100 Most Recent Comments

May 29, 2016, 1:05 am

Preventing Ahmad Masoud from participating in PalFest is simply gratuitous cruelty. But that’s Zionism.

Glad to see PalFest continues to attract very important, high-profile writers and artists, as well as younger artists who are still developing and have many years ahead of them.

Krendall Mist
May 28, 2016, 11:24 pm

More inside Judeo-Zionist baseball.

What? BDS would not be perfectly legitimate–would, in fact, be anti-Semitic–if the Zionists were not routinely murdering Palestinians or stealing their land?

News flash: They stole the land and then planted their loathsome flag on it 70 years ago. As long as there is a “Jewish state” on expropriated territory, BDS will be compelled by universal moral conscience.

May 28, 2016, 10:44 pm

Israel deserves a huge blow ever so often. It has always got its way by temper tantrums, threats,
accusations of anti-semitism, and twisting arms. Finally one nation stands up to Israel and shows the other nations (including the US) what a real democracy is – permitting free speech.
It must make Netanyahu very nervous, so that they shovel in millions to halt the BDS movement.

““Across European civil society, there is a fast spreading recognition of the BDS movement as a legitimate form of nonviolent, grassroots human rights advocacy for the UN-stipulated rights of the Palestinian people,” she added in a statement, urging the EU to “comply with its own policy of non-recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the occupied Arab territories of 1967.”

Israel argues BDS activities fall under the category of hate speech, because by calling to divest and boycott Israel, movement activists seek the destruction of the Jewish state. And so the Israeli government accuses the movement of anti-Semitism.

Israel has so far reacted to the growth of the BDS movement with threats from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a $26-million cyber fighting team and the Foreign Ministry lobbying governments to implement legislation to impede the movement.

In mid-May, Israel also issued a travel ban on the movement’s co-founder Omar Barghouti, who lives in the northern coastal city of Acre in Israel and requires a travel document to move in and out of Israel and Palestine. The move provoked criticism from Human Rights Watch.”

link to rt.com

The Netherlands is a great nation.

May 28, 2016, 10:44 pm

Thanks for sharing. Sounds like you know what you are talking about. Also sounds like you had a very special and sincere friendship with Hedy. I am so sorry to hear that she was harassed for standing up for Allison.

What a soulful trooper Hedy was. Again thanks for the up close and personal view.

May 28, 2016, 8:20 pm

Well said, yourstruly.

PIP is a stable/consistent end-state which can’t be undone once reached. PEP is an unstable, rationalizing bridge-state-of-convenience which is fleeting almost by definition, never to be revisited.

This awakening process is something of a reality v. idyll contention. These laments about re-educating conscientious Jewish youth by re-stressing the idyll sounds like just so much “barn door closing,” “gotta say something, darn it” afterthought.

As you say, there’s NO turning back.

Great comment.

May 28, 2016, 8:01 pm

What inspires me is justice, and fighting against injustice. That includes fighting against this sort of facade for despicable bigotry. The huge irony in this facade is that the Nazis also bragged about their technical prowess, and at one point had the most technologically advanced military on the planet.

May 28, 2016, 7:50 pm

Thanks Annie, commenting using the account I created until you have the admin one up! Made this before you told me I didn’t have to hah (noticed I’d been sent a verification email but it’d gone to my junk).

May 28, 2016, 7:36 pm

“but I’ve noticed it, too. Why do you suppose that is? ”

Mooser, they have no faith!

May 28, 2016, 7:34 pm

What happened in Turkey during the 19 teens (only the tail end of it happened in the 1920s) most definitely was genocide. Indeed, Raphael Lemkin had the treatment of the Armenians at the time in mind when he coined the term “genocide”.

Similarly, what is going on in Israel/Palestine today most definitely is apartheid. Perhaps using the term inflames people, but shouldn’t they be inflamed on the matter?

May 28, 2016, 7:25 pm



In accordance with the UN Charter and the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” as emphasized in the Preamble to Res. 242, which governs all that follows, none of the Palestinian and other Arab lands Israel invaded during the war it launched on 5 June 1967 are “in dispute.”

As UNSC resolutions and the US State Department have repeatedly declared, the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem are belligerently and illegally (i.e., in gross violation of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention) by Israel. Also, under international law, the Palestinian Gaza Strip is still belligerently and illegally (i.e., in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention – “Collective Punishment) occupied by Israel.

Nor should we forget that as repeatedly declared in UNSC resolutions and by the US State Department, Syria’s Golan Heights and Lebanon’s Shebba Farms are belligerently and illegally occupied by Israel. For the record: Approximately 150,000 Druze Syrians were expelled from their native Golan Heights by Israel during the 1967 war.

BTW, UNSC resolutions have declared Israel’s annexations of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights to be null and void.

Granted, as part of a final peace agreement there may be mutually agreed minor land swaps, but Palestinian and other Arab lands under occupation will not be referred to as “in dispute” for the simple reason that they are not.

Do you get it?

May 28, 2016, 7:19 pm

“soccer teams.”

lets be clear you American bastards, sorry we are all friends now, so just to be clear Jon and other Americans its FOOTBALL, soccer is an infantile word, Football belongs to the world, that thing you play who cares, soccer Jon you messed up, back to Hasbara school, pretend like you know Jon,

“our beloved FOOTBALL side…..”

Connacht beat Leinster tonight in an amazing Rugby FOOTBALL game, the IRFU wanted to close the club 10 years ago its was a wonderful game search it out, brutal precise brilliant rugby, don’t count the underdog out, and go Connacht miracles do happen.

I am in Galway for a week sure Cork is only a faint memory.

May 28, 2016, 7:14 pm

A truly remarkable woman. I wish I could have given her some of the time I have left.

May 28, 2016, 7:10 pm

“Throughout her 91 years Hedy not only spoke out on behalf of the poor and oppressed but consistently took action and risked her own life to build a better world. As a 14 year-old she was made a refugee”

Respect to a Heroine.

May 28, 2016, 7:04 pm

A very good sign indeed. It’s getting harder and harder to deny the obvious.

May 28, 2016, 7:00 pm

“two leaders said that Jews have to address Palestinian suffering in order to be plausible advocates for Israel.”

Their difficulty is that the truth about the Palestinian suffering completely contradicts the standard Zionist story about Israel. This is why Catastrophe denial, Nakba denial, has been an essential component of the Israeli story.

It seems to me there are three plausible reasons for these people ignoring the suffering of the Palestinians.

1. They are ethnic supremacists, and believe that non-Jews are inferior beings.

2. They are afraid to speak against the ethnic supremacists.

3. They do it for money.

I agree these two people speaking out is a heartening sign, and I commend them for their bravery. Once the toothpaste is out of the tube, it’s hard to put it back in.

May 28, 2016, 6:44 pm

“We raise good Jews ” – young Jews who care about people who suffer.

They may aim to raise young Jews to be progressive on everything except Palestine (PEP), but what’s happening is that their children are learning that regardless of the nationality, ethnicity or religion of the colonizer, colonization = racism. Knowledge that can transform them into being progressive on everything including Palestine (PIP). And once this awakening occurs, considering the weight of hypocrisy that’s being exposed, there’s no turning back.

May 28, 2016, 6:03 pm


No water, no life.

May 28, 2016, 5:53 pm

Hedy told me about her grandchildren 12 or 14 years ago. There may have been other factors, and/or things may have changed over time. Pianoteacher’s info is obviously much more recent. But her family situation is not important.

What is important is her principled dissent. Joining a vigil outside a synagogue about Israel was anathema to liberal Jewish opinion, which did not faze her in the least. She came up from St Louis, spoke at an event, tried to contact the rabbi, who hid from her, and published a letter in the Ann Arbor News.

Likewise her stand against the JVP/End the Occupation attack on Alison Weir. Many people who disagreed with it did not speak against it because they are afraid of JVP/ETO. Not Hedy. As her participation at the synagogue vigil showed, she agreed with Alison’s critique, about the influence of American organized Jewry, which was the real basis of JVP/ETO’s attack on AW.

Andreas Schlueter
May 28, 2016, 5:24 pm

Great post! And we shouldn´t forhet: Israel was the most open ally of Apartheid South Africa! And over the two: the US Power Elite! And the racist Apartheid Spirit lives on also in the US Neocon Power Elite:
“US Power Elite Declared War on the Southern Hemisphere, East Asia and all Non-Western Countries in September 2000”: link to wipokuli.wordpress.com
Andreas Schlüter
Berlin, Germany

May 28, 2016, 5:12 pm

“I agree. Beitar Jerusalem is a disgrace and should be banned, not only from international competition.”

Oh yeah, big difference between Beitar Jerusalem and Beersheva soccer teams.

May 28, 2016, 5:08 pm

” It is exactly the opposite right now.”

Well, Saturday evenings aren’t the best time. Students like to go out, have a beer, hear some music, dance, you know.

May 28, 2016, 4:32 pm

Annie, another good sign:

In huge blow to Israel, Netherlands declares BDS ‘free speech’

In a huge blow to Israel, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders announced Thursday that calls to boycott the Jewish state fall within the limits of free speech, undermining intensive Israeli diplomatic efforts to sway European capitals to outlaw the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment Movement.
link to jpost.com

jon s
May 28, 2016, 4:24 pm

I agree. Beitar Jerusalem is a disgrace and should be banned, not only from international competition.

Rusty Pipes
May 28, 2016, 4:04 pm

I wish that I could be as optimistic as you are about the leadership, Phil. I wasn’t there; so I didn’t hear the full context of these statements.

The Hillel director’s statement sounded like an Israeli sensibility to me — calling Reform Jews, “secular.” It sounded as though she was blaming some American Jewish parents for bringing their children up to be such “good Jews” that they become too soft-hearted, which leaves them open to deceptive tactics pushing human rights and justice that they become Palestinian advocates’ “freiers.” It sounded as though she thought these kids needed better indoctrination.

The AJC director’s statement sounded a bit more challenging. He was telling them that they could not afford to dismiss all people who consider BDS as anti-Semites. From his experience in trying to persuade people against BDS, he was finding that some of them experienced visiting Israel/Palestine differently than American Jews (especially those who visit the West Bank). He also heard people question whether Israelis share our values (we don’t destroy peoples’ homes). It’s possible that he’s only asking for a kinder, gentler occupation — which would make it a lot easier to change the subject from BDS to talking about how much Israel wants peace.

May 28, 2016, 3:59 pm

“That is what college is for: vigorous debate and argument with those who disagree.”

No one who pays attention to what college campuses are actually like would call them places of vigorous debate and argument with those who disagree.”. It is exactly the opposite right now.

Annie Robbins
May 28, 2016, 3:28 pm

here’s the bds movement honoring her:

link to bdsmovement.net

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the broad coalition of Palestinian civil society that leads the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement for freedom, justice and equality of the Palestinian people, is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of life long social justice advocate and freedom fighter Hedy Epstein on May 26, 2016. We wish to send our deep condolences to her family and friends.

Throughout her 91 years Hedy not only spoke out on behalf of the poor and oppressed but consistently took action and risked her own life to build a better world. As a 14 year-old she was made a refugee, fleeing the brutal Nazi regime in Germany, the country of her birth. Her parents, grandparents and much of her extended family, unable to escape, perished in the Holocaust. Hedy did not surrender to despair by this horrific experience at such a young age but instead chose to dedicate her life to working for justice for all people.

Eventually settling in St. Louis, Missouri in the U.S., Hedy continued to work for justice throughout her life. Whether educating young people about the horrors of the Holocaust and why we must never allow fascism and the forces of hatred to come to power anywhere in the world, working for housing integration in St. Louis, speaking out against the U.S. invasion of Vietnam and bombing campaign in Cambodia, standing up for Palestinian human rights or most recently protesting the police murder of unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri (for which she was arrested at the age of 90) Hedy never stopped working for a more just world.

Hedy visited Palestine several times. She took nonviolent direct action to resist occupation in the West Bank with the International Solidarity Movement. She attempted to break the brutal Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip by sea as part of the Freedom Flotilla as well as by land with the Gaza Freedom March. Hedy founded the St. Louis chapter of the Palestine solidarity organization Women in Black and later the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee where she was active in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns. For these actions and many more too numerous to list here, the Palestinian people, and indeed all freedom loving people around the world owe Hedy a debt of gratitude.

All of us here at the BNC draw deep inspiration from Hedy’s lifelong dedication to struggle on behalf of the oppressed. Her dedication, her resilience and her tirelessness are things we all aspire to. Hedy’s entire life truly embodied Gandhi’s famous quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. She will be remembered. She will be missed.


Annie Robbins
May 28, 2016, 3:28 pm

RIP does not indicate someones life was “miserable and full of hurt, anger and pain”. it just means rest in peace.

Annie Robbins
May 28, 2016, 2:39 pm

Hedy’s family situation was nothing whatsoever to do with her anti Zionist views.

thanks for clearing that up. this is what she told me also, but i didn’t feel qualified to respond earlier because others knew her much better than me.

May 28, 2016, 2:33 pm

I would tell them how would you address it if you were being personally attacked, by someone saying the charge, “Israel is murdering Palestinians on purpose.” They said, “Well I actually think that’s exactly what is happening. I think maybe there are some stabbing of Israelis, but Israelis are out there doing that,”…

“I walked away a little bit taken aback.”

Out of the mouths of babes…

May 28, 2016, 2:17 pm

“a secret peace initiative prompted by Tony Blair”
I think it is yet another Blair initiative prompted by Tony Blair. Probably no squillions up front for him but hey it is more material for one of his £100,000 thank you very much after dinner speeches and guess what he is briefly back in the news as an “international player”.

Anything,repeat anything involving Blair is bent ,tainted and entirely self serving. No coincidence that the UK Chilcot enquiry report into the UK involvement in the Iraq war is due out in early July and it is likely to accuse him of deceiving Parliament and the British people. There is even a school of thought which suggests that he may be charged with war crimes.This was at a time when he was striding the world stage as GW Bush`s European poodle.

You may hear more from ” cuddly peace loving altruistic ” smiler Blair in the next month or so as he tries to portray himself as a man of peace and mediation in a futile attempt to water down the reality which will emerge from Chilcot.

Most people in the UK loathe him a two faced self serving chancer.

May 28, 2016, 1:50 pm

“Turn rightward, away from the spectacle of Palestinian suffering,” I imagined him saying, “let the stress of a guilty conscience drain from your aching neck muscles ” !!

May 28, 2016, 12:53 pm

Having been asked to correct some of the misinformation on Hedy, I am fairly reluctant to say much at this point, and need to think carefully what goes public and what remains private.
I would like to point out a few things:
Hedy’s family situation was nothing whatsoever to do with her anti Zionist views.
Other than saying that, she would like her private life to remain just that – private. There is unfinished business that my husband and I will be working on over the next month that Hedy asked me to do after she had died.
Enough said.

So far as her public life is concerned, and her anti Zionist work, yes, that is public!
The attacks against Hedy because of her support for Alison Weir were incredibly vicious. She came to stay with me for two and a half weeks to “get away from it all”. However, the attacks continued, and while she was here she received the most vicious email I have ever read in my life. I was outraged that anyone could be so spiteful to a 91 year old woman who has lived through so much pain already. Couldn’t they leave her to spend the end of her life in peace?
Hedy took the attack on Alison very personally. When she was at school and the Nazis took over, the head teacher said to her, “get out, you filthy Jew”.
Hedy knew first hand how painful it is to be excluded from a group – in her case, her school – and when Alison was excluded from the US Campaign, these feelings all came flooding back.
No one, she told me, should ever be excluded. That is why Hedy defended Alison so strongly, that is why Hedy signed that Open Letter defending Alison, and that is why no one, absolutely no one, was going to persuade her to take her name off.
Hedy’s friendship with Alison goes back a long way.

So far as ” Hedy’s Final Battle” is concerned, it would be poetic to describe her cancer as her “final battle”. However, it wasn’t. This was the first battle she decided NOT to fight! When she was told her cancer was terminal (during March 31-Aoril 2 hospital stay) she decided not to receive treatment for it, which would have been invasive, but to go the hospice route. She was very matter of a fact about it all, saying she was ready to die, “the sooner the better”. Fortunately the whole thing was within two months. My fear was that it may drag on for ages, but it didn’t, thank God.
So if you really want to wax lyrical about ” Hedy’s final battle” I am afraid it was incredibly mundane: her bathroom sprung a leak and flooded the floor, so she was busy with plumbers and insurance etc etc and very stressed out by it all. Then shortly after that she got her diagnosis.
So while it would be good to write how she died fighting Zionism to the end, her last bone of contention was actually the insurance company!

May 28, 2016, 12:52 pm

“It all depends on how one reads religious texts…”

Why isn’t there a disclaimer on the damn things? You know: “Kids! Do not try this at home!” or something.

Annie Robbins
May 28, 2016, 12:50 pm

excellent report from sean oakley, thanks for the awesome round up.

May 28, 2016, 12:42 pm

“The Occupation of the American Mind” is the title of the article, and here it is!

May 28, 2016, 12:31 pm

“I often see cars with “Hebron” (in Hebrew letters) bumper stickers in my neighborhood.”

Oy Gevalt, the things unscrupulous auto-body and auto-glass shops will do when business is slow!

May 28, 2016, 12:27 pm

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

Good. I’m glad we cleared that up. That’s what I thought, myself, but it’s nice to have it confirmed.-

So I must have misunderstood you when you said:

“In the realm of international law, self-determination is a tightly circumscribed right which in almost all instances is balanced by other competing rights, and usually subordinated to them” – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

My fault, as usual. I should stay away from the complex discussions.

May 28, 2016, 12:26 pm

“Highlighting dismal propaganda performance during 2014 war, comptroller cites lack of overall strategy, absent funding, divisions between ministries, failure to coordinate with IDF”

In other words, it approves of the government’s overall approach, but has some bones to pick over its implementation. That is to say that BDS appeared out of nowhere, for no real reason (except anti-Semitism and “incitement”, of course), and must therefore be countered exclusively with propaganda. Instead of saying that expenditure on PR will have only a limited effect until the government decides to actually deal with the root causes of the growing popularity of BDS (such as the siege on Gaza, repeated bombings and incursions, settlement policy, repression and collective punishment), the report recommends simply cranking up the “hasbara”, by streamlining it and throwing more money at it.

Definitely a report worthy of this cowardly comptroller (Yosef Shapira). Netanyahu chose well.

May 28, 2016, 12:18 pm

“Wouldn’t you agree that it’s an extreme outlier, in the same way that Israel Shahak and climate change skeptics are outliers.”

Sure, makes perfect sense! One is on the ‘outs’ and the other ones are the liars.

May 28, 2016, 12:13 pm

“What’s your point?”

The incredible genorousity of Zionism, of course. “The land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people”, and in spite of that, you are willing to be flexible! Maybe even swap some with the Palestinians.

But there’s one thing you must consider, “mcohen”! Does God want us to be flexible, to be elastic? Do you think God wants us to give away what He gave us?

Annie Robbins
May 28, 2016, 12:05 pm

the whole intrusion wrt the iran deal — not solely his speech to congress albeit that fiasco certainly highlighted and became the face of it — as well as the legislation that demanded politicians place a stake on one side, either with the US president or the israeli pm. and watching that countdown as they jostled into position, with one side representing a side that increasingly set up the US for a devastating war with iran down the road. yes, i’d say that intrusion into out system of government made an impact.

all of this happening on the heels of a terrible merciless war on gaza and constant degrading hasbara — i’d say that pierced thru the routine pro israel nyt coverage. hopefully, american awareness will continue to escalate. i don’t think there’s anyway to slow it down now. it’s all a matter of time.

May 28, 2016, 11:48 am

Per: rickaicp May 27, 2016, 11:40 pm

“NYT is not implying that the “occupation” is “alleged”, as you say. NYT realizes and acknowledges that the final agreement must be a negotiated two-state solution. What they are implying by placing “occupation” in quotes is that those lands are currently in dispute.”

The solution is to revert back to the rule of law and abandon the chimera of a negotiated solution. There is no “dispute” as to whose land it belongs to. Israel is about to enter the 50th year of an illegal occupation and has blatantly violated the laws of war regarding the duties of an occupying power since 1967 by illegally, knowingly, and intentionally moving its civilian population into the territories occupied.

There is no reason or obligation to negotiate with a lawbreaker. All that’s required is for the members of the UNSC to decide they’ve had enough of Israel’s behavior because of the danger it poses Middle East stability and act to condemn and severely sanction that behavior.

Impossible you say? Quite possible. The recent Iran nuclear agreement provides a template on how that might work. P5+1+EU+UN agree to impose severe sanctions on Iran to force it to agree to give up possibility of nuclear weapons creation. Iran toughs it out for a few years but after sanctions prove too burdensome, enters into negotiations and ultimately an agreement to dismantle its nuclear enrichment program.

See, that wasn’t so hard was it?

May 28, 2016, 11:30 am

link to timesofisrael.com

Times of Israel May 24, 2016

“Dysfunctional Israeli leadership failing utterly in battle against BDS, state watchdog warns

“Highlighting dismal propaganda performance during 2014 war, comptroller cites lack of overall strategy, absent funding, divisions between ministries, failure to coordinate with IDF”

May 28, 2016, 11:28 am

I agree with much of Yonah’s comment.

Netanyahu’s stunt infuriated me but I was also paradoxically grateful, because it was like, “Good.
Now the truth’s out there for all to see.”

May 28, 2016, 11:27 am

A very good piece. A couple of points. Firstly, Russell did oppose inter-European wars but I don’t think he payed much attention to British imperialist wars on the people of Asia and Africa. For example he had something to say about Vietnam but what about British imperialist aggression in Malaya and Kenya in the 40s and 50s?

Secondly, where has Hari come out against the Empire, can you provide links?

Nu’man Abd al-Wahid

Annie Robbins
May 28, 2016, 11:09 am

ah! that makes more sense. thanks david.

May 28, 2016, 10:46 am

I wouldn’t claim it is an achievement at all, to the extent that it happened (as I said, my assimilation is only partial). It happened when I was very young, and happened involuntarily.

May 28, 2016, 10:38 am

There’s a Hasidic synagogue within a mile of where I live in Silver Spring MD. I often see cars with “Hebron” (in Hebrew letters) bumper stickers in my neighborhood. I imagine they send settlers to Hebron.

May 28, 2016, 10:38 am

talknic: AFTER the Armistice Agreements were signed Israel was still trying on the 31st Aug 1949 to convince the UN to allow it the territories it had acquired by war. [emphasis added]

Talknic repeats that “31st Aug” argument over and over, even though it’s been refuted over and over.

See: link to mondoweiss.net

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

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

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

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

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

May 28, 2016, 10:23 am

Allsion sent this out to her list serve. Allison had her own direct experiences with Hedy. Moving

” Dear Friend,

I’m deeply saddened to tell you that our dear friend Hedy Epstein passed away yesterday. She was 91.

Hedy, a holocaust survivor, was a courageous fighter for justice for all. Below is a full obituary of Hedy by her fellow St. Louis resident and devoted friend, Dianne Lee, who had been like a daughter to Hedy.

I thought I’d also share a few personal memories.

I first met Hedy about a dozen years ago when I gave a talk in St. Louis. Hedy, who had already been working for Palestinian rights for many years, came up to me after my talk and was wonderfully encouraging and supportive.

A few years later I was making a short video exposing Israel’s practice of strip-searching Palestinian women and children. Hedy, who had also endured a particularly cruel example of this treatment, agreed to tell her story on camera.

I travelled to Hedy’s home, where she recounted her painful and powerful story. At the end of her narrative, Hedy described her deep outrage and feeling that she would never again return to Israel.

However, Israeli officials had taken on the wrong person when they thought that their perverse treatment of Hedy would diminish her activism. She returned to Palestine many times to take part in the nonviolence resistance movement.

The next time I saw Hedy was in France in 2007, where I was visiting longtime Palestine activist Greta Berlin. (Greta was in the process of founding what turned into the flotilla movement.) Greta said that Hedy was going to be visiting soon, as was Mary Hughes-Thompson, another longtime activist for Palestine and flotilla founder.
Me, Greta Berlin, Hedy Epstein, and Mary Hughes Thompson in France at Greta’s house Greta suddenly came up with the idea that since random circumstances had caused us to converge, we should take the opportunity to travel to Palestine together. Greta, who did a great deal of traveling for her job, said she would use her airline miles to get us all tickets.

Before going to Palestine, however, we all visited a Nazi camp where Hedy’s mother had been imprisoned after Hedy’s parents had sent 14-year-old Hedy on a kindertransport to safety in England. Hedy, who had never seen her parents again, had determined to visit each of the camps in which they had been held. I believe this was the only one she hadn’t yet visited. This was an intensely sad experience, but it also seemed to give Hedy some sense of closure. I was glad that Greta had made this possible.

We then began our trip to Palestine. We were a somewhat unusual team: I was 61, Hedy was 83, and Greta and Mary were in between. Like virtually all trips to the Occupied Territories, we saw tragedy and beauty, violence and courage, joy and grief. We cried and laughed together.

(I sent some of my photos from this trip to Mary and Greta last month to upload on a special Facebook page honoring Hedy.)

I remember one time Hedy was almost arrested by Israeli soldiers. They wouldn’t let her through the checkpoint out of Hebron with Palestinians and the rest of us, because Hedy was Jewish. The soldiers insisted that Hedy take the Israeli settlers’ route, which Hedy adamantly refused to do. The soldiers finally gave up, and Hedy, who was about 5 feet tall, triumphantly passed through the Palestinian route.
The last time I saw Hedy was a few months ago.

After the JVP-USCEIO attacks on me, Hedy signed the Open Letter supporting me and calling for an end to such destructive and divisive attacks. I was truly honored that Hedy chose to do this, and saddened that she then came under attack herself when she refused to give in to pressure by USCEIO leaders to remove her name. In fact, rather than bend to their demands, Hedy arranged an official library talk for me at the St. Louis Main Library, and the room was full.

When the attacks on Hedy continued, California activist Jane Jewell, outraged at the way Hedy was being treated, invited Hedy for an extended visit, and held a delightful party for Hedy where a variety of San Francisco Bay Area activists came to honor Hedy. Some of us also took turns driving Hedy to various events and activities, and I was the fortunate one to take Hedy to a demonstration in downtown San Francisco that Hedy wished to join. At 91.

I’m just one of numerous people around the world who have such memories of Hedy. Hedy stood up for the underdog, opposed abuse of power, and worked valiantly and consistently for a kinder, more just world. And in so doing she inspired multitudes. She was brave, funny, intelligent, and committed. For her, “never again” meant Never Again.

When justice for Palestinians eventually comes, history will show that Hedy helped bring it about.

I miss her.
—Alison Weir

May 28, 2016, 10:13 am

I had my own experience with Hedy at one of the anti aipac gatherings in D.C. about 8 or 9 years ago.

We were in a group of Code Pinkers and others outside of the D.C. convention center marching around the building with our signs, banners etc. I saw this tiny older lady and became worried that someone might accidentally knock her over. I introduced myself and then realized who she was. I asked her if she minded if I spotted her in the crowd. Did not hover too close but stayed close ready to break a fall if need be. Had just been spending hours, days weeks in the senior community my dad was in so witnessed the 80 something crowd falling way too often.

Later after the rally set up a chair for her under a tree in the park across from the Convention Center where Aipac was holding their yearly event. Brought her some snacks and water and then we talked. She was so sweet, kind and yet so powerful in her convictions. We talked about her life, her parents, what had formed her convictions. I let her know that I so admired those who had come out of such unimaginable tragedy (the Holocaust) with such a commitment to others who were suffering from oppression, racism, theft of property and loss of lives etc.

I was so moved by her depth of conscience I asked if she would mind if I went looking for some of the young people I had encountered and talked with who were attending the Aipac conference. She agreed. I went hunting and found these students who had been recruited to attend the conference by an all expenses paid trip. Many were involved with their universities student councils etc. Brought them over to Hedy and very long conversations ensued with great and informative dialogue about the occupation, what she had seen with her own eyes and heard with her own ears on her numerous trips into illegal settlements etc. The students who asked questions listened attentively and were moved. Went on for several hours.

It was a complete honor to be around such a woman with such depth of soul, love, compassion. Hedy was a tiny lady who was incredibly brave and had a spirit so large and inclusive that it was mesmerizing especially given her personal history. I am grateful to have spent those hours with her and am so thankful for her monumental example of humanitarian values that have no bounds.

May Hedy rest in peace, she certainly deserves it. May her family find peace.

May 28, 2016, 10:08 am

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

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

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

**In its application to the UN, Palestine has declared it’s borders–“the Green Line”, NOT UN res 181 recommended partition borders.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

link to mondoweiss.net

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

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


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

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

May 28, 2016, 9:53 am


And what do you propose will happen to those Arab Israeli citizens living on that land? Relocate them elsewhere in Israel? Strip them of their citizenship?

May 28, 2016, 9:50 am


No crickets. I’ve said before on other threads that the bodies should be released by both sides. Truly a despicable thing to do. Take your fingers out of your ears.

But thanks for reminding us that israel is no better than a group of people they consder terrorists. Two sides of the same coin although one pretends it’s a light unto nations. The other is fighting for freedom from oppression and crimes against humanity.

May 28, 2016, 9:44 am

So sad that her children “prevented her from seeing her grandchildren over her views” That is so cruel and demonstrates once again how controlling, fearful and cruel people can be when it comes to taking a stand on this critical issue.

She was a formidable activist.

May 28, 2016, 8:31 am

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

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

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

See for example:

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

— link to avalon.law.yale.edu

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Again , please read carefully:

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

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

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

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

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

May 28, 2016, 7:56 am

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

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

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

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

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

May 28, 2016, 6:58 am

“Again, there is a legal case that it’s not technically an occupation….it’s not uncommon for journalists to avoid these judgments when the issues are controversial in nature”

Wouldn’t you agree that it’s an extreme outlier, in the same way that Israel Shahak and climate change skeptics are outliers. It’s not hard these days to find a real or supposed expert, here or there, to come up with an opinion that runs counter to the vast majority of experts, and then use that to claim that the whole issue is controversial.
Internet comment boards are fueled by such things.
Giving equal weight to the handful on one side and the many on the other, in matters like this, is misleading.

Eva Smagacz
May 28, 2016, 6:30 am

Deuteronomy 21:10-13King James Version (KJV)

10 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive,

11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife;

12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.

Wonder how long before those settlers who take Torah literally, will build a wee dungeons in their properties for their beautiful women captives where they are kept with shaved heads….. All according to God’s will, of course (/sarcasm off).

But hey, once you are tired of her, all is not lost, because dungeon is reusable and there is no clear prohibition to have more than one captive at the time:

Deuteronomy 21:10-13King James Version (KJV)

“And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not deal with her as a slave, because thou hast humbled her.”

May 28, 2016, 6:25 am

A Dialogue on Israel and Palestine with Tariq Ali and Norman Finkelstein

link to youtube.com

May 28, 2016, 6:19 am

A poor dead girl who tried to stab another girl to death.

BTW. When are the Palestinians going to release the bodies of the IDF serviceman that died in Gaza?”


May 28, 2016, 5:44 am


What’s your point.

yonah fredman
May 28, 2016, 5:09 am

I think that most people do not follow the I-P issue closely enough to really benefit from the openness of other outlets of information such as social media.

I think that Netanyahu is to blame for the change in opinion of liberal democrats. Bibi’s conflict with Obama and coming to the Congress in that speech of his really broke through into the mainstream of people who really don’t read very deeply on the issue.. I think that many people who rarely read beyond the headlines on I-P were negatively impressed by Netanyahu’s bold move to diss Obama. I think the left hates Netanyahu and this has caused the large gap between polls in 2014 and 2016. I think Netanyahu will be in power for a few more years at least and it would take a major change by Israel to win over the left to put the genie of anti Israel sentiment back in the bottle. But I think that the combination of wars against Gaza and Netanyahu’s arrogance have created this shift in public opinion of those Democrats who call themselves liberal.

May 28, 2016, 4:32 am

I would agree that all Abrahamic religions (and plenty of others, too) are “bloodthirsty”. It is therefore both pointless and misleading to posit some unbridgeable gulf between Judaism and Zionism, or even between Christianity/Islam and colonialism, imperialism, or fascism.

It all depends on how one reads religious texts that are, in essence, completely contradictory, thus leading to the paradoxical view of any of these religions as religions of peace, and/or of war and genocide.

From a recent article published in Haaretz on the topic:

Calls for genocide. Instructions for how to manage sex slaves captured in battle. Death penalty for homosexuals. When you read these words, what comes to mind? ISIS?  Boko Haram? Al Shabaab?
Keep thinking. Every year, Jews across the world gather weekly to read consecutive portions of the Torah, Judaism’s holiest text, which features the morally repugnant list above as well as many other offensive passages (genocide: Deuteronomy 20:16-17; sex slavery: Deuteronomy 21:10-13; death penalty for homosexuals: Leviticus 20:13). The completion of this annual reading cycle is celebrated on a holiday called Simhat Torah, which begins next week.
Is there any justification for Jews continuing to celebrate the completion of a book that reads in part like an instruction manual on how to be a terrible person?
The answer depends on how we approach the text. The Talmud states that the Torah can be a “deadly poison” or an “elixir of life” depending on the mindset of the person who studies it (Ta’anit 7a). For those who approach the Torah unquestioningly as a guidebook, these passages can, quite literally, be “deadly.” One need not look further than the past few months: The ultra-Orthodox murderer at this year’s Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem and the fundamentalist Jews who burned a Palestinian family alive are chilling examples of what happens when people blindly follow the words of a book that advocates homophobia and genocide.
There is, however, another way to read the Torah — one that turns it into an “elixir of life.” Under this approach, the Torah is not an instruction manual. Instead, it is a mirror that forces us to grapple with all of the beautiful, complicated and ugly parts of our humanity.
In addition to genocide, sex slavery and homophobia, the Torah contains deeply moral messages about pursuing justice (Deuteronomy 16:20), giving charity generously (Deuteronomy 15:7-8), and caring for the most vulnerable in society, like the stranger, the orphan and the widow (Exodus 22:20-22). By revisiting these drastically contrasting passages within the same holy book every year, we are forced to continually ask ourselves what our position is on these issues, to answer the very first question in the Torah: Where are you? (Genesis 3:9).

read more: link to haaretz.com

May 28, 2016, 3:49 am

I think the movie is good and it highlights important facts. But I do think the history of 1947-1948 could have been better explained in order to highlight key facts such as Chomsky has pointed out: “… by May 1948, when the state of Israel was formally established, about 300,000 Palestinians already had been expelled from their homes or had fled the fighting, and the Zionists controlled a region well beyond the area of the original Jewish state that had been proposed by the UN. Now it’s then that Israel was attacked by its neighbors – in May 1948; it’s then, after the Zionists had taken control of this much larger part of the region and hundreds of thousands of civilians had been forced out, not before.” p132 Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky

I think that is very important to stress, I explain that history at this page, with details of how unfair the UN Partition Proposal was, along with that quote from Chomsky:
link to representativepress.org

But, as I said, the movie is good. Yet I don’t think they should have included a mention by an activist of Ferguson and mix apples and oranges by trying to include the Michael Brown incident. This playlist highlights how that story was not covered accurately by the media and so many people have been mislead about Michael Brown : link to youtube.com

The Palestinians have enough problems without people trying to attach inaccurately reported narratives along with their cause. The media did such a horrible job with the Michael Brown story that the DOJ Report even pointed out how badly the media got the story! Look: (from page 83 of the DOJ Report): “The media has widely reported that there is witness testimony that Brown said “don’t shoot” as he held his hands above his head. In fact, our investigation did not reveal any eyewitness who stated that Brown said “don’t shoot.” Most of the media and political activists played the game of ether ignoring, downplaying, misdirecting from or misrepresenting the DOJ Report on the Michael Brown shooting! It was swept under the rug to such a degree that I missed hearing about it when it was released March of last year! the Department of Justice’s report that determined that “The evidence establishes that the shots fired by Wilson after Brown turned around were in self-defense.” Credit must be given to Jonathan Capehart, a prominent black reporter who took the time to read the DOJ Report and who admitted this about the media’s narrative about the shooting: “it was wrong, built on a lie” about the Michael Brown case: “They have also forced me to deal with two uncomfortable truths: Brown never surrendered with his hands up, and Wilson was justified in shooting Brown.” see his article: “‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ was built on a lie” in the Washington Post.

May 28, 2016, 1:01 am

Looks like the Trump-Sanders debate is off.

May 28, 2016, 12:54 am


Its interesting for me that you rightfully identify yourself as an Irish-American, acknowledging your roots and heritage, as well as not co-opting with the oppressive “white” identity many unfortunately take for themselves. I believe this is a beautiful thing, to be proud of who you are, instead on taking false pride over delusional ideals such as white supremacy, Jewish supremacy etc.

However, I think it should be noted that Irish-Americans though peacefully immigrated to America, the move was a direct result of the European occupation of Native American land. As such, it mirrors very closely, IMO, to the “peaceful” migration of European Jews into Israel. Although many moved to Israel with the honest intention of returning to Zion, in practice they took part in the what is basically, large scale population transfer, ethnic cleansing and criminal theft of property and resources.

Many left-wing Israelis acknowledge this fact, and admit to their complicity in crimes of Zionism. These folks are working tirelessly to redeem themselves and be accountable for their actions. Yet, we do not see the same pattern of behavior and enlightenment within the American left, atleast not those outside of themillenniall generation. As you have said it yourself, you believe you have “assimilated” in American society, but what does that entail? Do you believe assimilation in the American context is a positive accomplishment?

David Kattenburg
May 28, 2016, 12:43 am

Hi Annie … Soofian manages the Friendship Garden cafe, not the Rehab Center.

May 28, 2016, 12:24 am

Oh well, I guess we haven’t cleared that up.

May 28, 2016, 12:20 am

“there are coins with the words “freedom of zion” on them.check it out
the land of israel belongs to the jewish people.
– See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

May 27, 2016, 11:48 pm

The New York Times’s (and Clinton Campaign’s) Abject Cowardice on Israel

link to theintercept.com

Just how Zogby and Cornell are going to change that platform that was publicly squeezed out of a majority of no votes in 2012 is beyond me.

Remember…link to youtube.com

6 of the committee members are Clinton choices, 5 Sanders, 4 Wasserman Schultz. Means 10 for Clinton.

link to southernstudies.org

May 27, 2016, 11:43 pm

Nachshon obviously has no clue the whole point of free speech law is to allow one to say what the other doesn’t like.

May 27, 2016, 11:40 pm

NYT is not implying that the “occupation” is “alleged”, as you say. NYT realizes and acknowledges that the final agreement must be a negotiated two-state solution. What they are implying by placing “occupation” in quotes is that those lands are currently in dispute. There is no negotiated peace deal establishing a two-state solution as of yet. Some of the lands of the West Bank, also known of course as Judea and Samaria to the Israelis, will be exchanged for lands in the Galilee that are settled with Arab towns and villages inside Israel’s 1967 borders. Theoretically in a final agreement, many of those lands will be swapped 1:1. So we really don’t know at this time which lands will eventually belong to which state. Do you get it?

May 27, 2016, 11:38 pm

Exhausting, Kafkaesque week–I can never get over the nasty character of those icky settlers–what the f*** do they teach them at home, growing up in Brooklyn, under the stare-spangled banner? 60,000 of them from America…all feeling so rudely entitled. Did God sneeze?

May 27, 2016, 11:33 pm

Fantastic news! I am sure MEMRI will pick this up and broadcast it to the world.


May 27, 2016, 11:28 pm

is it me or does this look like corruption?
not that it’s not good news, but “Rwaidy did not ask to be on the mostly-male list, but was instead approached for the position by other male leaders” & “Fatah quickly commended the young women on their wins, and their own party on its gender diversity,” make it sound like at least this one vote was meant to present a better image. not a terrible strategy, but it still gives an impression of the old-boys-club selecting the winners.

May 27, 2016, 11:09 pm

Maybe this is the beginning of the Israeli implosion, brought unto themselves, by the fascists they have voted for. If the world dislikes Israel now, imagine how it would feel in the near future.

May 27, 2016, 11:03 pm

Hophmi “You’re projecting. No one is trying to censor the speech of pro-Palestinian activists on campus”.

That’s just silly. Palestinians (and Jews) who stand for Palestinians are routinely censored. I learned earlie today that Palestinian students at DePaul University face disciplinary proceedings for marking the Nakba in a public space. They were peaceful and calm but we written up by the administration. Meanwhile, the simultaneous pro-Israel demo was allowed t continue without interruption.

May 27, 2016, 10:45 pm

I remember growing up we were shown a map of Israel with no green line. The Palestinians were never mentioned as existing

May 27, 2016, 10:06 pm

Kay, thanks for the link. Nihil novi for most but, likely, a jaw-dropper for many.

“Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon, the minister whom Netanyahu fired to make room for Lieberman, spoke bluntly at a press briefing on Friday. “To my great sorrow, extremist and dangerous elements have taken over Israel and the Likud Party,” he said. Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who was Ya’alon’s predecessor as defense minister under Netanyahu, angrily reinforced Ya’alon’s message on television later that night. Israel “has been infected by the seeds of fascism,” Barak said.”

…reap …sow

It looks like Israel may have fallen into the sticky spiderweb that it has been so patiently weaving to trap anyone who would not tow the Israeli, even inner tribal, line. Now has come the time for those who are coming out of the coolaid stupor to grasp what is coming:
“Yet the most significant portent of pressure came on that same television broadcast, not from any politician but from the channel’s military correspondent, Roni Daniel, who usually spars with others as the resident skeptic and hawk. Daniel could not hold back his anger at Netanyahu’s political machinations or his sellout to settler apologists. “I plowed the fields next to the Jordan River. They told us to go to the Army; we went to the Army. They told us to become officers; we became officers and commanders and served in the reserves. I went and fought all of the wars I was asked to fight, (…) For the first time I feel, because of this kind of politics, I’m not sure that I want my children to live here.”

Considering the very long and elaborate psycho-programming of the Israelis’ who, overwhelmingly, even blindly, follow their leaders, (yet another commonality with 1930’s Germany’s populace), one wonders if the (b)light unto nations has reached the point of no return. And if so, it would behoove the global leaders to consider and prepare for the desperate measures the self-wounded might resort to next.

Not least of all, it’s a wonder that The New Yorker has come to publish the article.
Whatever next? NYT to realise that the good old days are no more? Chuck Schumer to reconsider his fanatical support? A nostra culpa by AIPAC, et al?

Sic transit gloria mundi.

May 27, 2016, 9:37 pm

this thing with mervis is making me nervous because it is a big ask.huge.it lies at the very heart of the judaism…..the question of “israel” as defined in the bible and “israel” as defined by american foreign policy.

this is not about judaism at all.13 million jews could easily be relocated to detroit.

american foreign policy does whats good for america and jews need to understand this.but judaism has survived empire more than once in the past by remaining flexible . elastic fantastic.let all jews understand this.
if zionism is to survive it needs to shift the goal posts.accept what is possible and move forward.
“israel” in the bible will always exist as a guiding light but “israel” as a sliver of american foreign policy will need to be….

elastic fantastic.

May 27, 2016, 8:50 pm

@ Sibiriak May 27, 2016, 6:10 pm

Different argument ;-)

Never the less

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

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

Yes. The Palestinians declared their state according to the Green Line. However, Israel hasn’t accepted it. Although provisional borders have changed, Israel’s recognized border hasn’t changed since being proclaimed in its plea for recognition

In respect to the Armistice agreements and Armistice demarcation lines
A) The Armistice Agreements were not with Palestine.
B) The Armistice Demarcation lines were “provisional” borders pending final settlement of the Question of Palestine.
C) AFTER the Armistice Agreements were signed Israel was still trying on the 31st Aug 1949 to convince the UN to allow it the territories it had acquired by war. Rather strange if the Armistice Agreements already allowed them those territories other than as “provisional”. Maybe someone forgot to tell them.

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

Yes, relative to the Armistice conditions.

Article IV

2. The basic purpose of the Armistice Demarcation Lines is to delineate the lines beyond which the armed forces of the respective Parties shall not move.

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

Not the “Green Line” ‘border’, but the Armistice Lines beyond which the armed forces of the respective Parties shall not move.

” [HOSTAGE:] Moreover, the ICJ specifically cited the UN resolutions sponsoring the Armistice Agreements in determining that the Armistice “Green Line” … as a provisional measure … Israel admitted the status of the territory is unchallengeable in the absence of a new round of negotiations and mutual consent

“provisional” … “mutual consent”


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

It requires ” mutual consent”. An agreement between representatives recognized by both parties

“Besides, annexation and self-determination are separate concepts; Israel’s and Jordan’s legal annexation of territory sanctioned by a UN- sponsored, internationally recognized armistice agreement, did NOT require a plebiscite or referendum”

It required ” mutual consent” between representatives recognized by both parties. Israel has never reached an agreement with the Palestinians

“But the annexation was legal, and the “Green Line” is the legal” provisional ” border in the absence of a final agreement and mutual consent

Annie Robbins
May 27, 2016, 8:45 pm

i thought it was amusing that the manager of a rehabilitation center was a zionist palestinian. was this the purpose of the center, to rehabilitate palestinians? what other kinds of rehabilitation was provided? and who paid to have a zionist palestinian manager? the israeli government? very interesting!

May 27, 2016, 7:45 pm

@ hophmi May 27, 2016, 12:01 pm

“Again, there is a legal case that it’s not technically an occupation”

Interesting theory. Care to outline this alleged “legal case”?

May 27, 2016, 7:41 pm

@ Misterioso May 27, 2016, 6:55 pm

hophmi and co aren’t allowed to read that kind of stuff.

May 27, 2016, 6:55 pm


Dream on.


(A) Security Council Resolution 446 (22 March 1979) “[Affirms] once more that the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 is applicable to the Arab territories OCCUPIED [my emphasis] by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem,

“1. Determines that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories OCCUPIED [my emphasis] since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;..”

(B) Security Council Resolution 465 (1 March 1980) “determines that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories OCCUPIED [my emphasis] since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity…”

(C) Israel’s 1980 annexation of East Jerusalem was rejected by the UN Security Council in Resolution 476 (June 30, 1980): “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the OCCUPYING [my emphasis] Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention”. The resolution was adopted by 14 votes to none.

(D) On 17 December 1981, the UNSC unanimously passed Resolution 497, which declared Israel’s 14 December 1981 annexation of Syria’s Golan Height “null and void.”

(E) In accordance with the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, ratified by Israel, and further underscoring the illegality of the settlements, Part 2, Article 8, section B, paragraph viii of the Rome Statute of the International Court (1998) defines “the transfer directly or indirectly by the OCCUPYING [my emphasis] power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it OCCUPIES [my emphasis]” as a War Crime, indictable by the International Criminal Court.

(F) On 24 February 2004, the U.S. State Department reaffirmed its earlier position in a report entitled Israel and the Occupied Territories, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: “Israel OCCUPIED [my emphasis] the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights after the 1967 War…. The international community does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over any part of the OCCUPIED [my emphasis] territories.”

(G) In its 2004 ruling, the International Court of Justice unanimously ruled that “No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.” The World Court denoted this principle a “corollary” of the U.N. Charter and as such “customary international law” and a “customary rule” binding on all member States of the United Nations.

(H) In the summer of 1967, “[t]he legal counsel of the Foreign Ministry, Theodor Meron, was asked [by Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol] whether international law allowed settlement in the newly conquered land. In a memo marked ‘Top Secret,’ Meron wrote unequivocally: ‘My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.’” (New York Times, 10 March 2006)

(I) US Secretary of State, John Kerry: “The US views all of the settlements as illegitimate.” (13 August 2013, Reuters Video)

(J) British Foreign Secretary William Hague regarding Jewish settlements in the West Bank (5 April 2011): “This is not disputed territory. It is OCCUPIED [my emphasis] Palestinian territory and ongoing settlement expansion is illegal under international law…”

(K) Even the Israeli Supreme Court has declared the West Bank (and Gaza Strip) to be under belligerent OCCUPATION [my emphasis]. In 1979, the court declared “[t]his is a situation of belligerency and the status of [Israel] with respect to the OCCUPIED [my emphasis] territory is that of an OCCUPYING [my emphasis] Power.” In 2002, the court again held that the West Bank and Gaza Strip “are subject to a belligerent OCCUPATION [my emphasis] by the State of Israel” and in June, 2004, it proclaimed “[s]ince 1967, Israel has been holding [the Palestinian Territories] in belligerent OCCUPATION [my emphasis].”

Mike Hite
May 27, 2016, 6:54 pm

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government may be on the verge of collapse, according to Israel’s Channel 10.

In a report Friday night, the TV station quoted unnamed “party leaders” saying that Netanyahu’s surprise move to bring the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party into the coalition may be backfiring on him.

In the past eight days, two ministers have resigned: Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, of Likud, following reports that he would be replaced with the hawkish Avigdor Liberman, and Environmental Minister Avi Gabai of Kulanu. Both harshly criticized Netanyahu in their resignation announcements.

link to forward.com

Annie Robbins
May 27, 2016, 6:54 pm

what a fantastic uplifting article. and super congrats to Dana as well as Nawras and Bahader. i hope they all have long and fruitful political careers in palestine. hopefully, an unoccupied palestine.

thanks so much Sheren.

May 27, 2016, 6:41 pm

As the son of immigrants from Ireland, I am very conscious of being Irish and only partly assimilated. But the Irish-Americans who have been here for several generations (and the ancestors of many of them came over as long ago as the Potato Famine), they are very much more assimilated.

Second-generation Irish-Americans like me are much more common in the Northeast in places like the New York and Boston metropolitan areas than they are in the country as a whole.

May 27, 2016, 6:10 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the ICJ “Wall” opinion:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

link to mondoweiss.net


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 27, 2016, 6:07 pm

I can just see the Birthwrong people jumping on this opportunity to get an easy $100 by simply sitting through this hasbaracrap, using cheat sheets (provided by previous viewers) to pass the exams (thereby affording them an opportunity to get some work done on their smartphones or catch some shuteye), then waltzing off with the money for a first class night out!

Annie Robbins
May 27, 2016, 6:02 pm

anytime ossinev. and i’ll just amend that to say the east coast is culturally a little of different than the west coast and i’m not much of expert on it. but i do recall the first time i ever visited there when i was 18 (which was many years ago and may not reflect the scene now), most people first time we met (certainly everyone’s parents) asked me my last name and what my father did for a living. that was something i was really not used to at all growing up in northern california.