100 Most Recent Comments


Boomer
May 24, 2015, 7:02 pm

You say that perhaps he will force a two state solution. That’s nice. I wonder what kind of state the Palestinians will get. I believe Mr. Netanyahu has already said that the Palestinians can have a state, with certain conditions:

“His conditions were strict. He said the Palestinians could not form an army or control their own airspace, or sign military agreements with other states. He mentioned a Palestinian state only once and at other times talked only of areas under Palestinian control, saying the Palestinians could have their own “flag, anthem and administration”.

* * *

“He noted particularly the rejection of the right of return for Palestinian refugees, and the refusal to allow east Jerusalem to be a capital for a Palestinian state.”

from: link to theguardian.com

Kris
May 24, 2015, 6:14 pm

@JanetB: “I feel like saying until all Jewish leaders start denouncing Israeli crimes, don’t complain about Antisemitism. I know this attitude is wrong, but I have a real problem with this Zionist double standard.”

That’s it in a nutshell! Great comment, thank you!

Hostage
May 24, 2015, 6:04 pm

Doesn’t ‘pillage’ require that there be an ‘armed conflict between two States’?

Not at all. The ICRC cites extensive US and other state practice in Customary IHL “Rule 52. Pillage is prohibited. Summary: State practice establishes this rule as a norm of customary international law applicable in both international and non-international armed conflicts.” link to icrc.org

Also, has the United States Federal Government ever prosecuted an American, under RICO, or any other statute, on the charge of ‘pillage’?

Of course, pillage. plunder, and looting are crimes against persons and property, They have been prohibited in this country under the law of nations, federal laws, state laws, and military field orders since at least the 19th Century. Your question misses the point. Even official acts of expropriation by the new government upon a change in sovereignty in the aftermath of a war has resulted in US Supreme Court civil cases, like Perchman, that I cited earlier in one of these threads. Property has been restored to the rightful owner on several occasions by the Courts on the basis of the law of nations alone. Likewise, the application of the law of nations regarding a wrongful taking of property at sea resulted in the ruling by the Supreme Court in The Paquete Habana case that our federal and state courts are bound by the law nations. There were literally hundreds of military court cases during the Reconstruction Era here in the United States alone for restitution or recovery of property that had been pillaged or wrongfully expropriated during the war. Look them up yourself.

If there’s no ‘armed conflict’ between the State of Israel and the nascent State of Palestine, then how can a settler, whatever his citizenship, be guilty of pillage?

That’s not even a good hypothetical defense. The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that there has been a continuous state of armed conflict between the IDF and the Palestinian militias ever since the first intifada. See the subsection of the ruling in the targeted killings case under the heading “The General Normative Framework, A. International Armed Conflict” link to elyon1.court.gov.il

In “Gaza Coast Regional Council v Knesset of Israel, HCJ 1661/05 (2005), an expanded Supreme Court bench of eleven held that Gaza, Judea, and Samaria were occupied territories and that Israeli settlers therein were not “protected persons” for the purposes of Article 4 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention – and moreover that they held no valid titles to their homes or lands because the Israeli military commander couldn’t legally grant them one. Likewise, the US State Department Travel Advisories for the West Bank and Gaza have warned US citizens for years that U.S. citizens who buy or lease property in the occupied territories of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza may find their ownership challenged by people earlier displaced from those lands. Nothing prevents them from doing that under the War Crimes Act and RICO. They have also warned that the establishment of a Palestinian state may also have additional legal consequences for property owners in Israeli settlements in the West Bank and in Jerusalem. link to travel.state.gov The State Department already advises businesses and banks that purchase of land by foreigners also requires the approval of the PA Council of Ministers based on the 1998 PA Investment Promotion Law, as amended in 2011.

FYI, the US Courts that tried German war crimes declared that they were offenses against persons and property committed in the territories occupied by Germany and that even stateless Jews were entitled to file claims for restitution. See for example the article about the U.S. Court of Restitution and the U.S. Court of Restitution Appeals link to law.harvard.edu

Increasingly, the federal and state governments have adopted the concept that pillage is a crime against humanity in peace time and that no nexus or connection to armed conflict or a state is required to protect the rights and cultures of indigenous people from pillage under customary law and international treaties. See references to pillage in 19 U.S. Code § 2603 – Emergency implementation of import restrictions link to law.cornell.edu ; in state laws used against the US Army Corps of Engineers link to fox40.com ; and in the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, (NAGPRA) used by the FBI against black market organizations link to indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com

just
May 24, 2015, 5:45 pm

I ran across this from Molly Crabapple wrt Palestinian Festival of Literature today:

“It took five hours and having my underwear inspected by an angry Israeli border guard for my to be let into the West Bank”

link to twitter.com

There’s much more on her twitter feed here:

link to twitter.com

MHughes976
May 24, 2015, 5:31 pm

The main ideas of the Protos about allegedly nefarious tecniques of influencing public opinion through the press come, almost verbatim I understand, from a pamphlet called Dialogue in Hell written to discredit not Jews but Napoleon III, who had magically converted an idealistic Republic into a cynical Empire. It was the proof of verbatim copying, and of non-Jewish origin, that got the Protos discredited in their turn. They may still be a cogent analysis of how cynical manipulation of opinion works. Be that as it may they also certainly stand as proof that protest against manipulation can be horrendously manipulative.

MHughes976
May 24, 2015, 5:14 pm

I’ve perhaps said this so often as to be boring: no one has authority in matters of definition. There’s no such thing as ‘the definition’ that everyone ought to accept. There may be commonly accepted definitions but there is no obligation to use them: you may think they are confusing or self-contradictory. The only obligation is to make oneself clear.
For my part, Anti-Semitism is prejudice against at least some things characteristically Jewish. Being a form of prejudice, it is irrational. I claim that anti-Zionism is rational, therefore not in itself an expression of prejudice, therefore not (other things being equal) anti-Semitic in my terms. My terms are of course ‘loaded’ – ie an evaluation (negative) of anti-S is built in (which is quite legitimate).
If anti-Semitism is defined as hostility to some things done by people who are Jewish it follows that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic since many Jewish people are involved in putting Zionism into effect. But then anti-Semitism may on this definition be, if some Jewish people are in fact doing something wrong, quite rational. That is to say that this a non-loaded or neutral definition, also legitimate.
On the ADL definition anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism unless it is ‘because they are Jewish’, not solely because they act unjustly or cause great suffering, that Zionists are opposed.
The main rhetorical trick is to slip unnoticed between neutral and loaded definitions. The main sign of honesty in such matters is to say what you mean, stick to it and not import value-judgements half way through the discussion that were not there at the beginning.
Description of people as ‘anti-Semites’ is almost never, in my experience, accompanied by a statement of what the word means to the person using it.

David Doppler
May 24, 2015, 4:59 pm

Great piece. He’s a politician, a practitioner of the art of the possible. I disagree with those who say 2SS is all over and 1S1V1P is all that is left. 2SS never existed for many of the Israeli right wing extremists, who currently hold onto power, by the narrowest of margins. Obama is clearly campaigning to chip that margin away, until Netanyahu falls.

I think a 2SS put together against the will of the Israeli right wing, after their power is broken, is the better answer. Chip, chip, chip . . . .

michelle
May 24, 2015, 4:21 pm

.
the branch becomes a twig at the top of the tree
the real power is at the base
.
if the mana was divided fairly/equally there would be a far greater peace
.
G-d Bless
.

michelle
May 24, 2015, 4:15 pm

.
the POTUS is a wave rider
while he was elected to be a wave maker
.
G-d Bless
.

MRW
May 24, 2015, 4:09 pm

Lyndon Baines Johnson. Just watch the opening minute-30.

just
May 24, 2015, 4:06 pm

I wish everyone a good and safe time. It sounds like a remarkable itinerary.

I hope they are all able and willing to share their stories…

Hostage
May 24, 2015, 3:55 pm

@Hostage

Have RICO violations under 18 U.S.Code 1956, ever been charged against civil wrongdoers who’ve committed the tort in a foreign country, or would this be ‘a case of first impression’?

Of course not. The EU is currently bringing Civil Rico action in the United states against RJR Nabisco for its foreign money laundering practices. RJR has been unsuccessful so far in all of its attempts to get the suit thrown out on various jurisdictional grounds. It just lost again in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals See “Headline: Second Circuit Holds That Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Statute Can Apply Extraterritorially, Reinstating European Community’s Claims Against RJR Nabisco” at the ABA website link to apps.americanbar.org

There can be no doubt at all that, under 18 U.S. Code § 1961 – Definitions, RICO itself lists several predicate statutes as examples of racketeering activities and that many of them in-turn contain their own explicit statements regarding the extraterritorial scope of their applicability:

18 U.S. Code § 1952 – Interstate and foreign travel or transportation in aid of racketeering enterprises; link to law.cornell.edu

18 U.S. Code § 1960 – Prohibition of unlicensed money transmitting businesses; link to law.cornell.edu

18 U.S. Code § 1956 – Laundering of monetary instruments; link to law.cornell.edu
18 U.S. Code § 1957 – Engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity; link to law.cornell.edu

michelle
May 24, 2015, 3:52 pm

.
‘isis’ is yet another pawn an unknowing shill
held under a microscope to appear larger
an excuse to bend/break any/all reason/rules
.
such small numbers with the most basic of arms
versus the worlds largest most state of the art forces
maybe ‘they’ should be training us
.
G-d Bless
.

catalan
May 24, 2015, 3:51 pm

“where governments would impose sanctions and enforce the applicable international laws to bring the illegal situations to an end. – “hostage
Hostage,
A forecast without a time frame is worthless. When do you think will the illegal situation end? By what logistical mechanism? Do you think that Israelis, exhausted by economic and travel sanctions will vote for Meretz, who will then agree to all terms proposed by Abbas? Or perhaps a right wing govenrment will decide on a full evacuation of all settlements?
If you can give a time frame, that will be of great help to the Palestinians. For instance, if this resolution happens within the next three years, this would mean that high school students in Gaza and Ramallah may well have their prom in freedom in the next three years. Or is it more like 10 years? 50 years?
Personally, I think that there will be no resolution of any kind within this century.

oldgeezer
May 24, 2015, 3:51 pm

Well that’s an understatement since a sentence frequently does not occur.

DoubleStandard
May 24, 2015, 3:42 pm

Yes, but Europe isn’t really an issue for Israel. I think a European pivot away from Israel is inevitable. But the way things are going, the flag of ISIS is gonna be flying in Paris before the Jerusalem. The native Europeans have stopped having children and are importing mighty numbers of Muslim immigrants in order to maintain their pension and welfare systems.

I realize Israel is very dependent on Europe for trade, but it’s just not viable as a long-term partner. Europe wants to die, while Israel wants to live.

It’s only a matter of time before Europe and Israel aren’t on speaking terms — boycott or no boycott.

Hostage, you also should know that many “BDS victories” are really just economic decisions unmotivated by politics. BDS is so desperate to publicize something though that it is often dishonest. I can post the articles if you want.

Blownaway
May 24, 2015, 3:33 pm

Labels in the US don’t matter. Its all pro Israel of any stripe Democrat or Republican liberal or conservative. The US is useless and has no say in the Palestinian side of the Israel/Palestine equation. Obama has failed his promise on all fronts. The institutional bias is impossible to overcome

Blownaway
May 24, 2015, 3:28 pm

All anyone needs to know about israel is that he got a stiffer sentence than if he had killed a Palestinian

Hostage
May 24, 2015, 3:14 pm

You seem quite sober, Hostage, and haven’t totally fallen for the cult-mentality where BDS is going to bring Israel to its knees in a couple of years. Surely you know that these activists have no economic or electoral power and are punching above their weight by making a lot of noise.

I hardly think so. This move to adopt legislation in other countries is a last ditch effort to prop-up Israel’s failing legitimacy announced on 02/10/2014 as part of strategy developed by Israel’s Cabinet after a series of major setbacks:

Netanyahu convened a meeting of senior ministers Sunday to discuss ways to fight back against BDS efforts against Israel, with one idea being to encourage legislation in various countries that would penalize entities boycotting Israeli firms and institutions.

Reflecting the discreet manner in which Netanyahu wants to deal with the issue, a media blackout was clamped on the meeting, with the offices of those ministers who participated – Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett – not even officially willing to confirm that the meeting took place.

A number of courses of action were reportedly raised at the meeting, including encouraging anti-boycott legislation in friendly capitals around the world, such as Washington, Ottawa and Canberra. One idea is to support a model similar to the one used in the US to get recalcitrant countries to join the Iranian sanctions regimes – making sure that any company that dealt with Iran knew it was jeopardizing its US contracts.

Another recent initiative discussed was the bipartisan bill two Illinois representatives, Republican Peter Roskam and Democrat Dan Lipinski, introduced into Congress that would bar federal funding to American institutions of higher education that boycott Israel. This legislation came in the wake of last year’s high-profile decision by the American Studies Association to boycott Israel.

See “Netanyahu convenes strategy meeting to fight boycotts” link to jpost.com

I don’t think the BDS movement ever claimed it would bring Israel to its knees. It claimed that a small grass roots human rights protest movement could focus international attention on Israel’s policies and practices and either change them or delegitimize them in the court of world opinion – and that when it happened, a tipping point would be reached where governments would impose sanctions and enforce the applicable international laws to bring the illegal situations to an end. I personally think all of that has already started to happen.

According to one AP report, “Jordan Valley settlements hurt by boycott campaign”:

The export-driven income of growers in the valley’s 21 settlements dropped by more than 14 percent, or $29 million, last year, largely because Western European Supermarket chains, particularly those in Britain and Scandinavia, are increasingly shunning the area’s peppers, dates, grapes and fresh herbs, settlers say.

“The damage is enormous,” said David Elhayani, head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, which represents about 7,000 settlers. “In effect, today, we are almost not selling to the (Western) European market anymore.

link to ynetnews.com

The Netanyahu government wet its pants when the EU implemented some mild sanctions prohibiting grants and loans to entities doing business in the settlements. When the large state pension funds and banks subsequently announced their withdrawal from investments in companies engaged in constructing or marketing illegal settlement units, it made headlines in Israel and around the world. For example:
* Norway’s sovereign wealth fund joins exodus from Israel
link to ft.com
* Massive Norwegian state fund to divest from Israeli company
Ethics board finds Shikun and Binui ‘in breach of international humanitarian law in East-Jerusalem’
link to timesofisrael.com
* Denmark’s largest bank blacklists Israel’s Hapoalim over settlement construction: Danske Bank states Bank Hapoalim is acting against the rules of international humanitarian law; bank already pulled investments from two Israeli firms. link to haaretz.com
* Dutch pension group divests from Israel: Jerusalem blasts ‘double standard,’ noting PGGM investments in Chinese banks active in Tibet
link to timesofisrael.com
* Two foreign investors withdraw port bids over Israel boycott worries: Israeli transportation sector reportedly finding it increasingly difficult to attract international companies link to i24news.tv
* Dutch firm severs ties with Mekorot over West Bank policy
link to jpost.com
* $170m Argentina loss for Israeli water firm Mekorot as BDS spreads southward – link to bdsmovement.net

Israel’s captains of industry fear boycott: Leaders from Israel’s tech and banking industries will fly to Davos economic forum to support Kerry’s peace effort, urge Israel and Palestinians to reach deal to save Israel’s economy from looming boycott link to ynetnews.com

hophmi
May 24, 2015, 3:13 pm

No, it does not violate the church-state separation principle when a head of state visits a house of worship.

just
May 24, 2015, 3:10 pm

Yeah, ’cause they’re the only ones who have them in the region, and they keep it ‘secret’~ no inspections, no NPT, no nothing. Yet Ya’alon threatens to nuke Iran, admits to war crimes and promises more! The world (the US) not only stays silent, but they also continue to endorse and facilitate their rogue behavior and status.

link to mondoweiss.net

So is the sole purpose of Israel and the US’ affinity for it to serve as the base for nuclear weapons while the entire region is destabilized because of Western/ Isreali actions and threats?

I really have a sick feeling about it all.

michelle
May 24, 2015, 2:53 pm

.
that is a question i was also trying to better understand
in this matter all i have come up with is
welcome to the mad hatters tea party
.
G-d Bless
.

piotr
May 24, 2015, 2:46 pm

About Turks in ISIS: there was a story about an “ISIS commander” who got wounded and left for his native Turkey for hospital treatment, and nobody bothered him. Unlike policemen who stopped trucks with weapons and explosives that were driving on orders of military intelligence and according to the shipping papers, contained “humanitarian aid”; the poor guys were fired.

Statistics of ISIS fighters from various countries come from law enforcement in those countries, and zero stat from Turkey does not mean much.

Concerning reasons for “radicalization and violence”, various societies experience crisis situations and “radicalization and violence” is one of the outcomes. And it is a genie that is not easy to put back in the bottle. For example, Colombia experienced something called “Violencia”, and it has effects on the society even today. Not much in our media on that. In any case, dependent on the distribution of religions and ideologies during the crisis, you can get “radical and violent” Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Shinto, Anarchists, Marxists, liberal democrats and so on.

Les
May 24, 2015, 2:44 pm

Guess who got sent to prison? Rep. Jane Harman for sharing classified information with Israel or Shamai Liebowitz, the FBI translator who discovered and then revealed the treason of Harman when the FBI did nothing to prosecute her.

Hostage
May 24, 2015, 2:39 pm

even if the Arab states had wanted to declare independence on the termination of the Mandate, Jewish/Israeli forces prevented it by already being in control of territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine” slated for an Arab state on May 15th 1948.

No, the UN resolution created the new “states” when it was adopted on 27 November 1947, not mere “territories”. They were already in existence and the resolution spelled out the mandatory intermediate steps that the provisional governments of the two “states”, as such, had to take prior to independence. The prohibition of aggression contained in those mandatory steps was explicit in that it applied to “any state,” not just independent ones.

The same legal doctrines, like ex turpi causa non oritur actio, that apply to natural persons apply to wrongful acts committed by states (as persons of law) against one another.

echinococcus
May 24, 2015, 2:37 pm

The Only Democracy in the World

traintosiberia
May 24, 2015, 2:27 pm

Nevada Ned

“Israel soon discovered that it needed U.S. cooperation, however, and therein lay the cause of the Lavi’s (possibly temporary) demise. It was not feasible for Israel to develop one of the world’s most sophisticated aircraft on a self-sufficient basis, as originally hoped. The Lavi project consequently involved joint research, the use of some U.S. components (such as Pratt and Whitney engines) and U.S. taxpayers’ money.

Some $1.3 billion of U.S. aid went into the Lavi before alarm bells went off in Washington: why was the U.S. paying Israel to develop and produce an aircraft that would compete on the international arms market with planes produced by its own companies and put American workers out of their jobs? The Reagan administration, averse to putting pressure on Israel over issues such as stopping settlement construction in the West Bank, leaned on the Israeli government, which duly caved in: the Lavi project was cancelled in 1987.”

The Chinese J-10 has no U.S.-made parts: the engine is Russian-made, and nearly everything else is made in China. According to military affairs writer Tim Kennedy, however, “after Israel discontinued the largely U.S.-funded project, it sold China the plans for the Lavi and the associated secret U.S. technology.” (See “U.S. Military Technology Sold by Israel to China Upsets Asian Power Balance,” January 1996 Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, p. 12.)

link to wrmea.org
WRMEA

JanetB
May 24, 2015, 2:25 pm

I have got to the point where I find it very difficult to take Jewish complaints of Antisemitism seriously because so many of the people making the charge have no problem being racist against other people, in particular Muslims/Arabs/Palestinians. I feel like saying until all Jewish leaders start denouncing Israeli crimes don’t complain about Antisemitism. I know this attitude is wrong, but I have a real problem with this Zionist double standard.

jon s
May 24, 2015, 2:21 pm

Eva,
I don’t believe this.
What are you saying? That the “Protocols” endure because there’s “something to it”?

As far as I know the “Protocols” endure only among hard-core Anti-Semites.
And everything in the “Protocols” , from start to finish, is a lie.

For more, see here:

link to amazon.com

Hostage
May 24, 2015, 2:09 pm

An independent state is another matter surely. Being occupied by the US cannot be independence.

But you keep insisting that a “state” couldn’t be established because it lacked independence and that proposition is simply false. It was well known that all of the customary laws of war applied to any “belligerent community” or “nation” involved in an armed conflict. Here in the USA our government was even at war with certain Indian nations and tribes and our courts still hold that our treaties with their governments are in full force and effect – and in many cases in a state of breech requiring compensation or other agreed upon settlement.

People keep talking as if “statehood” doesn’t exist until the moment of “independence”. The change to the undefined term “State” in the portion of the UN Charter regarding “sovereign equality” altered the entire nature of the organization and prevented it from actually becoming the “United Nations”. During the drafting of the UN Charter, Dr. Isaiah B. Bowman of the US delegation explained:

“As to the matter of sovereign equality and the integrity of states, the memorandum prepared by Mr. Gerig indicates how the relationships of certain states to others vary, and it is difficult to define their exact degree of sovereignty and independence. The number of these political units goes up to about 70. The first 45 or so can be considered fully independent, but the sovereignty of the remainder is qualified in some degree. We have to leave out of the Charter any attempt to define a state or to guarantee boundaries, but we should come as close as possible to maintaining the integrity and independence of political units by regulating their behavior and preventing aggression.”

— See Foreign relations of the United States : diplomatic papers, 1945. General : the United Nations (1945), The United Nations conference on international organization, San Francisco, California, April 25-June 26, 1945, page 424 link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

There’s a fuller historical discussion of that subject below. To anyone familiar with the actual documentary history and the rules of international organization, it’s simply ludicrous to suggest that the absence of some aspect of “sovereign equality” could somehow serve as a jurisdictional bar to the application of international law on the basis on the deliberately undefined term “state” in that single treaty. The US State Department Digest of International Law explains that:

“A state in the international sense is generally described as a recognized member of the family of nations, an international person. Authorities differ in respect to the qualifications for such statehood, but there is general agreement on certain basic requirements. Independence is not essential. The requisite personality, in the international sense, is seen when the entity claiming to be a State has in fact its own distinctive association with the members of the international society, as by treaties, which, howsoever concluded in its behalf, mark the existence of definite relationships between itself and other contracting parties”

— Marjorie M. Whiteman, Digest of International Law, vol. 1 (Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1963) page 223

About two thirds of the well recognized countries in the world (aka “political units”) were not independent states according to The Inquiry series study “Types of Restricted Sovereignty and of Colonial Autonomy” prepared for the US Government delegation to the Versailles Peace Conference by the US Government Printing Office in 1919. FYI, states like Serbia, Montenegro, and Romania that had been required to accept an international minority rights treaty undertaking were considered to have only a limited degree of sovereignty or autonomy. So by customary definition, the states in the UN proposal for Palestine would have only enjoyed conditional independence and sovereignty.

Nonetheless, entities like the India Colony were full members of the LoN and Charter members of the UN before they ever attained “independence”. The same can be said for the US Protectorates of Cuba & etc. that were listed as Pan-American States and High Contracting Parties to the Montevideo Convention of 1933. The League of Nations had an observer delegation that was present at the signing of that treaty. The US reservation stated that it was willing to re-negotiate the 1903 treaty which denied Cubans full autonomy and the right to form their own foreign alliances. The treaty had acknowledged the right of the United States to intervene militarily at any time without it being considered a foreign intervention. The US also imposed a perpetual servitude on the people of Cuba in the form of a lease for a military base at Guantanamo Bay. The US had similar treaties with Panama (including a military base and a canal), Haiti, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and etc. It continued to use threats and military interventions, even after those countries became members of the League of Nations, since the LoN Covenant contained an article acknowledging our Monroe Doctrine. That’s why the LoN never undertook any collective defense action under Article 10 when the US launched one of its infrequent military incursions. Despite all of that, everyone still understood that the US could not simply drive the inhabitants into exile and confiscate their homes and property on the pretext that they weren’t a “sovereign state”. Even the fact that the USA “leases” the base in Cuba is an acknowledgement that it has no inherent right to the use of that Cuban territory.

The Secretary of the UN reported to the first session of the International Law Commission that the use of that term “sovereign equality” in the draft UN Charter was a great point of controversy at the San Francisco Conference, since it had no agreed upon meaning.

The first time the phrase “sovereign equality” was used in the foreign relations of the United States was when the Secretary of State advised the US Delegation to the Kingdom of Hawaii that it was okay to arrange with the commanding officer for the continued presence on shore of a US marine force, so long as he did NOT establish “a protectorate over the Government of the Hawaiian Islands, which the United States have recognized as sovereign and with which they treat on terms of sovereign equality.” The very next day he cabled again and said “A treaty of annexation has been signed and will be sent to the Senate without delay.” — link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

In 1943, the first draft of the declaration of the Moscow Conference said: “That they recognize the necessity of establishing at the earliest practicable date a general international organization, based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all nations, and open to membership by all nations, large and small, for the maintenance of international peace and security.” — link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

That formula would never do for the Big Five, since those particular Allies wanted to keep their war time enemies out of the organization and they also wanted to prevent smaller powers from entertaining any pretensions that some nations might not play a larger role than others. So the British proposed: “That they recognise the necessity of establishing at the earliest practicable date a general international organization based on the principle of sovereign equality of all nations for the maintenance of international peace and security in which all peace-loving nations, great and small, may play their parts.” — link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

Stalin would have been understandably apoplectic over all of this talk about the sovereign equality of all the “nations” in his Soviet fold, their right of self-determination, and their right to play a part. While he agreed in principle with the British proposal, proper top-down control under Marxist-Leninist theory about the rights of the Communist “State” would have demanded that it be reworded through a simpler amendment: “namely, to insert the word “States” for “nations” and drop all the talk about small nations playing a part. That’s exactly what the USSR recommended. – link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

In the end they determined that the idea of sovereign equality among peace loving states wasn’t even flexible enough to accommodate the principle of official state neutrality, since peace loving members might have to accept a decision of the Organization that would require them to go-off to war on a moment’s notice. Article 25 also seemed at odds with the concept of equality, since all of the members had to agree to accept any decision of the Security Council, including a veto that only five members would ever possess. The term lost almost all residual meaning when the USSR, a single constitutional union or entity, demanded and received 3 votes (Russia, Ukraine, and Byelorussia) in the General Assembly – and the veto in the Security Council – compared to the single measly vote permitted to all of the smaller States.

Honest scholars of political science have never harbored any illusions about the inequality of these historical arrangements which focused all the attention on so-called sovereign states and away from “nations” and “communities” that had been the subjects of international law up until that time.

jon s
May 24, 2015, 2:04 pm

Let’s not forget that JFK was allegedly assassinated by a conspiracy that included the mafia, the CIA, the FBI, the Secret service, the Dallas Police, anti-Castro Cubans, pro-Castro Cubans…and I’m sorry if I forgot anyone… So, sure, while we’re at it, why not include “the Zionists”?

Mooser
May 24, 2015, 2:01 pm

“I’m glad you avoid being judgemental about Mooser.”

So am I!!

Annie Robbins
May 24, 2015, 1:56 pm

speaking of shavuot, i just won a bet!

recently i was part of a code pink delegation to cuba (i highly recommend code pink tours, bop til you drop, they run you ragged) and i can’t recall how it came up but i mentioned this jewish holiday i couldn’t recall the name of where people studied jewish history or law or something all night long. i heard about it because my ex roomie (a rabbi) and a bunch of his friends planned this camping trip up on the mountain for an overnight and they were going to do this study thing all night long. so, we were on the tour bus on the way to the che guevara museum near santa clara (where the big battle took place) and ted from brooklyn (i forget his last name) insisted there was no such holiday! and then he asked some other jewish friends on the bus and they all insisted no such holiday existed! i said i think it was in the spring, probably may and they laughed at me and he said wanna bet, i said sure and he said how much and i said i don’t make money bets.

oh wow, now i really have to get his email because i looked up shavuot after reading your comment jon and scrolling down it says: link to en.wikipedia.org

All-night Torah study[edit]
The practice of staying up all Shavuot night to study Torah – known as Tikkun Leil Shavuot (Hebrew: תקון ליל שבועות‎) – has its source in the Midrash, which relates that the night before the Torah was given, the Israelites retired early to be well-rested for the momentous day ahead. They overslept and Moses had to wake them up because God was already waiting on the mountaintop.[19] To rectify this perceived flaw in the national character, many religious Jews stay up all night to learn Torah.[20]
The custom of all-night Torah study goes back to 1533 when Rabbi Joseph Caro, author of the Shulchan Aruch, then living in Ottoman Salonika, invited Rabbi Shlomo Halevi Alkabetz and other Kabbalistic colleagues to hold Shavuot-night study vigils for which they prepared for three days in advance, just as the Israelites had prepared for three days before the giving of the Torah. During one of those study sessions, an angel appeared and taught them Jewish law.[21][22][23]
The mass-consumption of coffee in the Ottoman empire is thought to be one factor in the emergence of the practice of all-night Torah study on Shavuot.[24][25]
Any subject may be studied on Shavuot night, although Talmud, Mishnah, and Torah typically top the list. People may learn alone or with a chavruta (study partner), or attend late-night shiurim (lectures) and study groups.[26] Both men and women participate in this tradition.
In Jerusalem, tens of thousands of people finish off the nighttime study session by walking to the Western Wall before dawn and joining the sunrise minyan there.[26][27][28][29] This practice began in 1967. One week before Shavuot of that year, the Israeli army recaptured the Old City in the Six-Day War, and on Shavuot day, the army opened the Western Wall to visitors. Over 200,000 Jews came to see and pray at the site that had been off-limits to them since 1948. The custom of walking to the Western Wall on Shavuot has continued every year since.[26][27][28][30]

Mooser
May 24, 2015, 1:50 pm

“The security council has nothing better to do than chase accountants in Albuquerque?”

What happened to the guy who used to have your job? Ever think about that?
Coupla black UN helicopters made a left at Albuquerque, and he was never heard from again.

Atlantaiconoclast
May 24, 2015, 1:50 pm

Actually, Lincoln, at his inauguration, proposed keeping slavery forever legal in the South, as long as the South did not secede. Lincoln has been overrated. He did not attack the South to free slaves, but to “save” the union.

Atlantaiconoclast
May 24, 2015, 1:44 pm

Where is the freaking ACLU?

Mooser
May 24, 2015, 1:38 pm

“What do you mean by “spirituality”?

Dusk, of course.

Eva Smagacz
May 24, 2015, 1:25 pm

“Protocols of Elders of Zion”

Has it ever occur to you to wonder, why that particular forgery has such a following?

I can tell you. The main principles of manipulation of masses described in the book are sound – and widely used – and they are blatantly effective: that makes book believable.

There is an ever present streak of contempt for a common, simple man – again blatantly present for all to see.

There is “us” and “them” underlined in the narrative: Narrators don’t have affinity, or sympathy, or understanding of common, little people. They are superior, chosen by birth to be elite, and they hold themselves a world apart from Fred and Gladys and John and Jane. Their entitlement comes at the expense of rest of world community.

“Them” – rich, powerful, manipulative people seem more set on cooperating to gain more power than be individually human.

Its a powerful portrait. It best describes a tribe we call in today’s vernacular 1%.

But there is a twist: pride in successful manipulation (pilpul, hasbara, “new” Anti-semitism), contempt for common man, tribal loyalty and nepotism, sense of superiority and “apartness” – are all too often displayed by people professing to be Jews. These are the people that give Jewishness a bad name.

This is what makes Protocols of the Elders of Zion so enduring as a political pamphlet:

It marries believable techniques of crowd control with adjectives that are commonly displayed by Jewish fraternity.

Mooser
May 24, 2015, 1:17 pm

Thanks, “gamal”! Good advice all around. At any rate, it couldn’t hurt!

Hostage
May 24, 2015, 1:12 pm

That was A) only a part of the territories that remained of Palestine after Israel proclaimed its frontiers in its plea for recognition. B) Not Palestinian independence.

In regard to A): The union between Arab Palestinian and Transjordan did not affect any territorial rights or claims. An Armistice was imposed on the new entities “Jordan” and “Israel” by the UN Security Council under the terms of Article 40 of the Charter. 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.

link to yale.edu

One of the Jericho resolutions of 1948 had explicitly stated that the Congress was acting to preserve the option of a “future life of independence” and the 1950 declaration announcing the ratification of the “Union of the Two Banks” explicitly stipulated that it was “without prejudice to the final settlement of the question of Palestine”. At the time, the US Secretary of State and the UK Foreign Secretary both recognized it as a free expression of the will of “the two peoples” of Transjordan and Arab Palestine. The competence of the King to negotiate a final territorial settlement only lasted as long as the union itself did. On 28 March, 1949, President Truman wrote to King Abdullah:

“I desire to recall to Your Majesty that the policy of the United States Government as regards a final territorial settlement in Palestine and as stated in the General Assembly on Nov 30, 1948 by Dr. Philip Jessup, the American representative, is that Israel is entitled to the territory allotted to her by the General Assembly Resolution of November 29, 1947, but that if Israel desires additions, i.e., territory allotted to, the Arabs by the November 29 Resolution, it should offer territorial compensation.

See the FRUS Volume VI 1949, pages 878-879. link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

For the same reason, the United States always held that Gaza should go to Jordan in any final settlement. For their part, the Egyptians advised from the outset that they could not negotiate with Israel over the status of Gaza, since it was claimed by Abdullah for Jordan. link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu At the same time, everyone directly concerned accepted Jordan’s de facto competence to negotiate with Israel over a corridor from Beersheba or Hebron to Gaza. All of that was happening after the “dual kingdom” had been announced. Plans for a “joint kingdom”, established through annexation, were pending, but no action was taken until a year later.

In regard to B) You’re misstating the applicable international law with regard to the right of self-determination and the laws of state succession. Egypt and Syria did not lose their “independence” when they formed and later dissolved the United Arab Republic. Likewise Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador did not lose their independence when they formed and later dissolved “The United States of Central America”. link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

Abdullah was already the King of Transjordan when he was declared the King of Arab Palestine by the Jericho Congress. That immediately made him the sovereign before any annexation ever occurred. That idea causes the Husayni clan to piss themselves, but the idea that the UN would ever accept their wartime enemy, the Mufti, as the head of the new state was never anything but a pipe dream. The former enemy states couldn’t even get into the UN, much less demand that one of the former enemy leaders be recognized as the constitutional head of a provisional government established under the auspices of a UN Commission.

A couple of weeks later in January of 1949 both houses of the Transjordanian Parliament approved the Jericho resolution on the establishment of a joint kingdom and dissolved themselves pending new national elections. The name of the Kingdom was officially changed to reflect the new political and legal situation.

The name of the new joint entity was “Jordan”. So it is unhistorical nonsense to claim that “Jordan” ever occupied “Palestine” or that it somehow prevented the establishment of an Arab state there. The Palestinians were full partners in the new constitutional union with another people who had been subjects of the Palestine mandate for 25 years. The two peoples enjoyed equal representation in the lawmaking bodies, the right to vote, and the right to dissolve the union in the future. The relationship between the United States and one of its territories, like Puerto Rico or Samoa, is nothing like that. Forming and/or dissolving a union with another existing state happens to be listed among the “valid modes” of exercising the right of self-determination according to The Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. Jordan was admitted as a full UN member state and its ambassador’s credentials were always accepted as being the valid legal representative for both the East and West Banks until 1988

Mooser
May 24, 2015, 12:56 pm

“OK, I’m thinking of JFK. Do you believe every crackpot conspiracy theory….”

“Crackpot theories” like taking the old Testament as history or a land-deed? “Crackpot theories” like the racist ideas which undergird Zionism? Buddy, you don’t want to be talking about “crackpots”.
“Crackpot theories” about how Israel has annexed Jerusalem?

traintosiberia
May 24, 2015, 12:45 pm

There were other ways to silence the debate. By declaring some one of being guilty of something that is again beyond the horrible,akin to nazi,similar to fascism or not morally equivalent to the counterparty the debate was not only stifled and it was actually won by the anti peace gangs . The phrases and the words were coined at that time first time and de novo. Most of these words and phrases have come from the Zionist . The psychological numbing was carried out by the Zionist forces . Opinion and possibilities were presented as fact . Zionist in media ,academy,government offices and non government organization made sure that other voices or alternatives not heard ,they made sure that the Arab and Islam were perceived as evil incarnate.

Mooser
May 24, 2015, 12:42 pm

“They want to be good, properly Jewish, Jews, but they don’t know how, and nobody can tell them how to be Jewish.”

Go to the “Build Your Own Judaism” website for help with this. Design a Judaism which fits your lifestyle. Choose a diet which may help avoid apostate trouble.

MHughes976
May 24, 2015, 12:32 pm

It would be surprising if Philby, a great deceiver, would have given himself away by writing reports that would reveal Soviet sympathies. He must have been aware to some degree of the shift in left wing Jewish opinion towards Israel. In 45 Jewish voters were responsible for giving us our last Commie MP, Phil Piratin (Phil the Pirate, as I like to think of him) – by 59 they were responsible for unseating Maurice Orbach, a Labour critic of Israel’s participation in the Suez venture, even though he was a proclaimed Zionist.
Philby must have been aware of the danger of antagonising former friends, aware of (at least) incautious remarks in the very different world of the anti-fascist 30s.
It would be interesting to compare his reports with those of other British journalists at the time: my suspicion is that you wouldn’t find that much difference, though perhaps I’m wrong.
Perhaps it’s less a case of one crucial denunciation motivated by politics than a case of a career of deception whose time was over, everyone who knew him coming to see him for what he was.

Mooser
May 24, 2015, 12:17 pm

“And Happy Shavuot to all those celebrating today!”

That’s right! And all of you who are not celebrating today, you’re a bunch of apostates, and you’ll get yours later!

pjdude
May 24, 2015, 12:11 pm

So much for being for self reflection and debate

Mooser
May 24, 2015, 12:10 pm

“That’s what I am saying, beneath the American mask of “we are so tolerant” is the depth of viscous bigotry. “

It’s an oily, oleaginous bigotry, too. “Viscous”? It’s more than just lubricious, it’s a multi-weight, all-season, semi-synthetic, long-life lubricant!

Now, stop blubbering “catalan”. And wipe your nose.

“I have already expressed my conviction that humanity will shortly reach its breaking point and a war of annihilation will follow.”

Oh, that’s nice. But please, wipe your nose.

jd65
May 24, 2015, 12:10 pm

Hey there a blah chick.

“If a company or financial institution decides to divest for purely economic reasons (it’s just not paying) how can you penalize them?”

You have hit on, imo, a key element. From the bill itself:

“Boycott Israel” means engaging in actions that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or otherwise limit commercial relations with the State of Israel or companies based in the State of Israel or in territories controlled by the State of Israel.

So I suppose in theory, if the divestment was done purely for economic reasons, as you suggest, it may not be affected by the bill; according to the bill itself. However, the political atmosphere being what it is in this country, the “trickle-down suppression” mentioned in the above article will, I suspect, pressure some organizations to stay invested in Israel – whatever their reasons may have been for wanting to divest. And the drafters of this legislation know that the passing of this bill adds to that trickle-down pressure – in a big way.

But the more problematic issue, imo, is that the wording in the quote above from the bill infers that it’s ok to legislate against a group/organization/business/or person merely because that group has a different political stance (thought/idea) than that of the ruling government, not because of an action taken. What other reason would there be to place the phrase “politically motivated” into the legislation? If the bill says it’s ok to actively boycott for purely economic/business reasons, but not ok to actively boycott for political/ideological reasons (and I do think that’s what the bill implies), then the bill is legislating against a thought process, and not against an action. That’s, uhhh… pretty messed up.

‘Nother pertinent blah chick question:

“Will there be some panel that will sit in judgement and decide if your reasons are valid?”

Yes. It will be called the Illinois Investment Policy Board. But I will refer to it, un-lovingly, as the House Un-Israeli Activities Committee (HUAC – 2.0). The Board will be “retaining an independent research firm to identify… companies that boycott Israel.” The Board will then compile a “list of restricted companies.” My assumption (seemingly the same as yours?) is that even if the companies that end up on the Board’s “list” state that they’ve divested from Israel for purely financial reasons and not for political/ideological ones, HUAC 2.0 will likely still spend energy and finances investigating this claim to make sure it is the case. It’s all so bizarre…

traintosiberia
May 24, 2015, 12:09 pm

Why did American support the 2003 war? Bill Moyer provided the definite answer to that question- everybody saw Bill Kristol and no body saw those from the other side of the divide.
Now the next question should have been why Bill Kristol got that platform or all the other platforms subsequently including the choosing of Sarah Palin ,or hammering of Hegel or penning the letter for Cotton to Iran or the platform to offer advice on any ME crisis ?

jd65
May 24, 2015, 11:42 am

Hey Cliff,

You likely knew this, but just to be sure: The quote you pulled, “Those U.S. persons who agree to participate in such boycotts are subject to criminal and civil penalties,” is from the 70s legislation, not the current SB1761. Couldn’t tell for sure from your post if that’s what you meant.

I agree w/ you that the folks who wrote this current bill would like to criminalize BDS, and other Palestine solidarity activism, and possibly see this legislation as a way toward moving in that direction. That is, of course, conjecture. But I feel that it’s a conjecture based on years of observation (seeing the earlier 70s amendments being merely one of many things observed)…

Annie Robbins
May 24, 2015, 11:38 am

jon, i think you’re missing the point. it’s the job of intelligence to expose traitors. but years later, when the story is told, don’t you find it odd that an important key to that very exposure (the motivation of a key witness) is erased from the story? why the cover up?

Citizen
May 24, 2015, 11:38 am

Jeb Bush, James Baker, and the Pro-Israel Mega-Donors link to mycatbirdseat.com via @My Catbird Seat

for-peace
May 24, 2015, 11:29 am

As you pointed out, it has nothing to do with money. It is all about “shared values”

eljay
May 24, 2015, 11:21 am

|| jon s: So exposing a traitor is wrong, if it’s done by a “Zionist”? ||

Flora Solomon later maintained that her motives in exposing Philby were strictly political: he was writing anti-Israel articles and she wanted him sacked from the “Observer”.

Exposing him wasn’t wrong, but you attribute a non-existent purity to her motives.

a blah chick
May 24, 2015, 11:16 am

Did anyone else see this opinion piece in the WAPO? It’s by David Bernstein (Volokh Conspiracy). And it’s not horrible.

Concerning Obama’s nostalgia for Old Israel “To understand how this sounds to someone sensitive to the history of various historically disfavored groups in Israel, imagine a foreign leader had said “I came to know America based on images of Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman, the American Federation of Labor, the Daughters of the American Revolution…” Each of these individuals and groups had their virtues, but lots of us would think, “Geez, you’re nostalgic for an America dominated by White Protestants, and you aren’t even sensitive enough about the course of American history to recognize it, or assumedly you wouldn’t say it.”

Yes, an African American president is pining for the days of old White Israel.

Kris
May 24, 2015, 11:08 am

jon s: “And Happy Shavuot to all those celebrating today!”

For those who, like me, didn’t know about Shavuot:

“But from Abraham’s “ten trials” to 21st century America, Judaism has never been about comfort, enjoyment or even personal fulfillment (though, to be sure, the latter surely emerges from a God-centered life). It has been about Torah and mitzvot, commandments — about accepting them, not only when they sit well with us but even — indeed, especially — when they don’t.” link to forward.com

I wonder how a “God-centered life” in the “Jewish” nation fits in with actions like this; oddly, none of you Zionists has bothered to comment about it: “Israel says boy is ‘moderately injured’ after his skull is fractured by rubber bullet in East Jerusalem” – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

More, here: “Palestinian boy, 10, critically injured by rubber bullet in Jerusalem” link to maannews.com

Why wouldn’t this apply? From Amos 5:

21“I hate, I despise your feasts,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
and the peace offerings of your fattened animals,
I will not look upon them.
23Take away from me the noise of your songs;
to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
24But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

eljay
May 24, 2015, 11:03 am

Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, thanked the US secretary of state, John Kerry, for blocking an Egyptian-led drive on a possible Middle East nuclear arms ban at a United Nations conference, an Israeli official said on Saturday.
. . .
Netanyahu spoke with Kerry “to convey his appreciation to President Obama and to the secretary”, a senior Israeli official said on condition of anonymity.

“The United States kept its commitment to Israel by preventing a Middle East resolution that would single out Israel and ignore its security interests and the threats posed to it by an increasingly turbulent Middle East,” the official added.

No nukes for any country but Israel: Zio-supremacists will no doubt express tremendous outrage at the fact that Israel is being singled out and treated differently from other countries in the region.

David Doppler
May 24, 2015, 11:03 am

No Stephen, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” reads the first line of the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights. It would violate the First Amendment in several respects to prohibit a politician or government official from speaking in a house of worship. Now if he set up a government office there, that would be a problem.

Froggy
May 24, 2015, 10:56 am

Many Brits have called Obama ‘the American Tony Blair’.

Philip Weiss
May 24, 2015, 10:47 am

Good point Jon S but I dont think I was taking a moral stance so much as pointing out, Why did it happen? She had that information for 25 years

Kris
May 24, 2015, 10:36 am

This photo of the U.S. and Israel flags says it all: link to commondreams.org

just
May 24, 2015, 10:17 am

Here’s another “grotesque injustice”! Western hypocrisy at its very finest.

…”Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, thanked the US secretary of state, John Kerry, for blocking an Egyptian-led drive on a possible Middle East nuclear arms ban at a United Nations conference, an Israeli official said on Saturday.

It was a rare message of thanks from Netanyahu, who has repeatedly accused President Barack Obama of undermining Israel’s security by attempting to reach a nuclear deal with Iran.

A month-long review conference on the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) ended in failure on Friday, over disagreements on the issue of a Middle East atomic weapons ban. Washington blamed the failure on Egypt, which in turn blamed the US, British and Canadian delegations.

Netanyahu spoke with Kerry “to convey his appreciation to President Obama and to the secretary”, a senior Israeli official said on condition of anonymity.

“The United States kept its commitment to Israel by preventing a Middle East resolution that would single out Israel and ignore its security interests and the threats posed to it by an increasingly turbulent Middle East,” the official added.

Israel also thanked Britain and Canada for joining the US in blocking consensus at the conference, the official said.”…

link to theguardian.com

Compare and contrast with:

“Iran will allow UN nuclear inspectors to visit military sites, negotiator says”

link to theguardian.com

charlesfrith
May 24, 2015, 10:14 am

Superb information. Still doesn’t explain why Philby was close with Zionist CIA asset James Jesus Angleton

Hostage
May 24, 2015, 9:59 am

In short, the neighboring Arab states (save for Lebanon) simultaneously, on May 15, attacked Israel, its settlements, and its territory.

What a crock of shit. Let’s stop pretending that innocent Jews were attacked for no reason. Under the terms of the lopsided international boundary agreements that the Zionists had the British and French conclude on their behalf during the era of the mandate, the Syrians, Lebanese, and Transjordanians retained rights to fishing, navigation, and grazing inside Palestine in the Hulda and Jordan river systems. Israel announced that it would not be honoring those treaties. So, in reality, the borders were drawn on the Arab side of those bodies of water in order to eventually turn the marshes, rivers, and inland Sea of Galilee into a Jewish possession where armed patrol boats would suddenly fire on Arab fishing boats and drive them away from their ancestral way of life.

The documentary historical record of all the parties to the conflict reveals that the neighboring Arab states had stayed out of the fray for months, while their beleaguered brethren had been the object of Jewish aggression and a deliberate ethnic cleansing campaign. When they finally took action, no members of the Security Council felt they were unjustified (see more below).

The Jews were required to establish a government with proportional representation of a Palestinian Arab population that rivaled their own. The best estimates of the British mandatory in early November of 1947 was that the Palestinian Arab population of the new state would either match or surpass that of the Jews. The Jews only owned 6 percent of the land and had already driven hundreds of thousands of unarmed Arab refugees off of theirs and into the territories of those neighboring states before they took action. The Jewish militias were busy obliterating all traces of hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages. The Foreign Relations of the United States documents the fact that our own US officials witnessed bands of armed Jews systematically looting and pillaging their Arab neighbor’s properties.

When the Jews met to declare a provisional government, the verbatim record shows that Ben Gurion noted they were actually gathered to establish “Jewish rule” and there wasn’t a single Palestinian Arab in the room. – See Netanel Lorach, Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981, Volume 1 – People’s Council and Provisional Council of State, 1948-1949, pp 44 (pdf page 36 of 184) link to jcpa.org

A few months later the Foreign Minister, who lied through his teeth to the UN about the Jewish willingness to live in peace with the Arab population, admitted that: Economically the Provisional Government of Israel had “no room” for the Palestinian Arab refugees that it had ethnically cleansed “since their space was needed for Jewish immigrants” and that the unelected government “reserved the right in any event” to “replace them with Jews from Arab countries who had expressed the desire to come to Palestine”. link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

Here’s what the US government said about the situation in Palestine just before the end of the mandate:

Memorandum by the Director of the Office of United Nations Affairs (Rusk) to the Under Secretary of State (Lovett)
SECRET [WASHINGTON,] May 4, 1948:

Military operations after May 15 will probably be undertaken by the Haganah with the assistance of the Jewish terrorist organizations Irgun and Stern. Copies of Consul General Wasson’s excellent reports, as set forth in his telegram 530 of May 3, are attached, and provide the estimate of the British General Officer Commanding as to the probable course of military events after British withdrawal on May 15.

If these predictions come true. we shall find ourselves in the UN confronted by a very anomalous situation. The Jews will be the actual aggressors against the Arabs. However, the Jews will claim that they are merely defending the boundaries of a state which were traced by the UN and approved, at least in principle, by two-thirds of the UN membership. The question which will confront the Security Council in scarcely ten days’ time will be whether Jewish armed attack on Arab communities in Palestine is legitimate or whether it constitutes such a threat to international peace and security as to call for coercive measures by the Security Council. The situation may be made more difficult and less clear-cut if, as is probable, Arab armies from outside Palestine cross the frontier to aid their disorganized and demoralized brethren who will be the objects of Jewish attack. In the event of such Arab outside aid the Jews will come running to the Security Council with the claim that their state is the object of armed aggression and will use every means to obscure the fact that it is their own armed aggression against the Arabs inside Palestine which is the cause of Arab counter-attack.

There will be a decided effort, given this eventuality, that the United States will be called upon by elements inside this country to support Security Council action against the Arab states. To take such action would seem to me to be morally indefensible while, from the aspect of our relations with the Middle East and of our broad security aspects in that region, it would be almost fatal to pit forces of the United States and possibly Russia against the governments of the Arab world.

Given this almost intolerable situation, the wisest course of action might be for the United States and Great Britain, with the assistance of France, to undertake immediate diplomatic action seeking to work out a modus vivendi between Abdullah of Transjordan and the Jewish Agency. This modus vivendi would call for, in effect, a de facto partition of Palestine along the lines traced by Sir Arthur Creech Jones in his remark to Ambassador Parodi on May 2, as indicated on Page 3 of USUN’s telegram [549], May 2, which has been drawn to your attention.

By July, the League of Arab States were alarmed by Israel’s large scale arms acquisitions and resulting strengthened position during the cease fire and they resumed hostilities. The UN Security Council finally declared the situation a threat to international peace and security, but the US prevented any adverse sanctions against Israel.

The internal memo was published in the Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa , Volume V, Part 2, page 848. Analysis of the memo is contained in “The British Empire in the Middle East, 1945-1951″, William Roger Louis, Oxford University Press, 1984, ISBN: 0198229607, page 545; Zionism and the Palestinians, Simha Flapan, Croom Helm, 1979, ISBN: 0856644994, Page 336; and Fallen pillars: U.S. policy towards Palestine and Israel since 1945, Donald Neff, 2nd Edition, Institute for Palestine Studies, 1995, ISBN: 0887282598, page 65.

Citizen
May 24, 2015, 9:26 am

Hey, the EU just got its own AIPAC clone: link to electronicintifada.net

Froggy
May 24, 2015, 9:22 am

Abdul – “… who would have imagined Obama coming to this….”

Before Obama was elected a number of progressive Brits told me that Obama was another Tony Blair.

They pegged him as a fake, and predicted that once he got elected he would be ready to jettison his base to support war, Wall Street, banking, money interests, and big business whenever doing so would be in his personal interest.

We will see what he does after he is out of office. I very much doubt that he will go the way of Jimmy Carter.

Obama not only threw Edward Said, Professor Rashid Khalidi and his minister and long-time mentor, Pastor Wright ‘under the bus’, but also everyone who voted for him. These people are not the rich, powerful friends he is looking for.

It will be interesting to see how much money Obama accumulates, and where that money comes from, in the years after he leaves office.

Of course I may be wrong… but I don’t think so.

Bumblebye
May 24, 2015, 9:00 am

RoHa: you will need to present an argument for group rights
jon s: it’s not your call

every darn time you claim Jews are a nation you are claiming that Hostage, mooser, talknic, Elliott et al are part of this “nation” wherever they are on planet earth! Israeli law does the same with its law of return. Every Jew in the diaspora who accepts this peculiar argument, whether or not they have the second (Israeli) passport – think donors and those who in their political work put the (perceived) interestsof Israel at the forefront of their activity (zionists, whatever brand, lite or hard) – can claim (or be conned into believing) that they are “loyal” while others are “traitorous” for dissenting when the opposite is the real truth.
Jon s, why don’t you understand how you are one of the most antisemitic posters on the MW comment section?

eljay
May 24, 2015, 8:59 am

|| jon s: My main point is that Jews also should also enjoy equal rights as a people or a nation, if they define themselves as such. ||

People who choose to be Jewish should have every right to be Jewish. No country in the world should deny those people their choice.

The choice to be Jewish does not translate into a group right to steal, occupy and colonize land in the Middle East (or anywhere else) and set up a religion-supremacist state primarily of and for people who have chosen to be Jewish (with all non-Jewish citizens relegated by default to second-class-citizen status).

truth2power
May 24, 2015, 8:21 am

Kris: I do not live in America so I cannot say you are correct or not, in what you say! I believe you have misinterpreted the point I was trying to make. I was talking about the day-to-day living control Israel has over the Palestinians. You, are being more than a little mischievous, I think ;)

no.kidding
May 24, 2015, 7:56 am

I hope you have sent them a complaint about that Elliot. Do you have a link so I can follow up as well? I am in the UK, and the BBC are notorious for their ignorant reporting of international affairs. During the closing stages of the war in Sri Lanka they didn’t seem able to differentiate between Tamils and Tamil Tigers! My husband, who is a Sri Lankan Tamil, was furious!

talknic
May 24, 2015, 7:46 am

@ Hostage May 24, 2015, 1:36 am

// even if the Arab states had wanted to declare independence on the termination of the Mandate, Jewish/Israeli forces prevented it by already being in control of territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine” slated for an Arab state on May 15th 1948.//

“… the Cubans declared a state despite the fact that the United States continued to occupy the country after the war with Spain under the terms of the Platt Amendment and the 1903 Treaty.”

One can be a state. An independent state is another matter surely. Being occupied by the US cannot be independence.

” When the mandate was terminated the Palestinian Jericho Congress and the Parliament of Transjordan formed a constitutional union/joint kingdom. Half the lawmakers and cabinet members of the new state of “Jordan” were Palestinians. So they were definitely NOT a non-self-governing territory”

That was A) only a part of the territories that remained of Palestine after Israel proclaimed its frontiers in its plea for recognition. B) Not Palestinian independence.

MRW
May 24, 2015, 7:40 am

In other words, an opportunist.

RoHa
May 24, 2015, 7:38 am

Not literally. Sirhan was too far away to get any of RFK’s blood on his hands. Also, he was in front of RFK. RFK was shot in the back at very close range.

But are you suggesting that the involvement of a single Palestinian in the assassination of RFK excuses the putative involvement of the Government of Israel in the assassination of JFK?

can of worms
May 24, 2015, 7:03 am

I take it more like this— “Palestinians have a right to be a free people on their land, as well. (Applause.) Now, I want to emphasize — that’s not easy. The Palestinians are not the easiest of partners. (Laughter.)”

It’s plainly about averting the one state solution, as everyone in that Synagogue knows.

O: “Palestinians have a right–” (that’s just the set up…)

O: “Palestinians have a right to be a free people on THEIR land!” (That’s the baseline denial of democracy, an idea involving equal rights and belonging for all people.)

Response: Applause.

O: But wait. “Now, I want to emphasize — that’s not easy.” (ha, easy as eating apple pie; easy as flattering Zios; easy as the PA accepting even a powerless Bantustan “state”.)

O: “The Palestinians are not the easiest of partners.” (Here’s the joke: Hurry up and choose the easy 2ss Bantustan now, the PAuthority are the easiest rape victims you’ll ever have. )

Response: Laughter.

Elisabeth
May 24, 2015, 6:11 am

Did no-one, really no-one walk out at the ‘no easy partner’ comment?
That is disgraceful!

amigo
May 24, 2015, 5:54 am

“The US-Israel relationship has nothing to do with money. “hopknee

Codswallop,

link to wrmea.org

How about 150 billion dollars of the US taxpayers money.

What color is the sky on your planet hoppy.

Citizen
May 24, 2015, 5:40 am

If memory serves, the bill vote in both Illinois houses was 100% in support. And Indiana and NY are copying the legislation. The free speech infringement is glaring. Where’s MSNBC on this breaking news? Ugh!

ivri
May 24, 2015, 4:57 am

I wonder. Entire Arabia is burning, which can partly be attributed in direct and indirect ways to how it misdealt with the Israel-Palestine conflict, and yet people are still into… sanctions on Israel. A kind of historical-scale blindness is playing-out here. Fortunately, not everybody is afflicted by that.

echinococcus
May 24, 2015, 4:44 am

MHughes976,

Very well thought and formulated.
That is precisely why Zionists, who figured out all of that already in the late 30s, planned and are committing genocide.
They call it continuing negotiations.

MHughes976
May 24, 2015, 4:36 am

I guess – just a guess pending the evidence, memoirs and all that; well, I suppose they’ll not settle anything either – that Obama went through three stages. In the first he sympathised with the Palestinians rather as we do now.
In the second, as he advanced in the political world, he met and became friendly with the main supporters of Zionism, many of them Jewish, and saw in them people of highly progressive mind and genuine humanity: I don’t say this with any kind of sneer. He determined that the way forward was to fix things up with these reasonable forces and he received many assurances that it would be done from people who mentioned Netanyahu’s name with a kind of fastidious shudder. Obama is the kind of person who believes above all in civilised dialogue and reasonable compromise. The problem is that no reasonable compromise has ever been found in the ME except for the 2ss which resists even approximately agreed definition.
Then came the campaign against Hillary Clinton and the Jeremiah Wright issue, ie the issue of those who say plainly that no reasonable compromise is in sight and therefore use disturbing language. This was the moment of truth: sympathy for the Palestinians at the cost of disturbing words or reassuring words at the cost of distance from a cause he had long considered to be just? Obama manoeuvred brilliantly, left Clinton flat-footed, gained the world and lost his soul -the breach with Wright, the once-beloved pastor, being a kind of religious disillusion and mutation of worldview. At the time I thought he was being clever.
However the fact that this latest speech is detested by the likes of us while seeming, I’m sure, perfectly sensible and all in a day’s statesmanlike work to the huge majority of people, just shows what a bunch of misfits and moral oddballs we still are, making visible progress only in universities, which aren’t normal places.

jon s
May 24, 2015, 4:25 am

RoHa,
I confess that you sort of lost me with your “n-nation” and “p-nation” categories.
And of course I disagree with your statement that Jews are not a nation. With all respect, it’s not your call.
I assume that you support equal rights for Jews, as individuals.
My main point is that Jews also should also enjoy equal rights as a people or a nation, if they define themselves as such.

echinococcus
May 24, 2015, 4:16 am

Could somebody please help Catalan with his misery; he’s shooting mail after mail on the same shit, flailing in all directions –but carefully avoiding to answer the charges.

I mean, if you are a propagandist for Zionism you don’t come to the States! You go to “Israel” (and/or the post-1967 Wild West) and if there is any justice something will happen to you while fighting for the greater glory of the Herrenvolk (hint: chances of a snowball in hell of its happening peacefully thanks to you guys.)

Otherwise it means you’re trying to sell some shit so stinking foul that you can’t even consume it yourself.

Note: When the people in militarily occupied Europe tried to save their skin, the Zionists lobbied hard to cancel the quotas and force some able-bodied non-Zionists, Menschen, to go to Palestine and kill Ayrabs and Britishers, while we know where so many of the non-able-bodied and non-visa-obtaining landed: not the States, not England, to the slaughter, compliments of the Zionist organizations of the US and GB!
And the proud scions of these monsters are papering all the walls of this web site with their excretions.

jon s
May 24, 2015, 4:14 am

Ramzi Jaber,
OK, I’m thinking of JFK. Do you believe every crackpot conspiracy theory, or just those which try to make connections to “Zionists”?

jon s
May 24, 2015, 4:09 am

So exposing a traitor is wrong, if it’s done by a “Zionist”?

Qualtrough
May 24, 2015, 4:05 am

Hopfmi– Not even 24 hours ago you wrote the following:

The Israelis have deep connections with the United States on every level – political, economic, military.

And now you tell us that Israel is only 1 of 193 countries and its ideology is not that important.

Good liars need good memories, particularly in this Internet age.

John Salisbury
May 24, 2015, 3:58 am

He will have many years to rue his signal failure to fix the mess up. He promised to do it but they ate him up .

jon s
May 24, 2015, 3:57 am

President Obama is wearing a kippah (“yarmulke”) not because he’s addressing a Jewish group, but because he’s doing so in a synagogue.
When the President speaks at events such as AIPAC conventions he doesn’t cover his head.
In a synagogue , he’s simply showing proper respect, as I assume he would in a church or mosque.

And Happy Shavuot to all those celebrating today!

MHughes976
May 24, 2015, 3:52 am

That’s really good question: my idea would be that the resources for a huge population transfer don’t exist and that there is little point in minor transfers, since the departing population might get replaced by newborns and the problem continue. All forms of transfer, from the most unthinkably brutal to the most compensatory and consensual – though you do hear ‘pay them to leave’ from time to time – would cost staggering heaps of gold. Receiving countries too would have to be paid off. Even the accompanying propaganda effort would have to be on the grandest and most expensive and most prolonged scale. The costs of ‘continuing negotiations’ are probably trivial in comparison.

echinococcus
May 24, 2015, 3:52 am

Ritzl,

1. Not even an insane person, I mean not even I would ever think that a request for a government-implemented boycott would be possible today or tomorrow –obvious. An insistent request may, however, allow for a wonderful opportunity to inform the public: asking for strangulation of Israel by the hand of the US until it fully lifts the siege of Gaza is a just, proportionate and easy-to grab request, it can be expressed in less than 140 signs including spaces and looks exaggerated enough to attract a lot of attention.

That said,
2. Forbidding a boycott is intolerable curtailment of free speech, in addition to being impossible to enforce at the individual level. The pension funds trick is going nowhere in any case.

3. On the other hand, enforcing a boycott is what governments do. All governments do it (the US of A more than anybody else ever) and I don’t hear much opposition to that.

Jackdaw
May 24, 2015, 3:15 am

@Hostage

Doesn’t ‘pillage’ require that there be an ‘armed conflict’ between two States?

If no ‘armed conflict’ exists between Israel and the nascent State of Palestine, then how can a settler, whatever his citizenship, be guilty of pillage?

Accentitude
May 24, 2015, 3:09 am

Obama could have amounted to something instead he became nothing. The only “change” he made was a few quarters and a couple of nickels jingling in his pocket.

Hostage
May 24, 2015, 2:14 am

Secondly, while the Jordanian Army did not invade Israeli territory, it did much more than take up “defensive positions” in the Old City of Jerusalem. It conquered, and razed, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City and took up positions in Latrun, Lydda, and Ramle, blocking the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road and laying siege to the holy city.

No, Plan Dalet called for unprovoked attacks on Arab communities inside the Hebrew state and expulsion of all the inhabitants beyond its borders in any case where they attempted to defend themselves. link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

The need to conqueror neighboring Jaffa isn’t portrayed as “instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation”. It was an example of carefully planned aggression.
link to etzel.org.il
I already mentioned that Ben Gurion had launched the offensive against Jerusalem and ordered the commander of the Haganah to give Irgun and Lehi a free hand to conduct operations there, months before the UNSCOP hearings even began. After the State of Israel declared its independence, the Arab Legion was responding to pleas for assistance from Palestinians in relieving the siege against their neighborhoods in Jerusalem. The British High Commissioner had reported to the Security Council that the Jewish militias were over reacting by carrying out armed reprisals against unarmed Arab demonstrators who were engaged in riots.

Here is Avi Shlaim’s summary of the historical events:

In Jerusalem the initiative was seized by the Jewish side. As soon as the British evacuated the city, a vigorous offensive was launched to capture the Arab and mixed quarters of the city and form a solid area going all the way to the Old City walls. Glubb Pasha, the British commander of the Arab Legion, adopted a defensive strategy which was intended to avert a head-on collision with the Jewish forces. According to his account, the Arab Legion crossed the Jordan on 15 May to help the Arabs defend the area of Judea and Samaria allocated to them. They were strictly forbidden to enter Jerusalem or to enter any area allotted to the Jewish state in the partition plan. But on 16 May the Jewish forces tried to break into the Old City, prompting urgent calls for help from the Arab defenders. On 17 May, King ‘Abdullah ordered Glubb Pasha to send a force to defend the Old City. Fierce fighting ensued. The legionnaires inflicted very heavy damage and civilian casualties by shelling the New City, the Jewish quarters of Jerusalem. On 28 May, the Jewish Quarter inside the Old City finally surrendered to the Arab Legion.
After the Jewish offensive in Jerusalem had been halted, the focal point of the battle moved to Latrun, a hill spur with fortifications, that dominated the main route from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Like Gush Etzion, Latrun lay in the area allotted by the UN to the Arab state. But Latrun’s strategic importance was such that Ben-Gurion was determined to capture it. Against the advice of his generals, he ordered three frontal attacks on Latrun, on 25 and 30 May and on 9 June. The Arab Legion beat off all these attacks and inflicted very heavy losses on the hastily improvized and ill-equipped Jewish forces.
Any lingering hope that Transjordan would act differently to the rest of the Arab countries went up in smoke as a result of the costly clashes in and around Jerusalem. Yigael Yadin, the IDF chief of operations, roundly rejected the claim that there had ever been any collusion between the Jewish Agency and the ruler of Transjordan, let alone collusion during the 1948 War:
Contrary to the view of many historians, I do not believe that there was an agreement or even an understanding between Ben-Gurion and ‘Abdullah. He may have had wishful thoughts … but until 15 May 1948, he did not build on it and did not assume that an agreement with ‘Abdullah would neutralize the Arab Legion. On the contrary, his estimate was that the clash with the Legion was inevitable. Even if Ben-Gurion had an understanding or hopes, they evaporated the moment ‘Abdullah marched on Jerusalem. First there was the assault on Kfar Etzion then the capture of positions in Latrun in order to dominate the road to Jerusalem, and then there was the entry into Jerusalem. From these moves it was clear that ‘Abdullah intended to capture Jerusalem.
Yadin’s testimony cannot be dismissed lightly for it reflected the unanimous view of the IDF General Staff that the link with Transjordan had no influence on Israel’s military conduct during the War of Independence.

link to web.archive.org

traintosiberia
May 24, 2015, 2:01 am

Your observation of the Kurdish massacre can be likened to the observation or suggestion that US went to war in 2003 was to spread democracy and free people from tyranny . Its a layer on top of the preceding excuses that didn’t hold water ,that didn’t have sustaining power which was the search,capture ,and dismantling of the WMD which was on top of the doomsday predicting lies of Mushroom threat clouding Western sky which was fabricated to fix the intelligence around the war plans which was based on Wolfowotz ardent desire to see Saddam gone paving the way for PNAC vision and towards the break up of ME as dreamt by M Ledeen.
Kurdish massacre was not raised in media in 1990. It wasn’t presented to US or UK public . It was not brought out as an issue to UN. Years earlier US has failed to condemn the gassing. So this isn’t valid . It wasn’t valid .
Bush spoke of ” our ways of life” in 1990. AIPAC started working behind the scene. Israeli FM Levy was threatening to start attacks on Saddam if West failed . Bush was called wimp.
Lantos manufactured baby killings in hospital. Human right or democracy wasn’t used. Actually it was told by media that it wasn’t up to West to bring democracy when Shia and Kurd rebel failed . Using this and in violation of UN ,west imposed no fly zone.
To maintain the sanction, UK created a perverted second channel of intelligence program known as Rockingham program.
US media and terror expert like Emerson ,Bodansky, and few other made sure that the focus on Iraq as a threat never got scrutinized and challenged.
Poor Kurdish experience would be revisited numerous times to explain lies after lies and hide the sinister intention again and again as perverted way to expiate guilt for destroying a highly developed advanced society.

Hostage
May 24, 2015, 1:57 am

The war did not start when the Arab States declared war in May.

The war started the first week after the passage of the U.N. partition plan, when local Arabs began near simultaneous attacks on Jewish cities, murdering 62 Jews.

No, the first week in November of 1947, the British government passed a note to the UN General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee that was grappling with the recent rejection of both the UNSCOP majority and minority reports by the representatives of Jewish Agency who had demanded constitutional and territorial revisions. Note: You guys always say the Arabs lost all of their rights when they did things like that, without bothering to mention all of the British and UN partition plans the Jews rejected.

Anyway, the RAF survey of the Beersheba district revealed 125,000 more Bedouins were settled on the 2 million dunams of land there than the UNSOP committee had been led to believe by the so-called “Survey of Palestine”. The revised figures indicated that there would be an Arab majority in the Jewish state from the outset. The Chairman of the committee working on the partition plan held a press conference an noted the news, but explained the committee was eager to finish its work and would not make any last minute changes. That’s when a war of ethnic cleansing to achieve a Jewish majority became an absolute necessity.

BTW, Arab casualties always outnumbered Jewish ones by a margin of at least 2 to 1.

Marnie
May 24, 2015, 1:50 am

Only people who don’t see others as human and equal could minimize the seriousness of this Palestinian child’s injuries and the recklessness and bestiality of IDF soldiers who did this.

Hostage
May 24, 2015, 1:36 am

However, even if the Arab states had wanted to declare independence on the termination of the Mandate, Jewish/Israeli forces prevented it by already being in control of territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine” slated for an Arab state on May 15th 1948.

No, the Cubans declared a state despite the fact that the United States continued to occupy the country after the war with Spain under the terms of the Platt Amendment and the 1903 Treaty. The same sort of thing applied to the US occupations of Haiti, Dominican Republic, Panama, El Salvador, and most of the other Pan American state parties to the Montevideo Convention. When the mandate was terminated the Palestinian Jericho Congress and the Parliament of Transjordan formed a constitutional union/joint kingdom. Half the lawmakers and cabinet members of the new state of “Jordan” were Palestinians. So they were definitely NOT a non-self-governing territory.

aiman
May 24, 2015, 1:30 am

Simply disgusting. Bull’s eye, Donald.