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A portrait of a former Zionist (Part 1)

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A year ago at the counter-AIPAC conference in Washington I met a New Yorker I’ll call Bill. Quiet and darkhaired and serious at 35, Bill told me he had grown up enchanted with Israel but had begun questioning his devotion in his late teens. The Israeli response to the Second intifada was the final straw. After that he’d stayed away.

Then last fall Bill visited Jordan and saw the lights of Israel and Palestine across the Dead Sea and felt a strong desire to go back, but he said he couldn’t justify it without a larger purpose. I said, What if you came with me and I wrote about our trip? I want to see the place through your eyes.

So for ten days in the middle of February we traveled together. This piece is a record of our experiences, with Bill’s pictures. I’ll run Part 2 next week. Bill wanted a pseudonym because he is not ready to be public yet.

——

On Sunday February 12, I picked Bill up at his hotel, the American Colony in East Jerusalem, and we went to Ramallah to meet friends for dinner. Then at 9:30 they gave us a ride back to Qalandiyah– Bill’s first checkpoint.

Qalandiya the first crossing
Qalandiya, the first crossing

The Palestine side of the border square was bleak and desolate, wide open and poorly lit, like a charcoal drawing of a scene from the Soviet bloc. We went inside the wide steel-roofed border hut and passed through an entrance chute made of galvanized steel bars, which brought us to the actual checkpoint. A half dozen young Palestinian men lounged against the bars waiting at the large locked turnstile, which is operated by soldiers behind glass. You have to wait for a buzzer. The turnstile lets three people through at a time.

One of the soldiers was loopy. He kept getting on the microphone to sass the young men in Hebrew, and they called back at him in the same mocking tone. He switched into English, in falsetto.

“Don’t you like Israel? Do you like my country? It is beautiful. It is nice country.”

The turnstile finally buzzed Bill through with two Palestinians. He wore a scowl as he held up his camera to the glass and obeyed orders to open his passport to the right page.

When it was my turn, a little boy from a family that had arrived after us squirted forward and managed to get through the turnstile with me. Panic. His parents, suddenly separated by steel bars from him, grew frantic and called out to him and the soldiers. A soldier buzzed the father through. As he picked his boy up he met my eyes. “This is occupation.”

Qalandiya the entrance chute
Qalandiya, the entrance chute

Bill stood waiting at the other side of the X-ray machine, face flushed, and we got onto the 18 bus and waited for it to fill up. A man in the row in front of us got on facebook on his computer.

“That’s one of the most disturbing experiences I’ve had in a while,” Bill said.

“You’re sensitive.”

He looked out the window. “I know that! Who designed this place? Do you think they could have done it any worse? They don’t try to disguise it at all.”

“I guess they could have done it modern, like an airport lounge. But we bring a lot to this.”

“You know what it reminds me of? Or am I just crazy to even think that?”

“No it reminds me of the same thing.”

“But you can’t say it. Because it’s crazy to say it.”

“You’re not allowed to say it,” I said, “but it’s not crazy to think it. Because we’re both thinking it without anyone telling us. Don’t you think a lot of Jews would think the same thing if they had to go through this?”

Bill has a way of sitting up straight on his feelings. He said, “They should all have to go through it. They should take all the Birthright trips through it. But I’ll tell you something, I felt the same way at Ben Gurion airport. It’s got a huge ramp going down with all these people crammed on it. It’s completely different from when I was here last. I found it disturbing. Let’s get a drink. I need to unwind.”

We got off the bus at the American Colony and had drinks in the cave bar in the basement.

Bill was still agitated. “Did you see when we were going out there was a sign saying ‘Israel,’ with an arrow? Israel! As if they don’t know. Why can’t it just say Exit?”

“I didn’t see that.”

“Yes, this is Israel. And that little boy who got stuck with you–can he not grow up hating Israel? Why wouldn’t he?”

I said, “We bring a lot to this, we project stuff.”

“I don’t see why that matters. Jews should be sensitive to this stuff. “

I said, “Imagine if we were in Jordan, on the road to Petra. Imagine that they said, well there’s a checkpoint on the road for security when you enter the Petra district.”

“But I’ve been there. That’s not there,” Bill said.

“But imagine if it was there and they said, it will add an hour to your trip and you had to go through what we just went through. You wouldn’t think twice about it.”

Bill flushed with impatience and shook his head, refusing to answer. He doesn’t suffer fools. He’s never been a journalist!

——–

The next day we took a cab to a Tel Aviv suburb and got dropped at the side of a highway to wait for Larry Derfner. We had our suitcases because we were headed on to Tel Aviv. Bill’s suitcase was huge and had rollers. That morning we’d heard about the Norman Finkelstein interview in which he criticized the boycott movement as a cult.

“Look, our side isn’t always right,” I said. “We can be imbalanced. Some folks think that Israel is going to be dismantled tomorrow. It’s not going away. Look at this place. It’s here to stay. I’m in Palestinian solidarity, because they’re the victims, but in a criminal case, the victimized family always wants the death penalty, and society doesn’t have to grant the death penalty. It doesn’t have to be inside that family. It has to balance other interests.”

Bill got impatient, pacing the shoulder of the road. “Ok fine,” he said. “Start balancing. You say there’s got to be balance, I agree with you. Start balancing. There’s never been any balance. You want a two state solution? The Arab Peace Initiative is still on the table. No one here has done anything to honor it. Where’s the balance? They can’t make a state this way.”

Larry Derfner came along and we stuffed our bags in his trunk and drove into Lydda. We went to a hummus place, and Derfner told us his story. He grew up in a neighborhood outside LA with eight Holocaust survivors of his father’s generation. Derfner’s a fiery American lefty, and that Holocaust chapter of Jewish experience seems to shadow his worldview. He didn’t want to hear about the one state solution. It’s pie in the sky. The one state solution is a prescription for unending violence and unrest, he said, you have to figure out the same territorial questions but now as one polity, it won’t work.

We walked back through the market to the car past stands of bright strawberries sold by Palestinians.

——–

In Tel Aviv Bill checked into the Hilton because he’d stayed there with his grandparents years before. “This is a walk down memory lane.”

There were Ahava products in the bathroom, and I walked out on the balcony with him to look at the city.

“I can’t believe how much it’s changed,” he said. “It seems a lot smaller. That’s the Herod Hotel. It used to be the Moriah. I guess it seemed so big because I was small, and because I’d never been anywhere else.”

“When did you first come here?”

“I was two.”

“Two! But you don’t remember anything.”

“Yes I do. I remember this view. I remember my father telling me there are sharks in the sea. I remember meeting my great grandmother. She lived in Bnai Brak. She went from Europe to Brooklyn to Israel.”

“Two, “ I kept saying. “And how many times did you come here?”

“Eight times.”

“Eight times! Jesus.”

“This is my ninth trip. By the eighth time I was pretty much done with it. I had talked to my cousin after trips six and seven and started to see the problems. Then on eight I was trying to find something worthwhile to cling to. That was the last trip.”

“And you’ve had nothing to do with it for 12 years?”

“Physically, nothing. But I’ve thought about it all the time. I’ve been thinking about it since I was 11. That was the trip that really got me. Just before the first intifada.”

We had drinks in the Business lounge on the 17th floor and watched Dov Weisglass’s entourage. They were flirting with a pretty blonde journalist, and a couple of the old men said they were jealous of the old American guy she’d come to talk to—probably some fatcat Israel lobbyist. The attitudes seemed very 1980s USA. Out over the sea, planes banked making the turn into the domestic airport to the north.

Bill said he was going out to see the cool new hip Tel Aviv, and I went to Jaffa to meet up with the friends I was crashing with. We were eating dinner at the bookstore café, Café Yafa, when Bill called.

I said, “I thought you were going down memory lane tonight.”

“I’m too upset. I’m lonely. Can I join you?”

“What about the cool Tel Aviv?”

“I tried. I didn’t find anything particularly appealing.”

We sat outside in Jaffa at a crowded alleyway restaurant with the journalists Lia Tarachansky and David Sheen.

Lia told a story about another friend who was a soldier. Almost everyone is a soldier. The man she talked about had killed people in Gaza. But Lia had grown up in a settlement in the West Bank. “So at the end of the day, how different is it?” she said.

Bill said, “The only thing that makes me feel good about this place is the people who are trying to change it. On the Jewish side anyway. People like Joseph Dana. That guy is totally legitimate. Otherwise I sort of hate it.”

Lia said, “At the same time, I have a lot of love for this place. Something lives here. I feel a part of it, this land and its air. I am a part of it with all its ugliness and nuance and terror.”

Bill nodded. “I know. I don’t think I would be here if there wasn’t something I loved. I can see that. I think they did some really good things. You can’t think about something as much as we do and not love it. But it’s a different notion of love, it’s like not getting over someone you’ve had a toxic relationship with. And you tell yourself if you take away all the ugly parts, the ethnic cleansing, the discrimination, they’ve done a good job. For sure. I don’t deny it. And maybe I’m being occidentalist about it– because I’m western and I look for western things. But even the good parts– I still don’t think that goes very far in the whole scheme of things.”

The conversation had a tragic quality. These people all knew the place better than I did and none of them was fooling themselves about what is coming. Also, I’d been influenced by Bill’s Third Reich impressions. So the bar reminded me of Christopher Isherwood’s scene in Berliners– hipsters and a beautiful waitress in black tights and a short black skirt and a slouched way about her. A guy came in with a dog. A group of four sat out on a building stoop. I kept looking at the sexy waitress with her black tights and short skirt and good jawline and tied-back hair. When she went into the kitchen across the alley, she sometimes ran into another waitress and she did a little dance as she passed her. She was wearing spectator pumps except they weren’t pumps, they were flats. She was cool but it felt decadent. I couldn’t believe that the galvanized steel of apartheid Qalandiya was less than an hour away. But maybe it was because of apartheid Qalandiya that she is this way.

———

We took a cab from Tel Aviv to Tappuah Junction outside Nablus.

The big Israeli driver was disturbed that we were going to Nablus. I asked if he’d ever been there and he said, “There is a Hebrew saying. You don’t put a healthy mind in a sick bed. Why should I go to Nablus?”

I said, “The valley is very beautiful and dramatic.”

“OK, fine, my friend. Tell me about it when you come back.“

Bill was silent throughout the cab ride. Later he told me that he kept looking at the Israeli flag on the dashboard and thinking, we’re driving through the heart of the West Bank with an Israeli flag in the windshield. What is it saying? OK, shoot us. Or worse, Up your ass.

Riding to Tappuah Junction deep in the West Bank
Riding to Tappuah Junction deep in the West Bank

We passed a field of olive trees. A few trees were burning. The driver said offhandedly it was probably settlers burning Palestinian trees.

Bill lurched forward. “Do you think there should be settlements on this land?”

The driver shrugged. ‘Why not? This is Jewish land. You are American so you don’t understand. They could have had peace twenty times already. But they don’t want it.”

He dropped us off with the warning that we shouldn’t tell any Palestinian we were from America, we could get in trouble.

We walked 100 yards around the circle at Tappuah junction to get to the Nablus road. A service was there, and the driver opened the back door so we could put in our suitcases.

“Where are you from?” he asked.

Bill said, “We’re Americans.”

“Welcome,” the driver said, and shook our hands.

All the ride into Nablus, Bill raged about our Israeli driver. “’We can’t live with them. They are Arabs.’ And they’re all afraid to step foot in an Arab area. It’s utter racism. And that accent. I hated it, it’s so throaty. Then that high whining tone they get. Why not? Why not? I hate this fucking country.”

“Every country’s fucked up,” I said.

“This is not a normal country. I’ve been to Iran. Iran is a normal country.”

“What does normal mean?”

“In Iran there isn’t this obsession with security and demographics. They have a 55 percent Persian majority, so the place is a mélange. The Supreme Leader is an Azeri. They’re doing a better job of getting along. The racial talk never stops here.

“Look,” he said. “I’m for one state, I think that’s the most just solution. But I’m not a total pig. I could get behind an honest two state solution if these people could have a real state.”

“What does real mean?”

“It means, they have all the rights and privileges any other country has. It means, Control over its electro magnetic spectrum, control over its borders, the ability to enter into treaties with other countries, even a military if they want one. Control over their water.”

—-

In Nablus we went out to dinner with Saed Abu Hijleh. Saed is a professor of geography and a poet and extremely animated. He drove us up on the south mountain overlooking Nablus to show off his city and tell us of its ancient history and cosmopolitcan traditions. His family’s house is halfway up the mountain. We went to his house and he asked us to use our right foot as we stepped over the threshold. It wasn’t religious, he said– it’s his superstition.

Well that front walk was filled with meaning. At the front door Saed showed Bill the spot where his mother Shaden was cut down by Israeli soldiers while sitting outside, embroidering, ten years ago. He showed Bill where he and his father were standing when the Israelis pulled up. He showed us where the shots had hit his mother and grazed his father, and how the glass from the front door had splintered and a piece had cut him in the head.

I thought, that is when Bill said goodbye to Israel, when it killed Saed’s mother.

We went out to dinner and had a famous Nablus dish, and afterward Saed drove us east through the city. He was full of energy. We could see lights on the eastern end of the southern mountain, and Saed said the highest lights belonged to an Israeli army base. During the second intifadah, the army would shoot down into the city almost at random, killing people. “One night I had to drive out to pick up my nieces. My sister’s children. They were visiting their cousins and they were terrified to leave the house. I had to get them.”

Nablus at night
Nablus at night

Bill said the scene reminded him of visiting Sarajevo. That city is also in a basin, and the Bosnian Serbs shot at Muslims down in the city. A scene of ethnic cleansing.

Later in the al-Yasmeen Hotel, Bill came into my room. His room was cold and he was troubled by seeing the scene of Abu Hijleh’s mother’s death.

“I wonder what would happen to me in that situation. If I could ever forgive that,” he said softly.

I said, “Israelis know that they’ve screwed the Palestinians. And that’s what they’re afraid of. They’re afraid of the revenge if there were suddenly one democratic state.”

“It doesn’t have to work that way. I don’t see these people doing that. They just want their rights. Do they have to love each other? No. But they’re living alongside one another right now and they’re in ghettos and they don’t love one another now.”

“It could be like Iraq, that’s what they fear.”

“Iraq’s a different place. I think South Africa is the better model.”

“What if you’re wrong?”

Bill lifted his open hand like he was weighing the argument. “What if I am wrong? I don’t know why that changes anything. We might as well be on a different planet ever since we left Tappuah Junction, and the Israelis don’t care about this place. Did you see that huge industrial park next to Ariel Settlement. Do you think they’ll ever give that up? No.”

“There are differences like this back home,” I said. “You can go from uptown to midtown and it’s like a different planet.”

Bill got the irritated sneer he sometimes gets, and I said, “It’s the racial angle that upsets you.”

“It’s more than that. It’s that my race is doing this. So that I will have a safe place to run to in the highly unlikely event that I will be forced to leave New York. And when you come out here you see that it has nothing to do with security. Did you hear that soldier at Qalandiya asking me if I had taken any pictures of the checkpoint? ‘Are you sure?’ he said.

“If this was seriously about security would he say that, would he trust me? ‘Are you sure!’ It’s not about security. It’s about putting people in their place.”

——–

In the morning Bill wanted to get going. He didn’t want to see the famous Nablus soap factories. He was too upset.

“It’s like these people are living in a cage here. I wasn’t prepared for the intensity of the persecution here.”

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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348 Responses

  1. seafoid on May 9, 2012, 10:45 am

    “So the bar reminded me of Christopher Isherwood’s scene in Berliners– hipsters and a beautiful waitress in black tights and a short black skirt and a slouched way about her. A guy came in with a dog. A group of four sat out on a building stoop. I kept looking at the sexy waitress with her black tights and short skirt and good jawline and tied-back hair. When she went into the kitchen across the alley, she sometimes ran into another waitress and she did a little dance as she passed her. She was wearing spectator pumps except they weren’t pumps, they were flats. She was cool but it felt decadent. I couldn’t believe that the galvanized steel of apartheid Qalandiya was less than an hour away. But maybe it was because of apartheid Qalandiya that she is this way”

    Beautiful writing, Phil.

    • seanmcbride on May 9, 2012, 11:36 am

      When Phil’s writing occasionally rises to the level of literature, I am reminded that art trumps politics for me — I don’t care that much about Philip Roth’s or Saul Bellow’s politics (although that is an interesting subject). What matters is that their writing delights and astonishes me.

      The best ancient Roman and Greek poetry has survived and serenely floated over the rubble of endless wars whose motivations are now of little consequence.

      Am I a bad person? Probably.

  2. seafoid on May 9, 2012, 10:52 am

    “Israelis know that they’ve screwed the Palestinians. And that’s what they’re afraid of. They’re afraid of the revenge if there were suddenly one democratic state.”

    The Palestinians are more decent than that. I think what Israelis are afraid of is losing their economic privileges and waking up one day and realising that the last 60 whatever years were pointless, that it was all wrong from the start . That they have been lied to since the beginning.

    All settler colonial societies are drenched in violence. Look at Mexico and the US and Israel. Dispossession contaminates the future. Israel has a chance to start over.

  3. OlegR on May 9, 2012, 11:02 am

    Oh blah blah blah.
    The old Palestinians are good and that’s how you write about them .
    And Israelis are bad and that’s how you write about them.

    And the rest is the psychological problem of a westerner who meets some of the Middle
    East realities.
    You should have traveled to Nablus in 2002 Phil and gave your report about that.
    In case you would have returned alive that is.

    • seanmcbride on May 9, 2012, 11:37 am

      Ethnic nationalism and ethnic resentments — boring. And incredibly annoying.

      • on May 9, 2012, 11:57 am

        My personal favorite was this:

        “And that accent. I hated it, it’s so throaty. Then that high whining tone they get. Why not? Why not? I hate this fucking country.”

        Golly, Phil, what might you call someone who said this about arabs?

      • eljay on May 9, 2012, 12:15 pm

        >> “And that accent. I hated it, it’s so throaty. Then that high whining tone they get. Why not? Why not? I hate this fucking country.”
        >> Golly, Phil, what might you call someone who said this about arabs?

        Just pretend that the guy who said it was a Zionist instead of an anti-Zionist. You’ll feel better about it. ;-)

      • on May 9, 2012, 12:21 pm

        I’m actually having too much fun pretending it was Jew (sorry, a neo-con), saying it about an Arab, and imagining the reaction of Phil, Annie, et al.

      • marc b. on May 9, 2012, 12:55 pm

        the difference scotty is that ‘bill’ is still capable of recognizing the humanity of jewish israelis in spite of his visceral reaction, unlike the zionist cab driver who is completely comfortable with his prejudices, the means of justifying mistreatment of the palestinians. you do get the difference, or is this just too subtle for someone who finds this all so amusing? everyone has unpleaseant, superficial or impolitic emotions, the point is to overcome them, not celebrate them.

      • annie on May 9, 2012, 1:48 pm

        I’m actually having too much fun pretending it was Jew (sorry, a neo-con), saying it about an Arab

        you don’t get it. his reaction was directly related to the racism of the israelis attitude, that’s what pissed him off.

        ‘Why not? This is Jewish land. You are American so you don’t understand. They could have had peace twenty times already. But they don’t want it”………“And that accent. I hated it, it’s so throaty. Then that high whining tone they get. Why not? Why not? I hate this fucking country.”

        where’s your b*tch mode wrt the origin of the overladen supremacist racism here? or don’t you recognize it?

        your mocking tone is no different than the description of the soldier at the checkpoint. it disgusts me, so have your fun with that.

      • seafoid on May 9, 2012, 2:51 pm

        People don’t like that German accent, Terry especially in Hebrew.
        When someone like Zippy says teghogh in her big fat Hebghew accent it turns people off. Why doesn’t she have a local accent ?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj68PZkJmZk

      • kalithea on May 10, 2012, 1:14 am

        I would call him arrogant and insolent. And I’m being kind. But-but; it just happened to be a Zionist taxi driver, not an Arab. Too bad for you!

      • stevieb on May 10, 2012, 1:00 pm

        Then you must have a busy imagination, because I can’t imagine they’d say much about it…

      • Shingo on May 16, 2012, 11:21 pm

        Lame argument Terry. It was a Jew describing to tonal inflections of another Jew, so your analogy kinda fails – as does all your other hasbra.

      • Mooser on May 17, 2012, 5:53 pm

        “I’m actually having too much fun pretending it was Jew (sorry, a neo-con), saying it about an Arab, and imagining the reaction of Phil, Annie, et al.”

        Oh, I’m sure you are. I’m sure you’re doing everything you can to avoid the point that it was in fact, a Jew who said, a Jew who has been repelled by your Zionism, to the point that he finds the tone of voice annoying.
        Tell me, Terryscott, do you have any way, without the friendly intercession of an anti-semitism which makes Zionism the only practical choice, to change his mind? Why no, you don’t, do you. Just keep hoping for that overwhelming anti-Semitism, Terryscott, it’s your only hope.

    • MarkF on May 9, 2012, 11:51 am

      “..a westerner who meets some of the Middle
      East realities.”

      Bought and paid for by said westerner’s confiscated tax dollars.

      • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 4:56 am

        Yes Yes the Israel exists only because US is supports it.
        Sure.

      • Shingo on May 16, 2012, 10:28 pm

        Yes Yes the Israel exists only because US is supports it.
        Sure.

        You got it.

    • Shmuel on May 9, 2012, 11:52 am

      Yes, it’s all so complicated, and westerners are so naive. They mean well, the poor dears, but their grasp of the world is so black-and-white. They just don’t understand the myriad shades of grey that make up reality beyond their comfortable existences. Yet they presume to judge us. How dare they! If only they could see the things that we’ve seen, experience the things that we’ve experienced. Then they’d know that the Middle East is not “uptown” or even “midtown”, that here it’s kill or be killed, oppress or be oppressed. How can we possibly hope to compete with romantic notions of occupation and resistance, imperialism and liberation, apartheid and democracy?

      The best we can do is “rebrand” and hope for the best, Oleg. Try to tap into their simple binary minds and make them believe that we wear the white hats on this frontier. They’re so gullible, it might just work.

      • Rusty Pipes on May 9, 2012, 1:52 pm

        Make that, “They’re such Friers, it might just work” and you’ll get closer to the attitude.

      • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 4:59 am

        You can mock me as much as you want Shmuel but if you are an Israeli
        then you should know that our reality is comprised of myriad shades
        of gray.And most people on this site at least think in black and white terms.

        /Then they’d know that the Middle East is not “uptown” or even “midtown”, that here it’s kill or be killed, oppress or be oppressed./
        This is you battling a straw man. I never said anything like that.
        The rest of it is also your dialog with some imagined opponent.

      • Shmuel on May 10, 2012, 5:29 am

        Oleg,

        I’m fully aware of the shades of grey, as are Phil and Bill, I’m sure. I was not so much mocking you as the propagandist’s meme that the situation is ever so complicated, and that those who take a contrary position are naive or unfamiliar with the reality on the ground.

        I think my “straw man” is a fair interpretation of some of the things you’ve written here (including your suggestion that Phil would have felt differently had he been to Nablus in 2002 – in other words, he doesn’t really know what the Palestinians are like, and why Israel is “forced” to behave as it does).

        In real life, you may be a reasonable and open-minded person, but the positions you present here are, for the most part, those of a belligerent apologist. So yes, in a sense, I am engaging in dialogue with an imagined opponent.

      • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 5:50 am

        / and that those who take a contrary position are naive or unfamiliar with the reality on the ground./
        The opinions of Bill as presented by Phil (no pun intended)
        are very naive and very one sided i am sure you have noticed that.

        / in other words, he doesn’t really know what the Palestinians are like, and why Israel is “forced” to behave as it does/
        No that’s a bad interpretation
        of my words.Palestinians like all people are capable of great violence.
        Phil never witnessed that violence first hand like we did.If he did he does not mention it. This whole piece that he wrote
        reeks of a mild orientalism by depicting the Palestinians only in favorable
        colors and Israelis only in unfavorable ones.Even that poor waitress
        who for all Phil knows could be a Bilain going anarchist in her spare time
        get’s analyzed.The whole piece could be titled “Pretty Israeli waitresses
        in the mirror of Qalandiyah checkpoint and occupation”

      • Shmuel on May 10, 2012, 6:37 am

        The opinions of Bill as presented by Phil (no pun intended)
        are very naive and very one sided i am sure you have noticed that.

        Phil and Bill do take a side, but that is not the same as being one-sided, and may or may not be rooted in naivete. From the good deal we know about Phil and the little he has told us about Bill, I don’t think that’s the case here.

        I remember a TV interview with Gideon Levy, in which he was asked why his reporting is so “one-sided”, and whether he does not see that Israelis are also victims of violence and injustice. He answered that his decision to focus on the injustices suffered by Palestinians stemmed both from the fact that these injustices are far greater than those suffered by Israelis, and from the fact that they are severely under-reported in the Israeli media, relative to the problems of Israelis.

        As for your accusation of “orientalism”, you misunderstand both the term and Phil’s style. He was not romanticising Palestinians, but was using the image of the waitress (not the actual person – who may very well have been a regular at the Bilin protests, as you say) to represent the very real and present dissonance between artsy, sexy Jaffa and brutal, cold Qalandiya. It’s very effective writing.

      • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 7:32 am

        /As for your accusation of “orientalism”, you misunderstand both the term and Phil’s style. He was not romanticising Palestinians/
        That’s no how i perceived it but i agree this is a matter of interpretation.
        Regarding the hour long trip from the sunny Tel Aviv to the cold Qalandiya.
        Phil could have mentioned that a 5 hour drive would have taken him to.
        The beautiful city of Damascus with all of it’s pleasures at this time.
        Or the wonderful Lebanon.
        Sinai desert with it’s hospitable population, etc…
        A shorter drive would have brought Phil to Sderot or Ashdod where life is
        peaceful and serene or Lod or Ramle …

      • Shmuel on May 10, 2012, 7:49 am

        Phil could have mentioned…

        He could also have mentioned that an x-hour drive/sail/flight would have taken him to Al-Araqib or Biram or Khan Yunis – or Famagusta or Crete or Ismailia – but none of those were the subjects of his article.

      • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 7:53 am

        No the subjects of his article was in this part to compare the sunny
        Tel Aviv with Qualandiya.
        The comparison is powerful as a propaganda tool but it’s also very Black/White and also false.

        Why not compare the slums of Beer Sheva or Dimona with the cultural center of Ramallah, that would also make an interesting comparison.

      • Shmuel on May 10, 2012, 8:06 am

        Why not compare the slums of Beer Sheva or Dimona with the cultural center of Ramallah, that would also make an interesting comparison.

        Yes it would (as would an article comparing the sumptuous villas of Asmara and the slums of Rome). Be sure to send us the link when you’ve written it and posted it at your blog.

      • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 8:10 am

        Now you are just evading my point.
        Fine it was nice talking to you anyway it’s quite refreshing not being compared
        to a Nazi in every other sentence.

      • Shmuel on May 10, 2012, 8:26 am

        Now you are just evading my point.

        No, I was making my own point. This is Phil’s article and Phil’s blog. There are any number of other ideas he could have expressed and comparisons he could have made, but didn’t. He chose to highlight this aspect of reality. On your blog, you may highlight whatever aspects of reality you choose, and I promise not to complain about what you could have written but didn’t.

        it’s quite refreshing not being compared to a Nazi in every other sentence.

        I find most Nazi comparisons pointless, but I’m guessing you don’t come here for the Gemütlichkeit ;-)

      • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 8:52 am

        No i basically come here to challenge my own / and others world view.

        Unfortunately this site especially some of it’s commentators on one side
        and it’s ridiculous moderation policy on the other makes it a very frustrating effort.

      • seanmcbride on May 10, 2012, 9:48 am

        OlegR,

        I like this statement of yours:

        “No i basically come here to challenge my own / and others world view.”

        That’s why I enter these discussions also: to challenge *my own* views as well as the views of others. To see how the dialectic (war of ideas) plays out. To engage in knowledge discovery — to try to learn something new from every exchange. I am definitely not here to proselytize — how boring that would be.

      • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 10:41 am

        I am glad you understand Sean.

    • annie on May 9, 2012, 12:04 pm

      the psychological problem of a westerner who meets some of the Middle
      East realities

      phew

    • justicewillprevail on May 9, 2012, 12:19 pm

      You’re the one with the psychological problem, Oleg, as accurately portrayed in this piece, and your feeble response. Israelis live a cocooned bubble of denial. This is what people who come to Israel see, then go home and report. It is sick, disturbing and alienating.

    • ritzl on May 10, 2012, 12:22 am

      Ever been to the Palestinian remnants of the WB and stayed with a Palestinian family for even a day, let alone a week or month? Shared their reality?

      Thought not (and the corollary is “Why not?” Fear I suspect. Raw fear, and not of the physical harm variety either. More of the challenging fundamental mythology variety, which is much more threatening to people like you, and the Israeli cab driver.).

      Every account, like this one, where an Israeli Jew, or any Jew for that matter, makes the small effort to live beyond the wall for more than a day trip, is a story of transformation. That’s a “reality” problem that you and people that think like you have that is vastly more powerful, influential, and transcendent than the typical “Blah. Blah. Blah.” retort.

      I’m not sure you’re informed enough to make broad pronouncements about ME realities (plural).

      • john h on May 10, 2012, 3:59 am

        “Raw fear, and not of the physical harm variety either. More of the challenging fundamental mythology variety, which is much more threatening to people like you, and the Israeli cab driver”.

        You got it in one.

      • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 5:04 am

        It’s always nice to speak with your self Ritzl.
        Please do go…

      • ritzl on May 10, 2012, 9:14 pm

        @Oleg Well, my bad. So how many times HAVE you stayed with a Palestinian family in the WB or Gaza? Invited that is, not as part of some takeover of a home as an observation point or other such implementation of the Occupation humiliation outreach program.

      • OlegR on May 11, 2012, 6:03 am

        Never got an invitation to do that Ritzl.
        Though i am familiar with both places well enough.

        Would i be interested in doing something like that?
        A good question but a rhetorical one.What would be the point ?
        To show me that their life is a hard life under our occupation.
        I am aware of it.
        To show me that they are human beings and their world does not revolve around killing Jews.I am aware of it as well.
        My problem is not with the individual Ritzl.
        My problem is with the collective , their political aspirations as a collective.
        An individual is just that, can be good, bad, stupid, smart and everything in between.

      • American on May 16, 2012, 1:22 pm

        “My problem is with the collective , their political aspirations as a collective”..Oleg

        Do you have a problem being viewed as the Jewish or zionist or Israeli ”collective”?
        You really are crazy. I bet you are quite happy, or would be, for the Jews to be viewed as a collective in the same way cause you are so insane you actually think your collective is going to beat out any and all other collectives in the world.

      • Mooser on May 17, 2012, 6:01 pm

        “…think your collective is going to beat out any and all other collectives in the world.”

        Actually, I think that’s a pretty niave viewpoint. The Zionists have no illusions about beating “out any and all other collectives in the world” Oh no, they’re not that crazy. All they hope for is that they can beat out the Jewish collective, and put it under their control. Oleg hopes he will be a leading Zionist political commissar in that situation. That would make him a very powerful person, and a guy can dream, can’t he, although I have no idea why he chooses to share his dream of being a Zionist boss with us.

    • Sumud on May 10, 2012, 5:42 am

      The old Palestinians are good and that’s how you write about them .
      And Israelis are bad and that’s how you write about them.

      And the rest is the psychological problem of a westerner who meets some of the Middle East realities.

      Note carefully: here Oleg seeks to erase the differences in power between Israelis and Palestinians.

      In Oleg-world there was is Nakba, there is no hostile military occupation, there are no checkpoints, there is no apartheid legal systems differentiating between jewish settlers and occupied Palestinians, there are no roads in Palestine that Palestinians are forbidden to drive on, there is no Gaza blockade, for every Israeli child killed there aren’t really 10+ Palestinian children killed by the IDF, and on and on and on.

      In Oleg-world the Palestinian [Warsaw] Ghetto is merely “the psychological problems of a westerner”.

      Yeah, right.

      • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 7:58 am

        /In Oleg-world the Palestinian [Warsaw] Ghetto is merely “the psychological problems of a westerner”./

        /Over 100,000 of the Ghetto’s residents died due to rampant disease or starvation, as well as random killings, even before the Nazis began massive deportations of the inhabitants from the Ghetto’s Umschlagplatz to the Treblinka extermination camp during the Grossaktion Warschau, part of the countrywide Operation Reinhard. Between Tisha B’Av (July 23) and Yom Kippur (September 21) of 1942, about 254,000 Ghetto residents (or at least 300,000 by different accounts)[5] were sent to Treblinka and murdered there.[1]

        Now lets check Gaza:

        http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=gz&v=24/

        Country 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
        Gaza Strip 3.97 4.01 3.95 3.89 3.83 3.77 3.71 3.66 3.42 3.35 3.29 3.2

        Population growth since 2000.

      • seafoid on May 10, 2012, 3:08 pm

        Oleg

        Would you like your kids to grow up in conditions equivalent to those of Gaza, assuming the population was Jewish ?

      • playforpalestine on May 10, 2012, 5:52 pm

        Because if you don’t want to raise your family there Oleg, then that means it is exactly like the Warsaw ghetto. What a clever rhetorical trap.

        And presumably if you don’t want your children shot by an Israeli border guard then the Israelis are 1,000 times worse than a cross between Godzilla and Dr. No. Also they’re Nazis. Also they’re Communists.

      • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 7:45 pm

        No but i wouldn’t want my kids to grow up in a lot of places.
        East LA for example or any number of your cities or cities and countries around the world.
        That still however does not make Gaza anything like
        the Warsaw ghetto.

        This kind of argument by your side should be banned for hurting the cause
        since it is so easily can be refuted by anyone with a slightest knowledge of the history of WW2 and the Holocaust.

        PS. The fact that the only thing that Phil/Bill are reminded of when they pass the Qalandiya checkpoint is only evidence to how poorly they were taught about what it was really like on planet Auschwitz.

      • annie on May 10, 2012, 8:15 pm

        auschwitz? phil/bill didn’t say it reminded them of auschwitz. you’re the person who thought of that. why? it’s not what i thought they were talking about.

      • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 8:33 pm

        Annie don’t be boring please
        / Also, I’d been influenced by Bill’s Third Reich impressions./
        You know what they thought about and what ran through their imagination.
        A used the word planet Auchwitz to demonstrate a point.
        When they went through the checkpoint they made a comparison.
        Third Reich -> Ghettos ->Concentration camps etc.
        It was a false comparison and a stupid one.

      • playforpalestine on May 10, 2012, 11:26 pm

        what do you think they were referencing?

      • annie on May 10, 2012, 11:58 pm

        well, naturally i assumed both phil and bill think the way i do. and because of the way it was written anyone reading it is going to think the first thing that comes into their own mind was also what phil/bill were thinking.

        bleak and desolate, wide open and poorly lit, like a charcoal drawing of a scene from the Soviet bloc….wide steel-roofed border hut and passed through an entrance chute made of galvanized steel bars….. large locked turnstile…..operated by soldiers behind glass. You have to wait for a buzzer. The turnstile lets three people through at a time…They don’t try to disguise it at all.

        this description, plus looking at the photos..it reminds me of a processing plant for animals. farm animals. that’s what i always think of when i look at the the checkpoints. they are disgusting. did auschwitz even have turnstiles? that photo is not my image of auschwitz. and they did say “They don’t try to disguise it at all.”

      • Sumud on May 11, 2012, 2:10 am

        Note carefully – Oleg continues to evade the idiocy of his original comment which I quote here again:

        The old Palestinians are good and that’s how you write about them .
        And Israelis are bad and that’s how you write about them.

        And the rest is the psychological problem of a westerner who meets some of the Middle East realities.

        In Oleg-world there is no legitimate reason why Bill or Phil (or presumably anyone else) would be concerned for the way Israelis have treated Palestinians since before 1948 to the current day.

        No – any concern around those issues is merely as a result of a “psychological problem”.

        Tell me Oleg – what is the nature of this “psychological problem”?

      • OlegR on May 11, 2012, 6:09 am

        Well Annie you have richer imagination then Bill/Phil as i showed you in their quote we no both knew exactly what they thought.
        BTW it’s not the first time Phil made the comparison.
        I heard him comparing Gaza to the Warsaw ghetto in his own words during some radio interview.
        It was stupid then it’s stupid now to say the least.

      • OlegR on May 11, 2012, 6:11 am

        Finished making Warsaw ghetto comparisons Sumud or will
        you use that trick again with someone else hoping to make an impression
        on less knowledgeable persons?

      • seafoid on May 11, 2012, 8:31 am

        The Warsaw ghetto only ran for 4 years. Gaza has been shafted for 64 years.

      • Donald on May 11, 2012, 9:03 am

        Oleg, I agree that comparisons to the Warsaw Ghetto are over the top–I got into an argument about that here years ago. Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is more aptly compared to Western racism in general–at its very worst Western racists engaged in mass murder and genocide, but much of the time it was more day-to-day humiliation, oppression, legal double standards, etc… I think I understand Israeli treatment of Palestinians without ever having visited because it sounds so much like American racism.

        Anyway, you are zeroing in on that Gaza/Warsaw comparison because there you have a point–you’re ignoring what Sumud points out in the May 10 2:11 A.M. post. As for your other point, the romanticization of Palestinians, the violence in Damascus, and so forth, can you not see that you’re the wrong person to be making it unless you first admit the brutality and thuggishness and racism of your own side? Instead you act like someone who gets angry whenever that is brought up, so you try to change the subject. Your reaction is like the white racists I used to know growing up who’d talk about black-on-black violence in the ghetto or Idi Amin or something of that sort whenever the issue of white racism was raised.

      • Chaos4700 on May 11, 2012, 9:26 am

        Why do only Jewish lives matter, Oleg?

      • OlegR on May 11, 2012, 10:33 am

        Donald
        I am not zeroing on Sumud comparison i addressed all of his points
        but the moderators censored that reply.

      • OlegR on May 11, 2012, 10:35 am

        If we are talking about moral rights to make comparisons then
        Americans really should be very silent.
        Given Iraq and Vietnam history.

      • American on May 11, 2012, 11:08 am

        “If we are talking about moral rights to make comparisons then
        Americans really should be very silent.
        Given Iraq and Vietnam history.”

        Doesn’t work that way…….moral people weren’t silent about Iraq and Vietnam. Just as people, Americans or Israelis or whoever, aren’t silent about I/P and other horrors.

      • annie on May 11, 2012, 11:31 am

        really? you addressed the rest is the psychological problem of a westerner who meets some of the Middle East realities.?

        look at that photo up there! look at it! you call that a “psychological problem of a westerner”! you call that ‘meeting the Middle East realities’!

        you think this is acceptable herding people like animals? it doesn’t matter all the differences you point out. it doesn’t matter. what is taking place is a modern day crushing of a people! crushing their lives and their children’s lives and you are so clinging to how much worse it was for your people how dare it is compared! that is all you want to say!

        that is the past, this is now and it is horrendous, and you brush it off as a psychological problem of the westerner. you refuse to absorb the experience of phil/bill. and you have the nerve to come here to this blog and post over and over and over, hundreds of times which doesn’t include all the ones that never see the light of day, and you come here and sh*t on these reflections without a care in the world, with no respect for the site. let me remind you what that sh*tting looks like:

        “Oh blah blah blah.”

        that is your first comment on this thread followed by your insulting reflection this hideous situation is merely a ‘mid east reality‘.

        no, this is ZIONISMS solution for the indigenous people whose land zionists want to steal! this is a modern day ethnic cleansers solution, that is what this is and no amount of lists of differences will wash away this crime and continuing to DENY the culpability for this crime by brushing it off as “psychological problem of a westerner” facing “reality” (herding people like cattle day in and day out for decades everytime they want to move anywhere while their land and resources and livelihoods are stolen and destroyed) is disgusting. it is also nakba denial and i am completely fed up with your constant diversionary thread jacking, over and over and over.

      • playforpalestine on May 11, 2012, 11:32 pm

        “moral people weren’t silent about Iraq and Vietnam. Just as people, Americans or Israelis or whoever, aren’t silent about I/P and other horrors”

        So, do Israelis who oppose the occupation and fight for the establishment of a Palestinian state (like the members of PeaceNow or B’tselem for example), qualify as ethical or liberal or etc.? I’m curious if you still think that Zionism and liberalism are mutually exclusive given your above statement.

      • OlegR on May 12, 2012, 6:01 am

        /look at that photo up there! look at it! you call that a “psychological problem of a westerner”! you call that ‘meeting the Middle East realities’!/

        I don’t even call it that given how security looks in some of the European
        airports.Ever tried to fly through Munich as an Israeli ?

        Is it pretty Qualandya ? Hell no. Is it pleasant ? No way.
        Is it necessary. Given the fact the we keep catching people with bombs on these checkpoint like a couple days ago in the Tapuach junction i would say
        yes. Moreover Qalandya is a clear entry point into Israel as we see it.
        It will be the future border point between Israel and Palestine.

        /you think this is acceptable herding people like animals? it doesn’t matter all the differences you point out. it doesn’t matter. what is taking place is a modern day crushing of a people! crushing their lives and their children’s lives and you are so clinging to how much worse it was for your people how dare it is compared! that is all you want to say!/
        All those differences do matter you stop comparing us to Nazis in every other sentence and i will stop refuting it and show how stupid and ignorant
        that propaganda trick really is.Then we can start talking about the reality
        of the situation and not what you imagine when you see a checkpoint.
        Then we can have discussion about the reality. And you know what Annie
        i might surprise you then.

        / you refuse to absorb the experience of phil/bill. /
        Phil and Bill had experience Annie that’s it.
        I know this reality day in and day out.I live this reality.
        Where do you get the nerve to ask me a native to this place toabsorb a few days
        of “experience” of two foreigners and take that as the truth about what is really
        going on.How much more condescending / patronizing can you be?

        The rest of your rant is really confusing you somehow describe checkpoints existence justification (which i do on some merit) as a form Nakba denial
        which i never did since i don’t deny it’s existence.
        And then you go talking about some respect i supposedly ought to have
        for this site which is just plain ridiculous.

      • OlegR on May 12, 2012, 6:17 am

        /I think I understand Israeli treatment of Palestinians without ever having visited because it sounds so much like American racism./
        Donald i understand where you com from and the appeal of such comparisons
        But our case with the Palestinians is quite unique as you well know.
        Therefore though some parts of the comparison maybe valid but without
        the proper context they would constitute only half truth which is worst then a lie.The ghetto comparisons are just the extreme from which is easily
        refuted.

        /As for your other point, the romanticization of Palestinians, the violence in Damascus, and so forth, can you not see that you’re the wrong person to be making it unless you first admit the brutality and thuggishness and racism of your own side? /
        I am a part of the conflict a real part unlike Phil .
        I have no illusions regarding my own side both the good and the bad.
        But when an outsiders critiques my country actions i have to answer
        especially when i find that critique to be ignorant unfair or based on half
        truth’s.
        For example Newclench or any other left oriented Israeli who comments around here would never have brought the Warsaw ghetto comparison and i would never have talked with him about Damascus.
        Why ? He is an Israeli or at least was he knows how are things around here
        he has the right to talk about since his actions will have consequences for his own
        family living here.
        Phil literally knows nothing, he is looking at the conflict from a peeping hole
        and makes conclusions from what he sees in that peeping hole.
        More over i would never have held such a conversation with a Palestinian living
        in the West Bank or Gaza since he is also a knowledgeable party.

      • Shmuel on May 12, 2012, 7:28 am

        Oleg,

        To recap, the situation is complicated, requires proper context and skin in the game (“the right to talk”), and you might agree with some of the criticism but feel that you have to defend your country.

        And you say you come here to challenge and be challenged? That’s not what it sounds like to me.

      • Shmuel on May 12, 2012, 7:52 am

        Moreover Qalandya is a clear entry point into Israel as we see it.
        It will be the future border point between Israel and Palestine.

        But it is arbitrary, and it is within occupied Palestinian territory, and it does divide Palestinians from Palestinians – and even Jerusalemites from Jerusalemites (as Israel has unilaterally defined the city’s municipal boundaries).

        Where the “future border point” will be, is a matter for negotiation and has no real bearing on Israel’s actions in the present. One of the very worst arguments in the Israeli de facto annexation arsenal is “but it will be a part of Israel after a permanent agreement is reached”.

      • Donald on May 12, 2012, 9:26 am

        “Donald i understand where you com from and the appeal of such comparisons
        But our case with the Palestinians is quite unique as you well know.”

        Nah, I don’t know that. Every conflict has its unique features, but the I/P conflict sounds much like portions of American history, particularly the treatment of Native Americans, though there are also comparisons one can make with the treatment of African-Americans. One doesn’t have to romanticize the victims in making such comparisons–in fact, the comparisons are that much closer when you look at how Native American atrocities were used to justify what whites did to them. And I already mentioned how white racists used to bring up various examples of black violence when the issue of white racism was raised. It’s not hard to understand–it’s just how people react to criticism that makes them uncomfortable.

      • OlegR on May 12, 2012, 10:09 am

        Sorry Shmuel i don’t really care how this or that sounds to you.

      • OlegR on May 12, 2012, 10:17 am

        /But it is arbitrary, and it is within occupied Palestinian territory/
        1) The Green Line is arbitrary armistice line yet everybody want’s us to retreat to it.
        / And it does divide Palestinians from Palestinians /

        If we are to reach 2SS lines will have to be drawn somewhere
        and they will divide Palestinians from Palestinians and Jews from Jews.
        Since we don’t have an agreement or negotiations at the moment but i do want a separation of the land i don’t see any reason to draw these lines in some other place just to satisfy your or somebody else’s sense of justice.

        /Where the “future border point” will be, is a matter for negotiation /
        Fine both sides better start negotiating then instead of playing
        stupid power games in the UN.
        Until that time the situation on the ground will keep changing that’s reality for
        you.

      • OlegR on May 12, 2012, 10:35 am

        Again Donald sounds like is not is like.
        Sure we are not white clad angels free of bigotry and sin.
        But we are nothing like the US colonists who literally wiped out the Native Americans.
        Regarding the comparison with the African-Americans.
        It’s again wrong, the racism that exists towards Arabs is not even a tiny fraction of what African Americans experienced. Not to mention the slavery
        part.
        What we have here is a long bitter national struggle for self determination
        between to peoples that both has good claims on the ownership
        of the same tiny strip of land.
        With a good mixture of racism brutality bigotry and hatred from both sides.
        and this has been going on for the last 100+ years.
        We recently both emerged from the last round of violence (2 Intifada)
        both peoples are tired of the conflict both peoples more or less want to
        forget it exists.To this i attribute the current general apathy
        both in the Israeli and the Palestinian societies.

      • Xpat on May 12, 2012, 10:56 am

        Donald, thank you for this. Unfortunately, the point still needs to be made that Israel is not unique. The attitude that it is, is in itself, part of the problem.

        Yesterday, I had a conversation with a young Jewish woman who is offended that the State of Israel does not recognize her Jewishness (her mom wasn’t Jewish). Her dad’s family is Jewish, White African going back to the 19th century. She is generally forward-looking, but not on I/P. She suggested that the Palestinians should move to one of the Arab countries and that the Arab countries should welcome the Palestinians “as brothers.”
        Kinda surprised me. I thought that, nowadays, this argument was only held by ideological neanderthals of a certain age.
        I countered by asking her if Native Americans in the U.S. wouldn’t feel more comfortable just relocating to live with other Native American tribes in Central American countries.
        Seemed like a logical comparison to me but she just looked blankly at me.

      • Shmuel on May 12, 2012, 11:05 am

        If we are to reach 2SS lines will have to be drawn somewhere … i don’t see any reason to draw these lines in some other place just to satisfy your or somebody else’s sense of justice.

        Will have to be drawn. Future tense. Draw them anywhere you like but don’t try to convince yourself or anyone else that it’s OK, because that’s where a “future border point” will be anyway. The checkpoint is there because Israel has the power to put it there, not because it has any sort of legitimacy.

        Until that time the situation on the ground will keep changing that’s reality for you.

        No, it’s a clear indication that Israel is not interested in a negotiated solution.

      • eljay on May 12, 2012, 11:23 am

        >> What we have here is a long bitter national struggle for self determination …

        Self-determination is what the people of one region do. Shipping foreigners of one religious group from countries around the world to a particular region, then using terrorism and ethnic cleansing to establish and create an oppressive, expansionst, colonialist and religion-supremacist state is not self-determination.

        >> … between to peoples that both has good claims on the ownership of the same tiny strip of land.

        Palestinians – whether Arab, Muslim, Jew, Christian or other – had and have good claims on the ownership of that tiny strip of land. Citizens of the Jewish faith residing in foreign nations did not and do not.

      • OlegR on May 12, 2012, 1:19 pm

        Look eljay
        We clearly don’t have any common ground to base a dialog upon it.
        You don’t accept that being a Jew is a national concept not only a religious one.
        It’s an old Palestinian claim that Jews aren’t a nation. Fine.
        If we aren’t a nation then neither are Palestinians.

      • OlegR on May 12, 2012, 1:21 pm

        / The checkpoint is there because Israel has the power to put it there, not because it has any sort of legitimacy./
        It has no legitimacy in lot’s of peoples eyes just like Israel.
        That does not make it illegitimate.

        /No, it’s a clear indication that Israel is not interested in a negotiated solution./
        That’s your conclusion.Given the recent history of negotiations which i am
        tired of repeating i believe that you are in the wrong about that conclusion.

      • Shmuel on May 12, 2012, 5:04 pm

        It has no legitimacy in lot’s of peoples eyes just like Israel.
        That does not make it illegitimate.

        Not the same thing. My point was that your “future border point” is a bad argument. The Qalandiya checkpoint may or may not serve as an agreed upon border crossing in the future, but that has no bearing on its status now, which is by unilateral Israeli decision (in contravention of international law, but that’s another story).

        That’s your conclusion.Given the recent history of negotiations which i am tired of repeating i believe that you are in the wrong about that conclusion.

        Sorry you’re tired, Oleg. There may be many reasons for the failure of negotiations, but the ongoing expansion of settlements (or “facts on the ground” or “changing reality” or “actions that preclude a peaceful solution” or whatever you’d like to call it) is in fact a clear indication that Israel is not interested in reaching a negotiated settlement that would create anything resembling a viable Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza. This would be true even if Barak’s “no partner” slogan were also true.

      • annie on May 12, 2012, 5:29 pm

        I know this reality day in and day out.I live this reality.
        Where do you get the nerve to ask me a native to this place toabsorb a few days
        of “experience” of two foreigners and take that as the truth about what is really
        going on.

        nerve? you wanna talk about nerve? you’ve got over 40 comments on this one thread alone. let’s get one thing straight, you are not on native soil here, you are a visitor on mondoweiss. and contrary to your constant strawmanning and diversionary fishing expeditions i did not ask you to “toabsorb a few days
        of “experience” of two foreigners and take that as the truth”, i noted you were unwilling (refused) to absorb phil/bill’s reflection of their experience. furthmore i did not compare the experience to nazis, when asked i related it as being treated like animals, farm animals. so contrary to your bloviations and false assertions i do not compare israelis to nazis everyother sentence and no amount of bold font will change that. (on the other hand if “herding people like animals and.. modern day crushing of a people.. crushing their lives and their children’s lives” reminds you of nazis there’s nothing i can really do about that).

        you act like you’re holding court here, completely dominating the discussion in this thread. as i mentioned before your rude dismissive entrance was insulting and nothings changed much. you’re still at it i see, ratcheting up the discourse, making allegations about things that were never said to begin with, repeatedly (inserting nation into to the mix with eljay), being dismissive (‘i don’t really care what this sounds like to you’ etc etc).

        and you ask me where i get the nerve? you’re a two bit rude offense dismissive troll, that’s how i get the nerve. you think you can puff your chest out and demand some kind of respect because you live in israel? wake up..this isn’t israel. this is mondoweiss.

        I know this reality day in and day out.I live this reality.

        you know what oleg? you seem to be spending an awfully lot of time on these threads (as i mentioned 40 comments on this thread alone), that seems to be a big part of your reality day in and day out…just like others here. iow, i ain’t buying it. you’re no different than anyone else, just one voice on someone else’s turf. and yours is a particularly brute style voice, like the policies of the society you are representing. it’s par for the course for your types, the hard core israel supporters.

        so you ask about my nerve? it requires no nerve at all for me at all confronting you, in fact..it’s easy.

      • OlegR on May 12, 2012, 6:37 pm

        Annie you are a really self centered person.
        I was discussing the article with Sumud who made the Warsaw Ghetto
        comparison.I refuted this comparison.
        Phil / Bill made their comparison to the Third Reich in the article as well .
        I wrote about that also.
        Than you butted in with your animal farm house interpretation.
        I answered you and this is a second really emotional and really
        senseless reply that i get from you .
        Lets’ get something strait.
        I will write what i want as much as i want on this site.
        If you want to silence my voice because it bugs you or because you can’t deal with my arguments or whatever then do it.
        Otherwise stop complaining about it. Makes you look really bad.

      • eljay on May 12, 2012, 6:40 pm

        >> We clearly don’t have any common ground to base a dialog upon it. You don’t accept that being a Jew is a national concept not only a religious one.

        That’s because there is no evidence that Jewish is not, fundamentally, a religious concept.

        Here’s my promise to you: The day you tell me that a person can move to Jewish-stan and, bureaucratically, become Jewish, is the day I’ll believe that Jewish is a national concept.

        Until then, the fact remains – and it is indisputably a fact – that to be Jewish one must either be born of a person who is descended from someone who, at some time, underwent religious conversion, or one must undergo a religious conversion to Jewish.

        In either case, Jewish is a purely religious construct.

        Please do let me know when Jewish is something that one can acquire bureaucratically, or by immigrating to Israel and – without undergoing any religious conversion – simply accepting and adopting the culture of the “Jewish state”.

      • annie on May 12, 2012, 7:51 pm

        lol! i butted into your private conversation did i? and you call me self centered. as i stated earlier you act like you are holding court here with over 40 comments, ignoring all logic you simply do not like. btw, you can’t really slide out of your false accusation i compare everything to nazis in every other sentence since you placed it in bold while addressing me after copy pasting my text:

        http://mondoweiss.net/2012/05/a-portrait-of-a-former-zionist-part-1.html/comment-page-1#comment-451475

        at least your ridiculous pontifications have a certain entertainment value on occasion as you reference that rehashed hasbara as ‘your arguments’.

        this is a second really emotional and really
        senseless reply ….stop complaining about it. Makes you look really bad.

        lol! quit whining oleg, take your medicine like the little big man we all know you are.

      • RoHa on May 12, 2012, 9:08 pm

        “It’s an old Palestinian claim that Jews aren’t a nation. Fine.
        If we aren’t a nation then neither are Palestinians.”

        So what?

        Forget about your silly ideas of “nations”and start giving equal rights to all the people in the territory of Palestine.

      • playforpalestine on May 13, 2012, 6:07 am

        Eljay, you’re confusing the concept of citizenship with that of nationality. For example, consider what it means to be Japanese. It can mean either being a citizen of the state or a member of the ethnicity. Judaism IS a religion. But it is not defined exclusively by that. It is a nation in the classic sense of the word.

      • tree on May 13, 2012, 7:25 am

        Now Judaism is a nation?

        I bet its a dessert topping and a floor wax, too, right?

        http://www.hulu.com/watch/61320/saturday-night-live-shimmer-floor-wax

        You are confusing the nation, which is Japan, with the ethnicity, which is Japanese. An American of Japanese ancestry is NOT a nation, nor is he or she a member of the nation of Japan.

        And then you further mix up the religion with the ethnicity in describing Judaism, which is purely a religion, not an ethnicity OR a nation. Israel is the nation. A member of that nation is an Israeli. Israel simply treats some of its citizen/members(Jews) as more important ( or more equal, as Orwell would say) than others, and treats yet others, who by all rights should be citizen/members, as vassal subjects instead. You’re twisting yourself and the accepted meaning of words into knots in order to justify the unjustifiable.

      • eljay on May 13, 2012, 7:59 am

        >> Judaism … is a nation in the classic sense of the word.

        Nation: A large aggregate of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.

        Israel is a nation in the classic sense of the word. Palestine was (and will hopefully once again be) a nation in the classic sense of the word. Immigrate to Israel or Palestine and you become Israeli or Palestinian.

        Judaism, on the other hand, is a religion. “Jewish” is fundamentally a religious construct or identity, as it can only be acquired through religious conversion or by descent from a lineage which began when one’s ancestor underwent religious conversion to Judaism.

        Advocating for Israel as a Jewish state rather than as a secular, democratic and egalitarian state of and for all Israelis, equally, is to advocate for a religion-supremacist state.

      • eljay on May 13, 2012, 8:06 am

        >> Advocating for Israel as a Jewish state rather than as a secular, democratic and egalitarian state of and for all Israelis, equally, is to advocate for a religion-supremacist state.

        For the record, I would hate to see a future state of Palestine follow in the steps of the religion-supremacist “Jewish state” and be defined as either an Arab-supremacist, an ethnic-Palestinian-supremacist, or a Muslim-supremacist state. I believe Palestine – like Israel, like all states – should be a secular, democratic and egalitarian state of and for all its people, equally.

      • on May 13, 2012, 8:45 am

        -“Now Judaism is a nation?”

        Judaism is a set of religious beliefs and rituals. A nation is a set of people. World Jewry is the Jewish nation. A member of this Jewish nation is one primarily by birth or, if he converted to Judaism, he is considered an adopted child of the Jewish family/clan/poeple/nation – and thus, along with the biological children, he has a claim to inherit the Holy Land.

        This is the traditional, classical Jewish interpretation (not mine).

        The Israeli High Court ruled that there is NO Israeli nation. Israel is the state comprising members of different nationality, Jewish and Arab. As a citizen of the state of Israel you carry an identity card that has a different code for Jews and Arabs or Druse. – Having Israeli citizenship means you are a member of the state of Israel. That’s all.

        An American Jew or any other Diaspora Jew is part of the Jewish nation – by the above definition – and has a claim to the Holy Land.

      • American on May 13, 2012, 9:17 am

        So, do Israelis who oppose the occupation and fight for the establishment of a Palestinian state (like the members of PeaceNow or B’tselem for example), qualify as ethical or liberal or etc.? I’m curious if you still think that Zionism and liberalism are mutually exclusive given your above statement”…..pfp

        Yes I think Israelis who fight the occupation qualify as moral..if they are fighting it because it’s plain wrong, not just because they think it’s best for Israel’s surivial to end it. I don’t expect people to be totally simeon pure in everything they do, they can have mixed motives in opposing something, but if they have some feeling, opposition to, the injustice of it then they qualify as moral to me.
        If you define liberalism as inclusive and about equality for all, then no, I don’t see Zionism as liberal in any way because of how it regards others.
        But I think applying “political ” labels to something like this really doesn’t have anything to do with the basic fact that oppressing people is just plain wrong and immoral.

      • MHughes976 on May 13, 2012, 9:46 am

        This (eljay’s) definition of religion is a very wide one. If we use it, we would almost all find that we had bonds of nationhood with many different people of many different kinds. I inhabit the same territory as many people of different religions and cultures, so they and I are all of one nation. At the same time I am linked with people who share approximately the same culture and language all round the world – this would include many Israelis, though I live far from Israeli territory. That’s not an objection to eljay’s definition, just an observation about it.
        On some definitions, nationhood is all or nothing: I’m of this nation or I’m not, no two ways about it. On others, it might be a matter of degree: I belong to one country but something of my heart will always be in another, perhaps. On some definitions the same person can belong to two nations, on others not.
        A religion can’t be a nation, any more than it can be a dessert topping, as Tree says. They’re in different categories. I suppose that religious teachings can claim to define the boundaries of a nation and its members. Though at that rate those who do not accept the religion have reason not to accept that definition, since they will not want to let their political opinions be controlled by a religion not their own.

      • American on May 13, 2012, 9:50 am

        “So, do Israelis who oppose the occupation and fight for the establishment of a Palestinian state (like the members of PeaceNow or B’tselem for example), qualify as ethical or liberal or etc.? I’m curious if you still think that Zionism and liberalism are mutually exclusive given your above statement”…pfp

        Yes I think Israelis who oppose the occupation qualify as moral, if they are opposing the injustice of it, not just because they think it’s best for Israel’s survival. I don’t expect people to be totally simeon pure in their motives in everything, they can have one than one motive but as long as they have recongize the wrongness of it, that that is their primary reason for opposing it, I would say they are moral.
        If you define liberalism as inclusive and equality for all then no I don’t see zionism as liberal because of the way it regards and treats others.

      • eljay on May 13, 2012, 10:26 am

        >> This (eljay’s) definition of religion is a very wide one.

        I think you mean Google’s definition of nation, not religion. ;-)

      • RoHa on May 13, 2012, 7:59 pm

        He’s not the only one who does not see a clear difference between the concepts. On my Australian passport it says on the first page ” … the bearer, an Australian Citizen, … ” but on the page with my photo and details it says “Nationality: Australian”. Australian Fedreal Law requires that Members of Parliament be of Australian nationality only. And “nationality” is the word used.

        It is pretty easy to pin down what is involved in being a citizen of the Japan, but what is it that makes one a member of the “Japanese ethnicity”?

        And why does “ethnicity” matter to you? Why do you give a [moderated] about the “ethnicity” or “nationality” of your fellow citizens or your fellow human beings?

      • playforpalestine on May 13, 2012, 10:12 pm

        “And then you further mix up the religion with the ethnicity in describing Judaism, which is purely a religion, not an ethnicity OR a nation.”

        Nope, I’m not mixing anything up. Judaism fits into a lot of different categories but isn’t perfectly defined by any one. It’s a religion, sure, but it is not “purely” a religion as you stated. If that were the case then being Jewish would be contingent upon practicing/believing in the tenets of the religion, which it isn’t. It’s perfectly acceptable for someone who has never set foot inside of a synagogue. Roughly half of Jews worldwide consider themselves secular.

        The traditional view, ie: the one described in the Torah, is that Judaism is a nation. Nowadays the word “nation” has two distinct definitions, so it can be confusing. Nation is also frequently used to mean “nation-state” which is not the definition I am implying here.

        Using the traditional definition “nationality” is similar to the term “ethnicity.” Judaism doesn’t fit perfectly into any of these categories, but there’s no reason it has to. Having an argument over semantics will not offer much in the way of justifying the right of self-determination or in decrying it. Judaism is a little different than other ethnic nationalities, it’s a little different than other religions, and so on. None of them serve as mitigating distinctions that would make the idea of Jewish nationalism less ethical than any other.

        “Jewishness disrupts the very categories of identity, because it is not national, not genealogical, not religious, but all of these, in dialectical tension with one another. ”

        http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft7w10086w;brand=ucpress

      • playforpalestine on May 13, 2012, 10:18 pm

        “For the record, I would hate to see a future state of Palestine follow in the steps of the religion-supremacist “Jewish state” and be defined as either an Arab-supremacist, an ethnic-Palestinian-supremacist, or a Muslim-supremacist state.”

        Defined by whom? Israel certainly doesn’t define itself as a Jewish-supremacist state at all. A state can originate on the basis of a single nationality while still offering equal status to its minority citizens.

      • playforpalestine on May 13, 2012, 10:27 pm

        “Advocating for Israel as a Jewish state rather than as a secular, democratic and egalitarian state of and for all Israelis, equally, is to advocate for a religion-supremacist state.”

        Not at all. Judaism is a nationality that has a religion attached to it, but it is not defined exclusively by that religion. Think about language. Is an American born Japanese person still ethnically Japanese even if he or she doesn’t speak the language? Of course. Just as secular Jews who have nothing to do with the religion are still considered Jewish.

        And just as states like Germany or Italy or Japan (which exist as ethnic nations similar to Israel), allow for minorities to have equal rights within the same state, defining your state along ethnic lines does not necessarily imply supremacist dogma.

      • Shmuel on May 14, 2012, 10:47 am

        RoHa,

        On the subject of nationality and citizenship, I came across this interesting Australian document the other day: http://www.naa.gov.au/naaresources/Publications/research_guides/guides/ctznship/chapter1.htm

      • eljay on May 14, 2012, 11:12 am

        >> Israel certainly doesn’t define itself as a Jewish-supremacist state at all.

        Of course it doesn’t define itself as a “Jewish-supremacist” state. That would be bad for optics. But it does define itself as a “Jewish state” – a state of and for people of the Jewish faith from around the world. It does not define itself as an Israeli state, a state of and for all its citizens, equally.

        >> A state can originate on the basis of a single nationality while still offering equal status to its minority citizens.

        True, a state can do that. Israel doesn’t.

      • eljay on May 14, 2012, 11:24 am

        >> Not at all. Judaism is a nationality that has a religion attached to it …

        So now Judaism is a nationality first, and a religion second. Interesting.

        >> … but it is not defined exclusively by that religion.

        It is defined fundamentally by that religion.

      • seanmcbride on May 14, 2012, 12:23 pm

        playforpalestine,

        You wrote:

        “Is an American born Japanese person still ethnically Japanese even if he or she doesn’t speak the language? Of course.”

        If the United States defined itself officially (and aggressively) as a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) state, do you think that Japanese Americans, Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans, Italian Catholic Americas, etc. would enjoy equal opportunities and status with white Anglo-Saxon Protestants in that state? What do you think? Ethno-religious nationalist states (particularly of the messianic and paranoid variety) are intrinsically disriminatory.

        Are you going to fill in the profile here?

        http://mondoweiss.net/2012/05/whos-the-anti-semite.html/comment-page-1#comment-451569

        Feel free to add other issues of interest.

        I am not trying to invade your privacy — merely inquiring about your general political views in a political discussion that you chose to enter.

      • seanmcbride on May 14, 2012, 3:19 pm

        eljay,

        Some leading Jewish intellectuals are now defining Jews as a RACE — a practice that was common in the 19th century and early 20th century. See recent issues of Forward and Frontpage Magazine. That puts them squarely in the camp of Nazi ideologists on that particular issue.

        I would define Jews primarily as an ethnic group (largely in the biological sense — see all the seed imagery in the Bible) that has created and developed ethnocentric religious myths to define itself and its relations with ethnic outsiders and the world at large.

        Judaism is ethnic nationalist in character at the core. Zionism is the most recent major ideological iteration and expression of that cast of mind. The dominating meme: perpetual war with “the nations.” Neocons and Likud Zionists are steeped in these myths — that explains their behavior. They are on a perpetual holy mission to slay Amalek.

      • RoHa on May 14, 2012, 8:55 pm

        ” Is an American born Japanese person still ethnically Japanese even if he or she doesn’t speak the language? Of course.”

        Of course? A person born in America, brought up in America, thinks and acts like an American, and speaks only American is somehow “ethnically Japanese”? What makes him or her “ethnically Japanese”?

        Eye shape and hair colour? But that same criterion could be used to declare him “ethnically Chinese” or “ethnically Korean”.

        Ancestors from Japan, maybe? But then “ethnically Japanese” simply says something about his ancestors, not about him. How does it make him in any way Japanese?

        How does this “ethnicity”work?

      • eljay on May 14, 2012, 9:08 pm

        >> seanmcbride @ May 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm

        Interesting post, seanmcbride – thanks! :-)

      • annie on May 14, 2012, 11:56 pm

        roha, pfp is wrong. an American born person of Japanese decent who is raised in america is ethnically american whether he/she speaks japanese or not. that person would also be ethnically japanese therefore an american/japanese ethnicity. only if the person is completly cut off from japanese culture (for example, adopted by non japanese parents) would that person be considered solely of american ethnicity. but primarily american either way.

        pfp also wrote: Just as secular Jews who have nothing to do with the religion are still considered Jewish.

        this is correct, they are still considered jewish, but if they are raised in america they are considered ethnically american. iow, their ethnicity would be that of an american jew, or jewish american which is different than an israeli jew.

        american is a culture in itself, therefor one raised in america regardless of where their parents are raised will always be considered ethnically american.
        so, it does not matter if the parents taught their child japanese, if they raised here they are as much a part of the culture as other americans. that is the beauty of american culture, we absorb so many cultures that we incorporate them into who we are. everything from design/food/music and the merging of different cultures is what makes us unique.

        An ethnic group is a group of people who share a common ethnicity. That is, its members identify with each other through a common heritage, consisting of a common culture, including a shared language or dialect. The group’s ethos or ideology may also stress common ancestry, religion, or race.[1][2][3]

        The process that results in the emergence of an ethnicity is called ethnogenesis.

        notice how the defining qualities of heritage, consisting of a common culture, including a shared language or dialect are not in question whereas the group’s ethos or ideology (only) may also stress common ancestry, religion, or race.

        iow, one can share a race with another and not be the same ethnicity, same with ancestry(if raised separately) or religion. iow, the prime factors determining ethnicity is the culture one is raised in including (usually except in transit) the shared language. ethos or ideology being embedded in the cultural components of person.

        for further understanding, check out the wiki for Ethnogenesis

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnogenesis

        Ethnogenesis can occur passively, in the accumulation of markers of group identity forged through interaction with the physical environment, cultural and religious divisions between sections of a society, migrations and other processes, for which ethnic subdivision is an unintended outcome. It can occur actively, as persons deliberately and directly ‘engineer’ separate identities to attempt to solve a political problem – the preservation or imposition of certain cultural values, power relations, etc.

        once you absorb this you can understand why Vittorio Arrigoni, while italian..was also palestinian. it was a choice he made and he was accepted by the people. so people can morph in one lifetime. but had he married there and raise his children there…they would have been italian/palestinian even if he didn’t marry a palestinian woman. because he was morphing in ethnicity and would have passed this onto his children plus had they been raised there they would have culturally been palestinian.
        i think it is easier to gain an ethnicity than to shed one. a person raised in a culture will most likely retain that culture and pass it onto their children even if they are no longer in the country OR even if the children do not speak the language of the new country. because culture is passed thru ways unspoken. even if one rejects ones culture one retains qualities of the culture.

      • RoHa on May 15, 2012, 12:36 am

        “an American born person of Japanese decent who is raised in america is ethnically american whether he/she speaks japanese or not. that person would also be ethnically japanese therefore an american/japanese ethnicity. only if the person is completly cut off from japanese culture …”

        So “thinks and acts like and American”, then not of Japanese ethnicity.

        Is this “ethnicity” stuff any use for anything?

      • annie on May 15, 2012, 1:27 am

        So “thinks and acts like and American”, then not of Japanese ethnicity.

        no, it doesn’t work like that for american culture. one can think and act like an american and also be raised by a mother raised in japan or mexico or etc etc. therefor one would also retain aspects of that other culture..and… that other culture also becomes imbued into the american culture which, in turn, is influenced by our citizens of japanese (and mexican, iranian, german, arab, scottish irish russian etc etc) decent. this is what i mean by i think it is easier to gain an ethnicity than to shed one. a person raised in a culture will most likely retain that culture and pass it onto their children. one can ‘think and act like an American’ AND still retain their parents pre immigrant ethnicity, which in turn influences american culture/society (culmatively) as much as american culture influences new immigrants. because we are a nation always in flux and always incorporating new immigrants so they define us as much as we define them. not all cultures are like this..although many are. ie a country like australia for example… which has taken in lots of asian peoples..over time..the influence will change australian culture. it goes both ways.

      • RoHa on May 15, 2012, 1:32 am

        We do have a lot of people of Asian ancestry these days. Their parents and grandparents brought in some wierd, un-Australian ideas, such as “food should have taste”, “politeness matters”, “education is more important than sport”, but the latter two have not made much of an impact yet.

        They don’t seem able to explain this ethnicity stuff clearly, either.

      • annie on May 15, 2012, 1:53 am

        some wierd, un-Australian ideas, such as “food should have taste”

        spice! lol..the english palate is improving over time also.

      • playforpalestine on May 15, 2012, 8:19 pm

        Ethnicity is a part of that famously fluid subject known as identity politics. The shape of your eyes is far less important than the concept of a shared culture or history. Someone might be raised in America but that doesn’t mean they were insulated from all forms of the culture they came from. American culture isn’t its own, unique thing as much as it is an amalgamation of cultures that make it up.

        This topic has many different answers and descriptions, none of them definitively right or wrong. You’re just using a specific interpretation to try and portray Judaism and/or Zionism as something exclusively different than other groups of this sort.

      • playforpalestine on May 15, 2012, 8:36 pm

        “If the United States defined itself officially (and aggressively) as a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) state, do you think that Japanese Americans, Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans, Italian Catholic Americas, etc. would enjoy equal opportunities and status with white Anglo-Saxon Protestants in that state?”

        I don’t see why that definition would be necessary for the US to marginalize certain groups. There has never been equal opportunities or status in America between ethnic and religious groups ever.

        That said, why make an analogy that requires some made up ethnic-nationalist form of America when you can use any modern ethnically based state instead? Use Italy or Thailand or wherever. It doesn’t matter. Tribal affiliations exist. That’s the world we live in. Israel wasn’t formed because of some innate desire for Jews to express feeling of superiority. It was formed as a means of protection from a tribally affiliated world.

        “Are you going to fill in the profile here?”

        Probably not. What’s the point?

      • playforpalestine on May 16, 2012, 2:18 am

        “If the United States defined itself officially (and aggressively) as a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) state, do you think that Japanese Americans, Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans, Italian Catholic Americas, etc. would enjoy equal opportunities and status with white Anglo-Saxon Protestants in that state?”

        We should ask someone from England. That’s fairly close to what you described here. House of Lords and all that.

      • Shmuel on May 16, 2012, 2:38 am

        why make an analogy that requires some made up ethnic-nationalist form of America when you can use any modern ethnically based state instead? Use Italy or Thailand or wherever.

        Please explain how Italy is an “ethnically based state” in any way resembling the “Jewish state”. Does Italy have a charter ethnic group? Is there a non-citizen ethnic Italian diaspora that enjoys more rights than Italian citizens of other ethnicities? Is there a distinction between ethnicities or religions in the repatriation of the descendants of Italian immigrants (note: with real documents proving actual birth in the country, not baptismal certificates or a letter from a parish priest in Buenos Aires or Jersey City). Are there any laws or articles in the constitution guaranteeing the “Italian character” of the state? Is there any official record of the religion or ethnicity of Italian citizens? Are Italians of different faiths/ethnicities barred from marrying one another?

        I could go on and on.

      • Shmuel on May 16, 2012, 3:02 am

        We should ask someone from England. That’s fairly close to what you described here. House of Lords and all that.

        Or Scotland or Wales or Northern Ireland. And don’t forget how the UK doesn’t have a written constitution either – just like Israel!

        MHughes, Bumblebye, please explain to PFP exactly how white, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant the UK is. You can do it in Urdu or Yoruba, if you like.

      • playforpalestine on May 16, 2012, 5:17 am

        “MHughes, Bumblebye, please explain to PFP exactly how white, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant the UK is. You can do it in Urdu or Yoruba, if you like.”

        Less than 80%? Israel is around 20% non-Jewish. Please also state how many non-Protestants are guaranteed legislative seats while you’re at it.

        All that aside, the UK/England doesn’t need to perfectly mimic Israel for my point to be made. Let’s say England is 25% Muslim/Pakistani, (ie: has a greater percentage of minority citizens than Israel). Does that mean its having a state sanctioned church is ethically preferable to Israel’s defining itself around an ethno-religious group? Who cares? Realistically these are not meaningful issues, nor are they objective enough categorically for anyone to compare honestly.

        Which is my point in the end. You invented a hypothetical nation (WASP America), to try and prove Israel’s moral bankruptcy. When I pointed out “acceptable” states that did meet the basic requirements you posited, you responded by listing ways that those states DID differ from Israel, implying that the comparisons were invalid. Supposedly then, the only realistic parallel for us to use would be the one you imagined… a WASP-centric USA that mimics Israel in every negative way that you ever heard, read or hallucinated once in a fever-dream. (That these examples mimic actual Israeli policies is optional, of course. Non-citizen WASPs enjoy more rights than US citizens of other ethnicities, for example; a law thus far unheard of anywhere on the planet.)

      • playforpalestine on May 16, 2012, 5:38 am

        “roha, pfp is wrong. an American born person of Japanese decent who is raised in america is ethnically american whether he/she speaks japanese or not. that person would also be ethnically japanese therefore an american/japanese ethnicity. only if the person is completly cut off from japanese culture (for example, adopted by non japanese parents) would that person be considered solely of american ethnicity. but primarily american either way.”

        I disagree. Identity politics and issues like ethnicity do not follow any hard and fast rules nor can anyone objectively determine whether someone qualifies for a specific ethnicity based on a list of “arbitrary” rules. Using the term colloquially, it is rare for anyone describe themselves as exclusively “American” while in America. (Which is why seanmcbride described his as: “ethnicity: Anglo-Irish.” without mentioning the US at all.)

        Nor is race entirely excluded from the process, if for no other reason than the fact that there is no singular “American” ethnic group. Forming an identity often has as much to do with how someone is treated by others in their community as it does with how they are raised within their home. To say that a black American who is raised by white people in an exclusively white suburb won’t have develop any kind of relationship with the black ethnicity is naive. A Japanese American who found himself interned during WWII, or a non-practicing Jew in Auchwitz would probably agree with me. Nor do I agree with your assertion that an ethnicity can be chosen and installed, no matter how much someone might feel that they relate to a specific culture. (Not that this point is critical to our discussion though.)

      • playforpalestine on May 16, 2012, 11:10 am

        “So now Judaism is a nationality first, and a religion second. Interesting.”

        It’s not a first, second, third kind of thing. It is all of those things; it is just not exclusively any of those things. I’m just using these terms to try and define Judaism as accurately as possible, with the understanding that none of these categories are really a perfect fit.

        “It is defined fundamentally by that religion.”

        I’m sorry? What do you mean by that exactly? The religion IS an integral aspect of the culture, but it’s in no way the MAIN thing in that around half of all Jews don’t practice it and that the different sects of Judaism practice very different forms of the religion. It is probably the key that enabled Judaism to persist as long as it has, so in that respect it’s fundamental.

        Think of the Arabs; it’s not a terrible parallel as another example of a pan-ethnic group. There the language is the key thread.

      • playforpalestine on May 16, 2012, 11:26 am

        “Of course it doesn’t define itself as a “Jewish-supremacist” state. That would be bad for optics.”

        Beyond the fact that saying that might look bad, it simply isn’t a part of the philosophy. In my experience, nations don’t generally base their Declarations of Independence on what they think sounds good in an attempt to hide some kind of secret, nefarious agenda. Ideology is usually put right out there.

        “It does not define itself as an Israeli state, a state of and for all its citizens, equally.”

        That is completely wrong. Of course it defines itself as a state for all of its people equally. This is from their Declaration of Independence…

        “WE APPEAL – in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months – to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions. ”

        “True, a state can do that. Israel doesn’t.”

        I think that Israel seeks true equality as an attainable goal. Few nations have actual equality, I won’t patronize you by pretending that Israel does. There is obviously a lot of institutional discrimination in Israel. But in their defense, this is largely the result of a century long conflict that is split down ethnic lines. Of course racism is going to occur. Bearing that in mind I think Israel has done better than almost any other nation under similar circumstances. I think there is far more anti-semitism in Arab states than there is anti-Arab sentiments in Israel for instance. (Compare laws that require equal treatment for the Arabs and Druze in Israel with laws in Palestine that mandate the death penalty for selling land to an Israeli.) That said, I think Israel could do a lot better and lately it has been getting worse. Eradicating discrimination is, unfortunately, one of those things that is easy to pay lip service to, but much harder to address on a logistical level.

      • playforpalestine on May 16, 2012, 12:30 pm

        “And why does “ethnicity” matter to you? Why do you give a [moderated] about the “ethnicity” or “nationality” of your fellow citizens or your fellow human beings?”

        Well, they are ultimately just words that are used to describe the way identity politics work. You seem to me to be leaning towards implying that my use of these words and my insistence upon accuracy is rooted in some kind of racist ideology. That is not the case. We are having a discussion that requires articulating the differences between these terms. To describe an identity like Judaism it is important to have a grasp on the finer meanings and dual definitions of some of these concepts.

        My interest in it springs from my interest in learning about the world around me and how it works. How different groups interact with one another, how they define themselves and the consequences these relationships have on politics and history is an interesting subject.

        Nor am I in any way removed from the issue myself. I am Jewish, and a Zionist as well as being a liberal American of Ashkenazi German heritage. I have family members in Israel as well as Africa, England and a few other places.

        The IP conflict is a personal issue for me. I have close friends and family members who have fought to defend Israel in all its major wars. I also have family that refused to serve on ethical grounds, and know victims of terrorism and related violence both inside Israel and here in NYC. (The Empire State building attack, for example.)

        Ethnicity and nationality are part of the language that we’ve developed to see and talk about ourselves; our histories, our identities, our cultures… how could anyone NOT be interested in it?

      • seanmcbride on May 16, 2012, 12:52 pm

        playforpalestine,

        Many Americans take some interest in their ethnic identity in a low-key way but they are NOT overexcited ethnic nationalists. They do not push their ethnic nationalism on their fellow Americans in an aggressive way.

        1. The ethnocentrism index: the number of times one mentions one’s ethnic identity, issues, problems and enemies.

        2. The ethnic nationalism index: the number of times one mentions one’s ethnic *nationalist* issues.

        3. The ethnic xenophobia index: the number of times of mentions one’s ethnic enemies.

        4. The ethnic cultism index: the number of times one mentions one’s ethnic identity in terms of a religious agenda.

        Most Americans and American ethnic groups rank low on these indices.

        The best example of the radical divergence in these two cultures: compare the writings of Jeffrey Goldberg and Andrew Sullivan for ethnocentrism, ethnic nationalism, ethnic xenophobia and ethnic cultism. Wow.

        Jewish pro-Israel activists are getting weirdly out of sync with their fellow Americans in terms of basic values and cultural orientation. This is a disturbing trend. I think many of them don’t notice what’s happening — they are sleepwalking into a bad situation. It won’t be the first time.

      • playforpalestine on May 16, 2012, 8:46 pm

        “Many Americans take some interest in their ethnic identity in a low-key way but they are NOT overexcited ethnic nationalists.”

        Many Americans strongly identify with some kind of group whether it is ethnic, religious, gender-based or whatever. You are singling Judaism out by highlighting meaningless differences. Identity politics is not something that’s unique to Jews.

        “They do not push their ethnic nationalism on their fellow Americans in an aggressive way.”

        Now you sound like people who criticize the Pride Parade because they are “throwing their sexuality in your face.” The reality is that nothing is being aggressively foisted on anyone else.

        “Most Americans and American ethnic groups rank low on these indices.”

        So what. They aren’t real indices, after all. You just made up some categories that are custom-tailored to highlight perceived differences between Judaism and other groups.

        “compare the writings of Jeffrey Goldberg and Andrew Sullivan”

        Goldberg specifically writes about Israel though, which is why you chose him. So what in the world is this supposed to prove? You made up your own category, then chose one journalist who fits it perfectly and one who doesn’t. Then you list the predetermined results and proclaim, “wow.” All this tells me is that you must not respect the intelligence of anyone you try to sell this hysterically warped data-set to. You must REALLY think I’m dumb to try something this blatant.

        More interestingly, if you loosen the parameters just a bit to include other identity groups like LGBT we see that Andrew Sullivan suddenly doesn’t seem so different. (I’m not going to bother using your blatantly loaded indices here if that’s OK with you.)

        “Jewish pro-Israel activists are getting weirdly out of sync with their fellow Americans in terms of basic values and cultural orientation.”

        I don’t think so. The fact that you were able to make these lists of yours so easily points to the fact that a lot of press space is being devoted to the subject. This is because people are interested in it, not because Jews are “forcing” it on an unwilling American public. To compare it to the lack of a German (for example) counterpart is to draw a false comparison. Obviously no German counterpart exists because Germany isn’t embroiled in a conflict.

      • playforpalestine on May 16, 2012, 9:14 pm

        “Please explain how Italy is an “ethnically based state” in any way resembling the “Jewish state”.”

        It offers citizenship to blood descendents of former Italian citizens, ie: jure sanguinis. So it has a law that favors repatriating members of the Italian diaspora as opposed to other ethnic groups.

        “I could go on and on.”

        You don’t have to. I just have to prove one in order to make my case definitively. Italian policies don’t have to mimic Israel’s perfectly. I’m just here to show you that those policies favor one ethnicity over others regarding citizenship. That is more than enough to demonstrate ethnic nationalism.

      • annie on May 16, 2012, 9:23 pm

        “They do not push their ethnic nationalism on their fellow Americans in an aggressive way.”

        Now you sound like people who criticize the Pride Parade because they are “throwing their sexuality in your face.” The reality is that nothing is being aggressively foisted on anyone else.

        excuse me? They do not push their ethnic nationalism on their fellow Americans in an aggressive way..MEANS the reality is that nothing is being aggressively foisted on anyone else. why can you just agree instead of flipping the meaning to conflate sean stated the opposite/”people who criticize the Pride Parade because they are “throwing their sexuality in your face.””??? how do you get “throwing their sexuality in your face” out of “They do not push their ethnic nationalism on their fellow Americans”

        white is black and black is white! now i will finish reading your post, i hope the rest if it isn’t as topsy turvey as your opening. plllleeeease!

      • annie on May 16, 2012, 9:38 pm

        So it has a law that favors repatriating members of the Italian diaspora as opposed to other ethnic groups.

        not sure if favoring repatriating members opposes other ethnic groups. unless there is some evidence once one becomes an italian citizen they have differing rights or privileges i really do not see how you can compare the two in a similar fashion. most countries have requirements for citizenship and yes, repatriation works to ones advantage as do other factors. the US also favors repatriation.

        israel stands out in that ONLY law of return citizenship allows one to become an israeli national. that’s not the case for italians. once you are a citizen, you’re a national and have the same rights as other italians.

      • annie on May 16, 2012, 9:45 pm

        sean, i have to run out..don’t have time to write as much as i want to..but i think you are failing to understand how an ‘american ethnicity’ MEANS a merge of ethnicity. so, logically, if one is an american ethnic nationalist it means one embraces multi culturalism.

        as an american one can be two or three ethnicities. for example an african american or jewish american or asian american ..all have two ethnicities merged. but the american part of the ethnicity represents the whole of the country. being an american means the ‘everyone’. at least to me it does. and i am very into that melting pot thing, i will defend it to the teeth.

      • RoHa on May 16, 2012, 10:17 pm

        “That is more than enough to demonstrate ethnic nationalism.”

        Do you think that demonstrating a bit of ethnic nationalism in other countries justifies Israel’s ethnic nationalism?

      • Hostage on May 17, 2012, 1:25 am

        It offers citizenship to blood descendents of former Italian citizens, ie: jure sanguinis. So it has a law that favors repatriating members of the Italian diaspora as opposed to other ethnic groups.

        It actually differs quite radically from Israel’s law, which has nothing to do with jus sanguinis. See Court rules Judaism, not place of birth, is grounds for Israeli citizenship. http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/court-rules-judaism-not-place-of-birth-is-grounds-for-israeli-citizenship-1.430676

        First of all, Italian citizenship is not attributable to any religion and it may be passed-on from a parent of either sex. Note that a qualifying parent might be the off-spring of a foreign-born mother of any ethnicity, because foreign women who married Italian men automatically became Italian citizens in many cases. Secondly, you must have a connection to Italy through an ancestor who was a citizen, actually born in Italy after the unification of 1861 (atheist, religious, or indifferent). Thirdly, Italy is a signatory to the Strasbourg Convention on the Reduction of Cases of Multiple Nationality. So restrictions on holding multiple nationalities and the ability of parents to pass-on other nationalities to children born in the territory of Italy may apply. http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Treaties/html/043.htm

        FYI, the law doesn’t seem to “favor” members of the Italian diaspora, since they may only apply. There is no statutory guarantee they will then be given preference over applications from members of other ethnic groups who apply based upon adoption, marriage, military service, residence, & etc. http://www.consboston.esteri.it/Consolato_Boston/Menu/I_Servizi/Per_i_cittadini/Cittadinanza/

      • Shmuel on May 17, 2012, 2:02 am

        PFP,

        Italy’s jus sanguinis does not demonstrate that Italy is an “ethnically based state”, because it is a function of citizenship not ethnicity, and applies equally to members of all ethnicities (whether native ethnic Albanians, Greeks, Croats, etc. or naturalised citizens of every ethnicity), and does not apply to ethnic Italians (Swiss, Greek, French, etc.) who were never citizens of Italy.

        And no, proving “one in order to make my case” is not sufficient (although so far, you have failed even to do that). You have suggested that Italy, as an “ethnically based state” is analogous to Israel. It needn’t correspond exactly, but the similarity would have to be sufficient to make any substantive point. Otherwise you are just playing word games.

      • tree on May 17, 2012, 2:25 am

        Shmuel,

        So, if I’m understanding what you and Hostage are saying, Italy’s “jus sanguinis”, if implemented in Israel, would mean that all descendants of Palestinians who were born and lived in what became Israel would have the right to apply for citizenship under this rule, and any Jew that applied for citizenship under the rule would need to prove that his/her parent or grandparent was born in Palesstine/Israel, rather than simply being given automatic citizenship purely because of his/her status as a Jew?

      • Shmuel on May 17, 2012, 2:59 am

        tree,

        Were Israel to have a jus sanguinis like Italy’s, one of two things could happen. Either Mandatory Palestine would be recognised as a precursor state (like the Kingdom of Italy that preceded the current Republic of Italy), and then all descendants of citizens of Mandatory Palestine or the Sttae of Israel, regardless of religion or ethnicity would be eligible to apply for citizenship on that basis, or the law would be applied only to the State of Israel, and only descendants of citizens of the State of Israel would be eligible – again, regardless of ethnicity. In either case, the law would not apply to members of the Jewish religion/ethnicity whose forebears were never citizens of Mandatory Palestine or the State of Israel.

      • tree on May 17, 2012, 6:00 am

        Thanks for the reply, Shmuel!

      • Shmuel on May 17, 2012, 6:28 am

        BTW, Israeli law does in fact recognise Mandatory Palestine as a precursor to the State of Israel in its Nationality Law (5712-1952), and Israeli citizenship as replacing Palestinian* citizenship:

        3. (a) A person who, immediately before the establishment of the State, was a Palestinian citizen and who does not become a Israel national under section 2, shall become an Israel national with effect from the day of the establishment of the State if –
        (1) he was registered on the 4th Adar, 5712 (1st March 1952) as an inhabitant under the Registration of Inhabitants Ordinance, 5709-1949(2); and
        (2) he is an inhabitant of Israel on the day of the coming into force of this Law; and
        (3) he was in Israel, or in an area which became Israel territory after the establishment of the State, from the day of the establishment of the State to the day of the coming into force of this Law, or entered Israel legally during that period.

        6. (c) A person who immediately before the establishment of the State was a Palestinian citizen is exempt from the requirement of section 5 (a) (5).

        13. In this Law –

        “foreign nationality” includes foreign citizenship, and “foreign national” includes a foreign citizen, but does not include a Palestinian citizen.

        18. (a) The Palestinian Citizenship Orders, 1925-1942(3), are repealed with effect from the day of the establishment of the State.
        (b) Any reference in any provision of law to Palestinian citizenship or Palestinian citizens shall henceforth be read as a reference to Israel nationality or Israel nationals.
        (c) Any act done in the period between the establishment of the State and the day of the coming into force of this Law shall be deemed to be valid if it were valid had this Law been in force at the time it was done.

        *Yes, Israeli law recognises the existence of “Palestinian citizenship” prior to 1948.

      • Hostage on May 17, 2012, 7:40 am

        Tree I agree with Shmuel. I would add a few clarifications. The current Italian law and its amendments only apply to descendants of citizens born in Italy up to the 2nd degree. Here’s a link to the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on that point: http://www.esteri.it/MAE/EN/Ministero/Servizi/Sportello_Info/DomandeFrequenti/Cittadinanza/#domanda3

        So that particular statutory limitation probably poses more of a barrier than the others, such as factors like the Republic considering itself a continuator state of its predecessor, which was established in 1861. FYI, the best contemporary examples of continuation and separation are a) the Soviet Union, which continued its existence as the Russian Federation, along side a number of new successor states; and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which continued its existence as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Sebia and Montenegro), along side a number of new successor states.

        I’ve discussed the fact elsewhere that Israel has alternately claimed that it is neither a continuator nor successor of the Mandated State of Palestine. It nonetheless disputes the status of the territory of Palestine on the basis of the San Remo Resolution and the Mandate as if it were somehow the successor in interest. It depends upon the barometric pressure of the hot air coming from the Hasbara Ministry, except in matters touching the citizenship and nationality of the non-Jewish Palestinian ethnic groups who were not listed in the first post-independence population registry. You know, “the refugees”.

      • seanmcbride on May 17, 2012, 9:28 am

        Shmuel,

        You wrote to payforpalestine:

        “And no, proving “one in order to make my case” is not sufficient (although so far, you have failed even to do that). You have suggested that Italy, as an “ethnically based state” is analogous to Israel. It needn’t correspond exactly, but the similarity would have to be sufficient to make any substantive point. Otherwise you are just playing word games.”

        JUST PLAYING WORD GAMES. That is all that he been doing here and I am growing tired of humoring him. He’s evasive and shifty, he twists and turns, he doesn’t care about the truth and he uses language to obfuscate, deceive and conceal and as an instrument of manipulative propaganda. He reminds one quite a bit Richard Witty.

        I haven’t encountered a pro-Israel activist yet who wasn’t a “hasbarist” in the most negative sense of that term. And that tells one that there is something fundamentally wrong with the doctrine that they are trying to sell. They know that it is necessary to conceal from the rest of the world who they really are and what they really believe — otherwise the rest of the world (“the nations”) would be up in arms against them.

        Playforpalestine has gone to extraordinary lengths to resist accurately profiling his own views because he understands that those views won’t fly in the modern Western democratic world. This is a pattern of deceptive behavior that one often finds among members of cults — and make no mistake: religious Zionism is an extreme cult that is a dog whistle for messianic crazies like John Hagee.

        With regard to Italy: which Italian political leaders during the last few decades have ranted about the mystical and messianic destiny of “the Italians” and “the Italian people” defined as an ethnic-religious group? Perhaps playforpalestine can name a few.

        Zionism *does* in fact bear important resemblances to Italian Fascism and the Mussolini era — and Mussolini was of course a close ally of Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler. Ethnic nationalist groups often cooperate with one another against “leftists” — when they are not trying to slaughter one another. That is why Jewish nationalist Pamela Geller has worked hard to develop an alliance with the white nationalist EDL (English Defence League) — a pattern of behavior that reminds one of Zionist cooperation with Nazism before the Holocaust. Same old same old.

      • Shingo on May 17, 2012, 9:57 am

        JUST PLAYING WORD GAMES. That is all that he been doing here and I am growing tired of humoring him. He’s evasive and shifty, he twists and turns, he doesn’t care about the truth and he uses language to obfuscate, deceive and conceal and as an instrument of manipulative propaganda. He reminds one quite a bit Richard Witty.

        Yes, he is evasive and shifty, he twists and turns, he doesn’t care about the truth and he uses language to obfuscate. But he is much smater than Witty. Witt was never all that educated.

        I am pretty sure that PFP is Robert Werdine. I remember when Werdine first appeared on this blog, he was somewhat minimalist and played dumb for a while. You mnight recall his claim that he was an Arab Muslim, who’s reality was changed by reading Bernard Lewis (yead right, I laughed too). Anyway, once he got confident enough, he began flooding this forum with long and verbose comments, often running into thousands of words.

        He was banned for Nakba denial and lost the plot, even posting long comments directed to Hostage over at Walt’s blog – hoping that I would pass them along.

        Anyway, he’s outed himself on this thread:

        http://mondoweiss.net/2012/04/major-olive-producing-village-ordered-to-uproot-1400-trees-by-may-1.html/comment-page-1#comment-453293

        The verbose cu and paste diatribes are all too familiar. I suspect that before long, he’ll return to posting lengthy posts and polute this forum.

        You hit the nail on the head when you said “They know that it is necessary to conceal from the rest of the world who they really are and what they really believe — otherwise the rest of the world (“the nations”) would be up in arms against them.”

        Hasbrats like Werdine/PFP have made an art of it.

        Please pass this along. I hope that Adam and Phil look into it.

      • American on May 17, 2012, 1:32 pm

        “I’m just here to show you that those policies favor one ethnicity over others regarding citizenship. That is more than enough to demonstrate ethnic nationalism”

        No that doesn’t fly. In countries that offer that you have to show your parents or grandparents “”were born”” in that country..and it has a limit on how far back you can go to make that claim.’
        In Israel , your ancestors ”being born” in that country has nothing to do with applying for citizenship.

      • seanmcbride on May 17, 2012, 2:26 pm

        Annie,

        I’m not sure what you think I think but Americanism to me means melting pot — it’s a trans-ethnic and trans-religious ideology. I consider myself to be both an enthusiastic American and Americanist.

        Various ethnic cultures thrive in the United States within that universal framework, and they are in constant flux and change as they interact and merge with one another in complex ways. I rejoice in that.

        Do we disagree somehow? How?

      • annie on May 17, 2012, 3:27 pm

        sean, i didn’t mean to imply we disagreed. i probably worded that wrong when i wrote “failing to understand” when i meant ‘to articulate’. but now that i review your comment @12:52 i think it was probably the way i read it. also, my concepts of american ethnicity is morphing as i am adopting the idea of our ethnic uniqueness permeating the culture more and more, especially with the young. sorry for the confusion.

      • seanmcbride on May 17, 2012, 3:58 pm

        Annie,

        No prob — I was just trying to clarify things.

        I am struck more and more by the strong impact that American culture/ethnicity leaves on all of us, regardless of the various ethnic backgrounds of our parents. It’s a powerful force and generally a positive force, in my opinion. Most Americans are comfortable with diversity and are in the habit of looking beyond physical appearances. Americanism is a forward-looking and open-minded attitude (but with many dark currents still roiling under the surface, of course).

      • Hostage on May 17, 2012, 4:55 pm

        In Israel , your ancestors ”being born” in that country has nothing to do with applying for citizenship.

        Apart from conversion to Judaism, you only have to establish in the alternative that your immediate ancestors practiced Judaism and that none of the members of that line of descendants have subsequently converted to some other religion. Atheism isn’t even considered to be a relevant disqualifying factor. I’ve tried to explain in the past to Roha and others, that in cases of matrilineal descent, the Orthodox and Zionist authorities will always consider that person to be of Jewish descent, even if the individual in question does not. The case I mention in my earlier comment is just such an example. The decision was delivered only a few days ago. See Court rules Judaism, not place of birth, is grounds for Israeli citizenship. http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/court-rules-judaism-not-place-of-birth-is-grounds-for-israeli-citizenship-1.430676

      • lysias on May 17, 2012, 4:56 pm

        Ireland has jus sanguinis too, in terms of who can get an Irish passport and Irish citizenship. (Although descendants of Irish Protestants can get them just as easily as descendants of Irish Catholics.)

        However, the treatment of those who have Irish citizenship, whatever their ethnicity, is absolutely equal, at any rate equal under the law.

      • Mooser on May 17, 2012, 6:04 pm

        Seafoid, old Chinese proverb (forgive me, I’ve been reading an interesting book on “Charlie Chan” and his creator) say: ‘Never try to argue with man who can pull out any Jewish death from any period of history to justify what he wants to do to the Palestinians”

      • Mooser on May 18, 2012, 10:33 pm

        ““Jewishness disrupts the very categories of identity, because it is not national, not genealogical, not religious, but all of these, in dialectical tension with one another. ””

        Sounds like Jewish problem, and I don’t see why anybody should stand for it being made their problem. The funniest thing is, of course, that the only place they can’t figure out “What is a Jew” is in Israel!

    • Shingo on May 16, 2012, 11:16 pm

      Oh blah, blah, blah

      So long as the brutality is not perpetrated against Jews, what do you care right Oleg?

  4. seafoid on May 9, 2012, 11:31 am

    “Then last fall Bill visited Jordan and saw the lights of Israel and Palestine across the Dead Sea”

    I think most of the light visible is Israeli. I lived in Bir Zeit for a while and it was very noticeable looking down to the valleys towards the sea in the direction of Israel how bright Israel was at night compared to the darkness of the West Bank.

    This photo shows it well

    http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2010/11/gorgeous-photo-of-israel-from-space-at.html

    Israel is a first world colony-parasite attached to the Third World that is the Occupied Territories.

    • Xpat on May 9, 2012, 12:09 pm

      Great pic.
      Won’t convince anybody though. Somebody else might see something else in it. It just shows how the Palestinians don’t care about bettering themselves, while Israelis have developed a thriving economy.
      And did we mention Tel Aviv nightlife.
      Sigh.

      • seafoid on May 9, 2012, 2:45 pm

        And all the gay Israelis who need light,Elliott.

      • libra on May 9, 2012, 3:39 pm

        Somebody else might see something else in it.

        Well, at least there’s no need to guess who’s going to win the demographic battle.

      • kalithea on May 10, 2012, 1:17 am

        “And did we mention Tel Aviv nightlife.”

        Screw Tel Aviv nightlife!!!

        Festive Apartheid, my ass!

    • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 8:01 am

      Besides the Jordan Valley which is scarcely populated at all
      i don’t see that much of a difference.
      Tesl Aviv and Jerusalem stand out being the great metropolitan centers
      but other then them the lighting is pretty much the same.
      Are you sure you know exactly where the West Bank is ?

      • Xpat on May 10, 2012, 12:40 pm

        Oleg –
        As you correctly point out, Greater Jerusalem takes a well-lit bite out of the West Bank.
        Otherwise, you’re looking at this starkly contrasted picture through shades of grey.
        Gush Dan (on the left) and the whole coastal plain is lit up, framing the darkened West Bank on the right

      • eljay on May 10, 2012, 1:30 pm

        >> Are you sure you know exactly where the West Bank is ?

        Based on a comparison with a Google map of Israel and the surrounding region, it looks like:
        – the coastal strip of bright lights covers Tel Aviv and cities to the south of it;
        – the bright light to the south-east of that strip is Jerusalem;
        – the large burst of light to the east-north-east of Jersualem is Amman; and
        – the bright patch of lights farther to the north of Amman (and south-east of Beirut) is Damascus.

        Relative to the Jewish State, Gaza and the West Bank are quite poorly illuminated. Perhaps Israel truly is “a beacon unto the nations”!

      • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 8:04 pm

        / the large burst of light to the east-north-east of Jersualem is Amman; and/

        BTW where are the rest of Jordanian cities ?
        If the West Bank is poorly lit then Jordan is just pitch black like that famous
        photo of North Korea.

      • seafoid on May 10, 2012, 2:42 pm

        Nice try Oleg but can’t you drop the ideology just the once? Greater Tel Aviv Jaffa has a population of 1 million, same as the Gaza strip . Look at the difference in light concentration between the 2 . Tel Aviv is OECD and Gaza, 40 miles down the road, is 16th century. That’s Zionism in light that you can see.

      • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 7:52 pm

        Nice try to switch subject seafoid.
        You were talking about the West Bank remember?
        Does every populated area in the US is lit like New York
        does it mean that New York is a first world colony-parasite attached to the Third World that is the rest
        of USA?

      • Xpat on May 11, 2012, 12:14 am

        Oleg, you’re getting desperate.
        My bet is that every US city is well-lit,as, is, it appears every Israeli city.
        But Nablus and Hebron and other Palestinian cities are not.

      • annie on May 11, 2012, 12:41 am

        of course they are not, their electricity is measured strictly.

      • seafoid on May 11, 2012, 3:58 am

        If the US were like Israel all the cities in New Jersey would be run on diesel generators, Oleg, given that New York would have bombed their electricity plants 5 times since 2000 because New Jersey would be classed by NY as a source of terror. And so on.

      • OlegR on May 11, 2012, 6:17 am

        BS Elliot /Annie
        Gaza has problems with electricity. Ans as we can see it’s also a well lit strip
        of light right alone the coast.

        Hebron is close to Jerusalem so it’s lights are swallowed in the lights of the metropolitan.

        And how about you show me were do you think Nablus is on the map
        that you can tell it’s not lit.

      • OlegR on May 11, 2012, 6:19 am

        Well if New Jersey would shoot thousands of rockets at New York
        a think New York in the great American tradition would have just nuked it and be done with it.

      • Chaos4700 on May 11, 2012, 9:18 am

        And if Jews in New York had wiped hundreds of towns in New Jersey off the map and set put thousands of people into prison camps and destroyed thousands of acres of farmland so that they could build Jews-only government subsidized condos, Oleg? They would be anti-American.

      • playforpalestine on May 11, 2012, 11:45 pm

        “And if Jews in New York had wiped hundreds of towns in New Jersey off the map and set put thousands of people into prison camps and destroyed thousands of acres of farmland so that they could build Jews-only government subsidized condos, Oleg?”

        We NYers wish we could wipe out hundreds of towns in Jersey. Would anyone really oppose this? We’ve wiped out tons of Indians, does that count?

        We HAVE put thousands of people in prison btw. Not in prison “camps” but then, neither has Israel. No one uses prison camps except for Arizona and other third world countries. For the record, I’d MUCH rather go to jail in Israel than NYC OR Jersey.

        NYers HAVE destroyed millions of acres of farmland. What do you think used to be here before the buildings? And those condos ARE subsidized by local government and while they aren’t Jew only, they are exclusively for the wealthy, which is pretty much the religion of NY anyway. (BTW, settlements aren’t actually Jew only, but that’s kind of besides the point.)

        In all seriousness, if any of the countries that the US has invaded ever tried something like launching a rocket at us and it killed someone do you really think that we would respond with restraint? Look at what we did to Afghanistan over 9/11. Look at what we did to Iraq, and they didn’t even DO anything to us.

      • Xpat on May 12, 2012, 9:21 am

        Gaza has problems with electricity. And as we can see it’s also a well lit strip of light right alone the coast.

        Sorry to point out the obvious contradiction.

        Which is it:
        Dark, because of problems with electricity

        or

        bright, as in “a well lit strip of light”?

        Hasbara 101 – use just one contradictory argument at a time.
        Save the other one for a later post.

  5. American on May 9, 2012, 11:33 am

    “Start balancing. There’s never been any balance. You want a two state solution? The Arab Peace Initiative is still on the table. No one here has done anything to honor it. Where’s the balance? They can’t make a state this way.”

    The only ”balance” that even resembles justice is going back to the beginning. Take the portion the UN gave you Israel and ‘only’ that portion and you can maybe survive.

  6. Pamela Olson on May 9, 2012, 11:36 am

    Beautiful writing, thank you. People should be “sensitive” to horrific injustice. It’s people like us, who’ve been dealing with it for too long, who have the aberrant reaction (somehow “normalizing” it in our minds).

    Also, a checkpoint in Jordan is completely different from one in Palestine — Jordanians aren’t militarily occupying another people’s land and stealing their land and resources, nor putting people into ghettos and cages. It’s not that he’s just upset because the oppressors are Jewish. It’s apples and oranges.

    • philweiss on May 9, 2012, 11:46 am

      Pamela, thanks for that point. Though I was just “imagining” such a checkpoint for the purpose of prodding Bill

      • Pamela Olson on May 9, 2012, 12:24 pm

        I know — but even in an imagined checkpoint in Jordan, the people on both sides of the checkpoint have Jordanian citizenship.

      • kalithea on May 10, 2012, 1:49 am

        “Though I was just “imagining” such a checkpoint for the purpose of prodding Bill.”

        Just “prodding”? It felt to me like you were playing the devil’s advocate. But why play that game? It made me pretty angry. I’m glad “Bill” demonstrated integrity regardless. He passed with flying colors; to my relief.

        My favorite comment of his was when he said that “love” for Israel is not love but refusing or struggling to let go of a “toxic relationship”.

        I was starting to get nauseous with the whole digression on “love” for Israel. Thank God he rescued me with that analogy. He nailed it.
        I prefer the innocent perspective of calling it what it is, as Bill did.

      • john h on May 10, 2012, 4:02 am

        “I prefer the innocent perspective of calling it what it is, as Bill did”.

        So do I.

    • playforpalestine on May 16, 2012, 12:57 pm

      So why exactly IS Jordan allowed to strip its Palestinian citizens of their citizenship and leave them stateless without censure?

      Why can they put Palestinian refugees in squalid camps without facing criticism?

      Why is Deir Yassin mentioned every 5 minutes while the Jordanian massacre of tens of thousands of Palestinians has faded into unspoken history?

      In short, why is it apples and oranges? Why does Jordan get a pass on acts that are far worse than anything Israel has ever perpetrated?

  7. seafoid on May 9, 2012, 11:45 am

    It’s not going away. Look at this place. It’s here to stay

    http://www.dazeddigital.com/photography/article/12744/1/ruins-of-detroit

  8. iResistDe4iAm on May 9, 2012, 12:40 pm

    ¿Why do more Zionists turn into anti-Zionists than vice versa?

    • annie on May 9, 2012, 1:55 pm

      because most people evolve out of a cycle of racism, not into one.

    • Fredblogs on May 9, 2012, 2:12 pm

      Because there are a lot more Zionists than anti-Zionists. If one tenth of one percent of the 6 million Zionists in Israel turned anti-Zionist, that would be 6000 people. If 10% of the few thousand anti-Zionists turned Zionist that would be a few hundred people.

      • Daniel Rich on May 9, 2012, 10:12 pm

        @Fredblogs,

        Q: Because there are a lot more Zionists than anti-Zionists. If one tenth of one percent of the 6 million Zionists in Israel turned anti-Zionist, that would be 6000 people. If 10% of the few thousand anti-Zionists turned Zionist that would be a few hundred people.

        R: or, to put it simpler:

        zeix=conx -(isinx).2

        Where:

        ze = zion entity
        con= convinced semites
        sin= sinning semites

    • playforpalestine on May 16, 2012, 11:29 am

      “¿Why do more Zionists turn into anti-Zionists than vice versa?”

      Do they? What’;s your basis for this?

  9. eljay on May 9, 2012, 1:00 pm

    >> ¿Why do more Zionists turn into anti-Zionists than vice versa?

    My guess is that equality, morality and justice are more appealing than supremacism, immorality and injustice. Which says something about the people who cling to – or take up – the Zionist (lost) cause.

  10. Fredblogs on May 9, 2012, 1:52 pm

    The checkpoints are unfortunately necessary. I don’t like taking off my shoes at airport security in the U.S., but after the would be shoe bomber I understand the necessity. How do you only think about how it inconveniences you without thinking of why it is there in the first place.

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-arrests-palestinian-carrying-two-bombs-at-checkpoint-south-of-nablus/

    • annie on May 9, 2012, 1:58 pm

      spare us fred, if the wall was for security it would not be functioning as a land grab. the occupation and settlements primarily serves israel’s expansion, so the ‘security’ aspect is a hard sell. we know you’re a salesman for it, but it’s a no go nakba denying trick of the trade. #hasbarafail again, your specialty.

      • marc b. on May 9, 2012, 2:39 pm

        and besides that, the security benefits are neglible, ‘security’ being breached on a daily basis by hundreds of palestenians seeking working on the other side of whatever WB fence, wall, checkpoint they live behind. they uncovered another underwear bomb ‘plot’, fred (the informant/double agent doing most of the plotting as usual). are you ready to start dropping your trousers and coughing for the TSA?

      • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 5:15 am

        / ‘security’ being breached on a daily basis by hundreds of palestenians seeking working on the other side of whatever WB fence/

        Is “breached” only in those areas where the fence has not been built
        which are far away from our populated centers which makes it an acceptable
        risk.I also remind you that the second Intifada is over.

      • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 5:12 am

        /spare us fred, if the wall was for security it would not be functioning as a land grab. /
        Where do you come with that one.
        The green line has nothing to do with security it was an arbitrary
        line reached at the end of the War for Independence in 1948.
        If anything following that line instead of taking into account the geographic’s if the area would have made it a purely political instead of a mixed security and political as it is now.
        More over the Supreme Court amended the line multiple times where he deemed the security need where inflicting disproportional damage
        to the Palestinian population.

        Also cut with the straw man tactics Fred was talking about the fence and that it saves lives and you reply with cliches about the bad bad occupation to divert attention from his argument.

      • Chaos4700 on May 11, 2012, 9:20 am

        The green line has nothing to do with security it was an arbitrary
        line reached at the end of the War for Independence in 1948.

        Did you just admit that Israeli actions in 1948, immediately following your declaration of independence, was solely a war of territorial expansion? The Green Line is not on the UN sanctioned border.

      • lyn117 on May 11, 2012, 9:51 pm

        @Oleg, as someone said spare us the usual propaganda

        The main motive for the suicide bombings was vengeance for people that the Israelis had killed. If Israel was really interested in “security” for its people, it wouldn’t have used live ammunition to quell protests against its land grabs, stirring up those acts of vengeance. Or it would have instituted a system of justice which all people have access on basis of equal rights under the law. It did not, instead, it put in place a system where Israel and its settlers can grab Palestinian land at will for Jewish-only use, and allows its settlers and soldiers to kill innocent Palestinians virtually with impunity. Where there’s a fair system, there’s a legitimate alternative to vengeance and retribution.

        Snide remarks about “bad bad occupation” don’t make it any less a fact that Israel was the primary instigator and contributor of violence, the one most likely to restart it after things had calmed down, and the Palestinians were primarily reacting to Israeli violence. The Israeli public was a victim of Israeli policy as well.

        Please also spare me the comments about the wonderful “Supreme Court” changing the line of the fence if it inflicts “disproportional damage to the Palestinian population.” Disproportional to what? It hasn’t save single Palestinian life or helped a single Palestinian living under occupation which would be the only legitimate reason an occupying power might have for building it. You can claim it saves lives if your only concern is solely Israeli lives – that’s racist in my book, especially when Israel is killing mostly innocent people while the Palestinians (however random their aim) still managed to kill more guilty people than innocent, and far fewer in total. All of the bad effects are on the only people who legally inhabit the territory that most of it is built on, and no bad effects on the settlers whose presence in that territory is illegal.

      • playforpalestine on May 16, 2012, 2:22 am

        “Did you just admit that Israeli actions in 1948, immediately following your declaration of independence, was solely a war of territorial expansion?”

        You mean the war when several Arab states attacked Israel? How could it be solely a war of Israeli expansion if it was initiated by the other side?

      • tree on May 16, 2012, 2:43 am

        pfp,

        Israel had already attacked and expelled Palestinians from areas that were to be part of the UN Partition Plan’s Arab State, as well as Palestinians who wer by all rights citizens of the proposed Jewish State. The vast majority of the fighting that involved the armies of the adjacent Arab states in the 1948 war occurred in the area that was designated as part of the proposed Arab State that Israel conquered by war and aggression, including ethnic cleansing. Pre-state Israel had already managed to ethnically cleanse somewhere between 350 to 450 thousand Palestinian civilians prior to May 15th, 1948. The actions of the other Arab states were a response to the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees that Israel created in its brutal conquest.

      • playforpalestine on May 16, 2012, 11:47 am

        Tree,

        If the Arab armies took action out of concern for the welfare of the Palestinians, then wouldn’t they have refrained from attempting to annex the land outside of the green line? The Arab states happily disenfranchised the Palestinians and either ruled over them in a colonial fashion (Egypt in Gaza) or actively tried to take the land for themselves (Jordan in the West Bank.)

        In the decades that followed the Arab states oppressed, massacred and expelled the Palestinians living in the OPT and in the greater Arab world to a degree far greater than any crime Israel has yet perpetuated against them.

        The Arab states attacked Israel in 1948 out of their own interests. Concern for the Palestinians seems like it was all but non-existent. That said, even assuming that everything you said here is accurate, you are offering a justification for the war, not refuting the fact that the Arab states attacked Israel.

        In other words, “Israeli actions in 1948, immediately following the declaration of independence” were not to perpetuate a war of expansion but to defend itself against an attack initiated by the Arabs. Land was taken during the war, certainly. But you simply can’t label any state’s actions “a war solely for territorial expansion” if the other side attacked it first.

      • playforpalestine on May 16, 2012, 12:45 pm

        “The main motive for the suicide bombings was vengeance for people that the Israelis had killed.”

        Is it? Where are you getting this information from?

        “Snide remarks about “bad bad occupation” don’t make it any less a fact that Israel was the primary instigator and contributor of violence, the one most likely to restart it after things had calmed down, and the Palestinians were primarily reacting to Israeli violence.”

        I disagree strongly with this. I can think of several instances right off the top of my head where the violence was initiated by the Palestinians without question. For example, the second intifada began as a violent reaction to Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount. And the resumption of Qassam fire immediately following Israel’s pull out from Gaza. At that point Israel had just made a fairly large concession and the Palestinian reaction was rioting within Gaza itself (destroying the greenhouses that Israel left at their own expense), and rocket and mortar attacks aimed at Israeli civilians.

        “It hasn’t save single Palestinian life or helped a single Palestinian living under occupation which would be the only legitimate reason an occupying power might have for building it.”

        The claim is that it saves Israeli lives, which is an entirely legitimate reason for an occupying power to build such a thing. The rules are outlined in the geneva conventions.

        “You can claim it saves lives if your only concern is solely Israeli lives – that’s racist in my book”

        Why is it racist to be concerned about saving Israeli lives? Does the barrier somehow kill Palestinians? No, of course not. It is primarily a huge inconvenience. Why is preferring the inconveniencing of Palestinians over the deaths of Israelis racist?

        “while the Palestinians (however random their aim) still managed to kill more guilty people than innocent”

        Suicide bombs were aimed very accurately and they specifically targeted civilians. The idea that such terrorism managed to kill more guilty than innocent seems counter-intuitive. Guilty of what? And where are you getting that info, anyway?

      • tree on May 17, 2012, 3:01 am

        The Arab states happily disenfranchised the Palestinians and either ruled over them in a colonial fashion (Egypt in Gaza) or actively tried to take the land for themselves (Jordan in the West Bank.)

        No Egyptians moved into Gaza, so your “colonial fashion” statement is incorrect. The Gazans weren’t given any Egyptian voting rights however, but it still put them in better condition than they have been under Israeli rule since 1967. Egypt never attacked the Gazans, and in fact were attacked, in Gaza, by Israel in 1954 and 1956.

        http://mondoweiss.net/2009/12/exclusive-excerpt-from-joe-saccos-groundbreaking-new-book-footnotes-in-gaza.html

        In Jordan, all West Bank Palestinians were given full citizenship rights and were not only allowed to vote but had direct representation in the Jordanian Parliament. At one point, there were more Palestinians in the Jordanian Parliament then there were Hashemites. No Jordanian confiscated Palestinian land, and the West Bank was under the same civilian administration as the rest of Jordan. This is in great contrast to Israeli rule over the West Bank, where Israel has the same civilian rule for the Jewish settlers in the WB as within the green line, and a different and extremely harsh military rule over the Palestinians living there; Palestinian land has been continually confiscated for the benefit of Jewish settlers; and of course Palestinians have no right to vote or have representation in the country, Israel, that totally controls their lives.

        In other words, “Israeli actions in 1948, immediately following the declaration of independence” were not to perpetuate a war of expansion but to defend itself against an attack initiated by the Arabs. Land was taken during the war, certainly. But you simply can’t label any state’s actions “a war solely for territorial expansion” if the other side attacked it first.

        You seem to have a knack for missing the point. Israel had already attacked and claimed territory OUTSIDE of the area set aside to be the UN Partition Plan’s Jewish State. It had already expanded its territory through violent attacks on areas that were designated part of the “Arab State”. It had also already violated the terms of the Partition Plan by violently expelling Palestinians from their homes within the designated Jewish State. The aggressor was Israel. Claiming that Israel was “attacked first” is equivalent to insisting that Britain attacked Nazi Germany first, because Britain declared war after Nazi Germany invaded Poland.

      • tree on May 17, 2012, 3:20 am

        For example, the second intifada began as a violent reaction to Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount.

        Actually, the second intifada started as a Palestinian protest on the day following Sharon’s visit. Israel responded by shooting at the protesters, as well as Muslim worshipers at Al-Aqsa, killing seven Palestinians. Israel then proceeded to violently invade every Palestinian city with troops, tanks and helicopters, and firing, by their own admission, over 1 million bullets in the month of October. At the end of 2000, over 275 Palestinians had been killed, and just 24 Israelis, with only 5 of those being Israeli civilians. A car bomb panted by a Palestinian exploded in November in Jerusalem, but the first actual suicide bombing didn’t happen until February of 2001. Apparently 275 Palestinians killed by Israel in 3 months means nothing to you.

        http://www.aljazeera.com/photo_galleries/middleeast/2010103132115872256.html

        Your other examples are likewise wrong, but I don’t have time now to discuss those. Perhaps someone else can pick it up, or you could search the archives under my comments, using the word “greenhouses” to get the real history. Short form is, the Jewish settlers were amply remunerated by Bill Gates, not Israel, for the greenhouses, some of the settlers had already dismantled and taken some of the greenhouse equipment, and the Palestinian “destruction” was overstated.

      • playforpalestine on May 17, 2012, 6:36 am

        “In Jordan, all West Bank Palestinians were given full citizenship rights and were not only allowed to vote but had direct representation in the Jordanian Parliament.”

        Wow! You’re defending Jordan’s illegal annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem merely because it made the people living there citizens?! Does that mean you support Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem since it offered the Palestinians living there the option to become Israeli citizens?

        How do you feel about the fact that Jordan decided to drop its claim to the West Bank and stripped the Palestinians of citizenship?

        “You seem to have a knack for missing the point. Israel had already attacked and claimed territory OUTSIDE of the area set aside to be the UN Partition Plan’s Jewish State. ”

        No, actually I know what I’m talking about here. There was no “designated Arab state area” because the Arabs in question rejected the Partition Plan. The Plan was a GA resolution, it only had legal weight in the event both sides agreed to it.

        “The aggressor was Israel.”

        How so? The Yishuv accepted the agreement and the Jews began throwing parties. The Arabs rejected it and went on strike. The first instances of violence were from the Arab Palestinians against the Jewish ones. And the first half of that civil war was being lost in a big way by the Jews, until they initiated Plan Dalet.

        That said, it was a civil war between two non-state parties. Comparisons to the Nazis invading Poland don’t make sense. Poland was an actual state with set borders that wasn’t engaged in a prior conflict with Germany. Israel merely won the civil war, it wasn’t trying to take over the middle east or threatening any of the other states in any way whatsoever.

        The key point here is that those Arab states waged a war of choice against Israel. See what I’m saying? THAT’S the important difference between attacking and defending in a war. What you are saying is that those Arab states were justified in attacking Israel. (They were not, and they were even less justified in taking over Gaza and the WB but that’s besides the point.)

        They could have just as easily NOT attacked Israel. But they chose to because THEY were the ones who “perpetuated a war of expansion” by attacking for no other reason than to gain control of the land that Palestine was too weak and disorganized to hold onto itself!

        Israel, on the other hand, never had a choice about fighting this war (or the civil war for that matter.) Had they lost the civil war they would have had nowhere to retreat to. By the time they finally went on the offensive, Jerusalem had already been cut off from all supply routes for weeks and their other Northern settlements were not doing much better.

        Similarly, they never had the option of refusing to fight against the Arab states either. Had they not fought they would have been overrun. Claiming land within the borders of the Partition Plan’s “Arab state land” did not necessitate the Arab states’ invasion. They had WAY less of a right to occupy/annex/invade said land than Israel did anyway.

        Israel was not expanding its held territory at that point; the Palestinians were in no immediate danger of being slaughtered wholesale or anything like that. If their problem was the state of affairs re: borders or something like that they could have at least attempted negotiating with Israel first. Better yet, they could have let Palestine do it. The Palestinians could still talk, couldn’t they? What right did Jordan have to come rolling in, scoop up all the remaining land left for the Palestinian state, ethnically cleanse any non-Arabs left there, destroy every synagogue and ancient Jewish cemetery in sight, and force all the Palestinian refugees to live in squalid camps and obey their king?

        If Jordan had just stayed put then the Palestinians wouldn’t have ever even BEEN refugees… they would’ve been living in their own state in the West Bank, like they are only now negotiating for, 64+ years later! (Good thing Jordan/Egypt/etc attacked Israel back then, huh?!!)

      • Tuyzentfloot on May 17, 2012, 6:40 am

        I can’t find it on Haaretz but google cache still has the editorial recounting how Amos Malka declared that in the first weeks , the IDF fired 1.3 million bullets in the West Bank and Gaza.

      • Shingo on May 17, 2012, 8:59 am

        You’re defending Jordan’s illegal annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem merely because it made the people living there citizens?

        Illegal did you say? Please cite a UN Resolution condemning the occupation and annexation.

        As for Israel, it never offered the Palestinians living there the option to become Israeli citizens.

        How do you feel about the fact that Jordan decided to drop its claim to the West Bank and stripped the Palestinians of citizenship?

        How about the fact that it’s not a fact. Jordan hand control of the West Bank to the PLO. You forgot that part.

        No, actually I know what I’m talking about here. There was no “designated Arab state area” because the Arabs in question rejected the Partition Plan. The Plan was a GA resolution, it only had legal weight in the event both sides agreed to it.

        No, you evidently have no idea what you are talking about. The creation of an designated Arab state area:

        a) did not require the Arabs in question to accept it and
        b) was not rejected by the Arabs in question

        There is no evidence that the Palestinian people rejected the principle of partition, much less that they supported or were represented by the Arab League and the Mufti.

        How so? The Yishuv accepted the agreement and the Jews began throwing parties.

        No, the Yishuv accepted the agreement, then the very next day, Ben Gurion declared the agreement was only temporary and issued orders for the expulsion of the Palestinians. By the time the Arab armies arrived, Israel has expelled 300,000 Palestinians and destroyed hundreds of Palestinian villages.

        The first instances of violence were from the Arab Palestinians against the Jewish ones. And the first half of that civil war was being lost in a big way by the Jews, until they initiated Plan Dalet.

        Oh I know this song. I though I could smell somethign fishy.

        How are you doing Mr Werdine? Weren’t you banned for Nakba denial?

        Hey Annie, can you get Phil and Co. to look into this guy?

      • Hostage on May 17, 2012, 11:58 am

        Wow! You’re defending Jordan’s illegal annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem merely because it made the people living there citizens?!

        What illegal annexation? The General Assembly had terminated the mandate and the Palestinians were emancipated. Their 1948 Jericho Congress declared Abdullah the King of the Arab portions of Palestine and called for a joint kingdom. He was already the sovereign of Transjordan. FYI, that resolution immediately made him the sovereign of Arab Palestine with or without any annexation. He began governing it in accordance with the existing mandate era laws, not the laws of occupation or the municipal laws Transjordan.

        The UN Security Council adopted Chapter VII resolutions that mandated and established “permanent armistice lines of demarcation” that all states were required to respect. That happened long before the 1950 Act of Union between the two Banks ratified the previous acts of the Palestinian and Transjordanian constituent bodies and finally extended “Jordanian” municipal law to the West Bank. By that time, Israel had long since applied its own municipal laws to all of the territory it occupied beyond the boundary contained in the UN partition plan. When the two adversaries had signed the armistice agreement recognizing one another’s legal competence to negotiate a final territorial settlement, Israel claimed it had the right to exercise civil jurisdiction over all of the territory it occupied.

        Abba Eban said “Israel holds no territory wrongfully, since her occupation of the areas now held has been sanctioned by the armistice agreements, as has the occupation of the territory in Palestine now held by the Arab states.” see “Effect on Armistice Agreements”, FRUS Volume VI 1949, 1149 link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        During the Security Council’s 433rd meeting, Abba Eban stated that:

        The armistice lines do not merely separate armed forces. They mark the clearly defined areas of full civil jurisdiction. The Government, the courts, the legislatures, the security authorities of each respective State operate smoothly and unchallenged up to the appropriate armistice line. These lines thus have the normal characteristics of provisional frontiers until such time as a new process of negotiation and agreement determines the final territorial settlement.

        The Armistice Agreements are not peace treaties. They do not prejudice the final territorial settlements. On the other hand, the provisional settlement established by the Armistice Agreements is unchallengeable until a new process of negotiation and agreement has been successfully consummated.

        link to un.org

        How do you feel about the fact that Jordan decided to drop its claim to the West Bank and stripped the Palestinians of citizenship?

        Nobody complained when the “United Arab Republic” dropped its claims to Egypt and Syria. The legal entity known as Jordan was the same sort of entity. It was formed by a political union between two countries, Arab Palestine and Transjordan. The joint entity, Jordan, was a UN member state. When the union was dissolved, 93 other countries immediately recognized the State of Palestine. I feel about the same way those other states did. FYI, this is all covered by customary and conventional international law regarding the rules of state succession and statelessness.

        No, actually I know what I’m talking about here. There was no “designated Arab state area” because the Arabs in question rejected the Partition Plan. The Plan was a GA resolution, it only had legal weight in the event both sides agreed to it.

        Actually the reason Israel has always used legal arguments outside the courthouse for hasbara purposes, while claiming that the legal status of the territory can only be decided through political negotiation is that it would be stuck with the partition boundaries if it ever went to Court.

        You might want to consult the international law of the 19th and 20th centuries regarding decolonization, because you are spouting utter nonsense. The League of Nations Mandate was a non-binding resolution that the Palestinians rejected. The General Assembly has the same general powers under Articles 18 and 85 of the UN Charter to make legally binding decisions and to conclude international agreements regarding non-self-governing territories – without obtaining the consent of the inhabitants. That’s the raison d’etre for a mandated state or trusteeship. FYI, those powers were confirmed in the “Certain Expenses” and the “Namibia” cases by the ICJ. At one time or another, they were employed to decolonize and shepherd three-quarters of the existing states in the world to independence.

        The UN partition plan implemented a transition period that began on the same day the resolution was adopted. It also established the administrative boundaries for use by the UN Palestine Commission and Mandatary government during the transition period and no longer referred to the new entities as proposed states, e.g. resolution 181 stipulated that The mandatory Power shall use its best endeavours to ensure that an area situated in the territory of the Jewish State, including a seaport and hinterland adequate to provide facilities for a substantial immigration, shall be evacuated at the earliest possible date and in any event not later than 1 February 1948.
        *http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/res181.htm
        *See also the separate Opinion of Judge Elaraby regarding the transition period. http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1689.pdf

        So, the new states and their boundaries were provisionally recognized by the UN on 29 November 1947. For example, the Jewish Agency’s expert on international law, Jacob Robinson, explained to the People’s Council of Israel that the Jewish State was already in existence as a result of the 29 November 1947 resolution. See Anis F. Kassim(ed), The Palestine Yearbook of International Law 1987-1988, page 279 link to books.google.com

        In the Frontier Dispute (Burkina Faso/Republic of Mali) the ICJ applied the 19th century principle of customary international law on decolonization known as “uti possidetis juris” and explained:

        In this connection it should be noted that the principle of uti possidetis seems to have been first invoked and applied in Spanish America, inasmuch as this was the continent which first witnessed the phenomenon of decolonization involving the formation of a number of sovereign States on territory formerly belonging to a single metropolitan State. Nevertheless the principle is not a special rule which pertains solely to one specific system of international law. It is a general principle, which is logically connected with the phenomenon of the obtaining of independence, wherever it occurs. Its obvious purpose is to prevent the independence and stability of new States being endangered by fratricidal struggles provoked by the challenging of frontiers following the withdrawal of the administering power.

        The essence of the principle lies in its primary aim of securing respect for the territorial boundaries at the moment when independence is achieved. Such territorial boundaries might be no more than delimitations between different administrative divisions or colonies all subject to the same sovereign. In that case, the application of the principle of uti possidetis resulted in administrative boundaries being transformed into international frontiers in the full sense of the term. This is true both of the States which took shape in the regions of South America which were dependent on the Spanish Crown, and of the States Parties to the present case, which took shape within the vast territories of French West Africa. Uti possidetis, as a principle which upgraded former administrative delimitations, established during the colonial period, to international frontiers, is therefore a principle of a general kind which is logically connected with this form of decolonization wherever it occurs.

        http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/69/6447.pdf

      • Hostage on May 17, 2012, 12:56 pm

        I can’t find it on Haaretz but google cache still has the editorial

        All of the existing links to Haaretz are now børken along with the transition to the new electronic edition. They did the same sort of thing several years ago. If there’s a path to a new location, the search engines will eventually find them when they crawl the site. That only applies if they are not deliberately excluded by the domain’s robots.txt or hidden behind a new pay wall.

      • playforpalestine on May 17, 2012, 10:36 pm

        “Illegal did you say? Please cite a UN Resolution condemning the occupation and annexation.”

        Why? What does that have to do with the illegality of Jordan’s annexation?

        “As for Israel, it never offered the Palestinians living there the option to become Israeli citizens.”

        In the land it annexed (also illegally) it sure did.

        “Jordan hand control of the West Bank to the PLO. You forgot that part.”

        What part? That Jordan handed imaginary control over to the PLO? Who cares? Jordan’s control over the West Bank was illegal even when it did actually possess it. Now, handing off power is entirely meaningless. The only meaningful thing that changed is that Jordan stripped the West Bank Palestinians of their citizenship. Would you be OK if Israel did something like that… abandoning any property that has Arab Israelis on it so they can revoke their citizenship?

        “The creation of an designated Arab state area: …did not require the Arabs in question to accept it”

        Of course it did. The resolution had requirements for both sides. If only one side is willing to fulfill the requirements then the agreement is meaningless. UNGA resolutions in particular NEED this agreement to occur because the resolutions themselves aren’t legally binding. They are just suggestions. The designated Arab state area would have only gained legitimacy via the fact that both sides agreed to it.

        “was not rejected by the Arabs in question…There is no evidence that the Palestinian people rejected the principle of partition, much less that they supported or were represented by the Arab League and the Mufti.”

        That’s a more interesting question. If the Palestinians had no one authorized to represent their interests at the UN then how could they even participate in these negotiations?

        “the very next day, Ben Gurion declared the agreement was only temporary and issued orders for the expulsion of the Palestinians”

        So what is your source for this sort of information?

        “Oh I know this song. I though I could smell somethign fishy.”

        Is it the truth? Does the truth smell fishy to you? That’s weird.

        “How are you doing Mr Werdine? Weren’t you banned for Nakba denial?”

        I’m doing fine. But I’m sorry to say that your assumption is incorrect. (Though had I been him, your statement there would have been really impressive.)

      • playforpalestine on May 18, 2012, 3:11 am

        “Actually, the second intifada started as a Palestinian protest on the day following Sharon’s visit.”

        I was starting from the day of Sharon’s visit because that’s the day the rioting began. Arab protesters threw rocks, bins, chairs, etc, injuring 25 cops. The cops used tear gas and rubber bullets, shooting one protester in the face! Dozens of people were injured that first day.

        “Israel then proceeded to violently invade every Palestinian city with troops, tanks and helicopters, and firing, by their own admission, over 1 million bullets in the month of October.”

        Sure. There was widespread rioting by both Arabs and Jews with petrol bombs and looting and car tire fires and everything. Of course the response was severe.

        “At the end of 2000, over 275 Palestinians had been killed, and just 24 Israelis, with only 5 of those being Israeli civilians.”

        The numbers I saw were different, but that’s besides the point. The violence we’re discussing was no joke. In early October there were 2 lost Israeli reservists who ended up in Ramallah where they were arrested… remember them? A mob broke into the jail, bludgeoned, stabbed, disemboweled and then set them on fire. There was that famous photo of one of the perpetrators proudly holding up his blood soaked hands. One Israeli was killed while driving, when his car was hit with stones and he lost control and crashed. The Palestinians were killed during incidents with the police; not from being tortured to death.

        “Apparently 275 Palestinians killed by Israel in 3 months means nothing to you. ”

        Why? Because I correctly cited the Palestinians as being the instigators of the violence? Are you seriously going to make such odious accusations about me just to deflect from the fact that I was right? OK, I see how it is now… The Palestinians aren’t ever guilty of instigating any violence, ever. Anyone who says otherwise is clearly a racist who considers them lower than ants.

        “Short form is, the Jewish settlers were amply remunerated by Bill Gates, not Israel, for the greenhouses”

        You’re right, I forgot about that. My bad.

        Regardless, I stand by the rest of that statement; that the Gazans initiated violence by firing mortars and rockets into Israel immediately following the pull-out’s completion.

      • Shingo on May 18, 2012, 5:12 am

        The numbers I saw were different, but that’s besides the point. The violence we’re discussing was no joke.

        You hear that folks? The numbers are irrelevant, because the overwhleming majority of victims weer Palestinians. The violence was no joke because there were Jewish casualties.

        Notice how PFP goes into such detail to illistrate the murder of Israeli reservists who ended up in….Ramallah. Yes that’s right, the Palestiians were inflciting violence on Israeli occupation forces.

        The Palestinians were killed during incidents with the police; not from being tortured to death.

        Notice how the murder of Palestinians is described as “incidents”, while the 2 Israeli reservists, were “bludgeoned, stabbed, disemboweled”.

        Why? Because I correctly cited the Palestinians as being the instigators of the violence?

        Please remind us where the violence was taking place? Was is it in Israel or the occupier territories. The occupation is itself an act of violence.

        The Palestinians aren’t ever guilty of instigating any violence, ever.

        Not so long as there is an Israeli occupation.

        Regardless, I stand by the rest of that statement; that the Gazans initiated violence by firing mortars and rockets into Israel immediately following the pull-out’s completion.

        You can stand by it as much as you like, but you remain wrong. Israel fired 7,700 shells into Gaza between September 2005 (pullout completion) and May 2006, so it’s not technically possible for the Gazans to have initiated violence by firing mortars and rockets into Israel.

      • Shingo on May 18, 2012, 5:14 am

        Why? What does that have to do with the illegality of Jordan’s annexation?

        Everything. The Israeli annexation was illegal, hence the UN resolution condemning it and demanding Israel’s withdrawal.

        If the Jordanian annexation was illegal, then surely the UN would have similarly condemned it.

        As Hostage has explained, the mandate was terminated and the 1948 Jericho Congress declared Abdullah the King of the Arab portions of Palestine and called for a joint kingdom. He was already the sovereign of Transjordan and began governing it in accordance with the existing mandate era laws, not the laws of occupation or the municipal laws Transjordan.

        In the land it annexed (also illegally) it sure did.

        Nope. It only offered residency (not citizenship) to those Arab Jerusalemites present at the time of the census Israel
        held after the 1967 war – citizenship which did not grant any of them the right to re-enter Jerusalem if they left for any reason. Those not present lost the right to reside in Jerusalem, which is convenient seeing as Israel expelled thousands during the conquest of EJ.

        What part? That Jordan handed imaginary control over to the PLO? Who cares?

        You can ‘t have it both ways Werdine. You argued that the Jordanians gave up any claim to the territory, as if to suggest Israel could have it, but that argument would be meaningless if the Jordanian annexation was illegal.

        As Hostage explained, it was not illegal and you haven’t even cited evidence it was illegal anyway.

        you be OK if Israel did something like that…

        Again, as Hostage explained, Jordan was formed by a political union between two countries, Arab Palestine and Transjordan. The joint entity, Jordan, was a UN member state. When the union was dissolved, 93 other countries immediately recognized the State of Palestine.

        Simply put, Palestinians could not continue to be citizens of an entity that no longer existed.

        The resolution had requirements for both sides. If only one side is willing to fulfill the requirements then the agreement is meaningless.

        That argument applies only to member states.

        As Hostage explained, the General Assembly has the same general powers under Articles 18 and 85 of the UN Charter to make legally binding decisions and to conclude international agreements regarding non-self-governing territories – without obtaining the consent of the inhabitants

        UNGA181 was such a decision. Until it was passed, the states it effectively created did not exist, and thus, there were no member states called Israel
        and Palestine to accept or reject it. In fact, Israel did not become a member state until 1949.

        If the Palestinians had no one authorized to represent their interests at the UN then how could they even participate in these negotiations?

        My point exactly, there was no negotiation over 181. While interested parties can lobby over a resolution, the resolution itself does not require their acceptance.

        So what is your source for this sort of information?

        While addressing the Central Committee of the Histadrut on December 30, 1947, Ben-Gurion stated:

        “In the area allocated to the Jewish State there are not more than 520,000 Jews and about 350,000 non-Jews, mostly Arabs. Together with the Jews of Jerusalem, the total population of the Jewish State at the time of its establishment, will be about one million, including almost 40% non-Jews. such a [population] composition does not provide a stable basis for a Jewish State. This [demographic] fact must be viewed in all its clarity and acuteness. With such a [population] composition, there cannot even be absolute certainty that control will remain in the hands of the Jewish majority …. There can be no stable and strong Jewish state so long as it has a Jewish majority of only 60%.” (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 176)

        According to Sefer Toldot Ha-Haganah, the official history of the Haganah, it clearly stated how Palestinian villages and population should be dealt with. It stated:

        “[Palestinian Arab] villages inside the Jewish state that resist ‘should be destroyed …. and their inhabitants expelled beyond the borders of the Jewish state.’ Meanwhile, ‘Palestinian residents of the urban quarters which dominate access to or egress from towns should be expelled beyond the borders of the Jewish state in the event of their resistance.’ ” (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 178)

        Soon after the U.N. Proposed Partitioning Palestinian in November 1947, Ben-Gurion urged his party to accept the partition because it would never be final, and the borders of the future “Jewish state” would never be static. He said:

        “not with regard to the regime, not with regard to borders, and not with regard to international agreements.” (Simha Flapan, p. 32)

        “It is very possible that the Arabs of the neighboring countries will come to their aid against us. But our strength will exceed theirs. Not only because we will be better organized and equipped , but because behind us there stands a still larger force, superior in quality and quantity …. the whole younger generation [ from Europe and America]”. (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 66)

        Is it the truth? Does the truth smell fishy to you? That’s weird.

        It can’t be the truth, because it’s coming from your general direction.

        . But I’m sorry to say that your assumption is incorrect.

        Don’t be sorry. Your ego will get the better of you and you’ll out yourself and get banned again before long.

      • Hostage on May 18, 2012, 12:31 pm

        Why? What does that have to do with the illegality of Jordan’s annexation?

        The fact is that you can’t cite any reason that a political union between Transjordan and Arab Palestine would have been illegal under the circumstances. After all, the Jewish Agency had spent much of 1946-47 arguing that Transjordan was an integral part of a joint Mandate under international law. The Agency made claims to various UN Councils, Commissions, and Committees against portions of Transjordan’s territory on that basis and lobbied against it’s admission to the UN as a separate state. Here are links to some comments with citations which illustrate the situation:
        * http://mondoweiss.net/2011/09/us-demands-palestinians-drop-statehood-bid-as-israel-does-a-mad-dash-to-build-support-at-the-un.html#comment-361051
        * http://mondoweiss.net/2012/03/ahmed-moor-in-wapo-harvard-one-state-conference-informed-by-the-uncontroversial-view-that-all-people-are-created-equal.html/comment-page-1#comment-430709
        * http://mondoweiss.net/2011/09/todays-israeli-spin-against-palestinian-statehood-cairo-attack-a-sign-of-violence-to-come-following-un-vote.html#comment-362942

        Here is a link which explains how the UK, US, France, the USSR, and the UN Security Council each recognized the union:
        http://mondoweiss.net/2011/07/if-palestinians-press-for-statehood-israelis-threaten-loss-of-food-fuel-water-everything.html#comment-344294

        Jewish leaders including Nahum Goldmann, Rabbi Abba Silver, Moshe Shertok, and David Ben Gurion held discussions with US officials in which they suggested a final settlement involving a union between Arab Palestine and Transjordan. See:
        *Dr Goldmann, Foreign relations of the United States, 1946. The Near East and Africa, Volume VII, Page 680-681 http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?type=goto&id=FRUS.FRUS1946v07&isize=M&submit=Go+to+page&page=680
        *Mr. Shertok, Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa Volume V, Part 2, Page 945 http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?type=goto&id=FRUS.FRUS1948v05p2&isize=M&submit=Go+to+page&page=945
        *Rabbi Silver, Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa (in two parts),Volume V, Part 2, Page 900 http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?type=goto&id=FRUS.FRUS1948v05p2&isize=M&submit=Go+to+page&page=900
        *Prime Minister Ben-Gurion, Foreign relations of the United States, 1949. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa Volume VI, Page 927 http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?type=goto&id=FRUS.FRUS1949v06&isize=M&submit=Go+to+page&page=927

        The JCPA’s own published minutes from the “Major Knesset Debates-series” illustrates that the Israeli government, headed by David Ben Gurion, refused demands from the opposition that it publicly declare the Jordanian annexation illegal. The opposition parties had called for an “unprecedented” session to debate the ratification of the union and incorporation of the West Bank into Jordan. They did that because the government of Israel’s public statements had not claimed the annexation was illegal. See the Minutes of the 135th Sitting of the First Knesset, 3 May 1950, in Netanel Lorach (ed), “Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981″ Volume 2, JCPA/University Press, 1993, starting on page 571. The government of Israel never advanced any such claims, until after it seized the territory in the Six Day War. http://jcpa.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/KnessetDebatesVol2.pdf

        What part? That Jordan handed imaginary control over to the PLO? Who cares? Jordan’s control over the West Bank was illegal even when it did actually possess it.

        The Constitution of Jordan reserved one half of the seats in the lower house of the Jordanian Parliament for elected representatives from the territory of the West Bank. The United States and the other members of the United Nations voted to accept the credentials of the government of Jordan to represent all of the citizens of that territory each year after Jordan was admitted as a full member of the UN in 1955.

        Conversely, the UN Credentials Committee has never accepted Israel’s credentials as valid for the Occupied Palestinian territories.
        Pending Palestine’s full membership, the General Assembly Credentials Committee allows representatives of the permanent observer mission of “Palestine” to participate in the business of the UN without presenting credentials based upon numerous UN resolutions that had recognized the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestnian people. The UN reports and resolutions about that also mention “their State, Palestine”. They describe the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967 as “their territory” and explicitly stated that “the credentials of the delegation of Israel do not cover that territory”, which has recently been formally admitted to UNESCO as a full member state. See A/58/L.48, 15 December 2003; General Assembly resolution, A/RES/58/292, 17 May 2004 You might also be interested to note that the verbatim record of the General Assembly discussion of the resolution indicates the words “pre-1967 borders” had intentionally been adopted to replace the words “Armistice Line of 1949”. link to un.org

        UNGA resolutions in particular NEED this agreement to occur because the resolutions themselves aren’t legally binding. They are just suggestions.

        You’re totally incorrect. You can read more about the legally binding nature of General Assembly resolutions and 181(II) here, including the testimony of Mr. Shertok on that precise subject:
        * http://mondoweiss.net/2012/02/hasbara-pennbds-wrap-up-pro-israel-students-are-ignorant.html/comment-page-1#comment-425661
        * http://mondoweiss.net/2012/03/mustafa-bargouti-jerusalem-is-at-the-heart-of-the-palestinian-cause.html#comment-437535

        The UN considers the instruments and accessions that it concluded on its own behalf after WWII to be legally binding agreements that are still in force. Resolution 181(II) was cataloged in 1950 as part of a survey of legal instruments containing minority protection treaties E/CN.4/367, Date: 7 April 1950 (see Chapter III The United Nations Charter And The Treaties Concluded After The War, resolution 181(II) of 29 November 1947, “The Future Government of Palestine”, pages 22-23) You can read the UN’s position on Israel’s continuing legal obligations under that agreement here:
        http://mondoweiss.net/2012/02/hasbara-pennbds-wrap-up-pro-israel-students-are-ignorant.html#comment-425401

        The General Assembly has adopted resolutions which acknowledged that both Israel and Palestine have issued declarations in line with the requirements of the plan contained in resolution 181(II).

        For example, in his statement to the 51st session of the Ad Hoc Committee on Membership, Mr. Eban declared that Israel had supplied the necessary declaration on minority rights. He also acknowledged that the undertaking was an obligation that was capable of acceptance by Israel alone, and was not at all affected by the attempt by the Arab States to alter the resolution by force. See page 7 of the pdf file containing the verbatim UN record of his remarks, A/AC.24/SR.51 link to un.org

        So you see: 1) both sides have accepted the resolution; 2) the foreign minister of Israel, Mr Shertok, testified that this particular resolution is legally binding; and 3) Mr. Eban declared that Israel’s acceptance of the terms and undertakings was not at all affected by the attitude of the Palestinians.

      • Hostage on May 18, 2012, 2:20 pm

        I was starting from the day of Sharon’s visit because that’s the day the rioting began. Arab protesters threw rocks, bins, chairs, etc, injuring 25 cops.

        Here is an article from the Jewish Daily Forward by a 60 Minutes Producer, Barry Lando, which explains that:

        Yet, as our “60 Minutes” piece showed — using footage actually shot at the time — the Palestinian charges were accurate: There were no Jews praying at the Wall when the rocks started sailing over. The young Palestinians, in fact, were targeting Israeli police who had begun firing tear gas and bullets at them without provocation. And by that time, all the Jews who had been praying at the Wall had left the area. Checking all hospitals, we could find no cases of Jews having been injured at the Wall. Instead, the hospitals still held some gravely wounded Palestinians, including one nurse who had been shot while inside a plainly marked ambulance as she was helping to evacuate the wounded.

        Several months later, in July 1991, an independent government commission headed by Israeli Judge Ezra Kama concluded that, indeed, the Palestinian deaths were the result not of a nefarious PLO plot, but rather of an Israeli police riot. Despite the resulting 17 deaths, there was no call for anyone to be punished. And none was.

        Amid these, one of the proudest recognitions Mike brandished was a framed letter on his office wall from Anti-Defamation League leader Abraham Foxman, who had first publicly accused “60 Minutes” of “unprofessional techniques,” “bias” and a “prejudicial attitude” after our Temple Mount story. The letter was an apology. “The facts are now in regarding the Temple Mount,” Foxman wrote. “Judge Kama rejects some of the claims the Israeli officers made and comes closer to some of the conclusions reached by ‘60 Minutes.’”

        Read more:
        * http://forward.com/articles/154667/remembering-mike-wallace-a-jew-unafraid-of-the-tru/?p=all#ixzz1vFKM4sVQ
        * http://forward.com/articles/154667/remembering-mike-wallace-a-jew-unafraid-of-the-tru/?p=all#ixzz1vFLzmGCM

      • playforpalestine on May 18, 2012, 8:12 pm

        I don’t have much time but I wanted to address one or two points while I could.

        “The Israeli annexation was illegal, hence the UN resolution condemning it and demanding Israel’s withdrawal.”

        We’re talking about East Jerusalem, right? Israel’s unilateral annexation is illegal, I agree with you there. But to demand their withdrawal…? (Did a UNGA resolution actually demand that Israel withdraws from EJ? That would be out of character for a GA resolution.) Here’s my problem with that: While Israel might not have the right to just up and annex EJ merely because it has the military strength to do so, that does not mean Israeli Jews are necessarily breaking the law by living/moving there.

        In the original Partition Plan all of Jerusalem was supposed to be administered by the UN. It’s pretty obvious by now that such a thing is never going to even be attempted (thank God.) Point being that sovereignty over East Jerusalem will have to be established via negotiations. Both Arabs and Jews have viable claims to it, there’s no more reason to automatically consider East Jerusalem a part of Palestine than to assume that it’s a part of Israel.

        “If the Jordanian annexation was illegal, then surely the UN would have similarly condemned it.”

        Why? Are you seriously suggesting that the UN makes resolutions with total impartiality and a blind eye with regards to regional political considerations? Ha!

        I can tell you this… With the exception of a single state, Britain, Jordan’s annexation of east Jerusalem was not recognized by the international community. Its sovereignty there was the result of a war of aggression, which are widely cited illegitimate means by which to acquire land.

        “It only offered residency (not citizenship) to those Arab Jerusalemites present at the time of the census Israel held after the 1967 war”

        No… it ASSIGNED residency to the people you described above. The residency status was freely given; Palestinians did not have to apply for it via a painstaking and needlessly onerous bureaucratic process or anything. HOWEVER, those same Palestinians, by virtue of their having Jerusalem residency cards, were also eligible to petition for FULL Israeli citizenship.

        “You can ‘t have it both ways Werdine. ”

        You have to admit, it’s actually pretty funny that you’re addressing me with someone else’s name while making THAT specific statement.

        “You argued that the Jordanians gave up any claim to the territory, as if to suggest Israel could have it, but that argument would be meaningless if the Jordanian annexation was illegal.”

        You misunderstood me. i meant that Jordan had ceased to claim a right to the territory, not that they were relinquishing a legitimate right of theirs. Nor did I take it to mean that they were giving it to Israel; in fact they pretty clearly stated otherwise at the time.

        No, MY issue with Jordan’s actions at the time has nothing to do with any claims regarding the land. My problem with Jordan is regarding their decision to unilaterally revoke the citizenship rights of all of the ethnic Palestinians then living in the West Bank and EJ.

        “Again, as Hostage explained, Jordan was formed by a political union between two countries, Arab Palestine and Transjordan.”

        That’s absurd, there WAS NO Arab Palestinian country! To the best of my knowledge, the Arab Palestinians didn’t even have an interim government up and running at that time, let alone an independent nation-state.

        “Simply put, Palestinians could not continue to be citizens of an entity that no longer existed.”

        And precisely what entity, pray tell, “ceased to exist” as a result of Jordan’s decision to FINALLY abandon its project of annexing land it hadn’t set foot on in decades anyway and for which it appeared to have no legitimate claim to anyway?

        The only meaningful consequence of Jordan’s declaration was the callous disenfranchisement of the many thousands of Palestinian-Jordanians who suddenly found themselves without passports and stateless… identical to refugees in every way, except instead of a state throwing them off their land, the state abandoned the land as well. (“Abandoned” in a purely symbolic sense, as Jordan obviously wasn’t allowed to be on the land themselves.

        “That argument applies only to member states.”

        Really? Says who? Since when?

        I have to go. I’ll pick the rest of this up later.

      • annie on May 18, 2012, 8:48 pm

        In the original Partition Plan all of Jerusalem was supposed to be administered by the UN. It’s pretty obvious by now that such a thing is never going to even be attempted (thank God.) Point being that sovereignty over East Jerusalem will have to be established via negotiations. Both Arabs and Jews have viable claims to it, there’s no more reason to automatically consider East Jerusalem a part of Palestine than to assume that it’s a part of Israel.

        sovereignty over west Jerusalem will have to be established via negotiations. Both Arabs and Jews have viable claims to it, there’s no more reason to automatically consider west Jerusalem a part of Israel than to assume that it’s a part of palestine.

      • Shingo on May 18, 2012, 9:59 pm

        I don’t have much time but I wanted to address one or two points while I could.

        Actually you could try, but you’d be wrong.

        But to demand their withdrawal…?

        Yes, ever heard of UN242?

        Here’s my problem with that: While Israel might not have the right to just up and annex EJ merely because it has the military strength to do so, that does not mean Israeli Jews are necessarily breaking the law by living/moving there.

        It does if:

        1. They are doing so without the permission of the PA
        2. They are doing so whule being enabled by the ISraeli military occupation.

        Israeli Jews have no right to settle outside of Israel, so I don’t understand what your problem is, other than your Zionism colonialist, apartheid ideology.

        It’s pretty obvious by now that such a thing is never going to even be attempted (thank God.) Point being that sovereignty over East Jerusalem will have to be established via negotiations.

        No, it’s already been agreed to on principal by both sides. Nentyanhu and hasbrats liek you would rather pretend that never happened.
        Both Arabs and Jews have viable claims to it, there’s no more reason to automatically consider East Jerusalem a part of Palestine than to assume that it’s a part of Israel.

        Why? Are you seriously suggesting that the UN makes resolutions with total impartiality and a blind eye with regards to regional political considerations? Ha!

        Sorry, are yo trying to make a point ot just fillibustering? Do you even have any legal fincing by say, the ICJ or ICC, that suggests the annexation of the West Bank and EJ by Jordan was illegal?

        With the exception of a single state, Britain, Jordan’s annexation of east Jerusalem was not recognized by the international community.

        That’s not evidence of it’s legality is it? Recognition is a matter of diplomatic relations, not legality. 135 states repognize the state of Palestine, but there is yet to be a state created in reality.

        Its sovereignty there was the result of a war of aggression, which are widely cited illegitimate means by which to acquire land.

        What are you talking about? The Jordanians entered Palestine (not Israel) 5 months after Israle began ranpaging through Palestine and expelling Palestinians. The Armistice line was where they stopped. The British had concluded a deal with the Zionists that there would be no confrontation between the Jordanian Arab army and the Jewish forces. This is why British General Sir John Glubb later called the ’48 war, the phony war.

        You’ll notice there is no UN Resolution condeming the so called “arracks” by the Arab armies, because simply put, they were acting in defense of teh Palestinain territory and did so by informing the UN of their intention.

        No… it ASSIGNED residency to the people you described above.

        No, it offered residency to those it had not expelled, but at least you’ve stepped backfrom you baselss claim that they were offered citizenship. They have always been able to apply for Israeli citizenship, but as we know, most get denied.

        You have to admit, it’s actually pretty funny that you’re addressing me with someone else’s name while making THAT specific statement.

        It’s even funnier that you are so desperate to get back to the conversation that you went to the trouble of registering a new email address and inveting a new moniker.

        My problem with Jordan is regarding their decision to unilaterally revoke the citizenship rights of all of the ethnic Palestinians then living in the West Bank and EJ.

        And has been explained to you, they didn’t decide to evoke anyone’s citizenship rights. They disolved the union to which the Palestinians were citizens, and the State of Palestine emerrged, which 93 other countries immediately recognized – as agreed to by the Jericho Agreement. Hostage explained this to you in great detail. Why are you still playing dumb?

        That’s absurd, there WAS NO Arab Palestinian country!

        Oh really? So how did the joint entity called Jordan manage to be a UN member state?

        To the best of my knowledge, the Arab Palestinians didn’t even have an interim government up and running at that time, let alone an independent nation-state.

        More evience that your knowledge is servely lacking.

        And precisely what entity, pray tell, “ceased to exist” as a result of Jordan’s decision to FINALLY abandon its project of annexing land it hadn’t set foot on in decades anyway and for which it appeared to have no legitimate claim to anyway?

        Please refer to Hostage’s explanation. The legitimacy of Jordan’s claim was in accordance with the 1948 Jericho Congress, which declared Abdullah the King of the Arab portions of Palestine and called for a joint kingdom.

        The only meaningful consequence of Jordan’s declaration was the callous disenfranchisement of the many thousands of Palestinian-Jordanians who suddenly found themselves without passports and stateless…

        You’re conflating being stateless with beign defenseless against Israel. As 92 states recognized at the time, they were not stateless.

        Really? Says who? Since when?

        Says the UN Charter. Had Israel been imemdtiately granted membership at the time it declared independence, there would be resolutions calling for it’s withdrawl from the territory beyind the agreed frontiers (ie. the borders of the UN181 partition).

      • Mooser on May 18, 2012, 10:41 pm

        playforpalestine, you would do well to remember that “Robert Werdine”s comments are still in the archives, and any interested person could do word-string and phrase comparisons. You’re being way to prolix for your own good. No arguement you can make will counter-act the basic dishonesty of being banned from a website under one name, and coming back under another.

      • Hostage on May 19, 2012, 12:15 am

        (Did a UNGA resolution actually demand that Israel withdraws from EJ? That would be out of character for a GA resolution.)

        Yes of course. You must be kidding. The General Assembly adopted Uniting for Peace resolutions and authorized the deployment of armed forces when North Korea invaded the territory of South Korea; and when Great Britain, France, and Israel invaded the territory of Egypt. Why would it be out of character for it to order yet another withdrawal in connection with Israel’s invasion and occupation of Arab territories in Egypt, Syria, and Jordan and the unilateral annexations of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights?
        See:
        *The General Assembly Emergency Special Session page http://www.un.org/en/ga/sessions/emergency.shtml
        * The Uniting for Peace, UN GA Resolution 377 (V) page at the UN Treaty Organization
        http://untreaty.un.org/cod/avl/ha/ufp/ufp.html
        *General Assembly Resolution ES-9/1 http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/ES-9/1
        *General Assembly resolution 39/146 http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/39/146

        *Note that both of the resolutions mentioned above label Israel’s continued occupation of Arab territories occupied since 1967 in violation of United Nations resolutions an act of aggression (more below). They also demand that Israel immediately and unconditionally withdraw from all Arab territory captured in 1967.

        I noted in my earlier comment that the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 228, on 25 November 1966 in which the Council condemned the grave Israeli Military action that took place in the southern Hebron area of the West Bank on November 13, 1966. The Council said it “constituted a large scale and carefully planned military action on the territory of Jordan by the armed forces of Israel”. The ICJ also noted the non-renunciation provisions contained in the 4th Geneva Convention and the fact that when the occupation began in 1967, that both Israel and Jordan were High Contracting Parties. See paras 75-78 and 91-101 of the Wall advisory opinion http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1671.pdf

        The UN Charter prohibits the threat or use of force against the territory of any state. FYI, the prohibition against the acquisition of territory by war contained in the Stimson Doctrine was affirmed in the report of the League of Nations Lytton Commission report. Both reflected existing customary principles of international law. Both the Montevideo Convention (1933) and the Charter of the Organization of American States (1948) contained codifications of the Rights and Duties of States which said “The territory of a state is inviolable and may not be the object of military occupation nor of other measures of force imposed by another state directly or indirectly or for any motive whatever even temporarily.”
        *link to jus.uio.no
        *link to oas.org

        After 50 years of effort, the international community developed the consensus “Definition of Aggression” contained in General Assembly resolution 3314 (XXIX) (1974) which included “The invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State, or any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack, or any annexation by the use of force of the territory of another State or part thereof;” The definition contained in resolution 3314 (XXIX) was incorporated into the two General Assembly resolutions on the Situation in the Middle East mentioned in the first paragraph above and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court during a review conference in the summer of 2010.
        See the Definition of Aggression page at the UN Treaty Organization
        http://untreaty.un.org/cod/avl/ha/da/da.html

        In the ICJ “Certain Expenses” case, France and the Soviet Union challenged the power of the General Assembly to make compulsory assessments to fund the costs associated with its decision to deploy a coalition of armed forces in the Sinai in connection with a “Uniting for Peace” resolution. The Court explained that Article 24 of the Charter provides “primary”, but not exclusive, responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security on the Security Council. The Court noted that the General Assembly had powers of decision making under Article 18 and that the powers of decision provided in Articles 5 and 6 are specifically related to preventive or enforcement measures. It noted that the only limitation which Article 14 imposes on the General Assembly is the restriction found in Article 12, namely, that the Assembly should not recommend measures while the Security Council is dealing with the same matter. (Note: In 2004, the Court ruled that subsequent United Nation practice had evolved and that it was no longer unusual for the General Assembly to request advisory opinions & etc. while the Security Council was dealing with the same situation concurrently, See paras 35-28 of the Wall advisory opinion.)

        In “Certain Expenses” the Court also noted that “the functions and powers conferred by the Charter on the General Assembly are not confined to discussion, consideration, the initiation of studies and the making of recommendations; they are not merely hortatory. Article 18 deals with “decisions” of the General Assembly “on important questions”. These “decisions” do indeed include certain recommendations, but the others have dispositive force and effect. Among these latter decisions, Article 18 includes suspension of rjghts and privileges of membership, expulsion of Members, “and budgetary questions”.” See printed pages 163-64 (pdf file page 29-30) of Certain Expenses of the United Nations (Article 17, paragraph 2, of the Charter).
        *http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/49/5259.pdf

      • playforpalestine on May 22, 2012, 12:00 am

        “playforpalestine, you would do well to remember that “Robert Werdine”s comments are still in the archives, and any interested person could do word-string and phrase comparisons.”

        Knock yourselves out. It won’t change the fact that I’m actually not him.

        So what did this guy say exactly that got him banned, in any case?

      • playforpalestine on May 22, 2012, 9:11 am

        “Yes, ever heard of UN242?”

        Not only that, I actually read it. If you had as well you would have noticed the language stating: “Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:
        (i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;”

        Note this part: “from territories occupied in the recent conflict” This does not say “from ALL territories…” This was not an oversight. This language was argued over for something like two days and was ultimately left out because Israel wasn’t expected to withdraw from ALL the territory. The notes that accompany the document are quite specific.

        “It does if:

        1. They are doing so without the permission of the PA
        2. They are doing so whule being enabled by the ISraeli military occupation.”

        Why? It’s disputed territory. No one has agreed that this is land that belongs to either side exclusively. Remember, Jerusalem was mostly Jewish before the war in 48.

        “No, it offered residency to those it had not expelled, but at least you’ve stepped backfrom you baselss claim that they were offered citizenship. They have always been able to apply for Israeli citizenship, but as we know, most get denied.”

        No, they were offered citizenship and most are not denied. They just have to be willing to meet the requirements. Point being, the rules for Palestinian residents of Jerusalem applying for Israeli citizenship is far more lax than it is for other Palestinians.

        Sorry, are yo trying to make a point ot just fillibustering?

        My point is that the UNGA routinely judges Israel via a different, far harsher standard than it does any other state, especially Arab or Muslim ones.

        “And has been explained to you, they didn’t decide to evoke anyone’s citizenship rights.”

        So this is interesting. When I last wrote here I cut my post short because I was going to a party. It happened that this party was being hosted by my two friends, a couple who are from Lebanon and Jordan. (But the party was mostly Lebanese… they have a well-earned reputation for being a lot of fun. It was a killer party.) Anyway, I spent about an hour talking to Romy (Jordanian) about this subject and he had some illuminating things to say. Long story short, when Jordan took over the west bank and jerusalem everyone hated them for it and thought it was illegal, especially the Arab League and Egypt. Everyone EXCEPT the Palestinians, for the most part. He stressed that this was extremely complicated and while everyone was looking towards their own interests, they were also trying to do the right thing. Palestinians initially did not dislike the idea of Jordan coming in and taking over. But they were very much second class citizens, (I think officially so.) When Jordan withdrew their claim in ’88, it was following many Palestinian attempts at gaining independence, and was generally welcomed by them.

        “Oh really? So how did the joint entity called Jordan manage to be a UN member state?”

        Really dude? Transjordan was accepted by the UN in ’46,a few years earlier. It changed its name to Jordan in ’50 or ’51 I think… a few years later. The west bank/Palestine had nothing to do with it.

        “More evience that your knowledge is servely lacking.”

        After that previous answer of yours I would hold back on making statements like that, if I were you.

        “The legitimacy of Jordan’s claim was in accordance with the 1948 Jericho Congress, which declared Abdullah the King of the Arab portions of Palestine and called for a joint kingdom. ”

        Oooohhhh! The Jericho Conference! Remind me, where did that draw IT’S legitimacy from? (Seeing as how no one seemed to recognize it.)

      • Woody Tanaka on May 22, 2012, 10:14 am

        Note this part: “from territories occupied in the recent conflict” This does not say “from ALL territories…” This was not an oversight. This language was argued over for something like two days and was ultimately left out because Israel wasn’t expected to withdraw from ALL the territory.

        Sorry, Werdine, you ignore the fact that most of the members of the SC at the time DID expect Israel to withdraw from all of the territories. And while Israel tried in vain to generate an ambiguity under which it could hide, it stupidly ignored the fact that the French language version (which is, legally speaking, equally authoritative as the English), which contains no ambiguity as it contains the article “des”. (“Retrait des forces armées israéliennes des territoires…”)

        Even if the English could possibly mean “all of the territories” or “some of the territories” (although the latter is a real stretch, grammatically, anyway), the French, which is legally binding, can only mean “all of the territories.” Thus, the only correct reading of 242, as a whole, is “all of the territories” with any supposed ambiguity in the English being resolved by referencing the French, which is unambiguous.

        Thus, as always, Israelis are law breakers.

      • Shingo on May 22, 2012, 10:47 am

        Note this part: “from territories occupied in the recent conflict” This does not say “from ALL territories…” This was not an oversight

        What utter nonsense! Surely you cannot be that stupid.

        As Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban revealed at the time, he understood full well that Resolution 242 calls for Israel’s complete withdrawal:

        “The words ‘in the recent conflict’ convert the principle of eliminating occupation into a mathematically precise formula for restoring the June 4 Map.”

        During negotiations to determine Resolution 242’s wording, Eban failed in an attempt to delete the phrase “in the recent conflict”, because the inadmissibility clause is explicit. It refers to ALL territories because all the territories in question had been conquered during the recent conflict.

        (Comment by Foreign Minister of Israel and Telegram 3164, UK Mission in New York to Foreign Office, 12 Nov 1967).

        Moshe Dayan also realized that Resolution 242 called for full withdrawal and urged the government to reject it. During a closed session of the Labor Party, he counselled against endorsing Resolution 242 as “it means withdrawal to the 4 June [1967] boundaries, and because we are in conflict with the SC [Security Council] on that resolution.”
        (Daniel Dishon (ed.), Middle East Record, v. 4, 1968, Jerusalem: 1973)

        The Security Council is bound to unconditionally respect the UN Charter, which in turn reflects a non-derogable customary norm of international law. It can’t adopt a position which creates a loophole for Israel to do something that is legally prohibited (without exception) simply by omitting the definite article from a sentence in one of the multilingual versions of a resolution.

        Why? It’s disputed territory.

        No it isn’t, which is why only Israel uses the term “disputed” to describe it and the only reason Israel gets away with describing it as “disputed” is because the US has prevented the UN or ICJ from getting involved in the peace process.

        That’s also why Dr. Alan Baker of the MFA and Israel were no-shows for oral arguments and the decision in the ICJ Wall case. Israel loves to talk international, except where it counts, inside a courtroom.

        The territory wasn’t disputed at the time Israel submitted it’s letter to the UN declaring it’s state along the agreed frontiers as stipulated by UNGA181. It wasn’t disputed between 1949 and 1967, when the territory was under Jordanian annexation, so what reason is there to regard it as disputed after 1967?

        Here is how one lawyer summed it up:
        “This is not difficult – from Security Council resolution 242 (1967) through to Security Council resolution 1515 (2003), the key underlying requirements have remained the same – that Israel is entitled to exist, to be recognized, and to security, and that the Palestinian people are entitled to their territory, to exercise self-determination, and to have their own State.”
        Opinion of Judge Rosalyn Cohen Higgins in the 2004 ICJ Wall Case
        link to http://icj-cij.org/

        Remember, Jerusalem was mostly Jewish before the war in 48.

        And all of Palestine was mostly Palestinian before the war in 48. Your point?

        BTW. All 15 ICJ Justices rejected the Israeli propaganda talking points about ambiguity and noted that resolution 242 cites the unambiguous prohibitions against the acquisition of territory by war and the corollary from the UN Charter against the use of force in the conduct of international relations. They all said the territory captured in 1967 is occupied territory; that the Geneva Conventions apply there; and that Israel had established settlements in violation of international law.

        No, they were offered citizenship and most are not denied.

        False, they were only offered residency, and you won’t find any evidence to the contrary.

        My point is that the UNGA routinely judges Israel via a different, far harsher standard than it does any other state, especially Arab or Muslim ones.

        Yawn, in which case, you don’t have a point, because there is is no evidence of that.

        Long story short, when Jordan took over the west bank and jerusalem everyone hated them for it and thought it was illegal, especially the Arab League and Egypt. Everyone EXCEPT the Palestinians, for the most part. He stressed that this was extremely complicated and while everyone was looking towards their own interests, they were also trying to do the right thing.

        Well, seeing as the Arab League and Egypt had no legitimacy in terms of international law, your discussion only confirms the fact that it was indeed legal, because it was the sovereign will of the two populations.

        The State Department Digest of International Law devoted an entire chapter to “Territory and Sovereignty of States”. In Chapter 8 “Annexation” there is a discussion about the acquisition of the West Bank by Jordan on the basis of the four resolutions of the Second Palestinian Arab Conference (aka the Jericho Congress) held on December 1, 1948. See pages 1163-1168. It also describes US recognition of the union as an expression of the sovereign will of the two peoples.

        Secretary of State Acheson stated at his April 26, 1950 press conference that “The elections which were held on the 11th were on the basis of the incorporation of Arab Palestine into the Hashemite Kingdom. Those elections have taken place and this action of the parliament will be to ratify that decision. Now, our American attitude is that we have no objection whatever to the union of peoples mutually desirous of this new relationship.”
        [See page 1167 of Marjorie M. Whiteman (editor), Digest of International Law, vol. 2 (Washington,

        Transjordan was accepted by the UN in ’46,a few years earlier. It changed its name to Jordan in ’50 or ’51 I think… a few years later. The west bank/Palestine had nothing to do with it.

        The West Nank/Palestine had nothing to do with Transjordan changing it’s name, but it had everything to do with the the union being dissolved and West Bank/Palestine being recognized by 93 states.

        Oooohhhh! The Jericho Conference! Remind me, where did that draw IT’S legitimacy from? (Seeing as how no one seemed to recognize it.)

        Tell that to the US and the UK who formally recognized the political union between the West Bank and East Bank and the sovereignty of the new entity “Jordan”.

        After the Rabat Summit, the members of the Arab League recognized the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinians. When the King of Jordan dissolved the union in 1988, he formally assigned Jordanian claims to the PLO. The PLO assumed the role of the provisional government of the State of Palestine in accordance with articles 2 & 5 of the 1988 Algiers UDI.
        104 UN member states acknowledged the 1988 Algiers declaration and 92 of them sponsored a resolution to admit the State of Palestine as a full UNESCO member in 1989. UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/48/158D, 20 December 1993. para. 5(c) stipulated that the permanent status negotiations must guarantee “arrangements for peace and security of all States in the region, including those named in resolution 181(II) of 29 November 1947, within secure and internationally recognized boundaries”.

        PS. A special thanks to Hostage for practically all the citations and information provided.

      • Hostage on May 22, 2012, 5:28 pm

        Oooohhhh! The Jericho Conference! Remind me, where did that draw IT’S legitimacy from? (Seeing as how no one seemed to recognize it.)

        The Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa, The Gale Group, Inc, 2004 says that the Jericho Congress (1948) provided the legal basis for the union of central Palestine (the West Bank and East Jerusalem) with Transjordan (East Bank). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3424601425.html

        According to the ICJ, the Palestinian people have an inalienable right of self-determination, which includes the right to determine their own political status in accordance with imperative norms of international law (jus cogens), Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the UN Charter.

        BTW, UN General Assembly resolution 181 specifically: 1) called upon the inhabitants of Palestine to take such steps as may be necessary on their part to put this plan into effect; and 2) required the establishment of a Constituent Assembly in each State.

        So the Jericho Congress derived its legitimacy from the very same place as your Knesset. The major difference, of course, is that Jordan quickly adopted fundamental laws and a democratic constitution, while Israel did not.

        In 1948 Ernest A. Gross, a senior U.S. State Department legal adviser, authored a memorandum explaining all of the above for Under Secretary of State Lovett – at the request of the President’s Counsel, Clark Clifford, and the representative of the Provisional Government of Israel, Elihu Epstein. See for example John Snetsinger, “Truman, the Jewish vote, and the creation of Israel”, Hoover Press, 1974 & Richard Holbrooke and Clark Clifford, President Truman’s Decision to Recognize Israel via the JCPA website. The memo was titled ”Recognition of New States and Governments in Palestine”, dated 11 May 1948. Gross said that:

        “The law of nations recognizes an inherent right of people lacking the agencies and institutions of social and political control to organize a state and operate a government.”

        The memo is contained in the Foreign Relations of the United States 1948, volume 5, part 2, and starts on page 960. It is cited by Stefan Talmon, in “Recognition of Governments in International Law”, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998, page 36

        So once the Palestinians were emancipated, they did not require any special permission or recognition to exercise their inherent right to set-up and operate a government. However, you are mistaken that it wasn’t widely recognized. Here is a link to an earlier discussion about that: http://mondoweiss.net/2011/07/if-palestinians-press-for-statehood-israelis-threaten-loss-of-food-fuel-water-everything.html#comment-344294

      • playforpalestine on May 22, 2012, 5:44 pm

        “You hear that folks? The numbers are irrelevant, because the overwhleming majority of victims weer Palestinians. The violence was no joke because there were Jewish casualties.”

        Again, it seems pretty evident that you wouldn’t have to invent false statements if you had anything legit to complain about. Pretending that the person you’re arguing with is a racist by making up false dialogue is really disgusting.

        “Notice how PFP goes into such detail to illistrate the murder of Israeli reservists who ended up in….Ramallah. Yes that’s right, the Palestiians were inflciting violence on Israeli occupation forces.”

        And that matters… why? This was during the Oslo years. Those soldiers just took a wrong turn, they were not breaking any law. After they were arrested 1,000 Palestinians stormed the police station to kill them. The soldiers were beaten, stabbed, had their eyes gouged out, and were disemboweled. At this point, a Palestinian appeared at the police station window, displaying his blood-stained hands to the crowd, which erupted into cheers. The crowd clapped and cheered as one of the soldier’s bodies was then thrown out the window and stamped and beaten by the frenzied mob. One of the bodies was set on fire. Soon after, the mob dragged the two mutilated bodies to Al-Manara Square in the city center as the crowd began an impromptu victory celebration. Palestinian policeman did not prevent, and in some cases actually took part in, the lynching. The fact that you could justify such monstrous behavior is pretty unbelievable.

        “Notice how the murder of Palestinians is described as “incidents”, while the 2 Israeli reservists, were “bludgeoned, stabbed, disemboweled”.”

        I’m sorry, can you point to an example of Israelis EVER doing anything like this? You guys tear out your hair and rend your clothes over a few olive trees getting uprooted, yet you defend the criminals who committed these acts against two completely helpless people.

        “Please remind us where the violence was taking place? Was is it in Israel or the occupier territories.”

        It was in both, of course. Do you not recall the second intifada? Let’s see, oh, one Palestinian police officer opened fire on Israelis during a joint patrol. Is that the kind of example you mean when you defend these murders?

        ” The occupation is itself an act of violence.”

        Metaphorical violence, sure. 1000 Palestinians gouging the eyes out of a helpless human being before disemboweling him and setting him on fire? An experienced British War photographer who was there said he’ll have nightmares for the rest of his life from seeing that.

        “Not so long as there is an Israeli occupation.”

        And your true colors are finally shown. You will defend even the most horrific, brutal acts that you could ever imagine a human being taking part in, as long as it is a Palestinian doing it. How does someone develop such hatred?

        “Israel fired 7,700 shells into Gaza between September 2005 (pullout completion) and May 2006, so it’s not technically possible for the Gazans to have initiated violence by firing mortars and rockets into Israel.”

        Well, at least you ended on a light note. I’m going to let you try and figure out why this statement of yours OBVIOUSLY doesn’t make any sense.

        In all seriousness, this post of yours was truly chilling.

      • Shingo on May 23, 2012, 1:56 am

        Again, it seems pretty evident that you wouldn’t have to invent false statements if you had anything legit to complain about. Pretending that the person you’re arguing with is a racist by making up false dialogue is really disgusting.

        No, what’s really disgusting is how your mind workds.

        This was during the Oslo years. Those soldiers just took a wrong turn, they were not breaking any law.

        The soldiers just took a wrong turn? Do you mean they didn’t realize what side of the border they were on, or that it never occured to them that they were part of an occupation, trespassing on someone else’s land?

        The soldiers were beaten, stabbed, had their eyes gouged out, and were disemboweled. At this point, a Palestinian appeared at the police station window, displaying his blood-stained hands to the crowd, which erupted into cheers.

        Like I said, you’ve gone to great pains to detail the graphic natue of their murders, but a child who’s head is blown off by an IDF sniper having fun doesn’t rate a mention.

        I’m sorry, can you point to an example of Israelis EVER doing anything like this?

        Didn’t the Irgun and Stern murder and disembowel British soliders and then boobie trap their corpses?

        Didn’t the Irgun/Stern mutilate bodies and throw them down wells in Deir Yassin?

        It was in both, of course. Do you not recall the second intifada? Let’s see, oh, one Palestinian police officer opened fire on Israelis during a joint patrol. Is that the kind of example you mean when you defend these murders?

        As opposed to an IDF guard ant a check point emtying 2 clips fo rounds into the body of a 14 year old girl. Is that what you had in mind?

        I guess decapitated remains of children, or human remains burnt beyond recognition doesn’t quiote do it for you right?

        Metaphorical violence, sure.

        No, it’s violence on every level. There’s nothing metaphorical about it. It beings violenve every day.

        An experienced British War photographer who was there said he’ll have nightmares for the rest of his life from seeing that.

        Golstein said the same thing about what he saw in Gaza during his investigation. So think your 2 hapless IDF victims and multiply that by a couple of hundred, and then we can start comparing.

        You will defend even the most horrific, brutal acts that you could ever imagine a human being taking part in, as long as it is a Palestinian doing it

        Whereas uou will defend even the most horrific, brutal acts that you could ever imagine a human being taking part in, as long as your tribe is doing the killing.

        Well, at least you ended on a light note. I’m going to let you try and figure out why this statement of yours OBVIOUSLY doesn’t make any sense.

        Why do you need someoen to explai it to you?

        In all seriousness, this post of yours was truly chilling.

        In all seriiousness, there’s nothgin serious about anything you’ve posted here. You’re a parody of Zionist anti-intellectualism and self entitlement.

      • playforpalestine on May 24, 2012, 2:21 am

        “The soldiers just took a wrong turn? Do you mean they didn’t realize what side of the border they were on, or that it never occured to them that they were part of an occupation, trespassing on someone else’s land?”

        That’s exactly what I mean? Why, is it hard to imagine that two soldiers could make a wrong turn leaving Jerusalem and end up in Ramallah, 5 minutes away? Besides, being part of an occupation is not the same as trespassing. The soldiers were acting within the terms of their treaty with the PLO. But even if they were, how does that in any way justify what happened?

        “Like I said, you’ve gone to great pains to detail the graphic natue of their murders, but a child who’s head is blown off by an IDF sniper having fun doesn’t rate a mention.”

        Interesting example you gave, considering that I DID mention that a protester was shot in the face even before I spoke about the events in Ramallah. That said, was a child’s head blown off by an IDF sniper having fun during the start of the second intifada?

        “Didn’t the Irgun and Stern murder and disembowel British soliders and then boobie trap their corpses?”

        Not that I know of. Why, did they?

        “Didn’t the Irgun/Stern mutilate bodies and throw them down wells in Deir Yassin?”

        They did FAR worse things than that. They shot a pregnant woman in the stomach. They beat a 104 year old woman to death. They raped and murdered several young women. They committed a veritable laundry list of atrocities in Deir Yassin. But here is the difference…

        I am not defending a single one of their actions. Nor did the Haganah or most Israelis, even during the war in question. And the massacre was cut short by the arrival of Haredi Jews from the neighboring town who intervened by shaming the soldiers into stopping. While in Ramallah, out of 1000 Palestinians, not a single one of them is on record as attempting to stop the violence. And even now, when the full extent of what happened is know, you continue to defend their monstrous actions.

        “As opposed to an IDF guard ant a check point emtying 2 clips fo rounds into the body of a 14 year old girl. Is that what you had in mind?

        I guess decapitated remains of children, or human remains burnt beyond recognition doesn’t quiote do it for you right?”

        What are you talking about? My comment was regarding your defense of any Palestinian attacks that took place over the green line, even if they occurred during a planned joint patrol; a fact which would cause many people to reconsider their reasoning.

        Generally though, I’m discussing the shockingly brutal level of violence in the early days of the first intifada, not listing awful acts from the entire conflict. I don’t know what events you are talking about here, what the details of them were, when they happened, and I am certainly not defending them at this point.

        “No, it’s violence on every level. There’s nothing metaphorical about it. It beings violenve every day.”

        I firmly disagree with your belief that the occupation justifies any act of terror or war crime the Palestinians choose to commit.

        “Golstein said the same thing about what he saw in Gaza during his investigation. So think your 2 hapless IDF victims and multiply that by a couple of hundred, and then we can start comparing.”

        Where did Goldstone say that? And no, there were not hundreds of examples in Gaza of such horrific violence as occurred in Ramallah. When did the IDF torture to death POWs from Gaza?

        “Whereas uou will defend even the most horrific, brutal acts that you could ever imagine a human being taking part in, as long as your tribe is doing the killing.”

        Oh no. Don’t for a second assume that I am like you. I am NOT like you, I have never done such a thing. Whereas you seem to do it all the time. Without guilt or remorse. No no no… I know many Israelis, including soldiers from several generations. I have yet to hear any of them make comments that are anywhere near as hateful as those I have seen from you.

        “Why do you need someoen to explai it to you?”

        Well, yes. That’s the point. Have you identified the flaw in your reasoning yet; now that you know it exists?

        “In all seriiousness, there’s nothgin serious about anything you’ve posted here. ”

        Well, I find your knee-jerk defense of hideous war crimes to be quite serious. Perhaps you find it humerous, I don’t know. But you should take the massacre of helpless prisoners seriously, no matter what their nationality.

        “You’re a parody of Zionist anti-intellectualism and self entitlement.”

        Do you mean paragon? “Parody” doesn’t make much sense. And since when are Zionists known for being anti-intellectual? If anything they are known for being intellectual to a fault. It’s kind of a joke, regarding the early kibbutz movement in particular.

        Are you trying to say that Zionists are dumb? Really? I have heard a lot of criticisms against Zionists, but that one’s truly a first.

      • Woody Tanaka on May 24, 2012, 8:14 am

        “But even if they were, how does that in any way justify what happened?”

        They were part of a foreign occupying army that has oppressed the people for generations. Nothing that was done to them was unjust, even though they should have been give a trial before being executed.

      • playforpalestine on May 24, 2012, 8:42 am

        “What utter nonsense! Surely you cannot be that stupid. ”

        Regarding the verbiage of Israeli withdrawal from “territories” and not “all territories”:

        However, speaking to Henry Kissinger, President Richard Nixon said “You and I both know they can’t go back to the other [1967] borders. But we must not, on the other hand, say that because the Israelis win this war, as they won the ’67 War, that we just go on with status quo. It can’t be done.” Kissinger replied “I couldn’t agree more” [49]

        Moreover, President Gerald Ford said: “The U.S. further supports the position that a just and lasting peace, which remains our objective, must be acceptable to both sides. The U.S. has not developed a final position on the borders. Should it do so it will give great weight to Israel’s position that any peace agreement with Syria must be predicated on Israel remaining on the Golan Heights.” [50]

        Furthermore, Secretary of State George Shultz declared: “Israel will never negotiate from, or return to, the lines of partition or to the 1967 borders.” Secretary of State Christopher’s letter to Netanyahu states: “I would like to reiterate our position that Israel is entitled to secure and defensible borders, which should be directly negotiated and agreed with its neighbors.”[51]

        A key part of the case in favour of a “some territories” reading is the claim that British and American officials involved in the drafting of the Resolution omitted the definite article deliberately in order to make it less demanding on the Israelis. As George Brown, British Foreign Secretary in 1967, said:

        The Israelis had by now anexed de facto, if not formally, large new areas of Arab land, and there were now very many more Arab refugees. It was clear that what Israel or at least many of her leaders, really wanted was permanently to colonize much of this newly annexed Arab territory, particularly the Jordan valley, Jerusalem, and other sensitive areas. This led me into a flurry of activity at the United Nations, which resulted in the near miracle of getting the famous resolution – Resolution 242 – unanimously adopted by the Security Council. It declares “the inadmissibility of territory by war” and it also affirms the necessity “for guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every state in the area”. It calls for “withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories occupied during the recent conflict.” It does not call for Israeli withdrawal from “the” territories recently occupied, nor does it use the word “all”. It would have been impossible to get the resolution through if either of these words had been included, but it does set out the lines on which negotiations for a settlement must take place. Each side must be prepared to give up something: the resolution doesn’t attempt to say precisely what, because that is what negotiations for a peace-treaty must be about.[52]

        Lord Caradon, chief author of the resolution, takes a subtly different slant. His focus seems to be that the lack of a definite article is intended to deny permanence to the “unsatisfactory” pre-1967 border, rather than to allow Israel to retain land taken by force. Such a view would appear to allow for the possibility that the borders could be varied through negotiation:

        Knowing as I did the unsatisfactory nature of the 1967 line I was not prepared to use wording in the Resolution which would have made that line permanent. Nevertheless it is necessary to say again that the overriding principle was the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and that meant that there could be no justification for annexation of territory on the Arab side of the 1967 line merely because it had been conquered in the 1967 war. The sensible way to decide permanent “secure and recognized” boundaries would be to set up a Boundary Commission and hear both sides and then to make impartial recommendations for a new frontier line, bearing in mind, of course, the “inadmissibility” principle.[24] The purposes are perfectly clear, the principle is stated in the preamble, the necessity for withdrawal is stated in the operative section. And then the essential phrase which is not sufficiently recognized is that withdrawal should take place to secure and recognized boundaries, and these words were very carefully chosen: they have to be secure and they have to be recognized. They will not be secure unless they are recognized. And that is why one has to work for agreement. This is essential. I would defend absolutely what we did. It was not for us to lay down exactly where the border should be. I know the 1967 border very well. It is not a satisfactory border, it is where troops had to stop in 1948, just where they happened to be that night, that is not a permanent boundary…[53]

        Arthur J. Goldberg, another of the resolution’s drafters, concurred that Resolution 242 does not dictate the extent of the withdrawal, and added that this matter should be negotiated between the parties:

        Does Resolution 242 as unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council require the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from all of the territories occupied by Israel during the 1967 war? The answer is no. In the resolution, the words the and all are omitted. Resolution 242 calls for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the 1967 conflict, without specifying the extent of the withdrawal. The resolution, therefore, neither commands nor prohibits total withdrawal. If the resolution is ambiguous, and purposely so, on this crucial issue, how is the withdrawal issue to be settled? By direct negotiations between the concerned parties. Resolution 242 calls for agreement between them to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement. Agreement and acceptance necessarily require negotiations.[54]

        Mr. Michael Stewart, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, in a reply to a question in Parliament, 9 December 1969: “As I have explained before, there is reference, in the vital United Nations Security Council Resolution, both to withdrawal from territories and to secure and recognized boundaries. As I have told the House previously, we believe that these two things should be read concurrently and that the omission of the word ‘all’ before the word ‘territories’ is deliberate.”

        Mr. Joseph J. Sisco, Assistant Secretary of State, 12 July 1970 (NBC “Meet the Press”): “That Resolution did not say ‘withdrawal to the pre-June 5 lines’. The Resolution said that the parties must negotiate to achieve agreement on the so-called final secure and recognized borders. In other words, the question of the final borders is a matter of negotiations between the parties.” Mr. Sisco was actively involved in drafting the Resolution in his capacity as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs in 1967.

        President Lyndon B. Johnson:

        Fifth, the crisis underlines the importance of respect for political independence and territorial integrity of all the states of the area. We reaffirmed that principle at the height of this crisis. We reaffirm it again today on behalf of all.

        This principle can be effective in the Middle East only on the basis of peace between the parties. The nations of the region have had only fragile and violated truce lines for 20 years. What they now need are recognized boundaries and other arrangements that will give them security against terror, destruction, and war.
        There are some who have urged, as a single, simple solution, an immediate return to the situation as it was on June 4. As our distinguished and able Ambassador, Mr. Arthur Goldberg, has already said, this is not a prescription for peace but for renewed hostilities. Certainly troops must be withdrawn, but there must also be recognized rights of national life, progress in solving the refugee problem, freedom of innocent maritime passage, limitation of the arms race, and respect for political independence and territorial integrity.” [55]

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council_Resolution_242#The_negotiating_and_drafting_process

        “The territory wasn’t disputed at the time Israel submitted it’s letter to the UN declaring it’s state along the agreed frontiers as stipulated by UNGA181. It wasn’t disputed between 1949 and 1967, when the territory was under Jordanian annexation, so what reason is there to regard it as disputed after 1967?”

        But it was disputed between 49 and 67, just as Israel’s annexation of west jerusalem was. Remember, the green line was very specifically defined as NOT being a border. Both sides hoped to alter it to their benefit at a later date. Additionally, almost all international Embassies in Israel refuse to accept Jerusalem as the capital, instead locating themselves in Tel Aviv. This is because the only existing document that cites Jerusalem’s parent nation would be UNGA181, which names the UN as “owning” Jerusalem. In other words, barring a negotiated settlement Jerusalem does not officially belong to either state. Simply, there is no legal reason to consider East Jerusalem to be a part of Palestine at this point.

        “False, they were only offered residency, and you won’t find any evidence to the contrary.”

        You should really know this. Did you even attempt to look it up before making that statement?

        “Permanent residents are permitted, if they wish and meet certain conditions, to receive Israeli citizenship. These conditions include swearing allegiance to the State, proving that they are not citizens of any other country, and showing some knowledge of Hebrew. For political reasons, most of the residents do not request Israeli citizenship.”

        http://www.btselem.org/jerusalem/legal_status

        “Yawn, in which case, you don’t have a point, because there is is no evidence of that.”

        No evidence that the UN has a double standard regarding Israel? Do you seriously believe that or are you just toeing the party line here, repeating the talking points? Just off the top of my head, Israel remains the sole member state that is ineligible to sit on the Security Council. And committees like the UNHRC (and its predecessor, the UNCHR), though supposedly dedicated to human rights, functions far more as a forum for Israel-bashing.

        “As of 2010, Israel had been condemned in 32 resolutions by the Council since its creation in 2006. The 32 resolutions comprised 48.1% of all country-specific resolutions passed by the Council.[42] By April 2007, the Council had passed nine resolutions condemning Israel, the only country which it had specifically condemned.[43] Toward Sudan, a country with human rights abuses as documented by the Council’s working groups, it has expressed “deep concern.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Human_Rights_Council#Israel

        “The West Nank/Palestine had nothing to do with Transjordan changing it’s name, but it had everything to do with the the union being dissolved and West Bank/Palestine being recognized by 93 states.”

        “Union being dissolved” and “West Bank Palestinians stripped of their Jordanian citizenship rights” are merely two ways of describing the same situation. Jordan still exists, it just lacks many of its Palestinian citizens now. That said, you seem to be implying that those former Jordanians are now Palestinian citizens, and are not stateless at all, correct? I ask because I thought that you were one of the people here who thought that Israel should grant the WB Palestinians citizenship, or at least allow the refugees from the Nakba a full right of return. But as citizens of an existing state, Palestine, Israel would have no right to assign them Israeli citizenship. That would violate Palestinian sovereignty. Nor would Israel have to allow any right of return, as refugees lose that special status once they become citizens of another state. These people were both Jordanian for several decades before then becoming Palestinian. Even if Israel should have considered them Israeli refugees at one point (and I disagree with this interpretation), you can not reasonably expect a group’s refugee status to remain unaltered over countless generations and despite citizenship to several nations since the Nakba occurred.

      • playforpalestine on May 24, 2012, 10:04 am

        Interesting. So do you find all war crimes justified when committed against Israelis? And if there WAS a trial, what crime do you think these guys would have been guilty of?

      • Woody Tanaka on May 24, 2012, 10:34 am

        Intent doesn’t matter in the face of clear language (especially arguments concerning the intent of only some of the people involved — conveniently ignoring the intent of those who approved 242 believeing it required a full withdraw.) The clear language in the authoritative French makes clear that Israel was to withdraw from all of the territories. There is simply no other plausible reading in French. Thus, any ambiguity created in the English is irrelevant, as there is no conflict by reading in the term in English as requiring full withdraw, as that is also a viable reading of the English language and is consistent with the French language, whereas any other reading of the French is untenible.

      • seanmcbride on May 24, 2012, 10:34 am

        playforpalestine,

        Was your first post on Mondoweiss on April 26, 2012?

        http://mondoweiss.net/2012/04/fighting-jews-then-and-now.html#comment-446378

        Have you posted anywhere else on the Internet before that date?

        Thanks

      • Woody Tanaka on May 24, 2012, 10:37 am

        “So do you find all war crimes justified when committed against Israelis?”

        This wasn’t a war crime, so your question is meaningless.

        “And if there WAS a trial, what crime do you think these guys would have been guilty of?”

        Being part of the theft and occupation of Palestine. Dress it up however you need to, like the world’s governments do: call it “participation in a criminal enterprise,” “membership in a criminal organization, “conspiracy to commit crimes against humanity,” “conspiracy to commit offensive war,” whatever floats your boat.

      • annie on May 24, 2012, 11:10 am

        playforpalestine,

        Was your first post on Mondoweiss on April 26, 2012?

        it will be interesting to see how pfp answers, or if he does sean. there are people who know how to check i.p addresses here. they probably have better things to do with there time but it’s very doable. some posters, just give them enough rope and ..crunch.

      • playforpalestine on May 24, 2012, 11:14 am

        French one doesn’t matter. The one voted on is the official one and that one was the English version in this case. Everyone was aware of the phrasing and the arguments that preceded the completion of the document. The phrasing was meant to be ambiguous, not saying either specifically because most felt it was not the UN’s position to determine issues such as border positions.

        Additionally, Oslo stated that the borders are to be determined by negotiations TK.

      • seanmcbride on May 24, 2012, 11:15 am

        Annie,

        This last post of his really seemed familiar to me — I have a pretty good eye and ear for style and tone.

        Re: Terryscott: Irishman or not? Is it possible for MW to say? If I was snookered into a discussion by someone who misrepresented himself, I would like to know something about his agenda and game. :)

      • Woody Tanaka on May 24, 2012, 11:31 am

        False. Both the French and English version of the resolution are binding. So the fact that the English may be read as ambiguous (and even that notion is rather dumb, under the rules of English grammer), the French is also binding and not ambiguous.

        Further, the issues of borders is a red herring. Nothing in the provision at issue is about borders, but about troop placement and maintaining the status quo ante.

      • annie on May 24, 2012, 11:37 am

        Re: Terryscott: Irishman or not? Is it possible for MW to say?

        anything is possible but unlike dkos MW doesn’t share info on the kills as far as i know.

      • seafoid on May 24, 2012, 12:25 pm

        Does MW not know his IP address?
        Terryscott is as Irish as Elizabeth Windsor

      • Shmuel on May 24, 2012, 1:07 pm

        as Irish as Elizabeth Windsor

        Funny you should say that, because back in the day, an Irish acquaintance of mine by the name of Paddy (seriously) and his mate Seamus (I kid you not) were nabbed by the bobbies, for the terrible crime of singing some Irish tunes (admittedly somewhat loudly and offkey) in front of Buck House. Have I mentioned that they had previously imbibed copious quantities of a famous beverage consisting almost entirely of pure water from the River Liffey? Now if HRH is in fact an Irish girl, why didn’t she invite them up for a cup of tea or something a little more spirited?

      • playforpalestine on May 24, 2012, 1:22 pm

        “This wasn’t a war crime, so your question is meaningless.”

        Really? According to The Law Relating to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, war crimes include… murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas! So, yes, it is very much a war crime, and a particularly grisly one at that.

        “Being part of the theft and occupation of Palestine.”

        They weren’t doing anything that violated the terms of the treaty that was still in effect at the time. Nor is the occupation in itself a crime. And aside from all of that these were soldiers who became POWs once they were arrested. You can’t just kill POWs because you oppose the policies of their government, especially if they haven’t done anything wrong at all themselves. The crimes you mentioned are either imaginary or aren’t applicable to these two soldiers in any way.

        But that’s kind of besides the point… I want to know how on earth you can possibly defend this kind of brutality? Being a soldier is not a crime, and these two were not even fighting anyone. They willingly allowed themselves to be arrested. And they were tortured in such hideous ways until they died. Yeah, and you think they “should have gotten a trial”… before they brought in the mob to tear them apart… yeah right.

        Seriously, how can you actually defend the kind of deep-seated, widespread embrace of psychopathic violence that would have rated amongst the most evil of serial killer acts in the West? (Except there perpetrated by a crowd of 1000.)

        Do you just reject the premise of the Geneva Accords and rules of war in general, for everyone? Or just for Israel? You don’t seem to care if those soldiers were guilty of any crime at all, was being Israeli enough for them to deserve their fate? What about the teenage Israeli victims of suicide bombers, do they equally deserve their deaths? If not, what is the difference?

      • Woody Tanaka on May 24, 2012, 1:50 pm

        1) when Israel abides by international law, and retreats and removes all of its people back behind the green line, then I might give a damn of the fate of some of its gunmen who have been making life a living hell for the Palestinians for generations. Who the hell are you to ask anyone to feel sympathy, when a greater crime is going on every single day to the Palestinians???

        2) I don’t consider this to be murder, I consider it to be an execution war criminals. There is nothing wrong with executing war criminals. Which is why I believe they should have been given trials. But, again, when greater crimes are carried out every single day by the Israelis, who the hell are to ask for sympathtic treatment?

        3) “how can you actually defend…” How can you defend the 100 + year theft of Palestine from its rightful owners and the brutal murderous acts of the zionist government, which is much worse than what happen to these two militants??

        4) “You don’t seem to care if those soldiers were guilty of any crime at all…” As far as I’m concerned, every Israeli who, under arms, takes part in the occupation is guilty of a war crime and crime against humanity or conspiracy to commit the same.

        5) “What about the teenage Israeli victims of suicide bombers…” If they’re on the Israeli side of the green line, and are not participants in the occupation, they should be left alone. If they are on the Palestinian side of the green line (i.e., settlers) and are over the age of majority, they are legitimate miliatary targets and can be disposed of accordingly.

        If the Israelis are not willing to face this, they have two choices: 1) give the vote, full equality and full human and political rights to ever person between the Med and the Jordan, without regard for ethnicity or religion, race, etc. or 2) pack up their stuff and their people and get them all back behind the green line and let the Palestinians form a government, live their lives, provide for their defense, etc., as they see fit, without interference or restriction of any kind whatsoever from the israelis. If they can’t do that, then they have to accept the fact that Palestinians will rightfully fight for their freedom, my any means necessary.

      • Shingo on May 24, 2012, 8:01 pm

        Besides, being part of an occupation is not the same as trespassing.

        You’re right, it’s worse. At least there’s some plausible deniabilty with trespassing. Occupation is an undeniable act of war an violence.

        That said, was a child’s head blown off by an IDF sniper having fun during the start of the second intifada?

        No, it’s happened before,during and afer the second intifada.
        http://forum.calgarypuck.com/showthread.php?t=58654
        http://irish4palestine.blogspot.com.au/2009/05/israeli-army-shoot-12-year-old-child.html
        http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=3872
        http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3761371,00.html
        http://www.labour.ie/press/listing/132394765815001888.html
        http://www.haaretz.com/news/palestinian-girl-14-killed-by-idf-fire-near-west-bank-fence-1.207601
        http://www.opposingviews.com/i/not-guilty-israeli-soldier-shot-palestinian-girl-17-times

        Shooting shildren is a popular sport among the IDF. The even print T shirts celebrating the murder of pregnant women, emlbazoned with the logo “one shot, two kills”. You probably own one.
        http://wannabescholar.wordpress.com/2009/03/22/idf-t-shirt-pregnant-palestinian-woman-1-shot-2-kills/

        Not that I know of. Why, did they?

        Yes.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sergeants_affair

        I am not defending a single one of their actions. Nor did the Haganah or most Israelis, even during the war in question.

        The Haganah were involved in the massacre up to their eyeballs.

        And the massacre was cut short by the arrival of Haredi Jews from the neighboring town who intervened by shaming the soldiers into stopping.

        The massacre was cut short? Hardly. How were Haredi Jews suposed to intervene agaisnt well armied miliai like the the Ster, Irgun and Haganah?

        My comment was regarding your defense of any Palestinian attacks that took place over the green line, even if they occurred during a planned joint patrol; a fact which would cause many people to reconsider their reasoning.

        Reasoning for what? Supporting the occupation or Palestinian rights to resist the occupation?

        Generally though, I’m discussing the shockingly brutal level of violence in the early days of the first intifada, not listing awful acts from the entire conflict.

        No you are not. You are discussing one specific incident that resulted in the brutal murder of Jews, in spite of the fact that many more Palestinians were butchered than Israeli Jews.

        I firmly disagree with your belief that the occupation justifies any act of terror or war crime the Palestinians choose to commit.

        Right, in otehr words, you are OK with the occupation (itself an act of war under which war crimes and terror are commited every day) but any reaction to that occupation is unacceptable.

        Got it!

        Where did Goldstone say that?

        “It was a nightmare experience to visit Gaza and witness at first hand all of this destruction and to witness at first hand the effects this has on the men, women and children of that overcrowded enclave,” Mr. Goldstone said in a speech last month in Sacramento.
        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/20/world/middleeast/20goldstone.html?pagewanted=all

        And no, there were not hundreds of examples in Gaza of such horrific violence as occurred in Ramallah.

        Really? Is that you are not horrified by the sight of the mutilated remains of children or simply that they are not Jewish?
        http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/headline9637e7.jpg

        When did the IDF torture to death POWs from Gaza?

        There is no evidecne the IDF troops were tortured. They would have been dead long before that saddistic display you refer to even began.

        Don’t for a second assume that I am like you. I am NOT like you, I have never done such a thing.

        You are right, you’re the one with unquestioning devotion to supporting and defending ethnic cleansing, mass murder, apartheid, land theft, solonialism, home demolions and occupation.

        I know many Israelis, including soldiers from several generations. I have yet to hear any of them make comments that are anywhere near as hateful as those I have seen from you.

        Unlike the soliders you refer to, I nor anyone I know goes about their daily life murdering civlians, imposing occupation, demolishing homes, shooting children or wearing T Shirs that celebrate the murder of pregnant women and their unborn children.

        Every one of the soldiers you know has participate in at least one of these crimes or saddistic acts. Actions speak louder tham words.

        But you should take the massacre of helpless prisoners seriously, no matter what their nationality.

        First of all, it was not a massacre. Secondly , they were not helpless prisoners, they were memebers of a terror network that brutalizes and opresses Palestinians. And lastly, their nationality is irreleant.

        And since when are Zionists known for being anti-intellectual?

        Since they came up with BS arguments like claiing the land beliongs to them due to some land deed that dates back 3,000 yeas, or that the Arab always atatckign them (ie 1967). One could go on.

        If anything they are known for being intellectual to a fault.

        No, more like faulty intellect. You’re own arguments are repeatedly shredded by true intellects like Hostage.

        Seriously, with the exception of people like Peter Beinardt, every Zionist eitehr lies through their teeth or rely on infantile logic.

        Are you trying to say that Zionists are dumb? Really?

        Dumb when it comes to justifying their actions, but then again, they do make it hard for themselves. Defending the indefensible is never easy.

        I have heard a lot of criticisms against Zionists, but that one’s truly a first.

        Get used it.

      • Shingo on May 24, 2012, 8:40 pm

        A key part of the case in favour of a “some territories” reading is the claim that British and American officials involved in the drafting of the Resolution omitted the definite article deliberately in order to make it less demanding on the Israelis.

        This BS has all been debunked.

        George Shutlz has revealed himself to be an Israeli stooge – he recently wrote a letter calling for Pollar dot be released, which revealed the extent of his corruption. Indeed, can anyone who does buy into deliberta deception see any difference accept that the statement “withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories occupied during the recent conflict” does not clearly mean “all” occupied during the recent conflict? The preamble leaves no room for ambiguity. If what Shutlz said had any validity, then surely there would have been a qualifying sentence to isnsit that this did not mean all.

        As Hostage pointed out repeatedly, the “inadmissibility” clause removes any ambiguioty or vagueness. Sydney Bailey wrote that Eban himself interpreted the inadmissibility clause to be a call for unconditional withdrawal, and said that if it was included it would lead to conflict between Israel and the US.
        http://books.google.com/books?id=bVddOoQbBa0C&lpg=PP1&ots=7AUAMxFitX&dq=&pg=PA127#v=onepage&q&f=false

        The FRUS said that Mr. Bitan of the Israeli Foreign Office said “Israel is “asking, begging” that U.S. not start with this resolution” and that he “particularly referred to para two and the phrase relating to the “inadmissibility of conquest of territory by war, etc.” … “In conclusion, and with some diffidence, although nonetheless forthrightly, Bitan said he was instructed to say on behalf Eshkol and Eban that in their view, if we persist along what they regard as our current line, we could be on collision course.”
        http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964-68v19/d420

        Now if Israel had received all those assurances from Caradon and Rostow, why were they in such a panic?

        Lord Caradon, chief author of the resolution, takes a subtly different slant.

        On the day of the vote, the Indian delegate quoted George Brown’s statements on British policy to the General Assembly regarding full withdrawal, and the British representative, Lord Caradon, said “We stand by our declarations”. In the same “Middle East” interview Brown said that they had arranged beforehand for the Indian delegate to make that statement, and also that they would not respond so that interpretation would remain on the record.

        Caradon’s subsequent remarks are just obfuscation on his part. The resoltuon was being drafted right up until the day the vote took place and was being pieced together chaotically, yet in Caradon and Rostow expect us to believe that it was delievered prefectl as was intended.

        Arthur J. Goldberg, another of the resolution’s drafters, concurred that Resolution 242 does not dictate the extent of the withdrawal, and added that this matter should be negotiated between the parties:

        Does Resolution 242 as unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council require the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from all of the territories occupied by Israel during the 1967 war? The answer is no

        Goldberg lies have already been exposed by Hostage. On the day of the vote all of the draft resolutions that were tabled by the various delegations once again contained a withdrawal clause. If 242 calls for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the 1967 conflict, without specifying the extent of the withdrawal, the default assumption would be all of the territories.

        If someone is asked to return a stolen vehicle, the thief does not get to decide which part he returns.

        Mr. Michael Stewart, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, in a reply to a question in Parliament, 9 December 1969: “As I have explained before, there is reference, in the vital United Nations Security Council Resolution, both to withdrawal from territories and to secure and recognized boundaries.

        Israel already had recognized boundaries. The boundaries they themselves declared in their letter to the US delcarign their indepencence (UNGA181 boundaries). Caradon has argued that for boundaries to be secure they must be reocgnized, so the naswer is pretty obvious.

        President Lyndon B. Johnson:

        Please, let’s nove on more any statement from someone who was involved in teh cover up of the USS Liberty attack shall we?

        You should really know this. Did you even attempt to look it up before making that statement?

        Your pasage is precisely wahat I was referring to. They were NOT offered citizenship as you initially claimed. They were offerd residency (whcih of course is confictional seeing as they are not permitted to leave and return), and they are only elligivle to apply for Israeli citizenship is they meet certain criteria. This is not the same as being offerd citizenship as even after meeting those criteria, Israel can refuse them.

        Just off the top of my head, Israel remains the sole member state that is ineligible to sit on the Security Council.

        And why is that? Think hard now Werdine. Is is not because Israel agreed to certain terms as a condition of it’s memebership at the UN, and then violated those terms once it received membership?

        And the fact that there as so many resolutions against Israel doesn’t suggest that Israel is actualyl guilty of violations under the UN Charter? You’re like some juvenile delinquent who’s been in and out fo prison all his life, and blames that on the system.

        “Union being dissolved” and “West Bank Palestinians stripped of their Jordanian citizenship rights” are merely two ways of describing the same situation

        Absolute rubbish. One suggests they have been cast aside, the other ie. “Union being dissolved”, involve the creatuong of the entitty knowsn as the state of Palestine, which was immediately recognozed by 93 states. The Jordan that exists, does not include the West Bank, so it’s grossly dohonest to simply suggest that it just lacks many of its Palestinian citizens now.

        When East Timor gained it’s independence in 1999, it ceased to be part of Indonesia, and the residents of East Timor ceased to be citizens of Indonesia. Same thing.

      • Shingo on May 24, 2012, 8:53 pm

        Everyone was aware of the phrasing and the arguments that preceded the completion of the document

        Everyone was aware huh? What a pitty no one informed Abba Eban, who revealed at the time, that he understood full well that Resolution 242 calls for Israel’s complete withdrawal:

        “The words ‘in the recent conflict’ convert the principle of eliminating occupation into a mathematically precise formula for restoring the June 4 Map.”

        During negotiations to determine Resolution 242’s wording, Abba Eban failed in an attempt to delete the phrase “in the recent conflict.” (Comment by Foreign Minister of Israel and Telegram 3164, UK Mission in New York to Foreign Office, 12 Nov 1967).

        So please explain to us why Eban was workign so feverishly to remne the “in the recent conflict” clause if “Everyone was aware of the phrasing and the arguments that preceded the completion of the documen”?

        And wy was the Israel foreign office begging and pleading for this clause to be removed? Why were they warning that this woudl lead to conflict between Israel and the US?

        Why did Moshe Dayan also believe that 242 called for full withdrawal and urged the government to reject it? During a closed session of the Labor Party, he counseled against endorsing Resolution 242 as “it means withdrawal to the 4 June [1967] boundaries, and because we are in conflict with the SC [Security Council] on that resolution.” (Daniel Dishon (ed.), Middle East Record, v. 4, 1968, Jerusalem: 1973)

        Why oh why PFP, were the Israelis not sitting back and enjoying the vote, when this apaprent glaring loophole was there to save them?

      • Hostage on May 24, 2012, 9:14 pm

        Regarding the verbiage of Israeli withdrawal from “territories” and not “all territories”

        Yes we are all familiar with the hasbara boilerplate fabricated by CAMERA.
        In many cases, such as Lord Caradon’s comments written for the Georgetown seminar on the ambiguities of resolution 242, CAMERA deliberately trims-off portions of his statements where he had carefully explained that: the settlements are illegal and violate resolution 242; that the withdrawal clause always applied to East Jerusalem and the interior of the of the West Bank; and that only very minor straightening of the boundaries established by the armistice lines had ever been envisioned – and then only with the prior consent of the Arabs.

        One of CAMERA’s favorite experts on international law, Elihu Lauterpacht, destroyed their theory that a Security Council resolution can somehow create a loophole in a customary norm of international law. In his ruling on Preliminary matters in the Bosnian Genocide case, he explained that conflicts between conventions and Security Council resolutions must be resolved in favor of the resolutions. But he explained that Article 103 of the UN Charter only deals with conflicts between resolutions and other conventional agreements, not peremptory norms of international law, such as the right of self-defense or the prohibition against acquisition of territory by war. That position has subsequent been applied in other cases in the ICJ and international tribunals.

        In his memoirs Abba Eban wrote that the language in resolution 242 created a perceptible loophole in favor of the Israelis. See Abba Eban: An Autobiography, Random House, 1977, 0394493028, page 451 Eban had no training in international law. His proposition stands for the idea that nations are governed by the non-existent rules of English grammar regarding a missing definite article, rather than jus cogens. The negotiating history behind resolution 242 doesn’t support Eban. Much of it had already been published by Arthur Lall, Sydney Bailey, Glenn Perry, and many others. In 2000-2001 the documents were finally declassified and published as a chapter in the Foreign Relations of the United States.
        *Sydney Bailey wrote that Eban himself interpreted the inadmissibility clause to be a call for unconditional withdrawal, and said that if it was included it would lead to conflict between Israel and the US. See “The Making of Resolution 242”, page 127
        *The FRUS said that Mr. Bitan of the Israeli Foreign Office said “Israel is “asking, begging” that U.S. not start with this resolution” and that he “particularly referred to para two and the phrase relating to the “inadmissibility of conquest of territory by war, etc.” … “In conclusion, and with some diffidence, although nonetheless forthrightly, Bitan said he instructed to say on behalf Eshkol and Eban that in their view, if we persist along what they regard as our current line, we could be on collision course.” link to history.state.gov
        *Goldberg subsequently met with Lord Caradon and explained that he had circulated a draft template with the withdrawal clause deleted and that if it became known as a US resolution he would disown it. link to history.state.gov
        *Despite Goldberg’s efforts, on the day of the vote all of the draft resolutions that were tabled by the various other delegations, including Caradon’s, once again contained a withdrawal clause.
        *On the day of the vote the representative of France called attention to the fact that his country considered the withdrawal of occupation forces an essential point. He noted that the resolution which had just been adopted, “if we refer to the French text which is equally authentic with the English, leaves no room for ambiguity, since it speaks of withdrawal “des territoires occupes”, which indisputably corresponds to the [English] expression “occupied territories”. See paragraph 111 on pdf file page 14 link to un.org

        The Israelis have always pretended in their propaganda that the President of the United States, or some minor bureaucrat, can magically grant Israel a better title to the territory of Palestine than the one held by those individuals, which in the cases that you’ve cited happens to be none at all.

        In any event, there is no rule of English grammar regarding the inclusion of the definite article. Israel certainly does NOT claim that resolution 242 only requires guarantees of freedom of navigation through (some, but not all) international waterways in the area.
        The US, UK, and Canada were the only English-speaking countries with seats on the Security Council during the deliberations on 242.
        Here is a link to a 1967 White House memo which advised President Johnson, that Secretary Rusk had explained to Mr Eban that US support for secure permanent frontiers doesn’t mean the US supports any territorial changes.
        Here is a link to a 1968 telegram in which Secretary of State Rusk said the US had advised the Israeli Foreign Ministry that it viewed the establishment of civilian settlements in the occupied territories as a violation of the principles contained in the Security Council resolution and article 49 of the Geneva Convention.
        The UK Foreign Secretary in 1967 was George Brown. He explained the negotiations regarding the resolution in an interview published by the London monthly, The Middle East, in 1978:

        It would have been impossible to get the Resolution through if the words “all” or “the” were included. But the English text is clear. Withdrawal from territories means just that, nothing more, nothing less. The French text is equally legitimate. In the French translation the word “des” is used before territories, meaning “from the”, implying all the territories seized in the ’67 war. The Israelis knew this. They understood that it called for withdrawal with only minor border changes from the old frontiers – just to straighten the lines. I told the Israelis they had better accept it, because if they didn’t they could be left with something worse, and with our version there would be something to argue about later. See Palestine and the law: guidelines for the resolution of the Arab-Israel conflict, by Musa E. Mazzawi, Ithaca Press, 1997, ISBN: 0863722229, page 209

        The US Secretary of State in 1967 was Dean Rusk. He wrote: There was much bickering over whether that resolution should say from “the” territories or from “all” territories. In the French version, which is equally authentic, it says withdrawal de territory, with de meaning “the.” We wanted that to be left a little vague and subject to future negotiation because we thought the Israeli border along the West Bank could be “rationalized”; certain anomalies could easily be straightened out with some exchanges of territory, making a more sensible border for all parties. We also wanted to leave open demilitarization measures in the Sinai and the Golan Heights and take a fresh look at the old city of Jerusalem. But we never contemplated any significant grant of territory to Israel as a result of the June 1967 war. On that point we and the Israelis to this day remain sharply divided. This situation could lead to real trouble in the future. Although every President since Harry Truman has committed the United States to the security and independence of Israel, I’m not aware of any commitment the United States has made to assist Israel in retaining territories seized in the Six-Day War. See Rusk “As I Saw It”, Dean and Richard Rusk, W.W. Norton, 1990, ISBN 0393026507, page 389
        The Legal Counsel of the Canadian UN delegation in 1967 was Sidney A. Freifeld. He wrote:

        Mr. Rostow describes as a “startling new proposition” a point that he discerns in Secretary Baker’s speech to AIPAC, “namely, that Resolution 242 requires Israel to withdraw to the armistice demarcation lines as they stood in 1967. . . .” That was not a “startling new proposition” but the intent and the language of 242 which specified, inter alia, the application of the following principle: “Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” The word “territories” was deliberately not preceded by “the” or “all the,” thus leaving open the possibility of border rectifications. With that proviso, 242 indeed called for “Israel to withdraw to the armistice demarcation lines as they stood in 1967,” i.e., to relinquish (most of) the West Bank and Gaza.” See his letter to Commentary Magazine

        Noam Chomsky wrote:

        “One of the most respected advocates of Israeli rejectionism, Yale Law professor and former government official Eugene Rostow, claims that he “helped produce” UN 242, and has repeatedly argued that it authorizes continued Israeli control over the territories. David Korn, former State Department office director for Israel and Arab-Israeli affairs, responded that “Professor Rostow may think he `helped produce’ Resolution 242, but in fact he had little if anything to do with it.” He was an “onlooker,” like “many others who have claimed a hand in it.” “It was U.S. policy at the time and for several years afterward,” Korn continues, “that [any border] changes would be no more than minor.” Korn confirms that “Both Mr. Goldberg and Secretary of State Dean Rusk told King Hussein that the United States would use its influence to obtain territorial compensation from Israel for any West Bank lands ceded by Jordan to Israel,” and that Jordan’s acquiescence was based on these promises. Rostow’s evasive response contests none of these statements.” — Deterring Democracy Copyright © 1991, 1992 by Noam Chomsky. Published by South End Press, “Afterword”

        The UK Representative who introduced the drafted resolution, Lord Caradon, wrote a Chapter in “U.N. Security Council Resolution 242: A Case Study in Diplomatic Ambiguity” for a Georgetown symposium. He said:
        *”At the same time scores of Israeli settlements have already been established on the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan. The process of colonisation of Arab lands goes rapidly ahead in disregard of objections from nearly every Government in the world, including’ even the American Government. These actions of the Israeli Government are in clear defiance of the Resolution 242.” p 12
        *”But it is very necessary to remember that when we drew up Resolution 242 we all took it for granted that the occupied territory would be restored to Jordan. I give my testimony that everyone, including the Arabs, so assumed.” p 13
        *”We all assumed that withdrawal from occupied territories as provided in the Resolution was applicable to East Jerusalem. This was not questioned at the time and has only much more recently been raised in fierce discussion.” p 14
        *”But, as I have said, when we passed the unanimous Resolution in 1967 we all assumed that East Jerusalem would revert to Jordan. East Jerusalem, as a matter of fact, had been occupied in the 1967 conflict and it therefore plainly under the terms of the Resolution came under the requirement for Israeli withdrawal.” p 14
        He offered more information in The Journal of Palestine Studies, “An Interview with Lord Caradon”
        Q. ”The basis for any settlement will be United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, of which you were the architect. Would you say there is a contradiction between the part of the resolution that stresses the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and that which calls for Israeli withdrawal from “occupied territories,” but not from “the occupied territories”?”
        A. I defend the resolution as it stands. What it states, as you know, is first the general principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war. That means that you can’t justify holding onto territory merely because you conquered it. … …So what we stated was the principle that you couldn’t hold territory because you conquered it, therefore there must be a withdrawal to let’s read the words carefully “secure and recognized boundaries.” They can only be secure if they are recognized. The boundaries have to be agreed; it’s only when you get agreement that you get security. I think that now people begin to realize what we had in mind that security doesn’t come from arms, it doesn’t come from territory, it doesn’t come from geography, it doesn’t come from one side dominating the other, it can only come from agreement and mutual respect and understanding.
        Q. ”But how would one change the previous border without the acquisition of territory by war? Are you suggesting mutual concessions that is, that both Israel and the Arabs would rationalize the border by yielding up small parcels of territory?”
        A. Yes, I’m suggesting that.

      • Hostage on May 24, 2012, 9:51 pm

        Interesting. So do you find all war crimes justified when committed against Israelis? And if there WAS a trial, what crime do you think these guys would have been guilty of?

        No I don’t support capital punishment or passing sentences on anyone without obtaining a judgment from a regular court that offers the accused person all of the normal legal protections.

        I suspect that they would be charged as spies or assassins. They appeared to be members of the covert Israeli units that are used to infiltrate Palestinian areas in order to carry-out assassinations or black ops. The pictures published at the time clearly showed the soldier was dressed in civilian clothes and wearing a traditional Palestinian black and white keffiyeh. So the idea that he “accidentally” passed through IDF checkpoints during an intifada dressed that way just doesn’t pass the laugh test. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/969139.stm

        In any event, Israel carried out reprisal attacks afterward that lasted for days on end. Why would this incident provide a justification for continuing crimes against the Palestinians?

      • Hostage on May 24, 2012, 11:12 pm

        French one doesn’t matter. The one voted on is the official one and that one was the English version in this case.

        I’m afraid that argument isn’t correct. The Security Council has refused to adopt any permanent rules of procedure which would tie its hands in such cases, but they did have provisional rules in effect at the time which required simultaneous translation into both of the official and working languages, which were English and French. Whenever that practice was dispensed with in order to expedite discussions, it was only done with the understanding that no precedent favoring one over the other would be established without obtaining an agreement to that effect. http://www.un.org/en/sc/repertoire/46-51/46-51_01.pdf#page=48

        All of the English-speaking Cabinet Secretaries involved in having the resolution drafted have subsequently confirmed that the French version is equally authentic and represents their intended meaning. See the quotes in my other comments on the withdrawal clause.

        In addition, the vote of the French representative in favor of the resolution was conditioned upon a) the understanding that that the French version was equally authentic; and b) the sponsor of the draft resolution would not disagree or object if he made a statement to that effect as part of the official record.

        Glenn Perry, Musa Mazzawi, George Brown, John Norton Moore, and Arthur Lall all said that Caradon not only negotiated the adoption of the resolution, he even stage-managed statements made by the other delegates to prevent a Soviet or USA veto. The USSR, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, France, India, Mali, Brazil, Argentina, and Nigeria all made statements on the record that they thought Israel was required to withdraw from all of the occupied territory. McHugo notes that of the other states on the Security Council, Canada, China, Denmark, Japan and the USA made no statements on the record, which touch directly on the meaning of the withdrawal phrase.

        Glenn Perry says “The absence of any rejection of the “full withdrawal” interpretation was the result of a behind-the-scenes agreement. Until November 22, there was uncertainty whether the United Kingdom would expressly reject any clarification of the meaning of the draft, in which case the Soviet Union was prepared to veto it. According to Lall:

        A crucial meeting took place at 3 p.m. [on November 22] between the Arabs and Caradon. He was able to reassure them that their position on the question of withdrawal remained unprejudiced. Further negotiations followed between Parthasarathi [the Indian representative] and Caradon which involved also the French and Nigerian delegates. As a result of these late exchanges Caradon agreed to delete from his proposed response to the Indian delegate’s projected statement the words “But the Indian interpretation is not binding on the Council.” On this basis Parthasarathi decided to vote for the resolution and so informed the Soviet Union. See Security Council Resolution 242: The Withdrawal Clause, Glenn Perry, Middle East Journal, Vol. 31, No. 4 (Autumn,1977), pp. 413-433, page 429

        The Indian delegate said the resolution required Israel to withdraw from all the territories. He quoted George Brown’s statements on British policy, which set out British rejection of the practice of territorial aggrandizement and which said that Israel could not expand its borders as a result of the war. Caradon said we stand by our declarations. Mazzawi quotes the statements made by Brown in the monthly magazine “Middle East” in May 1978. Brown said they had arranged beforehand for the Indian delegate to make that statement, and also that they would not respond so that interpretation of the policy would remain on the record.

        Representatives of all of the members of the Security Council in 1967 have subsequently issued statements which say that the resolution requires Israel to withdraw from all of the territories. For example: the Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan, Susumn Nikaido, issued a statement on behalf of the Japanese government on 22 November 1973. It deplored the continued occupation of the Arab territories by Israel, and stated that for her future development Japan might have to “reconsider her policy” towards Israel. The statement contained the following important points (1) The Japanese Government had consistently hoped that a just and lasting peace would be achieved in the Middle East through ‘prompt and complete implementation’ of Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967; (2) The Japanese Government believed that the following principles should be adhered to in a peace settlement (a) the inadmissibility of acquisition and occupation of any territory by use of force; (b) the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all the territories occupied in the 1967 war; (c) respect for the integrity and security of the territories of all countries in the area and the need of guarantees to that end; and (d) recognition of and respect for the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. . .” –See Mahboob Alam, Iraqi Foreign Policy Since Revolution, Mittal Publications, 1994, ISBN 817099554X, pp 138-139.

        The Mitchell report repeatedly noted that resolution 242 requires Israel to first withdraw its armed forces from the territory it occupied in 1967 before the Palestinians can be asked to terminate all states of belligerency. It also stressed the illegality of Israel’s unilateral annexation of Jerusalem and its settlement policy. Those have been imposed by the threat or use of force. See the findings under the heading “Fourth Geneva Convention” on pdf page 65. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/EN/reports/ACF319.pdf

        Additionally, Oslo stated that the borders are to be determined by negotiations.

        I’ve repeatedly explained the customary status of the principles contained in Articles 7 & 8 of the Fourth Geneva convention and Articles 52 & 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. They reflect a prohibition against the conclusion of any agreement that violates a jus cogens norm or involves the threat of use of force:

        Article 52
        Coercion of a State by the threat or use of force
        A treaty is void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force in violation of the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations.
        Article 53
        Treaties conflicting with a peremptory norm of general international law (“jus cogens”)
        A treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law. For the purposes of the present Convention, a peremptory norm of general international law is a norm accepted and recognized by the international community of States as a whole as a norm from which no derogation is permitted and which can be modified only by a subsequent norm of general international law having the same character.
        http://untreaty.un.org/ilc/texts/instruments/english/conventions/1_1_1969.pdf

        That’s why Mitchell said that Israel would have to withdraw from the territory captured in 1968 before the Palestinians could be expected to drop their belligerent claims. Do you comprehend that?

      • Hostage on May 25, 2012, 12:07 am

        Being a soldier is not a crime, and these two were not even fighting anyone.

        I’ve already commented that I don’t personally support capital punishment and that these two were killed without a fair trial, which certainly is a war crime. On the other hand, I’ve supplied links to official reports made by the Israeli government which say that they are not responsible for obeying human rights conventions in the territories because they are “part and parcel” of an international armed conflict. At one and the same time, Israel claims that the Geneva Conventions relative to the treatment of Prisoners of War do not apply to members of the uniformed Palestinian militias, even though Palestine is recognized by about 130 other countries.

        I supplied you with a link which proves that one of the IDF soldiers was captured wearing civilian clothing and disguised with a keffiyeh. According to Article 29 of the Hague Convention of 1907, that constitutes the legal basis to treat him as a spy.
        Article 29
        *http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hague04.asp#art29
        Picture of soldier in civilian clothes and keffiyeh
        *http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_969000/969139.stm

        The Wikipedia article says that word quickly spread that undercover Israeli agents were in the building, but as usual, fails to mention that Israel had routinely employed undercover hit squads in Ramallah and elsewhere in the West Bank. Those squads conducted a campaign of equally brutal nature and similarly killed people without giving them the benefit of trial. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_Ramallah_lynching

      • playforpalestine on May 25, 2012, 1:37 am

        “Was your first post on Mondoweiss on April 26, 2012?”

        Nope. I belonged here last year under a different name.

        “Have you posted anywhere else on the Internet before that date?”

        Of course.

      • playforpalestine on May 25, 2012, 2:03 am

        Hostage,

        This event happened 10 years before the second intifada began.

      • Shingo on May 25, 2012, 3:02 am

        Nope. I belonged here last year under a different name.

        What name was that, and why we’re you banned?

      • Shingo on May 25, 2012, 3:12 am

        Hostage,

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You ar simply awesome and it would be impossible to express my level of gratitude for all the arguments and resources you have provided on this forum.

        Thank you, thank you, thank you.

      • playforpalestine on May 25, 2012, 3:23 am

        “Now if Israel had received all those assurances from Caradon and Rostow, why were they in such a panic?”

        I explained this. Both sides wanted concrete language that benefitted their POV. Neither got it. The language was couched in such a way as to leave the exact terms open ended and determinate on negotiating mutually agreed upon borders. (Which would have been impossible had the UN imposed a definitive position.)

        “If 242 calls for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the 1967 conflict, without specifying the extent of the withdrawal, the default assumption would be all of the territories. ”

        Not when language specifying that meaning was purposefully stricken from the document. Once you resort to “assuming” anything on a resolution, you are imposing your own judgements on it. Nothing should be assumed. The language they used was very precise.

        “they are only elligivle to apply for Israeli citizenship is they meet certain criteria. This is not the same as being offerd citizenship as even after meeting those criteria, Israel can refuse them.”

        Just like everyone else. The requirements are minimal, no one said that they were guaranteed citizenship.

        “And why is that? Think hard now Werdine. Is is not because Israel agreed to certain terms as a condition of it’s memebership at the UN, and then violated those terms once it received membership?”

        No. It’s because the Asian regional group refuses to admit Israel on account of it’s high number of Arab and Muslim members who blocked Israel’s eligibility.

        “And the fact that there as so many resolutions against Israel doesn’t suggest that Israel is actualyl guilty of violations under the UN Charter?”

        No, it suggests that Israel is held to a different standard. Otherwise investigations into Israeli crimes would not specifically disallow researching crimes committed by Israel’s opponents. When only Israel is investigated, only Israel will be found guilty.

        “The Jordan that exists, does not include the West Bank, so it’s grossly dohonest to simply suggest that it just lacks many of its Palestinian citizens now. ”

        So would it be ok for Israel to exclude areas of Israel where Arab-Israelis tend to cluster, thereby revoking their Israeli citizenship?

      • annie on May 25, 2012, 3:28 am

        5. No imposture. You can use any pseudonym you like, but if you represent yourself as someone you’re not, you’re outta here.

        http://mondoweiss.net/policy

      • playforpalestine on May 25, 2012, 3:47 am

        “I’ve supplied links to official reports made by the Israeli government which say that they are not responsible for obeying human rights conventions in the territories because they are “part and parcel” of an international armed conflict. At one and the same time, Israel claims that the Geneva Conventions relative to the treatment of Prisoners of War do not apply to members of the uniformed Palestinian militias, even though Palestine is recognized by about 130 other countries.”

        War crimes like this are illegal even when committed by non-signatories to Geneva. That said, I did not see the links you mentioned.

        “According to Article 29 of the Hague Convention of 1907, that constitutes the legal basis to treat him as a spy.”

        No, it doesn’t. He would have to be actually spying for that.

        “The Wikipedia article says that word quickly spread that undercover Israeli agents were in the building, but as usual, fails to mention that Israel had routinely employed undercover hit squads in Ramallah and elsewhere in the West Bank. Those squads conducted a campaign of equally brutal nature and similarly killed people without giving them the benefit of trial.”

        I am actually OK with that, on either side. After all, this IS a war. Especially since Hamas high level militants often hide amongst civilians and dress the same as them. These hit squads probably provide the best chance of eliminating these militants with the lowest risk of killing innocent bystanders. Killing POWs though, that’s different. And torturing them to death, that’s even worse.

      • Hostage on May 25, 2012, 4:10 am

        Hostage, This event happened 10 years before the second intifada began.

        On the contrary, your post here contains a discussion about two IDF soldiers who were arrested in Ramallah in October of 2000. That’s not 10 years before the 2nd intifada:
        http://mondoweiss.net/2012/05/a-portrait-of-a-former-zionist-part-1.html/comment-page-1#comment-453548

        Here is the link once again to that picture of one of those two soldiers in civilian clothes and a keffiyeh from a BBC article dated Thursday, 12 October, 2000, 17:44 GMT. Right below that is the picture you described in your post of the fellow holding up his blood stained hands. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/969139.stm

        That same picture appears in the Wikipedia article on the “2000 Ramallah lynching”. It says he was arrested by Israel and sentenced to life imprisonment, but was released in 2011 as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_Ramallah_lynching

        Shalit was captured as part of a tit-for-tat response to the spiraling escalation of violence between the IDF and Hamas in 2006:

        In June 2006, in response to the killing of eight Palestinian civilians by an artillery shell, Hamas declared an end to the 2005 truce with Israel and accelerated the firing of Qassam rockets at Israel from Gaza. The source of the artillery fire remains disputed. Hamas and other militant groups subsequently carried out a raid near Gaza, killing two IDF soldiers and capturing a third, Corporal Gilad Shalit. Israel responded by invading Gaza, where the IDF destroyed Qassam launchers and ammunition sites but failed to locate Shalit. The fighting killed dozens of unarmed civilians. Human rights groups condemned Israel for these deaths and the destruction of a major power plant in Gaza. In November 2006, an Israeli tank patrol missed its target in the Gazan town of Beit Hanoun and hit a row of houses, killing 19 civilians. In September 2008, a UN report on the incident declared that it may have been a war crime. PA-controlled areas of the West Bank also faced Israeli incursions in 2006.

        — Freedom in the World 2009: The Annual Survey of Political Rights & Civil Liberties, http://books.google.com/books?id=hZVhuV7h5hwC&lpg=PA840&dq=&pg=PA840#v=onepage&q&f=false

        So according to the BBC, Wikipedia, and Freedom in the World report, Israel has killed dozens of unarmed civilians in Ramallah and Gaza in response to these four killings and the capture of Shalit – and it captured and imprisoned one of the Palestinian perpetrators for a decade.

      • tree on May 25, 2012, 4:24 am

        What name was that, and why we’re you banned?

        My money’s on GuiltyFeat, with a tad more hasbara training. Pfp’s not verbose enough to be Werdine. The broad ignorance about of the extent of Israel’s ongoing criminal actions, plus the overweaning singular focus on violence against Israelis matches GF’s modus operandi.

        To Pfp, the second intifada was ALL about two members of the Duvdevan IDF unit getting butchered in Ramallah. All the rest of the death and destruction was small potatoes and not worthy of remembering, certainly not any of it perpetrated against Palestinians.

      • Hostage on May 25, 2012, 5:37 am

        The arguments are much shorter if you just flip the assertions around and turn them into a question and ask “Does the Security Council have the delegated or implied authority to adopt a resolution which would order one of the parties to waive the provisions of customary international law reflected in the UN Charter in connection to “some” of the territory captured in the 67 war?”

        The answer would have to be no. The Security Council is a creature of the Charter and it is unconditionally bound by its terms, its principles, and it’s purposes. Articles 2(5), 24, and 25 merely oblige the members to assist or carry out Security Council decisions if they are made “in accordance with the provisions of the present UN Charter”.

        The Declaration of Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation Among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations reflects the peremptory norm contained in Article 2(4) regarding the threat or use of force. It stipulates that: “No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.” http://www.law.hku.hk/conlawhk/conlaw/outline/Outline4/2625.htm

        Every time that Israel has tried to interpret the resolution in any other way, including the Golan Heights Law or the Basic Law Jerusalem, the Security Council has declared Israel’s actions null and void, a flagrant violation of international law, and a violation of the UN Charter.

      • playforpalestine on May 25, 2012, 7:06 am

        “why we’re you banned?”

        I don’t actually know that I was banned. My name didn’t stop working, it just seemed like my posts stopped appearing at a certain point, though I’m not sure when. I didn’t get a notice or anything like that. Nor did I receive an email, so assuming I was banned, I don’t know why.

        “What name was that”

        Well, you guys all seemed to think highly of your abilities to identify me by my writing style, let’s see if you can do it. I’ll give you three tries, so you’re down to two. (Strike one was a swing and a miss on Werdine.)

      • playforpalestine on May 25, 2012, 7:21 am

        “On the contrary, your post here contains a discussion about two IDF soldiers who were arrested in Ramallah in October of 2000. That’s not 10 years before the 2nd intifada:”

        I’m sorry, Hostage you misunderstood me. I was referring to this comment of yours (linked to below), not the two reservists butchered in Ramallah.

        http://mondoweiss.net/2012/05/a-portrait-of-a-former-zionist-part-1.html/comment-page-1#comment-453712

      • Shingo on May 25, 2012, 7:23 am

        Shalit was captured as part of a tit-for-tat response to the spiraling escalation of violence between the IDF and Hamas in 2006:

        Actually Hostage,

        Chomsky gave a speech in which he pointed out that the day before Shalit was captured, the IDF had kidneapped 2 Palestinain brothers from Gaza City.

        One day before Hamas captured Shalit, Israeli soldiers entered Gaza City and kidnapped two civilians, the Muammar brothers, bringing them to Israel to join the thousands of other prisoners held there, almost 1000 reportedly without charge. Kidnapping civilians is a far more serious crime than capturing a soldier of an attacking army, but it was barely reported in contrast to the furor over Shalit. And all that remains in memory, blocking peace, is the capture of Shalit, another reflection of the difference between humans and two-legged beasts.

        http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/20316

      • playforpalestine on May 25, 2012, 9:23 am

        “The fact is that you can’t cite any reason that a political union between Transjordan and Arab Palestine would have been illegal under the circumstances. ”

        You know what, you’re right. I have to admit, I find it odd that the PLO officially sought the emancipation of Palestine while it and Jordan were entered into this joint union. Although I realize they primarily meant the land that was now Israel, I could not shake the suspicion that this union was somewhat less than fully accepted as evidenced by the many attempts at overthrowing Jordan, staging a coup, assassinating the King (successfully!), and so on.

        However, the annexing of East Jerusalem, and the subsequent ethnic cleansing of its entire Jewish population, total destruction of dozens of synagogues and an ancient cemetery (which was ransacked for building materials), clearly violates many of the laws of war as well as huge chunks of the partition agreement. (Which is only important if you want to argue for its legal relevance.)

        “The General Assembly has adopted resolutions which acknowledged that both Israel and Palestine have issued declarations in line with the requirements of the plan contained in resolution 181(II). ”

        Really? When? Because these two articles from the 1964 PLO charter suggest otherwise.

        “Article 17: The partitioning of Palestine, which took place in 1947, and the establishment of Israel are illegal and null and void, regardless of the loss of time, because they were contrary to the will of the Palestinian people and its natural right to its homeland, and were in violation of the basic principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations, foremost among which is the right to self-determination.

        Article 18: The Balfour Declaration, the Palestine Mandate System, and all that has been based on them are considered null and void. The claims of historic and spiritual ties between Jews and Palestine are not in agreement with the facts of history or with the true basis of sound statehood. Judaism, because it is a divine religion, is not a nationality with independent existence. Furthermore, the Jews are not one people with an independent personality because they are citizens to their states.”

        “He also acknowledged that the undertaking was an obligation that was capable of acceptance by Israel alone, and was not at all affected by the attempt by the Arab States to alter the resolution by force. ”

        Did you actually read the pdf file you linked to, in its entirety? Because your bolded quotation is NOT what it says at all. It says that “the provisions to which the representative of Cuba calls attention were, for the most part, capable of acceptance by the SoI alone, and were not all affected by the attempt of the Arab States to alter that resolution by force. ” Meaning that SPECIFIC provisions… were not ALL affected…etc. The rest of the paper goes into significantly more detail. Needless to say, it is not at all what you imply here.

        “So you see: 1) both sides have accepted the resolution”

        Actually, it looks like neither have accepted it as it stands. And one (Arabs) rejected it entirely.

        “the foreign minister of Israel, Mr Shertok, testified that this particular resolution is legally binding”

        Until it was changed, as per that pdf you gave.

        “Mr. Eban declared that Israel’s acceptance of the terms and undertakings was not at all affected by the attitude of the Palestinians.”

        Flat out untrue. The reverse of what your evidence said.

      • Woody Tanaka on May 25, 2012, 9:34 am

        “5. No imposture. You can use any pseudonym you like, but if you represent yourself as someone you’re not, you’re outta here. ”

        Interesting. I wait to see if pfp will be booted.

      • Woody Tanaka on May 25, 2012, 10:10 am

        “The language they used was very precise.”

        Yes, and it included the phrase “des territoires occupés,” in the binding language, which can only be read to mean all of the occupied territories.

      • Shingo on May 25, 2012, 10:16 am

        The language was couched in such a way as to leave the exact terms open ended and determinate on negotiating mutually agreed upon borders.

        As Hostage has shown from Caradon’s remarks, that is clearly false.  In any case, Eban was left in no doubt that it meant a compete withdraw, so your argument doesn’t hold up.

         Not when language specifying that meaning was purposefully stricken from the document.

        But it wasn’t.  The meaning is specific unless qualified with caveats.   When someone is or to return stolen property, like say a car, they don’t get to decide if they want to keep the GPS or car stereo system and return the rest.

        Once you resort to “assuming” anything on a resolution, you are imposing your own judgements on it. Nothing should be assumed. The language they used was very precise.

        Now you’re completely off the rails.  

        First, you’re telling me that I shouldn’t be assuming anything, yet you (ie. Israeli Hasbra) are making all sorts of assumptions about what you believe it says

        Secondly, you initially claimed the language was open ended, yet you now arguing it was very precise.

        Please seek professional help. I he’s they can do wonderful things for sufferers of scitzophrenia

        Just like everyone else. The requirements are minimal, no one said that they were guaranteed citizenship.

        Which debunks your claim all along that they were offered citizenship.  You should have  given up this BS argument long ago.

        No. It’s because the Asian regional group refuses to admit Israel on account of it’s high number of Arab and Muslim members who blocked Israel’s eligibility.

        And they did that because….Israel is in violation of 194 and 242.  

        Thanks for playing.

        No, it suggests that Israel is held to a different standard.

        A different standard to whom Werdine? When was the last time  the UNSC demanded Israel give up nuclear enrichment and open up it’s nuclear facilities to inspections or face crippling economic sanctions?

          When only Israel is investigated, only Israel will be found guilty.

        Not so.  Ire, refused to cooperate with the  Goldstone inquiry, which investigated Hamas’ a toons as well as Israel’s.

        Israel also happens to be doing the occupying and violating the Geneva Conventions.  It’s not the UN’s fault that the Palestinians are not also doing it.

        !So would it be ok for Israel to exclude areas of Israel where Arab-Israelis tend to cluster, thereby revoking their Israeli citizenship?

        LOL, let’s see them try.  Of course, you missed the point that this was done with the consent of the Palestinians.  If Israel follow that example, then yes.

      • playforpalestine on May 25, 2012, 10:17 am

        “It stipulates that: “No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.””

        This is very true. But the acquisitions we are discussing would not stem from use of force; the case of setting the final boundary between Israel and Palestine in the west bank would be achieved through negotiations. The security council was not waiving anything, rather it was purposefully ruling on the matter in a way that was so ambiguous as to require future negotiations between I and P. This was about the UN not having the authority to determine where said border should lie.

        Regarding East Jerusalem… this matter differs significantly from the West Bank in that it currently belongs to neither Palestine nor Israel. Arguing that Palestine is the de facto owner by virtue of Jordan’s turning over EJ and the WB to the PA in 1988 is problematic owing to the fact that Jordan acquired EJ itself through war. Moreover, both Palestinians and Jews own property there, (and have for hundreds of years at least.)

        The ambiguous wording of 242 does not mean Israel can do whatever it wants regarding this land. All it does is free both parties up to be able to meet the other requirements in the resolution, namely forming agreed-upon, defensible borders for everyone involved.

      • playforpalestine on May 25, 2012, 10:19 am

        “Interesting. I wait to see if pfp will be booted.”

        Is there a reason that I would be? I’m not pretending to be someone that I am not. Is pfp a false identity you knew from before or something?

      • Shingo on May 25, 2012, 10:19 am

        I think you might be into something Tree.

        PFP is too lightweight and not nearly pompous enoug to be Werdine.

      • Shingo on May 25, 2012, 10:23 am

        I suggest we all lodge a complaint about this arak a denying troll. If he/she was already banned, then they should still be banned. If, as PFP claims, his/her existing name still works, them force them to use it.

      • Woody Tanaka on May 25, 2012, 11:28 am

        “But the acquisitions we are discussing would not stem from use of force.”

        You’re like the mafioso claiming that the protection of money paid by people at gunpoint were “gifts” and not aquired by force. Typical zio delusion.

      • seanmcbride on May 25, 2012, 1:08 pm

        playforpalestine,

        Could you please mention any other names you’ve used to write about Mideast politics on Mondoweiss and other forums during recent years? Five years should be sufficient. Thanks.

        By the way, I see no reason for you to be banned. In fact, I wish the Israel lobby would muster its very best talent worldwide to make its case here. Truth emerges from dialectic. Show us what you’ve got. Let’s see if your points make sense. If they make sense you will persuade me on those points and I will change my mind. I am always open to change my mind on nearly anything.

        We know that quite a few Israel lobby leaders read Mondoweiss but apparently they lack the confidence to enter into debate here. Perhaps they need to engage in some honest introspection about their lack of confidence and revise some of their views.

        By the way, I still haven’t seen your answer to these three questions:

        1. Which ethnic and religious nationalist movements around the world do you support other than your own?

        2. Do you support or oppose white nationalists and Christian nationalists in the United States and Europe and why?

        3. Why should non-Jews who reject ethnic and religious nationalism as a political tool for themselves support Jewish ethnic and religious nationalism?

        I am trying to get into big picture issues here regarding basic ideologies and belief systems — not niggling historical details

        I look forward to your responses.

      • Hostage on May 25, 2012, 1:36 pm

        I explained this. Both sides wanted concrete language that benefitted their POV. Neither got it.

        That doesn’t correspond with the fact that all 15 members of the Security Council say that the resolution requires a full withdrawal of Israel’s armed forces.

        The ICJ explained that the provisions contained in the preamble of resolution 242 are legally binding Charter principles that reflect customary international law. Those principles will govern the terms of the final settlement. See paragraph 87 of the Advisory Opinion in the Wall case. http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1671.pdf

        The resolutions of international organizations reflect, and are based upon, the practices of customary international law. Article 13 of the UN Charter tasked the General Assembly with promoting the progressive codification of international law. So, it adopted GA resolution 686 (VII), “Ways And Means For Making The Evidence Of Customary International Law More Readily Available” and mandated that a répertoire of the practice of UN organs be prepared under the supervision of the Secretariat of the United Nations, Codification Division, Office of Legal Affairs. On page 7 of her ‘Security Council Resolution 242 at twenty-five‎’ Prof. Ruth Lapidoth spelled out the need to determine in each case whether the Security Council is exercising its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. So here are the links to the official UN publications that are used by experts to look-up that information in the ‘Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council and the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs:
        *link to Security Council Repertoire
        *link to Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs

        The former contains an analytical table of all of the Security Council decisions (Chapter 8) for 1966-1968. It breaks down resolution 242 and catalogs each of the decisions contained within it. It says that the preamble of resolution 242 contains two “substantial measures that govern the final settlement”.

        One is the UN Charter prohibition against the threat or use of force contained in Article 2 of the Charter and here is the other from page 5 of the pdf file:
        “E. Provisions bearing on issues of substance including terms of settlement”
        * “1. Enunciation or affirmation of principles governing settlement”
        **”(a) Inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war,
        Situation in the Middle East(II): Decision of 22 November 1967 (resolution 242 (1967)) preamble”

        **(b) Obligation of Member States to act in accordance
        with Article 2 of the Charter.
        Situation in the Middle East (II):
        Decision of 22 November 1967 (resolution 242
        (1967)). preamble.
        **(c) Withdrawal of armed forces.
        Situation in the Middle East (II):
        Decision of 22 November 1967 (resolution 242
        (1967)). para. 1 (i).
        link to analytical table of Security Council decisions (Chapter 8) for 1966-1968

        So the rules are:
        1) No acquisition of territory by war is permitted;
        2) No threat or use of force is permitted;
        3) Withdrawal of armed forces: read rules 1 & 2 which are “substantial measures that govern the final settlement”

      • Hostage on May 25, 2012, 2:08 pm

        That said, I did not see the links you mentioned.

        See CCPR/C/ISR/2001/2, para 8 or E/1990/6/Add.32, para 6-7

        “According to Article 29 of the Hague Convention of 1907, that constitutes the legal basis to treat him as a spy.” . . . No, it doesn’t. He would have to be actually spying for that.

        Under Article 5 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, a suspected spy may be deprived temporarily of certain rights, particularly the right of communication. http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/4e473c7bc8854f2ec12563f60039c738/3f78f96145a77442c12563cd0051b9f0!OpenDocument

        Spies cannot be punished without trial. He would have to be found guilty by a preponderance of the evidence. But capturing soldiers and holding them incommunicado on a temporary basis in accordance with the terms of Article 5 of the Convention is not a form of punishment. Any soldiers wearing a disguise who have penetrated into the zone of operations of the hostile army can be held as prisoners of war and treated as suspects, i.e. spies.

        If you don’t like the rules of war, you should stay home. If you can’t do that, then get your war on and wear a damned uniform.

      • Hostage on May 25, 2012, 2:35 pm

        I am actually OK with that, on either side. After all, this IS a war. Especially since Hamas high level militants often hide amongst civilians and dress the same as them. These hit squads probably provide the best chance of eliminating these militants with the lowest risk of killing innocent bystanders. Killing POWs though, that’s different. And torturing them to death, that’s even worse.

        The same Article 5 rules that permit your soldiers wearing civilian clothes to be treated as suspects, also apply to people that you suspect of being Hamas high level militants – even when they are “hiding among civilians”. http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/4e473c7bc8854f2ec12563f60039c738/3f78f96145a77442c12563cd0051b9f0!OpenDocument

        Members of the armed forces cannot be killed unless the are taking an active part in the hostilities or punished without a trial under the terms of Article 30 of the 1907 Hague Convention and Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions on POWs and Protection of Civilians, e.g. http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/WebART/375-590006?OpenDocument

      • seanmcbride on May 25, 2012, 2:47 pm

        A few pro-Israel activists I would love to see engage in civil debate and discussion on Mondoweiss:

        1. Alan Dershowitz
        2. Daniel Pipes
        3. Douglas Feith
        4. Jeffrey Goldberg
        5. John Podhoretz
        6. Michael Ledeen
        7. Michael Oren
        8. Richard Perle

        If any of them appeared here I would treat them with civility and respect and listen to what they had to say.

      • Hostage on May 25, 2012, 4:08 pm

        Chomsky gave a speech in which he pointed out that the day before Shalit was captured, the IDF had kidneapped 2 Palestinain brothers from Gaza City.

        I’m familiar with that. But it was one of the tit-for-tat episodes in the series of events that both sides used to justify their reprisals and the escalation of violence.

      • Hostage on May 25, 2012, 5:12 pm

        You know what, you’re right. I have to admit, I find it odd that the PLO officially sought the emancipation of Palestine while it and Jordan were entered into this joint union.

        The General Assembly has defined the various methods that any people can employ in the exercise of their right of self-determination. Egypt and Syria decided to form a union. After a few years the people decided to dissolve it it an emerge again as independent states. Here’s what the Declaration of Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation Among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations says about the subject:

        The establishment of a sovereign and independent State, the free association or integration with an independent State or the emergence into any other political status freely determined by a people constitute modes of implementing the right of self-determination by that people.

        Really? When? Because these two articles from the 1964 PLO charter suggest otherwise.

        The 1988 Algiers unilateral declaration of the State of Palestine said that the framework of resolution 181(II) was the basis for partitioning Palestine into an Arab and Jewish state and the necessary conditions for its international legitimacy which guaranteed the Palestinian Arab people the right to sovereignty and national independence. The General Assembly acknowledged that the declaration was made in line with resolution 181(II) and exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. See UN General Assembly resolution. See resolution 43/177, 15 December 1988 http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/146E6838D505833F852560D600471E25

        “Mr. Eban declared that Israel’s acceptance of the terms and undertakings was not at all affected by the attitude of the Palestinians.” . . . Flat out untrue. The reverse of what your evidence said.

        The resolution that admitted Israel as a member of the United Nations took note of the declarations and undertakings of the representative of Israel with respect to the implementation of its resolutions 181(II) and 194(III). A footnote contained in the resolution says See documents A/AC.24/SR.45-48, 50 and 51.
        http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/83E8C29DB812A4E9852560E50067A5AC

        During questioning in the 51st session of the Ad Hoc Committee on Membership (A/AC.24/SR.51) , the representative of Cuba asked Mr. Eban if Israel had supplied the required declaration on minority rights and if the rights had been embodied in the fundamental laws of state in accordance with the provisions of resolution 181(II)? Mr Eban answered in the affirmative and stated that: “the undertaking was an obligation that was capable of acceptance by Israel alone, and was not at all affected by the attempt by the Arab States to alter the resolution by force.” He also noted that the Declaration had been promulgated as law in the official gazette.

        All of those remarks are contained on page 7 of the pdf file (printed page number 347) which is the verbatim UN record of the hearings on the application link to A/AC.24/SR.51

      • Hostage on May 25, 2012, 5:45 pm

        The language was couched in such a way as to leave the exact terms open ended and determinate on negotiating mutually agreed upon borders.

        No it wasn’t. The inadmissibility clause was specifically included and emphasized along with the contractual obligation of all of the members to act in accordance with Article 2 of the Charter.

        This is very true. But the acquisitions we are discussing would not stem from use of force; the case of setting the final boundary between Israel and Palestine in the west bank would be achieved through negotiations.

        No, because the prohibition against the acquisition of territory is cited in the repertorie as a condition of substance that will govern the negotiation of the final settlement too. The customary international law contained in Articles 7 & 8 of the Fourth Geneva Convention does not allow the Occupying Power to negotiate any special agreements with the local authorities that would impair the rights of any protected population safeguarded under the terms of the Convention. The negotiation of a cession of territory during a belligerent occupation would also violate Article 52 and 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and render the agreement null and void.

        Resolution 242 contains a logical sequence of events in fulfillment of Charter principles: a) Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict; and only then b) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency.

        The wording of Resolution 242 cannot eliminate the existence of a belligerent state as a result of an occupation. The Geneva Conventions regarding a belligerent state of occupation apply to all, not just some, of the territory captured in 1967. So long as that belligerent state exists, no valid agreement on cession of territory can be concluded between the occupied and the occupier.

      • Shingo on May 25, 2012, 7:57 pm

        If any of them appeared here I would treat them with civility and respect and listen to what they had to say.

        In which case, you are a much better man than I – but I would love nothign better than sitting back and watching Hostage pull them apart.

      • ritzl on May 25, 2012, 9:40 pm

        Ditto, Shingo. This is like watching a customized book being written in real time. Amazing.

        Thanks Hostage.

      • annie on May 25, 2012, 10:57 pm

        some things never seem to change. from the link at the bottom of hostages first link.. A/AC.24/SR.45
        5 May 1949

        http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/85255e950050831085255e95004fa9c3/1db943e43c280a26052565fa004d8174?OpenDocument

        Mr. Malik quoted from section F, part I of the Assembly’s resolution of 29 November 1947, which stated that sympathetic consideration should be given to the application for membership of either the Jewish or the Arab State, when the independence of either as envisaged in the plan had become effective and the declaration and undertaking as envisaged in the plan had been signed by either of them.

        If the present structure of Israel did not conform to those conditions, two courses were open to the Assembly: either to make the membership of Israel dependent upon acceptance of the original recommendations of the United Nations, or to admit it notwithstanding its failure to comply with those recommendations, thereby cancelling or revoking them. Should the Assembly adopt the latter course, it must be fully aware of the implications of such a course for future decisions of a similar nature and of its effect on the general situation in the Near East, for the present structure of Israel did not in fact conform to the wishes expressed in the previous resolutions of the Assembly; it was not the same as the Jewish State, the existence of which had been sanctioned by that body in November 1947 and for which additional requirements had been laid down in the General Assembly resolution of 11 December 1948 (194 (III)). The differences were fundamental and could not be dismissed or condoned as secondary factors. Admission of Israel notwithstanding those essential and highly significant differences would be tantamount to the revocation of the previous Assembly decisions, the frustration of the human aspirations expressed by the highest spokesmen of great religions and the violation of the deepest spiritual sentiments of a large portion of mankind.

        The State of Israel, in its present form, directly contravened the previous recommendations of the United Nations in at least three important respects: in its attitude on the problem of Arab refugees, on the delimitation of its territorial boundaries, and on the question of Jerusalem.

        The United Nations had certainly not intended that the Jewish State should rid itself of its Arab citizens. On the contrary, section C of part I of the Assembly’s 1947 resolution had explicitly provided guarantees of minority rights in each of the two States. For example, it had prohibited the expropriation of land owned by an Arab in the Jewish State except for public purposes, and then only upon payment of full compensation. Yet the fact was that 90 per cent of the Arab population of Israel had been driven outside its boundaries by military operations, had been forced to seek refuge in neighbouring Arab territories, had been reduced to misery and destitution, and had been prevented by Israel from returning to their homes. Their homes and property had been seized and were being used by thousands of European Jewish immigrants.

      • Hostage on May 25, 2012, 11:32 pm

        some things never seem to change. from the link at the bottom of hostages first link.. A/AC.24/SR.45 . . . On the contrary, section C of part I of the Assembly’s 1947 resolution had explicitly provided guarantees of minority rights in each of the two States.

        That was the 45th meeting. During the 48th session, the representative of Cuba asked if Israel had supplied the required minority rights declaration? Mr Abba Eban said he could answer in the affirmative and cited the Declaration of Independence (a signed document) and a cable from Foreign Minister Shertok to the Secretary announcing the Declaration. He asked for some time to consult with his government before replying in full. See pages 2-3 of the .pdf A/AC.24/SR.48

        During the follow-up questioning of the 51st session he said they were promulgated as law pending the adoption of a Constitution by the Knesset. That body and the High Court spent years denying that the declaration had any legal force and effect – and they still claim that it can’t be used to overturn conflicting laws.

        I”ve mentioned elsewhere that the UN created a subsidiary organ with an expert panel to study the question on minority rights raised by Mr. Malik. It reported to the Security Council that Israel still has a binding legal obligation to permit all of the Palestinians to return based upon the provisions of the Charter and the unqualified acceptance of resolutions 181(II) and 194(III) during these hearings. http://mondoweiss.net/2012/03/mustafa-bargouti-jerusalem-is-at-the-heart-of-the-palestinian-cause.html/comment-page-1#comment-437535

      • annie on May 25, 2012, 11:51 pm

        1. Which ethnic and religious nationalist movements around the world do you support other than your own?

        2. Do you support or oppose white nationalists and Christian nationalists in the United States and Europe and why?

        3. Why should non-Jews who reject ethnic and religious nationalism as a political tool for themselves support Jewish ethnic and religious nationalism?

        good questions sean

      • annie on May 26, 2012, 8:21 am

        hostage, See pages 2-3 of the .pdf A/AC.24/SR.48

        that link is not opening..i was only able to open A/AC.24/SR.51

        During the 48th session, the representative of Cuba asked if Israel had supplied the required minority rights declaration? Mr Abba Eban said he could answer in the affirmative and cited the Declaration of Independence (a signed document) and a cable from Foreign Minister Shertok to the Secretary announcing the Declaration. He asked for some time to consult with his government before replying in full.

        Israel has established institutions in exact and precise accordance with those principles. The elec- torate consists of women as well as men voters, and the Arab community is represented in the legislative body by representatives of its own choice. The draft constitution is before the Con- stituent Assembly for early discussion and ratifi- cation. In the meantime the constitutional instru- ments, whereby the bovernment of Israel is bound, are :
        1. Its Declaration of Independence promulgated as law in the officiai gazette ;
        2. The provisional Constitution adopted by the
        Constituent Assembly on 24 February -1949 ;‘
        3. The programme of the Government approved by the Constituent Assembly on 8 March 1949.
        With reference to sub-paragraph (b), the un- dertaking to settle “international disputes ‘. . . by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endan- gered” is an obligation under the Charter of the United Nations. This obligation has been constitutionally accepted by the Govenment of Israel, firstly, in its law on the declaration of independence of 14May 1948; secondly, in its undertaking to the Security Council on 29 November 1948 accompanying Israel’s application for membership (see S/103); thirdly, in part 3 of the Govemment’s programme, which reads as follows-and this is the programmeon which the Goverment of Israel secured a mandate to govern:

        “The foreign policy of Israel shall be based on t h e f o l l o w i n g p r i n c i p l e s:
        “1. Loyalty to the fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter and friendship with all peace-loving States;

        “2. Efforts to achieve an Arab-Jewish alliance based on economic, social, cultural and political co-operation with the neighbouring countries, pro- vided ’ that this alliance must be, within the frame- work of the United Nations and cannot be directed against any of its Members;

        “3. Support for all measures which strengthen peace, guarantee the rights of man and the equal- ity of nations, and enhance the authority and effec- tiveness of theUnited Nations.”

        Similar provisions are embodied in the various drafts of the constitution now awaiting ratifica- tion. In the interim, the instruments which I have quoted constitute the fundamental law of the State.

        With reference to sub-paragraph(d), all the civil rights therein mentioned are embodied in this draft constitution. Pending the promulgation of this constitution, they are embodied in the funda- mental law of the State by virtue of the Declara- tion of Independence in part 2 of the Govemment’s programme ratified by the Knesset on 8 March 1949

        With reference to sub-paragraph(e), the Pales- tine Arab State referred to in this paragraph, which was to have had a special relationship with Israel, has not come into existence. Nevertheless, conditions of transit and visit in Israel are subject only to the conditions set out in this sub-paragraph, namely considerations of national security.
        1 . n o w c o r n e t o t h e q u e s t i o n sr a i s e d b y t h e r e p r e – J ’ e n a r r i v e m a i n t e n a n t a u x q u e s t i o n sp o s é e sp a ; sentative of Cuba,with reference to part 1,section C, chapters 1 and 2, namely, the declaratïons re- quired from each State. In this connexion, I refer to Security Council document S/747, dated 15 May 1948, conveyed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations by the Foreign Minister of the Provisional Governmentof Israel, includ- ing declarations made by the ProvisionaI Govenment of Israel on social and political equality, free- dom of conscience worship, education, culture and language, the safeguarding of the sanctity and inviolability of the shrines, and the upholding of the principles of the United Nations.
        This document also expresses the readiness of the Provisional Government to co-operate with the organs of the United Nations then established for implementing the General Assembly’s resolu- tion of 29 November 1947. The Foreign Minister’s message ends :
        “I beg to declare upon behalf of the Provisional Government of the State of Israel its readiness to sign the declaration and undertaking provided for respectively in part 1, C, and part 1, D, of the resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations.”

    • eljay on May 9, 2012, 2:09 pm

      >> How do you only think about how it inconveniences you without thinking of why it is there in the first place.

      Yes, you might want to think about why it is there in the first place.

      >> link to timesofisrael.com

      Your article is about checkpoints near Nablus, which is not in the Glorious Jewish State.

    • tree on May 9, 2012, 3:37 pm

      Checkpoints and closure existed as an Israeli policy long before the first suicide bomber hit Israel. From Amira Hass:

      On the eve of the Gulf War in 1991, an Israeli military order canceled an earlier order that granted all Palestinian inhabitants a “general exit permit” to Israel. Issued in the West Bank in the early 1970s, the general exit permit, which in effect assured Palestinians free movement in Israel, was extended to Gaza only in the mid-1980s, but in practice Gazans had enjoyed a similar freedom of movement almost since the West Bank order. This free movement was not “conferred” in the interests of equality-Jews were allowed and, indeed, encouraged to settle in the 1967 occupied territories, but Palestinians had no reciprocal right in Israel-but was one of Moshe Dayan’s measures for economically integrating the OPT into Israel with the aim of toning down Palestinian national aspirations and undermining the feasibility of an independent Palestinian state. But whatever the motives, freedom of movement meant a great deal for the individual Palestinian, both economically and socially. It also proved extremely valuable to the three hitherto separated Palestinian communities of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Israel proper, allowing them to reestablish direct contacts and reconsolidate the national and cultural common ground that endured despite the differences that had developed or been accentuated during the years of separation.

      It is true that even at the outset there were exceptions to the blanket rule of general exit permit: “security” suspects were prevented from free movement at various times, as were criminals, unless they joined Israel’s army of collaborators. But these were exceptions, and in general the Palestinian right to freedom of movement was respected by the Israeli authorities. Even when there were fierce Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians in Israel, no one demanded that entrances to Israel be sealed off.

      Some broader exceptions to the rule were introduced with the first intifada as of 1988. In Gaza, a magnetic card was imposed on anyone wishing to travel to Israel. This second identity card, renewable yearly for a fee to Palestinians presumed not to represent a security threat, tightened control over the Gazan population. Meanwhile, at about the same time in the West Bank, the “green identity card” (as opposed to the ordinary orange one) was introduced for “security cases”–former prisoners and activists–preventing them from crossing the Green Line. But the majority of the population continued to be able to exercise their right to free movement throughout the entire territory, just as Israelis did.

      It was the Gulf War that provided the occasion to reverse this situation of free movement for the many and prohibition for the few. From then on, there was a blanket denial of the right for all Palestinians, with exceptions being made for certain explicit categories–including workers, merchants, people in need of medical treatment, collaborators, and important Palestinian personalities–which were granted passes. In principle, this has been the rule since then, though its practice has been modified and tightened with time.

      Between the revocation of the general exit permit in 1991 and March 1993, when Israeli police began launching relentless pursuits to capture and arrest “infiltrators” and military courts started imposing heavy fines on those caught without the proper pass, the regulations were still vague. Checkpoints were not systematic and there were no “borders” per se; it was still fairly easy to sneak out, even from the Strip. Moreover, the new rules seemed to be enforced mainly concerning entry into Israel, with travel between the West Bank and Gaza being more tolerated. Still, during those first two years of closure, the number of Palestinian workers in Israel was slashed, setting off a chain of economic blows to individual Palestinian families and the community. Trips to Israel for shopping or other normal activities were already becoming a thing of the past. Gradually, travel between the West Bank and Gaza also became increasingly difficult and, finally, almost impossible.

      A second “novelty” was introduced in March 1993: the entire municipality of East Jerusalem, which Israel greatly expanded and annexed in 1967, was incorporated de facto into the no-entry Israeli territory. Ever since that time, the Palestinian cultural, religious, institutional, economic, and commercial capital has been encircled, with ever-expanding bureaucratic measures and regulations forbidding or “thinning” Palestinian entry into the city. At first, only men under forty needed permits, then women as well, and finally everybody of all ages required them.

      The Israeli pass system, introduced not long before the Madrid peace conference and at a time when the Palestinian-Israeli negotiating process was already in the planning stages, was consolidated during the Oslo years. Indeed, it was with the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 1994 that the special bureaucratic-military machinery of the pass system was developed, with heavy input from Shin Bet. Palestinian officials became the middlemen who either transferred the Israeli-approved permits to their fellow Palestinians or transmitted the rejection.

      The pass system turned a universal basic right into a coveted privilege–or portion of a privilege–allotted to a minority on a case-by-case basis. For the privilege was not whole: it had gradations. Some passes permitted an overnight stay in Israel, others required return by dusk, a few were for an entire month. Some restricted means of transport to the special group taxis parked outside the Erez checkpoint in the Gaza Strip; a handful allowed the use of private cars from door to door. The hand that giveth also taketh away: some months as many as 1,000 businessmen might be granted passes, other months only 300; sometimes the passes for Gazans would be for Israel and the West Bank, sometimes only for the West Bank. It was thus that an entire society was stratified and segmented on the basis of whether one had access, and in what portion, to the “privilege” of freedom of movement.

      The societal segmentation resulting from the pass system accompanied the territorial segmentation Israel initiated immediately after the 1967 war when it began colonizing the occupied territories. And like the curtailment of Palestinian movement, the process of territorial fragmentation intensified during the “decade of peace.” Not only did the settlements continue to grow, but a huge and ever-expanding network of high-quality bypass roads was built in the OPT linking Israeli settlements to each other and to Israel proper, while circumventing Palestinian communities and cutting Palestinian villages off from each other, from the larger towns, and even from their own fields and orchards.

      With the Oslo II (Taba) agreement of September 1995, the final stage of the segmentation was achieved with the division of the West Bank, like the Gaza Strip before it, into a confusing mosaic of pieces of territory with differing status depending on the nature of the security control over them. Area A enclaves were to have “full” (in fact, limited) Palestinian security and civil control, area B had Israeli security and Palestinian civil control, and area C, the great mass of the land, was under full Israeli control. As the Palestinians understood it, the area under “full” Palestinian control, initially limited to the main towns, was gradually to be increased so that by the end of the interim period (originally set for May 1999) it would cover “most” of the West Bank apart from the built-up areas of the settlements and the military installations (as stipulated vaguely in the accords). But as the transfer of territory was contingent upon the PA’s good behavior and delivery of security goods (fighting terror and preventing anti-Israeli violence), Israel alone could decide the land transfers. By September 2000, then, the area A enclaves totaled 18 percent, whereas area C–the agricultural and development land reservoir–covered a full 60 percent. In Gaza, meanwhile, 20 percent of the narrow Strip was set aside for the Israeli army and the settlers, representing 0.5 percent of the population.

      In retrospect, the most significant feature of the zoning was not its delineation according to security control, which the PA had seen as the primary achievement. The second intifada demonstrates daily how the A zoning is no buffer against Israeli attacks and incursions. Indeed, it was only with the outbreak of the current uprising that the extraordinary ingenuity of the “zoning” system, backed by the network of bypass roads, could be fully appreciated: with most of the population living in the scattered islands of A and B, separated from each other by the vast ocean of C lands, hundreds of villages and half a dozen towns could be totally paralyzed by strategically placed barricades and ditches, tanks, and IDF sharpshooters, thereby devastating an entire economy and disrupting all social life. At the same time, the fact that the great majority of the Palestinians live under ostensible PA civil responsibility enables Israel to disclaim its obligations toward the civilian population (even though legally it remains the occupier). With astonishing success, Israel, both before and during the current uprising, has managed to portray the dire economic and other civil repercussions of the closure-induced fragmentation, its own invention as the occupying power, as none of its concern.

      The whole article is worth a read, and a bookmarking, for when the willfully ignorant trot out the old hasbara lines about the “necessity” of the checkpoints for “security”.

      http://www.fromoccupiedpalestine.org/node/371

    • Talkback on May 9, 2012, 3:50 pm

      “The checkpoints are unfortunately necessary.”

      Sure. Crimes have to be protected, too.

  11. annie on May 9, 2012, 2:01 pm

    another phil weiss literary extravaganza. wonderful writing.

  12. on May 9, 2012, 2:25 pm

    This reminds me of the arguments about the crime rate in NYC in the late 90s. The murder rate dropped 80% after the police force was doubled. The Annies of the world insisted, I’m sure that one had nothing to do with the other.

    • tree on May 9, 2012, 3:20 pm

      For Terry, who must have missed it. And for Fred, too.

      One Thousand Two Hundred Seventy Six People Per Week

      That’s the average number of West Bank Palestinians arrested each week IN ISRAEL, for working there without a permit. Everyone of them had to find a way around the Separation Barrier and the checkpoints in order to get to their work in Israel. That’s the minimum number of people that made it past Israeli “security measures”each week. Suicide bombers, if there were any, could have easily used the same paths and tactics.

      Your statement belies a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy on your part, Terry.

      Read the article. Look at all the pictures of Palestinians crossing the barriers. Read Diane Mason’s (lawrence of Cyberia) earlier article, Western News Media and the Manufacture of Conventional Wisdom

      Up until now, this might just be ignorance on your part. After this, I will take it as your wish to remain willfully stupid if you repeat your falsities.

      Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, Terry.

      • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 5:33 am

        People really don’t get what security fences are for do they.
        The are not meant to provide an air tight security.
        Just as checkpoints don’t provide it.
        They are meant to hinder movement to make it more difficult for people
        with bad intentions to move.the data you show is from 2007.
        The Intifada was over at that time. During the Intifada
        these attempts to cross the fence would have been met with armed patrols and people ready to shoot.That’s the whole point of it.
        What you are doing is showing a security measure during peace time
        and saying there is no point to it.It’s like pointing to a policemen
        sitting in his squad car eating donuts and saying there is no need
        for him carry a weapon since he doesn’t use it at the moment.

        Security is not achieved by just a fence or by just policemen.
        It’s achieved by a number of measures combined.

        In the Second Intifada it was the combination of the Fence being built
        that hindered the suicide bombers and operation Defensive Wall which
        destroyed their bases of operation.

      • on May 10, 2012, 10:43 am

        Anyway, that article is from five years ago, and the photos probably even earlier. Don’t try climbing over the fence today.

      • Chaos4700 on May 11, 2012, 9:51 am

        They are meant to hinder movement to make it more difficult for people
        with bad intentions to move.

        Like people who intend to continue living on land as the generations before them when that land “should” be “Jewish?” Oh we knew that, Oleg. The fences aren’t about keeping people out… they’re designed to keep people in. Most concentration camps rather need to work that way, ethnic cleansing doesn’t proceed very well when you have “untermenschen” children cavorting where you want to build your government-subsidized condos.

      • seanmcbride on May 11, 2012, 10:49 am

        The more that one sees pro-Israel activists try to defend Israeli policies, the more one realizes that Zionism is a racist ideology and project at its root and through and through. Zionism is radically incompatible with Americanism and modern Western democratic values. Nearly every word uttered by pro-Israel activists hammers home this point.

        Their only viable move at this stage of the game is to try to turn Americans and Europeans into anti-democratic racists and religious fanatics — and that is precisely what the Israel lobby — especially its neoconserative and Christian Zionist wings — has been up to for quite some time now.

      • tree on May 16, 2012, 3:01 am

        Terryscott,

        Anyway, that article is from five years ago, and the photos probably even earlier. Don’t try climbing over the fence today.

        A similar number of illegal Palestinian workers are in Israel today. The fence doesn’t provide any more “security” than it did 5 years ago.

        http://www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk/resources/fact-sheets/712-the-predicament-of-palestinian-workers-in-israel

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/border-police-train-israeli-teens-to-detain-illegal-palestinian-workers-1.405091

        http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/palestinian-ghosts-keep-the-israeli-economy-moving

      • tree on May 16, 2012, 3:13 am

        During the Intifada these attempts to cross the fence would have been met with armed patrols and people ready to shoot.That’s the whole point of it. What you are doing is showing a security measure during peace time
        and saying there is no point to it.It’s like pointing to a policemen
        sitting in his squad car eating donuts and saying there is no need
        for him carry a weapon since he doesn’t use it at the moment.

        No, what I’m doing is pointing to the policeman eating donuts and refuting your insistence that the donuts are some kind of “security measure”. The donuts don’t stop any crime from happening but you, by analogy, are presuming that because there isn’t any crime happening at this moment, it must be because the policeman is eating donuts. The separation barrier is there: it isn’t an “un-carried weapon”. It exists. It’s simply an ineffective security measure for keeping out any Palestinian who really wants to get into Israel. Tens of thousands of Palestinians get in weekly. If a Palestinian suicide bomber wanted to get through it or around it he could do that just as easily as the incredible number of illegal Palestinian workers do. The barrier is a failure at its falsely stated purpose. But it happens to be a great land grab and Palestinian economy squasher and that is why it is there.

    • piotr on May 9, 2012, 3:52 pm

      With the real crime much diminished, NYC police is inventing new pursuits. For example, the latest fad seems to be to frisk women on the street and confiscate condoms if they have any. Which is so crazy that NY legislature wants to do something about it. Of course, IDF goes for higher levels of absurdity, like the expedition to Ramallah to steal 2 laptops, 3 hard drives and 10 memory cards. Or regulating bicycle traffic by smacking bicyclists with M-16. NYC police had its share of fights with bicyclists too but so far they do not confiscate laptops.

      About M-16, I do not think that Col. Eisner wanted to use a fire arm. My impression was that he was raptured by a vision, that he found a jawbone of an ass and then faced a crowd of Philistines.

      • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 5:34 am

        /With the real crime much diminished, NYC police is inventing new pursuits. For example, the latest fad seems to be to frisk women on the street and confiscate condoms if they have any/
        Really , why? (I am not joking i am seriously asking)

      • playforpalestine on May 10, 2012, 6:08 pm

        I live in NYC. What piotr’s describing is a misleading half-truth. The police sometimes take condoms from prostitutes they arrest as potential evidence. (A woman with nothing in her bag but pepper spray and 24 condoms MIGHT seem suspicious in court, after all.) The practice is discouraged by sex worker advocates because the city needs to be encouraging sex workers to use condoms, not taking them away, a fair criticism.

        But it’s not a police fad to frisk random women and take their condoms. The police aren’t randomly stealing from passersby.

      • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 5:37 am

        / Of course, IDF goes for higher levels of absurdity, like the expedition to Ramallah to steal 2 laptops, 3 hard drives and 10 memory cards. /
        The level of absurdity depends on what will they find in them
        don’t you think?

        /About M-16, I do not think that Col. Eisner wanted to use a fire arm/
        Well he didn’t use a fire arm if he did there would be a lot of dead cyclists
        instead of a few “martyrs” for the cause with bruised lips.

      • Chaos4700 on May 11, 2012, 9:21 am

        An absolutely ringing endorsement of Stalinesque security procedures, Oleg.

      • Mooser on May 17, 2012, 6:14 pm

        Man oh man, we read all about the NYPD giving training in Islamophobia, and now OlegR is running them down. Way to stab your friends in the back, OlegR. But then that’s an Israeli specialty, if I’m not mistaken.

      • eljay on May 10, 2012, 8:00 am

        >> … I do not think that Col. Eisner wanted to use a fire arm. My impression was that he was raptured by a vision, that he found a jawbone of an ass and then faced a crowd of Philistines.

        The vision, however, was much more flattering than the reality: Eisner has a jawbone and he acted like a complete ass.

    • seafoid on May 9, 2012, 4:24 pm

      Israel can’t afford YESHA, Terry. Look at your education compared to Annie’s. Spin the costs out another generation and work out what happens. If you can think that far out.

      Your brain is missing huge tracts where others process empathy and logic.

    • DaveS on May 10, 2012, 9:59 am

      Terry, the NYC police force was doubled? When was that? And what were the numbers? When did the murder and overall crime rate begin to decline? After the supposed doubling? Are you aware that the overall crime rate throughout the entire country declined significantly during the 1990’s? Was that the result of NYC doubling its police force, or were police forces everywhere doubled? Of course, all this stuff about NYC is beside the point, except to the extent that it shows how simplistic your thinking is about construction of the wall and reduction in attacks against Israeli civilians. Then you dismiss the “Annies of the world” as simpletons for questioning what you have eagerly swallowed.

    • Chaos4700 on May 11, 2012, 9:52 am

      “Racial profiling DOES work!” Is that what you are saying?

  13. James North on May 9, 2012, 4:22 pm

    “Bill” is a man of courage and integrity, with the rare quality of being able to challenge his own once deeply-held views. I look forward to Part 2. I also would like to see Bill tell his own story at some stage.

  14. tree on May 9, 2012, 4:32 pm

    The driver shrugged. ‘Why not? This is Jewish land. You are American so you don’t understand. They could have had peace twenty times already. But they don’t want it.”

    He dropped us off with the warning that we shouldn’t tell any Palestinian we were from America, we could get in trouble.

    We walked 100 yards around the circle at Tappuah junction to get to the Nablus road. A service was there, and the driver opened the back door so we could put in our suitcases.

    “Where are you from?” he asked.

    Bill said, “We’re Americans.”

    “Welcome,” the driver said, and shook our hands.

    This is the point at which I fell in love with Bill. :-)

    • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 5:21 am

      The word was could get in trouble.
      And Phil should really try and reach Nablus the next time we have (God Forbid)
      a cycle of violence.

      • eljay on May 10, 2012, 8:59 am

        >> And Phil should really try and reach Nablus the next time we have (God Forbid) a cycle of violence.

        Nablus is far inside the West Bank. I can’t imagine why the Glorious Jewish State would be involved in any “cycle of violence” i) so far outside of its borders and ii) involving Palestinians in their own lands.

      • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 9:38 am

        I am sure if you think about it you might find any number of possible
        or even impossible explanations.

      • eljay on May 10, 2012, 11:17 am

        >> I am sure if you think about it you might find any number of possible or even impossible explanations.

        I can’t think of any explanations that don’t include the word “occupation”.

      • Chaos4700 on May 11, 2012, 9:22 am
  15. Daniel Rich on May 9, 2012, 5:17 pm

    I always bring in my granddad when I want to say things I know I’ll get into trouble for saying and it never fails to work. Every country’s fucked up? I’ve only traveled to 16% of them, so I can’t speak for the majority, but I don’t agree with that notion, unless you refer to governments [in general].

  16. dbroncos on May 9, 2012, 8:48 pm

    I enjoyed your role as devil’s advocate, Phil.

    • kalithea on May 10, 2012, 2:48 am

      I didn’t.

    • thankgodimatheist on May 11, 2012, 9:40 am

      “I enjoyed your role as devil’s advocate, Phil.”

      I can’t be sure it was his intention. But I could be wrong.

      • Mooser on May 18, 2012, 2:04 pm

        Oh, Phil’s critique of Israel is pretty well-thought-out, and his devotion to it (the critique) complete, he just goes a little soft around the edges when he’s surrounded by tanning oil, steroids, thongs, and newsprint.
        Hard to blame him, since he usually comes around, and his reassuring the Methodists that Jewish girls, and men would still be able to contact each other and show off their muscles, even with BDS, was very noble.
        But maybe it backfired?

  17. ritzl on May 10, 2012, 12:34 am

    Looking forward to part 2.

  18. kalithea on May 10, 2012, 2:30 am

    “She was cool but it felt decadent. I couldn’t believe that the galvanized steel of apartheid Qalandiya was less than an hour away. But maybe it was because of apartheid Qalandiya that she is this way.”

    Hmmm…Does Apartheid make Zionist women look hotter or do Zionist women get turned on by Apartheid and the suffering of Palestinians? If only the dark cloud of Apartheid weren’t there to spoil the fun. But it inspires this analogy in me: Everytime Jews visit Israel, they flirt with Apartheid. Especially when they enjoy the sites, or enjoy a drink or coffee at a cool bar or cafe or maybe merely the sight of a Zionist chick in black tights. Granted, some unfortunately take it much further. Meanwhile, Palestinians suffer…3 a.m. arrests, indefinite illegal detainment, torture, checkpoints, evictions, destruction of their property, torching of olive groves, land theft and more ethnic cleansing, and Palestinian children are born every year into this miserable situation.

    Toxic affection for Israel in deed. I’m glad Bill decided to leave early, never to return, I trust.

    But others just can’t help themselves; they keep going back for more.

  19. kalithea on May 10, 2012, 2:57 am

    “I kept looking at the sexy waitress with her black tights and short skirt and good jawline and tied-back hair.”

    Missing from the description are: Ignorant, apathetic, shallow Zionist, I mean…sexy waitress… Or were we just supposed to read the truth between the lines? I know-I know, the truth isn’t “sexy”.

    • Mooser on May 17, 2012, 6:19 pm

      “I kept looking at the sexy waitress with her black tights and short skirt and good jawline and tied-back hair.”

      As a married Jewish man, I do not even raise my eyes to strange womens. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the only way to go into wedded abyss.

      • Mooser on May 18, 2012, 2:30 pm

        I might add that not raising one’s eyes to strange women (and that’s how I like ’em, the stranger the better!) allows you to walk right into them and cop a quick feel in the ensuing confusion. Works every time.
        Except once in a while you get a bust in the mouth, but it’s a risk you gotta take.

  20. proudzionist777 on May 10, 2012, 9:46 am

    It’s got a huge ramp going down with all these people crammed on it. It’s completely different from when I was here last. I found it disturbing.”

    Bill was still agitated. “Did you see when we were going out there was a sign saying ‘Israel,’ with an arrow? Israel! As if they don’t know. Why can’t it just say Exit?”

    Phil. You spent ten days with this guy?
    Oy.

    • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 10:45 am

      He does sound to be extremely tedious person.
      I am tempted to think that maybe Bill is just some aspect of Phil’s personality
      and that he holds these dialog’s with himself.
      That would be a nice twist in the plot.

      • Chaos4700 on May 11, 2012, 9:23 am

        It must be tedious to listen to people who are criticizing you when you have boots on people’s necks.

      • Mooser on May 17, 2012, 6:22 pm

        “I am tempted to think that maybe Bill is just some aspect of Phil’s personality and that he holds these dialog’s with himself.”

        Oh, I see. You happen to think the blog-owner is a compulsive and quite complete liar and fantasist, but that cheap Israeli laptop you bought just won’t get any other website?
        Oleg, you put the ‘dick’ in “ridiculous”.

      • Mooser on May 17, 2012, 6:24 pm

        Oh look, OlegR spells “dialogue” the liberal Zionist way!

        BTW, OlegR, if you know that there is, in fact, no “Bill M” the guy to call is Marty Peretz. I’m sure he’d be tickled to know about it.

      • annie on May 17, 2012, 7:54 pm

        you put the ‘dick’ in “ridiculous”

        lol, omg…to be a fly on the wall of your mind for just one day mooser!

      • Mooser on May 18, 2012, 2:06 pm

        Annie, if you are trying to say that my mind resembles fly-paper, and works the same way, you wouldn’t be far off!

        And speaking of insect pests, he puts the “louse” in there, too.

      • annie on May 18, 2012, 7:17 pm

        he puts the “louse” in there, too.

        lousedick? is that a sharp “e”, or soft? either way it doesn’t add up.

      • Mooser on May 18, 2012, 10:45 pm

        Ridiculouse, of course.

  21. seanmcbride on May 10, 2012, 12:02 pm

    OlegR,

    Sometimes Phil Weiss seems to be rising, in small bits and pieces, to Philip Roth territory, especially in two of my favorite Roth novels which delve into Israeli political issues:

    1. Operation Shylock: A Confession (1994)

    http://www.amazon.com/Operation-Shylock-Confession-Vintage-International/dp/0679750290/

    2. The Counterlife (1996)

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Counterlife-Philip-Roth/dp/0679749047/

    When I get a taste of that, I reminded of what a great genius Roth is — an amazing truth-seeker and truth-teller. Those kinds of visionary minds only appear on the scene now and then.

    • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 8:00 pm

      I was unfamiliar with this author.
      Thanks.

      • Chaos4700 on May 11, 2012, 9:52 am

        Oh there’s a shocker, you were unfamiliar with literature.

      • Mooser on May 17, 2012, 6:30 pm

        “I was unfamiliar with this author.
        Thanks.”

        Oleg, you will want to make sure to read Philip Roth’s deep explication of Jewish culture and ringing endorsement of Zionism, with footnotes. It is a veritable guide to the perplexed in fighting deligitimatisation of Israel. The book is called “Portnoy’s Complaint”

      • playforpalestine on May 17, 2012, 10:44 pm

        “It is a veritable guide to the perplexed in fighting deligitimatisation of Israel.”

        Really? How so?

      • Mooser on May 18, 2012, 2:10 pm

        So you haven’t read the book either? Part of it takes place in Israel.

        And no, I am not going to link you to it, or read it out loud to you at bedtime with your borscht and cookies. It’s available in hardback or paperback.

        But since you are, apparently, completely incapable of even the most simple deconstruction, the chapter which tells us (“now you know the worst thing I ever did”) about his family’s liver dinner is a metaphoric parable. So read it, and keep similing

      • Mooser on May 18, 2012, 2:24 pm

        To all Jewish Community Leaders, Zionist organisations, and the IDF and Mossad:
        Please, please, before you send habaratchniks to plague Mondoweiss, and give their ignorant opinions on Jewish affairs, can you at least make sure they have read the basic texts?

      • playforpalestine on May 22, 2012, 9:27 am

        Mooser,

        No, I have read the book. Unlike Oleg I am American, and I have quite a few of Roth’s books. (Why you would chastise him for being unaware of an American author, even a famous one, I don’t know.)

        I wasn’t asking for a summary. I just disagreed with you. Or rather, I fail to see how the book in any way “is a veritable guide to the perplexed in fighting deligitimatisation of Israel.” Would you care to defend your statement?

        “But since you are, apparently, completely incapable of even the most simple deconstruction, the chapter which tells us (“now you know the worst thing I ever did”) about his family’s liver dinner is a metaphoric parable.”

        Maybe it’s pretentious, but a pet peeve of mine is when people use the word “deconstruct” when they actually mean “analyze.” It tends to speak of insecurity IMO when people are intentionally abstruse just for the sake of showing off.

  22. stevieb on May 10, 2012, 12:57 pm

    ““Look, our side isn’t always right,” I said. “We can be imbalanced. Some folks think that Israel is going to be dismantled tomorrow. It’s not going away. Look at this place. It’s here to stay. I’m in Palestinian solidarity, because they’re the victims, but in a criminal case, the victimized family always wants the death penalty, and society doesn’t have to grant the death penalty. It doesn’t have to be inside that family. It has to balance other interests.”

    There’s alot of truth in that – but when we’re talking about Israel, the Palestinians aren’t the only victims. That’s why I don’t think Israel is going to be here forever.

    Other than that, well written thought provoking read, Mr.Weiss…

    • OlegR on May 10, 2012, 7:56 pm

      /There’s alot of truth in that – but when we’re talking about Israel, the Palestinians aren’t the only victims. That’s why I don’t think Israel is going to be here forever./
      OMFG who else?

      • annie on May 10, 2012, 8:06 pm

        seriously? heard of the golan heights? lebanon? egypt? jordan? iraq? iran?

      • American on May 19, 2012, 1:31 am

        Er….how about the US, we’re victims of Israel…..USS Liberty and a trillion dollar heist over the years.

      • playforpalestine on May 22, 2012, 5:14 pm

        So money that was freely given becomes re-categorized as stolen. I guess that makes sense, it’s sort of like how you refer to Arab land that was legally purchased as stolen.

        And the USS Liberty? More people died building the Hoover Dam. Is America a victim of the Hoover Dam?

      • lysias on May 24, 2012, 12:29 pm

        Taxpayers’ money handed over by bribed politicians was not freely given by the taxpayers.

      • playforpalestine on May 25, 2012, 12:54 am

        “Taxpayers’ money handed over by bribed politicians was not freely given by the taxpayers.”

        Actually, by virtue of the fact that we live in a republic, you’re wrong. Or rather, you’re right, but it doesn’t matter. That money was as freely given as any money that Washington distributes/spends.

        When were all the presidents bribed, btw?

  23. OlegR on May 10, 2012, 8:26 pm

    I know that they are and a few were in conflicts with us but how are they victims
    all of a sudden?
    Enemies in the past/present sure but victims?
    The Nazerist Egypt Saddams Iraq the Baathist Syria are all victims?
    Lebanon sure they can claim they are a victim being the puppet state that they are but the rest?

    • Chaos4700 on May 11, 2012, 9:24 am

      Cough cough Lavon Affair cough.

      • Chaos4700 on May 11, 2012, 9:32 am

        Oh, and Sabra and Shatila.

      • playforpalestine on May 16, 2012, 2:03 am

        they were palestinians

    • annie on May 11, 2012, 9:30 am

      how are they victims all of a sudden?

      nothing sudden about it. check out ‘a lebanese story’

      http://frustratedarab.com/2012/05/09/a-lebanese-story-2/

    • Mooser on May 17, 2012, 6:32 pm

      “Enemies in the past/present….”

      For 2500 goddam years those Palestinians have tried to exterminate the Jewish people, in Europe, in America, all over the world!

      • Mooser on May 18, 2012, 2:17 pm

        ANd I will never, ever forget or forgive what the Palestinians did to us in WW2, or even how they kicked us out of Spain. I had to cancel my flamenco guitar and castenet lessons!

  24. Mooser on May 18, 2012, 10:55 pm

    That’s it. I am writing the Israeli embassy! Look, I am as anti-Zionist as the next fellow, but I’m still a Jew. And damn it, you know I don’t accept any nonsense about Jewish superior intelligence (after all, I’m living proof of that, if you call this living) but I can’t just sit here while these amateur hasbaracthniks make us look stupider than anybody else. That’s just not fair.
    Why can’t they send somebody with a minimal intelligence, a knowledge of the area, it’s history and smart enough to at least make a decent attempt to hide their bigotry and sociopathic outlook. Also the ability use a dictionary and spel-chek should be a prerequisite for attempting “dialog” (sic)
    I mean, c’mon this is getting humiliating. What happens when Gentiles read this and think, ‘so this is what Jews are like’? I wish they would give just a little thought to that before writing.

    • Mooser on May 18, 2012, 11:01 pm

      And you all know what kids are like! Well, what about young Jewish kids reading this stuff and saying “See, Mom and Dad, I don’t need to go to school past the sixth grade” Kids need to know that education is important!

    • Danaa on May 22, 2012, 1:52 am

      Mooser, OlegR and Playforpalestine are obviously anti-semites who are at MW to give a bad name to Jewish intelligence and to delegitimize Israel. I mean, with defenders like this, who needs detractors?

      I am sure they must be Dannish infiltrators from the ISM. It’s just not possible that the jewish gene pool has deteriorated to such an extent. Or could it be contamination from the Khazari and/or Berber ancestors that’s finally bubbling up to the top (with apologies to all true and proud Kahazaris and Berbers).

      • playforpalestine on May 22, 2012, 9:45 am

        Danaa,

        I’m honestly not sure which side you support here, but I just want to say that any post which insults me, only to go on and spout racist invectives, makes my point for me.

        My favorite part is when you insult the Khazars and Berbers by calling them stupid, only to then cluelessly offer them vapid condolence compliments, like true and proud.

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