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Obama succumbs to rightwing ‘fearmongering’ — of Israel’s ‘delegitimization’

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Earlier this week Gideon Levy wrote an important column in Haaretz rejecting the claim that Israel’s critics are seeking to “delegitimize” Israel. Israel exists, he said; and the fearmongering over delegitimization is just an effort to absolve Israel of responsibility for a regime of occupation and religious nationalism, which is the source of the loss of legitimacy. 

I excerpt his column below. Levy is eloquent, and you should read him for yourself.

What I find interesting is that this rightwing campaign, as Levy describes it, has been completely and utterly imbibed by the Obama administration, which regurgitates it at every turn. I count about a dozen references to countering delegitimization at the White House website. 

The White House is obviously reflecting a theme of the Israel lobby. Here are some of the oppositions to delegitimization uttered by Obama, and then Joe Biden’s more loquacious and impassioned statements: 

2011: “For the Palestinians, efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure.”

2011:  “On my watch, the United States of America has led the way, from Durban to the United Nations, against attempts to use international forums to delegitimize Israel.  And we will continue to do so.”

2012: “When attempts are made to delegitimize the state of Israel, we oppose them.”

2013, Biden speaking to AIPAC: “Let me tell you what worries me the most today — what worries me more than at any time in the 40 years I’ve been engaged, and it is different than any time in my career.  And that is the wholesale, seemingly coordinated effort to delegitimize Israel as a Jewish state.  That is the single most dangerous, pernicious change that has taken place, in my humble opinion, since I’ve been engaged.” 

Biden in 2011 again to a Jewish group: “this is the most concerted effort in my 36 years in the Senate and two and a half years as Vice President that I have seen an effort to literally delegitimize Israel as a nation state.  It’s occurring in Europe.  It’s occurring around the world.”

Now here is Gideon Levy, explaining why “delegitimization” of an occupier and a Jewish state are actually legitimate arguments:

When the right screams ‘delegitimization,’ it purposely exaggerates. Even the most heated criticism of Israel is directed at the regime: most of it deals with Israel being a regime of occupation – an overtly illegitimate reality – and some of it is directed at its definition as an ethnic-national state, the Jewish state.

There is no other state that carries out such an occupation, nor another state that defines itself according to its ethnic, religious or national purity. France is not the state of the French, nor is Germany the state of the Germans. They’re both the states of their citizens….

The fear mongering of delegitimization is aimed at obscuring reality and allowing Israel to ignore responsibility for its actions, which is the source of the Israeli regime’s lack of legitimacy. Precious few seriously discuss destroying Israel, and in any case, no one has the power to do so. Israel’s critics and haters – and unfortunately there many of these – question Israel’s regime and policies, not Israel’s existence. They believe that the values of natural justice dictate a different Israel: not an occupier and not (only ) Jewish…

We would be better off facing reality honestly, with a sober outlook rather than a brain-washed one: A state that was established in large part on the ashes of the Holocaust, whose creation was enthusiastically supported by most nations and whose existence is supported by an even larger majority today, has veered off the path and lost its way; that is the reason for the outcry against it.



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54 Responses

  1. seafoid
    June 26, 2013, 11:08 am

    “wholesale, seemingly coordinated effort to delegitimize Israel as a Jewish state. That is the single most dangerous, pernicious change that has taken place, in my humble opinion, since I’ve been engaged.”

    It’s more dangerous than the melting of the arctic ice sheet ?
    Empires rise and fall. Imperial overreach is a bitch.

    • Citizen
      June 26, 2013, 12:05 pm

      Beiden’s the same guy who stated at that same AIPAC meeting that Israel needs to exist because all non-jews are innately inclined to be jew-haters, including that 98% of Americans–all but Beiden himself (and his fake chicklet teeth and hairplugs).

      • annie
        June 26, 2013, 2:58 pm

        this is coming right from the top:

        “I think everyone understands there’s no left, right or center when it comes to this issue,” said Hoenlein, referring to Stephen Hawking’s decision to boycott the conference. “This is an effort to delegitimize and destroy the Jewish state. It’s not about policy, it’s not about settlements, it’s not about ’67 — it’s about ’47, and it’s about Israel’s right to exist.”

        same guy featured on our front page today is alex’s ‘Leading American Jewish group announces plan to ramp up campaign against BDS movement’

        “Malcolm Hoenlein, a top official with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations”:

        this is professional hasbara. it doesn’t matter if it’s biden saying it or obama saying it or what.ever. it’s by design. same haaretz article:

        “I’m not saying that people should compromise on their principles – if people have principles, they should advocate for them, but you can do it in a different atmosphere, one of respect.”

        exactly the message of the big campaign all the rabbis are on we’ve written about. to reel in the troops and keep conversation about bds and apartheid within the synagogue. that’s Hoenlein’s code in “one of respect”. it also is the same idea behind reut’s ‘red lines’ and ‘inside the tent’.

        so there is a powerful force trying to set the boundaries of what’s acceptable speech. there’s also the blame and shame for anyone who steps out of line.

        but frankly i think they do not have that much control.

        but speaking of control. here’s Haaretz on Hoenlein again:

        In the business of presenting American Jewry as a united front to the world, Malcolm Hoenlein does not make a habit of publicizing his own personal views – particularly on contentious matters

        well, he hardly has to work at that! he’s got plenty of MW people who will do it for him:

      • seafoid
        June 26, 2013, 11:39 pm

        “I’m not saying that people should compromise on their principles – if people have principles, they should advocate for them, but you can do it in a different atmosphere, one of respect.”

        Absolute bilge.
        Perhaps Norman Finkelstein or Maysoon Zayid could be asked to contribute a short video on the Zionist modus operandi in the context of “an atmosphere of respect” .

        “It was a technique which the Zionists were to employ throughout their struggle. The technique of promoting damaging personal attacks on those who stood in their way rather than trying to counter their arguments.”
        “Such non conformists were subtly made aware that their jobs might be at risk, their books unpublishable, their preferment out of the question, their public reputations vulnerable if they did not renounce the heresy of anti Zionism ”
        Publish it not, Mayhew and Adams, 1975

        The reckoning is coming and it is richly deserved.

      • Kathleen
        June 27, 2013, 12:22 pm

        It’s about the illegal settlements, parts of the illegal wall on internationally recognized Palestinian land, the humiliation of Palestinians, the killing of innocents, etc.

        As the group “Young Jewish and Proud” has stated through all of these illegal actions “Israel delegitimizes Israel”

      • lysias
        June 27, 2013, 1:45 pm

        Hoenlein was a regular guest on the neonconservative, Islamophobic Batchelor and Alexander [radio] Show in the years after 9/11. The hosts treated him with such respect that I got the impression he must have been a funder of the show (which, strangely, premiered on 9/8/2001 with a four-hour show blaming bin Laden for the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. After 9/11, it became a regular show.)

      • seafoid
        June 29, 2013, 10:22 am

        Israel was never really legitimate. They originally took 78% of Palestine instead of 50% and the 50% was dubious to start with. They never negotiated in the open.

  2. OlegR
    June 26, 2013, 11:25 am

    So let me get this straight Phil, in your eye Israel is a legitimate country?
    The way it is now not the way you would like it to be .

    • seafoid
      June 26, 2013, 11:49 am


      The Israel that includes annexed East Jerusalem is not legitimate. Israel no longer exists, actually . It was replaced by Erez Israel which is not legitimate.

    • Citizen
      June 26, 2013, 12:12 pm

      @ OlegR
      There’s nothing legitimate about Israel’s occupation, nor about its continued lebensraum land-grabbing in the OT. It’s also a fact that Israel as a geographical area was never recognized by the UN beyond the UN partition of it in ’47, and that Israel never has fulfilled the condition subsequent to its recognition by the UN as a UN member, full-fledged “nation among nations,”which condition subsequent was to allow return of the natives pronto.

    • Donald
      June 26, 2013, 12:47 pm

      What makes a country “legitimate”? It exists like all the other countries. It has a rotten human rights record, like many. But yes, it is legally recognized, etc…

      What’s interesting about the Obama Administration’s position is that they think Israel deserves to be recognized as a “legitimate” country, no matter what Palestinians may say, but Palestinians have to negotiate with no preconditions with the Israelis before they can have a “legitimate” country. And “no preconditions” is code for “Israel gets to keep as many settlements as it wants and can continue to expand while talks go on.”

    • Xpat
      June 26, 2013, 12:55 pm

      Oleg – And if Phil gets the answer to your question wrong, what will be his punishment?

      • OlegR
        June 26, 2013, 5:20 pm

        There is now right or wrong answer to my question.
        There can be only a truthful or a untruthful answer.

    • justicewillprevail
      June 26, 2013, 1:55 pm

      Well that would depend on where Israel actually is, since it doesn’t seem to know itself. And it would also depend on how it implements internationally agreed treaties, ones it has signed up for, as well as how it implements the universal declaration of human rights. Do tell us.

      • OlegR
        June 26, 2013, 5:21 pm

        There is no that would depend, i am asking about a given situation right here right now not a hypothetical one.

      • justicewillprevail
        June 27, 2013, 8:47 am

        Asking which geographical version of Israel is ‘legitimate’ is not hypothetical. And the ‘legitimacy’ of a state is tied into its actions, which are also not hypothetical. Besides, why are you so obsessed with this question, when there are a lot more important ones to answer? Clue: hasbara style non-question, a false either/or.

    • Taxi
      June 26, 2013, 2:38 pm

      Russian settlers like you are illegitimate in more sense than one. Your chosen ‘religious lifestyle’ is creating untold misery to millions of people, therefore making everything about israel illegitimate.

      • OlegR
        June 26, 2013, 5:24 pm

        Well that’s an honest answer taxi though it will have interesting implications about the legitimacy of Phils own country and a lot of others as well.
        I think Nauru might get off the hook …

      • lysias
        June 27, 2013, 1:48 pm

        The U.S. has defined boundaries at the moment.

      • seafoid
        June 26, 2013, 11:35 pm

        The religious lifestyle schtick makes me laugh.
        A mikvah in one hand and a merkava in the other.

    • Hostage
      June 26, 2013, 7:21 pm

      So let me get this straight Phil, in your eye Israel is a legitimate country?
      The way it is now not the way you would like it to be .

      Let’s see what would happen if we applied the same legal standards to the Jewish right of self-determination that our Congress and Supreme Court have applied to the exercise of that right by other peoples, i.e.:

      They claim that §2339B is invalid to the extent it prohibits them from engaging in certain specified activities, including training PKK members to use international law to resolve disputes peacefully; teaching PKK members to petition the United Nations and other representative bodies for relief; and engaging in political advocacy on behalf of Kurds living in Turkey and Tamils living in Sri Lanka.

      The material-support statute, §2339B, is constitutional as applied to the particular forms of support that plaintiffs seek to provide to foreign terrorist organizations. The Court cannot avoid the constitutional issues in this litigation by accepting plaintiffs’ argument that the material-support statute, when applied to speech, should be interpreted to require proof that a defendant intended to further a foreign terrorist organization’s illegal activities. [i.e. “specific direction” is not a relevant legal consideration] That reading is inconsistent with §2339B’s text, which prohibits “knowingly” providing material support and demonstrates that Congress chose knowledge about the organization’s connection to terrorism, not specific intent to further its terrorist activities, as the necessary mental state for a violation.

      — Holder, Attorney General, et al. v. Humanitarian Law Project, et al.

      Imagine if the major Jewish organizations were told that they couldn’t engage in political advocacy on behalf of Israel or its illegal settlement enterprise? There’s really no rhyme or reason for the exclusion of Israel from the State Department list of State sponsors of terrorism. In any event, the UCMJ cites §2339A, which applies to terrorists and organizations regardless of whether or not they’ve been specifically designated as such by the State Department. —

      Our Constitution outlines a delegated power which allows the Congress to determine punishments and penalties for violations of the Laws of Nations.

      In that connection, the Congress has adopted the old Articles of War and their modern-day successor, the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Both of those bodies of law established lists of war crimes that are offenses triable by military tribunals. Violation of the material support rule contained in §2339 is specifically included in 10 USC § 950t (the UCMJ) – Crimes triable by military commission. In fact, the government of Israel itself has been accused of committing most, if not all of the listed, triable offenses (see below).

      Note: Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions permits trials by regularly constituted courts using the normal rules contained in an Executive Order, the “Manual for Courts Martial” (MCM), and the UCMJ. But President Bush issued a special Executive Order which allowed for the use of procedures and evidence by the panels at Gitmo that would be considered unacceptable, or even illegal, in regular court martial proceedings. Those irregular rules are what violate the intent and content of Common Article 3, not the use of military tribunals per se.

      Our Supreme Court has long upheld the principle that any belligerent who crosses the border of another state, discards or doesn’t use a military uniform, and subsequently engages in war crimes, becomes an unlawful combatant. See for example, Ex Parte Quirin, para 10.

      There are at least a few thousand unlawful Jewish combatants in the OPt, including many American citizens or ex-pats. They are provided with considerable material support by the government of Israel and persons living in the USA. Hell, the WZO openly operates a settlement division out of the Prime Minister’s Office, despite the fact that the United States has asserted in the past that all of the settlements are illegal and that continued settlement is illegitimate.

      So nothing prevents the USA or other countries from declaring material support, including political advocacy on behalf of Israel, illegal on the basis of its illegitimate acts that violate the laws of nations. Those offenses are already outlined in our own the U.S. Code:
      (1) Murder of protected persons.
      (2) Attacking civilians.
      (3) Attacking civilian objects.
      (4) Attacking protected property.
      (5) Pillaging.
      (6) Denying quarter.
      (7) Taking hostages.
      (8) Employing poison or similar weapons.
      (9) Using protected persons as a shield.
      (10) Using protected property as a shield.
      (11) Torture.
      (12) Cruel or inhuman treatment.
      (13) Intentionally causing serious bodily injury.
      (14) Mutilating or maiming.
      (15) Murder in violation of the law of war.
      (16) Destruction of property in violation of the law of war.
      (17) Using treachery or perfidy.
      (18) Improperly using a flag of truce.
      (19) Improperly using a distinctive emblem.
      (20) Intentionally mistreating a dead body.
      (21) Rape.
      (22) Sexual assault or abuse.
      (23) Hijacking or hazarding a vessel or aircraft.
      (24) Terrorism.
      (25) Providing material support for terrorism.
      (26) Wrongfully aiding the enemy
      (27) Spying.
      (28) Attempts to do any of the above.
      (29) Conspiracy to do any of the above.
      (30) Solicitation to do any of the above.
      (31) Contempt for the military commission
      (32) Perjury and obstruction of justice.

      That’s why these hypocrites are running around shreying so loudly about Israel’s legitimacy.

      • lysias
        June 27, 2013, 1:50 pm

        Now that the PKK has declared a truce with Turkey, I wonder how it can still be called a terrorist organization.

  3. eljay
    June 26, 2013, 11:52 am

    >> … in your eye Israel is a legitimate country?

    It is an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist country, yes.

    In the eyes of Zio-supremacists, this qualifies as “legitimate”. Well, if that’s what legitimate means, and if demanding that a country…
    – be a secular, democratic and egalitarian nation of and for all of its citizens, equally;
    – not engage in offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaigns of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder;
    – be held accountable for its past and ON-GOING crimes; and
    – honour its responsibilities,
    …qualifies as de-legitimization, then de-legitimization is a good thing.

  4. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    June 26, 2013, 12:08 pm

    “whose creation was enthusiastically supported by most nations ”

    Except, of course, by the only nation whose opinioin should have counted: the Palestinian nation. It’s easy to support the invasion, takeover and theft of someone else’s land. If the US wanted an israel so bad, they should have donated the New York metro area.

  5. Gart Valenc
    Gart Valenc
    June 26, 2013, 12:22 pm

    Succumbs? Are you kidding me? Stop peddling Obama’s grotesque rhetoric. He has no credibility…none whatsoever. If anything, Obama is just following US traditional, unwavering position: to support Israel unconditionally.

    By behaving as Israel’s lawyer Obama and the US have granted Israel absolute impunity. Israel knows it can do whatever it seems fit in the knowledge that no matter how heinous its actions may be, they will not be followed by any sort of meaningful sanctions by the so-called international community, the European Union, and let alone by the US.

    As Rashid Khalidi has so lucidly expounded in his book “Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East” the US is, and always has been, a dishonest broker. Here is an opportunity to listen to his highly recommended talk On Israelis, Palestinians and Any Hope for Middle East Peace:

    Gart Valenc
    Twitter: @gartvalenc

    • john h
      john h
      June 27, 2013, 5:00 am

      Gart, can’t get anything from your link, is it correct?

      • tree
        June 29, 2013, 12:32 pm

        Try pasting this rather than clicking it:

        Or click the unshortened version here:

  6. gingershot
    June 26, 2013, 12:56 pm

    The Israeli Apartheid state must be kept off balance, delegitimized (as if it’s decades of scofflawing UN Resolutions, the Geneva Convention and all International Law haven’t already done that), and pressurized out of existence – until there is nothing left of it or it’s Neocon/Israeli Lobby supporters in the US.

    Such that that Israel as an Apartheid state desperate to try to protect Apartheid at any and all costs (to the US and the rest of the world) makes it so dangerous to Palestinians, the US and the American population, as well as regional strategic Middle East policy and peace

    The fight against Apartheid most definitely destabilizes and delegitimizes the Israeli state ‘as set up for Apartheid’ – great – bring on the BDS and ICC and make Apartheid howl with crippling sanctions such as Israel and her Neocons demand against Iran

    The prevention of Israel and her Israeli Lobby/Neocons hoaxing the US into YET ANOTHER 10 year war against Iran or Syria/Iran destabilizes and delegitimizes the Israeli state ‘as set up for Apartheid’ – great – bring on the prevention of the OUTLET provided by ‘continuous hoaxed wars for Israel’ drummed up/fabricated (Niger Yellowcake for Iraq, ‘smoking Iranian laptops’ for Iran, Sarin gas for Syria) by Mossad and her Neocons in the US

    Delegitimization of Israel and her Israeli Lobby by MAJOR MAINSTREAM (Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes, NYT, WAPO-levels) revelation and exposure of Israeli/Neocon involvement of Unit 8200 with and AROUND the NSA and it’s support by Neocons/Israeli Lobby here in the US to completely penetrate the US population – such that THEY read everything the NSA reads WITHOUT an ‘Unit 8200 FISA Court Review’ (hahaha) – this must be made known to the level of the average Joe American so that they’ll know how to vote for a Diane Feinstein, John McCain, Lindsey Grahman, or Kyle next time around.

    Israeli Apartheid must be hit from every direction possible for as long as it takes to submerge Apartheid in the La Brea Tarpit garbage bin of history – and nobody stop until it is SUNK under the surface

    Just watch the entire Neocon/Israeli Lobby line-up to try to prevent this delegitimization – from David Gregory, Andrea Mitchell, and Tom Friedman, to William Kristol and William Woolsey, and Senators Feinstein, McCain, and Chuck Schumer – ALL LINED UP and defending America as a Police State, surveilled by not only the NSA but by Israel herself.

    The next shoe to drop is public revelation of what is already known about Israeli spying on the American population – both independently and in contract with the NSA

    Further – all of this must be correlated together on the best silver platter possible – such that it is digestible for the average college-educated American

    For example:

    The explosive growth of the US Surveillance State was necessary, after 9-11, in order to continue the SAME Neocon/Israeli Lobby-dictated American foreign policies that brought the BLOWBACK against such policies that were the 9-11 attacks in the first place.

    The US had the choice to change course or continue the SAME course of increasingly dangerous and radical Neocon policies (like the Iraq war they immediately lied us into), which were all about propping up Israeli Apartheid and has NOTHING to do with security for America

    We have watched the Neocons/Israeli Lobby push us ever deeper into the Surveillance State we see today as necessary to try to avert FURTHER blowback from CONTINUING these Neocon/Israeli Lobby-bought policies

    We are a quasi-police state now, from full spectrum NSA spying to TSA frisking, so we can CONTINUE our AIPAC-bought foreign policies and try to protect ourselves from the BLOWBACK from these policies.

    Instead of going ‘all in’ for the Surveillance State that the Neocons/Israeli Lobby was pushing on the US – America should have ENDED the AIPAC-bought foreign policy that brought such disasters to America such as 9-11 and the Iraq War (a Neocon lie), and the Syrian War and Iran War that the Neocons and Israel are trying to lie us into presently.


    No more American police state in order to enable further destabilizing Israeli/Neocon-policies – like wars on Iran and Syria.

    Time to dismantle the Israeli Apartheid state – by BDS and the ICC – such that the destabilization trying to PROTECT such a state brings to Israeli leadership and the politicians they control in the US thru AIPAC and the rest of the Israeli Lobby

    • biorabbi
      June 26, 2013, 6:11 pm

      Couldn’t have summed it up better myself. Dismantle the Israel Apartheid State. No ambiguity at all. As a strong supporter of Israel, it’s music to my ears as well. By placing Israel as the fulcrum of man’s inhumanity to man, you over reach, and the average person in the US will blow you off time and again. I believe this is the reason Norman Finkelstein’s point against BDS as well, although he approaches it differently than I. BDS and the ICC… how about a good Doctor’s plot as well? LOL.

      • Hostage
        June 27, 2013, 5:09 am

        Couldn’t have summed it up better myself. Dismantle the Israel Apartheid State. No ambiguity at all. As a strong supporter of Israel, it’s music to my ears as well.

        I remember Klansmen who spouted off similar insults in defense of Jim Crow. Like you, they ignorantly bragged about the permanence of segregation and the lack of popular support for troublemakers who demanded equal rights. They made shitty remarks about sending protesters back to Africa, as if we had to settle for the conditions here because things were worse elsewhere. They were just as full of shit as you are.

        Frankenstein cites plenty of UN and other fact finding reports which recommend that the responsible Israeli officials be brought to justice in the ICC and that signatories of the Geneva Conventions insure that Israel be brought into compliance, e.g. See:
        *The wheels of justice turn slowly,…but they turn

      • MRW
        June 29, 2013, 5:00 am


        I prefer this riled up side of you. ;-)

      • Hostage
        June 29, 2013, 8:58 am

        I prefer this riled up side of you. ;-)

        I just find Zionist triumphalism as a deflection or apologia for 120 years of war and crimes against humanity disgusting.

        All I can think of are the thousands of massacred children, like the ones that Congressman Baird spoke about when he said “These children deserve to have someone ask why they died!”. Anyone who would suggest that the reasonable demand, that those responsible be brought to justice, is an example of “cult-like thinking” is no spokesman for Norman Finkelstein.

      • American
        June 29, 2013, 11:13 am

        MRW says:
        June 29, 2013 at 5:00 am


        I prefer this riled up side of you. ;-)>>>>>>

        ditto…we need more riled up people. :):)

      • Taxi
        June 30, 2013, 5:09 am

        My middle name is riley.

  7. HarryLaw
    June 26, 2013, 1:11 pm

    Could this suggestion by former Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman that “North Korea needs to be wiped off the map” as an example to Iran of course, be one of the reasons Israel is being delegitimized? You tube here..

    • ToivoS
      June 26, 2013, 2:50 pm

      It is strange that this interview appeared on April 14 on Fox News and it has hardly been noticed. I also linked to it a few days ago without any reaction. The youtube link is shorter than the original interview, but is quite accurate.

    • Don
      June 26, 2013, 3:09 pm

      Wow…what a warped person. Stunning.

    • ritzl
      June 28, 2013, 11:37 pm

      Thanks HarryLaw. I will never understand the complete lack of, well, everything and anything good when a Jew calls for, unblinking, in plain English, a policy of “wiping NK [people] off the map” as “a lesson to Iran [someone else, meaning he would call for that ‘wiping-off’ as well].”

      If the Holocaust is so fundamental to the Jewish experience (which it simply must be), then surely, Surely, the responsibility of self-awareness that accompanies that collective experience should be also.

      Did Fox/anyone distance themselves from this?

  8. American
    June 26, 2013, 1:24 pm

    ‘Precious few seriously discuss destroying Israel, and in any case, no one has the power to do so.
    ‘A state that was established in large part on the ashes of the Holocaust, whose creation was enthusiastically supported by most nations and whose existence is supported by an even larger majority today,……>>>Levy

    (sigh)……please stop this whistling thru the graveyard . It does no good for Levy to comfort himself with the delusion that no one has the power to destroy Israel and that more nations support it. What he does in serving up these fallacies to the Isr public does not encourage them to change Isr. It does the opposite, it lets them think they are invincible and supported no matter what Israel does.
    Yes people are against Israel for what it does..AND…how long has he been telling Israelis this?…decades…and has this humanistic appeal to Isr to mend it’s ways had the slightest impact?…No
    Levy needs to face ‘reality’. When Isr feels it’s survival ‘threatened enough’….then it might change.
    Telling the Israelis they have nothing to fear despite their criminality isn’t going to move them to do anything different than what they’ve done for 65 years.

  9. piotr
    June 26, 2013, 2:51 pm

    This is double bait and switch, if not triple.

    First, the dictionary meaning is “to delegitimize — to diminish or destroy the legitimacy, prestige, or authority”. For example, when Hawkins refrained from visiting a conference in Israel he was “delegitimizing” in the sense of diminishing Israeli prestige. The is no right to maintain prestige, or authority.

    So the switch is from “existence of the state” to “right to to be questioned on policies and conduct that could be detrimental to authority and prestige”. But there is also the second switch.

    For example, consider if United Kingdom has a right to exists as an English country? This is a very carefully selected example. As recently as 200 years ago Catholics (mostly Irish) had no political rights and the privileges of the ruling Protestant elite were viewed as essencial for the national character. Good for the British that they ended it, but suppose that they chose not to and kept oppressing the Irish and denying the rights to other Catholics.

    Hasbaratim complain about “denial of the right to exist” but all political demands are to “recognize as a Jewish state”. Which could be like England as an Anglican state and occupying Ireland.

    So full “legitimization” of Israel as a Jewish State requires to recognize it with any borders this state may wish, and with any regime of policies applied to non-Jews as they may wish. And some of those policies are “relatively harmless, but why!?”. Imagine that 5% of Americans have no right to marry at all, but the states recognizes marriages acquired in Canada and Mexico, where they can marry. Some are more puzzling, like the fact that only Jews can work in power stations, which is a problem because the most orthodox Jews cannot use electricity from the grid on Saturdays (as the product of Shabbath breaking Jewish labor). Some resemble actual Aparheid and/or fascism.

    • amigo
      June 27, 2013, 6:47 am

      “As recently as 200 years ago Catholics (mostly Irish) had no political rights and the privileges of the ruling Protestant elite were viewed as essencial for the national character. “Piotr

      They had votes more recently but that system was a scam.

      “The civil rights campaign which began in the mid-1960s attempted to achieve reform by publicising, documenting, and lobbying for an end to abuses in areas such as housing, unfair electoral procedures, discrimination in employment and the Special Powers Act.[11]

      NICRA ,(Northern Ireland civil rights assoc.)had six main demands:

      “one man, one vote” which would allow all people over the age of 18 to vote in elections and remove the multiple votes held by business owners

      an end to gerrymandering which meant unionists were elected even in districts with Catholic majorities.

      prevention of discrimination in the allocation of government jobs

      prevention of discrimination in the allocation of council housing

      the removal of the Special Powers Act which allowed internment

      the disbandment of the B-Specials, a 100% Protestant Ulster Special Constabulary force that was established in September 1920.

      ” Good for the British that they ended it, but suppose that they chose not to and kept oppressing the Irish and denying the rights to other Catholics.”Piotr

      It would just be another excuse for the zios to deflect from their crimes.

      • piotr
        June 30, 2013, 9:36 am

        Of course, this is “singling out” argument.

        Concerning the treatment of the Irish and other Catholics in Britain, the thorough change took a lot of time and clearly it changed the “national character”. Nations do not have the “right” to preserve their character if it conflicts with universal values that are clearly different in 21st century than they were in 18th, 19th and early 20th.

        PS. One can get nostalgic for the good old days when each English person had a high tea at 5 pm complete with scones, jams, clotted cream, a discussion of the weather and snide remarks about “priest ridden Irish”. But the national character is always in flux. I was almost floored when I read a footnote to memoirs of Samuel Pepys: “In 17th century the English did not eat breakfast and had a glass of gin instead”.

    • lysias
      June 27, 2013, 12:38 pm

      Linda Colley’s Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837 is about how Protestantism was central to the new British national identity after the Act of Union between Scotland and England.

  10. Rusty Pipes
    Rusty Pipes
    June 27, 2013, 3:22 am

    Clearly, by the timing of the Obama/Biden remarks, they have been made in the interest of fundraising for Democrats and getting out the vote in swing districts. By employing the lobby’s talking points, how much maneuverability has Obama left himself if he is at all interested in securing Palestinian human rights?

  11. Tzombo
    June 27, 2013, 6:04 am

    Why does Obama always ‘succumb’? By now why don’t we just assume that’s who he is?

  12. lysias
    June 27, 2013, 10:35 am

    OT — since the thread on Lynne Stewart, which also had comments about the suspicious auto accident that killed Michael Hastings, is no longer active — two recent news stories:

    Democracy Now!: Gov’t Denies Compassionate Release to Jailed Civil Rights Attorney Lynne Stewart:

    Federal officials have denied a compassionate release to the cancer-stricken civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart. The 73-year-old imprisoned grandmother is fighting stage IV cancer that has metastasized, spreading to her lymph nodes, shoulder, bones and lungs. Stewart is serving a 10-year sentence in a federal prison near Fort Worth, Texas. In 2005, she was found guilty of distributing press releases on behalf of her jailed client, Egyptian cleric Omar Abdel-Rahman, also known as the “Blind Sheikh,” who is serving a life sentence for conspiring to blow up New York City landmarks in 1995. Stewart’s prison warden had recommended that she be released to undergo cancer treatment. But Stewart’s family says it has been told by the Federal Bureau of Prisons that her bid for release was denied on the grounds that her “health is improving.” In a statement, the International Action Center called the government’s claim “cynical and false,” and said it will hold a series of protests in the coming weeks to demand Stewart’s release.

    Hacking a car is way too easy : Could Michael Hastings’ car crash have been caused by a remote attack? Technically, yes .

  13. James Canning
    James Canning
    June 27, 2013, 6:54 pm

    I like Joe Biden, but he should be (and probably is in fact) well aware that Israel needs to get out of the West Bank, and that pressure to cause this to happen is actually in Israel’s own true best interests.

    • mcohen
      June 29, 2013, 7:01 am

      this link should help the cause of the palestinian people

      • Hostage
        June 30, 2013, 12:40 pm

        link to

        this link should help the cause of the palestinian people

        Since there was never any entity called “Jordan” that didn’t include a union between the East and West Bank, please explain how the people living there, or their elect government officials, could ever “occupy” their own territory?

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        June 30, 2013, 1:33 pm

        As you know, Transjordan did not include the West Bank.

      • Hostage
        June 30, 2013, 2:58 pm

        As you know, Transjordan did not include the West Bank.

        The caption of the map says “Jordanian occupation of the West Bank”, not Transjordan. As you may not know, I can read.

        That’s how I know that Ali Abunimah’s father, Hasan Abunimah, is the semi-retired Jordanian Ambassador who negotiated the treaty that normalized relations with Israel and that Rashid Khalidi’s uncle, Husayn al-Khalidi, was a Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Jordan, a custodian and supervisor of the Haram al-Sharif under the Jordanian regime, a member of the All-Palestine Government in Gaza, Secretary of the Arab Higher Committee, and a mayor of Jerusalem. You’d never know that Palestinians held those sort of key decision making positions in the Jordanian governments by reading the comments posted here by Sibirak and yourself.

        There are plenty of books, including the FRUS; the Digest of International Law, and John Quigley’s “The Statehood of Palestine” which explain why the Mandated State of Palestine did not cease to exist when the Jews declared a state of their own on a portion of its territory, and why the 1988 Declaration of Independence simply declared the re-emergence of the existing State of Palestine from its union with Transjordan, not a new State of Palestine.

        I’ve already pointed-out that the signing of the resolution of the Arab Palestinian Congress at Jericho was the culmination of a series of earlier requests made by the Palestinian Arabs through conferences attended by the elected Mayors of major West Bank towns and villages, including Hebron, Ramallah, Al-Beereh, Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarm, Qalqilya and Anabta, as well as leading Muslim and Christian religious clerics, and a multiplicity of notables, tribal leaders, activists, college presidents, the Chief Shariaa Judge, and the Mufti of Jerusalem, Saed-Ideen Al-Alami. If those people don’t represent the population of the West Bank, who on Earth do you suggest? The overwhelming majority of the population participated in the elections of the new members of Parliament who ratified the union between the two Banks of Jordan. Decades before the Geneva Conventions were declared part of the body of customary international law, the principle UN organs insisted that they applied on a de jure basis in the occupied territory of Jordan. That means the international community of states recognized the legitimate power of the government of Jordan to conclude binding international agreements on behalf of the territory. That legal status was confirmed by the ICJ in 2004. Full stop.

        In fact, many reviewers, including award winning historian Neil Caplan, have described the changes in Avi Shlaim’s views on the subject in his more recent works:

        The Politics of Partition is a revised paperback version of Avi Shlaim’s ground-breaking and more scholarly hardback Collusion Across the Jordan. It was recently reissued, with a new preface, because both works have been out of print since 1995. In his original 1988 study, Shlaim characterized the contacts between the Zionists and the Jordanian king as going beyond simple co-operation, alliance or strategic accord; these relations were given the sinister qualities of conspiracy, collusion and ‘unholy alliance’. This resulted in some harsh criticism from reviewers and led the author to reconsider the quality of those relations and to dropping the provocative word ‘collusion’ from the title of the subsequent edition because of its pejorative connotations (xiii-xiv, xvii-xviii).

        — See Zionism and the Arabs: Another Look at the ‘New’ Historiography
        Reviewed work(s): Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-1999 by Benny Morris; The Israel/Palestine Question by Ilan Pappe; The Politics of Partition: King Abdullah, the Zionists and Palestine, 1921-1951 by Avi Shlaim, Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 36, No. 2 (Apr., 2001), pp. 345-360.

        Shlaim subsequently co-edited a volume “The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948” with Oxford faculty historian Eugene Rogan (one of Simha Flapan’s post-grad Harvard research assistants on “Myths and Realities”). There was an entire chapter of the book devoted to the persistence of an official Jordanian narrative that is supported by declassified documents in the UK and US government archives. It has always held that there was no collusion or conspiracy, just the pragmatic attempt to avoid civil chaos, more massacres, and further clashes with superior numbers of well armed Jewish forces along the frontiers.

  14. The Hasbara Buster
    The Hasbara Buster
    June 28, 2013, 1:14 pm

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this the man who stated that if he was a Jew he would make aliyah because Jews are not safe in America?

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