24, Mooser et al. are up in arms about Russian "interference" and are rallying in support of the U.S. intelligence community, the great defenders of freedom and democracy around the world!

    • echinococcus: Except that even your CNN has been obliged to call back that lie and apologize.

      Yes, why is Kay24 mindlessly repeating these thoroughly debunked U.S pro-war establishment talking points?

      The New York Times has finally admitted that one of the favorite Russia-gate canards – that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concurred on the assessment of Russian hacking of Democratic emails – is false .

      Among the most oft-repeated claims of the entire Russia election hacking scandal is that of absolute unanimity among US intelligence agencies, with media and politicians regularly claiming that “all 17 US intelligence agencies have agreed that Russia tried to influence the 2016 election to benefit Donald Trump.” It’s not true.

      Nearly a year into the hacking scandal, both the New York Times and the Associated Press are finally copping to the fact that this allegation is untrue, and retracting it outright. The AP confirmed falsely making the claim in at least four distinct articles, most recently on Thursday.

  • Anti-Semitism accusations against 'Dyke March' prove pro-Israel lobby will torch LGBT rights for marginalized people
    • MHughes976 : There is in any event no definition of ‘Jewish’ which will effectively support a rational argument for the sort of rights that Zionism claims for Jews...

      I certainly agree with that. And I'm skeptical that endless discussion about "who is a Jew" will ever do much to help the Palestinian people.

      But since we are on the subject of language, we shouldn't forget that English is not the only one in the world.

      In Russian, the word for "Jew" is "еврей "


      The word еврей is used to refer to any person of Jewish ancestry, regardless of religious beliefs. When specifically referring to a follower of Judaism, the words иуде́й (iudéj) and иудаист (iudaist) are used.

      While the above is not strictly true ("еврей" can be used to refer to a religious Jew), the notion that "евре́и" ("Jews") refers to a people or ethno-nationality is deeply-rooted and widespread.

    • Since echinococcus rejects the official BDS movement and any rights-based approach grounded in international law, one might wonder what strategy he proposes for the Palestinians.

      Well here it is, the Echino Plan:

      [echinococcus:] In the absence of some worldwide war, the only way to do to [save the Palestinians from genocide] is by turning around the US, and it's not your insignificant "American Jews" but only the general population, the masses of Americans, the people who just voted Trump because they've had it, who can do that. Every cent we can spare should go to informing them.

      Hope, in echino's view, lies in worldwide war or the re-education of America's Trump voters.

      Of course a worldwide war is unlikely to bring any great benefits to the Palestinians, so that leaves the informing- the-Trump- voters plan.

      And what better way to "inform" those potential agents of Palestinian salvation than to drop the appeals to international law, UN resolutions etc. and inundate them in echino-style rhetoric about "imperialist illegality", "genocidal Zionist invaders" and the hoped-for "destruction of Israel"!

      Surely, that kind of rhetoric will get the Trump voters to become pro-Palestinian, defeat the Zionist lobby, and reverse U.S. policy… right?

    • echinococcus : No need to repeat that imperialist illegality is OK
      Of course international law and institutions are deeply flawed and subject to manipulation by great powers, particularly the U.S.

      But that's not the issue. The issue is whether and how Palestinians and their supporters can use international law as a weapon in their battle to attain moral ends.
      (Cf. RoHa)

      The official BDS Movement has three stated goals:

      Ending [Israel’s] occupation and colonization of all Arab Lands and dismantling the Wall. International law recognizes the West Bank including East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the Syrian Golan Heights as occupied territory. […]

      Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality. […]

      Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194. […]

      A large part of the BDS movement’s success has come from the fact that it strategically adopted a rights-based approach grounded in international law. This gives it enormous global appeal and legitimacy. It’s hard to argue against international law and human rights.

      Echinococcus , however, claims that the official BDS movement is a Zionist- controlled entity.

      He calls for the BDS movement to change its position to something like:

      We reject international law and institutions as imperialist projects.

      We seek the destruction of the imperialist-colonialist state of Israel.

      We demand the right to expel all Zionist invaders from all parts of Palestine.

      Of course, such an official position would be--as a practical matter-- a complete disaster for the Palestinian cause.

      It’s no accident that Echinococcus, Bont Eastlake, Hophmi et al. are all in the same boat when it comes to strategically delegitimizing international law and institutions.

    • Talkback: That’s the other side of the scam, but one Talknic fails to acknowledge.

      True. And to attempt to explain away that reality, Talknic has concocted the completely baseless notion that the UN is somehow prevented from condemning non-member states ....etc. etc.-- you know the argument. (And even if that were true, which it isn't, nothing would prevent the UN/ICJ from affirming that Israeli territory inside the Green Line was illegal acquired.)

    • @Bont Eastlake

      Using the words of the great Gamal, what a miserable insult to intelligence your whole schtick is; its a sign of ideological exhaustion and the very definition of bad faith.

      Let's see, now you are telling us:

      [Bent Eastlake:] Stop trying to derail the conversation by bringing up legalist BS that has no bearing on ground realities...

      But a little while ago you were telling us:

      [Bent Eastlake:] No matter how much you feel entitled to hold on and fight for your views, you will lose because you are strategically on weak ground. Hence, your inability to argue on a legal basis, using the framework of international law and doctrines of universal human rights that are recognised by all nations.


      Bont Eastlake "is spinning so fast, and typing so hard, he could very well cause a logorrhea cyclone or tornado!" (the immortal Mooser)

    • Bont Eastlake: Stop trying to derail the conversation by bringing up legalist BS...

      Nice try, Silamcuz.

      Your idea that international law is nothing more than "legalist BS" is precisely the Zionist position, and of course, you'd love to see the Palestinians and their supporters adopt that position, being a Zionist yourself.

      The Palestinians' right under international law to self-determination is not "legalist BS."

      The Palestinians right to return under international law is not "legalist BS".

      The Geneva Conventions that dictated the illegality of Israeli settlements in the WB are not "legalist BS".

      International law rejecting the acquisition of territory by force is not "legalist BS."

      International law criminalizing genocide, apartheid, crimes against humanity and war crimes are not "legalist BS."

      BDS fully embraces international law and bases all it's goals on the enforcement of international law.

      The Palestinians are up against many very strong forces, but one powerful force they do have on their side is international law.

      International law is a weapon to be used. Using it as a weapon doesn't mean accepting every aspect of it, but if you are going to wield it as a weapon, you do have affirm its basic legitimacy.

      However flawed international law is--and it certainly is flawed-- the Palestinians and their supporters would be making a colossal strategic error to reject it.

      But of course, that's exactly what you suggest. For obvious reasons.

    • echinococcus: echinococcus Sibiriak,No need to repeat that imperialist illegality is OK with you.

      I can't repeat what I never said. I stated facts; I didn't say I was okay with them.

    • echinococcus: “Israel” is itself an occupied territory illegally acquired by war...

      That's your opinion, and you are, of course, entitled to it.

      But it's not the opinion of the UNGA, UNSC or the International Court of Justice. There has never been a UN resolution or ICJ opinion that has affirmed that Israeli territory was illegally acquired within the "Green Line" .

      Needless to say, they may well be wrong in that position-- just as the U.S. Supreme Court can be wrong in theirs. Nevertheless, it's important to distinguish between "settled law" and the multiple opinions, including yours, that have no official standing.

    • @goldmarx

      By your own account, it appears to be a anti-Zionist action, not an anti-Semitic one.

      1) she had marched in the CDM for many years prior...

      2) Prior to this year’s march, the CDM never explicitly stated that it is an anti-Zionist

      Clearly, what had changed wasn't that the CDM had suddenly become anti-Semitic. What had changed was that it had become explicitly and vehemently anti-Zionist, and, rightly or wrongly, they ejected Grauer et al. because of their Zionist convictions , if not actions.

      Grauer's account confirms this (emphasis added):

      Jewish members of the Dyke Collective , or those who were Jewish and said they were speaking on behalf of the March organizers, said I had to leave because even if I saw this a Jewish Pride flag, "this is seen as an Israeli Pride Flag and offensive to others."

      * * *
      “Are you a Zionist?” “This march is pro-Palestine and explicitly anti-Zionist.” Just as I did not hide my flag, I did not hide when asked point-blank, that, yes, I care about the State of Israel. Yes, I believe it does exist and that it should continue to exist.

      Rightly or wrongly, the flag was seen as a Zionist symbol and was objected to on that basis, not because it was a Jewish symbol.

      So, I don't how you can argue that Grauer et al.'s ejection was an anti-Semitic action.

  • US Jews must oppose Palestinian boycott, but boycott Israel and bring it to its knees over prayer at western wall
    • Correction: "Eljay’s characterization " not "Eljay’s consistent "

    • Bont Eastlake: America is indeed a Christian-supremacist nation just Israel is Jewish-supremacist and ISIS is Islamosupremacist.

      Eva Smagacz: I just discovered a latest weapon in Zionist hasbara: If Israel’s actions are no longer defendable, try to change meaning of the words.

      Above we have exhibit B: Trying to make word “supremacist” [meaningless]

      Do you recall Bont Eastlake's response to Eljay's consistent of Israel/Zionism as a "supremacist construct"?

      [Bont Eastlake:] Unlike anti-Zionism which as a political movement and philosophical thought has robust backing from a diverse range of people and institutions, opposing supremacist construct of states has no set history, no consistent backers, no concrete goals to focus on.

  • US foreign policy in the Middle East
  • Start 'Birthright' earlier and hire conservative professors-- to stem 'national security issue' of Jewish kids abandoning Israel
    • "The only supremacism that matters is white supremacy."
      --Bont Eastlake

    • "Modi’s visit to Israel signals the end of solidarity"

      [...] As Modi made the first visit of a sitting Indian prime minister to Israel last week, the optics suggested that the two countries would be the closest of allies. Modi dressed in the colours of the Israeli flag - blue and white, and articulated the slogan “India for Israel”.

      While Modi claims that India supports the two-state solution, there was none of the fanfare and symbolism of solidarity when Modi met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas earlier this year. Modi has opened a new era in India-Israel relations - forging collaboration and trade in defence, technology, agriculture, tourism and pharmaceuticals.

      The developments signify that the age of solidarity on human rights causes in India is over. By standing alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and expressing solidarity with Israel, India is accused of abandoning its commitment to upholding the rights of colonised people to fight for their freedom. Furthermore, activists allude to India’s failure to uphold universal rights that it once rightly claimed for itself.

      Modi’s foreign policy towards Israel is what Israel has wanted to achieve - to ensure that pivotal countries in the developing world forge close relations with Israel, thereby breaking the global south’s solidarity with the Palestinian people.

      What Netanyahu pulled off through Modi’s visit was nothing short of a diplomatic coup. Israel will expect India to vote with it at the UN and in other international bodies, and the hope is that other countries follow suit. [...]


      "India & Israel ink $4.3bn worth of deals, push for closer economic ties"

      [...] According to a joint statement, the two countries will focus on the development of defense products that include the transfer of technology from Israel, with an emphasis on Modi's signature 'Make in India' initiative. Earlier this year, Israeli companies signed arms deals with India totaling over $2.6 billion.

      "We have identified great business opportunities for Israeli companies in India in sectors such as transport infrastructure, including roads, railways, civil aviation and traffic management systems, smart cities, renewable energies, water and environment, automotive, food, naval and aerospace industries and defense," Shraga Brosh, co-chair of the India-Israeli CEO forum, was cited as saying by Reuters.

      Bilateral trade is expected to surge from the current $4-5 billion to $20 billion in five years, the statement said.

    • Misterioso: Israel is increasingly viewed around the world as a pariah...[...[Zionism is in big trouble.

      Israel is facing increased criticism but is still far from being a pariah state.

      In addition to the support from the U.S. and other western states, Russia and China are making huge free trade and investment deals with Israel.,7340,L-4877405,00.html

      And then there's India:

      India’s Narenda Modi is in Israel for an historic 3-day trip. Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to make the visit. India has a history of supporting Palestinian rights, but that has started to shift. India and Israel recently signed a weapons deal worth $2 billion. And though it’s common for foreign leaders visiting Israel, Modi won’t be meeting with Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas.

  • Attacks on Israeli police in East Jerusalem are not terrorism
    • Re: Arafatbastard:"... 2,000 Jewish inhabitants of the Jewish Quarter [...] ethnically cleansed in 1948"

      Samih K. Farsoun and Naseer H. Aruri " Palestine and the Palestinians: A Social and Political History " (p. 335, emphasis added):

      Over thirty thousand of the inhabitants of the Arab villages and urban centersaround Jerusalem were driven out by force or fled the outbreak of violence, several months before two thousand Jews were forced out of the Jewish quarter in the Old City by the Jordanians. 20

      20. Edward Said, "Projecting Jerusalem," Journal of Palestine Studies 25 (Autumn tumn 1995): 7.


      Benny Morris, "1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War" (separate excerpts):

      In truth, however, the Jews committed far more atrocities than the Arabs and killed far more civilians and POWs in deliberate acts of brutality in the course of 1948. This was probably due to the circumstance that the victorious Israelis captured some four hundred Arab villages and towns during April-November 1948, whereas the Palestinian Arabs and ALA failed to take any settlements and the Arab armies that invaded in mid-May overran fewer than a dozen Jewish settlements.

      * * * *

      The fears of the [Jewish] quarter's inhabitants proved groundless; the Legion had learned its lesson from K far `Etzion. The [Jordanian] Legionnaires deployed in force and protected the Jews from the wrath of the gathering Arab mob. The soldiers shot dead at least two Arabs and wounded others as they guarded the Jews.

      One POW recalled: "We were all surprised by the Legion's behavior toward us. We all thought that of the soldiers [that is, Haganah men] none would remain alive.... [We feared a massacre. But] the Legion protected us even from the mob, they helped take out the wounded, they themselves carried the stretchers.... They gave us food, their attitude was gracious and civil." 193

      The Legionnaires took prisoner 290 healthy males, aged fifteen to fifty-two-thirds two-thirds of them, in fact, noncombatants-and fifty-one of the wounded. The other wounded and twelve hundred inhabitants were accompanied by the Legionnaires to Zion Gate and freed. 194 The quarter was then systematically pillaged and razed by the mob. The fall of the Jewish Quarter, an important national site, dealt a severe blow to Yishuv morale.

      * * * *

      During the "civil war," when the opportunity arose, Palestinian militiamen who fought alongside the Arab Legion consistently expelled Jewish inhabitants and razed conquered sites, as happened in the `Etzion Bloc and the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City.

      Subsequently, the Arab armies behaved in similar fashion. All the Jewish settlements conquered by the invading Jordanian, Syrian, and Egyptian armies-about a dozen in all, including Beit Ha arava, Neve Yaakov, and Atarot in the Jordanian sector; Masada and Sha'ar Hagolan in the Syrian sector; and Yad Mordechai, Nitzanim, and Kfar Darom in the Egyptian sector-were razed after their inhabitants had fled or been incarcerated or expelled.

  • Support Mondoweiss to keep brave journalists reporting news
    • Bont Eastlake: Problematic ideals and concepts must be identified and chipped away from the raw political conciousness.

    • Mooser: Mondoweiss is a pretty nice site, but it changes from day to day.

      Yes, but tell me, where do the children play?

  • Canada Park, a popular picnicking spot for Israelis, created upon the rubble of Palestinian homes
    • Eljay, compare:


      Yet you live on land stolen from the native Canadian Aborigines, and the “Palestinian” village was built on land that was originally owned by Jews.

      2) Silamcuz :

      {Eljay: I believe that my obligation is to support the universal and consistent application of justice, accountability and equality...]

      Good, then I suggest start with the Canadian government collusion with Zionist , in all aspect of governance. In addition, you should also acknowledge that as a Canadian with no ancestry to the First Nation peoples you are as much of a settler-colonist as the Jewish settlers in the West Bank and the rightful owners of the land are the indigenous pre-Columbian nations.

      3)Bont Eastlake :

      all you [Eljay] have done is project supremacist ideals yourself by sanctimoniusly criticising Israel while enjoying the privileges from being Canadian.


      Arafatbastard is a undisguised illiberal Zionist. Silamcuz and Bont Eastlake are fake progressives pushing Zionist talking points. Two sides of the same coin. Their game is to accuse "Western" progressives of hypocrisy, to put them on the defensive, and thereby divert and distract.

    • Bont Eastlake: all you have done is project supremacist ideals yourself by sanctimoniusly criticising Israel while enjoying the privileges from being Canadian...

      Fifty shades of Silamcuz.

  • 'Please remember the Montgomery bus boycott'-- letter to Westchester County board before BDS vote tonight
    • Jonathan Cook:

      [Shawqi Issa, a Palestinian analyst and former government minister in the Palestinian Authority] believes the outlines of a US-Israeli-Saudi-Egyptian plan for the Palestinians are starting to emerge.

      It would offer Hamas a mini-state in Gaza, under Egyptian oversight , cementing the enclave’s separation from the West Bank, he said. Egypt and Saudi Arabia would use former Gaza strongman Mohammed Dahlan, a rival to PA president Mahmoud Abbas, as their intermediary.

      Earlier this month Hamas leaders met Dahlan in Cairo. Egypt reportedly wants Dahlan to oversee Gaza in return for alleviating the mounting humanitarian crisis there.

      In return Arab states would pump millions into the economy , while Egypt would open its Rafah crossing to Gaza and increase the electricity supply to the enclave, relieving its current power blackouts.

      Ben Caspit, an Israeli analyst, referred to a “secret program” last week that would involve the US, Europe, Egypt and the Gulf states.

      He cited an Israeli military source stating that they would seek to pressure Hamas into agreeing to a long-term ceasefire and moves towards demilitarisation in return for aid.

      Issad said: “The crisis in Gaza gives Hamas an excuse for signing on to a bad deal, saying its people can’t live like this forever. And Israel will be able to tell the world the Palestinians have a state.”

      As for the West Bank, Issa suggested the slivers of territory there currently under nominal Palestinian control would, on the Israeli-US plan, become Jordan’s responsibility.

      “The danger is Amman won’t be able to resist the pressure when it comes from SaudiiArabia, Egypt, Israel and the US,” he said.
      (emphasis added)

  • The deep bonds of Palestinian-Puerto Rican solidarity were on display at this year's NYC Puerto Rican Day Parade
    • Being at war is a bit more significant than having a pimple, I would think.

      But forget the "we" then, echinococcus. How many wars are you in? Shouldn't be too hard a question to answer.

    • echinococcus: ... we are in a war and must learn to behave appropriately.

      How many wars do you reckon "we" are in at the moment? Please list. Thanks.

    • Marnie: Marches in solidarity with zionism; however, are a homogenized group of yelling, spitting, frothing at the mouth neanderthals. Grotesque.

      The Enemy is not human.

  • The Israelis
  • Intersectional feminism: Wonder Woman, Palestinians, Wakanda and Zionism
    • YoniFalic: I try to avoid the use of liturgical terms to describe ethnicity. How about Slurk = Sl(avo-T)urk? Of course, the term Slurk would apply to me, but I consider this identity to be a disease from which I must strive to recover. [emphasis added]

      You seem to be conflating ethnicity and identity (constructed/essentialized) and slipping into racism.

    • I boycott films with these two people. Cruise is a Scientologist and Johansson is a Zionist

      I find it useful to have a well-organized database with detailed ideological profiles of thousands of artists--actors, writers, musicians, painters etc. Software such as No Platformer etc. can generate up-to-date boycott lists based on variable political correctness scales. It's quite customizable. The pre-sets aren't bad either, though "anti-Zionist" needs a bit of tweaking-- some "non-Zionists" and even a few "liberal Zionists" manage to sneak through somehow.

    • Actor ≠ character

    • "Why Wonder Woman is a masterpiece of subversive feminism"

      "Did you weep watching Wonder Woman? You weren't alone"

      Like a lot of other women I know – and a lot of women I don’t – I found myself crying at unexpected times during the film. Watching the Amazon women of Themyscira practice fighting, their strength and athleticism on full display; the battle scene where their bodies flew through the air, beautiful but not sexualized; the incredible moment Diana reveals herself and liberates a town by climbing above the trenches and doing what no man had been able to do before.

      Meredith Woerner described it best in the Los Angeles Times when she wrote: “I felt like I was discovering something I didn’t even know I had always wanted.” To see a woman brave, powerful and invincible.

      Yes, we’ve seen female action stars before – but not like this. Not in a way where the camera lingering on a woman’s body feels strong instead of lascivious. Not in a movie where a woman’s strength is depicted as inevitable and natural.

      When the movie was over, I openly wept outside the theater to my husband – I needed a minute to compose myself. It’s one thing to intellectually recognize the power of representation, quite another to feel it in your bones when you finally see it.

      We’re in a political moment when rooms full of men are making decisions about women’s future and the country is being run by a man who brags about sexually assaulting women. Feminist backlash is so severe that theaters holding women-only showings of the movie have been the target of online ire, even lawsuits. (I have a few friends who didn’t attend such viewings for fear that one of these angry men would show up to do harm.)

      When so many of us feel powerless, seeing the extraordinary power of one woman felt like a cathartic release. A reminder of what is possible, and of what our daughter – and ourselves – deserve.

  • Orientalism, intersectionality, and the 'New York Times'
  • How 1967 changed American Jews
    • Catalan: ... what are the benchmarks that you use to determine that the movement is a “success”? Like, how much did it reduce Israeli exports? Or how much Israelis stocks lost value because they were divested from? In other words, what is your criteria that BDS is “successful” – what is the threshold of harm to Israel that would lead to achieving the goals of BDS (return of refugees, ending the occupation, changing Israeli laws).


      Several points about BDS:

      1) The main threat is to Israel's reputation --aka delegitimization-- not it's economy.

      As Uri Avnery put it:

      There is now in the world a large movement of BDS against Israel. The Israeli government is afraid of it and fights against it with all means, including ridiculous ones. But this fear does not spring from the economic damages this movement can cause, but from the damage it may cause to Israel’s image. Such image may hurt, but it does not kill.

      2) BDS by itself cannot achieve its goals (end of the occupation, right of return per international law, equal rights in Israel). It needs to work in synergy with other modes of political action: Palestinian resistance (non-violent most effective, imo), international court action, international governmental pressure, internal Israeli dissent etc.

      3) Right now there is zero S in BDS. And not much prospect of it in the near future. But even international economic sanctions are rarely effective by themselves, and they often backfire. Russia would be a case in point.

      4) Right now the short-term prospects for Palestinians look pretty bleak. But the future is unpredictable. BDS is having significant success in delegitimizing Israel and energizing the pro-Palestinian cause (a pro-Israel cause as well, for those that see the end of Israeli apartheid as a good thing for Israel.)

  • The issue isn't the 'occupation', it's Zionism
    • echinococcus: There is a hierarchy of international crimes, though. Aggression and internal intervention against sovereign states and invasion of other people’s territory stand separate from the rest. Tyranny, etc. are not a consideration at that level.

      Where do you find this supposed hierarchy? Citation, please.

      The Rome Statute, notably, lists four core international crimes in this order: 1) genocide, 2)crimes against humanity (w/ 11 subcategories, including the crime of apartheid), 3) war crimes, 4) the crime of aggression (Art. 5).

      There is no statement of hierarchy, and none of the four categories is made to "stand separate from the rest."

      Some scholars and commentators have argued for a hierarchy, but usually to put genocide and crimes against humanity above the other two categories and/or make genocide the "crime of crimes."

    • So-called enlightenment is not all it's cracked up to be.

  • Oren sees 'radical implosion' of US Jewish support for Israel -- then calls Palestinian polygamy 'existential threat'
    • Putin is a horrifically evil authoritarian ruler who is out to destroy Western civilization.

    • catalan: The definitive shift against colonialism in international law occurred in 1960. – Sibiriak I was thinking what is the reason that sibiriak always expresses the official Russian government line.
      The "official Russian government line" ?? Hardly. I quoted a mainstream British international law expert, James Summers.


      otherwise he would lose his citizenship.

      Huh? I'm a U.S. citizen and will remain so.

    • Correction: "On 14 December it was adopted..."

    • The definitive shift against colonialism in international law occurred in 1960.

      1960 marked at turning point in the policy of the General Assembly towards colonial self- determination. At this time the de-colonisation process had gained momentum, with seventeen new states taking up their seats that year.

      On 23 September 1960 Soviet Chairman Nikita Khrushchev presented the Assembly with a draft declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples. This was taken up and on 28 November, when debate opened on the issue, twenty- five Asian and African states submitted their own declaration on colonial independence. This draft drew on resolutions of the Afro-Asian conference in Bandung in 1955 and the first and second conferences of African states at Accra and Addis Ababa in 1958 and June 1960.

      14 On December it was adopted without changes, by 89 votes to 0, with 9 abstentions, as the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples , GA Res. 1514(XV).

      The Colonial Independence Declaration has been called the “Magna Charta” of decolonisation. And it is a landmark document. If the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen 1789 signalled the emergence of nationalism as a political force, the Colonial Independence Declaration marked its global conquest.

      It was also a watershed, which specifically repudiated many of the basic assumptions in earlier instruments, like the UN Charter. In particular, size and development were no longer held to be prerequisites for statehood, at least for trust and non -self-governing territories.

      As a resolution of the UN General Assembly, the Declaration, unlike the UN Charter or the Covenants, is not formally legally binding. Nonetheless, it has been considered by the International Court of Justice in determining international law in the Namibia and Western Sahara advisory opinions. [emphasis added]


      James Summers, "The Idea of the People: The Right of Self-Determination, Nationalism and the Legitimacy of International Law

  • Israel provoked the Six-Day War in 1967, and it was not fighting for survival
    • Keith, good points. Obviously my analysis was far from comprehensive. Arab Nationalism, oil geopolitics, Cold War rivalries, Israeli expansionism, U.S. Zionist power/ideology --there are various historical vectors converging in the '67 war.

      Finkelstein, in the North/Weiss interview article says:

      But once the US in effect gave Israel the green (or amber) light at the end of May and early June, Israel did a repeat performance of ‘56. Its primary goal was to neuter Nasser, to deliver a deathblow to these uppity Arabs and finish off what was called radical Arab nationalism.

      Their secondary goal was to conquer the lands they had coveted but didn’t manage to seize in ’48: East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan. Tom Segev’s book, 1967, is not great, but it does copiously document Israel’s expansionist territorial aims on the eve of ‘67.

    • The 1967 war can only be undertood within the context of Israeli strategic expansionism

      Israel was slowly but surely creating a crisis with Syria by provoking incidents along the border with the ultimate purpose of grabbing land .

      Syria had embarked on a project to divert the Haztbani river; Israel wished to destroy that project, but did not want to initiate aggressive action that would damage its relationship with the West. The IDF developed a strategy of taking non-military actions to provoke a Syrian military response, then retaliate with military action to destroy the diversion project. On two occasions the Israeli air force attacked the diversion project, and by February 1966 work on the diversion project was stopped. Syria then began to give indirect support to the PLO.

      Yet, the Israeli military activity along the border continued and even escalated throughout 1966. Using similar tactics for triggering incidents, the Israelis continued to provoke the Syrians. The IDF responded disproportionately every time the Syrians opened fire on Israeli tractors working in the DMZs or on police boats disguised as fishing boats getting close to the northeast shore of Lake Kinneret.


      In a rare and revealing interview ten years after that period, Moshe Dayan discussed this pattern of Israeli behavior with the journalist Rami Tal (1997).

      DAYAN: I know how at least 80% of all those incidents there [along the Israeli-Syrian border] got started. In my opinion, more than 80 percent, but let us talk about 80. It worked like this: we would send a tractor to plow some place in the demilitarized zone where nothing could be grown, and we knew ahead of time that the Syrians would shoot. If they didn't shoot, we would tell the tractor to move deeper [into the DMZ], until the Syrians got mad eventually and fired on it. And then we would activate artillery, and later on the air force. [...]

      Rami Tal: I am quite stunned by what you are saying. And for what was all this?

      DAYAN: Well, looking back, I can't say there was a well-defined strategic conception on this issue. Generally speaking, I'll tell you this. When the War of Independence ended, we signed armistice agreements with the Arabs. We were smart enough to understand that these agreements were not peace agreements, but we were not smart enough to understand that the armistice agreements that had been signed under the auspices of the UN and which were supported by the great powers . . . were very serious agreements that form something with a significant political value.

      What do I want to say by this? We thought then, and it lasted for a long time, that we canchange the armistice lines by a series of military operations that are less than war, that is, to snatch some territory and hold on to it until the enemy would give up on it.

      Zeev Maoz, "Defending the Holy Land: A Critical Analysis of Israel's Security and Foreign Policy " (emphasis added)

      Basically, Israel was slowly but surely creating a crisis with Syria by provoking incidents along the border with the ultimate purpose of grabbing land .

      At a deep level, three key factors created a historical vector toward war:

      1) Israel was absolutely not willing to accept the '49 armistice lines as a permanent border and wished to grab more of "Eretz Israel".

      2) The Arab states were not willing to accept an expansionist Zionist state.

      3) There was a substantial power asymmetry between Israel and the Arab states (accentuated by Israel's decision to embark on a nuclear weapons project in the early 1960's, aided by France et al.).

      Israel had the power to expand and it chose to do so via various methods, including war.

  • Palestinian Authority to hold questionable 'supplementary' elections in Gaza
    • Bent Eastlake: no different from someone being rude to your wife or daughter in western countries

      That comment strikes me as sexist. YMMV


      The West Bank, which has a mixed population of Muslims and Christians, has traditionally been more relaxed during Ramadan and Christian-owned restaurants and businesses remain open in cities such as Ramallah and Bethlehem.

      But that could be about to change. Palestinian Authority prosecutor Alaa Tamimi said last week that anyone breaking the fast could face a month in prison. Palestinian law, amended in 2011 but which dates back to Jordanian rule in the 1960s, dictates that those caught breaking the fast are to be jailed for a month, or fined $21.

      Following Tamimi’s statement, as reported in Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, Palestinian police arrested a man in the northern West Bank town of Tubas for breaking the fast and another three men in Hebron for eating in a public place. A police statement said its officers had detained the three for “paying no respect to the feelings of those fasting.”

      Tamimi’s statement, and the arrests, have exposed tensions in Palestinian society between the religious and the secular. Nur Odeh, a former Palestinian government spokeswoman, posted her opposition to the Ramadan law on Facebook.

      “The Palestinian state’s declaration of independence stipulates specifically that Palestine respects freedom of religion and freedom of expression. So what’s your explanation for implementing a law that, based on an ancient edict, allows the arrest of anyone who breaches the fast?” she wrote, according to Haaretz.

      “Don’t you think such a law infringes on freedom of religion and freedom of others’ religion and faith? Should the Palestinian police use their resources and personnel to make arrests for breaking a law that opposes the principles of the Palestinians’ declaration of independence? I know you’re not the legislator, but you have the power to set priorities regarding the law’s implementation.”


      I can't fault eljay for siding with Nur Odeh and the principles of freedom of religion and expression enshrined in Palestine's Declaration of Independence.

      Of course, freedoms should be exercised wisely and with with respect for others--that's not in question. But respect is a two-way street.

    • Bont Eastlake: So any offense, intentional or not towards religion naturally touches the deepest most volatile places in their psyche [..]. It’s evokes a primal, biological response thats hard to be rationalised with words.

      True enough.


      "A mob beat a Pakistani student to death at his university campus on Thursday after he was accused of sharing blasphemous content on social media, university and police officials said.

      A group of about 10 students shouted "Allahu Akbar" during the attack on fellow student Mashal Khan, who was stripped naked and beaten with planks until his skull caved in as other students looked on, video obtained by Reuters showed."


      So I suggest we approach this matter with utmost sensitivity and empathy for all parties involved.

      Yes, including the victims.

    • We believe that eljay has made some excellent points about "supremacist constructs".

    • Bont Eastlake: If you have to know the internationally recognised universal laws and human rights to critic Israeli action..[ETC.]


      Stop the pompous strawmanning. It's really obvious, it's really stupid, and it wastes everyone's time.

    • @Bont Eastlake

      Eljay was merely expressing his opinion; he wasn't "dictating" to anyone.

      Their country, their laws.

      True, but no country is immune to criticism based on universal human rights and ethical standards.

      We don’t oppose Israel for being Jewish, we do because of the Nakba, its apartheid laws, its war crimes...

      Who is "we"? You only speak for yourself.

      Ethnic cleansing, genocide, apartheid, war crimes--these crimes are all defined by universal law which transcends the laws of individual states. The notion of "their country, their laws" has validity only to a point; no country is above international law and human rights critique--Palestine included.

      If you think Palestinian law and the actions of Palestinian police in this case are consistent with universal human rights and ethics, then you need to argue it on that basis, not by a spurious appeal to the glib phrase "their country, their laws." Alternately, you could argue against the validity of universal human rights and ethics altogether, but then you will need to explain on what basis you criticize Israeli laws and actions.

      With all due respect, you come off as a highly opinionated person with highly incoherent opinions, and instead of trying to defend them with facts/logic, you resort to cheap rhetoric and personal attacks.

  • Through 'severe pressure,' U.S. can impose a two-state solution on Israel -- Nathan Thrall
    • Donald Johnson: I was speaking specifically about the belief that with a little jawboning the Israelis would gladly accept a 2 ss along 67 lines

      Btw, I don't think many U.S. officials actually hold such a belief. "A little jawboning", "gladly accept"-- that seems like gross hyperbole to me.

      In any case, recent U.S. proposals allowed for major settlement blocs to be annexed by Israel; Israel to maintain a long-term military presence in the Jordan valley; Palestine to be a demilitarized state; no effective right of return, etc.--i.e. the U.S. proposed terms much more favorable to Israel than simply "a 2ss along 67 lines."

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