Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2288 (since 2012-06-23 07:13:37)

Showing comments 2288 - 2201

  • Thank you, Chief Rabbi. Now I know: Judaism is to blame for the Nakba
    • …one can no more separate it from Judaism than separate the City of London from Great Britain.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

      link to

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

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

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


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

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

      link to

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

  • The Making of Israel: Zionist settler colonialism in historic Palestine
    • talknic: ...citing the Armistice Agreements, specifically the Armistice Demarcation Line is not to “be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary”

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

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

      link to

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

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

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

      link to

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

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

      [emphasis added]


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

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

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

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

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

      link to

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

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

      [emphasis added]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      link to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      You can't have it both ways.


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

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

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

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

      The argument is clear and logical:

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

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

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

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

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

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

      As Hostage described it:

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

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

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

      link to

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

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

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

      Frankly, that's a straw man.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      link to


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

      link to

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

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

      do not make a big effort on my account,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Are you familiar with those proposals?

      "How to Connect the West Bank and Gaza Strip"

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

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

      link to

      One proposal. Check out the graphics.

      "The Rand Palestinian Initiative"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      link to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • David Gerald Fincham:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


      You cannot get peace unless you have justice.

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

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

    • @shakur420.

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

      I hope you stick around to follow this thread.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      link to

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Silamcuz writes:

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

      That's quite an ideological stance. Bravo!!

      What is the name of your people?

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

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

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

    • “silamcuz” uses so much circular logic

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

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

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

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

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

      And both are correct.

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

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

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

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

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

      link to

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

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

      The UNSCOP explains, quoting Balfour:

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

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

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

      link to

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

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

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

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

      [emphasis added]

      link to

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

      link to


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

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

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

      link to


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

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

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

      link to


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

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

      link to

  • It is time to stop celebrating Jewish dissent in the Palestine solidarity movement
    • Annie Robbins: f the elite. they already know what we think.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Take for instance an example Nada presented:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      link to

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

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

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

    • Shmuel: that is precisely where I disagree.

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

      Political solutions are, at present, not realistic.

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

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

      Like what???

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

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

      nor do I consider ending the occupation a pragmatic goal

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

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

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

      **Ending the occupation requires a political solution.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    • @Shmuel

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

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

      That's true, as well.

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

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

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

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

      Finkelstein wrote:

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

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

    • Shmuel: The last three articles are indeed vague

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Great. Douglas Rushkoff speaks for Jews and Judaism

      link to

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


      link to

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


      Confirmation needed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      link to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      In any case, more diversion.

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

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

      link to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • silamacuz: What American people?

      So YOU say there is no American people.

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

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

      What is the name of your people?

    • silamcuz: ... the USA is as much of an enemy to her people as Israel is.

      The USA is an enemy to the American people?

      Or do you mean the U.S. government?

  • Another interview on Israeli TV
    • echinococcus: we are not discussing your theories of peace and general sweetness


      Yes, because I have no theory of "peace and general sweetness", your straw man notwithstanding.

      My position has always been that the "peace process" has been a total fraud from beginning to end.

      My position has always been that Israel will never voluntarily seek any kind of compromise or reasonable solution-- Israel will have to be forced to comply with international law.

      My archives are open. My record is clear.

    • echinococcus: That was a relatively recent change of bylaws (the addition of “in 1967”)

      No. The change was made around 2010, some six years ago.

      operated in silence

      No. Everything done openly and published in full view.

      and without any wide consultation

      No. The issue of the meaning of "occupied lands" was openly discussed at the time and the consensus within the BDS movement was that a clarification was needed.

      You've been trying to spin this as a Zionist conspiracy, but the simple reality is: BDS does not take a position on whether there should be one or two states in the I/P territory.

      The demand that Israel end its "occupation and colonization of all Arab lands " (the original wording) could easily be interpreted as call for the end of Israel and the creation of a single Arab Palestinian state. So that wording was changed to reflect BDS' principled avoidance of the one vs. two state issue. Ending the occupation of "Arab lands occupied in June 1967" does not rule out the subsequent creation of a single state--but it doesn't demand it.

      Furthermore, a central aspect of the BDS strategy is to embrace a "rights-based" approach founded on international law, and international law recognizes only territory captured in June 1967 as "Occupied Palestinian Territory." Thus, the revision of the first demand was necessary in order to bring it in line with international law and strengthen the credibility of the "rights-based" strategy.

      Crucially, both Omar Barghouti and Ali Abunimah have stated that the overwhelming majority of Palestinian organizations backing BDS support the goal of two states .

      See Abunimah’s article, “Why do Zionists falsely claim BDS movement opposes two-state solution?”

      [February 2013] […] any informed person would know that the vast majority of organizations represented on the Palestinian Boycott National Committee (BNC) – the movement’s steering group and collective leadership – explicitly support a two-state solution. You can see a list of organizations that currently make up the BNC.

      Omar Barghouti makes this point in his book BDS: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights:

      While individual BDS activists and advocates may support diverse political solutions, the BDS movement as such does not adopt any specific formula and steers away from the one-state-versus-two-states debate , focusing instead on universal rights and international law, which constitute the solid foundation of the Palestinian consensus around the campaign.

      Incidentally, most networks, unions, and political parties in the BNC still advocate a two-state solution outside the realm of the BDS movement. (pages 51-52) [emphasis added]

      link to

      So, the BDS now and always has:

      1) Taken an "agnostic" position on one vs two states.

      2) Adopted a "rights-based" approach based on international law.

      The official BDS platform embodies that strategy. And it's been a very successful strategy. All changes to the platform wording have come as a result of open discussion within the BDS community.

      Obviously, that approach is not compatible with your moral purism, so you have resorted to propagating false conspiracy theories.

      [echinococcus:] [...]the BDS movement is Zionist-infested, partly Zionist-led...


      BDS is being used for the intended purpose of saving the Zionist entity, by the "liberal" Zionists and the tribals of JVP

      Whenever you have been asked to back up those claims and similar ones, you fall silent. Because you have zero evidence.

    • samibedouin: but finally what this Rotchilds wants? She wants a lovely peaceful “israel” where her fellow jews live happily ever and after...


      That attack is baseless and unfair. Whatever you may think of her political ideas, in her writings and in her work, Alice Rothchild demonstrates a deep and sincere concern for the well-being and happiness of all people, not just "fellow Jews".

      In fact, she condemns the very kind of Jewish tribalism you suggest she embraces:

      Until Israelis are willing to confront Jewish exceptionalism, then Jim Crow in Israel, (segregated towns and cities and schools and opportunity), and apartheid everywhere else, will continue

      What is to be gained from mischaracterizing her views?

    • echinococcus: The ongoing occupation of which territories, since when? 11/47, 48, 67?

      In the glossary to her book "Broken Promises, Broken Dreams", Alice Rothchild adopts the established legal definition of Occupied Palestinian Territory:

      ""Occupied Territories: Gaza Strip, West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israel took control of these territories in the 1967 War

      link to

      That position, of course, would be consistent with her strong support for the BDS movement which calls for Israel to withdraw from Palestinian territory occupied in 1967 .

      I think you can reasonably assume that she’s not on board with your predicted “Algerian-type solution” brought about by “general war" and “regional conflagration”, nor with the de facto ethnic cleansing of Jewish Zionist invaders after the Zionist entity has been (it is dreamed) militarily defeated and destroyed.

      As a BDS movement supporter, she clearly belongs in your “gross defeatist” category (or she is in fact just another Liberal Zionist whose program, rhetoric aside, is no different “from that of the Kahanes and Goldmans”)

      Surely, this brave, brilliant, fiercely-committed fighter for humanist values needs to be, as you say, “booed out” -- loudly and furiously by every self-respecting moral purist on the planet ( who will be assisted, no doubt, by more than a few Zionists and crypto-Zionists.)

      Correct me if I am wrong.

  • Clinton's Passover message about 'fighting oppression' is highly selective
    • Emory Riddle: She did not write this an almost certainly does not believe this. This passage was written for her by a Zionist.

      Hillary IS a Zionist. Heart and soul. And an deeply devout, life-long Christian. She could very well believe every word of it.

  • The end of apartheid in Israel will not destroy the country, it can only improve it
    • talknic: indigenous peoples included in the legitimate citizens of a territory are not excluded from the same right to self determination as their fellow citizens.

      Yes. And see the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples I mentioned above.

    • talknic: The ICJ only answers the specific question/s they were asked. Meanwhile link to

      Thanks. It seems we agree on all points here.

    • @talknic

      I just searched the ICJ "Wall" opinion, and I cannot find a single reference to "indigenous" rights or anything related. (Of course, it's possible the search missed something.) Under international law, Palestinian rights to self-determination and a sovereign state on their own territory are in no way based on concepts of indigenous peoples' rights.

      There is no backing whatsoever for echinococcus' assertion that the "indigenous people" of Palestine have a right to sovereignty over the entire Israel/Palestine territory. And there is no backing whatsoever for the idea that legal citizens of Israel--Jewish and non-Jewish--do not have their own rights to citizenship, equality, etc, within Israel's internationally recognized borders.

      Are you agreeing with Echinooccus' claim that under international law " sovereignty over the territory belongs to the indigenous people, invaders and their offspring are not to be counted. "

      I've seen zero evidence put forward to support that contention. Just imagine if such a principle had to be applied globally.

    • 1960 was indeed a watershed, “which specifically repudiated many of the basic assumptions in earlier instruments, like the UN Charter.”

      Correction: I meant to write "the Colonial Independence Declaration of 1960 was indeed a watershed. "

    • talknic: A) The phrase used was “legitimate inhabitants” and refers to the colonization of existing states

      Actually, echinococcus used the term "indigenous" multiple times

      "the territory belongs to the indigenous people"

      "the sovereignty of the indigenous peoples over their own territory"

      as did George Smith, McHughes 976 and others. If you read over the article and subsequent comments, it will be clear that the rights of indigenous peoples/inhabitants has been a central focus of discussion.

      B) Colonialism by any means of coercive measure force was condemned long before 1960.

      Notice, I wrote "effectively condemned" , the word "effectively" being critical to the assertion. And I was referring specifically to international law. Some history:

      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.

      On 14 December it was adopted without changes, by 89 votes to 0, with 9 abstentions,258 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"


      So, I stand by my assertion that:

      Colonialism was not effectively condemned in international law until the 1960’s, and there has never been any legal imperative for sovereignty over the territory of settler-colonialist states to be placed solely in the hands of “indigenous inhabitants.

      As the author above pointed out, 1960 was indeed a watershed, "which specifically repudiated many of the basic assumptions in earlier instruments, like the UN Charter."

      I'm open, of course, to opposing arguments.

      [talknic:] C) you then switch to the formation of states via decolonization

      I'm not sure what your complaint is. Echinococcus has been framing the formation of a Palestinian state in the language of decolonization , and I have been responding to that.

      Echinococcus wrote:

      If we accept the bedrock principle that sovereignty over the territory belongs to the indigenous people...

      I pointed out that there was no such “bedrock principle” in international law. I stand by that.

      I will grant you that the legal issues surrounding the principle of self-determination are indeed confusing--the concepts are ill-defined and the law is in many ways contradictory.

    • Antidote: The debate whether SA was better off during or after Apartheid is ongoing.

      SA's problems aren't the result of the demise of political Apartheid; they are the result, for the most part, of an imposed neoliberal economic regime that has maintained, if not worsened, a structure of gross economic and social inequality.

      Cf. Ronnie Kasrils, "How the ANC's Faustian pact sold out South Africa's poorest"

      link to

      Patrick Bond, "Why South Africa should undo Mandela’s economic deals"

      link to

    • echinococcus: The law of nations has confirmed, at least during much if not all of the 20th century, that the sovereignty over any territory belongs to its legitimate inhabitants (excluding the colonial invaders.)

      You apparently have a highly inflated and illusory idea about "the law of nations".

      Colonialism was not effectively condemned in international law until the 1960's, and there has never been any legal imperative for sovereignty over the territory of settler -colonialist states to be placed solely in the hands of "indigenous inhabitants."


      In practice and in different texts, there has always been a request for a valid plebiscite

      No, not true at all. The attitude toward plebiscites has varied enormously since the principle of self-determination was first promulgated, and in most all cases plebiscites have been used by existing powers to legitimize sovereignty arrangements only after the fact .

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

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

      The division of colonial territories into sovereign states had even less to do with democracy.Normally, it was carried out according to the principle of uti possidetis, by simply adopting the external and sometimes also the internal colonial borders as the international frontiers of the new independent states. Plebiscites were held only in rare cases, and these frequently had the character of confirmations of independence, and not of decisions for independence.

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

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

      [echinococcus:] If we accept the bedrock principle that sovereignty over the territory belongs to the indigenous people,

      There is no such "bedrock principle" in international law. (Anyone is free, of course, to posit it as a moral principle).

      Certainly, indigenous rights have been increasingly promulgated in international declarations and documents, for example, in the legally non-binding 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which calls for protection of indigenous rights to equality, limited local autonomy, culture, identity, language, employment, health, education etc.

      But, rightly or wrongly, those rights have NOT included a right to political sovereignty over territory.

      The first decolonization did not bring the indigenous population self-determination , but rather predominantly only the European settlers and those of European descent and at the most small groups of indigenous and somewhat larger ones of mulattoes and freed slaves. […]

      The objection could be made in the same way for the second decolonization: While the main winners were the local populations, these were not the original indigenous peoples, whose rights only became an issue mostly decades after the formal decolonization. [emphasis added]

      Jörg Fisch, "The Right of Self-Determination of Peoples"


      [echinococcus:]... statements about the inviolability of the principle of self determination of the peoples [...] is not compatible with allowing invaders to use their offspring as human shields.

      Where in international law do find the notion that indigenous peoples have the right to deny rights to or expel "offspring "of colonialist invaders who have been legal citizens of an internationally recognized state?

      Quotations please.

    • George Smith: Does s/he want the right of return to be accompanies by an ethnic cleansing of “non-indigenous” Jews?

      Yes he does. (But, of course, it would be up to the victorious Palestinians, he assures us.)

      Does s/he want those Jews to be relegated to second-class citizenship as punishment for the Nakba?

      According to echinococcus, after the Zionist entity has been militarily defeated, those Zionist invaders who hadn't already fled would have their citizenship and associated rights suspended; whether or not and to what degree they might be reinstated would depend on:

      a free decision by all Palestinians as represented by a generally and expressly designated body and in the absence of duress or occupation. Not being Palestinian I [echinococcus] cannot presume to decide or recommend. [which is what he just did and continually does]

      link to

      [George Smith:] s/he parts company with all but a fringe of the global anti-Zionist movement, and with basic demands of justice


  • Thousands of Israelis fill Tel Aviv's Rabin Square in support for soldier who executed Palestinian
    • Mooser: “Sibiriak” are you making the assumption that the Jewish fad for Zionism will not pass? I think it will.


      No, I'm not making that assumption at all--though I'd say it's more than a "fad", and that Jewish Zionism (including its American expression) is not fully coterminous with Israeli-Jewish ultra-nationalism, racism and religious extremism.

    • gamal: ...the current dispensation in the middle east its the freedom from bloody war.


      Bloody war. And a fine "solution" it is indeed (for dispensationalists).

    • echinococcus: What is being criticized and compared to that situation is the gross defeatism of both the colonialist camp then and Sibiriak now. If blowing that analogy up to the point of identifying a totally different situation with the one now at hand is not the maximum of all possible sophistry, one wonders what is.

      The fact is, echinococcus has repeatedly drawn analogies between Palestine and Algeria that go far beyond simply comparing degrees of "defeatism" in various camps.

      A few examples (emphasis added):

      [echinococcus:] Of course the solution will come by general war , as long as the Zionists are Zionists, i.e. crazy fanatics. Look at all the war of liberation it took to free even Algeria --where there wasn't any such cult craziness, only colonial interest.

      * * * * *

      That the majority of the Zionist Herrenvolk will flee the restoration of Palestinian sovereignty or fight it to the death is obvious. That, even in the optimistic case of the Palestinians offering citizenship to all the Herrenvolk population (which they are not obliged to do in any case.)

      We have a model to study very seriously, much more relevant than South Africa: that is Algeria.

      * * * * *

      It looks like the point where they could limit the damage is long gone. The frightening thought suggested by the conditions is that an Algeria-type solution may also be already too optimistic for the Zionist entity.

      * * * * *

      All I can say is that, while there is one known case of a miracle in South Africa, thanks to an unimaginable degree of maturity on both sides, things are known to have developed very differently too, as in Algeria. The way the cookie is crumbling in Palestine is not encouraging at all, as an extreme degree of war and violence looks more and more probable

      * * * *

      Algeria was a resounding success: it got rid of an extremely well-entrenched colonial Herrenvolk, not only formally.

      The only reason for the horrendous bloodshed was the pigheadedness of the colonialists. The silver lining was that they were scared stiff and left the country (where they had way, way deeper roots than the Herrenvolk occupying Palestine.)

      Now consider that the racial supremacist occupiers of Palestine are obviously much worse in racism and pigheadedness than the French colonialists in Algeria --and scared much worse.

      If and when conditions realign themselves, all this promises a war of never-seen levels of Zionist barbarism and a reestablishment of Palestine as a single state.


      Echinococcus is, of course, free to dream about an Algerian-style full-scale bloody-war solution, but the burden is on him is to show how how such a solution is at all possible --and in fact desirable--in the case of Palestine. It's not sophistry to ask him to do that.

      What is sophistry is to frame a false choice wherein anything less than total acceptance of echino's Algerian-style solution is characterized as "gross defeatism".

    • echinococcus: You sound exactly like the wall-to-wall propaganda for Algérie française that used to fill to overflow all the right-thinking publications and radio talks and meetings when I was a kid.

      Are you still clinging to the delusion that Palestine is Algeria? When do you predict the decisive guerilla war against the colonists will begin?

    • And now that you have confirmed (in your mind) the only possible future "solution", your work as a moral purist is over. You may retire in peace.

    • Doesn't bode well for the feasibility/desirability of a 1SS.

  • 'Say Hello to Zenobia': A report from Palmyra rising from the ashes
    • lproyect: I take it that you believe in the efficacy of dropping barrel bombs...

      And predictably, when the going get rough, even the feeblest pretense of critical thinking is tossed aside and out come the the imperialist think-tank-manufactured talking points.

      Propaganda Buzz Phrase

      But it’s really all par for the course. Whenever propagandists develop their “themes” for a conflict, they look for certain “hot button” phrases that make the behavior of a “black-hatted enemy” appear particularly venal. “Barrel bomb” has become the propaganda buzz phrase of choice associated with the Syrian conflict.

      Yet, it seems likely this clumsy, improvised weapon supposedly dropped from helicopters would be far less lethal than rocket-propelled bombs delivered from afar by jet planes or drones, the approach favored by the U.S. government and its “allies.”

      Civilians would have a much better chance to seek safety in a bomb shelter before some “barrel bomb” is shoved out the door of a helicopter than when a sophisticated U.S.-made bomb arrives with little or no warning, as apparently happened to the victims of that wedding in Yemen.

      And that is not to mention the U.S. bombs that involve depleted uranium, napalm, phosphorous and cluster munitions, which present other humanitarian concerns. However, while U.S.-assisted or U.S.-directed slaughters of civilians attract little attention in the mainstream U.S. media, there are endless denunciations of the Syrian government’s “barrel bombs.”

      The propaganda drumbeat is such that the American people are told that they must support “regime change” in Syria even if it risks opening the gates of Damascus to a victory by the Islamic State and Al Qaeda terrorists.

      This odd “humanitarian” equation, tallied up by the State Department and “human-rights” NGOs, holds that to secure revenge for Syria’s alleged use of “barrel bombs,” the world must accept the possibility of the black flag of Sunni terrorism flying over a major Mideast capital while its streets would run red with the blood of Christians, Alawites, Shiites and other “heretics.”

      Then, apparently, the United States would have little choice but to lead a massive expeditionary force into Syria to oust the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, ensuring the deaths of hundreds of thousands more innocents and sending millions more fleeing into a destabilized Europe.

      But such is the power of propaganda in managing public perceptions. Use a phrase like “barrel bomb” over and over again as if it is a uniquely evil weapon when, in fact, it is far less lethal and destructive than the ordnance that the United States routinely deploys or hands out to its “allies” like candy on Halloween. Soon the people lose all perspective and are open to manipulation. [See’s “The Power of False Narrative.”]

      Once the U.S. public is softened up with the propaganda and psy-ops also known as “strategic communications” or Stratcom the only acceptable option is “regime change” in Syria even if that prospect holds the likelihood of a far worse human catastrophe.

      By hearing “barrel bomb” enough times, the judgment of American citizens is clouded and any practical suggestion for a realistic political settlement of Syria’s conflict is deemed “appeasement” of a tyrant , which was the clear message of President Obama’s UN tirade.

      And, thus, the killing continues; the chaos grows worse. [emphasis added]

      Excerpt from Robert Parry's "Obama’s Ludicrous ‘Barrel Bomb’ Theme"

      link to

    • Austin Branion: found myself visiting less and less as the Assad apologists started getting published

      The moment you use the insulting, demonizing, slanderous pet epithet of neo-con propagandists-- "Assad apologist"--- you make it clear that your aim is to attack and defame rather than inform or persuade. Fact: the author of this article is not "apologizing" for the Assad regime.

      Jeff Klein writes:

      I am no apologist for Assad, but in my opinion the main threat is now foreign intervention and the possibility of an Islamist regime imposed on Syria.

      I think all of us here would be open to a substantial, fact-based counter-argument. Why don't you drop the name-calling and give it a shot?

Showing comments 2288 - 2201