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Goldberg and Cohen stoke fears of BDS

Israel/Palestine
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Ashrawi

Ashrawi

Talk of the boycott is alarming many of Israel’s supporters. In the last month the mere mention of it bolted from online forums onto the main stage, so politicos are now scrambling to figure out how to handle the issue. Haaretz reports “Netanyahu convenes ministers to discuss growing Israel economic boycott threats”. They are trying to decide “whether to activate AIPAC… in order to promote legislation in Congress against the economic boycott of Israel,” among other things.

It was easier to feign that the expanding boycott was the product of a loony fringe outside the bounds of normal discourse until the SodaStream/Oxfam/Johansson controversy — and then certain people started mouthing the word “boycott”.

Jeffrey Goldberg, clearly irked, is the best guide to the new talking points. He’s miffed John Kerry had the audacity to broach the topic of boycott publicly. In “Kerry errs when he invokes specter of boycotts of Israel,” Goldberg segues from boycott to an unsupported outlandish claim.

Kerry makes the argument that Israel will face new, and intensified, boycott pressure if peace talks fail, and he may be right. But by publicly discussing this possibility, he is providing fuel to the forces aligned against Israel (and keep in mind that most boycotters are not opposed to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, but instead to the idea of a country for the Jewish people).

So according to Jeffrey Goldberg– in parentheses– most boycotters are not opposed to Israel’s occupation. And he knows this… how? The arrogance suggests desperation.

But BDS’rs’ supposed opposition to “the idea of a country for the Jewish people” is now a hasbara truism. NYT columnist Roger Cohen doesn’t trust BDS’rs either; and he writes that the movement’s “hidden agenda” is the “end of Israel as a Jewish state.”

Cohen makes BDS sound sinister:

the hidden agenda of B.D.S., its unacceptable subterfuge: beguile, disguise and suffocate.

Why don’t these pro-Israel writers deal with BDS at face value? The assumption that everyone who supports BDS is on the same page and has an agenda of the “destruction of Israel”, is a worn-out talking point of the right, but it’s now being adopted as the norm by mainstream voices. The hasbara ignores the possibility that for many people, one state is a fallback position because they’ve simply lost faith, with good reason: they don’t think Israel will ever agree to two states.

Like Tom Friedman before him, Goldberg also adopts the view that BDS is not a Palestinian-led movement initiated by Palestinians. Friedman said Europeans were behind it and Goldberg says one reason he can’t trust BDS is because it doesn’t focus on boycotting any other countries. But why should Palestinians, so many of whom have no rights or citizenship, not exclusively target Israel?

The growing boycott movement is very much a Palestinian achievement. Hanan Ashrawi has an unequivocal article in Haaretz today with that thrust: The boycott is our Palestinian non-violent resistance.

She knocks the idea that BDS doesn’t serve the agenda of 2 staters right out the window:

Initiated by Palestinian civil society and sustained by solidarity groups and people of conscience worldwide, including within Israel itself, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement is, in several respects, modelled after the long but efficacious struggle to end apartheid and institutional racism in South Africa. Its success in raising global awareness and prompting action within economic, cultural and academic spheres has gained traction incrementally.

This global movement represents an effective and responsible way of dealing with the escalation of Israeli violations, particularly its settlement activities, the confiscation of Palestinian land, the demolition of Palestinian homes, the military blockade of the Gaza Strip, and the annexation and isolation of Jerusalem. It also constitutes a proactive method of nonviolent resistance that is essential to the Palestinian struggle for equality and freedom. It provides individuals, groups and networks all over the world with an opportunity to engage effectively and to make a difference by means of individual and collective acts of social responsibility.

Such a solidarity movement empowers both Palestinians and their supporters and enables them to withstand the Israeli occupation’s oppressive measures and to resist in a responsible and nonviolent manner. It further demonstrates that the occupation is costly and creates an incentive for members of Israeli civil society to hold their government accountable and to call it to end such policies that are undermining their own national interests and destroying the two-state solution.

The idea that BDS’rs have a “hidden agenda” of anything other than what is stated by the campaign is one of those ad hominem attacks where you go after the “true feelings” or intentions of people in a movement. The only hidden agenda here is the other side’s effort to blame BDS for the conflict, and thereby remove responsibility for decades of violations against international law right from where it belongs, Israel.

Cohen claims the BDS campaign is ambiguous regarding one or two states, and he knows why:

Mellifluous talk of democracy and rights and justice masks the B.D.S. objective that is nothing other than the end of the Jewish state

Sorry, but all politics here are not about “the Jewish people” or “the Jewish state.” The choice of this framing (intentionally or not) is manipulative, it doesn’t leave any mental space for the idea that people of conscience (including Americans who are not naturally gungho on ethnic nationalism) might want to be engaged in the boycott of an ongoing, seemingly intractable cesspool, the occupation. The fact that Palestinians under occupation have no rights and no citizenship seems to have no bearing at all on the question of “hidden agenda”. No, the idea is positioned to validate a point, by invalidating us. And Goldberg doesn’t even address occupation as a main topic, it’s a parentheses. He also says:

But I find the idea of a modern-day economic boycott that targets Jews viscerally offensive.

BDS doesn’t target Jews. It targets a colonialist state that ethnically cleansed hundreds of thousands of people from their land and continues to bulldoze their homes and destroy their villages. The fixation on “a Jewish state”and “targets Jews” is irrelevant to a great number of us. End the occupation. Israel is targeted because of its actions, and those are not “Jewish actions,” they are colonialist actions (and colonialism is so last century!).

So if you want two states, advocate for one Palestinians can accept, can actually live freely in. Go to Tel Aviv and tell them to give up East Jerusalem. Tell them to get out of  Ma’aleh Adumim (look at the map: the SodaStream settlement separates Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Jericho, and it will keep doing that no matter how much land is swapped for it). And as Tom Friedman says, Israel will likely not agree to any of this. This is why many of us support one state, because we have no faith that the peace process will compel Israel to relinquish one dunam of land it’s conquered.

More of Goldberg’s mindreading:

 If the so-called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement had any targets other than Israel —  — then it might be possible to ascribe more benevolent intentions to its leaders.

Hanan Ashrawi explains that it has nothing to do with benevolence, and everything to do with opposing ongoing crimes against Palestinians: discrimination, ethnic cleansing, settlement of occupied territories:

Increasingly, individual states are delinking from the settlement colonial enterprise, whether at the bilateral and multilateral levels or in the public and private spheres. These steps are an implementation of policies and principles, as well as domestic and international law, and are intended to rescue the two-state solution in the face of Israel’s profoundly damaging policy of settlement expansion.

With this paradigm shift, the rules of engagement have changed. The citizens, states and governments of the world are no longer prepared to tolerate the Israeli government’s mad rush to create a “Greater Israel” or an apartheid system of occupation and discrimination. When U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry alluded to this reality, rather than heeding the message, Israeli officials launched a hysterical campaign against the messenger.

No amount of spin or “hasbara” (however well-funded) will be able to counter such an expanding global movement. The overuse of the tired old mantra of “delegitimization” and anti-Israeli bias are disingenuous given the Israeli government’s persistent and systematic violations and flouting of international law and international humanitarian law. If Israel chooses to define itself solely through its occupation project of colonization and ethnic cleansing, then it alone bears the sole responsibility of its own “delegitimization.”

So, stop impugning the reputations of BDS supporters because of your own fears. There’s no requirement for a human rights struggle to take a political stance on one or two states. If you’re worried about the end of Israel’s Jewish majority, focus on a deal for a state Palestinians can accept and for heaven’s sakes try modeling it after a state you would accept for Israel (and nothing less). In short, quit dillydallying.

annie
About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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159 Responses

  1. American
    American
    February 10, 2014, 10:28 pm

    F Cohen, Goldberg, Freidman and all the rest…I am not even interested in reading their drivel.

    “We must impose sanctions” on Israel says British MP”

    Stuart Littlewood February 9, 2014 21

    Sir Gerald Kaufman, MP for Gorton, Manchester

    ”The time when we could condemn Israel and think that that was enough has long passed. The Israelis do not care about condemnation. They are self-righteous. We must now take action against them. We must impose sanctions. If the spineless Obama will not do it, we must do it—even unilaterally. We must press the European community for it to be done. – Sir Gerald Kaufman, MP for Gorton, Manchester

    continued……http://mycatbirdseat.com/2014

  2. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    February 10, 2014, 11:41 pm

    @ Annie,

    When Dr. Hanan Ashrawi joins MW I’ll donate. She never failed to impress me.

    • Walid
      Walid
      February 11, 2014, 4:42 pm

      I’m also a big fan Hanan Ashrawi, Daniel.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 11, 2014, 11:17 pm

        @ Walid Daniel Rich, me too.

  3. seafoid
    seafoid
    February 11, 2014, 12:03 am

    Beguile, disguise, suffocate. Hello Mr Kettle. May I introduce you to mr pot?

    Re something visceral about boycotting a Jewish state. I remember being at a Palestine Solidarity meeting in London in 2001. The topic of a boycott came up. An elderly Jewish lady said that while she abhorred Zionism, a boycott would go close to the 30s for comfort. There was no comeback on that. Not possible in good faith. And the bots knew it and they built YESHA knowing they could always roll it out. Fast forward 13 years. 2SS dead. Israeli leaders openly say the peace process was a joke. Still no rights for Palestinians. And Goldberg wants to bring up historic jewish suffering to justify the ongoing oppression of the Palestinians. It is too late, buddy. That train has left the station.

  4. dbroncos
    dbroncos
    February 11, 2014, 12:56 am

    BDS has finally started to roll over of its own inertia. Every action and reaction is now having the effect of advancing and broadcasting its just cause not least because of hacks like Freidman, Cohen, Goldberg etc.. who can’t complete a sentence which doesn’t ooze with double standards and entitlement.
    The momentum is picking the pace :-)

  5. Sycamores
    Sycamores
    February 11, 2014, 1:02 am

    excellent piece from Annie Robbins.

    over the next few months hasbara will increase to combat the BDS movement:
    the BDSer’s have a ‘hidden agenda’ ‘unacceptable subterfuge’ to “end of Israel as a Jewish state” etc. etc.

    The only hidden agenda here is the other side’s effort to blame BDS for the conflict, and thereby remove responsibility for decades of violations against international law right from where it belongs, Israel.

    ASA, ScarJo, public exposure to AIPAC bellicose ways with Syria and Iran and the building of illegal settlements during peace talks has lifted the lid a bit on the Pandoras box, maybe it’s enough to force the MSM to open debate on Palestine/israel.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      February 11, 2014, 3:20 am

      They will rev up hasbara. But to no effect. They have no answer to the charge that Zionism is cruel, immoral and fu%ked.

      • Sycamores
        Sycamores
        February 11, 2014, 9:41 am

        Netanyahu had a meeting last weekend with three of his top ministers to discuss the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) threat against Israel.

        here is some of their tactics:

        Israel Prepares Media War Against Boycott Movement

        The Hebrew-language newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported that his [Netanyahu] strategy features Israeli intelligence vowing to expose “their connection to terror organisations and enemy states”.

        http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/israel-prepares-media-war-against-boycott-movement-1435977

        didn’t israel try to expose Iran ” connection to terror organisations and enemy states” to prevent peace talks with the US and failed?

        Netanyahu convenes strategy meeting to fight boycotts

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

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

        http://www.jpost.com/National-News/Netanyahu-convenes-strategy-meeting-to-fight-boycotts-340904

        i read on Haaretz yesterday millions of Shekels are been invested to attack the BDS movement through the courts http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.573273 (paywall)

        zero hour is approaching the BDS had 9 years to prepare and strategize for this day, while israel chooses to ignore the facts of israels treatment of the Palestinians and perfer to demonized the movement.

        netanyahu by simply having the meeting to discuss the BDS shows how strong the movement has grown.

        again hopefully all this attention towards the BDS movement will be pick up by MSM.

      • Philip Munger
        Philip Munger
        February 11, 2014, 10:15 am

        his [Netanyahu] strategy features Israeli intelligence vowing to expose “their connection to terror organisations and enemy states”.

        This and other such pronouncements coming out of the weekend “ministerial meeting” are troubling. Jason Ditz:

        With so many far-right coalition members opposed to peace in general, that’s not an option, and instead the plan is to have spy agencies dig around for dirt trying to link any advocates to “terror organizations and enemy states.”

        Israeli officials have long tried to paint opposition to Israeli policies as tantamount to terrorism, or Nazism, or anything else that might scare people away from public criticism, but seem to be willing to dial things up with the peace talks hanging on by a thread. Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz is reported planning an international “media blitz” to publicize whatever their spy agencies manage to find or manufacture.

        This is going to get nasty, and could well involve targeted killings assassinations, both of Palestinians active in BDS, and foreign nationals, let alone digging up dirt on prominent activists.

      • American
        American
        February 11, 2014, 12:01 pm

        “This is going to get nasty”……Philip Munger

        Yea it could. But on the other hand maybe nasty is what is needed to bring it all to a head for the publics.

      • Sycamores
        Sycamores
        February 11, 2014, 1:20 pm

        This is going to get nasty, and could well involve targeted killings assassinations, both of Palestinians active in BDS, and foreign nationals, let alone digging up dirt on prominent activists.

        one possibly way to combat such outcomes is for BDS activists both Palestinian and international is to protest louder then ever before, an all out campaign for their own media blitz. making activist leaders known to a broader audience will make it harder for ‘people to go missing’.

        and it’s up to everyone else to make sure israel knows that it is been watch daily.

        what ever happen in the future i’m sure the smear campaign will be israel the first line of attack along with lawsuits.

        one area that the social media will be ready for and of course Mondoweiss and crew.

      • bilal a
        bilal a
        February 11, 2014, 2:05 pm

        Yes perhaps metaphorically they will line up the BDS ‘anti-Semites’ , Judeopaths, against the proverbial, and sometimes not proverbial, WALL:

        “Benny Morris concludes that, “There can be no exaggerating the detrimental effect on Arab morale of the (Irgun) IZL and LEHI bombing campaigns in the big towns.” There were at least twenty massacres, according to a former director of the Israeli Army archives who stated: “In almost every Arab village occupied by us, during the War of Independence, acts were committed which are defined as war crimes, such as murders, massacres and rapes.” Ilan Pappe provides full descriptions of IDF operations and fixes the number of massacres at over 31. Morris notes that “almost all the massacres followed a similar course: a unit (of the IDF) entered a village, rounded up the menfolk in the village square, selected four or ten or fifty of the army-age males … lined them up against the wall and shot them.” By June 1, two weeks before Israel declared statehood, some 370,000 Palestinian refugees had fled. ”
        http://www.acjna.org/acjna/articles_detail.aspx?id=558

      • annie
        annie
        February 11, 2014, 3:07 pm

        thanks sycamore. i actually linked to that story in my first paragraph (“Haaretz reports “Netanyahu convenes ministers to discuss growing Israel economic boycott threats”. “) but i forget haaretz is behind a paywall and people can’t read it. anyway, appreciate you linking for another source. here’s another a reader just sent me: http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/9666-israeli-ministers-discuss-using-lawyers-and-mossad-to-fight-bds

        and isn’t it amusing when they write there’s a big media blackout on something that’s all over the front pages?

      • Sycamores
        Sycamores
        February 11, 2014, 11:22 pm

        and isn’t it amusing when they write there’s a big media blackout on something that’s all over the front pages?

        you have me wondering about this ‘media blackout’ business, is this another way of saying that Netanyahu and cronies don’t have any new tactics to deal with the BDS. considering the tactics that did slip out from the media blackout meeting…. well they aren’t really new. the media blackout is likely to be a feeble attempt to reassure israeli businesses and public that they have a plan.

        as you know Netanyahu and Bennett are at each other throats for the last few weeks

        Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rift with his senior coalition partner, Economy Minister and Habayit Hayehudi chairman Naftali Bennett, over the future of the settlements hit a new high Wednesday. The two have been publicly rowing over policy, a dispute triggered by reports that Netanyahu believes there is no reason for a future Palestinian state to be free of Israeli settlers.

        Netanyahu spoke with senior Likud members Wednesday, telling those gathered that he expected Economy Minister Naftali Bennett to apologize for the remarks he made at a security conference earlier in the week, when the economy minister insisted that “Israelis can’t live under Palestinian rule… because the Palestinians would kill them.”

        After Bennett’s remarks, Netanyahu stressed that he would fire the minister if he did not apologize. The prime minister noted that the apology would have to be published before the beginning of the next cabinet meeting – Sunday at 10 am.

        http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4482409,00.html

        the BDS meeting was postponed at least once because of the row between them.

        i’d be surprise if these two could agree on anything at the moment.

        and then there is this

        Ministers Tzipi Livni Perry and Yair Lapid were not included in a recent special cabinet meeting with the Shabac, Israel’s internal security service, allegedly because of their ties with the BDS movement.

        http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/senior-israeli-gov-ministers-suspected-of-ties-with-foreign-bds/2014/02/11/

        disorganized, in fighting and not trusting ministers including your own justice minister. netanyahu has his hands full already with his own cabinet let alone trying to take on the BDS movement. mistakes will be made to the benefit of the BDS.

        thanks for the link to MEM and once again kudos to your post.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 12, 2014, 2:36 am

        They are powerless. They can’t deploy soft power because nobody understands persecution Hebrew outside the bubble. And terrism is a beaten docket. 50, 000 severely damaged US soldiers and not even an apology.
        All they have is thuggery. Whatever appeals to Yossi Israeli will crash. Yossi is no longer at the races. The pity of it all.

  6. Krauss
    Krauss
    February 11, 2014, 1:25 am

    Honestly, is it just me or has Goldberg’s influence lost a lot of traction as Israel is no longer driving the Iran debate? Israel itself is also seen vastly different from just 10 years ago by most Western liberals, especially the young, highly educated and left-leaning ones.

    Who is Goldberg writing for? He has always written mainly for older Jews wedded to Zionism, that’s his audience. But he used to have a group of people who read him because he was influential. My sense is that that group has come down, and I base that on the fact that various journalists I follow on Twitter no longer reflexively re-tweet his tweets, blogposts or even his Op-Eds to the same degree anymore. The establishment journos still fear him, because that’s where his power is concentrated, but they do so out of professional necessity, not because they actually care.

    And Cohen? His “liberalism” has been exposed time and again as a hoax, not only on Israel but he has been willing to give highly racist, sweeping generalized opinions about an entire people(like Italians) which he would protest if it were against Jews.

    Cohen is like Friedman-lite. The NYT has all these very old, Jewish columnists who belong to a bygone era and whose concerns are very narrow in this world. Goldberg would be a good fit for the Times’ Op-Ed page if Cohen or Friedman quit/were fired.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      February 11, 2014, 1:32 am

      Following this up, does anyone actually think these bigots will be successful in defending Apartheid?

      Let’s be honest about their objective. They trot out the familliar “they want to destroy Israel” theme to which the natural defence is: if destroying Apartheid is destroying Israel, then what does that say about the Jewish state?

      This line of defence has completely lost any semblance of validity with the left. The right still accepts it, because deep down, they wouldn’t mind and/or actively wants a white Christian America and they identify the same urge but for Jews in these “liberals”.

      I guess it’s a sign of the times when I’m not even that worried about these columns for their political fallout, precisely because we’ve seen the same arguments trotted out before with increasingly smaller effect. I guess you could shout louder, make more extreme demands. Cross the Godwin threshold(compare to Nazis).

      That’d make the conversation a bit more lively, but they’d mostly be ridiculed for it, and for good reason.

      At this stage, Cohen/Goldberg/Friedman, when they write on I/P, basically write only for a small Jewish readership that are Zionist and for people like us, who use their poorly written defences of Apartheid as fodder for our movement. I mean, we like the attention! But ultimately I wonder if they are a waste of time; they’re figures of yesteryear whose influence is diminishing.

      • gingershot
        gingershot
        February 11, 2014, 5:55 am

        ‘if destroying Apartheid is destroying Israel, then what does that say about the Jewish state’

        It says that Apartheid Israel is not worth the paper it’s printed on

  7. Shmuel
    Shmuel
    February 11, 2014, 1:57 am

    Thanks, annie. Great piece.

  8. MRW
    MRW
    February 11, 2014, 3:53 am

    Out of the park, annie. Outta’ the park!

    • annie
      annie
      February 11, 2014, 11:23 am

      thank you mrw.

      and i’d like to extend that to others. i can’t litter the thread with my appreciation but it really means a lot to me to hear from people. and of course i am very lucky to be able to post here and have exposure for my thoughts. very grateful for that.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 11, 2014, 11:34 pm

        @ Annie Robbins

        You made a top-notch article, Annie. We all see it.

  9. justicewillprevail
    justicewillprevail
    February 11, 2014, 5:21 am

    Excellent summary of the utterly hollow so-called arguments against BDS. It’s always about them, isn’t it? They are unable to even consider that this is about Palestinians and their rights – I suppose to admit the possibility is to open a discussion which they cannot possibly win, so they choose to hammer on about imaginary threats and apocalyptic scenarios which just emphasise the desperation of their argument. What is ever funnier, or ironic, is their indiscriminate use of anti-semitic tropes against the BDS campaigners – they are a sinister cabal whose agenda is hidden, whose goal is blah blah, and we have insight to their minds, which even they don’t have! Ridiculous, empty, banal posturing- and trying to move the argument on to their favourite victimhood territory, whilst totally ignoring the Palestinians who, of course, don’t exist as far as they are concerned.

  10. gingershot
    gingershot
    February 11, 2014, 5:43 am

    The ones with the truly ‘hidden agenda’ are the ‘Zionist Good Cops’ like Cohen and Friedman, the ones whom create the sea for AIPAC to swim in and run one False Flags against the US and Iran after another, desperately trying anyway possible to pull the trigger on Iran (and the US)

    I have appreciated Cohen’s pushback at the Lobby on several occassions – but like Uri Avnery or others they cannot bring themselves to pull the plug on the Apartheid State/’Current Single State Solution’. It would be like throwing their mama out on the street – psychologically they just don’t seem to really be able to ‘go there’ and STILL are doing everything they can to try to pull their Israeli chestnut out of the fire

    They simply cannot fathom Israel FORCED to behave according to International Law as it will no longer the Israel of their youth or the Israel of their dreams. Their dreams and Israel simply weren’t ‘good enough’ –

    ‘The War on Terror is a War on Israel’ – because it is Israel that has set terrorism in motion in order to try to bring about constant destabilization of the US and world and a post-WWIII environment where Israel will be safe for a few more decades from De-Apartheidization

    Israel is the terror state, it is Israel who uses the institutional terror of cleansing/and Apartheid –

    It is Israel, who – with bite after bite at the apple provided by the likes of McCain, Graham, and Schumer – is the one who pitched the US at Iraq to double down on their ‘Pro-Apartheid Israeli Policies’ and it is Israel who just by the hairs of it’s chinny chin chin was not able to yet again (like Iraq) shove the US into a ‘Israeli False Flag AGAINST THE US’/lying, tricking the US and rest of the world in to a 1000 yr war against Iran/Islam on the orders of Netanyahu and his Quasi-Israeli Neocons

    ‘Israeli False Flag Attacks against the US’:

    Iraq: Success
    Syria: near success, until the American people revolted
    Iran: near success (Cheney/Bush, in 2007, stopped only by the 2007 NIE and Admiral Fallon’s principled resignation, and the constant near misses at war ever since 2007, with a succession of Israeli False Flag operation against the US to try to kick things off

    Israel needs the US for it’s money and arms and cover – Cohen and Friedman are just the Zionist Goodfellas regurgitating and proselytizing their own deep ‘liberal Zionism’ with which they grew up along with their mother’s milk.

    They ain’t got nothing left but a bad case of cognitive dissonance and their crappy little Israeli Apartheid

    Cohen and Friedman will register as bumps in the road as BDS rolls them over

  11. gamal
    gamal
    February 11, 2014, 5:58 am

    “Israel will likely not agree to any of this”
    There are somethings we can all rely on. Nasser interviewed in ’69 in English by some American dude.

    http://youtu.be/cU_4PYR50ek

  12. Shingo
    Shingo
    February 11, 2014, 6:31 am

    I concur, this is an outstanding piece Annie.

    Some thoughts.

    the hidden agenda of B.D.S., its unacceptable subterfuge: beguile, disguise and suffocate.

    Apart from your already excellent counter arguments Annie, the fact that Cohen and Goldberg refuse to accept is that BDS is only credible and effective so long as it adheres to it’s stated aims. If it achieves those aims and proponents try to go beyond it, as Goldberg and Cohen insinuate, the movement would collapse. BDS only remains effective so long as it is based on international law, and the destruction of Israel clearly is not consistent with international law.

    Sorry, but all politics here are not about “the Jewish people” or “the Jewish state.”

    Right on the money Annie. The claim that BDS is intended to target the Jewish people is simply rubbish.

    One of the comments on Goldberg’s piece (Johnboy4546), wrote this outstanding and devastating rebuttal of that pathetic argument.

    After all, there are ISRAELI companies operating inside ISRAELI “settlements” (a.k.a Israeli COLONIES), and it is that which the advocates of BDS are fighting against.

    “Maybe one day I won’t. But I find the idea of a modern-day economic boycott that targets Jews viscerally offensive.”

    Straw man argument.

    The proponents of BDS are not seeking a boycott of these products because they are “Jewish made”, but because they represent an attempt by ISRAEL to profit from an ISRAELI belligerent occupation of this territory.

    That’s what is illegal, and that’s what the BDS movement seeks to boycott.

    Here, this is an undeniable fact: there are any number of goods being made inside the USA by companies that are owned by JEWISH concerns.

    Q: Is anyone attempting to boycott those goods?
    A: No. Nobody.

    Q: But according to Goldberg-logic (I know, I know) these are “the products of Jews”, and so they should be “targeted”, correct?
    A: Correct indeed, according to Goldberg-logic.

    Q: Meaning?
    A: Goldberg is talking nonsense. Again.

    Heck, try this one on for size: It is an undeniable fact that there are goods being made inside the EU by companies that are owned by ISRAELI concerns.

    Q: Is anyone attempting to boycott those goods?
    A: No. Nobody.

    Q: But according to Goldberg-logic…
    A: I’m gonna’ stop you right there and say: See Above.

    What is being “targeted” is ISRAEL’s belief that it can illegally profit from this ISRAELI belligerent occupation, and the reason *why* is simplicity itself: if ISRAEL continues to believe that it can profit from this occupation then it will never, ever, ever see any reason to end this endless occupation.

    The only correction I would add is that goods made inside the EU by Israeli companies might indeed come under pressure, and that has to be a good thing.

    • Shmuel
      Shmuel
      February 11, 2014, 6:56 am

      Here, this is an undeniable fact: there are any number of goods being made inside the USA by companies that are owned by JEWISH concerns.

      Q: Is anyone attempting to boycott those goods?
      A: No. Nobody.

      The essence of the Goldberg argument is not that the boycott targets all Jews (hence Jewish-owned companies in the US are irrelevant) but that it specifically targets Jews who do bad things. The weakness of that argument (otherwise known as the “double standard” argument) lies in the fact that it aims not to protect innocent victims of prejudice, but actual bad guys. That’s a much tougher sell, hence all of the obfuscation (Germany, Munich, 1930s) and talk of “visceral offence”.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 11, 2014, 7:04 am

        The essence of the Goldberg argument is not that the boycott targets all Jews (hence Jewish-owned companies in the US are irrelevant) but that it specifically targets Jews who do bad things.

        I don’t think Goldberg is even prepared to admit that. The point he and Cohen are trying to make is that this a façade that masks a hidden agenda which targets Israel because it’s a Jewish state – or at least wants to be.

        The weakness of that argument (otherwise known as the “double standard” argument) lies in the fact that it aims not to protect innocent victims of prejudice, but actual bad guys. That’s a much tougher sell, hence all of the obfuscation (Germany, Munich, 1930s) and talk of “visceral offence”.

        The reference to Munich is callously being used to imply that because Jews were victimized in the 1930s, the same applies today and that their crimes are just a pretext to victimize them again.

      • Walid
        Walid
        February 11, 2014, 4:46 pm

        I’m waiting to see how long it will be taking Israel to come up with a gimmick to to redirect WB products to Europe as having been produced in Israel proper.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 11, 2014, 5:35 pm

        “Benny Morris concludes that, “There can be no exaggerating the detrimental effect on Arab morale of the (Irgun) IZL and LEHI bombing

        Very true Walid, that is why the insistence that only the settlements economy be boycotted is BS. We all know there is no firewall between the settlements and Israel proper.

        The Boycott must target all of Israel.

    • American
      American
      February 11, 2014, 7:34 pm

      ”Sorry, but all politics here are not about “the Jewish people” or “the Jewish state.” …annie

      But for some like Cohen and others everything is about the Jews and Jewish State…that is the sum total of their universe.
      That is why they cant even fathom normal people having some reason to BDS Israel other than destroying the Jews or their state.

      I read an article recently in Tablet or Daily Beast, (didnt save it, so no link) entitled ‘Why Europe Hates Israel’…..and the authors premise was that Europe feels guilty for killing the Jews so it now wants to destroy them so it wont be reminded of its guilt.
      Yep……cause they feel guilt over killing Jews they want to kill off the Jews
      In the tiny warped world of the Zio this reasoning makes perfect sense to them.

  13. Shingo
    Shingo
    February 11, 2014, 6:42 am

    The most important point that Annie makes in this excellent piece is this:

    Friedman said Europeans were behind it and Goldberg says one reason he can’t trust BDS is because it doesn’t focus on boycotting any other countries. But why should Palestinians, so many of whom have no rights or citizenship, not exclusively target Israel?

    Bingo!! And this is why there is a sudden push to pretend that BDS is not a Palestinian initiative, because the Goldbergs and Cohens of the world cannot possibly argue with a straight face that the Palestinians should be focused on the plight of Tibetans or some other human rights crisis elsewhere when the only ones tormenting them are the Israelis.

    • marc b.
      marc b.
      February 11, 2014, 9:13 am

      Friedman said Europeans were behind it

      this is just all so much beguilement, disguise and suffocation. every year is 1933, which is why its necessary to raise the specter of European anti-Semitism both as an existential threat to Jews everywhere, and as an excuse for inaction in Israel. This is the poison pill of the argument for Palestinian rights: BDS does target Israeli Jews, but its Zionists who have established the Jew/Gentile dichotomy in the current form of the Israeli state, not those who oppose the policies of the State. When Israeli Jews are afforded superior rights to Muslim and Christian Israelis, of course the prerogative of Jews is being attacked, just like the prerogative of SA whites.

  14. just
    just
    February 11, 2014, 6:57 am

    Annie– this is a stellar dissection and article! So very nice to hear Ashrawi’s voice again– it’s always been music to my ears, and food for my brain!

  15. Sibiriak
    Sibiriak
    February 11, 2014, 7:10 am

    [Goldberg]: most boycotters are not opposed to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, but instead to the idea of a country for the Jewish people).

    [Annie:]And he knows this… how?

    By reading MW? As Annie herself states:

    …many of us support one state

    “One state” means opposition to the idea of a state for the Jewish people; “one state” means the demise of the state of Israel in every essential respect.

    because we have no faith that the peace process will compel Israel to relinquish one dunam of land it’s conquered.

    You can support two states without supporting the sham “peace process.” But many (most) BDS supporters support one state, not simply because they have no faith in the peace process, but because they honestly do not want an ethnocratic Jewish state to remain in any part of Palestine, period.

    The assumption that everyone who supports BDS is on the same page and has an agenda of the “destruction of Israel”, is a worn-out talking point of the right, but it’s now being adopted as the norm by mainstream voices.

    Perhaps it wouldn’t be if BDS leaders and supporters were clear that the goal was two states.

    To NOT state that the goal is two states leaves open the possibility that a single state is the goal, and a single state means the end of Israel*. So, by not being clear about the goal, BDS leaves itself wide open to the charge that it aims at the “destruction of Israel”. Finkelstein has spelled this out very clearly.

    —————–
    *A single state in Palestine wouldn’t just mean simply a “transformation of Israel”, as some like to euphemistically describe it. In a democratic Palestine with an impending Palestinian Arab majority virtually nothing of “Israel” would remain: not the name “Israel”, the national anthem, the national flag , national symbols, nor the Declaration of Independence; not the Basic Laws and system of law; not the IDF; not the political, economic, social, and cultural institutions –none of this would remain. If nothing essential remains in an entity, its fair to say that it has been “ended”, “dismantled” or “destroyed”.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      February 11, 2014, 7:47 am

      “One state” means opposition to the idea of a state for the Jewish people; “one state” means the demise of the state of Israel in every essential respect.

      Nice piece of cherry picking. Annie explicitly prefaced the support for one state on the basis that, as Thomas Friedman pints out, Israel is not willing to do what is necessary for a two state outcome.

      That means that one state is inevitable, unless you are entertaining some sadistic notion of ethnically cleansing or genocide on the Palestinians.

      There’s no point blaming Annie for the fact there is only one possible outcome.

      “One state” is what Israel has been careering towards, so if one state is the outcome, it will be their own doing. A has been pointed out, the notion of a Jewish state is an anachronism and morally indefensible anyway.

      So given the fact that the outcome is pretty much a fait accompli, those who support BDS have focused on championing the rights of Palestinian under occupation.

      Why is that so hard for you to understand?

      You can support two states without supporting the sham “peace process.”

      Get real. That’s about as meaningful as suggesting you can believe in the Easter Bunny without having to admit he’s not real.

      But many (most) BDS supporters support one state, not simply because they have no faith in the peace process, but because they honestly do not want an ethnocratic Jewish state to remain in any part of Palestine, period.

      It doesn’t matter in the end, because as I pointed out already, BDS is only ever going to have any effect while it adheres to international consensus and international law. The minute it achieves it’s stated aims and tries to go beyond hem, it will die and lose all credibility.

      Perhaps it wouldn’t be if BDS leaders and supporters were clear that the goal was two states.

      Why should it? As I explained, BDS can achieve it’s stated aims without a Palestinian state emerging, or without a single state outcome because it’s stated aims are independent of a political settlement.

      What if the Palestinians and the Israelis eventually agree to a single, bi national state? Should BDS continue to hammer away to force a 2ss on them anyway? What if the Palestinians decide they do not want to become a separate state, but want to unite with Jordan (by majority consent of course)? Should BDS continue to power on until a 2ss emerges?

      Use some common sense please.

      To NOT state that the goal is two states leaves open the possibility that a single state is the goal, and a single state means the end of Israel

      No, it means the end of a Jewish majority, but again, that is where Israel is headed anyway. But the use of the hysterical term “destruction of Israel” is a blatant and obvious attempt to malign BDS as harboring the goal of another Holocaust. When apartheid ended, there was no “destruction” of South Africa. When the Berlin Wall came down, there as no “destruction” of Russia.

      Finkelstein and Chomsky have grown accustomed to controlling the narrative on the situation and resent the fact that they’ve been pushed to the side because their failed strategy has been shown to be impotent and an anachronism. They can harp on about international law and due process all they like, but it’s obvious to anyone with a brain that so long as no one is prepared or able to enforce it, the Palestinians are having to bypass these channels.

      The gaping chasm in your argument is that you and Fink and the dead enders on this subject can’t even admit that if Israel were indeed to abide by international law and all UN Resolutions (ie. UNSC242 and 194), that Israel would cease to be a Jewish state anyway. There is no legal basis for Israel to be a Jewish state with a Jewish majority. Ban Gurion’s argument against allowing the expelled Palestinian to return was that under a democratic system, they would elected an Arab government.

      So tell us Sibiriak, do you believe therefore Ben Gurion was justified in expelling 750,000 Palestinians to avoid that outcome?

      If nothing essential remains in an entity, its fair to say that it has been “ended”, “dismantled” or “destroyed”.

      Right. Was Czechoslovakia destroyed? After all, it no longer exists so clearly, it was destroyed right?

      has spelled this out very clearly.

      • pabelmont
        pabelmont
        February 11, 2014, 9:20 am

        Shingo: very well stated. B-G got rid of the Palestinians so as to have a large mostly-Jewish state and he aimed at all of Palestine if not at more (the Golan, the Litani river for water, some Zios wanted all of Jordan and it still says “both sides of the river” on I think it is the Likud Party’s program (the river Jordan having meanwhile been erased as a wet-thing by Zionism)). His plan was removal of people he called Arabs by death or expulsion.

        Today there are still a lot of Arabs and the choice is for Israel to back off (two states) (generally considered impossible or vastly infeasible today) and apartheid. If BDS makes apartheid (the state of affairs today) impossible, then there is one-state, and all B-G’s work was for naught.

        But he tried! Gotta give him that! A real hero.

        By the way, as someone above mentions, since “destruction of Israel” can be understood either to mean something like “another holocaust” or to mean something like “democritization of I/P” (aka “one-state”), those who use the phrase can CLAIM to means the second whilst enjoying the emotive power evoked by the first meaning.

  16. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    February 11, 2014, 9:08 am

    Annie asks: “Why don’t these pro-Israel writers deal with BDS at face value?” when saying that BDS really wants to end the Jewish State [as such, y’know].

    Well, I have sympathy for their claim. The stated goals of the BDS movement — as possibly distinct from some who join BDS for limited purposes –include establishing as a fact the PRoR which, today, is but a twinkle in the eye of the Palestinian people, the UNGA, the UDHR A13#2, and human-rights advocates, none of whom amount to a hill of beans in the eyes of Zionists who demand to protect the Jewish nature of Israel (which means — never to say they are sorry for 1948 and especially never to readmit the exiles and their numerous progeny.)

    Now I support the PRoR. And I suspect that if it became effective, Israel would NOT be swamped by returnees. But I don’t know that. and I understand why Zionists fear it. And I understand why they say it would destroy Israel.

    Some people, I imagine, support BDS in order ONLY to force Israel out of the occupation & settlement business, and any such people would be applying the same pressures on Israel as anyone who supports the entire BDS goals-program.

    My own hope is that BDS pressures will ultimately force Israel to remove all the settlers, dismantle the wall and all the settlements, and thus end all of “occupation & settlements” other than the military occupation. And my reason for that is that I believe that the force and pressure necessary to achieve only that much will result only from a “head of steam” raised gradually and inexorably to the point that the pressure will persist until the other goals of BDS — making Israel democratic and effecting a PRoR — are also achieved.

    Well, one may hope. But it is easy to see why Zionists accuse BDS of “really” seeking to erase Israel. And all we can do is say that South Africa is still here, the American South is still here, and Israel will persist as a state with a large Jewish population even iof a PRoR is made effective.

    And if Hanan Ashrawi or Hanan Zouabi should be elected Prime Minister in such a future Israel, she might, Mandela-like, be kind to the Jewish Israelis who elect to remain.

  17. Bill in Maryland
    Bill in Maryland
    February 11, 2014, 9:14 am

    Great post- thanks a lot Annie!

  18. LeaNder
    LeaNder
    February 11, 2014, 9:49 am

    So why do I oppose a boycott of even settler-made products? It’s a good question. Maybe one day I won’t. But I find the idea of a modern-day economic boycott that targets Jews viscerally offensive. Boycotts have been used throughout history to punish Jews, not just in Germany, and not just in the 1930s.

    Maybe “Goldbug” (no harm meant) can elaborate? Boycott Etymology

    On the other hand, wasn’t Caryl Churchill’s play “blood libel”?

    I think what I find most annoying about him is the assumption that he can use the history of Judeophobia and antisemitism as if it were a quarry allowing you to pick without further reflection the piece you stumble across.

    Maybe the office of foreign relations in Israel is at the moment preparing a list that helpful hands will add here: List of Boycotts

    • just
      just
      February 11, 2014, 10:16 am

      “I think what I find most annoying about him is the assumption that he can use the history of Judeophobia and antisemitism as if it were a quarry allowing you to pick without further reflection the piece you stumble across. ”

      Quite simply brilliant!

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        February 12, 2014, 1:40 pm

        just, I guess I have to say thank you, but strictly I have probably brooded that sentence longer than I care to be remember. In hindsight I would like to add “‘the first’ piece you stumble across”.

    • marc b.
      marc b.
      February 11, 2014, 10:42 am

      and that’s not even nearly a complete menu of recent or ongoing boycotts, sanctions, etc. the French have variously boycotted American fast foods restaurants, organized a boycott of Quick (a French fast food chain) when it began to institute a halal-compliant menu, farmers from a number of countries have boycotted the use of GMO seed, and on and on and on, with numerous privately and publicly based and endorsed boycotts, not to mention the complete severing of relations with countries like Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Myanmar. (Despite all of the navel-gazing whining by Zionists about being singled out, by Europe for example, the EU is in the process of restoring full bi-lateral relations with Cuba, a variety of official sanctions being imposed by the EU for several decades now to “encourage a process of transition to pluralist democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms . . ..”)

      The EU ambassador to Havana, Herman Portocarero, said the talks came in response to “serious” changes in Cuba.

      “It is to some extent a vote of confidence in the reforms and that the new realities in Cuban society are irreversible, and that we want to be on board,” Mr Portocarero told the BBC.

      “We hope to promote a future model of Cuban society which is closer to European values.”

      But he added that the EU had a number of “red lines” in order for the relations to be normalised. These included such issues as human rights and the possibility for civil society groups to have legal status.

      The move indicates the most important diplomatic shift since the EU lifted sanctions against Cuba in 2008.

      so, no, BDS as a tactic is not uniquely applied to Israel.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        February 12, 2014, 1:36 pm

        marc b. count me on the side of anti GMO boycott, not only with India in mind.

      • marc b.
        marc b.
        February 12, 2014, 5:17 pm

        you euros are light years ahead of us when it comes to GMO, lea. I think it was Californians who recently voted down a law that would authorize the labeling of GMO ingredients in food. astonishing.

    • American
      American
      February 11, 2014, 11:38 am

      “” I think what I find most annoying about him is the assumption that he can use the history of Judeophobia and antisemitism as if it were a quarry allowing you to pick without further reflection the piece you stumble across.”..LeaNder

      When and if Israel gets official recognition as a pariah state, and I think that will eventually happen despite the US, then you will see a second front open on Zionism. At that point respectable historians and public figures will have a legitimate opening to expose Zionism itself and all the lies in its foundation and with Israel exposed, the world will be open to accepting the dismantling of many of the myths used by the Zionist to make anti Semitism the vehicle for Israel.
      There is just too much in the official historical records that contradict their propaganda . Some try to discredit zionism first as a way to contain Israel but actually when Israel is delegitimized “first” it makes it easier to then destroy their propaganda and the bogus claims of Zionism for Israel.

      There are various documented cases in which fanatical Zionists exploited, exaggerated, invented, or even perpetrated “anti-Semitic” incidents both to procure support and to drive Jews to immigrate to the Zionist-designated homeland. A few examples are discussed below.

      ”Brandeis and Frankfurter vs. U.S. diplomat
      One such case involved a young diplomat named Hugh Gibson, who in 1919 was nominated to be U.S. Ambassador to Poland. After he arrived in Poland, Gibson, who was highly regarded and considered particularly brilliant,[103] began to report that there were far fewer anti-Semitic incidents than Americans were led to believe. He wrote his mother: “These yarns are exclusively of foreign manufacture for anti-Polish purposes.”[104]
      His dispatches came to the attention of Brandeis and his protégé (and future supreme Court Justice) Felix Frankfurter, who demanded a meeting with Gibson. Gibson later wrote of their accusations:
      “I had [Brandeis and Frankfurter claimed] done more mischief to the Jewish race than anyone who had lived in the last century. They said…that my reports on the Jewish question had gone around the world and had undone their work…. They finally said that I had stated that the stories of excesses against the Jews were exaggerated, to which I replied that they certainly were and I should think any Jew would be glad to know it.”[105]
      Frankfurter hinted that if Gibson continued these reports, Zionists would block his confirmation by the Senate.
      Gibson was outraged and sent a 21-page letter to the State Department. In it he shared his suspicions that this was part of “a conscienceless and cold-blooded plan to make the condition of the Jews in Poland so bad that they must turn to Zionism for relief.”
      In 1923 another American diplomat in Poland, Vice Consul Monroe Kline, echoed Gibson’s analysis: “It is common knowledge that [Zionists] are continually and constantly spreading propaganda, through their agencies over the entire world, of political and religious persecution.”[106]
      Zionists and Nazis
      Perhaps the most extreme case of Zionist exploitation of anti-Semitism to further their cause came during the rise of Adolf Hitler. Historians have documented that Zionists sabotaged efforts to find safe havens for Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany in order to convince the world that Jews could only be safe in a Jewish state.[107]
      When FDR made efforts in 1938[108] and 1943[109], and the British in 1947[110], to provide havens for refugees from the Nazis, Zionists opposed these projects because they did not include Palestine.
      Morris Ernst, FDR’s international envoy for refugees, wrote in his memoir that when he worked to help find refuge for those fleeing Hitler, “…active Jewish leaders decried, sneered and then attacked me as if I were a traitor. At one dinner party I was openly accused of furthering this plan of freer immigration [into the U.S.] in order to undermine political Zionism… Zionist friends of mine opposed it.”[111]
      Ernst wrote that he found the same fanatical reaction among all the Jewish groups he approached, whose leaders, he found, were “little concerned about human blood if it is not their own.”[112]
      FDR finally gave up, telling Ernst: “We can’t put it over because the dominant vocal Jewish leadership of America won’t stand for it.”[113]
      Journalist Erskine B. Childers, son of a former Irish Prime Minister, wrote in the Spectator in 1960, “One of the most massively important features of the entire Palestine struggle was that Zionism deliberately arranged that the plight of the wretched survivors of Hitlerism should be a ‘moral argument’ which the West had to accept.”
      He explained that “this was done by seeing to it that Western countries did not open their doors, widely and immediately, to the inmate of the DP [displaced persons] camps.”
      Childers, author of several books on conflict resolution and peace-keeping who later became Secretary General of the World Federation of United Nations Associations, commented: “It is incredible that so grave and grim a campaign has received so little attention in accounts of the Palestine struggle – it was a campaign that literally shaped all subsequent history. It was done by sabotaging specific Western schemes to admit Jewish DPs.”[114]”

      [103] Gibson was admitted to the Foreign Service in 1907 with the highest grades of those entering that year. One commentator called him “one of the greatest diplomatists the USA has had in two generations.” (“Letter to Michael Francis Gibson,” February 14, 1955. Copy on file at the Hoover Institution.)

      [104] Neff, Pillars, 19-20; Grose, Mind of America, 94-95.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        February 12, 2014, 1:46 pm

        Whom are you citing American?

        After I read Raul Hilberg’s autobiography, admittedly, I would have loved to sit down with him concerning the anger he stored on Israeli archivists, or more generally the gatekeepers he was confronted with at the time. He did not go into specifics. Not that ours were not hiding behind personality rights much too long for my taste and still are I guess.

        […]
        The first part of your citation, by the way, reminded me of the apparent fears of quite a few Jewish American scholars that Europe was much too dangerous for a Jew to visit. It surprised me at the time and made me take a closer look at the time. …

        Here is another German (worse than European in this context) “antisemite”:

        Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused European Parliament President Martin Schulz of “selective hearing” on Wednesday for repeating an unverified claim that Israelis use four times as much water as Palestinians

        Schulz’s statement in the Knesset prompted a walkout by Habayit Hayehudi MKs, led by party leader Naftali Bennett.

        “The fault in these comments is what I call selective hearing, which unfortunately has become the legacy of many groups in Europe,” Netanyahu told the Knesset later in the day.

        “The president of the European Parliament visited Ramallah and heard from some Palestinian youths about water usage, that according to them an Israeli citizen uses four times more water than Palestinians use per person. According to the statistics we received from the Palestinian authority, including in official releases from the Palestinian water authority and our data, this number is not true, but significantly smaller,” the prime minister said.

        “The parliament president said frankly, ‘I haven’t checked.’ But that didn’t stop him from making repeated [accusations] right away. They hear, they don’t check, they hurl [accusations]. It would be fitting for him to check,” he added.

        it made news today, accompanied by images of lush settler field compared to parched Palestinian field next to it. Martin Schulz is one of the “original” SPD, not some type of neo-SPD. He already drew my attention in other contexts. I think one surfaced here, although he did not. Notice: That is a direct visual attack on one of Zionism core images. Remember making the desert bloom?

        Strictly I was hesitant concerning putting hope in Europe, pabelmont comes to mind, but this was pretty surprising, that was not at all business as usual.

      • American
        American
        February 13, 2014, 9:36 am

        @ Lea

        Sources:
        http://www.ifamericansknew.org/us_ints/history.html

        http://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org/new/

        http://www.irmep.org/

        These are the organizations and best sources for ‘real’ and actually documented history on Zionism, particulary in the US. These three have been exposing the Lobby for decades. Started by ‘former’ US congressmen and US State Dept individuals who were ‘alarmed’ by the foreign element of zionism for Israel within the US/government and the ramifications on the US.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        February 13, 2014, 11:46 am

        thanks American, seems in spite of quite a bit of web-affinity I am still much more into books as my main sources. I know Grant Smith, and assume he or one of his co-workers occasionally comments here.

        I cannot even tell you why, If Americans Knew makes me feel slightly queasy. I had a similar response to any type of wake-up-calls, I forget the way it was put in the US post 911 universe. But I may take a look at Weir’s work occasionally.

  19. Sibiriak
    Sibiriak
    February 11, 2014, 10:02 am

    Shingo:

    Annie explicitly prefaced the support for one state on the basis that, as Thomas Friedman pints out, Israel is not willing to do what is necessary for a two state outcome. That means that one state is inevitable,

    No it doesn’t. You assume that a two-state outcome is dependent on what Israel is willing to do .

    If you believe that, then you should believe a single democratic state is also impossible, since Israeli is not willing to accept that either.

    Any reasonably just solution will require Israel being forced to do what it is not currently willing to do , and there is, imo, a much greater chance of Zionist Israel being forced to accept two states than Zionist Israel being forced to accept the complete demise of the Zionism.

    In any case, international consensus, international law, the Palestinian leadership, and the majority of Palestinian organizations backing BDS all support two states.

    And: A separate Palestinian State already exists. De jure, not de facto, of course.

    There’s no point blaming Annie for the fact there is only one possible outcome.

    I don’t blame Annie for anything. But: it’s not a fact that there is only one possible outcome–that’s a belief.

    A has been pointed out, the notion of a Jewish state is an anachronism and morally indefensible anyway.

    So, you think BDS will gain the broad appeal it needs to be successful by promoting the notion that the end of Israel as a Jewish State is inevitable?

    So given the fact that the outcome is pretty much a fait accompli, those who support BDS have focused on championing the rights of Palestinian under occupation.

    I think they should (and thought they did) champion the end of occupation, not rights “under occupation.” And the end of occupation means the recognition of the existing de jure separate Palestinian state alongside Israel. Since that’s what an “end to occupation” means, why should that goal not be recognized?

    [Sibiriak:]You can support two states without supporting the sham “peace process.”

    Get real. That’s about as meaningful as suggesting you can believe in the Easter Bunny without having to admit he’s not real.

    .

    Nonsense. Supporting two-states does NOT imply supporting the sham “peace process”. A vastly increased amount of pressure must be put on Israel to force Israel to abide by international law– law which supports a two-state configuration.

    BDS is only ever going to have any effect while it adheres to international consensus and international law. The minute it achieves it’s stated aims and tries to go beyond hem, it will die and lose all credibility.

    True, but international consensus and international law are squarely behind the concept to two states. By declaring two states as the goal BDS would be aligning with the international consensus, not go beyond it. On the other hand, by refusing to define its goal, BDS leaves itself open to the charge that it “really” supports one state, in contradiction to international law and consensus, thus making itself unnecessarily vulnerable to being discredited.

    it’s stated aims are independent of a political settlement.

    Palestinians cannot obtain full political and civil rights, collective and individual, while remaining stateless–and for Palestinians to become full citizens of a state there must be a political solution.

    What if the Palestinians and the Israelis eventually agree to a single, bi national state? Should BDS continue to hammer away to force a 2ss on them anyway?

    That would represent a complete, radical, almost miraculous change in direction from both the Palestinian and Israeli leadership. If such a change ever did take place, there would be plenty of time for BDS to change accordingly.

    When the Berlin Wall came down, there was no “destruction” of Russia.

    The Soviet Union was dismantled. It ended. The Russian Federation emerged as a new polity, along with others, in its place. I agree that the term “destruction” implies great violence, and therefore is misleading and demagogic. But it would be as equally misleading to say that Israel would not cease to exist with the creation of a single state of Palestine as it would be to say that the Soviet Union did not cease to exist.

    Was Czechoslovakia destroyed? After all, it no longer exists so clearly, it was destroyed right?

    It was dissolved and ceases to exist. I prefer those kind of expressions to the polemical and potentially misleading “destruction” rhetoric.

    it’s obvious to anyone with a brain that so long as no one is prepared or able to enforce it, the Palestinians are having to bypass these channels.

    Hostage has made a convincing case that the the State of Palestine needs to avail itself of international law via the ICC. I see no need to repeat his arguments here. Having international law on your side also has immeasurable persuasive value when it comes to global public opinion.

    The gaping chasm in your argument is that you and Fink and the dead enders on this subject can’t even admit that if Israel were indeed to abide by international law and all UN Resolutions (ie. UNSC242 and 194), that Israel would cease to be a Jewish state anyway.

    I have no interest in preserving Israel as a Jewish state, so I have no reason not to admit that.

    There is no legal basis for Israel to be a Jewish state with a Jewish majority. Ban Gurion’s argument against allowing the expelled Palestinian to return was that under a democratic system, they would elected an Arab government.

    True.

    So tell us Sibiriak, do you believe therefore Ben Gurion was justified in expelling 750,000 Palestinians to avoid that outcome?

    No. I think the Zionist idea of creating a Jewish state in Palestine was a mistake from the very beginning.

    • libra
      libra
      February 11, 2014, 4:24 pm

      Sibiriak: “Any reasonably just solution will require Israel being forced to do what it is not currently willing to do , and there is, imo, a much greater chance of Zionist Israel being forced to accept two states than Zionist Israel being forced to accept the complete demise of the Zionism.”

      The above is what leads me to believe the logically compelling position for BDS to take would be to demand a single, democratic state BUT gives Israel a time-limited option of withdrawing to its borders if it wants to remain ‘the Jewish state’.

      That gives the Palestinians themselves power to effect an outcome and lets the world see just how much the Israelis really care about ‘the Jewish state’ as opposed to more land. Though it requires the Palestinians to accept that either outcome is better than continuing the current impasse indefinitely.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      February 11, 2014, 5:18 pm

      No it doesn’t. You assume that a two-state outcome is dependent on what Israel is willing to do .

      Which is exactly the point. While Israel is hurtling towards a single state outcome, a 2ss would require a major correction and reversal. As Olmert and Barak have warned, unless Israel changes it’s policies and works towards creating a Palestnian state, then Israelis would be force to chose between a democratic state or a Jewish/apartheid one.

      So yes, a two-state outcome is entirely dependent on what Israel is willing to do, unless you are proposing war against Israel to drive them out of the OT.

      If you believe that, then you should believe a single democratic state is also impossible, since Israeli is not willing to accept that either.

      You’re missing the point. A single state is a fait accompli, albeit it will not be a democratic one by default. That is where BDS comes in. Whether there is a 1ss, a 2ss or no political settlement at all, BDS demands that Palestinian human rights must be protected.

      Any reasonably just solution will require Israel being forced to do what it is not currently willing to do , and there is, imo, a much greater chance of Zionist Israel being forced to accept two states than Zionist Israel being forced to accept the complete demise of the Zionism.

      The fact is that they won’t really have a choice in the end. Roman didn’t fall because the Republic wanted it to, it fell as a consequence of it’s own flaws and mistakes.

      In any case, international consensus, international law, the Palestinian leadership, and the majority of Palestinian organizations backing BDS all support two states.

      Which makes your argument that the leaders of BDS need to articulate it, or the argument that their goals are vague, moot.

      I don’t blame Annie for anything. But: it’s not a fact that there is only one possible outcome–that’s a belief.

      No it is a fact, due to facts on the ground. We are not longer at a fork in the road where the choice of a 1ss 2ss is available. That is far behind us.

      No viable state is possible. Even one built purely along 1967 borders is unlikely to be viable, but Israel has ensured that no state will emerge. Miko Peled has pointed out (and Hostage agreed) that the only reason the Israelis began talking to the PLO in the early 90s is because they were already confident by that stage that they had installed sufficient Israeli infrastructure and settlements to ensure no state would ever emerge.

      So, you think BDS will gain the broad appeal it needs to be successful by promoting the notion that the end of Israel as a Jewish State is inevitable?

      No, but it’s doesn’t have to seeing as Israel is not a Jewish State. Whatever becomes of Israel is not the concern of BDS. If Israel chooses to self destruct, that is Israel’s choice.

      And the end of occupation means the recognition of the existing de jure separate Palestinian state alongside Israel. Since that’s what an “end to occupation” means, why should that goal not be recognized?

      That depends on what such a Palestinian state would look like. If it were to be based on what Sharon and Netenyahu has in mind (ie. Another Gaza or number of Gazas) , then the Palestinians would be no better off.

      Nonsense. Supporting two-states does NOT imply supporting the sham “peace process”. A vastly increased amount of pressure must be put on Israel to force Israel to abide by international law– law which supports a two-state configuration.

      And what better was to do that than BDS? Thank you. You could have saved us both a lot of wasted time had you arrived at that conclusion a few comments back.

      True, but international consensus and international law are squarely behind the concept to two states. By declaring two states as the goal BDS would be aligning with the international consensus, not go beyond it. On the other hand, by refusing to define its goal, BDS leaves itself open to the charge that it “really” supports one state, in contradiction to international law and consensus, thus making itself unnecessarily vulnerable to being discredited. .

      On the contrary, it would make itself unnecessarily vulnerable to being sabotage by those claiming to support a 2ss while in fact, working against it. That was the mistake the PLO made when they first proposed the 2ss and agreed to the US being the broker. They should have gone to the UN, but they chose the US who were able to play the role of mediator while acting as Israel’s lawyer.
      When you even have nut jobs like Natanyahu claiming to support a 2ss (when he clearly does not), one has to be careful not to allow the message to be corrupted. If BDS came out with a stated goal of a 2ss, then Israel and it’s lackeys could spin this to argue that BDS is unnecessary because Israel is already committed to a 2ss.

      Even liberal Zionists like J Street have a pretty absurd notion of what they want a Palestinian state to look like.

      The other point worth mentioning is that BDS insists on a resolution of the refugee issue, which Israel rejects completely because they claim ROR will destroy the “Jewish” state. Israel only became a Jewish state through ethnic cleansing, so there is no point bleating about how rectifying earlier crimes will undo what the crimes were designed to achieve.

      Palestinians cannot obtain full political and civil rights, collective and individual, while remaining stateless–and for Palestinians to become full citizens of a state there must be a political solution.

      I agree, but a political solution is for the Palestinians to decide. No one has any right o impose one on them.

      That would represent a complete, radical, almost miraculous change in direction from both the Palestinian and Israeli leadership. If such a change ever did take place, there would be plenty of time for BDS to change accordingly.

      But it would be as equally misleading to say that Israel would not cease to exist with the creation of a single state of Palestine as it would be to say that the Soviet Union did not cease to exist.

      Hostage has made a convincing case that the the State of Palestine needs to avail itself of international law via the ICC. I see no need to repeat his arguments here. Having international law on your side also has immeasurable persuasive value when it comes to global public opinion.

      Hostage has also pointed out that the ICC has all but ignored these requests from the Palestinians and that it has been pretty much been corrupted by the powers that be. Hostage has made the case that the ICC has all it needs to act, but has stonewalled and come up with all manner of excuses not to do so.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 11, 2014, 11:31 pm

        Shingo:

        You’re missing the point. A single state is a fait accompli, albeit it will not be a democratic one by default.

        No, you are missing the point: a single state is not a fait accompli. Currently there is an occupying state –Israel–and an occupied state–Palestine. Palestine has been recognized as a state by the UN (138 states voting in favor), and the two-state framework is cemented in international law and embodied in ICC opinions.

        Now the central flaw in your argument is this: you assume that the current reality of occupation presents only two possibilities: 1) a single apartheid state; 2) a single democratic state. And you see BDS as the means, following the SA example, of changing the single apartheid state into a democratic one (rather than BDS ending an occupation, leading to two sovereign states).

        However, there are two other possibilities you are not addressing:

        1) Israel and the Palestinian leadership eventually sign an agreement based on the Kerry proposals: Israel keeps the bulk of the settlements w/ land swaps ; RoR is largely symbolic w/ compensation; Palestinians get a portion of Jerusalem as their capital etc.

        2) The Palestinians (and/or Israelis) reject some part of the Kerry plan and Israel, perhaps not immediately but eventually, unilaterally annexes the settlements that the would have gotten under the Kerry proposals (and maybe more).

        Under neither of those very real possibilities is a single state created.

        As Noam Chomsky writes:

        A corridor to the east of the new Greater Jerusalem incorporates the settler town of Ma’aleh Adumim, established in the 1970s but built primarily after the Oslo Accords, virtually bisecting the West Bank.

        Corridors to the north including other settler towns divide what is to remain under some degree of Palestinian control — “Bantustans,” as they were called by one of the main architects of the policy, Ariel Sharon, in a reference to the territory set aside for black South Africans during the apartheid era.

        Meanwhile Israel is incorporating the territory on the Israeli side of the “separation wall” cutting through the West Bank, taking arable land and water resources and Palestinian villages.

        Included are the settlement blocs that “will remain part of Israel in any possible future peace agreement,” as stated by Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev as the current negotiations were announced.
        […]

        Israel has also been clearing the Jordan Valley of Palestinians while establishing Jewish settlements, sinking wells, and otherwise preparing for eventual integration of the region within Israel. [Sibiriak: Israel could abandon this project in an agreement, though.]

        That will complete the isolation of any West Bank Palestinian entity. Meanwhile huge infrastructure projects throughout the West Bank, from which Palestinians are barred, carry forward the integration to Israel, and presumably eventual annexation.

        Chomksy may not be right on every detail, but the crucial point is this:

        The areas that Israel is taking over will be virtually free of Arabs. There will be no new “demographic problem” or civil rights or anti-apartheid struggle, contrary to what many advocates of Palestinian rights anticipate in a single state.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 12, 2014, 12:14 am

        No, you are missing the point: a single state is not a fait accompli. No, you are missing the point: a single state is not a fait accompli.

        Yes it is, as Irish Moses has already pointed out to you, it’s not only a fait accompli, it is already a reality. You might insist on ignoring the elephant in the room with your John Cleese dead parrot routine, but we already have a one state arrangement in place.

        Palestine has been recognized as a state by the UN (138 states voting in favor), and the two-state framework is cemented in international law and embodied in ICC opinions.

        So is the US veto at the UN.

        1) Israel and the Palestinian leadership eventually sign an agreement based on the Kerry proposals: Israel keeps the bulk of the settlements w/ land swaps ; RoR is largely symbolic w/ compensation; Palestinians get a portion of Jerusalem as their capital etc.

        Not going to happen. Palestine won’t accept the scraps that Kerry has to offer, which Israel’s government is also rejecting as unacceptable because they regard the terms as too much of a concession.

        2) The Palestinians (and/or Israelis) reject some part of the Kerry plan and Israel, perhaps not immediately but eventually, unilaterally annexes the settlements that the would have gotten under the Kerry proposals (and maybe more) .

        That’s what the Israelis have in mind yes.

        Chomksy may not be right on every detail, but the crucial point is this:

        I love Chomsky, but on this subject, I already pointed out that he and Fink live in a parallel universe where they regard themselves as the high priests on the subject. Unfortunately, no one is listening to them anymore, because their strategy is as dead as the 2ss.
        Chomsky has been poopooing BDS from the beginning because he doesn’t like it. He even refuses to accept that BDS began as a Palestinian initiative, insisting that it was concocted by activists outside of Palestine. Instead, he makes the absurd and delusional prescription that the only boycott that makes sense is to boycott US arms manufacturers, as if to suggest the common man on the street has the option of refusing to purchase from them.
        The problem with Chomksy’s prediction is that:
        1. The right wing won’t be satisfied with annexing those areas only. No matter how far the Israelis go, the right wing nut jobs will continue to want to grab another hilltop outside those borders.
        2. This will only push BDS into overdrive, where Israel will indeed suffer from severe sanctions.
        3. Such a move will lead to the collapse of the PA, along with the PA security apparatus that is doing much of Israel’s dirty work in the OT.

        If anything,. Chomsky’s prediction only highlights why BDS is the only credible option for resistance.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 12, 2014, 2:52 am

        Shingo:

        Yes it is, as Irish Moses has already pointed out to you, it’s not only a fait accompli, it is already a reality

        We’ll just have to disagree on that point. The current reality is Israel occupying Palestinian territory and imposing an oppressive apartheid regime–in violation of international law. A single state is not a fait accompli, nor is it inevitable. It is only one possibility. I’ve outlined the others. You can argue which one is the more likely, but that is prediction of the future, and the future is open.
        The idea that one democratic state is inevitable and there are no other possibilities is a statement of desire, not reality.

        The problem with Chomksy’s prediction is that:
        1. The right wing won’t be satisfied with annexing those areas only. No matter how far the Israelis go, the right wing nut jobs will continue to want to grab another hilltop outside those borders.

        Sure, that’s possible– but it is not inevitable . The extreme right wing doesn’t always get its way.

        2. This will only push BDS into overdrive, where Israel will indeed suffer from severe sanctions.

        The more BDS goes into overdrive, the more likely Israel will take 80% of the pie (the settlements) and let go of 20%, many of which are actually bargaining chips to make it look like Israel made “huge, painful concessions” while they keep what they really want–the main settlement blocs.

        3. Such a move will lead to the collapse of the PA, along with the PA security apparatus that is doing much of Israel’s dirty work in the OT.

        Perhaps so, perhaps not. Any increase in BDS will increase the likelihood of a two-state settlement, and that will increase the support for the Palestinian leadership. On top of that, international financial support for the Palestinian state structure will increase. In any case, the collapse of the PA (State of Palestine) would only accelerate Israeli unilateral separation, not the creation of a single state.

        If anything,. Chomsky’s prediction only highlights why BDS is the only credible option for resistance.

        That’s why I support BDS as a tactic; and Finkelstein does as well. I disagree, however, that BDS–broadly understood all modes of economic pressure–is the only method of resistance.

        I agree with Hostage regarding the use of the ICC and international law, and his argument against “the utopian notion that a one state solution at some remote or uncertain date is preferable to judicial remedies and immediate recognition of Palestine within the 67 borders by the UN, ICC, and the national courts of 130 countries world-wide working in concert with each other.”

        I also believe in the potential power of local Palestinian actions as well as protests and actions by international activists. ALL of these forms or resistance are credible and can work synergistically .

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 12, 2014, 5:19 am

        The current reality is Israel occupying Palestinian territory and imposing an oppressive apartheid regime–in violation of international law

        The current reality has been the reality for 46 years and shows no sign of changing. A single state is not only a fait accompli, is it the status quo, not merely a possibility. The settlements and the infrastructure are not a possibility, or imaginary, they are a fact.

        I never said that one democratic state is inevitable, I said that a one state outcome is. And the extreme right wing has been getting its way for decades. What’s more, Israel is moving further and further to the right.

        The more BDS goes into overdrive, the more likely Israel will take 80% of the pie (the settlements) and let go of 20%, many of which are actually bargaining chips to make it look like Israel made “huge, painful concessions” while they keep what they really want–the main settlement blocs.

        By that stage, there will be no use for concessions as no one will be listening. The leaders of Israel will have already been referred to the ICC
        The peace process will have finally been declared dead and buried if it ever got to that. The PA will have collapsed by then, along with the PA security apparatus and Israel will again claim it has no “no partner for peace”. There won’t be any Palestinian leadership to financially support, other than perhaps Hamas.

        I disagree, however, that BDS–broadly understood all modes of economic pressure–is the only method of resistance.

        Actually I think the evidence it clear the ones who don’t economic pressure are you and Fink. The evidence suggests that BDS is exceeding all expectations, while dinosaurs like Fink have been relegated to the dustbin of irrelevance due to their inability to cope with the shifting currents.

        When was the last time anything Fink or Chomsky did that forced the Israeli leadership into a crisis meeting forced the Sec of State to issue a warning to Israel?

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 12, 2014, 3:05 am

        Shingo:

        Palestine won’t accept the scraps that Kerry has to offer

        I wouldn’t be so sure about that–they’ve already accepted most of it.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 12, 2014, 5:21 am

        I wouldn’t be so sure about that–they’ve already accepted most of it.

        No they have not.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 12, 2014, 3:10 am

        Shingo:

        Unfortunately, no one is listening to [Chomsky and Finkelstein] anymore, because their strategy is as dead as the 2ss.

        You’re not listening. Both are saying a genuine 2SS is most likely dead, dead, dead. What you don’t get is that the death of a 2SS does not leave a single state as the only remaining possibility.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 12, 2014, 5:20 am

        You’re not listening. Both are saying a genuine 2SS is most likely dead, dead, dead. What you don’t get is that the death of a 2SS does not leave a single state as the only remaining possibility.

        That’s pure cognitive dissonance on your part. Here on planet Earth, if an option is dead, dead, dead, then it ceases to be a possibility.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 12, 2014, 6:01 am

        Shingo:

        You’re not listening. Both are saying a genuine 2SS is most likely dead, dead, dead. What you don’t get is that the death of a 2SS does not leave a single state as the only remaining possibility.

        That’s pure cognitive dissonance on your part. Here on planet Earth, if an option is dead, dead, dead, then it ceases to be a possibility.

        Thank you for that insight. But you are still missing the point: IF the two state solution is dead, and Finkelstein and Chomksy think it mostly likely is, that does not mean the only alternative is one state. What part of that proposition do is causing difficulty for you?

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 12, 2014, 7:07 am

        IF the two state solution is dead, and Finkelstein and Chomksy think it mostly likely is, that does not mean the only alternative is one state.

        For half a dozen posts you’ve insisted that the two state solution is NOT dead. Now you are saying it is dead. So that leaves one state because in the absence of a 2ss, Israel will take the rest of the territory. It simply knows no other way.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 12, 2014, 6:54 am

        Shing:

        The settlements and the infrastructure are not a possibility, or imaginary, they are a fact.

        You seem to think that the repetition of truisms is a compelling debating technique. Of course, settlements are a fact.

        I never said that one democratic state is inevitable, I said that a one state outcome is.

        You are entitled to your opinion.

        And the extreme right wing has been getting its way for decades.

        No, it hasn’t. But if you want to bank on the extreme right always getting its way, I can’t stop you.

        By that stage, there will be no use for concessions as no one will be listening. The leaders of Israel will have already been referred to the ICC.

        So suddenly you are saying international law CAN be enforced? And who is going to make complaints to the ICC against Israel– the State of Palestine –which in your view does not exist, since a single state is a fait accompli? You are contradicting yourself.

        Actually I think the evidence it clear the ones who don’t economic pressure are you and Fink.

        Your barking up the wrong tree. I completely support BDS as a tactic. I challenge you to find a single post of mine that states otherwise.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 12, 2014, 7:14 am

        No, it hasn’t. But if you want to bank on the extreme right always getting its way, I can’t stop you.

        The fact you haven’t even bothered to cite an example to back up your contention just proves my point. You know you don’t have a leg to stand on.

        So suddenly you are saying international law CAN be enforced? And who is going to make complaints to the ICC against Israel– the State of Palestine –which in your view does not exist, since a single state is a fait accompli? You are contradicting yourself.

        I never disputed that Palestine has been recognized by the UN as a state, but the fact remains that they don’t have a state in the material sense to show for it. And I said that the leaders of Israel will be referred to the ICC – whether the ICC does anything about it or even considers the case is another matter. The ICC’s can only issue subpoenas, they cannot charge the defendant without the defendant being present, and the odds of the Israelis turning up to their own trials are ZERO.

        I completely support BDS as a tactic.

        Then make up your mind, and stop wasting everyone’s time with your rambling diatribes….please. You’ve contradicted yourself about practically every point already.

      • annie
        annie
        February 12, 2014, 12:26 am

        Chomksy may not be right on every detail, but the crucial point is this:

        Sibiriak, your framing implies this is chomsky’s prediction of what will be. but the title of the article is:

        “Israel’s West Bank plans will leave Palestinians very little”

        i agree that he’s right in that these are israel’s plans. they are not , however, inevitable or the only options available, nor does he state that.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 12, 2014, 1:02 am

        Annie Robbins:

        i agree that [Chomsky is] right in that these are israel’s plans. they are not , however, inevitable or the only options available, nor does he state that.

        Nor do I. My point was that those options cannot be ruled out–and in fact, they are quite likely. A single state is not inevitable , nor are two states.

        If you rule out two states, as Shingo and others do because of “facts on the ground” and Israeli unwillingness, that does not leave a single state as the only remaining possibility.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 12, 2014, 2:35 am

        If you rule out two states, as Shingo and others do because of “facts on the ground” and Israeli unwillingness, that does not leave a single state as the only remaining possibility.

        That’s right Sibiriak, it leaves only one other – genocide.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 12, 2014, 3:23 am

        Shingo:

        If you rule out two states, as Shingo and others do because of “facts on the ground” and Israeli unwillingness, that does not leave a single state as the only remaining possibility.

        That’s right Sibiriak, it leaves only one other – genocide.

        No, there’s the possibility of Palestine being a quasi-sovereign statelet, whether by agreement or by imposition. That’s what’s happening right in front of your eyes–but you don’t want to see it, for understandable reasons.

        The whole fraudulent “peace process” beginning with Oslo and culminating now with the impeding Kerry proposals has aimed at creating what might be called a 1.5 state settlement—limited sovereignty on limited territory/a symbolic-only “right of return”.
        Chomsky described that plan with chilling accuracy, I believe.

        If reports are accurate(see Citizen’s latest post), the Kerry proposals will adopt that Israeli plan with only a few slight compromises demanded of the Israelis. It can be argued that the Palestinian leadership has already capitulated on many points, most clearly on the RoR isssue and Israel’s absorption of major settlement blocs/adjustment to pre-1967 boundaries. The issue of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state may be resolved by a formula like ” Israel as the state of the Jewish people and its citizens, Palestine as the state of the Palestinian people and its citizens”–or either side may concede that issue.

        In any case, that’s the direction things are going, and it will take a major effort to head off that process.

        Hostage argues the Palestinian leadership will never accept a 1.5 state deal, and that their Plan B is action in the ICC etc. If he’s correct, that still means affirming Palestine as a separate, UN recognized state, not a one-state utopia.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 12, 2014, 5:28 am

        <blockquoteNo, there’s the possibility of Palestine being a quasi-sovereign statelet, whether by agreement or by imposition. That’s what’s happening right in front of your eyes–but you don’t want to see it, for understandable reasons.

        Indeed the reasons are understandable – namely that there is no such thing as a quasi-sovereign statelet. Being a little bit occupied is a like being a little bit pregnant.

        Hostage argues the Palestinian leadership will never accept a 1.5 state deal, and that their Plan B is action in the ICC etc. If he’s correct, that still means affirming Palestine as a separate, UN recognized state, not a one-state utopia.

        So one minute you are arguing that the Palestinian leadership have agreed to most of Kerry’s plan, the next you are arguing that the Palestinian leadership will never accept a 1.5 state deal.

        Little wonder your comments are so incoherent.

      • Sumud
        Sumud
        February 12, 2014, 5:51 am

        If you rule out two states, as Shingo and others do because of “facts on the ground” and Israeli unwillingness, that does not leave a single state as the only remaining possibility.

        I agree with you that one-state is not the only possible outcome, it may be a Palestinian ‘statelet’ or it may just be a Jeff Halper has been saying for some time, the status quo with Palestinians permanently ‘warehoused’ in Gaza and the West Bank.

        The problem with these solution is that they just aren’t stable. The status quo is anything but.

        Kerry may be able too force a .5 state onto Abbas but that still doesn’t address the issue of the refugees. And Abbas would have to be MAD to let Israel get away with taking almost all the water under the West Bank.

        If justice isn’t seen and felt to be served in some tangible way for Palestinians any solutions, agreed or other, will likely only be intermediate.

        Isn’t it wonderful we can all gather together under the rights-based umbrella of BDS and agree to disagree about this ;-p

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 12, 2014, 6:01 am

        The problem with these solution is that they just aren’t stable. The status quo is anything but.

        If it’s not stable, then it’s not a solution.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 12, 2014, 7:03 am

        Shingo:

        there is no such thing as a quasi-sovereign statelet.

        That’s precisely what Kerry is going to propose, although he won’t call it that. And yes, there are numerous examples of political arrangements involving partial autonomy and sovereignty, so you are just flat out wrong on that point.

        [Sibiriak:] Hostage argues the Palestinian leadership will never accept a 1.5 state deal, and that their Plan B is action in the ICC etc. If he’s correct, that still means affirming Palestine as a separate, UN recognized state, not a one-state utopia.

        So one minute you are arguing that the Palestinian leadership have agreed to most of Kerry’s plan, the next you are arguing that the Palestinian leadership will never accept a 1.5 state deal.

        No. Read it again, please: I wrote that Hostage said the Palestinian leadership will not accept a 1.5 SS. I have never made that assertion.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 12, 2014, 7:22 am

        That’s precisely what Kerry is going to propose, although he won’t call it that.

        Have you made up your mind if the PA will agree to it or not. First you said that they had already agreed, then you quoted Hostage as saying they won’t.

        And yes, there are numerous examples of political arrangements involving partial autonomy and sovereignty, so you are just flat out wrong on that point.

        Not involving military occupation there isn’t.

        I wrote that Hostage said the Palestinian leadership will not accept a 1.5 SS. I have never made that assertion

        Caught in your own spin. You wrote the following.

        At Sibiriak says:
        February 12, 2014 at 3:05 am
        Shingo:
        Palestine won’t accept the scraps that Kerry has to offer
        I wouldn’t be so sure about that–they’ve already accepted most of it.

        The 1.5 SS must certainly comprise most of it.

        Maybe it’s time you had a nap.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 12, 2014, 7:11 am

        Sumud :

        … one-state is not the only possible outcome, it may be a Palestinian ‘statelet’ or it may just be a Jeff Halper has been saying for some time, the status quo with Palestinians permanently ‘warehoused’ in Gaza and the West Bank. <

        The problem with these solution is that they just aren’t stable. The status quo is anything but.

        I agree with the stability point and the rest of your post.

      • eljay
        eljay
        February 12, 2014, 7:49 am

        >> IF the two state solution is dead, and Finkelstein and Chomksy think it mostly likely is, that does not mean the only alternative is one state.

        Curious: What other alternatives do you consider possible and, of those, which do you think is the most likely one to be realized?

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 12, 2014, 8:34 am

        Shingo:

        [Sibiriak: I wrote that Hostage said the Palestinian leadership will not accept a 1.5 SS. I have never made that assertion

        Caught in your own spin. You wrote the following.

        Sibiriak says: Shingo: Palestine won’t accept the scraps that Kerry has to offer I wouldn’t be so sure about that–they’ve already accepted most of it.

        The 1.5 SS must certainly comprise most of it.

        I’m not sure why you are confused, but I’ll spell it out for you again:

        I’ve stated that the Palestinian leadership may actually accept a deal along the lines of Kerry’s proposals, i,e, a “1.5SS”. It can’ be ruled out. I’ve consistently said that.

        I also stated that Hostage disagrees– he believes the Palestinian leadership would never accept a 1.5 SS. Instead, they would seek:

        [Hostage:] immediate recognition of Palestine within the 67 borders by the UN, ICC, and the national courts of 130 countries world-wide working in concert with each other…

        Please note: “within the 67 borders”, i.e. a 2SS. So yes, both a 1.5 SS and 2SS are possibilities; I think the former is most likely; Hostage, the latter–but neither involve a single state , which was my point. There’s absolutely no contradiction there.

    • irishmoses
      irishmoses
      February 11, 2014, 7:17 pm

      Siberiak,

      I think the reality is that a single Israeli Jewish state that encompasses all of Mandate Palestine is already in place and has been since 1967. The only changes since then have been the solidification of that single state through massive Jewish settlement and all the military and civilian infrastructure that accompanies that effort. You could say it is a federated bi-national state in the sense that the Palestinian Authority has limited local autonomy in parts of the West Bank, as does Hamas in Gaza, but it is certainly not democratic, not even in Israel proper to the extent that Palestinian Israelis are second class citizens at best.

      A single state solution is not some future outcome. It already exists. The only question is whether Israel will choose or be forced to modify that single state to be truly democratic, or will choose to abandon the West Bank in order to achieve single, largely non-Palestinian, separate Jewish state within the pre-1967 borders.

      A single Jewish state encompassing all of Mandate Palestine has always been the Zionist goal. The only question has been what to do with all those pesky Arabs.

      Recognizing the current existence of a single Jewish state, largely apartheid in nature, is important because it recognizes the ongoing trauma of the Palestinian people caused by Israeli Zionism, and makes clear that Israel has already made a choice for a single undemocratic state some 47 years ago. It’s not like we are waiting to see whether Israel will someday decide to do the good thing or the bad thing. They made that decision (the bad one) in 1967.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 11, 2014, 10:22 pm

        irishmoses:

        A single state solution is not some future outcome. It already exists.

        We agree on the reality, but I’m not sure we agree about the terminology/semantics. Precision is important.

        First, a single state solution does not already exist.

        More importantly, if you adopt the idea that a single state already exists then the idea of “occupation” loses force. The problem becomes one of equal rights, full citizenship, non-discrimination under a single sovereignty etc., not occupation of a state by an oppressive foreign power . Palestinian national aspirations, their need for a state of their own for national pride and to heal their national trauma–these are abandoned under the “single state” idea.

        But Palestine already exists as a state , de jure. It has been recognized as such by 138 other nations:

        Voting by an overwhelming majority — 138 in favour to 9 against (Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Panama, Palau, United States), with 41 abstentions — the General Assembly today accorded Palestine non-Member Observer State status in the United Nations.

        http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2012/ga11317.doc.htm

        So, if you are going to speak of “one state”– what is the name of that state? Israel? If so, then you are denying the current existence of Palestine under international law. If you say, “Palestine”, you are denying the existence of Israel. Neither response is satisfactory.

        As Finkelstein put it:

        ….international law is clear. You read the last sentence of the 2004 International Court of Justice opinion on the wall that Israel has been building in the West Bank, and the last sentence says, “We look forward to two states: a Palestinian state alongside Israel and at peace with its neighbors.”

        The settlements are illegal. That is correct. East Jerusalem is occupied Palestinian territory. That is correct. The West Bank and Gaza are occupied Palestinian territory. That is correct. But it’s also correct that Israel is a state. That is also the law.

        —-

        In the case of the Israel-Palestine conflict, the near-unanimous consensus for the past three decades has been that the Palestinian people do have a right of self-determination, to be exercised in the “occupied Palestinian territory,” which consists of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. I see no cracks in this consensus; quite the contrary, judging by all international forums, it has only gotten stronger over time.

        If you look at the whole body of international law and international consensus regarding Israel/Palestine it’s clear that the conflict is conceived in terms of a two state paradigm.

        In essence, to speak of “one state existing now” really only makes sense if you assume, as Shingo and many others do, that two states are no longer a possibility. That may be true, but you cannot assume what needs to be shown, otherwise it becomes a kind of tautology.

        Uri Avnery argues this point:

        There are those who say: It already exists. Israel alreay rules one state from the sea to the river, you only need to change the regime. So, first of all: there is no such thing. There is an occupying state and an occupied territory. It is far easier to dismantle a settlement, to dismantle settlements, to dismantle ALL the settlements – far easier than to force six million Jewish Israelis to dismantle their state.

        http://www.countercurrents.org/pappe110607.htm

        And you yourself claim that two states is indeed still a real possibility:

        The only question is whether Israel will choose or be forced to modify that single state to be truly democratic, or will choose to abandon the West Bank in order to achieve single, largely non-Palestinian, separate Jewish state within the pre-1967 borders.

        If two de facto states, Israel and Palestine (both already exist de jure), remains a possibility then I believe the more accurate and constructive terminology is to speak of Israeli “occupation”, an Israeli -imposed apartheid regime in Palestinian territories and discrimination within Israel, rather than about a single apartheid state (of Israel.)

        and makes clear that Israel has already made a choice for a single undemocratic state some 47 years ago

        And the concept of “occupation” makes it clear that the international community and international law has consistently rejected that “choice” for some 47 years.

        Recall also the fact that if the two-state framework supported by international law is rejected, so also are the judicial remedies that framework provides.

        Hostage has argued this repeatedly, asking whether

        …[the] utopian notion that a one state solution at some remote or uncertain date is preferable to judicial remedies and immediate recognition of Palestine within the 67 borders by the UN, ICC, and the national courts of 130 countries world-wide working in concert with each other…

        So, if you want to speak of “one state” and reject the notion of one state occupying another, then I think you need to give up the notion that two de facto states are at all possible.

        Either that, or you can use the “one state” rhetoric purely tactically–to frighten Zionists into supporting two states.

        But if you make the claim, explicitly or implicitly, that two states are not a possibility, that Israel must be dissolved into a single Palestinian state, then you will cease to have international law and international consensus on your side and severely handicap yourself in the battle for public opinion.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 12, 2014, 2:32 am

        First, a single state solution does not already exist.

        A solution is a means of solving a problem or arriving at a goal. There is no need for a solution to something that has already been implemented.

        More importantly, if you adopt the idea that a single state already existsthen the idea of “occupation” loses force.

        That is true only if everyone has been given citizenship. Palestinians don’t need a state to stoke their national pride. They are used to living under foreign rule, but what they do need is equal rights and their human rights to be respected. None of these need to be abandoned under a single state provided they are recognized as citizens.

        “We look forward to two states: a Palestinian state alongside Israel and at peace with its neighbors.”

        That is not a stamen of law, that is a stamen of aspiration and sentiment.
        You can babbly about the law all you want, but it’s meaningless if there is no way or means to enforce it.

        In essence, to speak of “one state existing now” really only makes sense if you assume, as Shingo and many others do, that two states are no longer a possibility. That may be true, but you cannot assume what needs to be shown, otherwise it becomes a kind of tautology.

        You are arguing in circles and chasing your tail here. There is no need to assume two states are no longer a possibility, given that nothing short of war will result in Israel complying with the necessary measures to enable a Palestinian state to emerge.

        It is far easier to dismantle a settlement, to dismantle settlements, to dismantle ALL the settlements – far easier than to force six million Jewish Israelis to dismantle their state.

        Avenry has been wrong about many things and this is one of them. How can it possibly be easier to dismantle ALL the settlements than it is to admit the present reality? Israel is not going to dismantle ALL the settlements. Such a move will lead to civil war in Israel and no Israeli leader is prepared to go down in history as the one who killed Jews.
        We have to accept that.

        And you yourself claim that two states is indeed still a real possibility:

        That’s not what he said. He said the question remains whether Israel will choose to abandon the West Bank in order to achieve single, largely non-Palestinian, separate Jewish state within the pre-1967 borders.

        The answer is obvious.

        If two de facto states, Israel and Palestine (both already exist de jure), remains a possibility then I believe the more accurate and constructive terminology is to speak of Israeli “occupation”, an Israeli -imposed apartheid regime in Palestinian territories and discrimination within Israel, rather than about a single apartheid state (of Israel.)

        “If” being the operative word. Sadly there is no “if”, so your hypothetical is meaningless.

        And the concept of “occupation” makes it clear that the international community and international law has consistently rejected that “choice” for some 47 years.

        And done absolutely NOTHING about it.’
        That’s the glaring fact your argument keep crashing into, which you and the Finks of this world try so desperately to ignore or deny. You cling by your fingernails to the idea that pointing out that Israel is violating the law is somehow sufficient to counter Israeli crimes, but for 46 years we have seen how impotent it is.
        There are no judicial remedies in the sky. They might exist on paper, but in the real world, they are not worth the paper they are written on.
        It’s not that we wanted one state, we are stuck with it. You can continue your mental masturbation about semantics and the law, but it’s the reality we have to deal with. Just like the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the home demolitions, the expulsion, the theft of resources and the building of settlements. The law was against all of those, and even proponents of the law like Fink and Chomsky, have given up the very idea that the law will ever do anything about those crimes.

        So if the law has been such a spectacular failure up until this point, what possible reason can one to believe it won’t continue to do so? When I hear Fink’s diatribes about the law, I can’t help but wonder if he’d rather see all the Palestinians rot than consider that the law is a catastrophic failure.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 12, 2014, 7:26 am

        Shingo:

        Palestinians don’t need a state to stoke their national pride.

        Putting aside your dismissive phrasing, I’m not persuaded that you speak for the Palestinians in regards to their national aspirations.

        You can babbly about the law all you want, but it’s meaningless if there is no way or means to enforce it.

        I’ve always felt that politics trumps law. On the other hand, Hostage makes a good point when he argues that, in contrast to some BDS leaders and supporters:

        …the Israeli press and Israeli supporters “get it”. There’s no shortage of Israeli analysis on the subject of the ICC and the possibility of lawsuits in the wake of recognition at the UN,

        The fact is, the Palestinians have not fully exploited the power of international law, so it’s impossible to say what role it can play. The past is an inadequate guide to the future. I don’t put as much hope in international law as Hostage does, but I don’t dismiss it so categorically as you do.

        Furthermore, having international law on your side gives you moral legitimacy and broad international appeal. “The most effective appeal is one grounded in international law. Because the legal consensus regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict is so broad and deep, Israel has no convincing answer to it.” (Finkelstein) Grounding an appeal in international law does not mean you reject BDS or massive Palestinian resistance on the ground. It’s not either/or.

        nothing short of war will result in Israel complying with the necessary measures to enable a Palestinian state to emerge.

        That’s your opinion. But why would BDS –not war– be able to compel Zionists to give up Zionism entirely, yet not be able to compel Zionists to give up only portion of Zionists settlements in the West Bank? That’s the glaring contradiction your argument keeps crashing into.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 12, 2014, 8:11 am

        I’m not persuaded that you speak for the Palestinians in regards to their national aspirations.

        I don’t claim to speak for them, and you certainly don’t. But when people are desperate and living with no hope, national pride is probably not going to be at the top of their list in terms of their needs.

        The fact is, the Palestinians have not fully exploited the power of international law, so it’s impossible to say what role it can play.

        You sound like Marie Antoinette.

        That’s a bit like saying that a homeless kid in the street hasn’t fully exploited the power of futures trading on Wall Street. The fact is that international law has become synonymous with power. When you have 5 permanent members of the UNSC protecting their power and vetoing anything they don’t like, then Palestinians have as much exploited the power of international law as a crack addict has of being admitted to the Waldorf Astoria in Park Avenue.

        Because the legal consensus regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict is so broad and deep, Israel has no convincing answer to it.

        It hasn’t needed one, thanks to the US veto.

        But why would BDS –not war– be able to compel Zionists to give up Zionism entirely, yet not be able to compel Zionists to give up only portion of Zionists settlements in the West Bank? That’s the glaring contradiction your argument keeps crashing into.

        No, he crashing sound you are hearing is the train wreck of your logic. Israel is a largely artificial construct that relies heavily on foreign backing and support. When that is withdrawn or cut off, Israel will certainly feel it. The appeal Israel holds to many of it’s citizens with foreign passports will quickly fade once Israel becomes an economic basket case. That’s something war or vague talk about international law could never achieve.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 12, 2014, 9:27 am

        Shingo:

        1.

        [Shingo:]The fact is that international law has become synonymous with power. When you have 5 permanent members of the UNSC protecting their power and vetoing anything they don’t like…

        2.

        [Finkelstein:] Because the legal consensus regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict is so broad and deep, Israel has no convincing answer to it.

        [Shingo:]It hasn’t needed one, thanks to the US veto.

        3.

        [Shingo:] Israel is a largely artificial construct that relies heavily on foreign backing and support. When that is withdrawn or cut off, Israel will certainly feel it. The appeal Israel holds to many of it’s citizens with foreign passports will quickly fade once Israel becomes an economic basket case.

        Surely, you see the contradiction there.

        In statements 1 and 2 you suggest that international law is powerless because the US and co prevent it from being enforced.

        In statement 3, however, you suggest a single state can be created by the US /EU & co. cutting off aid and support to Israel.

        Why would the U.S. @ co. be willing on the one hand to turn Israel into an economic basket case in order to create a single democratic state , yet balk at changing its position regarding the UN and ICC in order to pressure Israel into agreeing to a 1.5 or 2SS?? That makes no sense.

        The EU is willing to embrace BDS tactics against Israel to some extent– but only with the goal of compelling Israel to support a 2SS and abide by international law .

        The U.S. would only pressure Israel to agree to a 1.5SS in line with Kerry’s impending proposal.

        So who exactly are you saying is going to withdraw support from Israel with the aim of forcing Israel to accept a single democratic state in Palestine, rather than two states based on international law ??

  20. hophmi
    hophmi
    February 11, 2014, 10:09 am

    “So, stop impugning the reputations of BDS supporters because of your own fears. There’s no requirement for a human rights struggle to take a political stance on one or two states.”

    Norman Finkelstein said exactly the same thing; you guys aren’t honest about what your goals are.

    I have to laugh at these protests that you don’t by and large advocate a one-state solution that would bring an end to Jewish self-determination. Anyone who believes that has clearly never read Mondoweiss or the comments here.

    As I’ve said elsewhere, you can’t claim the mantle of human rights if you’re not willing to condemn Palestinian terrorism or internal Palestinian repression.

    • American
      American
      February 11, 2014, 10:43 am

      ”that would bring an end to Jewish self-determination. ”…hoppie

      All your ‘self determination’ has turned out to be is a religo/ethno supremist rouge state for a piddling 6 million Jews, which is barely half of the world Jewish population, and cant even exist without the constant support of the US.
      Its not worth the trouble it causes.

      • chinese box
        chinese box
        February 11, 2014, 11:03 am

        Thank you. I am sad, but not surprised, to see that hophmi is still peddling this gross distortion of the term self-determination here.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        February 11, 2014, 3:42 pm

        “Thank you. I am sad, but not surprised, to see that hophmi is still peddling this gross distortion of the term self-determination here.”

        There’s no gross distortion. There’s only your political campaign to elevate one national group above the other. Just don’t tell me it’s about human rights.

      • chinese box
        chinese box
        February 11, 2014, 5:40 pm

        hophmi said: “There’s no gross distortion. There’s only your political campaign to elevate one national group above the other. Just don’t tell me it’s about human rights.”

        And please don’t try to change the subject…

        Others on this thread have already explained eloquently why the definition of self-determination isn’t normally extended to include occupiers and colonizers, so I won’t go into that again…

        However, is it your contention that American Jews lack self-determination? This would seem to fly in the face of the facts since proportionally there seem to be more Israelis who’d like to emigrate here than vice versa.

      • irishmoses
        irishmoses
        February 11, 2014, 5:45 pm

        Hop said:

        “Thank you. I am sad, but not surprised, to see that hophmi is still peddling this gross distortion of the term self-determination here.”

        There’s no gross distortion. There’s only your political campaign to elevate one national group above the other. Just don’t tell me it’s about human rights.

        Hop,

        “Jewish Self-Determination” is not about a “national group” it’s about elevating the status of Jews above everyone else in Israel and its “occupied” territories. It’s about reserving all of Palestine as a potential homeland for all the world’s Jews, and elevating the human rights of all Jews in Israel and its occupied territories above everyone else. It’s about having a higher standard of human rights for one chosen group over all others.

        I’ve responded in depth to the this concept (“Jewish Self-Determination”) in my comment below at 12:28pm. Feel free to reply. It’s a topic worthy of greater discussion.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        February 11, 2014, 10:06 pm

        “There’s no gross distortion. There’s only your political campaign to elevate one national group above the other.”

        Claiming self determination of Jews qua Jews is the distortion. Insofar as there is a right of self-determination, it is the right of all the residents of the territory, not a right of “national groups” within the territory.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      February 11, 2014, 5:22 pm

      Norman Finkelstein said exactly the same thing; you guys aren’t honest about what your goals are.

      And as I stated, Fink is already an anachronism on this subject and has been left behind. He admitted in the same interview that he is tired and sacrificed a great deal and simply wants the matter to come to a close. It appears Fink wants something to show for his efforts and wants the BDS movement to shut up and do as they are told.

      I have to laugh at these protests that you don’t by and large advocate a one-state solution that would bring an end to Jewish self-determination. Anyone who believes that has clearly never read Mondoweiss or the comments here.

      Jewish self-determination exists in many parts of the world, and doesn’t need an apartheid fascist state to facilitate it.

      As I’ve said elsewhere, you can’t claim the mantle of human rights if you’re not willing to condemn Palestinian terrorism or internal Palestinian repression.

      That’s a bit like saying a woman isn’t really raped if she fights back.

  21. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    February 11, 2014, 11:00 am

    I would say that I’ve yet to see a definition of ‘self-determination’ which makes the idea look like a plausible defence of moving a new population into an area and claiming exclusive rights for those people in that place – but then I’ve yet to see a definition which makes the idea look plausible in any context. Unless perhaps one that applies in the restricted circumstance that an empire or polity is falling apart, when it might seem best to set up governments in each province that most reflect the will of that province’s population. Even that is highly questionable on many grounds, I would say.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      February 11, 2014, 10:12 pm

      “I’ve yet to see a definition which makes the idea look plausible in any context.”

      You certainly won’t get one from hophmi. Our arguments – both moral and legal – about the notion have been here for years, and not once, as far as I can tell, has hophmi ever made a criticism or offered a counter argument.

      I can only assume from this that he can’t. He can only keep repeating the mantra in the hope that it will convince someone.

  22. bilal a
    bilal a
    February 11, 2014, 11:04 am

    I think the chief Rabbi is on to something here, the link between post modern secular dogma, often Jewish led Islamaphobia, and anti-Zionist activism, “It is because this is the only form in which an assault on Jews can be stated today.” :

    The case — like the banning of shechitah (ritual animal slaughter) by the Dutch parliament, now thankfully reversed — illustrates the deep difficulty Jews are facing in Europe today. Both cases initially had nothing to do with Jews. They were directed predominantly against Muslims, whose population vastly outnumbers that of Jews in almost every country in Europe. They are part of the backlash against the misguided policy, adopted by most European countries in the 1970s, known as multiculturalism. This was meant to promote tolerance. Its effect was precisely the opposite. It encouraged segregation of ethnic minorities, not integration, and instead of getting people to ignore differences it made an issue of them at every stage.

    The Muslim communities of Europe have been in the frontline of both the policy and its discontents. The result has been that in Germany the court, and in Holland the Parliament, have sought to ban a Muslim practice, while the Jewish community has suffered collateral damage in both places.

    That is part of the problem but not all of it. I have argued for some years that an assault on Jewish life always needs justification by the highest source of authority in the culture at any given age. Throughout the Middle Ages the highest authority in Europe was the Church. Hence anti-Semitism took the form of Christian anti-Judaism.

    In the post-enlightenment Europe of the 19th century the highest authority was no longer the Church. Instead it was science. Thus was born racial anti-Semitism, based on two disciplines regarded as science in their day: the “scientific study of race” and the Social Darwinism of Herbert Spencer and Ernst Haeckel. Today we know that both of these were pseudo-sciences, but in their day they were endorsed by some of the leading figures of the age.

    Since Hiroshima and the Holocaust, science no longer holds its pristine place as the highest moral authority. Instead, that role is taken by human rights. It follows that any assault on Jewish life — on Jews or Judaism or the Jewish state — must be cast in the language of human rights. Hence the by-now routine accusation that Israel has committed the five cardinal sins against human rights: racism, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, attempted genocide and crimes against humanity. This is not because the people making these accusations seriously believe them — some do, some don’t. It is because this is the only form in which an assault on Jews can be stated today.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chief-rabbi-lord-sacks/europe-new-anti-semitism_b_1663157.html

    • Sibiriak
      Sibiriak
      February 11, 2014, 12:57 pm

      bilal a :

      I think the chief Rabbi is on to something here…

      […]Hence the by-now routine accusation that Israel has committed the five cardinal sins against human rights: racism, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, attempted genocide and crimes against humanity. This is not because the people making these accusations seriously believe them — some do, some don’t. It is because this is the only form in which an assault on Jews can be stated today.

      The sheer illogic of these anti-Zionism=anti-Semitism arguments is really hard to stomach. It boils down to a simple ad hominem fallacy. “This is not because the people making these accusations seriously believe them”–yes they do! But ultimately, the facts will speak for themselves.

    • annie
      annie
      February 11, 2014, 3:16 pm

      and it’s again making claims of a “new anti semitism” in the title. how many decades do you think they will make the “new” claim. til it’s accepted as fact by most people? that will not ever be happening.

    • hophmi
      hophmi
      February 11, 2014, 3:44 pm

      “often Jewish led Islamaphobia”

      Only an antisemite could take a look at Islamophobia, a disease that afflicts the Evangelical community and the European right, both of which are several dozen times the size of the Jewish community, and call it “Jewish-led”.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 11, 2014, 5:36 pm

        Only an antisemite could take a look at Islamophobia, a disease that afflicts the Evangelical community and the European right, both of which are several dozen times the size of the Jewish community, and call it “Jewish-led”.

        Sure Hop whatever you say. Where was the ADL on the Islamic centre in New York?

  23. chinese box
    chinese box
    February 11, 2014, 11:07 am

    Thank you for a great article, Annie…It’s finally happening: they’re losing control of the narrative, and it’s largely their own fault. Too many cooks in the kitchen now, who don’t know how to do the nightflower thing: Scarjo, Hagee, Glenn Beck, congress, ad nauseum…Zionism is slowly collapsing under it’s own weight.

    • annie
      annie
      February 11, 2014, 11:48 am

      they’re losing control of the narrative, and it’s largely their own fault. Too many cooks in the kitchen now

      i think they were caught off guard by swift changing thrust of discourse around the very mention of the word boycott. there was almost an unspokenness about it in the msm until recently.

      and their response seems a little sloppy to me. to begin with i don’t find it a coincidence there’s been little attribution to palestinians, to the idea it’s a palestinian led movement. i would guess there’s possibly more than a willful denial surrounding that idea.

      they are stuck. the hasbarists are stuck. having relied on (a very one dimensional) pr for so long it appears (once again) they just can’t broach the possibility of changing policy. they just change the words around the policy and, as always, relied heavily on arguments which are, at their core, ad hominem and strawmen.

      and they so rely on the defensive crouch. how they miss their victimhood!

  24. chinese box
    chinese box
    February 11, 2014, 12:09 pm

    Annie, after thinking about it, maybe it’s not the narrative, per se, but just the flow of “appropriate” information…I am sure they would rather have not mentioned BDS at all, but then Kerry put it out there. Goldberg and Cohen know that you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube, hence their need to frame the issue on their own now.

    • annie
      annie
      February 11, 2014, 3:19 pm

      hence their need to frame the issue on their own now.

      i agree CB, that’s what i meant by narrative. i’m sure they’d rather not discuss the boycott, or that it had not been broached by either kerry or the mainstream media. so yes, now they are trying to get out in front on the discourse and take the lead. i’m afraid someone else got a headstart.

  25. dbroncos
    dbroncos
    February 11, 2014, 12:14 pm

    The injustice of Zionist ideology is exposed like never before. Israel’s defenders have dreaded this moment and in spite of their efforts to continue their past successes by changing the subject in a million different ways there are too many people now who understand that Zionism is fundamentally unjust and that it must be transformed. Israel’s tired old arguments are being left behind.

  26. jayn0t
    jayn0t
    February 11, 2014, 12:17 pm

    “most boycotters are not opposed to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, but instead to the idea of a country for the Jewish people’… that may be true, but the BDS movement itself changed its aim from demanding that Israel ends
    its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands
    to
    its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967
    That’s why Kerry can mention it – it’s part of Israel’s ‘fallback’ position, withdrawing to the 1967 line, making it look like a setback, when it’s the reward for ethnic cleansing.

    • annie
      annie
      February 11, 2014, 3:23 pm

      jaynot, how you can find any truth is the statement “most boycotters are not opposed to Israel’s occupation of the WB” is beyond me. i don’t know any activists in the movement who are not opposed to the occupation, not one.

      and i cannot recall anyone even coming close to approaching that conclusion. it seems like goldberg just pulled this allegation out of a hat.

      • Henry Norr
        Henry Norr
        February 11, 2014, 4:19 pm

        I agree that it’s a gross distortion (undoubtedly deliberate) to say “most boycotters are not opposed to Israel’s occupation of the WB.” What’s true in it, though, is that supporters of the Palestinian Boycott National Committee are not opposed only to Israel’s occupation of the WB. Goldberg, Cohen, et al. are now trying to pretend that what they’re against is the BDS movement’s challenge to the idea of a Jewish state. In fact, of course, they haven’t supported even BDS directed solely against he settlements.

      • jayn0t
        jayn0t
        February 11, 2014, 7:18 pm

        Goldberg’s comment means
        “Most boycotters are not merely opposed to the occupation, but to the existence of a Jewish state”. So what I meant was “most boycotters may be against the apartheid state as well as the occupation”. And the official BDS movement has weakened.

      • annie
        annie
        February 11, 2014, 8:24 pm

        jaynot, so goldberg didn’t mean what he wrote, that “most boycotters are not opposed to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, but instead to the idea of a country for the Jewish people”?

        so goldberg also doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “instead”, by your reckoning?

        what he really meant to write was ‘most boycotters are opposed to the occupation but not only that, they’re also opposed to a country for the Jewish people’?

        interesting!

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      February 11, 2014, 11:16 pm

      “most boycotters are … opposed to …the idea of a country for the Jewish people”

      And why not be opposed to such a nasty concept?

  27. irishmoses
    irishmoses
    February 11, 2014, 12:28 pm

    The term “Jewish Self-Determination” seems to be the latest attempt by Hasbara Central to humanize (and disguise) the excesses of Israeli Zionism. It has such a reasonable, sensible feel to it. It sounds so rational, so democratic, like it came out the mouth of Thomas Jefferson himself:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all JEWS are created equal, that JEWS are endowed by THEIR Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    But wait a minute, the honorable Thomas said ALL MEN (including all Jews). He didn’t say there was an exception to the rule that gives Jews a special right of self-determination that trumps that right in all other peoples.

    So there’s the rub, the Jewish Self Determination being promoted by Hasbara Central is a special, exclusive Jewish right that allows Zionist Israeli Jews to deny self -determination (as well as those pesky unalienable rights) to Palestinians (Muslim, Christian, Druze, whatever). Now that’s ballsy, or, as they say, Chutzpah.

    Actually, come to think of it, maybe they are on to something? What about my right to self-determination as a white, northern European, male, Christian? Don’t I have rights?

    If historic victimhood is the standard, why don’t black Americans, former slaves who were subjected to a reign of terror in the post-Civil War South as well as continuing discrimination throughout this country, have a unique right to their own exclusive form of self-determination? Maybe we could carve out a special state that would be a haven for Black Americans in case the rest of us decide at some future date that slavery had its benefits?

    The possibilities are endless.

    • American
      American
      February 11, 2014, 1:13 pm

      ”’The possibilities are endless.””….irishmoses

      Yea, they are…..if Jews can demand their own country because of their victimhood….how can other world victims be denied the same right?…..if all victim groups demanded the same, pretty soon the entire world would be nothing but ethnic or religious Victim Nations.
      We’d shortly be back to the pre historic tribal caveman era.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      February 11, 2014, 11:14 pm

      “What about my right to self-determination as a white, northern European, male, Christian? Don’t I have rights?”

      Not until you are a victim. Maybe you can claim to be a victim of the international banking frauds, but that is hardly an exclusive group.

  28. ckg
    ckg
    February 11, 2014, 1:14 pm

    I’m boycotting watching the Sochi Olympics on TV, even though Sudan, Nigeria, and Uganda are arguably worse offenders than Russia. Goldberg would undoubtably consider me to be anti-Slavic.

  29. Henry Norr
    Henry Norr
    February 11, 2014, 1:59 pm

    With all due appreciation for Annie and commenters who have commended this piece, it strikes me as a little disingenuous to carry on this discussion without any reference to the right of return, a phrase that does not appear in the post or, as of now, in any of the 43 comments.

    Some people in the US (and elsewhere) use the term BDS in a generic sense – basically, to mean economic pressure tactics – and these people may be primarily focused on the occupation of the territories Israel conquered in 1967 and may have a variety of positions on the right of return.

    But insofar as we’re talking about the official Palestinian-led BDS movement, coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), then we need to be honest about its objectives. As explained at http://www.bdsmovement.net/bdsintro
    the movement

    urges various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law by:

    1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall;
    2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
    3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

    Now, I support all that – to me it’s beyond dispute that international law and basic human decency require as much. But we can’t deny that if #3 is ever achieved, Israel – whatever its borders – will cease to have a Jewish majority, and if #2 is also achieved, it will quickly cease to be a “Jewish state” – a non-Jewish majority isn’t likely to keep electing Jewish-only or even Jewish-dominated governments, and I’m sure a representative government would get rid of the Jewish-star flag and other symbols of Jewish dominance.

    So in that sense Goldberg, Cohen, et al. have a point – the BDS movement is absolutely a threat to the Jewish state. So be it.

    • marc b.
      marc b.
      February 11, 2014, 2:26 pm

      it strikes me as a little disingenuous . . . we can’t deny that if #3 is ever achieved, Israel – whatever its borders – will cease to have a Jewish majority, and if #2 is also achieved, it will quickly cease to be a “Jewish state”

      henry, I did not mention the right of return, but my previous comment makes perfectly clear that BDS as a tactic and the ultimate goals of Palestinians are a threat to Jewish identity, i.e. Jewish prerogative. but as I also said, the conflict/narrative was constructed by Zionism. the problem with Goldberg/Cohen, et al. is that they pretend that the attack on Jewish supremacism arises, in large part at least, from some essentialist anti-Semitism, not primarily as a rational response to Jewish Israelis’ mistreatment of Palestinians. which is why, apparently, they’re incapable of doing a simple Google search to learn that boycotts, sanctions, etc. have been used regularly by private consumers or by political bodies for the past 50-ish years.

      in any event, ‘so be it’.

      • Henry Norr
        Henry Norr
        February 11, 2014, 2:55 pm

        Fair enough, marc b. – I agree. I see now that PABelmont also made a comment along similar lines above. My bad.

      • marc b.
        marc b.
        February 11, 2014, 3:50 pm

        not a problem, henry. I might not call it disingenuous, but there is some natural tightrope walking that occurs when it comes to how people describe actions that may be directed at a Jewish collective, of whatever type. Foxman has made a career of conflating criticism of Israel, the ADL, etc. with anti-Semitism. (I think he is retiring. interesting to see who his replacement is.)

    • eljay
      eljay
      February 11, 2014, 2:37 pm

      >> So in that sense Goldberg, Cohen, et al. have a point – the BDS movement is absolutely a threat to the Jewish state.

      And rightly so. BDS should not threaten the existence of a secular and democratic Israel – a state of and for all Israelis, equally. But it most definitely should threaten the existence of Israel as a supremacist “Jewish State” – a state of and for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      February 11, 2014, 5:30 pm

      Now, I support all that – to me it’s beyond dispute that international law and basic human decency require as much. But we can’t deny that if #3 is ever achieved, Israel – whatever its borders – will cease to have a Jewish majority, and if #2 is also achieved, it will quickly cease to be a “Jewish state” – the non-Jewish majority isn’t likely to keep electing Jewish-only or even Jewish-dominated governments, and I’m sure a representative government would get rid of the Jewish-star flag and other symbols of Jewish dominance.

      Very good point Henry. And the way to counter this argument is to point out that the Jewish-dominated governments, Jewish-star flag and other symbols of Jewish dominance were acheived through war crimes and crimes against humanity and have no right to be preserved.

      So in that sense Goldberg, Cohen, et al. have a point – the BDS movement is absolutely a threat to the Jewish state. So be it.

      Only insofar as the Zionist movement has created this perfect storm and been it’s own worst enemy. If abiding by international law is a threat to the Jewish state, then what possible defense can one make for the Jewish state?

    • annie
      annie
      February 11, 2014, 6:06 pm

      Some people in the US (and elsewhere) use the term BDS in a generic sense – basically, to mean economic pressure tactics – and these people may be primarily focused on the occupation of the territories Israel conquered in 1967 and may have a variety of positions on the right of return.

      actually, lots of people who support BDS support it because they believe the actions of boycotting, applying sanctions, and divesting from israel is the only way to creating a level playing field in which to ensure equality for palestinians.

      i can’t speak for palestinians. the right of return is and will remain their right under international law. there’s no reason jews can’t have a national home in palestine while respecting that right whether in one state or two. that’s my personal opinion.

      but my point in the article was not to debate the merits of BDS but to examine the way it’s addressed and discussed. the claim that adhering to international law will necessarily bring about the “destruction” of israel, on face value, is a lie. that too is my opinion.

      but i think i am as good of an example of someone who supports BDS as anyone who is not palestinian. and i think that to claim we all agree on an end scenario is not accurate. i don’t even think palestinians agree on everything.

      but i really think it’s a farce to criticize the BDS campaign or anyone who supports one state of being deceptive or to blame for not supporting two states when there’s never been an offer of 2 viable states and if there was israel would never agree to it anyway. i meant it when i said anyone interested in 2 states should be lobbying for ending the occupation, israel getting out of east jerusalem, and leaving the settlements. it’s up to palestinians to decide if there’s ever any compelling reason to give up their right of return.

      i’ve written about this before. but i reject the idea there is anything deceptive or sinister about BDS:

      The movement has won adherents by saying that it will accept any gesture of boycott or divestment that Westerners are willing to make. “If you only want to boycott an egg, we want you to boycott an egg,” said Omar Barghouti, a founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), which is part of the BNC, during a tour of America last year to drum up support.

      that’s by phil and adam and published here: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2010/the-boycott-divestment-sanctions-movement-726#sthash.d61HM8sQ.dpuf

      my point, is that you can’t judge everyone supportive of the movement as being of one mind because the movement doesn’t put limitations on who can join the boycott. it’s a global movement and people join for their own reasons, most, i would imagine, to end the occupation because that is the most urgent situation right now and it angers lots of people. (in facts, if the occupation ended i posit the boycott movement would shrink significantly overnight. but that will not happen because it is not in place for israel’s security, it’s there to continue colonizing ‘greater israel’/palestine)

      the BDS movement is absolutely a threat to the Jewish state.

      yeah, boycotts are supposed to feel threatening to the status quo. that’s how pressure works. i probably would have written a different kind of article had cohen and goldberg (and now rudoren) written “the BDS movement is absolutely a threat to the Jewish state.”

      but they didn’t just say that. they said stuff like:

      boycotters are not opposed to Israel’s occupation
      boycotters are opposed to the idea of a country for the Jewish people
      BDS has a hidden agenda/beguile, disguise and suffocate.
      BDS is anti semitic.
      BDS targets jews

      and as far as will cease to have a Jewish majority, and if #2 is also achieved, it will quickly cease to be a “Jewish state”

      maintaining a “jewish state” is not my responsibility or the worlds responsibility. as i said in my post

      all politics here are not about “the Jewish people” or “the Jewish state.” The choice of this framing (intentionally or not) is manipulative, it doesn’t leave any mental space for the idea that people of conscience (including Americans who are not naturally gungho on ethnic nationalism) might want to be engaged in the boycott of an ongoing, seemingly intractable cesspool, the occupation. The fact that Palestinians under occupation have no rights and no citizenship seems to have no bearing at all on the question of “hidden agenda”. No, the idea is positioned to validate a point, by invalidating us.

      israel is in a pickle of it’s own making. if the priority of zionists was maintaining a jewish state they picked the wrong place to do it. they need to get creative if they want 2 states. they should have plunked themselves down in an otherwise uninhabited place on the globe, but they didn’t want that. i can’t read the tea leaves. but how it looks to me is that it makes the most sense to bypass the details of how it’s going to happen (because i’m not going to be the one deciding anyway) and support the end game, which is full equality and equal rights for every person in the region. and my advice for people who do have faith in two states, would be focussing your energies on the parties with the POWER.

      the strategy being used by zionists right now (i imagine) is dividing the opposition while making no concessions. if they want 2 states (most of them don’t) then they need to start giving things up.

      palestinians have very little in which to bargain. just the idea of them relinquishing, arguably, one of the most valuable thing they have (ror) is absurd.

      it’s not BDS who is not being honest, or deceptive and it’s not the world who needs to maintain a racist state in violation of international law.

    • jayn0t
      jayn0t
      February 11, 2014, 9:25 pm

      Well put, Henry. That’s what I was trying to say. Except, as I mentioned above, the BDS organization led by Barghouti et. al. quietly changed their demands.

  30. Henry Norr
    Henry Norr
    February 11, 2014, 5:48 pm

    Put it this way: BDS (the kind advocated by the BNC) is not just about 1967, but also about 1948. That’s why the liberal Zionists, who want a partial rollback of 67 but won’t question 48, are so freaked by it. Goldberg, Cohen, et al. are afraid – for good reason, from their point of view – that BDS is attracting liberal kids (and others) as a weapon against the occupation, but actually enlisting them in a cause that goes much farther.

    (None of this is to say these liberal pundits would support BDS if it were only about 67. For the most part, with the partial exception of Beinart, they’re too timid and conflicted, if not downright lying, in their opposition to 67.)

    • annie
      annie
      February 11, 2014, 6:43 pm

      i agree they have reason to be fearful. but they should open their eyes and not lie about what’s going on, that will not help them. they shouldn’t be afraid to address the truth of the matter instead of ascribing attributes to their adversaries that do not exist. they have a responsibility to their readers to be honest.

    • puppies
      puppies
      February 11, 2014, 7:20 pm

      @Henry Norr – Apart from their lying, it’s a fact that if you could string all “Liberal” Zionists end-to-end they still wouldn’t make more than an infinitesimal fraction of the general population, so how much are they needed?
      The most catastrophic gesture ever would be to pander to these people (just because their internal quarrels among bandits happen for a moment to have them feign being boycottish.) Lo and behold, there are signs that just that is happening in some quarters, with some liberaloid leaders trying to make “Antisemitism” to an overriding target of the boycott movement, unpublicized and undiscussed changes in the goals statement, excommunication of Richard Falk, etc.

    • jayn0t
      jayn0t
      February 12, 2014, 1:33 am

      Henry: “BDS is attracting liberal kids (and others) as a weapon against the occupation, but actually enlisting them in a cause that goes much farther.”

      So… by pretending you’re just against “the occupation”, you can slyly convince people that a state based on ethnic cleansing is wrong in itself? No, not at all. The official BDS movement has committed itself to the 1967 borders. That’s why Kerry can mention its existence. You have to tell the truth. The Jewish state is ethnic cleansing.

      • annie
        annie
        February 12, 2014, 4:17 pm

        jaynot, bds is pretending anything. their goals are clearly stated. and yes, the cause of the campaign is larger than the occupation but every supporter has the option to begin and end a boycott whenever they want. if (and that’s a huge if) there became 2 states and the occupation was over, it’s quite predictable some (or a lot depending on the extent of sovereignty) of the support for the boycott would cease.

  31. RoHa
    RoHa
    February 11, 2014, 11:09 pm

    ‘Sorry, but all politics here are not about “the Jewish people” or “the Jewish state.” ‘

    This is ambiguous. Do you mean

    ‘No politics here are about “the Jewish people” or “the Jewish state”’

    or

    ‘Not all politics here are about “the Jewish people” or “the Jewish state.”’

    ?

  32. Ellen
    Ellen
    February 12, 2014, 7:32 am

    In a sign of desperation Bloomberg News propagandist, J. Goldberg is now tweeting hard on how “anti-semitic” the roots of the Protestant church is:

    Jeffrey Goldberg ‏@JeffreyGoldberg 26m

    [email protected] It’s hard to read Martin Luther’s “The Jews and Their Lies” and argue that the founder of Protestantism didn’t hate Jews.

    He is talking about a central European cleric who lived 500 years ago! If he want’s to play that pathetic game one can pull out anti goy comments from from today’s Zionist leadership and join a mindless mud fest.

    I wonder why Goldberg still has his perch at Bloomberg?

    • eljay
      eljay
      February 12, 2014, 7:45 am

      Jeffrey Goldberg ‏@JeffreyGoldberg 26m

      [email protected] It’s hard to read Martin Luther’s “The Jews and Their Lies” and argue that the founder of Protestantism didn’t hate Jews.

      I agree with Mr. Goldberg. We should all boycott both Israel and the founder of Protestantism.

    • Shmuel
      Shmuel
      February 12, 2014, 8:31 am

      Ellen,

      Not that Goldberg would be interested in such things, but Shimon Markish takes a far more nuanced approach to Erasmus (and Calvin, to some extent) in Erasmus and the Jews.

  33. irishmoses
    irishmoses
    February 12, 2014, 1:14 pm

    Sibiriak,

    Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I think you (and also Shingo) are missing my point so let me expand on it. Please do a careful reread of my original post above at 7:17pm so we are on the same page.

    The goal of Zionism has always been to include all of Mandate Palestine in the Jewish State. The only question was how to get there and how to deal with the massive “Arab” population. They were on the verge of doing it in 1948 but settled on a partial solution because Ben-Gurion didn’t think they could get away with evicting another million or so on top of the 750,000 already evicted. So they settled for the partial, Green Line border solution and bade their time.

    The 1967 war was seen as the ideal opportunity so they took the entirety of Mandate Palestine while doing some selected evictions (another 300,000 or so). The goal then became to create a “federated” undemocratic state that would wall off the “Arabs” into less attractive portions while moving as many Jewish Israeli citizens as possible into the better portions of the captured territories. At the same time, there was a major commitment and effort toward making “Arab” lives as miserable as possible so as many as possible would leave. They also restricted and prevented re-entry by “Arabs” so as many as possible couldn’t come back. There is no mystery to any of this.

    The Israeli version of the two state solution was never to allow a true second state of Palestine. The settlements were intended and succeeded in carving it up so no true contiguous state would be possible, which is where we currently are.

    If the current version of the two state solution is put in place, what will it be? It will be a state that has no control over its borders, its airspace, or access to most of its improved highways (those will remain Jewish). It will not control the Jordan Valley nor will it really have any state-like internal control because the “state” will be broken down into lots of sub-state cantons that will be regulated more by Israel than by a so-called Palestinian state.

    Even if the PA were to agree to the above, how could it meet the definition of a state? It can’t. At best it would be a federated state within a larger Jewish state of Greater Israel. Which is my point: Israel created a single state solution in 1967 and has spent the last 47 years solidifying that solution which is a binational, undemocratic federated state. Even the so-called two state solution is nothing more than guise for non-democratic federalism.

    In my view, when the current version of the two state solution is signed, several things will happen:

    1. The Jewish settlements will become legal and permanent.
    2. The restricted areas set aside for the “Arabs” will become legal and permanent.
    3. Jewish ownership of West Bank water and petroleum rights will become legal and permanent.
    4. Jewish control over the Palestinian borders, airspace, the Jordan Valley, etc. will become legal and permanent.
    5. The denial of “Arab” claims of return and restitution will become legal and permanent .
    6. The separation of “Arab” outside refugees from Greater Israel will become legal and permanent.
    7. Etc.

    The “facts on the ground” will then be a single, federated, undemocratic state of Greater Israel in which the “Arab” portion of the federation will have limited autonomy, limited control, and no access or claim to any benefits from the national Greater Israel government.

    So, the only thing on the table is how the current version of the single, federated, non-democratic state of Greater Israel (in place since 1967) can or will be modified. The “two state solution” currently contemplated will create neither a state nor a solution.

    Is there a better way? Only if the Palestinians reject the negotiation process, and the crap being offered and move toward finding a legal solution based on international law. They should also return the keys of control to the occupying Israelis and begin massive non-violent protests. This works only if there is a huge outcry of public support for their plight that would force governments to accept legal sanctions against Israel intended to force a fair and legal solution to the conflict.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      February 12, 2014, 9:04 pm

      Thank you Irismoses.

      For the record, I agree completely with everything you said. The so called “two state solution” as accepted by conventional wisdom, and the version you have articulated does not have any basis in international law because it clearly violates the principal of self determination.

      This takes us back to the original contention as to whether BDS should officially endorse it. I think we agree it should not.

      What made you think I was missing your point?

    • Sibiriak
      Sibiriak
      February 13, 2014, 6:28 am

      @Irishmoses Great post. I’m working on a response.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 13, 2014, 6:39 am

        I’ve stated that the Palestinian leadership may actually accept a deal along the lines of Kerry’s proposals, i,e, a “1.5SS”. It can’ be ruled out. I’ve consistently said that.

        Of course it can be ruled out, because it is unstable and unworkable. Even if there as agreement on both sides for it, it would collapse and you’d be back to a single state reality that we are in today, only more cemented.

        I also stated that Hostage disagrees– he believes the Palestinian leadership would never accept a 1.5 SS. Instead, they would seek:

        [Hostage:] immediate recognition of Palestine within the 67 borders by the UN, ICC, and the national courts of 130 countries world-wide working in concert with each other…

        When you use two contradictory arguments to buttress your position, that’s a pretty clear sign your argument is self contradicting. It also shows you really have little idea what you are talking about.

        Please note: “within the 67 borders”, i.e. a 2SS.

        You can’t have a solution if there is no outcome. Israel will never agree to a 67 borders, so that rules that one out. As Irishmoses has explained to you repeatedly, Israel has made it impossible. You don’t seem capable fo wrapping your head around that fact.

        So neither 1.5 SS or 2SS are realitic possibilities. They exist only in the reality free minds of J Street Liberal Zionist types.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 13, 2014, 7:11 am

        Shingo:

        Israel will never agree to a 67 borders, so that rules that one out.

        Israel won’t agree to 67 borders, but Israel will agree to the end of Zionism and the Jewish State. Right.

        So much for your logic.

        If you are asking what Israel will agree to, you are asking the wrong question.

        You need to ask: what can Israel be compelled to do.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 13, 2014, 7:46 am

        Israel won’t agree to 67 borders, but Israel will agree to the end of Zionism and the Jewish State.

        Nice straw man, but I never made that argument.

        You need to ask: what can Israel be compelled to do.

        I believe it will come down to what will eventuate beyond Israel’s control.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 13, 2014, 8:07 am

        Shingo:

        Israel will never agree to a 67 borders, so that rules that one out.

        Why? To rule out ’67 borders you’d need to show that Israel could never be compelled to accept those borders. You have not done that.

        Israel’s unwillingess is not enough. If Israeli unwillingess were the test, you would have to rule out a single democratic state as well.

        If there could be a force that compels Israel to abandon Zionism and the Jewish State, there could be a the lesser force that it would take to compel Israel to abandon some settlements in the West Bank, since Israel would abandon settlements long, long before it would abandon Zionism entirely..

        Try this:

        1) Tell me what force it will take to compel Israel to abandon Zionism and accept the end of the Jewish State (creating a single state in Palestine with equal rights).

        2)Then explain why that force could not equally be used to force Israel to abandon settlements.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 13, 2014, 8:06 pm

        Why? To rule out ’67 borders you’d need to show that Israel could never be compelled to accept those borders. You have not done that.

        Given that it is a fait accompli, I didn’t think it necessary.
        1. It’s obvious that the UN isn’t going to compel Israel to accept those borders.
        2. Even the Arab League has amended it’s peace initiative to to disregard the ’67 borders.

        So pray tell what you believe will compel Israel to accept those borders?

        If Israeli unwillingess were the test, you would have to rule out a single democratic state as well.

        I don’t know why you keep insisting that I have predicted that Israel would agree to a single democratic state. Both Irishmoses and myself has repeatedly pointed out to you that a single state already exists and is a reality. Now given the facts on the ground are immovable, the a single democratic state is much closer to reality than a 2ss would be.

        And as for Israelis accepting it, I would say that the right wing in Israel is actually more open to the idea that the left. The interesting this is that Bennet himself is not that far away from this idea.

        ‘We should grant Palestinians full citizenship, equality and voting rights in the Knesset, says MK Zvulun Kalfa.
        http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/1.573958

        I think there is a strong case this idea will gain momentum in Israel.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 14, 2014, 1:03 am

        Shingo:

        [Shingo:]I don’t know why you keep insisting that I have predicted that Israel would agree to a single democratic state.

        I’m not saying that. What I said is: IF you take Israeli willingess as determining the limits of the possiible, then NEITHER a two-state settlement of a single democratic state would be possible.

        You don’t do that. What you do is have a double standard.

        1)When it is asked, “can the settlements (some) be removed” ,you respond, “no, Israel will never accept that”. So regarding settlements, Israeli willingness is the determining factor.

        2) When asked: can the occupation, aka de facto single state, be changed to a democratic single state, you say “yes, Israel can be compelled to give up Zionism and Jewish supremacy.” So, regarding democracy in a single-state, compulsion–not willingess–becomes the determining factor.

        Then, when I ask why Israel could never be compelled to accept ’67 borders (or something close) you say:

        Given that it is a fait accompli, I didn’t think it necessary [to explain why not].

        That’s completely evasive. Even if a “single state” is a fait accompli, the question remains, can that state be changed so that that two sovereign states becomes a reality?

        The question also remains: how can that state be changed to become a democratic single state, as many would hope?

        Assuming the “single state existing now” terminology for the sake of argument (we agree on the basic facts, just not what to label them), the questions are then:

        1)How to compel Israel to move to a genuine two state settlement.

        2)how to compel Israel to move to democracy and equality in a single state.

        Creating two states requires Israel being compelled to give up some Zionist settlements.

        Creating a democratic single state requires Israel to to give up on the Zionist dream entirely.

        My position is: it will be far easier to compel Israel to do 1) than to do 2). But in either case, compulsion will be necessary.

        So pray tell what you believe will compel Israel to accept those borders?

        Some combination of: boycotts, divestment, sanctions, massive Palestinian non-violent resistance, withdrawal of financial and economic support, global condemnation of Israel as a pariah state, Palestine going to the UN/international courts to get the ’67 borders recognized for Palestine. (I’ve never s all these actions actually will develop to the point necessary, just that they could and should.)

        On top of those negative pressures, add positive incentives tied to a two state settlement: vastly increased political legitimacy, increased security, increased financial aid, increased trade with Arab/Muslim nations etc.

        Lapid also dismissed claims by Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett Tuesday that a Palestinian state would be an economic burden on Israel. A peace agreement would result in an added NIS 20 billion annually to the state budget, and potential growth of NIS 16 billion in exports, he maintained.

        “Today Israel is more exposed economically than it’s exposed from a security perspective,” he added. “The security debate makes us forget occasionally the fact that our military is not a goal, it is a tool. It’s a tool that is meant to allow us to reach an agreement that will strengthen Israel’s economy and guarantee its future as a Jewish state.”

        The finance minister’s remarks echoed those of Kerry last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Kerry pointed to the economic benefits Israel would reap from reaching a peace deal with the Palestinians, stating that Israel would have immediate diplomatic recognition and economic ties with the Arab and Muslim world and would potentially see a six percent increase in GDP per year.

        All that pressure put on Israel, along with some “carrots”, can have an effect because one simple fact: it is a supreme interest of Zionism that Israel withdraw into borders with a clear Jewish demographic majority and this supreme Zionist interest overrides all other interests, including territorial expansion.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 14, 2014, 5:35 am

        . What I said is: IF you take Israeli willingess as determining the limits of the possiible, then NEITHER a two-state settlement of a single democratic state would be possible.

        You don’t do that. What you do is have a double standard

        No I am pointing out that given that a single state is the reality today, the step towards a single apartheid state is one step away and that the steps required to create a single democratic one are much fewer than those required for a 2ss.

        There is no double standard or contradiction, just your subornedness to accept this reality.

        2) When asked: can the occupation, aka de facto single state, be changed to a democratic single state, you say “yes, Israel can be compelled to give up Zionism and Jewish supremacy.”

        You are lying. I never said that, so why are you putting that statement in quotes? Do a search on the entire thread and that statement only appears once, when you made it up.

        Your dishonesty is reaching new heights.

        Even if a “single state” is a fait accompli, the question remains, can that state be changed so that that two sovereign states becomes a reality?

        By your own admission, the answer is no. You yourself believe a 1.5 state outcome is the most likely, which means you accept there will not be two sovereign states.

        The question also remains: how can that state be changed to become a democratic single state, as many would hope?

        I don’t have a definitive answer for that one, but I believe there is sea change tanking place on the right in Israel.

        We have Bennet saying that Israel should annex 60% of the West Bank and offer citizenship to all the Arabs in the territory annexed. Now we have Zvulun Kalfa proposing the annexation of all the West Bank, and offering citizenship to all Palestinians. Both men are from the same party and represent the fastest growing political movement in Israel. They have bot ruled out a 2ss in no uncertain terms, so the one state outcome is clearly much more obtainable.

        1)How to compel Israel to move to a genuine two state settlement.

        There isn’t one.

        2)how to compel Israel to move to democracy and equality in a single state.

        I don’t think this will be achieved by compelling Israel to do it. They are already fast tracking a non democratic single state, and I believe circumstances will convince them to do so. If they annex the entire WB, the PA will fold and Israel will be forced to finance security for the entire region. That along with BDS will begin to become very costly.
        As with the withdrawal from Gaza, it may well be that self interest will drive Israel to offer citizenship to all Palestinians. Kalfa is already arguing that creating a democratic single state will not require Israel to give up Zionist.

        The finance minister’s remarks echoed those of Kerry last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Kerry pointed to the economic benefits Israel would reap from reaching a peace deal with the Palestinians, stating that Israel would have immediate diplomatic recognition and economic ties with the Arab and Muslim world and would potentially see a six percent increase in GDP per year.

        The offer from the Arab world has been on the table for 12 years, so this is nothing new. For the messianic settler types, the state of the economy is secondary to territorial aspirations. Indeed as Max Blumenthal has observed, the right and many messianic Jews in the settlements are not even concerned with maintaining a Jewish majority so much as maintaining their hold on the land.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 14, 2014, 1:21 am

        Shingo:

        And as for Israelis accepting [a single, fully democratic state], I would say that the right wing in Israel is actually more open to the idea that the left.

        So, now you are arguing that Israel might indeed willingly accept a single-state configuration with full rights and equality for all citizens?

        The interesting this is that Bennet himself is not that far away from this idea.

        The extreme right has little choice but to adopt this kind of rhetoric since they are calling for full annexation of the West Bank and that would mean supporting Apartheid otherwise.

        I think there is a strong case this idea will gain momentum in Israel.

        What is that case? Please make it. Seriously, that would be an important contribution to this discussion.

        Have you seen polls where Israelis support a single democratic state comprising all of Israel/Palestine?

        Do you really think an Israeli government could be formed running on such a platform?

        What about Gaza? Do you really see Israelis willingly incorporating Gaza and its inhabitants along with the West Bank in this democratic single state? Can you imagine an Israeli leader running on such a platform?

        Who else besides Kalfa has called for this?

        From your link:

        Kalfa, who was once a resident of the Gaza settlement of Atzmona, rejected the claim that Israel would no longer be a Jewish state if his proposal was implemented. “One way or another, the Jews will remain the majority in the state,” he said.

        Do you think he’s right: the Jews would always remain a majority in a single state, and that they would be able to maintain Israel as the nation state for Jews? And what do you think he means when he says, “one way or another”? (And why would it be such a great thing for Palestinians to be a permanent minority in a state dominated by Jews, economically and politically?).

        What would be the demographic balance if Gaza and the West Bank were incorporated right now into a single democratic Israel?

        Personally, I think a 1.5 state settlement (not a solution) will be step on the road to an eventual, long-term transformation of Israel/Palestine. It may first involve confederation and possible later merger. There are other possibilities: wider regional alliances and confederations. The ideological power and legitimacy of Zionism will eventually die, since its ethnocentric premises are antithetical to the modern hegemonic ethos in which the values of democracy and individual rights predominate. But that is a very long-term perspective.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 14, 2014, 6:18 am

        So, now you are arguing that Israel might indeed willingly accept a single-state configuration with full rights and equality for all citizens?

        I am saying that:
        1. There is already a single state on the ground
        2. There are signs that the far right are more open to a single state than a 2ss.

        The extreme right has little choice but to adopt this kind of rhetoric since they are calling for full annexation of the West Bank and that would mean supporting Apartheid otherwise.

        Why would the extreme right have a problem with admitting apartheid? A Haaretz poll has already shown that Israelis would accept apartheid if it was necessary to preserve the Jewish state. Even the so called left are only opposed to a single state because it might threaten the Jewishness of Israel. If they can be convinced that this is not at stake, it’s likely they would accept annexation.

        Have you seen polls where Israelis support a single democratic state comprising all of Israel/Palestine?

        Have you seen the polls where Israelis support an apartheid state?
        You have a point about Gaza, and clearly it is not been considered within the framework of any solution.

        Do you think he’s right: the Jews would always remain a majority in a single state, and that they would be able to maintain Israel as the nation state for Jews?

        That depends on what the true statistics are in terms of population in the West Bank.

        Personally, I think a 1.5 state settlement (not a solution) will be step on the road to an eventual, long-term transformation of Israel/Palestine. It may first involve confederation and possible later merger.

        Does that mean you believe it will happen or that you believe it is the most workable path to a single state?

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 14, 2014, 6:27 am

        Shingo:

        [Sibiriak:]When asked: can the occupation, aka de facto single state, be changed to a democratic single state, you say “yes, Israel can be compelled to give up Zionism and Jewish supremacy.”

        You are lying. I never said that.

        Well, just above in this thread you wrote:

        [Shingo:] Israel is a largely artificial construct that relies heavily on foreign backing and support. When that is withdrawn or cut off, Israel will certainly feel it. The appeal Israel holds to many of it’s citizens with foreign passports will quickly fade once Israel becomes an economic basket case.

        I think it was fair to interpret that as meaning that the withdrawal of foreign support, turning Israel into an economic “basket case,” would compel Israel to give up its status as a Jewish State.

        You now state that democracy and equality in a single state will not “be achieved by compelling Israel to do it. ”

        You now envision Israeli Jews by their own initiative opting for a single state wherein Palestinians have full rights and equality.

        [Shingo]: Now we have Zvulun Kalfa proposing the annexation of all the West Bank, and offering citizenship to all Palestinians. Both men are from the same party and represent the fastest growing political movement in Israel

        It’s certainly a bold proposition to say that Kalfa is not only being honest in his rhetoric, but that his democratic one-state vision will soon become the majority view amongst Israeli leaders.

        You think a “sea change taking place on the right in Israel” will usher in a new age of democracy and equal rights in a single state incorporating all of Israel/Palestine.

        I think that is wholly unrealistic. But I’ll leave it at that for now.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 14, 2014, 7:53 am

        You are lying. I never said that.

        Give it up Sibiriak. It’s there under your post at February 14, 2014 at 1:03 am, when you wrote this:

        2) When asked: can the occupation, aka de facto single state, be changed to a democratic single state, you say “yes, Israel can be compelled to give up Zionism and Jewish supremacy.” So, regarding democracy in a single-state, compulsion–not willingess–becomes the determining factor.

        So yes, you wrote it and you attributed a quote to me that I never said.

        I think it was fair to interpret that as meaning that the withdrawal of foreign support, turning Israel into an economic “basket case,” would compel Israel to give up its status as a Jewish State.

        You can interpret whatever you want, you are not allowed to put quotes around statements that I did not make and attribute them to me. And no, I do not hold the view that withdrawal of foreign support would compel Israel to give up its status as a Jewish State. I do believe that the status as a Jewish state is unsustainable however and that it will fall apart due to it’s own flaws.
        You now envision Israeli Jews by their own initiative opting for a single state wherein Palestinians have full rights and equality.
        When faced with the prospect of bankruptcy or financial crisis, yes, I do believe that they will make those difficult choices. It won’t be out of good will or benevolence, but survival.

        I disagree that it’s a bold proposition to suggest Kalfa is being dishonest in his rhetoric. What possible motive could you attribute to him sticking his neck out and proposing such a policy?

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 14, 2014, 8:01 am

        Shingo:

        So yes, you wrote it and you attributed a quote to me that I never said.

        I never attributed a quote to you; the quotation marks indicated a paraphrase interpretation of your position. I later showed that the interpretation was correct. Whatever, I’m not interested in ad hominem arguments.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 14, 2014, 8:07 am

        Shingo:

        [Sibiriak:] Personally, I think a 1.5 state settlement (not a solution) will be step on the road to an eventual, long-term transformation of Israel/Palestine. It may first involve confederation and possible later merger.

        [Shingo:]Does that mean you believe it will happen…

        I think a 1.5 state settlement is the most likely scenario , but that’s just a short-term prediction and I don’t pretend its inevitable. There are other possibilities.

        Hostage thinks something closer to a genuine 2 state settlement is possible if/when these negotiations collapse, Israel’s deceptiveness is exposed, the Palestinians go to the UN, ICC etc. and the world ramps up pressure on Israel to withdraw to ’67 borders (w/minor swaps). He may be right.

        You’ve suggested that the Palestinian quest for a de facto separate state of Palestine is hopeless; that the Palestinians will never accept a 1.5 state settlement, and Israel will never accept a genuine 2 state settlemen; that a single state not only exists now de facto but will become increasingly recognized by everyone, and that an ascendant extreme right in Israel will officially annex the entire West Bank ( and Gaza???) and give Palestinians full rights within Israel. The Israeli extreme right will turn out to be the true Liberal Zionists!!! You also may be right.

        or that you believe it is the most workable path to a single state?

        I think a democratic single state (what we have now is not democratic, whether we call it a de facto single state or an occupation) is a very long term possibility (along with other regional configurations) and the further you go out into the future, the harder it is to formulate clear paths to distant goals.

        My personal judgment is that an end to the conflict via some sort of Israel/Palestine two-polity settlement (the exact degree of Palestinian sovereignty is hard to predict) and then a long-term transition in Israel proper away from Zionism to democratic values and economic/cultural integration with Palestine , is a more likely path than Israeli annexation of the West Bank and the extreme Israeli right leading the way to full Palestinian citizenship in a Greater Israel.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 14, 2014, 8:26 am

        Shingo:

        I disagree that it’s a bold proposition to suggest Kalfa is being dishonest in his rhetoric.

        What’s bold is the proposition that Kalfa’s democratic one-state vision might soon become the majority view amongst Israeli leaders/Israeli population.

        What’s bold is to take one statement by one extremist.politician and say his view represents the likely direction Israel is going to take.

        What’s bold is to suggest that Israeli annexation of the West Bank (and Gaza???) would not lead to a Palestinian Arab majority or near-majority in the near future or that Israeli leaders/population don’t realize that it will, or don’t realize that that would mean the end of the Jewish state.

        What’s bold is to suggest that the incessant Zionist talk about a “demographic threat” is nonsense and/or insincere, since Israelis Jews could imagine annexing the West Bank (and Gaza??) without having the Jewish super-majority essential to Zionism threatened.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 14, 2014, 7:57 pm

        What’s bold is the proposition that Kalfa’s democratic one-state vision might soon become the majority view amongst Israeli leaders/Israeli population.

        Not really. When Netenyahu came to power, the Israeli apologists in the US were trying to allay fears that he was a right wing extremist. Then over time, his image was massaged to re brand him as a moderate. Before Liberman joined the ruling coalition he was branded a fascists lunatic. Then when he joined the ruling coalition, he too was branded as somehow being just right of centre.

        Of course their politics or policies never changed, just the way they were portrayed.

        The same goes for Bennet. Before the elections, he was presented as the leaders of some dark and crazed movement, when he got into power and now he and Lapid and BFFs.

        What’s bold is to take one statement by one extremist.politician and say his view represents the likely direction Israel is going to take.

        That’s hardly a bold position given that Israel has taken the direction laid out by extremists for decades.

        What’s bold is to suggest that Israeli annexation of the West Bank (and Gaza???) would not lead to a Palestinian Arab majority or near-majority in the near future

        How would it do that? There woudl still be a Jewish majority and the Haredi are out reproducing the Arabs anyway.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 14, 2014, 9:09 am

        Shingo:

        Even the so called left are only opposed to a single state because it might threaten the Jewishness of Israel. If they can be convinced that this is not at stake, it’s likely they would accept annexation.

        MIGHT threaten the Jewishness or Israel??? It definitely WILL threaten that Jewishness. Annexation of the West Bank (and Gaza) and giving the Arab inhabitants full rights in Israel objectively would threaten the Jewish super-majority which is essential to Zionism.

        I very much doubt that the Israeli right, center or left can be convinced that should risk the Jewish super-majority.

        What Israelis Jews want is separation not a welcoming in of Palestinian Arabs! Separation via either two separate polities or open apartheid. The Israeli leadership–apart from some extremist right wingers– is wise enough to realize that open apartheid would engender intolerable international condemnation, pressure, BDS, and pariah status, so they have opted for separation via two polities , whether by agreement or unilateral Israeli action.

        Zionists, right and left, will not do anything to threaten the Jewishness of Israel–that is axiomatic. But if that Jewish-supremacism is not threatened, how can you say that Israel will have become fully democratic with real equality?

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 14, 2014, 8:33 pm

        Shingo:

        Shingo: And as for Israelis accepting [a single democratic state comprising Israel/Palestine], I would say that the right wing in Israel is actually more open to the idea that the left. The interesting this is that Bennet himself is not that far away from this idea.

        ‘We should grant Palestinians full citizenship, equality and voting rights in the Knesset, says MK Zvulun Kalfa.
        link to haaretz.com

        Look, Kalfa has proposed annexing the West Bank but excluding Gaza and the approx. 1.8 MILLION Palestinians encaged there.

        Regarding Bennett, he is NOT open to the idea of a single democratic state, not at all:

        Other members of the Jewish Home party reject the single state idea. Party chairman Naftali Bennett has previously called for Israel to annex Area C, LEAVING THE MAJORITY OF THE PALESTINIAN POPULATION IN THE WEST BANK WITHOUT FULL RIGHTS

        […]According to the Israeli Right’s idea, the state will absorb roughly 2 million Palestinians from the West BankAccording to the Israeli Right’s idea, the state will absorb roughly 2 million Palestinians from the West Bank BUT REMAIN THE SAME IN EVERY OTHER ASPECT.

        (emphasis added) http://972mag.com/right-wing-mk-let-palestinians-vote-for-israeli-parliament/87050/

        The Israeli extreme right is not interested in creating a single democratic state with equal rights, as you suggest, but maintaining the Jewish demographic majority and Jewish supremacy.

        What these extreme right wing proposals amount to is grabbing more land unilaterally and increasing somewhat the Palestinian minority in Israel–but not so much as to threaten the Jewish majority, Jewish supremacy, and all the foundational elements of the Zionist state.

        Why would you think that is such a good idea for Palestinians?

        Right now the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel has the right to vote and a panoply of civil rights, but they are nevertheless second class citizens in an ethnocratic state. Increasing that minority, while leaving millions of Palestinians out in the cold simply further divides the Palestinian community and goes even further in stifling Palestinian national aspirations.

        Annexing more of Palestine’s land and bringing in some of limited number Palestinians to live as second-class citizens in the Jewish ethnocratic state, now ruled by the most extreme of extreme ethnic supremacists, would NOT be the positive development you make it out to be, imo.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 15, 2014, 8:50 am

        Regarding Bennett, he is NOT open to the idea of a single democratic state, not at all:

        Bennet proposes annexing 60% of the WB and offering citizenship to the Arabs in those regions. That is what I was alluding to.

        Still, you cannot discount that one state exists now and that giving the vote to the Arabs in the WB would be a significant improvement over the occupation. It’s not a great deal for the Palestinians, but it is much better than anything they are going to get barring the collapse of Israel.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 14, 2014, 9:26 pm

        Shingo:

        I disagree that it’s a bold proposition to suggest Kalfa is being dishonest in his rhetoric.

        Did you mean “not being dishonest”? In any case, I do believe Kalfa’s rhetoric is fundamentally dishonest.

        [Kalfa] believes that the state should draft a law claiming all the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea as an undivided Israel, and making all residents within its borders Israeli.

        Such a move will put an end to claims of Israeli apartheid or maltreatment of its Arab residents, Kalfa believes.

        “It is obvious that we cannot go the way of a two-state solution,” Kalfa said.

        “I am in favor of one country for everyone.

        Palestinians? There has never been and there currently is no [Palestinian] nation.”

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/1.573958

        He’s tries to put on liberal-democratic airs with rhetoric like “one country for everyone“, but he excludes the 1.76 million Palestinians in Gaza and the millions of refugees . That’s dishonest rhetoric.

        He says “one country for everyone”, while insisting that Israel will still be a Zionist nation state for all the world’s Jews. That’s dishonest rhetoric. A state can’t be simultaneously for the Jewish people and for all its residents.

        He says “there has never been and there currently is no [Palestinian] nation.” That’s dishonest rhetoric.

        Such a move will put an end to claims of Israeli apartheid or maltreatment of its Arab residents, Kalfa believes.

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/1.573958

        Bringing some more Arab Palestinians into the ethnocratic, Jewish supremacist state of Israel, while leaving millions in Gaza and in refugee camps, will not end claims of apartheid or maltreatment. His statement implies that there is no maltreatment of Arab Palestinian Arabs in Israel right now . That’s dishonest rhetoric.

        [Shingo:]What possible motive could you attribute to [Kalfa] sticking his neck out and proposing such a policy?

        His motive in coming out and saying “”I am in favor of one country for everyone ” is to deceive people into thinking that Israeli annexation of more West Bank land represents some kind of move toward a single liberal-democratic state for both Jews and Arabs, when in fact it leaves millions of Palestinians stateless and maintains a non-democratic Jewish supremacist system in place in Israel.

        A takeover in Israel by the extreme right and annexation of more of the West Bank is NOT a step toward “one country for everyone”, real democracy, equal rights, or Palestinian self-determination.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 15, 2014, 8:46 am

        He’s tries to put on liberal-democratic airs with rhetoric like “one country for everyone“, but he excludes the 1.76 million Palestinians in Gaza and the millions of refugees . That’s dishonest rhetoric.

        No, because Gaza has all but been forgotten. Even Kerry’s proposal makes no suggestion for how Gaza and the West Bank will be connected. From the POV of the Israelis, Gaza is not even on the table, so no, he is not being dishonest.

        A state can’t be simultaneously for the Jewish people and for all its residents.

        I agree, but if the Palestinians in the WB were given the same status and those in Israel, it would still be much better than the current situation.

        His statement implies that there is no maltreatment of Arab Palestinian Arabs in Israel right now .

        He might believe that, but his statement does not say that.

        My point is that a one state outcome is much more likely that your imaginary 1.5ss. As everyone but you seems to realize, we already have a one state situatuion.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 15, 2014, 6:20 am

        Shingo:

        The same goes for Bennet. Before the elections, he was presented as the leaders of some dark and crazed movement, when he got into power and now he and Lapid and BFFs.

        But Bennet plans to absorb only a small portion of the Palestinian population from the West Bank. As you wrote:

        We have Bennet saying that Israel should annex 60% of the West Bank and offer citizenship to all the Arabs in the territory annexed.

        That’s basically Area C which contains less than 5 per cent of the Palestinian population..

        And of course nobody in Israel is proposing annexing Gaza with a population of nearly 1.8 million.

        So the extreme right plan of unilateral annexation will NOT create a single state with all Palestinians getting the right to vote etc.

        The right wing plan is about unilateral annexation of land, and incorporating a minimal number of Palestinians, thus keeping the Jewish supremacist state intact. Netanyahu may be looking forward to the same thing, except he is going along with the “peace process” for now.

        Why do you think that’s such a promising development??

        That’s hardly a bold position given that Israel has taken the direction laid out by extremists for decades.

        The extremists like Bennet are NOT calling for “one state for everyone”, and Kalfa’s call does NOT include Gaza. I think you need to look a little more skeptically as this extreme right “one state for everybody” idea–it’s not so benign as you seem to think.

        There woudl still be a Jewish majority and the Haredi are out reproducing the Arabs anyway.

        For Israel to remain a Jewish supremacist state virtually all Zionists have argued that a super-majority is necessary, not just a bare majority which would tear apart the country politically and socially.

        To keep anything close to a super-majority, you have to exclude at a minimum Palestinians from Gaza, refugees returning to West Bank areas.

        That’s why Bennet and most everyone else on the right is talking about annexing Area C, and excluding Gaza and large Palestinian populations of the West Bank, and of course allowing no Palestinian refugees to return. The overriding objective is taking as much land and resources as possible without endangering the dominant Jewish majority .

        That’s why I say creating a true “one state for everyone”, i.e. including Gaza and ALL the Palestinians on the West Bank, would endanger the dominant Jewish majority in the Jewish state and therefore is rightly seen by the vast majority of Israeli Jews an existential threat to be fought to the last breath.

        And that’s why Kalfa’s “one state for everyone” rhetoric is B.S.

        It’s not the promising path forward you are making it out to be.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 15, 2014, 10:12 am

        Shingo:

        Even Kerry’s proposal makes no suggestion for how Gaza and the West Bank will be connected.

        There is no question that in any proposal Palestine will contain Gaza and the West Bank and there will be a corridor of some type for safe passage between those two parts of Palestine.

        The Secretary appears to be in tune too with the Palestinian demand for the “safe passage” to connect the Gaza Strip to the West Bank to be realized in the form of an express train. This rail link would require Israel to sacrifice a slice of the Negev in the south and turn it over to Palestinian sovereignty, with no stops on the way for Israel security officers to inspect the traffic and freight being ferried between the two Palestinian entities. Washington has informed Israel and the Palestinian Authority that it has opted for a railroad rather than a tunnel link.

        http://www.thejerusalemconnection.us/blog/2013/12/26/kerrys-revisions-for-us-troops-on-jordan-valley-border-gaza-hebron-express-train-link.html

    • tree
      tree
      February 13, 2014, 6:57 am

      Let me add my voice to this, irishmoses. I think your posts were spot-on analyses of the situation as it has been since 1967, and as it was contemplated to be since the beginning of the Zionist project.

      I’d add that the treatment of of the small remnant of Palestinians within Israel’s 1948 borders during Israel’s first 18 years nearly parallels the treatment of the West Bank and Gaza Palestinians after 1967, with the exception of giving the ’48 Palestinian Israelis the vote. However, they were a small enough minority, sufficiently corralled and controlled by the land confiscations and martial law to be useful to the controlling Labor Governments as a source of guaranteed votes to keep their party in power. There are too many Palestinians still left in the West Bank to control and the world today won’t buy the idea that people under martial law simply because of their minority ethnicity are functioning members of a democratic society. So ethnic cleansing and Bantustans, or Indian Reservations, are the Israeli answer. The “two-state solution” has always been an Israeli farce, as was their “acceptance” of the Partition Plan.

      Again, great posts.

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