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Total number of comments: 1967 (since 2012-06-23 07:13:37)

Showing comments 1967 - 1901

  • 'Let the one-state era begin'-- Tom Friedman explains there will never be a Palestinian state
    • David Doppler: What bothers me about the turn to the one state solution is the sheer illegality of it.


      To be accurate, Friedman never refers to a one-state solution . He's talking about a civil war:

      It will involve a steady low-grade civil war between Palestinians and Israelis and a growing Israeli isolation in Europe and on college campuses that the next U.S. president will have to navigate.

      On one level, whether you describe it as a war (two-states de jure, one occupied) or a civil war (one state de facto, no occupation any longer) makes little difference.

      But as you point out, on the level of international law it makes a big difference.

  • Nobody cares that Bernie Sanders is Jewish
    • Annie Robbins: i don’t agree. take the amish for example. while, as a group, they have carved out a place for themselves in american society, that place is not one in which they fully assimilates with the society surrounding it.

      Good point, and I agree completely. My brief comment on "assimilation" obviously needed to be further developed.

      As I just wrote to Keith: "assimilation” in a multicultural society means you can function smoothly and normally in most social contexts, you don’t isolate yourself completely, you can speak an official national language, you are are not widely viewed as abnormal or alien, etc.–but it doesn’t mean you have to abandon your ethno/cultural/religious etc. identity. (A full definition would need much more exposition, but that's the gist of it.)

      Recall that the original question was: are folks like Dennis Ross, Elliot Abrams, Victoria Nuland, Robert Kagan, and David Brooks “fully assimilated” into America’s democratic multicultural society.

      I said yes. Obviously, there is no comparison there to the Amish or other "non-assimilated" communities, is there?

      It seems they easily meet the minimal demands of being "assimilated". The question then becomes are they "fully assimilated" , which implies there is some attainable state of maximal "assimilation." That gets dicey for me.

      Nobody took up the challenge to define criteria for maximal assimilation in America. If someone does, then are they going to set up a hierarchy of " assimilation", with some groups at the top, some in the middle, some at the bottom?

      I accept your point that a minimal standard is necessary --but beyond that,imo, a whole lot of ethno/cultural/religious identification is fully compatible with "assimilation".

    • Keith : Since a primary goal of Zionism is to prevent assimilation, then you believe that Zionism has been a colossal failure?

      Zionism has been fairly successful in creating/maintaining a secular Jewish identity and secular/religious Jewish solidarity.

      My point is that the criteria for "assimilation" is quite different in multicultural America than it was when the term "assimilated Jew" became prominent.

      Then, "assimilation" meant losing a strong Jewish identity and blending in with a singular dominant national culture/religion. Today, in America, you can have a strong ethnic/cultural/religious identity and still be "assimilated", because ethno/cultural/religious diversity is the norm in a multicultural society.

      "Assimilation" in a multicultural society means you can function smoothly and normally in most social contexts, you don't isolate yourself completely, you can speak an official national language, you are are not widely viewed as abnormal or alien, etc.--but it doesn't mean you have to abandon your ethno/cultural/religious etc. identity.

      The question was: are folks like Dennis Ross, Elliot Abrams, Victoria Nuland, Robert Kagan, and David Brooks "fully assimilated" into America's democratic multicultural society. I say yes. If they are not assimilated, then who else is not?


      That the overwhelming support for Israel among Zionist Jews is compatible with complete assimilation?

      Yes. (I don't particularly like the term "complete assimilation")
      Is overwhelming support for Israel by a non-Jewish citizen compatible with complete assimilation?

      That the astounding success of power-seeking Zionist Jews is simply the result of individual meritocracy, Jewish kinship favoritism a negligible factor?


      That Jewish opinion of Gentiles is, on average, roughly equivalent to Gentile opinion of Jews?

      No. But "Jewish opinion" is not monolithic.

    • @Annie Robbins

      See: link to

      Minor event. The only reason I remember it well is because of quip by the inimitable gamal:

      but whats even worse is an Ashkanzi Knight riding a gamal, there are no countermeasures. Entitled and boorish, the ultimate solecism

    • Annie Robbins: the gun lobby almost always gets whatever they want...

      Wall Street lobbyists have a pretty good track record as well; as does the MIC.

    • broadside: Annie has a valid point, there are degrees of assimilation.

      Of course, processes have degrees. But the question I raised is: assimilation to what? What standard? A single standard? Can you precisely define it? I don't think the term is all that useful any more. It's anachronistic.

      Annie wrote: "the idea someone would reject the notion of marrying a non jew means they are not fully assimilated "

      Okay, a European- American who won't marry a non-European-American; an African American who won't marry a non-African-American; a Christian who won't marry a non-Christian-- are all these folks "not fully assimilated"?

      Who then IS "fully assimilated"-- what's the standard?


      In Assimilation in American Life, Milton Gordon defined assimilation as a continuum, with the first stage acculturation, that is, the adoption of such outward cultural forms of the larger society as language, dress, recreational tastes, and political views.

      Total assimilation is possible only if the host society is receptive and extensive intermarriage takes place (at its most in former European colonies with a divisive black-white line, which allowed Jews to be seen as part of the desirable white element and where miscegenation was hardly a taboo).

      Most European and American Jews acculturated, but they rarely lost their sense of Jewish identity. They most frequently abstained from what Gordon called "structural assimilation," the creation of friendships and other contacts primarily with members of the host society.

      * * *
      Milton Myron Gordon (born October 3, 1918) is an American sociologist. He is most noted for having devised a theory on the Seven Stages of Assimilation...

      1. Acculturation: newcomers adopt language, dress, and daily customs of the host society (including values and norms).
      2. Structural assimilation: large-scale entrance of minorities into cliques, clubs and institutions in the host society.
      3.Marital assimilation: widespread intermarriage.
      4.Identification assimilation: the minority feels bonded to the dominant culture.
      5.Attitude reception assimilation refers to the absence of prejudice .
      6.Behavior reception assimilation refers to the absence of discrimination.
      7.Civic assimilation occurs when there is an absence of values and power struggles.

      link to
      link to

      I don't think any of that is really applicable to contemporary multicultural America. It's is entirely misguided, imo, to view religious Jews or any other ethnic/cultural/religious etc.identity group as some kind of "unassimilated" or "partially assimilated" guest group in a "host society."

    • Annie Robbins: ...still have no idea what you are referencing


      The "Ashkenazi knight" affair, I presume.

    • broadside: Assimilate: “to bring into conformity with the customs, attitudes, etc., of a group, nation, or the like; adapt or adjust”

      You’re suggesting Americans, as a group, believe the state of Israel is the center of human existence?


      Americans have lots of crazy insane ideas. All kinds. Multicultural! Some 50 million Christian Zionists think events in Israel are key to human salvation.

      So, hell yeah! Those guys are fully assimilated.

    • In a democratic multicultural society, being assimilated doesn't mean abandoning or downplaying ethnic/cultural/religious/etc. identities.

    • Ossinev : Meanwhile Haaretz reports: “Clinton to Attack Sanders on Israel Record After New Hampshire Defeat..."

      * * *
      So as a priority Mrs Clinton thinks that she has to target the Jewish voters ?


      She will no doubt be aiming at the great many non-Jewish Israel supporters as well.

      Cf. Pew Research (2014):

      "Strong support for Israel in U.S. cuts across religious lines"

      Pew Research surveys find that similar shares of Christians (29%) and Jews (31%) say the U.S. is not supportive enough of Israel. Among white evangelical Protestants, nearly half (46%) say that the U.S. is not providing enough support for Israel.

      When asked whether God gave Israel to the Jewish people, more Christians (55%) than Jews (40%) say yes (although virtually all of the discrepancy is explained by Jews’ lower levels of belief in God overall). And the share of white evangelicals saying that God gave Israel to the Jews (82%) is on par with the percentage of Orthodox Jews who believe this (84%).

      * * *
      When it comes to the long-standing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, asked whether they sympathize with either side, 72% of white evangelicals sided with Israel in the dispute while 4% picked the Palestinians, according to a March 2013 survey.

      Among U.S. adults overall, 49% sympathized more with Israel and 12% with the Palestinians. Half (50%) of white evangelicals said there is no way for Israel and an independent Palestinian state to coexist peacefully, a view held by just a third (33%) of U.S. Jews and 41% of the general public.

      link to

  • In yet another effort to revive dream of Jewish sovereignty, 'NYT' cites Thai restaurants in Tel Aviv
    • hophmi: ...European Christians to protect their Jewish populations. It’s a thoroughly discredited idea....

      European Christians protecting their Jewish populations is indeed a discredited idea--as is the idea of Israeli Jews protecting their Arabs.

    • The return of the Jewish people to their biblical homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty there have always carried within them the displacement of those already living on the land.

      "Those already living on the land"-- a people that cannot be named.

      A people on "the land"--not their homeland .

      A people just living there, along with the rest of the native flora and fauna--not building, not making the desert bloom, not aspiring to the majesty of "sovereignty" or the magnificence of restored Biblical greatness.

      A people subject to displacement --like an object blocking the highway that must moved.

      A people without history.

      A people with no name.

  • Did 'Hashomer Hatzair' shape Sanders's views on socialism and Israel?
    • Peter Feld: it would be interesting to know a few answers:

      Was Bernie Sanders on Kibbutz Sha’ar Ha’amakim as part of a Hashomer Hatzair leadership training program?

      Did Bernie Sanders, in fact, “grow up” in Hashomer Hatzair? Did he attend or work as a counselor at Camp Shomria? [ETC.]

      I may be in the minority here, but I'm not particularly interested in answers those kinds of questions, fascinating as the subject matter might be (what was the life of a counselor at Camp Shomria like?).

      I want full details on his current foreign policy views-- general principles, specific policies--and the kind of people he is likely to appoint to key positions.

  • BDS movement faces attack in six state legislatures
  • Anti-Zionist protest at LGBTQ conference was smeared as anti-Semitic
    • Dan Walsh: Zionism’s refusal to define the term “antisemitism"....

      I don't think the problem is one of definition, but of misapplication and abuse.

      "Anti-" simply means "against" or "opposed to". What follows refers to some group or belief-system associated with a group.

      If we accept that the term "semitic" in this context refers to Jews and Jewishness, the meaning of the term is not difficult or complex.

      You yourself wrote:

      whether or not the person/institution labeled antisemitic is actually engaged in anti-Jewish behavior... [emphasis added].

      And there you have it. Being anti-Semitic means being anti-Jewish.

      Of course, there can be various formulations and wordings. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a key component of the Zionist Lobby, defines anti-Semitism as:

      The belief or behavior hostile toward Jews just because they are Jewish.

      link to

      "Belief", "behavior" and "hostile" are pretty clear terms. "Just because they are Jewish" can be formulated in different ways.

      Merriam -Webster defines anti-Semitism as:

      hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group.

      You could substitute "Muslims", "Blacks", "Gays" (sexual orientation group) or whatever and get definitions of other forms of "anti-group hostility".

      So, if someone says that "anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism", the charge is that anti-Zionism is a form of hostility toward Jews as a group.

      And the problem with that charge is that it is false, logically and empirically, not that the meaning of the tern "anti-Semitism" can't be understood.

    • MHughes976 : Surely the 2 staters consider that the 2ss is their preferred way of creating freedom across the geographical area which has been called Palestine for so long?

      But that geographical area hasn't been called "Palestine" in some 67 years. Israel is on the map now, like it or not. And Palestine exists alongside Israel. It's under illegal occupation though.

      For Palestine to extend "from the river to the sea" now, today, Israel would have to disappear from the map.

      There is nothing "offensive" or anti-Semitic in calling for Israel to disappear from the map.

      I'm not sure how politically astute it is though.

    • MHughes976: seems we are easily made ashamed and come over all defensive when we so much as say that we want all Palestine to be free.

      Palestine is a recognized state, alongside Israel. Its declared borders are the pre-1967 borders-- recognized by some 193 states. Israel is an internationally recognized state as well, needless to say.

      It's great to say all of Palestine should be free. But what of Israel? Should Israel not be free as well? Especially and including its non-Jewish citizens?

      Are you at all defensive in saying BOTH Palestine AND Israel should be free?

      The people will be free from the river to the sea” is one thing.

      Palestine will be free from the river to the sea” is, however, quite another. Palestine no longer exists “from the river to the sea”.

      For Palestine to extend to the sea, Israel would have to cease to exist. But Israelis don’t want Israel to cease to exist. And Israelis have the right of self-determination within the territory of Israel just as Palestinians have the right of self-determination within the territory of Palestine. One can’t affirm the Palestinian right without affirming the Israeli right as well. (Not that you yourself would affirm such rights.)

      MHughes976: seems we are easily made ashamed and come over all defensive...

      It's not about being ashamed or defensive, it’s about not being politically tone-deaf.

      One of the reasons BDS has been so successful is its politically shrewd “rights-based approach.” It deliberately avoids rhetoric which could be interpreted, honestly or maliciously, as calling for the end of Israel. Smart move.

    • echinococcus" : Reading this principle, which applies to the official administration of BDS actions, as imposing a restriction or censorship on people who boycott the Zionist entity is, however, a typically Zionist reading.

      I absolutely agree that there should be no restriction or censorship (apart from on overt racism etc.)

      The BDS movement does not oppose a two-state solution; it cannot oppose any other action as long as it does not go diametrically against Palestinian rights.

      Or the rights of Israeli citizens as well. I certainly agree with that.

      And I commend you for your logical consistency. You openly call for the end of Israel by means of a "regional conflagration", and you openly claim the right of Palestinian Arabs, if they ever get power, to revoke the citizenship of any or all Zionist Jewish invaders and their descendants and have them expelled from Palestine.

      You reject two states as envisioned in the "international consensus"; AND you reject the idea of 1S1P1V wherein the current population of Israelis have equal rights with all other citizens.

      I would never suggest your advocacy of those positions be in anyway restricted, however counterproductive they may be.

      One thing is for sure--no committed Zionist would ever want you to shut up.

    • Perhaps one particular chant at the protests drove such strong disapproval, to the tune of challenging a deeply rooted and accomplished organization: “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea.” A superficial reading would invariably cause anyone who hears it to believe it means the destruction of Israel... [emphasis added]


      A chant or slogan better well function clearly and directly! What's the point of a slogan that requires some deep analysis and explanation to get out its real meaning which supposedly contradicts its straightforward surface meaning? If the surface meaning invariably suggests the end of Israel, then that meaning should be openly and unabashedly embraced. Or change the slogan.

      Of course, anyone has the right to chant for the liberation of Palestine and the end of Israel. It should be pointed out, though, that that contradicts the position of the BDS movement which deliberately and explicitly (and arguably, very wisely) takes no stand on one-state vs. two-states.

      BDS takes a "rights-based approach" based on international law , and international law only recognizes territory captured in June 1967 as "Occupied Palestinian Territory". Thus, the first BDS goal calls only for Israel to end the occupation of Arab lands occupied in 1967. The realization of equal rights within Israel is treated as a separate, distinct goal. Ending the occupation, obtaining equal rights within Israel, and realizing the rights of Palestinian refugees--all these BDS goals are compatible with a two-state outcome.

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

      link to

    • Not only is the charge of anti-Semitism unsophisticated...


      "Unsophisticated"?? How about totally false vile calumny; malicious hateful slander...

      "Unsophisticated" hardly describes the highly calculated, highly orchestrated campaign against Israel's critics.

  • 'New York Times' picks up Bernie Sanders's 'socialist' kibbutz but leaves out the ethnic cleansing
    • Philemon: I ain’t voting for either of ’em.

      Fine. But that won't prevent you from getting either or 'em, or a ferociously Zionist Republican.

      There is no viable anti-Zionist option in his election, so if you don't choose the lesser evil, you will surely get the greater evil.

    • Jackdaw: link to
      The book is "The Claim of Dispossession: Jewish Land-Settlement and the Arabs, 1878-1948" (1982), by Arieh L. Avneri.

      According to the Amazon description:

      He demonstrates that there is no historical evidence for the eviction of the Palestinians from Israel previous to the founding of the state. Most of those who left afterwards did so on their own volition. [emphasis addd]

      link to

      Needless to say, the fled on their own volition claim has been thoroughly debunked and constitutes Nakba denial.

  • Double standard seen as Israel sentences minors involved in Abu Khdeir murder to prison but no punitive measures
    • eljay:

      “We want to treat them as they treat any Palestinian, to demolish their houses, and withdraw their nationality, and to get a lifetime in prison..."

      Surely if it’s good enough for non-Jews, it’s good enough for Jews, yes?


      Alternately, if it's wrong for non-Jews, it's wrong for Jews.

      Shouldn't the goal be to get Israel to end house demolition etc., rather than than get Israel engage in house demolition without discrimination?

  • Bernie Sanders' spirituality is resonating with young religious 'None's
    • And in many cases, religion is like spirituality but you don't inhale.

      Religion without spirituality is dead. At its best, religion is organized spirituality. But everything organized becomes corrupt; it must be renewed again and again by spirit.

    • yonah fredman: Religion as an organizing principle may be abandoned, but what has replaced it is individualism, (read: atomization, everyone against everyone, instead of the all for one and one for all of Bernie Sanders), social darwinism, (as exemplified by Trump) survival of the fittest and not giving a shit.

      I detect a false dichotomy there. Either traditional organized religion OR atomization/social darwinism/apathy

  • Generational sea change within the Democratic party will also include policy towards Israel
    • yonah fredman: You want to hold hands and yuk it up with Charles Lindbergh apologists....

      Call me paranoid, but I suspect "Charles Lindbergh apologist" could be a euphemism for "anti-Semite" (100% toxic expression/ tends to cut off communication.)

    • Saw this headline this morning at HuffPost and had a fit of laughter:

      Hillary Clinton: Under Bernie Sanders' Definition, 'Obama's Not Progressive'!!

  • Biggest loser in Iowa was foreign policy
    • Kris: It is at least possible that Sanders will be fair to the Palestinians, while there isn’t a hope with Zionist-bought-and-paid-for Clinton.

      echinococcus sees Palestinian salvation coming through a "regional conflagration" set off by the U.S. and Israel.

      A regional conflagration in the ME may well lead to occupation and liquidation of the Zionist state and the establishment of an equal-rights Palestine

      link to

      a peaceful transition like, say, South Africa or the USSR has less chance than a snowball in hell. Not gonna happen. Same for the chances of the Resistance to force any change by itself. What will probably reshape it all is a regional conflagration provoked by Israel and the US.

      link to

      So, who would be more likely to provoke such a liberating event, Clinton or Sanders?

      As Lenin would say, worse before better.

    • Keith: and the economy will be predominantly a rentier economy defined by debt servitude.

      On the bright side, less production and consumption = less environmental destruction.

  • 'We are all Jews' -- the Holocaust as imperial export
    • rosross: There are no atheist or secular Jews.


      You're free, of course, to create your own definition of what a Jew is and then put forth tautologies based on it.

      But one else is forced to adopt your definitions.

      And your free to try to convince secular Jews that they are not Jews. Good luck.

      link to

    • rosross: Anyone who retains the label Jew for themselves is a member of the religion...

      So an atheistic Jew is a member of a theistic religion? That's some pretty fancy mental gymnastics!

  • Park Slope Food Coop puts up firewall against boycott of Israeli goods
    • talknic; . You are presuming that by default the territory is Israeli.

      No, I wasn't presuming anything. I simply quoted the ICJ opinion verbatim. The Court used the unequivocal expression “on the territory of Israel itself” when describing portions of the wall that were outside 1947 recommended partition borders but within the “Green Line.” See my previous post for the full quote.

      Btw, one question. Do you seriously claim that Israeli homes, settlements, cities etc. within in the "Green line" have the same status under international law as Israeli settlements across the "Green line"?

      I mean not that you can't construct a theory which says they should have the same status --illegal--but that the UNGA, UNSC and ICJ actually DO assign them the same status.

    • talknic: The ICJ statements define Occupied Palestinian Territories based on the Palestinian declaration of statehood...


      ICJ quotation? Which statehood declaration document? Thanks.

      In the meantime, I'll point out that in General Assembly resolution ES-10/14 which requestied the ICJ "Wall" opinion specifically cited UN res 181 as a "relevant" resolution along with many other resolutions and instruments of international law:

      Recalling relevant General Assembly resolutions, including resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, which partitioned mandated Palestine into two States, one Arab and one Jewish,

      Recalling also the resolutions of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly,

      Recalling further relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973,
      [etc. long list of resolutions][emphasis added]

      link to

      So the ICJ 's was in no way restricted to a Palestinian declaration of statehood as the basis for the definition of what constituted "Occupied Palestinian Territories" .

      The ICJ Wall opinion itself states:

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

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

      In order to determine the legal consequences of the Wall, the Court had to, among other things, determine the legal status of the territory involved. In doing so, the Court reviewed and analyzed the whole history of the territory, from the mandate, through UN res 181, the Armistice agreements up to the time of the Court case.

      The Court determined that the Wall was in Occupied Palestinian Territory ("Palestinian land") when it crossed over the "Green Line", and when it did not cross the "Green Line" it was in "Israeli territory".

      There is no indication that the Court based that legal determination simply on a Palestinian declaration of statehood, as you claim.

      With all due respect, that sounds like another ad hoc hypothesis conjured up to to deal with evidence that contradicts your legal theory.

      However, if you can quote the Court to back up your assertion, I'd certainly like to see it.

    • talknic: There are no statements actually affirming that it is the pre-1967 border (aka “Green Line”) which defines Israeli territories.


      Not true.

      Here are some examples from the 2004 International Court of Justice "Wall" case.


      “Gravely concerned at the commencement and continuation of construction by Israel, the occupying Power, of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, which is in departure from the Armistice Line of 1949 (Green Line)and which has involved the confiscation and destruction of Palestinian land and resources, the disruption of the lives of thousands of protected civilians and the de facto annexation of large areas of territory, and underlining the unanimous opposition by the international community to the construction of that wall”. [emphasis added]

      Palestinian land is on one side of the Green Line, and Israeli land on the other.

      The plain meaning of that text is that "Occupied Palestinian Territory" is defined as a " departure from the Armistice Line of 1949 (Green Line)", not a departure from the 1947 UN-recommended partition lines.

      2) Paragraph 67, p. 32 :

      The Court notes furthermore that the request of the General Assembly concerns the legal consequences of the wall being built ” in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem”. As also explained below (see paragraphs 79-84 below), some parts of the complex are being built, or are planned to be built, on the territory of Israel itself; the Court does not (consider that it is called upon to examine the legal consequences arising from the construction of those parts of the wall. [emphasis added]

      Please focus in on that expression "on the territory of Israel itself." That refers to portions of the wall that are outside 1947 recommended partition borders but within the "Green Line." That territory is described as "the territory of Israel itself". It's clear as day.


      3). Page 35:

      The territories situated between the Green Line (see paragraph 72 above) and the former eastern boundary of Palestine under the Mandate were occupied by Israel in 1967 during the armed conflict between Israel and Jordan. Under customary international law, these were therefore occupied territories in which Israel had the status of occupying Power. Subsequent events in these territories, as described in paragraphs 75 to 77 above, have done nothing to alter this situation. All these territories (including East Jerusalem) remain occupied territories […] [emphasis added]

      The Court makes it crystal clear that on the Palestinian side of Green Line, not UN res 181 recommended partition border, Israel is an “occupying Power”; on the Israeli side, Israel is NOT an “occupying Power.”

      4.) From the separate opinion of Judge Al-Khasawneh :

      The Green line, to quote Sir Arthur Watts, “is the starting line from which is measured the extent of Israel’s occupation of non-Israeli territory” (CR200413, p. 64, para. 35). [emphasis added]

      Again, please focus in on that expression "non-Israeli territory"-- it logically implies that territory on the other side of the "Green Line" is Israeli territory.

      The plain meaning of all these statements shows clearly that the UN/ICJ has indeed affirmed that it is the "Green Line"--not the UN recommended partition line-- which divides Israeli territory from non-Israeli territory, i.e. Occupied Palestinian Territory.

      You are free, of course, to present your own personal legal opinion like anybody else, but that doesn't change the fact that the UN/ICJ legal consensus does not agree with you.

    • Dan: There previously were countries that had their embassies in Jerusalem, but they moved them to protest Israel’s unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem...


      Important point. Thanks.

      The July 29, 1980 Venezuelan embassy move from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, which your linked new article reports, came on the heels of UN Security Council resolution 471 of June 5, 1980 (preceded by resolutions 465, 478, 469), which has explicit references to "Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967 .

      (See quotes here: link to

      Another complicating factor is that the EU still officially supports the 1947 UN Partition Plan's recommendation that Jerusalem be internationalized as a "corpus separatum."

      link to

      Nevertheless, the EU clearly holds the pre-1967 borders, not the 1947 UN recommended partition borders, to be the dividing line between Israeli territory and occupied Palestinian territory and to be the basis for any final settlement.

      ...[The EU ]will not recognise any changes to pre-1967 borders with regard to Jerusalem, unless agreed between the parties. It has also called for the reopening of Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem, in accordance with the Road Map, in particular Orient House and the Chamber of Commerce,[45] and has called on the Israeli government to cease all discriminatory treatment of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, especially concerning work permits, access to education and health services, building permits, house demolitions, taxation and expenditure."[46]

      "The European Union set out its position in a statement of principles last December. A two-state solution with Israel and Palestine side by side in peace and security. A viable state of Palestine in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, on the basis of the 1967 lines. A way must be found to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of both Israel and Palestine." - Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union

      [emphasis added]

      link to

      Keep in mind that if Jerusalem were to be a "corpus separatum", then East Jerusalem couldn't be under Palestinian sovereignty as its capital. Yet, Palestine has claimed East Jerusalem as its capital, and most countries, including EU countries, support that claim.

      In any case, Yonah Fredman is quite right to say it's an unjustified leap of logic to go from the lack of embassies in Jerusalem today to the claim that all territory outside the UN recommended partition borders (not the Green Line") is occupied Palestinian territory.

    • talknic: Israel has not acquired any further territories by any legal agreement or instrument, so until such time as there is an agreement, Israel’s borders remain those it proclaimed and was recognized by.

      Not true.

      1)The UN/ICJ has never applied the principle of the inadmissibility of territorial acquisition by war to territory acquired by Israel in 1947-9. That principle has only been applied to territory acquired by Israel during the 1967 war. The legal reason for this was that the first war of expansion, unlike the second, was viewed as a non-international conflict to which international law largely did not apply. (There were of course many political reasons.)

      Hostage has explained this many times:

      [Avi_G.:] Phil, Finkelstein, and others sometimes like to separate the legal precedent that is the UN Partition Plan and Declaration of Independence, from the war of aggression of 1967, forgetting that land acquired in 1948 by force cannot be legally annexed.

      [Hostage:] The principles of international law regarding annexation of territory did not apply to the civil war (a non-international armed conflict) between the communities of the Palestine mandate.After the mandate was terminated, Israel declared its independence and the Arabs declared a union between Transjordan and Arab Palestine. Once Israel and Jordan were both admitted to the UN as member states, and none of their citizens shared a common Palestinian nationality, the on-going conflict was transformed into an international one. The ICJ noted that, in 1967, both sides were High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions. So the situation then was completely different. [emphasis addd]

      link to

      2)The Armistice agreements of 1949 gave Israel full and unchallengeable jurisdiction (sovereignty) over territories on the Israel side of the "Green Line" ( subject to possible border modifications in a final agreement, neither side being under any legal compulsion to agree to such future modifications. )

      So, with the signing of the 1949 agreements, Israel ceased being an Occupying Power inside the Green Line.

      Again, Hostage has explained this on numerous occasions, for example in this exchange:

      talknic: The territories Israel had acquired by war, outside of it’s declared and recognized Sovereign extent, were considered to be “occupied”. I.e., NOT Israeli Sovereign territory.

      Hostage: Sovereignty is just a synonym for jurisdiction. The two sides signed international armistice agreements that permit them to govern the respective territories until hell freezes over absent any mutually agreed upon modifications of the armistice borders.

      After the Lausanne protocols were signed, all of the parties extended the application of their municipal laws to the territory under their control and no one considered them to be merely occupiers anymore. [emphasis added]


      3) “Annexation is nothing more than the de jure application of a State’s municipal laws to a new territory.” (Hostage)

      The UN sponsored and internationally recognized 1949 Armistice Agreements gave Israel the legal right to extend its municipal laws to the territory acquired in 1947-9.

      Therefore, that territory was legally annexed .

      See this talknic/Hostage exchange:

      talknic: The 1949 Armistice Agreements specifically did not change any borders, they only set Armistice Demarcation Lines.

      Hostage: The Armistice Demarcation lines can’t ever be altered without Israel’s consent. They have indicated the limits of the civil jurisdiction of Israel’s Courts since at least 1950. Annexation is nothing more than the de jure application of a State’s municipal laws to a new territory. [emphasis added]

      link to

      Cf. Hostage:

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

      link to

    • talknic: @ yonah fredman ” Name one nation that recognizes Israel that tells Israel that it needs to withdraw from territory of the June 4, 1967 armistice line/ border.”

      Why would they? It’s none of their business. It’s between Palestine and Israel.

      Of course it's their business. The I/P conflict threatens international peace and security and involves fundamental violations of human rights. The UNSC and UNGA have been deeply involved in the conflict from day one and that makes it the business of all UN member states.

      *There are numerous UN and ICJ statements affirming that it is the pre-1967 border (aka "Green Line") which divides Israeli territory from occupied Palestinian territory and that Israeli settlements in OPT, thusly defined, are illegal.

      *There are ZERO UN or ICJ statements affirming that it is the UN res 181 recommended "partition border" which divides Israeli territory from occupied Palestinian territory.

      *There are ZERO UN or ICJ statements affirming that Israeli settlement across the UN recommended partition border but inside the Green Line is illegal.

      *There are numerous UN resolutions and ICJ statements which apply the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war to the territory Israel acquired in 1967.

      *There are ZERO UN resolutions or ICJ statements which apply the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war to the territory Israel acquired in 1947-49.

      The international legal and political consensus is clear: it is the "Green Line" (pre-1967 border) not the UN res 181 recommended partition border which divides Israeli territory from occupied Palestinian territory.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius: Not one nation on earth considers the occupied territories to be a part of Israel.


      But it's the pre-1967 border (aka "Green Line") - not UN res. 181 recommended "partition borders" -- that marks the division between Israeli territory and occupied Palestinian territory. It least 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 US, the PLO, the Arab League, the BDS movement, etc.. etc.

  • 'I cannot support Israel as long as Netanyahu is in office'-- many American Jews are saying
    • echinococcus: identifying as Jewish” is logically synonymous, if not co-extensive, with being tribal.


      No. Not unless you arbitrarily define "tribal" as any kind of group identity, or if you define Jewishness as inherently tribal.

      A person can identify as Jewish and have any number of other identities simultaneously, without putting the Jewish identity above all the others in some kind of "tribal" way. That's certainly logically possible; whether that occurs in reality in any particular instance is an empirical question.

    • yourstruly: Elderly Jewish Zionists aren’t going to change.

      Where's rugal b to cry "ageism!" ?

  • Cultural Zionism good, political Zionism bad
    • Roland Nikles : I think steps should be taken to strengthen Palestinian culture.

      I do think a coherent cultural-liberal Zionism is theoretically possible, as I outlined in a post above. But what I'm reading here, I have to say, is coming off as paternalistic, if not disingenuous.

      Steps? How about ending the occupation? How about recognizing the Palestinian people's right to self-determination in their own state in their own territory? How about abolishing Israel's discriminatory laws? How about support for BDS?

      Why is Avishai's liberal-cultural Zionist program so non-committal and vague?

      "He speaks of confederated arrangements. Whatever those arrangements will be ...

      Yeah, well, whatever... not a very compelling vision.

    • @echinococcus

      1) I described what I thought a coherent liberal-cultural Zionism might look like. I never said I personally ascribed to such a view.

      2) Nor did I ever say that such a view was in accordance with what you have called "strict justice". The whole Zionist project since the late 19th century has been one long series of injustices, one piled upon the next. The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate, the 1947 partition--all were violations of the principle of self-determination of peoples. Even the UNSCOP which formulated the 1947 partition plan admitted that.

      I agree with moral gist of this historical assessment:

      [echinococcus:] these so-called 1967 borders are not the partition proposal line. They were reached by war of aggression, military conquest, robbery, forced displacement of populations and genocidal action (euphemized today as “ethnic cleansing”.)

      Then, there are no 1948 borders, really: the partition proposal is just a proposal that was rejected by the owners of the land.

      The owners of the land, as opposed to the totally fictional “equal neighbors” who were nothing but illegally immigrating armed invaders who refused to behave as immigrants. If the refusal by the owners of the land were not enough, the violation of the indissociable conditions set by the partition proposal also canceled it.

      Not only that, but there is no obligation at all to ever accept for a partition proposal, as the British Empire was in charge of an administrative mandate, some kind of an escrow. The land of Palestine wasn’t under Lord Balfour’s personal sovereignty and it wasn’t the Empire’s or the UN’s to partition.

      link to

      3)"Strict justice" would mean undoing ALL the injustices wrought by Zionism. It would mean that all or most Jewish Zionist immigrants and their descendants leave Palestine and return the land to its rightful owners. It would mean massive economic compensation for all the damages done to Palestinians over the last 100 plus years-- to the tune of billions, if not trillions. It would mean the prosecution and imprisonment of thousands of Israelis directly involved in war crimes. It would mean compensatory payments from all the Israeli companies that profited from Palestinian dispossession and oppression.

      Any kind of two-state solution would not meet the demands of "strict justice."

      But neither would a single state “shared by Israeli colonists and Palestinian indigenous alike” (rosross).

      Such a bi-national state would hardly be compatible with Palestinian national self-determination. Every single Palestinian decision of national import, every decision about the political, economic, social and cultural direction of the country, would have to be made in conjunction with the Israeli Jewish population, a huge majority of which are ethnocentric, chauvinistic, racist and virulently anti-Arab/ anti-Muslim. Depending on the exact nature of the electoral system, such a substantial minority would have an effective veto power on most issues, or at least formidable powers of obstruction and gridlock.

      According to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 1:

      “All peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

      There can be no self-determination for one people if another people has effective veto power on practically every important decision regarding economic, social and cultural development.

      Furthermore, in a single "democratic" Israeli/Palestinian state, money-power would be vastly asymmetrical. Wealthy Jewish citizens and corporations would not only be able to corrupt and control the government, they would be able to buy up and profit from the best economic assets throughout the whole of Palestine. Needless to say, the vast settlement blocs wouldn't be going anywhere--they would now be expanding and spreading without legal impediments whatsoever, gobbling up all the land and precious resources money can buy.

      4) I don't think you and I would disagree too much on what the demands of "strict justice" would be. Where we disagree is on whether "strict justice" is actually achievable. I don't think it is.

      5) You write:

      [echinococcus:] A “culture” of illegal importation on other people’s land and territory, imposed only by the force of conquest. The “culture” did not arrive on its own from the most unrelated places, you know. It was carried by people settled there forcibly against the owners’ will.

      True. But the Israeli state with its dominant culture is a fait accompli.

      Oh no! That's not true! , you say. Nothing is permanent! The Zionist project can be undone! Not just partially. Entirely. Not slowly, stage by stage, but in one fell swoop! Look at history. Look at South Africa. Look at the Soviet Union. States come and go. Nothing is permanent. I'm for strict justice. Zionist Israel has no legitimacy, no right to exist. It must be destroyed.

      But how?

      In your opinion, the BDS movement is hopeless--hijacked by liberal Zionists; it's stated goal only calls for the end of the Israeli occupation of Arab lands occupied by Israel in 1967 . The UN, international law--corrupted, U.S. controlled, hopeless. Local Palestinian resistance--feeble, ineffective, hopeless.

      So what does that leave? Oh yes, a "regional conflagration" ! It's the only thing that will destroy the Zionist state and usher in a golden age of "strict justice":

      [echinococcus:] Let’s stop deluding ourselves. This “reality” argument is total nonsense. First, a peaceful transition like, say, South Africa or the USSR has less chance than a snowball in hell. Not gonna happen. Same for the chances of the Resistance to force any change by itself. What will probably reshape it all is a regional conflagration provoked by Israel and the US.

      * * *

      [...]let’s again forget the absurd delusions of a peaceful transition. An Algerian solution would be surprisingly mild , all things considered. That is the price of all extreme nationalist and racist indoctrination: once the smart ones flee, the remainder are suicidal. ,/b> [emphasis added]

      link to

      So there you have it. The Palestinians should forget any and all compromises, wait for the “regional conflagration” and then reap the rewards. But what if the “regional conflagration” never comes? Then what?

      Besides, exactly how is a "regional conflagration" is going to produce the results you desire--especially considering that Israel is a nuclear power backed by the world's only military super-power. Perhaps you can describe what kind of scenario you are envisaging, but full-scale regional war would, imo, most certainly be a huge catastrophe--unlikely to happen and not something to wish for.

      As Shingo succinctly put it to you:

      . I don’t disagree with a word you said, and the injustice inflicted on the existing population by Europe and the Allied powers is immeasurable, but the notion that any of those sins can be undone today, 66 after the fact is a delusion. It’s not about the sales job, it’s about the reality of today. The fact remains that Israel is a reality today and is indeed a legitimate state.

      link to

      "Legitimate" in terms of international law, not "strict justice", of course. But that brings us back to possibility of having to accept some measure of injustice in order to prevent even greater injustices and even greater suffering.

      I do admit, however, that being an advocate for "strict justice" has its appeal-- it's easy! All you have to do is calculate what "strict justice" demands and then righteously denounce everything else.

    • Roland Nikles: I’m not troubled by cultural conquest.

      How about cultural genocide? Are you okay with that as well?

      link to

      link to

    • Roland Nickles: If you think equal rights, and equal opportunity, and equal protection, and equality before the law today are not “fair” to Palestinians...


      Who said that? Looks like a huge straw man.

      Besides, Avishai "does not foresee one state with one government administration governing all the people between the river and the sea."

      Not one liberal democratic state, but not two liberal democratic states either. So what kind of equality are we talking about-- separate but equal?

      In any case, you still haven't answered my questions about the Palestinian people's right to self-determination.

      I take it then that national self-determination is not one of the rights liberal-cultural Zionist are willing to bestow upon the Palestinians.

    • Roland Nikles: [...] a liberal cultural Zionism along a strong Palestinian culture? It’s a vision -

      I agree. A coherent liberal-cultural Zionism, however, requires the following:

      1)Recognition of the Palestinian people's right to national self-determination in their own state on their own territory.

      2)Acceptance of the international two-state consensus: pre-1967 borders; mutually agreed minor land swaps that would allow some settlement blocs to be annexed to Israel; a solution to the refugee problem that involves Israeli recognition of responsibility along with compensation etc.; Jerusalem as a shared capital of both states, etc.

      3)Israel maintains its Jewish super-majority, but abandons all discriminatory laws and evolves into a non-ethno/theocratic liberal democracy.

      5) Israel abandons its role as a homeland/refuge for global Jewry and becomes simply a state for all its citizens and only its citizens.

      6) If Palestine wishes to join in some kind of economic union or confederation with Israel, or with other states in the region, that is the Palestinians' choice to make.

      7) In order to get there, a coherent liberal-cultural Zionism must embrace BDS and other forms of pressuring the Israeli state to abandon its expansionist and apartheid policies.

      Avishai, however, seems unwilling to take the first and essential step-- that of recognizing the Palestinian people's right to self determination in their own sovereign state, in accordance with international law and the international political consensus.

      He writes of "Israelis in shock at the thought of removing hundreds of thousands of settlers, apparently accepting the political Zionist mantra that a genuine two-state solution is impossible, because "facts on the ground."

      He talks about building on Olmert's offer to Abbas--but he gives no details. But if it's not to be two states based on the international consensus, then what is he talking about? The continuation of settlement expansion, with Palestinians relegated to shrunken, non-contiguous enclaves with limited sovereignty, "confederated" to the Israeli state? There is no way that can work. That's apartheid. Palestinians will not accept it. The world will not accept it. It just means more conflict, more polarization, more radicalization--the opposite of the professed goals of liberal-cultural Zionism.

      Liberal-cultural Zionism is a sham if it does not embrace the Palestinian's right to self-determination and the enforcement of international law.

      Liberal-cultural Zionism is a sham if it does not embrace BDS to end Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.

    • Roland Nikles: “Buy in” here refers to shared values for a democratic society.


      Does "buy in" mean the Palestinian people give up their right to national self-determination ?

      In the 2004 "Wall" case, ICJ Judge Higgins made it clear that Israel had no right to any occupied Palestinian territory:

      This is not difficult – from Security Council resolution 242 (1967) through to Security Council resolution 1515 (2003), the key underlying requirements have remained the same – that Israel is entitled to exist, to be recognized, and to security, and that the Palestinian people are entitled to their territory, to exercise self-determination, and to have their own State. [emphasis added]

      That statement succinctly captures the international legal and political consensus--do you reject it?

      Are you saying the Palestinian people must give up their right to national self-determination and "buy in" to some kind of Israeli-approved "arrangement" (alien determination), such as autonomous enclaves "confederated" to the Israeli state?

    • From Avishai’s description, it seems clear that all this illiberality is baked into the DNA of political Zionism because political Zionism says “the land is mine.”
      * * * *
      Avishai does not foresee one state with one government administration governing all the people between the river and the sea. He speaks of confederated arrangements. [emphasis added]

      "Confederated arrangements"? What? No sovereign Palestinian state? No pre-1967 borders as called for by the international legal and political consensus?

      It's still about land. It's about more settlements, spreading "Hebrew culture" further into the West Bank, and relegating Palestinians to non-contiguous, shrunken, Israeli-supervised "autonomous zones".


      Whatever those arrangements will be, they must strive to provide equal protection and equal rights and equal benefits for everyone between the river and the sea, and governmental structures that strive to promote Zionist culture and Palestinian culture equally.

      "Equal rights", but no mention of the Palestinian people's right of self-determination.
      Israeli Jews will decide what the "arrangements" will be, not the Palestinians.

      What if Palestinians don't want bantustans "confederated" with the Hebrew-culture State? Do they have a say in the matter? Apparently not.

  • Jewish West Bank settlers are as smug as white South Africans in 1980
    • rosross: And Apartheid in South Africa was ended without pre-conditions...

      Of course there were pre-conditions! The most general being that white economic power and continuing gross inequality were to be systemically entrenched via the imposition of a binding neoliberal regime.

      ANC leader Ronnie Kasrils calls it a "devils pact":

      "To break apartheid rule through negotiation, rather than a bloody civil war, seemed then an option too good to be ignored."

      [..."]However, at the time, most of us never quite knew what was happening with the top-level economic discussions. As Sampie Terreblanche has revealed in his critique, "Lost in Transformation", by late 1993 big business strategies – hatched in 1991 at the mining mogul Harry Oppenheimer's Johannesburg residence – were crystallising in secret late-night discussions at the Development Bank of South Africa. Present were South Africa's mineral and energy leaders, the bosses of US and British companies with a presence in South Africa – and young ANC economists schooled in western economics."

      [...]"The ANC accepted responsibility for a vast apartheid-era debt, which should have been cancelled. A wealth tax on the super-rich to fund developmental projects was set aside, and domestic and international corporations, enriched by apartheid, were excused from any financial reparations. Extremely tight budgetary obligations were instituted that would tie the hands of any future governments; obligations to implement a free-trade policy and abolish all forms of tariff protection in keeping with neo-liberal free trade fundamentals were accepted. Big corporations were allowed to shift their main listings abroad. In Terreblanche's opinion, these ANC concessions constituted "treacherous decisions that [will] haunt South Africa for generations to come".

      An ANC-Communist party leadership eager to assume political office (myself no less than others) readily accepted this devil's pact, only to be damned in the process. It has bequeathed an economy so tied in to the neoliberal global formula and market fundamentalism that there is very little room to alleviate the plight of most of our people". [emphasis added]

      link to

      Patrick Bond:

      "Here are the dozen biggest devils that hobbled Mandela’s economic legacy:

      *The repayment of the US$25 billion apartheid-era foreign debt. This denied Mandela money to pay for basic needs of apartheid’s victims.

      * Giving the South African Reserve Bank formal independence. This resulted in the insulation of the central bank’s officials from democratic accountability. It led to high interest rates and the deregulation of exchange controls.

      * Borrowing $850 million from the International Monetary Fund in December 1993, with tough conditions persisting for years. These included rapid scrapping of import surcharges that had protected local industries, state spending cuts, lower public sector salaries and a decrease in wages across the board.

      *Reappointing apartheid’s finance minister Derek Keys and Reserve Bank governor Chris Stals, who retained neoliberal policies.

      * Joining the World Trade Organisation on adverse terms, as a “transitional”, not developing economy. This led to the destruction of many clothing, textiles, appliances and other labour-intensive firms.

      *Lowering primary corporate taxes from 48% to 29% and maintaining countless white people’s and corporate privileges.

      * Privatising parts of the state, such as Telkom, the state-owned telecommunications company.

      *Relaxing exchange controls. This led to sustained outflows to rich people’s overseas accounts and a persistent current account deficit even during periods of trade surplus, and raising interest rates to unprecedented levels.

      * Adopting the neoliberal macroeconomic policy Gear. This policy not only failed on its own terms, it also caused developmental austerity.

      *Giving property rights dominance in the constitution, thereby limiting its usefulness for redress.

      * Approving the “demutualisation” of the two mega-insurers Old Mutual and Sanlam. It was the privatisation of historic mutual wealth for current share owners.

      * Permitting most of South Africa’s ten biggest companies to move their headquarters and primary listings abroad in the late 1990s. The results are permanent balance of payments deficits and corporate disloyalty to the society."

      link to

      Yes, black South Africans gained political rights. But you can hardly call the results "justice."

  • Can there be poetry after Netanyahu?
  • Roger Waters tells France: 'Supporters of BDS, attacked by your judiciary, have my unequivocal respect and love'
  • How many more orgasms will be had for Zionism?
    • Stephen Shenfield: Another important project was the Kimberley Scheme to give refuge to European Jews in a region of North Australia (see Leon Gettler, An Unpromised Land). The contribution of Zionists to torpedoing such plans is hard to pin down...

      What evidence is there that Zionists torpedoed the Kimberley Scheme?

      Following the Evian Conference, the London-based Freeland League (founded in 1935) proposed the purchase of seven million acres in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia (encompassing the properties of Connor, Durack and Doherty) as a farming settlement for a potential 50 000 refugees from Nazism. The League envisaged that a vanguard party of 500 to 600 'pioneers' would construct homes, a power station, irrigation works, etc, pending the arrival of the main body of colonists.

      Dr Isaac Nachman Steinberg (1888–1957) was sent out from London in 1939 to investigate the scheme's feasibility and to enlist governmental and communal endorsement.

      [...] Steinberg won the support of churches, leading newspapers, many prominent political and public figures (including Western Australian Premier J C Willcock) and a number of Jewish leaders.

      The project came to nothing in the end, however, primarily because of concerns that the settlers would drift inevitably and in large numbers to the cities. Forty-seven per cent of the public opposed the scheme in a 1944 opinion poll and, in July of that year, Prime Minister Curtin formally rejected the proposal. Curtin's decision had bipartisan political support. [emphasis added]

      link to

      Steinberg was a leader of the Jewish Territorialist movement. He worked hard to establish a Jewish self-managed territory, but did not support the idea of the Jewish nation-state and was highly critical of Zionist movement politics. After the establishment of the State of Israel, he supported the idea of creating a binational federation in Israel/Palestine and, at the same time, continued his efforts to establish a compact self-ruled Jewish settlement somewhere outside the Middle East. [emphasis added]

      link to

    • Stephen Shenfield: Siberiak: There is plenty of evidence if you look hard enough.


      Evidence that a scheme to negotiate the rescue of 500,000 Jews in 1942 1) would likely have been successful, but 2) was blocked by Zionists?

      I'd be happy to see it.

      That was responding to that idea and only that.

      I never said that there were not Zionists who were insistent that Jewish refugees should be allowed to go to Palestine.

      The contribution of Zionists to torpedoing such plans is hard to pin down because they were not the only opponents ....

      I agree. There was no Zionist consensus on rescue efforts and there were many non-Zionist opponents to Jewish immigration.

      Many Zionists, especially in America, were at the forefront of popular pressure to increase efforts to rescue Jews. Many of their proposals had very little chance of success, though some did.

      At least that is my tentative view after recently reading a number of books on the issue.

    • YoniFalic: It did not take much googling to find Finkelstein’s letter on Ben-Gurion and the Évian Conference.

      I'm well aware of the Evian conference. It's discussed in numerous books and articles. It took place in 1938.

      My remarks concerned a proposed negotiated rescue of 500,000 Jews in 1942 .

    • @Sally Parker

      My questioning the notion that Zionist opposition to a single rescue proposal, if it occurred, definitely cost 500, 000 lives doesn't mean I don't agree with a number of other points you made.

    • Sally Parker: I see this Zionist opposition to Britain’s plan as a huge betrayal. It cost Jews half a million lives. [emphasis addd]


      With all due respect, you are making some huge leaps of logic.

      1) It is almost certain that Hitler would never have released 500,000 Jews via negotiations with Britain. The few attempts at negotiated rescue that did occur failed completely, or at best saved only a small number of Jews. Hitler's insane drive to kill as many Jews as possible was well underway in 1942 and meant that all proposals for rescue negotiations were entirely unrealistic.

      You might want to read William Rubinstein's "The Myth of Rescue", which analyzes many proposals to rescue European Jews. He shows that most of these proposals had almost zero chance of success.

      Also see: Breitman and Lichtman, "FDR and the Jews"

      2) Nothing prevented the British government from pursuing such negotiations---certainly not a small number of British Zionist Jews. Nor was a proposal from Parliament necessary. Many such proposals had been made and would continue to be made up to the end of the war.

      3) The article you cite provides zero evidence that Zionist Jews were instrumental in blocking any such efforts. The only "source" they provide is "The Wall Street Journal December 2, 1976" without any link or quotation. That isn't history; it's highly dubious polemics. Do yourself a favor and google "Wall Street Journal December 2 1976" and see what kind of articles it brings up, or try to find the actual WSJ article.

      4) "The British Parliament proposed to evacuate 500,000 Jews from Europe, and resettle them in British colonies" -- which colonies? This is a completely fantastical scheme that had no chance of success.

  • Cut the Gordian Knot -- a response to Ban Ki-moon's landmark speech
    • jon66: ....but does remembrance of one tragedy lessen the remembrance of another?

      It can if one tragedy is put up above all others and it's considered a crime to suggest otherwise.

      For example:

      According to Gideon Bachar, the head of the Israeli Foreign Ministry department for the fight against antisemitism, who represented Israel in the discussions, the newly accepted definition of a holocaust denier is anyone who doubts the number of Jews killed, who denies the existence of the gas chambers, as well as anyone who claims the Jews have brought on the holocaust intentionally, to serve their own ends, such as the establishment of the State of Israel, and also anyone who includes the 1939-1945 holocaust among other great tragedies in human history.

      However, according to Wikipedia, In 2007 the IHRA expanded its thematic mandate to include the genocide of the Roma. This would seem to be in conflict with Bachar's point about the holocaust remaining a distinctly Jewish event, incomparable with any other case of human suffering. [emphasis added]

      link to

      Many of the Holocaust museums have a core function of education regarding intolerance ...

      Some have other core functions, especially one where attendance is compulsory for high-level visitors:

      [...]Besides a short wreath-laying ceremony at Mount Herzl, which is mandatory only for heads of state, a stopover at Yad Vashem is the only obligatory item on the itinerary of high-level guests visiting Israel for the first time.

      * * *

      [...]Yet recently voices calling for a reassessment of this policy have grown louder, even within the government. No one should be forced to visit a museum, no matter how important the lessons it teaches, they argue. Some politically rather incorrect Israeli critics have gone as far as accusing Israel of exploiting the memory of six million Jews for political gains.

      * * *

      [...]Critics see this calculation — because there was a Holocaust, Israel needs to be given a free hand — as the intensification of a societal phenomenon that dates back to the 1950s and has grown stronger ever since. Use of the Holocaust to justify policies and actions got its first boost after the Six Day War, and in the 1970s Menachem Begin stepped it up another notch, according to historians. But critics charge that the current government like no other has mastered the art of using the Holocaust to make political points.

      “If a state guest comes, say a high-ranking US general, and you want to force upon him some kind of decision, the best thing to do is show him Yad Vashem and explain to him that after the Shoah there is no other alternative but to accept everything Israel wishes to do,” Israeli historian Moshe Zimmerman said.

      We instrumentalize the memory of the Shoah not only to make the world aware that we are traumatized but also for the sake of our specific aims in international politics, especially toward the Palestinians. This tendency in Israeli policy is getting stronger all the time. It was not that explicit in 1948, but it became more and more explicit over time.” [emphasis added]

      link to

    • [Ban Ki-moon:] "Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of a half century of occupation..."


      Palestinians were frustrated under British occupation as well....

  • 'If we lose the West Bank, we lose everything': An evening with a liberal Israeli
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius: “The pressure is definitely building right now–for two states”
      If ‘pressure’ builds at this rate, we’ll be waiting a million years!


      What I meant was: what pressure there is (it's not much!) is aimed toward the international two-state consensus.

      Actually, if the pressure continued to build at a steady even if slow rate, the pressure would be enormous in a short time. But that continuous ratcheting up is not happening, we all know.

      see no likliehood for any serious pressure on Israel any time soon.

      Indeed, that's why I spoke of a different situation " quite far in the future

      And when I say ‘by force’, I don’t mean by Western force of arms. What I see is Israel destroying itself from within (we’re already seeing that happen) and a rearrangement of the entire region which will not be in Israel’s favour. Arguably we’re already seeing that, with the rise of Iran and the decline of the Saudis.

      It's not clear to me how Israel "destroying itself from within" stands in relation to your prediction that "a solution is going to be imposed on [Israel] by force.

      Are you saying that Israel will be so weakened internally that Iran or ?? will be able to impose by force a single-state solution on Israel and its many international backers? Zionist Israel goes down in some kind of regional conflagration?

      What kind of regional rearrangement could lead to a complete collapse of Zionism and a single democratic state in Palestine?


      I simply do not see a ‘two state solution’ as a realistic option. It will be all or nothing.

      I don't buy the "all or nothing" logic, especially when talking about a relatively distant future when many unforeseen options may appear.

      Two states may well NOT be a solution, but just a step forward in an ongoing historical process. I mean we may well end up with a highly truncated Palestinian state with major settlement blocs annexed by Israel, no effective right of return etc. That's pretty much where the "international consensus" is at this point actually.

      I think that kind of "1.5 state" option is widely rejected by many anti-Zionists not so much because it is truly unrealistic, but because it is so morally objectionable.

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